Mk2Marty's 1976 Ford Escort Moredoor

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So I saw this on the interweb a little while ago. $2500 later it was mine.
It's an August 1976 build Mk2 Escort 1100. I drove home from the North Shore with a bad ignition miss, but another set of points have solved it for now.

The only main problem with it seems to be the well-worn gearbox bearings, so it's quite growly in the indirect gears. Other than that, the driver's door is pretty sad, the frame is fine, it's just the outer skin that's full of bog and it's rotten all the way along the bottom. Aside from that though, it seems like a well-used but reasonably solid example of an early Mk2 Escort. The idea was that I could daily this while the Cortina gets some paintwork and other things done. But this might need work first...

Apologies for the grainy photos, the light was fading by the time I got it home




Found the louvre that Dad had on his Escort Sport, which had been sitting around since he sold the car in 1985.

Might have to keep it on there...



Never had a radio fitted, so the doorcards are thankfully intact, as is the rear parcel shelf.



1098cc of raging Kent. It produced a whole 35kW when new, apparently 



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Some interesting things happened this week

The ownership papers turned up, it looks as though it's had one owner from 1977 to 2008ish, judging by the registration history. Turns out it was sold new by Brian Cotter Motors in Albany in September 1976, so it's been an Auckland car for most of it's life.

Unfortunately, it's spent the last few years leaking water profusely through holes around the heater bubble (among other places), so it was this weekend's mission to strip the interior and dry it out. While it was on the floor, it seemed like a good opportunity to clean it and remove the forty years' worth of encrusted grime that had built up. 


Most of the trim scrubbed up okay, although it might be time for a visit to Autodec to get some new carpet and underlay. While the interior was bare it was a good opportunity to break out the Fishoilene sprayer and douse the door cavities/sills/inner guards/chassis rails/bootlid/bonnet etc. So now it smells a bit, and it seems to attract cats, but i'm hoping it might have curbed the rust issue in the meantime.

Weirdly, the rustiest part of the car looks like it doesn't belong to it:


...the drivers door, which is a lot more Daytona Yellow than the rest of the car was, or will ever be. I now have no qualms about replacing it, as soon as I can find a better one. Also, while busy fishoiling anything that didn't move, i noticed a random row of holes in the driver's side inner sill panel. Weird. 

So that was all well and good, but the main problem with it was still the gearbox, and the concrete-mixer noises it was making. 

So we set about changing that today:


It now has Dad's spare gearbox in it, which will keep it mobile until I get around to rebuilding the original one.

I'll strip the gearbox another weekend and see what nasties lurk beneath. At the very least i'm guessing it needs bearings.. 


edit: Discuss it here: //

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Progress with this has been slow, mostly due to laziness and apathy on my part.. But I did find where (most of) the water was coming in, which was through the large rust holes in the firewall seam behind the heater unit.

They have been patched temporarily, and I put the carpet back in. It still leaks a little through the windscreen rubber though.

Otherwise it's really only had boring maintenance stuff done, I changed the wheel cylinders because they were leaking, I put some new HT leads, a set of points and a condenser in it in an attempt to rid it of misfires and make the most of it's meagre allowance of horsepower. 

Still haven't bothered to strip the gearbox, but it'll happen soon.

More annoyingly, last week it decided that it didn't like to idle, and would die at every set of traffic lights it came across. This became a little irksome, particularly when commuting home from work in peak hour traffic, so armed with the Ford manual I decided (working more on the basis of hope than anything else) to take the top off the carburettor and blast some of the accumulated crud out of it. This I did, and it seems a little happier. I also emptied about four litres of tomato soup out of the cooling system and changed the thermostat for one that worked, so with any luck it might be more inclined to behave itself.   

It may even make the monthly meet this week


The aforementioned, all knowing Ford manual



Better than a Holley, mayte.
I cleared the passages with compressed air, and cleaned what looked like bits of casting swarf from the float bowl. Whether this has made any tangible improvement to it remains to be seen, though. It looks like a normal car again from the inside though, with the carpet and stuff back in. The previous owner's piece of religious iconography refuses to part company with the dashboard, it seems to be stuck on with an intense faith-based fervour. I gave up after a while and left it there.


And the most unnerving thing is that it seems to like rusting in the most unexpected places..


I really wasn't expecting to find a hole that size in the front valance. Kids, make sure you clean behind your number plates every so often..

Still looking for front doors that aren't as rusty, and the WOF runs out at the end of August, so we'll see what happens. 


Discuss it here: // 

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Not much happened in the last five months.

It passed the WOF in August, so it's still on daily driver duties. Really quite surprised the clutch has lasted this long, it was basically on the rivets when we swapped the gearbox way back in May (or a couple of posts ago). Figured i'd drive it 'till it died, which would then force me to do the gearbox bearings (thinking it would be a few weeks at most), but hey, it's December and the raging 1100 hasn't killed it yet. 

So hence I haven't touched the gearbox. 

Figured out why it sounds a bit 3-cylinder-ish, a compression test revealed it's down on compression pretty badly on the no.3 cylinder. However a squirt of oil down the plughole brought it up, so me suspects a broken ring or two. Ah well.

Found a way of fixing it though:

2015-11-28 11.26.04_zpsctozyat9

Got given this by a mate, who works at a scrap dealer. This one seems to be of the 1300 persuasion, judging by the AA in the block and the J2 cast into the head. 

May as well freshen it up along with the gearbox and swap them in together...


Most of the paint came up quite nice with a polish. Found a non-rusty drivers door, which needs painting orange and a crack welded up around the latch, then I can get rid of the awful looking, bog-ridden thing currently attached to the car.

It got to try out the shiny Wildcats while the Cortina was in the panelshop. It looked proper Seventies.


It also ended up with the other ratty Wildcats off the Cortina for a while because I couldn't bring myself to put the rusty 4.5" steels back on it, they looked hideous.

But the ratty Wildcats don't fit properly, someone has machined their mounting faces down so they need spacers to get the wheelnuts to hold the wheels on properly. (or some shorter shank nuts, which i don't have)

So today I painted the standard steels and it's back sitting on them for the time being.


Hopefully in the next update there will be a Kent in pieces and a gearbox getting some bearings.

Going by the past thread updates there probably won't be though 

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Well, in this update there is a Kent in pieces

Many pieces...


Pulled the free (and allegedly running) engine apart on Sunday.

It wasn't good. But it was free, so i'm certainly not complaining.


Almost worthy of Hemi's Mechanical Fails thread.

It's picked up no.3 and there's some melted spaffage and reasonable sized lips on that bore. However it may be saveable..

I think that no.4 has got wet at some point when the engine was out of the car/in storage, it should clean up OK. The rest of the engine seems alright, aside from large amounts of oily gunge everywhere, I don't think an oil change was something it saw often. Ah well.

Will consider where to go from here and update accordingly

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Oh yeah, so this happened. In truth it happened back in August, but we'll overlook that.
A broken Telstar and other stuff got in the way, so the promised rebuild kept getting put off. But eventually it happened, so sit down and i'll tell y'all a tale

In the last update there was a melted Kent that looked like not a lot more than some gunk-encrusted, blue-painted scrap. I didn't have high hopes for it initially, but upon further investigation, some not-so-bad bits started to appear. Once I pressure washed all the oily crap out of it, it was actually beginning to look useable. The thing that saved it, though, was when Dad found a set of NOS pistons in a box in the basement, that he'd had since the '70s. He says he'll never own another 1300, so they were mine. Cheers Dad!
The bores, surprisingly, were standard size, so i guess it was made to be. Otherwise, aside from the lipped bits at the top of No.3, the rest of the engine was serviceable, I made sure the bearing clearances were within spec and inspected everything visually and it all looked OK. Sure, if I wanted to do it properly I would have rebored it, ground the crank and thrown some bearings at it, but that can wait until I do the original and matching-numbers block (which in all truth will probably end up with a 1300 crank and rods anyway. Who can tell from the outside?).


So with a bit of a hone and some new rings and gaskets, I put the engine back together. Thankfully all the melted alloy came off pretty easily, unfortunately the lack of a flexi-hone meant that the straight hone I used makes the lipped bores seem worse than they actually are. Oh well.
While i was there, I fitted a new water pump, timing chain kit and associated ancillaries too. There was a slight hiccup with the new timing chain and sprocket, it turns out that some bright spark at the factory put the timing mark about ninety degrees out. However, after a little thought, it's pretty easy to tell where it should be in relation to the dowel. So after some comparison with the old sprocket I made a new mark, and all was well.


I cleaned the head up, checked the mating face with a straight edge, and cleaned and lapped the valves in. And after many, many kerosene baths to get all the encrusted grime off, I put the valve gear on. 


As an aside, thanks to a donated manifold from Dad i've decided to run a Hitachi 2-barrel carb (found as standard equipment on a myriad of '80s Japanese classics), removed from a Mk1 facelift Laser 1500. It has a manual choke and a vacuum secondary, and is mounted on a modified Kent manifold. Two venturis must be better than one, right?
I torqued the head and set the valve clearances, attached the inlet manifold and hoped like hell that it would run without any nasty noises. If it was going in anything more than just my daily transport i'd have thrown more time and parts at it, but as it is it should last for a while. 



Up next, the gearbox...

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Upon dismantling the gearbox, a few things became obvious. Mostly, that the rear bearing was stuffed, and the cause of most of the noises. However, the countershaft and associated needle rollers seemed to have had a pretty hard time too, and the shaft and several rollers had worn through their hardening and were seriously pitted. 
So the hunt was on for bits, but there didn't seem to be anyone locally who could supply needle rollers. Ford, in their infinite wisdom made them a 2.75mm diameter, when the standard (and readily available) sizes are 2.5 and 3mm. Burton Power had some listed, but after an eternity of waiting it seemed even they couldn't supply a full set. So after a lot of scrounging I found enough to make up a complete set, and found another (better) countershaft (cheers to Dad again!). Burtons also sent front and rear bearings and a seal kit.
And after that, the kerosene bath came out again, and removed forty years worth of oily buildup from the gear assemblies and housing.. All the synchros looked OK, as did the gear teeth, so after pressing the bearings on and fitting the seals I put it back together.


All that was left was to mate them together and put them in the car...

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Oh hey, this thread has photos again! 

Unfortunately, this post doesn't bear a whole lot of good news.

The venerable Escort has been doing daily duties for a year, the new engine is sweet, and goes as well as can be expected from a 1300 Kent. 


Sadly, it failed it's WOF last month on rust in the L/H A and C pillars.  So after being inspired by @Hurmeez efforts in rust repair on his Mk2 i figured it was time to start digging at the rust. 

Over the long weekend, I watched more and more of my Escort disappear into dusty piles on the floor...


It started off so nice. After removing layers of bathroom sealant from behind the dash, I found a small hole in the inner guard, by the firewall seam. Figuring this was the rust the WOF man was talking about, I decided it would be fairly easy to patch with the front guard removed. After drilling out the spot welds along the upper guard seam and watching most of the headlight surrounds disappear into thin air, I found the centimetres of bog in the front valance, and after the guard came off, the dodgy looking bits at the top and bottom of the A pillar. At this point there was no going back, so out came the poky screwdriver (with results illustrated below):





This is the bottom of the passenger's A pillar. The driver's side isn't as bad, it only has a hole in the pillar, the sill on that side looks intact (at the moment, anyway)


After finding the fist-sized hole in the floor, I threw caution into the winds and attacked any other dodgy-looking bit of the car I could find. This is the rear wheel arch, which looks like it's had a repair in the past and has continued rusting. There are a couple of small holes in the driver's A pillar section, and the guard seam is pretty sad. The heater bubble has yet to come off, but there is serious work there too judging by the holes around the base of it...


This was Dad's contribution: leaving Psychedelic Furs lyrics on my car while my back was turned...


So yeah. I've never tackled any kind of rust or metal forming on this level before, so any tips and advice are greatly appreciated!

Discuss/offer advice/sharns/tell me it's fucked here: 


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