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Ford Escort ZX2



  • twig93twig93 Posts: 38
    Edswords...I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand the way the new Mustang looks! They made it so boxy looking. I am actually most impressed with the late 90's models. I always thought they looked very sleek. In fact, when my first Z was hit we considered the Mustang...for a moment...I live in PA and rear wheel drive would be a nightmare on our roads with the drive I have. Of course, my dream car is a Mustang from any year in the 60's with a convertible!

    Photog...I certainly agree with your idea of revamping the ZX2. Shortly after I bought my first one back in Feb '98, we heard rumors of them discontinuing. I couldn't believe it. At that time, I was one of the only ZX2's around and the local dealer had at least 20 of them on the lot. I couldn't even find an oil filter stocked anywhere within 100 mi. Now, the dealer has 3, the filters are everywhere and every third car I see is a ZX2. I just can't understand that if a car is selling so well, why get rid of it? I agree with whomever said the Ford guys must be smoking something.

    Here's one for the women drivers out husband had to take my new car down to my father's to show off the new alloy wheels put on. While pulling into the parking space...I warned him about pulling in too far..there are concrete blocks there...well, right up over the block he the spoiler stuck on it and had to back out to get spoiler on the Jetta is now ripped underneath. Fortunately, the spoiler goes pretty far under the car so you can't see it and that part is also can feel it when you put your hand under it. You have to really put your head under it to see. Naturally, I started freaking...we hadn't even had the car a week! Of course, he remained calm and said he could fix it. NOW ALL OF YOU MEN OUT THERE KNOW WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED HAD I BEEN THE ONE TO DO IT......
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Twig, go to and enter their might win their '65 Mustang ragtop.

    I noticed my Escort stickers were getting a little loose on the ends, and I knew Photop had removed his, so I just yanked 'em off. Like starfox, a little fingernail action was required. The blow dryer is a good idea. A little wax cleans the area up nicely - no traces left. If I trade for an S/R those butt ugly fender decals are coming off! May leave the "s/r" but the huge ZX2 has to go...thats really tacky.

    If a man damages the air damn on a VW it is called normal wear and tear - if however a woman was at the wheel, then it becomes significant damage. She must be reminded that her gender has no mechanical skills, no appreciation of fine machinery, and is lucky we allow them to drive at all. Of course at a garage, the mechanic would tell the man to drive the car and not worry about it, whereas the woman would be sold a new air damn at full retail and charged #140.00 labor. Aint love grand.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I just ripped it off, and rubbing a drop of gasoline on it with a soft cloth removed any hint of glue without any scrubbing or waxing.

    ZX3 top heavy: Its not all in the mind, the car is a few inches taller, and it is heavier. Making the car sturdier and more roomy is good for ergonomics and stuff, but hurts performance.
  • mcalvert1mcalvert1 Posts: 25
    Definitely some good tips from all. Lately I've been doing the gas/clutch really slow so as to make sure everything is fairly smooth.

    Twig: Like you said, it's all about practice. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm learning, and not to get frustrated when I don't get it quite right. It kinda feels like I'm learning to drive again though. I've got that tight feeling in my stomach every time I start up, just like I did when I drove on the beltway for the first year. ;)

    Ralex: I know about the handbrake trick for no rollback. I had to do that in the work parking lot yesterday. It's very small, on a hill, and usually jam packed. And it also reminded me of another thing I'll have to get used to for driving stick. In an automatic, if you want to drift a foot or two uphill, you just let off the brake. On an manual, you have to give it gas, so then you foot is covering the gas, instead of the brake. I wound up hitting the gas to stop, since I'm used to covering the brake in those situations, and not the gas. But I also had the clutch in, so it only revved the engine. =) Heh heh. As for you description of a quick 180, that sounds cool, but I'll leave the "escape from terrorists" driving up to you. ;)

    Freddy: I have to remind myself of it sometimes, but I keep my foot off the clutch. The second car I ever drove stick was my dad's Miata. (first was my sister's Festiva) It had a nice little left foot rest, and that got me aware that you should keep the foot off. One nice thing I've noticed, the ZX2 seem to have nearly as much power as the Miata. Or it could be that I don't remember as well as I thought. He hasn't had that car for a few years now.

    Starfox: The hair dryer idea sound like a really good one. Maybe I could keep the letters in good shape that way, in case I ever decide to put the back or something, I could. About your comments on speed, I did let 'er rip the one day. Didn't go too far. Like you said, it's a new car. But I had it at about 60 in 3rd at only around 4000 rpms, I believe. And as far as the AC thing is concerned, I generally point the dial to the guy with arrows at the feet and head. I guess that kicks in the AC when it wants to? I'll try picking one or the other from now on then. I didn't hear the noise when I had it off, so that definitely must have been it.

    There's a couple more things I found interesting about the car. The first, I looked at my shifter head yesterday. It was pointed in the wrong direction. So I try it out, and the top spins pretty easily. Is it supposed to? Is there something I could do to it to make it stay? If it comes off easily, maybe I could look into ordering the SR shifter head. I rather liked the look of it, from the pics on the web I've seen. The second thing was the headlights. The high beams seem *really* weak compared to my old car (1990 Taurus). I'm pretty sure fog lights are illegal in my state (MD), but I NEED to see far ahead where I live. There are deer everywhere, and I DON'T want to hit any. So what can you recommend?

    Thanks again to everyone!

  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Unfortunately, the Z's headlights just arent anything to write home about. You might find a better bulb.

    I would like put an S/R shift knob on my Z as well, but haven't found a source for them yet. If you know where to get one....share the info with us. I never did like the stock ZX2 shift knob. By the way, they just screw off and biggy, give er a turn or two and it will stay put.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    ADvise please..
    I am down to $12,500 on a fully loaded white ZX2 with everything but the S/R package, 14 inch wheels and leather seats. No any of these options to me on either of these options to me.

    The car has A/C, Anti-lock brakes, Manual 5 speed, the convience (with cruise control) and power packages, the sound system, and the sunroof. Do you think I should press any harder?
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I a rare correction in the topic, I meant to say: Losing the 14 inch wheels, leather seats and s/r package is no biggie to me.
  • edswordsedswords Posts: 47
    Twig, I am also from PA - Near Altoona. I think they are going to fix the Mustangs for 2003. They will be based upon the same platform as a Jaguar and Lincoln and the proposed drawing I saw of one looked awesome. No New Edges!

    I just had my dealer remove my ZX2 S/R decals before I would take delivery. I got to talk to the guy who removed the decals. He says they remove so many the Ford dealership is losing money due to his time!

    The shift knobs just screw on (righty-tighty, lefty-loosy). My S/R shift lever was also loose.
    I just tighted another whole turn and it's not loose anymore. Its not that great. I am cosidering getting an aftermarket shift knob.

    Photog - does that include 1500 back? What was the original sticker? I was able to get my 15,395 S/R for 13,000 (which includes 1500 cash back) but the dealer was about 500 lower on my trade in that he should have been as a result. I told my dealer I priced out the car through car (who apparently will get the car for you too) and that was their price - after the 1500 cash back. Needless to say the dealer agreed to match it, but then lowballed my trade!

    I love new cars, I just hate buying them. All the dealers treated me great while I was looking but I still dont trust them.
  • mcalvert1mcalvert1 Posts: 25
    Well, I stopped in a Walmart today. I saw a fog light kit for about $70 I think. Has anyone here had any experience with these kind of things? Are they easy to install? Do they work well?

    Ralex: Sorry, I was mistaken. I was pretty sure I saw the shifter nob for sale on a site, but it wasn't. It was a leather shifter boot. Ah well.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    The way I see it, you are looking at an 11,500 car with about 2200 bucks worth of options. Knock off the rebate and you are at about 12,200. Throw in about 500 bucks transportation fees and you're talking 12,700. Of course this is figuring dealer cost on the base car, and a little fudging on the options. Try to get it for 12K but if he won't budge, 12,500 is a good price, providing you like the car. Given the options you are getting, I think 12,500 is reasonable. Just my opinion and I'm seldom right. The trick is to squeeze him as long as you can without letting the car slip away to another buyer. At some point you will get tired of dealing and buy it based on how bad you want it rather than how good the deal is. That's how they make a buck.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Edswords and Ralex,
    That includes everything and a $12,000 downpayment. With tax and title it brings it to $13,200. I will be meeting with the guy Monday morning. I think I will push him a little bit harder I would like to do this with no financing and I will be getting a bonus check on thurdsay for a couple hundred and some incentives for a couple more hundred..
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Point of interest... I just checked out They are taking order for a 2001 ZX2 right now!!!

    On the note of my own negotians I am curious does there price include the $1500 rebate? If not I may have another tool to wave in the dealers face.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    the 12,500 he quoted includes the $1500 cash back bonus. At that price he is making about $250 on the car. He is actually giving up part of the "holdback". I don't think you will get him any lower if the car is stickered at $15,375, which it should be with the options you described. Go for it. The longer he has it on the lot, the more it's going to cost him in overhead. He wants to sell it now and you want to buy it now. The deal is right. Even though it's a 2000 model somebody might walk in and plunk down 13K for it and think they got a hell of a deal
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Even though they list a 2001 Escort, I noticed they don't show an S/R option. Interesting
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    The thing about this deal is that I am trying to do it WITHOUT financing it. All being well this thursday I will be getting a bonus plus incentives, and overtime. In theory it should enable me to get the car without doing any additional financing. The other little problem is that I am flying out of Dulles Airport Tuesday night for Myrtle Beach to appear in court Wednesday and then flying back Wednesday night. For some strange reason I don't want to drive this time. The last thing I want to do is leave a brand new car in the overnight lot at an airport. So with luck I the car will be there on Thursday night for me to do the deal on.

    Cross your fingers everyone, silly old Andrew may have a new car yet.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Well today I test drove a two 2000 Mitsubishi Mirages and it realy wasn't too bad. Granted it is not a ZX2 but it certainly is a comfortable little car to drive. The two I drove where a Manual sedan and Automatic Coupe. The Automatic showed its expected weakness in the acceleration. It was capable but I wouldn't give much more than that.

    The Manual on the other hand felt surpisingly zippy. I did my usual parking lot test in a deserted shopping malls lot. About the only thing I could fault it for was the lack of grip on the tires. For some reason it seemed to slip while performing high speed turns in the lower gears. It sounded as if the tires where just not gripping the surface as I felt they should. IF my ZX2 dealings fall through I would certainly consider one of these cars. I will say even though it was a sedan (I just can't stand them) I did love the colour combo. New Zealand green with a yellow beige interior, very classy looking.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Has anyone noticed any squeeks and/or rattles in their cars. It seems my car is loosening up a bit.
    The drivers side window squeeks when it goes up and down, and rattles unless it is fully up or down. My sunroof rattles a bit when it is in the up position (not open or closed). And I have a loud rattle in the rear passenger side that only happens sometimes while idling, never when the car is at the dealership of course. Also my seat squeeks a bit over bumps and stuff. Guess I should take it in for all this.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    "Why they would stop making a fantastic looking car
    like the ZX2 and replace it with that cartoon caris beyond me. "

    Maybe because they are losing money on every sale? They have to offer a $1500 rebate to sell ZX2's. Meanwhile, people are waiting 12 weeks for their ZX3 orders and buying without rebates. Ford is making money on the Focus and 90% are not going to rentals.

    Also, in, there are now ten ZX3 messsage boards. So, there are quite a few fans of this new car.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    The reason for the demise of the Escort (ZX2 included) is it's age. Been around for a long time. They developed a new chassis and new styling and decided for marketing purposes they needed a new name to complete the picture. No matter how good your product is, if you call it an Escort, you are automatically limiting sales poteintial. A Fresh new name changes all that. The Focuus is just a "new edge" Escort, but the new name & new look gives the Madison Avenue types all sorts of possibilities for new campaigns.

    Very soon, the ZX3 will live up to its potential and we will all be dumping our coupes for hatchbacks. Nah...that's not right. That hatchback is a bus, not a sports car. Even with more power and better suspension it will be a bus. Screw it, who wants a Miata?
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    The current ZX2 should have came out in spring 1996 with the other 1997 Escorts. They waited a whole year with no 2-door and then only keep it on market 3 years.
  • just2togojust2togo Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,

    It's been awhile since I have posted but as usual
    there are interesting entries. First off, too bad about your accidents photog.....TALK ABOUT BEING GUN SHY.......OUCH! I's be afraid to even be in a car as a passenger let alone as a driver.
    Anyhow, I to noticed the car direct site that is advertising the 2001 zx2. According to a manager at a FORD DEALERSHIP here in Towson, MD the reason why the 2001 zx2 may still be available may be due to the excess of car parts left over from the 2000 year models. According to this guy the car may not complete production for the complete 2001 year.
    By the way, if anyone in the Baltimore metro area is reading/posting here Towson Ford has a black S/R on their lot(well, as of a week ago.)
  • ashsabreashsabre Posts: 3
    Haven't really noticed any rattling with the moon roof or windows but I sometimes think I hear the springs. It's such a new car I'm thinking it just needs time to loosen up. I mostly hear it when I'm not driving or a smooth surface or when I hit a speed bump. I'm still getting use to the new clutch too. My old car had such a loose clutch but with this car I shift with a little more effort and my gears are closer together than my las car. It has been fun adjusting!
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    My window hasn't started to rattle or squeak, but I get an ugly rattle when I make a turn from a stop. It's either the heat sheild or the jack... never hear it except in tight low speed turn.
    Photog, not only do we not want to ride with you, I think you ought to let us know in advance when you are going to be on the highway and which roads we should avoid. I think I have a 900 mile cushion so I am only mildly concerned.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Realy it wasn't my fault... If it was, I would admit to it. However given my luck lately place bets on the 7:00 flight out of Dulles for Atlanta and then on the one into Myrtle Beach. It should be a very spectacular one. I see if I can arrainge a few Av-Gas explosions just to make it interesting. If you see a heavy set fellow with blonde hair crawling out of the wreckage holding a camera, and shaking his head;that should be me. I was thinking about annoying everyone just before the flight with my tales of disaster just to get an empty flight. I hate flying on full planes. Cross your fingers for me everyone I go to fight a court case on wednesday!!

    With luck I should also be arriving back to a brand new white ZX2.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Well in about 3 hours I leave for the Airport and a date in court on Wednesday. Then on Friday I get to pick up my new TROPIC GREEN ZX2. The dealer ship that had the car I wanted originaly started playing games with me so I went back to my original one, and they had just gotten a delivery of 3 new ZX2s. One White (stripped down) One REd (stripped down with auto Trans) and a GReen one with everything, but the Convienance pack, and anti lock brakes) After about 30 minutes of haggling, I went with Green one with a Charcoal interior. IT has a Manual Trans power windows and sunroof. The price is 12,300 which is with in my budget. They are also going to install the center console and my original black mudguards at no cost. Though I do have to order a new center console again as the one I have is priare Tan and this cars interior is Charcoal.

    Damn it I am so excited!!!
    Wish me luck in court tomorrow, and bet on an air crash tonight. Silly old Andrew is flying again!!!
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Good choice!!
    (Of course it sounds like you got the identical twin to mine, features and all!)
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Congrats on the car deal Photog. I'm kinda partial to tropic green myself. Gotta tell you, it waxes up sooooo goooood.

    Have a nice flight, and pay attention to the emergency exits..
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I don't mind losing in court, but I really resent it when the State Trooper LIES through his teeth to win. The judge asked me what happened and then the trooper. You would have thought it was a different accident; to hear him describe the way the other driver skidded into me "after taking violent evasive manuvers". I espeacialy loved the way he said he could clearly see the other drivers skid marks on the road. For the record it was 11:30 at night in the pooring down rain during a thunderstorm, and the next day it rained all day!!! I know because I went looking for skid marks to take pictures of, and the rain had washed them away. Simple facts that the judge saw fit to ignore!!!

    I started to applaud the troopers performance during the trial, it was so convincing and so dramatic. Lots of hand jestures, and really detailed sketch on the black board. During my aplause the judge said "is there something amusing"? And I told him that "the trooper was lieing through his teeth, to convict me".. At that point he said "guilty with a suspended fine". After this he asked me if if I wished to make at statement for the record, and I told him "the entire troopers testamony was a pack of lies", "followed by that I had been screwed for the sake of a very arrogant troopers ego", and "that I felt totaly disgusted to even stand in the same court room as them". Niether the trooper, nor the judge wouldn't even look me in the eye after I said this. The judge concluded by saying "I do have a way with words" and pointed out the exit. Score one on the moral grounds and guilt trips. Though I have a feeling if I had pushed any harder with my caustic remarks I would have spent the night in Jail on contempt charges.

    So basically I have lost a car, and spent now almost $2000 to kill a $100 ticket that still is going on my record.

    So now the court case has ended, on friday I get my new ZX2, and in January my insurance company says Please send us a check MANY MANY TIMES bigger than the last one. On the positive side, this is the first claim I have had in 16 years, and the first ticket in 5, so perhaps they will be a little gentler.

    Damn that Trooper and his lies. That was flat out wrong what he did, and there isn't a $%#$ thing I can do about it!!!
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I thin he was jealous of your Z ;-)
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Well the past it the past though I am still steaming a little around the ears. I can't undo what has happened. Beyond of course demonstrating paranoia at intersections AND NEVER accepting friendly courtesy waves from strangers. The twit waves me into an intersection changes his mind wrecks my car and unwittingly costs me a car, plus a couple thousand dollars and I get the blame. So much for justice in America...

    At any rate at about 3:30 the final details get to be worked out, and all being well I drive off my dealers lot in a new green ZX2!!!
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