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Ford Escort ZX2



  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    The Continuing the saga of my ZX2 that was in a wreck. The driver and owner who caused my nightmare are now confirmed to be residing in Mexico (I wonder if they could get me a deal on some parts?). The legal experts believe that if I tried to sue the [non-permissible content removed] who hit me; I would only end up incuring a massive legal bill and get nothing from him.

    All the best legal advise also seems to suggest the best I can hope for in court is a "No Fault" declaration. Which basically means both parties are at fault. Meanwhile the $500 loaner allowance looks as though it will run out just before I get my car back, leaving me responsible for the balance. Also the estimate is now upto $5500 for the repairs. My car in theory should be ready by the last week of June. Damn it, I am frustrated, furious, befuddled and just generally feel as though some has hit me over back of the head with brick.

    Whatever happened to honour and self respect? In the 21 years I have been driving I have never run from an incident that was my fault this includes a couple speeding tickets I picked up in my youth. The one accident I did cause that was my fault (about 15 years ago) I stood before the judge, and freely admited it was me who was traveling to fast. All my friends said I was stupid for doing it but the judge said "my parents had raised me the right way and reduced my fine". On the flip side though, I have never run away from a fight either, when I believe very stongly in my arguements. In this case what's frustrating me is that it looks as though my enemy is afraid to fight, and admit his error. Good Lord I am afraid to think of whats going to happen to my insurance when I renew it in January.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    A guy in an old Civic hit me once, when I was on the off ramp of the highway, he changed lanes right into my back drivers side. It was just a tap, but he pulled back into his own lane, sped up and kept going! I followed him for 5 minutes or so befor he finaly pulled into a parking lot and stopped the car. We both got out of our respective cars and he started yelling at me! I could barely understand what he was saying, he must of been pretty new to canada, but I think he didn't even have a drivers license or own the car. I just started yelling at him about how he's supposed to pull over after hitting someone but I think he understood me as well as I understood him. I checked for damage, and couldn't see any, but the car was winter-filthy. A couple of minutes later a guy in an SUV pulled up. He had seen the whole thing happen and followed us all the way too back me up! Anyway, the guy refused to give me any insurance info, I'm sure cause he had none, so I had to take his plate number, and the witnesses tel. number. No damage in the end though. I realized It was kind of foolish if me to follow like that but it pi**ed me off.

    Anyway, sorry to bore you with the story, but It was kind of crazy at the time.

    photog0264" you might have mentioned it already and I missed it, did your airbags go off?
  • ddoggddogg Posts: 13
    I parked my 98 ZX2 on a side street adjacent to my house one night. When I got up the next morning for work, I found my car pushed up against the curb with the front quarter panel bashed in. Alignment was jacked big-time. Just another inconsiderate @!#hole with no respect for other people's property. Ended up costing me 500 dollars for my deductible (ridiculous) and I lost a few discounts with my insurance company. It ended up costing 1000 dollars to make it new again.
  • ddoggddogg Posts: 13
    Does anyone know of where I could get my hands on a good used set of Ford alloys (used to be on the 94-96 escort-gts, 15" 8 spoke) other than paying through the nose at Ford??
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I supose if I had side impact airbags they would of. However mine only has the conventional front airbags and thankfully they did not deploy. Granted if it had been a front end impact and they had I would probably be greatfull for a deployment. Part of the stated reason of my staggering repair bill is that the car had less than 4000 miles on it. I am quite sure I will be greatful that they are being so religious in using only Ford Parts and not taking in any short cuts. The only problem is I am feeling a little be stunned right now.

    Point of interest to all concerned: Check your insurance to see how high your loaner car allowance is. Mine is at $500 and will probably run out just before my car is ready. Needless to say I will be shopping for better insurance once this episode is behind me.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    A couple weeks back I noticed some guy had wheels offered for an Escort GT. Every now and again used parts for Escorts appear there..
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Not that I am in any position to buy new tires right now. However while waiting for a Chinese Take Out, I wondered into to a Firestone Tire and Auto Center in the hopes of a little education. He advised me that 205 tires on a ZX2 are no good for the Washington Dc metro area because of the amount of rain and snow we get. According to him the 205s would be great on dry roads and would be a definate plus on long drives. It was his opinion that if wider tires where prefered it would also be a good idea to replace the wheels with a wider ones.

    To those more learned in "tire and wheel othology"
    than me. What are your thoughts? The three things I would be looking for in a new tire would be road grip, quiet ride, and longevity. I have a feeling those three though are not compatible with each other.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    I have a ZX2 S/R and it comes standard with 205 tires. I live in Pennsylvania and I am sure that there is a trade off in the snow. I dont expect problems in the rain, but if the car tends to hydroplane I can always just slow down.

    I recommend 195's for the base rims. It will look slightly more agressive but will not effect foul weather driving significantly.

    If your in a situation where you can stay home when the weather is bad I recommend the 205's. They really fill out the fenderwell and give the car a sporty look.
  • twig93twig93 Posts: 38
    The air bags did not deploy in either of my accidents. One was front end, the other was rear. I was told that the air bags now are very "smart." There are certain sensors placed on your car for the bags. These sensors must be triggered in certain combinations and under certain speeds in order to deploy the bags. This stops senseless deployment of the air bags.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    There are 205s that will fit on your stock 5.5" rims. Some manufacturers say it's ok, some say go to at least a 6 in rim and 6.5 is ideal. You can go all the way out to 8 in but they won't fit your ZX2, probably. Even though you can squeeze a 205 onto a 5.5 in rim, I didn't want to risk deforming the tire, or preloading it, so I went to a 7 in rim.

    With 185x60s or 195x60s choices of compound, tread, speed rating, etc seem limited. With 205x55s you will have more choices. I'm sure that if you want to go to a 205, you will find one that is better on dry asphalt than your stock RSAs and still has an open enought tread to work well on snow and rain. We are only talking about 20mm difference - not much. Better rubber and good tread design will more than offset the reduced lb/ Compromises will probably have to be made for noise though. If you want winter performance you will probably get increased noise. Some brands are also noisier than others. The important thing is that you have choices.

    Goto for some good info. Goodyears home page also has lots of info as does Dunlop and various others. I'm still shopping, but will defintely go to 205s. Luckilly I drive on snow only once per year and rain isn't a big factor.

    I think the S/R does .85g on the skid pad compared to the standard ZX2s .78g. I'd bet most of that is rubber. Given the gentle application of loads on the skid pad I wouldn't expect the suspension to figure into it too much, except for the lower CG.

    Another tire characteristic, just as important or perhaps more important than grip is "feel." Some grippy tires just don't communicate well and others do. Sidewall construction is very important. You want a tire that tells you what it is about to do and does what you ask it to do. Then there is tread life. Just too many trade offs. Everything is a compromise. Maybe the smart folks just go to their favorite tire shop and tell them they want a cheap 50,000 mile tire that fits go home happy! You can certainly overthink it and hell, we are talking about 12,000 dollar Fords here - not 427 Cobra replicas.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    If you put a 205 on your stock rim, it will give you a comfortable ride, but at the expense of handling. The same tire on a 7 inch rim will give much better handling but a harsher ride. The narrower rim obviously puts an angle on the sidewall where as the wider rim allows the sidewall to be more nearly perpendicular to the surface. Generally, the rim should be 90 per cent of the tread width. A 205 has a tread width of about 8.4 in so the ideal rims would be about seven and a half inches wide.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Interesting and thanks very much...

    I still have that $100 credit for Goodyear tires. Perhaps I when I get my car back from South Carolina, and I have recovered financialy I will persue this a bit further. I do like the look of the Goodyear G/A tires. Curious would these tires reduce the noise much??? Not that I have too much a problem with noise right now... I have read here, and elsewhere that the right tire can significantly reduce the interior cockpit noise...
    I guess based upon what people are saying the 195 would be the better compromise.

    Curiously the G/A doesn't appear on the websight for tires listed for my car. On the funny side according to the Goodyear web sight Ford hasn't produce any cars in the year 2000. Does anybody have any experience with the Goodyear HP?

    At the moment it is all fantasy talk. As I don't even have my car back (and won't till the end of June), and once I finnish recovery from all the bills I will be adding a few luxuries to the car that where in my original plans. However I am planing on perhaps swapping up for a much better tire by the late fall. I have heard from several people that the R/S tires are not the best in snow. Granted it is mid summer now however I do try to plan ahead when I can.

    Another person even suggested I get that sunroof I want added in Winter. The theory being the installers will be much more eager to make a deal in the cold of winter when people are not looking at sunroofs. He also suggested that melting snow on the roof it would be the best way to check for leaks.

    Sandwhiches for Lunch, as much overtime as I can work, and no dates for quite awhile. Until I get all this accident crap behind me I am afraid. I will also have to finaly give in, and start shooting people if I am requested.

    Relax everyone apart from a certain Mexican for whom I have decidedly dark thoughts; I will be shooting with a 35mm and Medium Format Camera.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    What I did was bought a new set of 16" x 7" rims and Yokahoma 205/45' HRs. The ride is a bit harsher, but the handling has improved immensly. I highly recommend replacing the tires with stickier 195's on the stock, but I love the 16s. Anyway, my plan is to stick back on the old tires and rims come the winter, because the thin tires are better for the snow, and I don't want to ruin the cutoms. My new tires are also much better in the rain then the stocks, which I never found very stable.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I am curious why was Ralex's responce number 70 suddenly hidden?? It was on topic and provided usefull info on tires for the ZX2...
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Tonight while driving home in that crappy little Escort 4 door sedan I currently have on loan I had to make a panic stop in the rain (some twit ran a red light). Suddenly despite my loathing for the Escort 4 door sedan, I had a new appreciation for what Anti lock brakes can do even in an econobox. Needless to say it has got me wondering if they could be added as an aftermarket item for the ZX2. Does anybody have any knowledge of this being added after in the aftermarket? The speed with which I managed to stop this car was amazing. All with no skid and just a fast steering correction (that I didn't really need to do).

    On the humorous side of this tale, the car behind me was a Fairfax County Police car. Suddenly there was a mild roar, some pretty blue and red lights, along with a siren, and off he went after the imbecile.
  • edgar_navedgar_nav Posts: 8
    Hi everyone, I made some modifications in my ZX2, I remove the big air resonator and block the extra part of the little one, perforate the cover of the air filter. Sounds different but accelerates faster.

    Send my 4 disk brakes to a special place where they drill and grooved them for a better braking.

    They cut the springs about an inch, it´s not too low but it looks better, the suspensions get a little harder and the handling improve.

    Soon I´m planning to install a sportchip, maybe some headers and remove the catalizer converter, then buy some tires and rims 16" 205x50, but I will go gradually because it´s not cheap doing this.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I am almost 100% certain than adding ABS at this point would be financially abusrd. I will check with a friend, but I know he will laugh. It would be better to trade cars.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Ralex, I was talking to someone who works in service at a Chevy dealer today. He seemed to have the same opinion as you. His advice was get a couple years out of my ZX2, and then trade it in for a Chevy. Though of course I think we would all dispute his choice of cars; in a couple years it's possible that there maybe a GM car that interests me. Oh well another sterling example of my overly conservative wallet gone astray at the time of purchase.

    Oh point of interest my new door is on "national backorder" so now there is no saying how much longer it will be for my car. I am planing to call them again on Tuesday. At this rate I am almost tempted to see if could pickup a crappy little high mileage Hyundai Excel used. At least I would not have not to worry about the length of time my car is taking. Of course in REALITY that would in the long term end up costing far more money. However despite how ludicrous such a purchase would be the thought is there.
  • twig93twig93 Posts: 38
    This does not necessarily pertain to the ZX2, but it is an auto question. When I turn the air or vent stinks! It is a nauseating smell. I noticed this last summer also. Is this from humidity? I never had it happen in any other vehicle...I also own an F250 and that doesn't stink. Someone suggested spraying Lysol in the vents, but it doesn't help.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    For all of you who do your own maintenence I just found out that changing the oil filter on my ZX2 S/R is terribly difficult.

    It is located on the back of the engine block up between the block and the fire wall. I also had to work around the axle shaft.

    After an 1/2 hr of reaching and straining I removed the plastic baffle on the passenger front wheel-well (about 6 bolts) and was able to reach the filter from the side.

    The factory also overtightenned the oil filter making it even more difficult to remove.

    Has anybody else had trouble with changing the oil filter? My other car is a Neon and I didnt realize how easy Dodge made it for us do-it-yourselvers until i tried to change the filter on the ZX2.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Wouldn't it be easier to get the filter off from underneath the car?
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I once heard a story about a guy with a St Bernard that like to ride sitting up in the passengers seat of his new pick up truck. One day the big Saint had a little stomach trouble and splattered several pounds of St Bernard barf onto the guys dash, much of it running down into the vents.

    Needless to say, the ventilation system in that truck was pretty ripe smelling afterwards. The solution was to locate the plastic plumbing from the fan to the vents, remove it and clean it. Of course on some vehicles that could be very difficult. On his truck it was pretty straight forward.

    I have seen pack rats build nests in vent intakes. Those could get fragrant in the summer. What kind of smell do you have in your vents Twig? - hot motor smell, dead animal smell, Gravy Train smell?
  • twig93twig93 Posts: 38
    Ralex...I am still cracking up from the St. Bernard story!!!!! What a sight that must have been ( I have 2 large dogs and I can understand it totally...while driving through town my choc. lab decided to take a $#!? in the back of the pickup truck!). Anyway, it is hard to describe...I guess like rotting dead leaves or actually like a rotten urine know like when your dog pees somewhere and you don't find it for weeks. The funny thing is that it is not there when I turn the heat on in the winter. It is only there in the summer when it is hot and I use the air or vent. It is not as bad with the vent, but it is downright obnoxious with the air on. Help!!!!

    Oil change...YES extreme difficulties getting the filter off from the factory. It doesn't help that it is packed in there either. There were a lot of 4 letter words in the driveway on that first oil change.
  • drm4869drm4869 Posts: 4
    I too own a s/r and actually thought it was easier too change oil on this than it was on the 88 gt i have.i was able to change the filter without putting the car on ramps.i just reached behind the engine and was able to put oil filter wrench on it pretty easy,i agree ford did tighten it way too much.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    On my previous car (an 1987 Acura Integra)the A/C compressor failed. After I had it replaced I too had a rather strong foul smell, more akin to salt marshes at the beach than anything else (no surprise there as I was living at the beach). One week later I went back to the service center and complained, because it was pretty over powering. The solution was to flush the system and replace the freon again. Afterwards it smelled more like chemicals, than anything else. I could faintly still smell the original odor it was but only very slightly. Regardless it was worlds better than it was before. Happily they did all that at no charge. On the newer cars such as our ZX2s I think they use something other than Freon to keep it them cool; however perhaps there is solution in my experience.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    If I didn't know better I would swear that St Bernard had slept in that Escort I have on loan. This another reason I want my car back. This Escort stinks of tobacco, and dog. It might not be so bad to some, but am an Ex smoker who only smokes under the highest of stress (I have had 7 cigarettes in 2 years), and I am a cat person who prefers the company of felines to canines. Of course cats can also create their fair share of aromas when cooped up in a car.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    If it makes you feel any better, when my car was in getting repaired my rental was a base Cavalier. Uhhg.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Was putting a little wax on the Z last weekend, Photog, and noticed the Escort and Sport emblems were just slightly loose at the ends. I went ahead and ripped 'em off. A little wax removed any evidence they had ever been there. Looks much better now...less clutter. Now if that stupid blue oval wasn't recessed....
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    try servicing the auto tranny. most quick oil change shops in our area will NOT service a ZX2 auto tranny. decided to help my son do it. bad idea. after 2 1/2hours of sweating, cussing, trying to get pan bolts out etc (plus a small crossmember under there) we finally got it done. then we understood why the guys @ Jiffylube declined to do the job at any price. don't blame 'em. by the way, the ZX2 auto tranny does not have a filter !!! only a couple magnets to collect the metal debris from the clutch packs and there was a LOT of it at 18k miles of mostly highway driving. could this be a bad omen of things to come?

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Should have drained it at 1K miles. Actually, I think the collection of junk on the magnets is a good sign. If there hadn't been anything on them at 18k, I would really have been worried. It would have been collecting elsewhere and there is no other place thats good.
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