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Ford Escort ZX2



  • My well meaning parents got me "The Solutions Lock De-Icer" as an XMAS Stocking Stuffer. A visiting friend got the great idea to test it
    out. Forgetting that I have a Keyless Entry. He took a squirt gun reserved for misbehaving kittens, and shot the lock of my car with
    water hoping it would freeze. Yes it froze the lock solid, however when he went to insert the heating wand into the lock (no rude jokes
    please). It tripped the alarm on my car. What's more it wouldn't shut off till I came out and started the engine. Everything seems okay now and the alarms, locks and electrical system seem fine. However a quick phone call to Ford suggested that between the water and the foreign object insertion (again no rude jokes), he could have shorted out my electrical system. I honestly had no idea he was going to do what he did. He said he was going outside for a smoke, the next thing I know I hear the car alarm blaring. Luckily for both of us everything is fine now though.

    Talk about near misses and Christmas Comedy; you should have seen the look on face when he had to fess up to his error...
  • ALERT: All ZX2 fans. Just was surfing around in the "Blue Oval News" site (UNofficial info site for ALL things Ford)They say Ford plans to dump the 2.0 vtec engine in Jan. 2001 (NEXT month for god's sake ??)as well as the ZX2 and Escort cars themselves (the Escort only being sold to rental operations anyway) CRAP !! I have finally decided to get a ZX2 and NOW they are going to flush it down the dumper !! It seems that they have a new 2.3 vtec engine in the wings and that will be the new Focus motor soon.

    I guess if I really want one I'd better do it this weekend while they still have some cars and the cash incentive is up to $1500. I also heard that the Mexico plant is shut down due to the potential blow up of a nearby volcano. What a bummer.

  • Floridian's tale is very believable. Tedd Britt Ford where I got my ZX2 from appears to have dropped the ZX2 completely. I have been by there lot 3 times in the past week or so and I haven't seen a single ZX2 anywhere on the lot. I think battlefield Ford In Manassas Virginia may have a couple left, but as near as I can tell thats it for New ZX2s in Northern Virginia.

    I think we shall all have to rededicating ourselfs to making sure the ZX2 becomes a classic. As it looks as though production for our favourite car is finally at an end. I suspect that the volcano in Mexico may have just hurried things along a little sooner.

    Tis ashame to say the last.
  • photog: Scarcity may indeed put our beloved "Z's" into the desirable catagory. Much as the Honda Civic hatchbacks have become the "pet" of the "tuner" crowd mabe the ZX2 will become one as well. I have procrastinated long enough and WILL be getting my "toy" before next week is over. There semms to be plenty of cars here in Florida and color/equip. choices very good. I have a firm quote for $100 UNDER invoice and + $1500 cash back as well. That's about as good as it's gonna get I guess.

    Ford must be planning to continue production for at least a little while longer (volcano erupting not withstanding) as "Blue Oval News" stated this morning that they will be increasing prices on all ZX2's built after 12-22-2000 by $95.00. No big deal to me tho as any car I get next week will not be affected by that.

    Wish me luck as I go forth to "joust" with the "pond scum" dealers !! LOL

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Just curious....are you going after an S/R?
  • The more I drive my ZX2 the more I love it. Even if I have the distinction of having the most expensive one on the east coast. My new insurance company is suddenly claiming I didn't mention my one speeding ticket in the past 5 years and has chosen to up my rates from the $189per month to $288 month. This is inspite of the lengthy discussion had with the girl regarding my driving record. She seemed as amazed I was that in the space of one year, I could have had so much go wrong regarding a car. Somehow I think I will be looking at some of the other offers I have had on the table for insurance. Most of those where around $250.

    Tell you what though pray for that twit who caused this daisy chain of events. If ever I encountered him again I will have to be locked up. All told my descion to buy a zx2 has now cost me upwards of now $17,000. My coworkers can't understand why I am so protective of my car. Can you?
  • floridian: those numbers sound really good.
    Take care they don't suddenly slap you with a 12% APR on the loan which is how they will try to make a profit on your car.

    About the 2.0L Zetec engine. It's also currently manufactured in Europe at 1.8L which powers cars like the Puma. The 2.3L engine is planned by Ford to be California ULEV rated. The current 2.0L engine would fail that category.

    As for killing off the ZX2, Ford has been known to do stranger things than that. Like killing off the Thunderbird coupe. And not selling the 2001 Mondeo in the US because it's a better car than the Taurus and with its larger size (than previous Mondeo/Contour)would compete directly with Taurus.

    By the way, the ZX2 has suffered only one safety recall - on some S/Rs . Apparently the leather shift knob did not have the gear shift diagram on it. So the correction mandated by the government was to put a small sticker diagram on the console where it would be visible.

    The Focus has had three recalls in one year, including one recall that would correct the rear wheels falling off!
  • ralex2: I waited too long for a S/R they are as scarce as hen's teeth, even used and of course no 2001's anyway. I will just have to be content with a regular ZX and mabe do a little "tweek" here and there. I did drive one last year and it did handle a little better than my son's stocker 1999 but it did not seem to be any faster 0-60 than his, go figure. It was brand new tho and could be a little faster when broken in. The only thing done to his is a K&N intake, modified mass air flow/temp sensor circuit, pirelli rubber and a Hurst shifter.

    rickgonz: No, the dealer knows that I can get 7% money set up but with my year-end "Bonus" I think I will just pay cash and be done with it.

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    When I drove the s/r, I didn't fell it eshibited anymore power than my regular Z, but like you, I assumed it was because it was still tight. I do think the "Superchip" may well have a better program in it than the S/R chip. With a chip and a few suspension mods, the regular Z ought to be functionally equivalent to the S/R. The only thin that irritates me is the clutch. I definitely like the S/R's Centerforce clutch, but I'm not going to pay out the nose to install one - unless the stock unit dies an untimely death.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    ralex2: It may not be for everyone to attempt but my son runs his ZX in "showroom stock" SCCA events and has had occasion to replace the clutch many times (unfortunately)He and "wrench head" buddy can do it in about 2 hours !! he does not use the Centerforce replacement but got them from a co. in Daytona Beach. Those 6000 RPM launches and speedshifting do take their toll tho. I think they run about $150.00 each, exchange plus shipping.

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Thanks for the info Floridian. I may rethink the clutch.
  • ddoggddogg Posts: 13
    Hello all, hope your holidays were good.

    I'm on the verge of replacing my stock Goodyear Eagle GA 185/65 r14 tires with GoodYear All American 195/60 r14s.

    1. Would this slight drop in ride height affect speedo readings/odo readings drastically?
    2. Will these tires fit on the stock 14" rims?

    Also, where can I find a K&N air filter for my car?? I live in Ontario, Canada.

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287

    The difference in those two tires would be just over 3 mm, or maybe 1/8th of an inch tops. You will never notice any difference. The 195s will fit your stock rims. As for the K&N, I wouldn't waste my money unless you live in an unusually dusty area and paper filter replacement is expensive.
  • ddogg:
    Your buddies in Ontario would know local sources for parts:

    My understanding is that the K&N filter and others like it may add 1-3hp. If you want more hp on top of that (claims of up to +10hp), you may want a cold air intake which will cost up to US$250 depending on the brand.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    You can grab a K&N filter at Canadian Tire, but you may have to order it for this car, I doubt they have it in stock.
  • Jay ( is organizing a meet in Richmond on Sat. 27 Jan. More details to follow.
    He is trying to get stickers made "TeamZX2 Midatlantic" in time for the meet.

    Might be a pleasant drive down, depending on the weather.
  • Bought my wife a new 1999 ZX2. Liked it enough when I test drove it I almost got myself one. I hadn't driven the car for about a year but did for a week over the holidays. It has an automatic transmission and about 9000 miles on it. First, to me it should idle better than it does. It isn't bad. But usually my cars this new have idled smooth to the point that you almost can't tell they're running. Our Tauras(43,000 miles) and Cavalier ( 26,000 miles) are both that smooth. Next I found the car irritating to drive at highway speeds. At 50mph and above it seems very sensitive to shifting with little change in pedal movement. If the speed varies 1-2 mph it seems to shift. There is a frequent couple hundred rpm change with a corresponding downshift and upshift. While testing I noticed if I take my foot off the pedal then lightly put it back, I'll get the downshift even if the speed has not dropped off at all. I've never seen this sensitivity on another car. I took it in to be serviced, they loaded a new program, but the mechanic indicated he didn't see anything wrong. Does this sound like a typical ZX2?
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    stevealt: the things you mention are typical of all the ZX's i've driven. The idle which I would describe as "lumpy" is a bad feature of the 2.0 vtech engine as installed in the ZX2. In fact it is the one thing that has kept me from buying one for myself. It seems to be more noticable in A/T equipped cars. If you shift to neutral at idle you'll notice a reduction in the vibration coming thru the steering wheel. That does not seem to be the case with that engine when installed in the Focus. Very smooth at idle. Mabe better engine mounts ? The RPM shift you notice is the torque converter "unlocking". it is not actually downshifting but allows to RPM to rise slightly due to normal slippage of the converer while not in lock-up mode. Most 4 cyl engines are a little cobby at idle tho so the ZX2 is not any diferent in that regard.

  • Sorry to have dropped quiet for so long. But I have been behind the scenes redesigning and rebuilding my web pages. I am also about to relocate them to another server. So as the old saying goes I have been rather busy overlate. I haven't released anything yet but in the coming weeks there will be a new home and redesigned version.

    At any rate I have a strange a relatively minor wear problem. The rubber pad on my break pedal has worn down to the bare metal on the edges. I never thought I was particular heavy on my brakes but this is strange. On closer inspection I also noticed that my clutch pedal was showing simliar signs of wear though not as badly. Is this normal? Is it under warranty? The car is barely 6 months old yet, on my Acura Integra I was well over 150k before the pads on the peddles wore down. Very minor, but rather strange wouldn't you say? The accelerator peddle only shows a slight wearing.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Andrew, take your cleats off before you get in the car. Mine did not wear that badly, but toward the end of the first year, I hung some aftermarket pedal covers on it to change the geometry of the throttle and brake - easier heel & toe than stock. You may want to try that. Metal pedal covers are available everywhere these days and installation takes 10 minutes.

    Looking forward to your reworked web page
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