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bmxnz11's Ford Escort MK2 Van


bmxnz11
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Shiiiit. Started to assemble the struts and thought hmm that spring perch looks a bit different. Compared it to the other spares I had and could see what I had refurbished and rebuilt were not escort struts, though they came out if a mk2 escort. The most obvious tell being the insert tube is not centre on the spring perch. The other tell is when I put the spring in, it didn't sit flat and upright. The spring perch doesn't sit horizontal, it's on quite an angle. Anyone know what these came out of?

Confirmed mk2 escort struts. Looking down the centre of the tube.

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Spring perch angle

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Not mk2 escort struts

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Looks like I'll end up strip and repaint the correct pair I have.

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I don't know if it's a ford, late 70s or a commercial vehicle thing but I get the impression this van was thrown together quickly in the factory. Everytime I attach something to the van, it has to be slightly modified to fit. A bit of filing here, a shim there. These are the holes for the brake booster bracket to attach to the engine bay wheel guard. There's a plate welded on the outside which is supposed to line up with the hole. This is typical with alot of the double skin holes.

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I even had to modify the bonnet stay so it would work in both upright and tucked away positions.

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I was tapping some threads in the engine bay, getting it ready for fittings, then this happened.

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It's the under side of the bonnet where the hook is attached. Nuts welded on the inside but this one decided it had had enough and decided to spin. Fuck.

There's no access to the cavity behind to access to the nut so I'm going to have to cut it open, peel it back, weld the nut back on, stitch weld the panel back on and re paint the entire front section of the underside.

Hard to see but agin the nut didn't line up with the hole very well when it was "welded" on in the factory and when I was cutting the thread it was hard up against the bonnet panel which probably caused it to break.

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I couldn't find my bonnet cable clip so pinched it off the blue van and made a replacement. Could have used a cable tie or p clip but because it's visible I didn't want it to look too out of place. I'll have the old black one stripped and anodized.

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Much like the steering rack, I had disassembled 3 steering columns all in various states and all slightly different. One column shaft was longer then the others, one column and housing has absolutely been munched by the steering lock mechanism and none really shared the exact same internals, with different springs and spacers etc.

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I used a good short column and the best housing and had them painted. I started to reassemble it last night but hit a road bump. The new top bush, which replaces the older style bearing, is too narrow in the ID to turn freely on the column shaft. The bottom replacement works fine. I'll need to trim down the OD of the shaft or increase the ID in the bush. Even with grease and vice grips it didn't want to turn.

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old bearing and new bush

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I don't have a lathe so I carefully cleaned up the shaft using using die grinder and a flap wheel, checking it as I went. I had removed enough material that the bush would snuggly fit over the shaft and move. Success. Then I couldnt work out why it was such as effort to fit into the steering colum. It would only go half way down.

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It's hard to see but the end of the shaft is slightly tappered. 39mm tappered down to 38.5mm. Out came the die grinder and flap wheel again. I enlarged the internal shaft to accept the new bush and we were away laughing. Until...

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...I installed it all in the van and the ends of the steering shafts don't line up. Faaaaark. I will need to enlarge the hole on the firewall and move the shaft up. I thought the assembly was supposed to be the easy part.

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