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Ford Escort ZX2



  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I think speeds2much has the wrong forum... Though I do know the trip he took. I can't help wondering how the ZX2 would fair on such a drive... Ripping through the French countryside in my ZX2 at 100mph, ahh that would be an interesting drive... Of course I would have to have some minor mods done to the engine, and some non-stock tires added. As the standard ZX2 can barely beat 100mph and I don't think the tires would be able to handle those speeds for very long.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    That 100 mph Euro Focus puzzled me. I went to some European sites to check it out and it looks to me as though the French and German Zetec is rated at about 74 HP (55 KW). Anybody know for sure? I also got a look at the Ford Puma and the KA. Wish we had choices like that in the states.

    Nobody had any ideas on "Fliphed's" post about the ZX2 that only turned 2200 rpm at 65 mph. That still puzzles me. Wonder if a tach malfunction could be the cause? Fliphed, your ear should tell you whether the car was turning 2200 or 3000 rpm. Do automatics have pretty much the same gearing as 5 speeds or are they taller in the top gear?

    Plhotog, I looked at flat screen moitors and really liked them. Really weird when you first look at them because your eye has come to believe standard monitors are flat. I dedided since the 17 in flat and the standard 19 were the same price, to go with the 19.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Since I put the short throw shifter in my Z, the resistance you feel changing gears has been exagerated by the leverage change on the aftermarket shifter. Not a serious problem, but an additional annoyance. Someone posted that they had switched to Redline synthetic transmision fluid and it solved the problem. At last weeks oil change, I changed out the transmission fluid as well, putting in 3.5 quarts of the synthetic in place of the Mercron Ford reccommends. It has made a difference, but only a very slight difference. At $7.40 a quart, I'm not sure it was worth it. Of course, I think it's always a good idea to get rid of the factory fluid and whatever manufacturing junk was left in the tansmission at the factory.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I would hope that those who like to drive their cars fast and/or hard would have swapped out the tires immediately. right away my factory tire became my winter beaters and I picked up some better ones without dumping a lot of cash into it (H rated 205/40 Yokohama) (and some rims to go with them). I've kept the car just under max speed, about 175 k/h, I think about 100-105 mph for extended periods of time on longer trips without any problems at all, except for gas mileage even more drastic then normal.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Ralex when you checked out the European sight did you happen to notice if there was a ZX2 or ZX3 equivilent over there? Though I haven't been back for a number of years. I would imagine the ZX2 would fit right in over there. It really would be a lot of fun to take a ZX2 on a long English Country Road at speed.

    Granted other mildly more exotic cars may have the ZX2 beat for speed, and general handling. However for general pleasure of driving on low country roads the ZX2 is very hard to beat. Unlike so many of it's contemporaries it realy does seem to drop it's body down low, and hug the bends. In many of the cars I test drove such as Cavalier, and Mirage the cars either started to lose the back end out, or you couldn't feel the road at all. I can only imagine how much better the ZX2 would be with improved shocks, and Tires such as Ralex and few others have. So many of the other Sports Coupes out there seem to have lost the feel of the road in favour of open highway performance. Oh well more fuel for my wish list.

    Ralex thinking about what you said I wondered over to CompUsa (it's in the same shopping center where I work) and glanced at the 19 and 21 inch monitors. Specifically those by Envision like the one I purchased. I also looked at the boxes and there is Zero chance of one of those larger boxes fitting into the ZX2. Though I am wondering how the ZX3 hatchback would fair under similar circumstances.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Didn't see any ZX2s on French or German dealers pages, but the ZX3 showed up, probably because of it's success as a rallye car. I'm sure it is significantly different than the US model.

    Different manufacturers are going to use different sized boxes for their monitors. The 19 in Viewsonics would only fit in my front seat one way and then it was close. Like you, I'm thinking I need a pick-up or wagon as a second vehicle.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87

    Perhaps your friend's car had aftermarket wheels and tires thus taking them to a smaller diameter?
    And thus showing a faster speed on the speedometer when actually it's 3-5mph less?

    I can't account for such a big difference unless perhaps he has put in a Superchip or something like that which enormously changed the program.

    Here's what I saw on my speedo and tach yesterday:

    Speed RPMs
    55 2400
    65 2750
    70 3000

    My car has manual 5 speed and stock everything, including tires with 15,000 miles on the odometer.

    As for the Speeds2much's post, why not?
    I take his post as compliment to our cars.
    The Zetec engine is used in a wide variety of European Fords, including a 1.8L version in the Puma which uses the same platform as the Ka (which we also don't see here).

    Ford Puma vs. Opel (GM) Tigra get it?

    Anyway, it's a testament to the versatility of this engine to see so many uses and configurations of the design.

    There is no ZX2 in Europe or Asia, as this is a purely North American vehicle: USA, Canada and Mexico only.

    Europeans have different requirements of their cars. Immediate speed as acceleration off the line at traffic lights is not as important as overall gasoline economy and top speed.
    Whereas in the US, top speed capability would be "why the hell do we need to build a 150MPH car when you can't drive anywhere like that without going straight to jail?"

    Therefore one will find the Zetec 2.0L in the Focus ZX3 and ZTS (designed in Europe) having different gearing and different camshaft configuration from the ZX2.
    The ZX2 also has a Mazda-built tranny vs. the Focus's which I believe is Ford and similar to the one on the old 4-cyl Contour.
    Their Escorts were built on a different platform from ours which are Mazda 323 based.

    If anyone has a copy of Auto Motor und Sport's AutoKatalog, or a British one which I forget the name you'll see so many cars we will never get here in the US. Things like an Opel roadster called VX200 or something like that, or a Fiat Coupe and the aforementioned Ford Puma not to speak of the Mondeo. Oh well, we have SUVs over here hahaha.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    The Superchip, or any aftermarket chip, will not affect the tach or speedo. Undersized tires aren't going to throw as much an error as fliphed describes.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    if the ecu burns fuel more efficiently, giving more power to the engine would it not affect the rpms it takes to take a car to a certain speed?
    or perhaps he changed his underpulley which might then explain why there is less load on the engine, and less necessity for it to turn so many times? whatever it is, there must be a reasonable explanation.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    The tach only reads spark pulses. It has no idea how much power the engine makes or how much load is on it. The rpm required to produce a certain speed can only be affected by a change in gearing or wheel circumference. The only thing I can think of is that the car in question has had the transaxle replaced with a conventional Escort transaxle, or Tracer, or whatever unit has the same case, but different (taller) gearing. The ZX2 final gearing is 4.11:1. I suspect a conventional Escort would be in the neigborhood of 3.90 for fuel economy. I don't know if the two units are physically interchangeable, but if they were, that would account for the rpm difference.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    A co-worker of mine drives an LX Escort wagon and in exchange for driving his I let him drive my ZX2...

    He immediately wanted to trade cars, and I offered to try and hook him up with a dealer. The Wagon really was underpowered considering it's size. I wasn't expecting it to be that bad, however as I understand it the wagon has the same engine as the regular sedan. I suppose it still might be a viable option though as you can pick up a used one for around 2 to 3 grand in average condition with about 70k miles. Perhaps a Taurus Wagon would be a better option. The only problem is the high mileage ones have such high Maintence costs.

    Yesterday in an unrelated note some stupid cow driving a monster suburban ran a stop sign near where I work, and almost wiped myself and Metro driver out. The woman was chatting away on her cell phone, and didn't even slow down. She just blew her horn, shouted an expletive at both of us and waved the "single fingered have a nice day salute" as she kept on going. The funny part about it when she saluted us she almost ran into a UPS van. I suppose the loss of control can be attributed to the fact that one hand had a cell phone in it, and the other is waving out the window. At the next traffic light I saw her again, honked my horn at her shouted what a nice and considerate driver she was. When the light turned green she attempted to race away. Funny thing about the Suburban, it may have enormous power and massive size but against a ZX2 one on one it doesn't stand a chance.

    In retrospect my actions when I approached her, and my rocket take off where pretty stupid. Given the speed of my take off and potencial for disaster to other drivers on the road. I guess the old addage to wrongs don't make a right applies here. Damn it though if she had of hit me it would most likely of killed me as it the impact point would have been at the drives side door hinges.

    In an odd after thought I don't think she would have had the same issues as I did with the monitor. Hell she could probably fit my entire home/office in the back of that thing.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    You're right, your actions were pretty stupid. Mine and most people's would probably be the same though. What really gets to me is that these people will never realize what jerks they are if they are jerks, or how ignorant they are if they're ignorant unless a cop happens to witness. (brings up the old never a cop when you need one adage) Sometimes I almost wish I had a rock in the car so I can lob it at their back window. Argh. It's amazing what happens to the human mind when it gets behind the wheel of an oversized vehicle.
    I understand this SUV trend - humans are the closest relative to sheep, but what can justify buying such a monster like a Suburban or Excursion? Anywone with a boat that big would keep it in the water and store it at a club, they chug gas like student downing beer at a party, and they are awful for any offroading. and you can get as much interior room in a smaller, more practacle and more environmentally friendly mini-van.

    sorry for the rant, I know it's totally off topic and people in this forum are likely not part of the problem.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Nobody should ever have to apologize for bashing monster suv drivers. They are for the most part, ego maniacal morons with too much money (or credit) and small genitalia, or they are Texans (as if there is a difference). Then there are women who drive these monsters. I have no problem with them - as long as they stay on their own damn road and off of mine. I am yet to see one turn into the proper lane. I've seen Freightliners with 53' trailers make tighter turns than a woman in a suv. Throw in a couple of kids and a cell phone and you have a rolling three and a half ton monument to ignorance. Is it time for my medication yet?
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Given my near miss and and both Ralex's and Freddy's similiar opinions to mine. Perhaps we should try setting up a new forum... Set up both for the imbeciles who drive SUVs without thought; and for those of us who wish to god they would just ride the bus (notice I said ride not drive). Better still have them take the bus to the nearest metro. Suggestions for it's names? It could really prove to be a funny forum.

    One notable tale that comes to mind last year and gave me a tale of sweet revenge; is what happened to some kids who couldn't find a parking space outside our shop. So the driver decided he was going to park on the grassy slope along side it (they didn't want to get his feet wet in the rain). I called out to them and advised them that the hill was not a parking space. The driver called back "oh very well" and he went back out and moved it. As luck would have it he ended up being my customer. One rule applies to both camera salesmen and car salesmen. NEVER EVER UPSET THE SALESMAN when you want something. If memory serves he walked out with 3 point and shoots, 3 SLRs with mulitple lenses, and one Mamiya 7 with 3 lenses. His total bill came to a little over 9 grand. The kid had dads money, not a clue about photography, and a massive ego that was child's play to manipulate. At the end of the sale I was rather sorry I didn't work commision. Sweet revenge by playing with someone's ego always brings a smile to may face. My favourite part in all this is that he threw away all the boxes on the premise that he didn't need them. This effectively killed his chances for a return. I still wonder if ever figured out how to load the Mamiya 7? In case your curious this a 645 medium format camera that cruises in low thousands.

    At any rate the good Mr. Shiftright will no doubt be pointing out to me fairly shortly that this forum concerns the ZX2 and not idiot SUV drivers. He will of course be correct in his arguments. So I will bring up a ZX2 mention just to make this posting fit... I ran my ac today for the first time this year. I was a little concerned because of all those strange smells that others have reported. Happily the AC smelled it's usual self with nary hint of "mustiness" (thats an exact term by the way).

    Point of interest Ralex, outside Compusa yesterday I was parked along side a Yellow S/R. Damn is that a nice looking car. When I came back I was hoping steal a couple snaps of it, alas it was gone. I should have pulled out my trusty Yashica when I first parked there.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Every morning on the way to work I meet a yellow s/r head on, and then again going home at 5:00 I meet her again going the other way. Twice a day, five days a week ! At first, it bothered me, but I'm past that now.

    I don't think we want to launch a topic to attack any particular driving segment, but we might get by with a topic on the social and environmental responsibility of vehicle manufacturers and buyers in the 21st century. Condense that into a short, clear title. lol. But you know what I mean. The thought that it's OK for Suburbans and Excursions to run up and down the road all day with no passengers or cargo while we are being told there is an energy shortage and pollution problems gives me a pain. I haven't checked - maybe there is already a similar topic posted.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    Don't worry guys, unless there is a miracle or maybe Alaska manages to replace the 59% of imported oil that the USA consumes at low cost, SUVs will be dead in three years. Gas most probably will be $3.00/gallon for regular.

    Ford and GM will be in big trouble unless they launch smaller cars (Ford of Europe and Opel respectively) in the meantime.

    But then, Toyota will be sucking eggs too cause of their range of SEVEN SUVs.

    Honda will stop making that stupid CRV that has four inches of ground clearance.

    Suburbans will be for Texan ranchers only (again).

    Renault and Fiat will be back on American shores.

    Hurrah for small cars! And the ZX2 will come back as a 2003 Focus ZX2 (had to stick that in).

    (ok, tonight I get on my knees and pray)
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Whats it like everywhere else? Here in Northern Va. I filled up today for about $17.00 At a $1.67 per gallon at a cheap station I will have to cut down on the number of rolls I shoot. At single airshow I can burn 20 to 30 36exps rolls of film. Damn but oh joy I will be in Virginia Beach next Sunday for the Azeala Festival Airshow. Damn because of the Gas prices but oh joy because I get a week at the beach and a chance to shoot some new stuff. Pray for my ZX2 everyone I am taking her south again Sunday AM. Remember what happened last time I was in the Carolines with my ZX2?

    As for bashing the big guys for being insecure... Freddy may have a point about the slow phase out. Given that we are already setting records for gas prices and it is not even high season; it is entirely possible that SUVs will be on the way out.

    ZX2 Focus...
    Hmmm I wouldn't rule it out.
  • donman77donman77 Posts: 9
    Yeah, it's about $1.69 or so up here... I'm in Rochester NY. I swear, it went up like 20 cents overnight... crazy.

    ZX2 Focus... I heard Ford had some surprises coming. It was from a dealer though, so who knows... that would be interesting. Would that be like a cross between the two or something?
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    How well are they holding up? I'm just curious. I've been dating this girl for a little while and she has a 99 ZX2. I actaully drove it the other day and for a four banger with an automatic, it wasn't too bad. Too noisy and too small for my tastes, but not bad performance for an inexpensive car. Anyway, I was just curious as to how these held up in the long haul. I know Escorts of the 80s and early 90s weren't too good in this regard, but again we're talking a different era of cars. Hers has about 31K if I remember and seemed to feel pretty tight.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    My 99 doesn't feel as solidly built as my ''94 GT did, but there have been no mechanical issues that have come up yet.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    We are paying about $1.69 in Southeast Kansas. I can drive into Missouri and save a nickel or dime - their fuel tax is lower. I'm hearing from supposedly reliable sources that the refineries are supposed to reduce the sulphur content of gasoline later this year. If they do, that will raise the price significantly. Three dollar gas may be just panic on the part of some nervous prognosticators, but I'd bet we'll see $2.50 a gallon. There will be some happy folks in the White House.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Well I have just Returned from a Trip in my ZX2 to south Carolina. This time though I drove back in the same car I drove down in. Though the traffic in Richmond Virginia had me a triffle worried given the number of idiotic drivers I saw down there. Still I made it back this time with my beloved ZX2 all in one piece.

    I have heard the same thing Ralex about the predictions for gas prices. I don't car what anybody says the there are some greedy @#$#$ in the gasoline industry. HAve you heard the predicted profit increases for some of these companies? In some cases up by as much 26% or so I heard on the radio coming up. If the price of gasoline is rising due to opec and "improved enviromentaly friendlier gasolines"; why are the profits expected to rise so much?
  • ddoggddogg Posts: 13
    Hello group, nice to see some of the begs back in the game.

    I'm having a problem with the new alarm system I just had installed in my 98 ZX2. The alarm is an Avital Hurricane, and was purchased from Future Shop. It seems this alarm is "not compatible" with the ZX2. After the engine has been shut off, the doors closed and the alarm armed, it will sound about 2-2 1/2 minutes after I arm it. This has been really frustrating for me and my installer. It seems this alarm has "voltage sensing", which cannot be over-ridden. There are some kind of electrical goings-on happening just after the car is turned off.

    Any ideas? Can anyone recommend a different alarm system that does have a voltage sensing disable feature??


    By the way, gas is $0.769 cents a litre here in Ontario.
  • etharmonetharmon Posts: 399
    I wouldn't doubt that the gasoline companies are gouging consumers, but also keep in mind that gasoline is taxed to death. Depending on where you live, you pay .15 to .30(and possibly more) on a gallon of gasoline just in taxes. The reformulated gasolines are also more expensive due to extra refinery costs. Some scary thoughts to those of us who like to drive our cars, some in the environmental movement would like to see an extra .25 to .50 per gallon added to the cost of gasoline to bring it up to it's "real" cost as they call it. Their "real" cost is supposed to include the damage it does to the environment and by raising the price, people will use less. Great idea for putting the US economy in a big tail spin. Just a rant from an occasional ZX2 driver(girlfriend's car). Oh and while we are on the ZX2, any ideas on audio system upgrades? She wants a cd player but the radio is sort of integrated in the whole center dash assembly.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I am in favor of $3.00 a gallon gasoline. It seems that's the only way to get the manufacturers to produce small efficient vehicles. This is the 21st century and I'm getting tired of reciprocal internal combustion engines. Give me a 60 HP two seater that weighs 1,400# and I'll be happy. Love my Z, but I am draging around two extra seats, too much sheet metal, and too heavy a power plant for no good reason. The less fuel you burn, the lower your emmissions. If we are stuck with conventional engines, let's at least reduce displacement and weight. If people think they need Suburban Assault Vehicles or some other form of gas guzzler, make 'em pay for their excessive consumption and pollution.

    Is it time for my medication yet?
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    ddogg: re. alarm not working right
    could be because in the ZX2, the dome light stays lit for a few seconds after you lock the door?
    therefore there is current going somewhere?

    the dealer probably knows how to install that 2000-2001 optional CD/radio in place of your original cassette/radio. Pricey though.

    Crutchfield has a replacement panel kit that will supposedly allow you to install one of the aftermarket CD/Radios they sell. I've seen a picture only, haven't done it myself and think the panel's too flat as compared to the original face plate of the ZX2.

    I'm too cheap, just bought a Sony Discman and a cassette adapter. It's noisy but it works.
  • rickgonzrickgonz Posts: 87
    Yeah, I'm OK too on $3.00 per gallon. And no, our tax is puny compared to the ROW. Even Canadians pay more fuel tax. Brits pay ROAD tax on top of that every year during registration. In Germany and other European countries, tax is over 40% of the price, since on top of the gas tax they also have 15% VAT (sales tax).

    There's got to be some kind of reform of the old CAFE rules formulated back during the peanut farmer's days (my hero Jimmy). The way it is now, the car manufacturers can make as many gas guzzlers as they want as long as their averages are kept down by the smaller less profitable econo cars.
    Heh, that's why they keep the ole ZX2 around, so they can sell more Mustang GTs. ;>}

    I could be mistaken, but aren't SUVs and Trucks now also subject to CAFE?
  • ddoggddogg Posts: 13
    The dome light is not the concern here, unfortunately. I wait until the domelight goes out, then arm it. It still goes off 2 to 3 mins later if I arm it then. I've got to wait 2 to 3 mins before I try. That really sucks. I don't know what to do.

    Anyway, etharmon, I've recently added a JVC head unit to my ZX2, and the plate ran me $120CDN (what's that, 35 US dollars?? :) ).
    The plate itself is rather flat and unattractive, ie: the climate control lettering is sub-factory standard, and the rear defog button is relocated to the bottom left side, and is not backlit.
    Still, to that end, it is a functional piece that lets me enjoy a better quality of audio playback.
    Your call.
  • charliemikecharliemike Posts: 87
    You can buy changers that hook into the antenna and use 88.1FM via their RF modulator. You listen to the CDs through the radio and use the remote separately from the head unit.

    If she doesn't have the CD controls in the head unit (which I doubt) she couldn't use the Ford CD Changer unfortunately ... She'd have to either buy a new head unit/HVAC panel with the CD controls and a changer, or just an aftermarket changer.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    why do you doubt she has the controls? I've got em without a CD changer. It just came with them. I also bought a portable and tape adapter and it sounds perfectly fine. If yours is noisy maybe there is something wrong.

    Anyway, I'm off CD's. Next summer when I have a normal dash I'll be installing an in dash mp3 player. Throw 400 CD's or so on it and I'm done!

    This dash is the single biggest design flaw of the car.
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