bmxnz11's 81 escort van

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The wheel arch and surrounding area was pretty rotten where dirt and moisture had gotten between the layers.



All 3 layers were cut out and replaced. I started with the middle section, the strengthening inner piece and then the outer wheel arch. Was a bit tricky to make as the original pieces were no good as templates.



Once the structure had been put back into the van I did the outer quarter. I reused the bumper bracket area as this was fine, but remade the rest of the quarter with 4000 small folds in the folder.





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Once the necessary welds were cleaned, everything underneath from the firewall back was blown out, scrubbed, etched, tarred and painted.




As always, all hollows were sprayed with 2pot epoxy stuff and then cavity wax.

Have since put it back together and used it again. Come at me wof man.


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Got this a wof in august. Needed to replace a few things like steering rack, engine mounts and a brake cylinder. Kind of put it on the back burner while working on the orange van and house. I played around with the jets in the bike carbs and felt I got them a bit better. Still seems to run rich at idle, pilot/fuel screw screwed in quite far, and doesn't have the pick up at mid range when I put the foot down. Yet to investigate too much.

Have started to make an air filter housing for the carbs. Using a cut down filter from a Hyundai pony? It was cheap at a swap meet so I built the housing around that. Carved up a wooden template and used the press to make the initial swage in the lid. Folded and cleaned up the edges before pressing and drilling holes for the thread studs to hold it all together.





Will probably just clearcoat it. Next step is to actually tune the carbs better.

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Bike carbs having been running ok. Have just been fiddling with them with a length of hose and a color tune. They make a glorious noise when opened up


Was searching for ages for a particular rev counter.  I wasnt keen on mounting it on the pillar, steering column or bonnet. Had always wanted to put one in place of the drivers air vent, which is out of the way and looks subtle. I finally found one at a swap meet and it slotted straight in. Just made a bracket on the back and mounted the original vent below (picture was before I mounted it). For some reason it reads 500rpm too low? I've double checked it's set to the 4cyl. Cant complain for $10. Bonus 'escort' brand.


I pulled the rear leaf springs and air shocks to use on my other van, and replaced them with standard parts plus a couple of 2inch blocks. Cheers @Beaver for the u bolts, matches the shocks!



Drove it through summer. Had no problems hauling bikes, hauling parts and a couple of camping trips including the maiden wagnats trip. The van ran fine, really needs an extra gear though. Had an awesome time, definitely keen for that one again.


Went to start the van the other day and noticed a rather large puddle of coolant on the ground which ended up in this.


Ive taken the opportunity to take more out than necessary to clean up the engine bay and change a few gaskets. I've adjusted the tappets and ordered a new water pump, which I'll install after repairing a small leak in the radiator.

I've noticed its started getting a bit fumey out the oil cap once its warmed up. The only thing I have changed is the venting. The pvc valve now goes into a small filter, instead of back into the manifold. Would this be a factor? Compression checked a few months ago which was 160-180 across all four.

It also has the magic '37' stamp which I believe is a gt head.


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Cleaned up some engine parts, brake booster, battery tray, rejetted the idle jets, new gasket for the oil pump, removed and cleaned up the swaybar mounts. I assembled and put the new waterpump on the engine but forgot to put the alternator tensioner on! Removed the assembly and in doing so I had to destroy the new gasket. Happy to know the vnt copper gasket spray works very well. All put back together and assembled the rest of the motor for a start up. Unfortunately it wouldn't catch on any cylinders and a couple of back fires through the carbs. The only thing that has changed is I've leaned out the pilot jets from a 35 to a 32 and adjusted the fuel screws. Will check these and any potential vaccum leaks tomorrow.


Have since cleaned up a few more cables.



Good old British workmanship. Bonnet stay/post should have been centered.





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