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  • WWSTWD with my MK3 Escort?
  • abingham
    Full Member

    I have an old MK3 Escort. It’s a 1985, 1.1L, 4 speed manual and in pretty mint, all original, condition. It’s also my daily driver, is very economical and (so far) reliable.

    It’s a lovely little thing, but I’d rather it was more ‘interesting’, and a good bit more pokey. As far as I see it I have a few options:

    1. Suck it up and keep it as is, flaws and all.
    2. Spend circa £3.5k putting a more exciting motor (and other minor mods) in it and going full ‘sleeper’.
    3. Sell it or trade it in and buy something more ‘interesting’.

    So, what would STW do?

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    1.
    There is no need for anybody to have anything a “good bit more pokey” on our roads.

    roger_mellie
    Full Member

    3a. Sell it to an enthusiast who might want to do the mods you mention. Trading in is unlikely to realise any emotional value the car might have?

    Saves you the bother of no.2. Treat yourself to something ‘more interesting”. Life’s too short to wear a horsehair shirt for ever.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    1 or 3.
    Never modify a daily driver

    butcher
    Full Member

    I think the answer lies in how much you’d like for it to consume your life. Modifying a car in that way really has to be a hobby, something that you actively enjoy doing, spending evenings and weekends searching for, and fitting parts. It’s also quite likely to attract thieves. Those things I seem to remember could be opened up with other people’s keys. Pretty sure they’re a doddle to steal in standard form.

    Buy something modern, off the shelf for an easy life.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    1.
    There is no need for anybody to have anything a “good bit more pokey” on our roads.

    Said no-one……ever.

    Leave it as is, upgrade the engine and you’d need to upgrade the suspension/brakes/wheels/tyres/seats/bushes etc accordingly so not worth it as it will still be an old mk3 escort yet you’d have spent a fortune, sell it and buy something else if you want a bit more involving/fun to drive.

    connect2
    Full Member

    1 – It doesn’t seem to be floating your boat so not really an option

    2 – For all their faults they’re getting rare now so it would be a shame to lose an orginal example in good condition, be as well buy something that needs some work

    So that leaves 3

    zx970
    Full Member

    WWSTWD? What’s that supposed to mean?

    abingham
    Full Member

    WWSTWD? What’s that supposed to mean?

    What would Singletrack World do.

    5lab
    Full Member

    There is no need for anybody to have anything a “good bit more pokey” on our roads.

    its got 50bhp. more than that is useful on the road, without being “dangerously” fast.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Two points:

    1. Why haven’t you shown us any pictures of this beast?

    2. What’s it worth? Could you buy (for example) a nice 10-year-old Fiesta with the proceeds?

    soundninjauk
    Full Member

    Drive it through Rufford Ford.

    misteralz
    Free Member

    A few years ago the answer would’ve been drop a 1600 CVH in it, which was the wrong answer even then. The correct answer is dropping a 1300 Kent crossflow in, the one from the 1300S mk1 Fiesta. Then boring it out to 1380. It still won’t be fast, but it’ll be usefully quicker. Good luck finding one, though.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    2. it’s a 1.1, lumpy custard is sharper. And being a Ford pretty much anything bolts to pretty much anything.

    What Somafunk said, at 48hp you may well be at risk of being out accelerated by some particularly lively custard but is it worth it?

    Unless you go really silly and can shoehorn a RWD conversion into the budget, you’re spending £3500 to put the guts of a ~10 year old £500 fiesta in it, to go as fast as a £500 10 year old Fiesta.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    The forum hamsters ate my reply first time

    misteralz
    Free Member

    Yeah, FWD bits play well enough together, certainly from mk1 Fiesta era up to the last of the Escorts and the first gen Focus. You could bolt a Mondeo Zetec to a mk3 Escort gearbox if you really wanted, and I think you’d need a mk1 XR2 driver’s side engine mount. I spent so much time playing with all the combos near enough twenty years ago when I had a mk1 Fiesta.
    I’d do it differently now, but then it would be a toy and not a daily.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    Leave it as is, upgrade the engine and you’d need to upgrade the suspension/brakes/wheels/tyres/seats/bushes etc accordingly

    It depends. If just swapping for a period correct 1.6 complete for example, they may well have the same brakes, suspension etc anyway.
    If putting in a Zetec or maybe one of those tiny 3pot turbo units (which would be cool), it’ll be a world of hurt needing all sorts of custom fabrication I’d imagine.

    Cougar
    Full Member

    I have had both that self same car (a 1985-plate Escort) and probably that engine too (only in a mk1 Fiesta).

    If I were you I’d sell it.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    The forum replies seem to be slower than OP’s Dagenham Dustbin at the mo.

    doublezero
    Free Member

    Keep it old cars are cool modifying cars can get expensive very quickly and ruin a nice original car.

    I would keep as is give it a good service and change plug leads maybe help it breathe a little better with a panel filter or a ram air induction kit so long as there is means of routing some extra cold air into the engine bay this is easily reversed if want to put back to original.

    I would think you will be paying a lot more than £3,500 to make it really interesting and then you have insurance costs on top.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    I have had both that self same car (a 1985-plate Escort) and probably that engine too (only in a mk1 Fiesta).

    My younger brother had an 89 MK4 1.1 Escort popular. I think I can still hear the rattle of the tappets.
    I was particularly impressed by the mechanical fuel pump leaking from a vent exactly in line with the exhaust.

    It holed a piston and he had a recon engine fitted. Fortunately it caught fire a year or so later.

    olly2097
    Free Member

    Stick a 1.6 cvh in it and have some fun.

    simian
    Free Member

    it’s a boggo ford escort, albeit an older, interesting one that you have some attachment to.

    Stupid engine. All day every day. I’ve driven modified dailys for nearly 20 years.no regrets, just do it right.

    Have a good look around RetroRides for inspiration – sleepers are cool.

    AD
    Full Member

    Agree with the ‘modifying cars’ comments.

    IME they can be great fun but not as daily drivers.

    My last modded car was a Saab 9000 Carlsson that Abbott Racing had tuned. I loved that car but basically I completely buggered the reliability. Fun while it lasted though!

    Rolling road had it with 260hp at the front wheels so was ‘quite pokey’. Sorry Simon… I was young.
    Also having said that 260hp isn’t actually that powerful if you look at a typical modern rep mobile. Plenty enough for a H reg Saab though…

    a11y
    Full Member

    Got a spare trampoline? It’d be the quickest a 1.1 mk3 Escort’s ever accelerated.

    sharkattack
    Full Member

    This is my favourite MK3 Escort

    If it was mine I’d keep it looking standard and stick a 2.0 Duratec and IB5 gearbox in it.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    Option 3, a Ford enthusiast will lap up a straight MK3 escort as long as the body and chassis are sound. Have a look at sold prices on eBay as a guide.

    Then invest the money in a new faster car.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    How handy are you.

    Banging a new motor in one of them isn’t huge if it’s 1100 to 1300 or even cvh.

    But that age and if its in good nick I’d leave it alone. There’s mot many good solid boggo motors about and it’s a rare car.

    Christ I can’t remember when I last saw one.

    We had a 1.1 ghia in blue when i was a kid probably 1988ish… A188HAD lovely car! It was my gran parents

    downshep
    Full Member

    Sell it to either an enthusiast or a company that leases period cars to the TV and film industry. You’ll get more that way and the car lives on.

    eddiejar
    Free Member

    I had a B reg (84?) 1.3l.
    Based on my experience, definitely sell it. Someone will love to take it to car shows etc.

    abingham
    Full Member

    Sorry for the delay in responding – actually been out riding (who’d have thought it?!)…

    I’ll work out how to upload a photo in due course (link here). I do like it, but I don’t love it like I loved my Mk2 Golf. Market seems fairly strong and I think the right buyer would be paying in the region of £5k, but the audience is fairly small in the grand scheme of things. Car isn’t quite concourse but it’s not miles off. I did a few classic car shows with it over the summer and it absolutely held its own.

    Interesting comments on the modifications. I’d be looking at a Zetec or ST170 engine, stiffer springs and shocks, custom exhaust, new brakes and larger diameter steel wheels and better tyres. I’m no speed demon by any means and it only really does the school run and an occasional commute to work which is about 12 miles on the dual carriageway. It doesn’t really want to go more than 50mph, but I think that’s more to do with the lack of 5th gear as the engine steel feels like it has enough ‘pull’.

    I’m not particularly ‘handy’ so whatever went in it would need to be reliable, I do have a good network of garages and contacts that would do the work though.

    I’d probably be looking at something like an EP3 Type R, another MK2 Golf or classic Mini (if I can get one that’s not astronomical money), perhaps a Defender, so quite varied, but the running theme is ‘interesting’ in one way or another.

    bigdean
    Full Member

    Ok, I’ve always fancied an old Ford but with a modern “normal” engine.
    Think mk1 cortin with a 1.0 Ecoboost type of thing.

    I remember mum had a mk3 1.3cvh and it was a hoot. Loved that car.
    Also the car I learned to do head gaskets on and could get the head off in under 20min.

    I bought an ECU of a chap who put st3 engine and running gear in a mk3 looked clean as well.

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    I’d be looking at a Zetec or ST170 engine, stiffer springs and shocks, custom exhaust

    That would be hilarious in such a light car! You have to do that now.

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    I’d not be doing it to a near concours motor.

    You could swap the box for a 5sp and see if that helps?

    Cougar
    Full Member

    (link here).

    I think that’s an 84 not an 85?

    northernmatt
    Full Member

    Ooh, beige. I vote for turning it into a sleeper.

    LAT
    Full Member

    4. sell it. it may be worth a lot more than you imagine.

    mattyfez
    Full Member

    Drive it off the white cliffs of Dover as a brexit bonus… Also make sure you film it.

    reeksy
    Full Member

    Having had a couple of 1970s Triumph sleepers, i’m saying sleeper all the way.

    thols2
    Free Member

    Some fat tyres and flames down the side should sort it out.

    Seriously, I would either sell it to an enthusiast who wanted to upgrade it or I would just keep it fairly stock and hold onto it. Another 10 or 20 years and there won’t be a lot of original ones left so it will gain value. Generally, a better exhaust, dampers, and tyres will be the most cost-effective performance improvements.

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