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Ford Escort ZX2



  • JohnYJohnY Posts: 1
    Both my '98 had the problem and my '99 ZX2 has the problem with "swamp smell". Condensation of moist air in the cool vents after running the A/C seems to be the cause. I mostly get the problem in the spring and fall, and I'm guessing that I don't get it in the summer because the heat kills all the microbes and during the winter because I use the heat there isn't enough moisture to condense.

    As to fixing it, I have no idea. I have changed the way I use the vent setting to reduce the problems though. I either avoid using the vent entirely, so as not to introduce the warm, humid air, or I run the vents for several minutes so the water that does condense on the vent walls gets dried up immediately. The second option means letting warm, humid air blow into the cabin. It's a peeve that I don't think I have ever really mentioned on here before, but there it is.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I was wondering around a Ford Dealer in Manasass today looking at fresh delivery of ZX2 (they had NINE of them IN STOCK!!!) and noticed one that looked a little different. It was a Midnight Blue with 14 inch wheels and Goodyear G/A tires on. It also had that new thinner powered sunroof I mentioned before. The salesman proceeded to tell me it was a custom S/R and the person who ordered it had canceled the order. After a few minutes of conversation I took it for a test drive. IT WAS NOT AN S/R!!! Though I did like the feel of the tires and really enjoyed zipping through Manassas City back roads. After getting the car back I proceeded to clue him in on reality, regarding what a real S/R has on it. He sort of gave me this dumb look and confessed it was NOT a True S/R but the part about being a cancelled custom order was true. As was evidenced by that sunroof and the fact that the car was priced $17,000. And yes you read that right SEVENTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A CUSTOM ZX2!!! For some strange reason I didn't buy it.

    In summary, Yes I did like the leather interior, the sunroof with the added headroom and I loved the feel of those tires. However apart from the luxury safety and convienance improvements; the improved handling that WAS VERY clearly caused by the tires, it performed was just like my own plain jane BUT very much missed ZX2. Acceleration noise, seats, suspension where all the same. I will say though the Midnight Blue Colour is my favourite one for this car. Classey and sporty at the same time.

    Another car I glanced at and test drove on their used lot was the 1999 Chevy Cavalier. Sorry Chevy you really do need to improve that car. IT has terrific potencial the Cavalier, but the design and performance just don't seem to measure up. Perhaps the Sunbird is a little better, but I stand quite firm in the opinions I formed when I test drove a Cavalier about 2 months ago. The ZX2 really is the better car. However will say I have a feeling the Cavalier would have withstood my side impact better than the ZX2 did.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Quick update all being well I will be able to collect my repaired ZX2 a week from Friday.

    Ralex I have seen a couple ZX2s with the Escort Logo removed like I did with mine (and now you with yours). On the 2000 models they only have the name Escort glued on. Versus the previous years which feature Escort AND Sport Logos. Another little difference between the two Models is on the rear bumper. The 1998s and some 1999s have the name "Escort ZX2" molded into the rear bumper. On the 2000 models they only have name "ZX2" molded there.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    My '99 just has "ZX2" molded into the bumper. That's more than enough. I would hate to see the whole name pemanently scribbled across the bumper.

    Were the tires on that bogus SR 205s?

    Glad to hear you are getting yours back next week. Hope they did a good job for you.

    I have been chasing a rattle in mine and finally figured it out. I knew it was the heat shield, but every time we had it on the lift and looked for loose screws, we couldn't find any. We would beat on the heat shield and it refused to rattle. Turns out the bottom of the B&M shifter hangs down low enough to rub on the heat shield and in first gear - they vibrate together. Best fix is to shim the shield down closer to the exhaust pipe, but just bending it may be more realistic.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    I believe they where 205s but I could be mistaken. The wheels where also a bit different, obviously Ford approved as they had the Ford Logo on them. They sort of looked a bit like my friends 87 Toyota Tercels quasi spoked wheels (spoked on the edges only) but only much wider. Around the edges they had a definate recess bulging out to cover the anti-lock brake housing (another give away). The person who ordered it must have lost the proverbial packet. I can't envsion a dealer taking an order for such a radicaly enhanced, and over priced version of the ZX2 without at least 50% down. Some how I think paying $17000 for a ZX2 is a little stupid myself. I didn't even know dealers could order cars modified like this one was.

    The enhancements though did get me thinking about my own car for when I am free of accident. In particular that thinner Sunroof. Another wierd little detail the sunroofs controls where on the doors. I know this for a fact because I was confused when I glanced down and saw THREE power window toggles and pressed the wrong one (the sunroof opened up rather than the window).

    I think if I can get financial house in order I may pickup a used Econo Zip Box next year. This rented Escort I am in is really driving me nuts. What between the smell, the dirt, the lack of performance and the fact that it's not mine (if it was, I would trade it in as fast as I could get to a dealer), I am about ready to have myself commited... Dear God I have been obsessing over this incident in my life! The sooner it is over with the better...

    IF it tells you anything during a breif wig out while on the phone to the body shop. I offered the guy the $225 over my rental allowance that I will probably incur. In the hopes of getting the car by THIS Saturday. He politely informed me that "I really don't want a rushed job do I"? Which about a minute after my little wig out passed, suddenly made sense to me. I really DON'T WANT a rushed job on this type of major repair.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    On my now late Acura Integra several years ago I was getting a strange vibration and a loud rattle. I took it to the dealer several times but he couldn't find anything wrong it (the special effects always stopped like magicaly 1/2 mile from the dealer), I took it to a Merchants Tire and Auto Center here in Va. He told me I had a hole about the size of a quarter in my exhaust system and it would be about $400 to repair it as he had to replace several parts. Damn it I thought another repair. About a month later I took it to another and slightly more convieniant Merchants location, with the intent of having the repairs done. The mechanic puts it up on the ramp to do the work. About a half an hour later he calls me in from the waiting room. He wanted to know why I was having all this work done to my exhaust system. I explained about what the other Mechanic had found. He replied "Bull@#@#" the only thing wrong was there was a loose mounting nut on a bracket that held my tail pipe in place. Heavily relieved I asked him how much will it cost to replace it. He responded by pulling out a wrench, attaching it to the offending nut giving it a few cranks and saying "it's done now, no charge". In appreciation I gave him a $20. Not surprisingly I wrote a letter both to a local TV news station and to Merchants executive offices. Several months later I learned almost the entire staff at that location had been replaced. Also I never again had any strange rattles coming from the car during the 13 years I owned her.

    Moral to the story: always get a THIRD opionion when you hear strange unexplained noises.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    here in florida ZX2's are getting scarce let alone ANY s/r's. Most dealers have none or mabe one ZX in stock. don't want to even talk about a ZX2 S/R. All I hear is "don't know" if any 2001's will be built,"don't know" if production will continue up till the end of the calander year. blah, blah, blah but let me put you into that "pretty" ZX3 out there,it's a whole lot better anyway !! also have seen some ZX2's with "ersatz" ?? decals on the lower panel BEHIND the doors. Where are these coming from ? Look like factory decals but in the wrong place. weren't they originally on the lower front corner of the doors ? These were NOT real S/R cars as no special wheels, HAD a spolier and were other colors (not red, black or white)one green one and a silver. What gives? are these people so desperate for s/r cars that they are settling for just a decal? Can't get any info even from "Blue Oval News",they mostly cover "stang" things anyway.

    Floridian (killjoy)
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Some ZX2s around, but nobody ever heard of the SR.
    Can't order them, Ford says unrecognized option. As I understand it, there were no white SRs. Just Red, Black, and Zinc Yellow. If I see an SR that may be real, the first thing I look for is rear disc brakes. Unlikely fakes will go that far - and if they do, might be as good as the real thing.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I know rear discs sound good, but according to the motortrend test I read on the S/R (I've never driven one, so this must be based on theory) comparing it to the regular Z the S/R had 146 ft braking 60-0 vs the regular Z's 142 ft. All of the speed oriented changes brought the cars 7.8 sec 0-60 run to a whopping 7.6 sec. Basically the only thing the S/R really improved was the handling. That means for the price difference of the S/R I have my rims and rubber (both superior to the S/R's) plus I can replace the struts and springs for less $. For the same price I can also go ahead and tack on a wingswest 4 piece body package for visual effect.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    I'm not interested in the disks so much for stopping power as for "feel" but I have to admit, I'm getting pretty comfortable with the feel of the drums. The disks are 700 bucks, and I really don't think they are worth it unless you are engaged in organized competition. If you want the increased acceleration, go with the superchip ($229). It doesn't help the 0-60 much, but really shows up in 30-80 times. Sorry, no numbers, but remember, you have my word on it. Still, the SR is about handling - tires, struts, springs. I wonder how much difference the SR bushing kit makes? Anyone know?

    It's been two weeks since I ordered the SR struts and they haven't shipped yet. Sounds like a problem - I need to call and check.
  • edgar_navedgar_nav Posts: 8
    My black ZX2 2000 had four disc brakes and I took them to drill them like ventilated discs and grooved them to drain dust and water. The braking improve a lot, better control in wet surfaces while braking, and they don´t block as before the mod. I´ll try to test the braking distance in the future and post it.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Just got email from Struts on backorder form Ford Racing. They are goingto get an approximate ship date and get back to me. Ran into same problem when I ordered springs. I'll bet the Honda crowd doesn't have these problems.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    On the way in to work this morning while stuck in traffic I think I saw a real ZX2 S/R. It was yellow had rear disc brakes, I think different seats (I could only see the head rest), what looked like larger wheels, and a red "s/r" below the left rear tail light. Unfortunatly when I spotted it, traffic picked up and I had to take my exit. Could this have been one of the elusive real S/R ZX2s? I think so, but again I only saw it for a few seconds and even then it was in the extreme right lane versus yours truly who was in the extreme left lane of a 4 lane highway.

    ersatz is german for fake or artificial as in "ersatz coffee or chocolate".

    I guess seeing all those ZX2s in one place, on Tuesday was a rare event by the sounds of things. I am still intrigued by that blue one I test drove.

    Oh people seem concerned that the ZX2 may disappear next year. I think we should be concerned. I have been following the model history of the Mazda MX3 and in the last model year (1994) of that car, the top end version (the GSi) all but disappeared and the few that where released have become "hot properties". It sounds as if Ford is doing the same with the ZX2. And don't forget Ford owns Mazda as well.

    I have also made up my mind sometime next year I will definately be getting another car. Either an econo zip hatchback box such as the Geo Metro or perhaps if I can find a used Mazda MX3 GSi or similiar rocket sports coupe. My target price range will likely be approx. $7000. The six cars I have ruled out very strongly are the Geo Storm, Chevy Cavalier, Toyota Echo, any Saturn car, Escort sedan, and the Dodge Neon. The objective would be a smaller car than the ZX2 (yes thats possible) with a bare minimum of luxuries, a reasonable good "zip" acceleration in a manual trans., and very low maintence and insurance costs.
  • edgar_navedgar_nav Posts: 8
    I saw that some of you are looking for an s/r, I find in the net this article for the ZX2 2000, hope you find it useful.
    The Escort is available in two models -- sedan and coupe. The station wagon model was discontinued for 2000. The ZX2 was simplified to a single series line-up; combining significant carry-over features from the previous Cool and Hot series. For 2000, ZX2 adds the S/R performance package. The S/R package includes a performance clutch, exhaust, rear disc and suspension. In addition, an AM/FM stereo cassette, power mirrors and rear window defroster are now standard on the ZX2. Belt-Minder, a new safety feature being offered, reminds drivers to buckle up by activating a warning light and sounding an intermittent tone during operation. The ZX2 is now equipped with a glow-in-the-dark trunk release lever to prevent trunk entrapment.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    It kind of amazes me the cash people drop into these cars sometimes. Check this out
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Thank you NO!!! I wonder how much weight all that body molding has added to the carI can't believe it has anywhere near the handling that we have in our ZX2s (well at least the handling that you guys have right now). It maybe fast but that would be about it. ? Can you imagine hitting a deep pot hole at speed in that thing? One bump and you have wiped out the lower half of the car.

    One of the things I was going to try and do when I was on Vacation was to hire a pretty girl to pose topless with my car. Alas the accident changed everything and now I am going to have to wait until next year.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Hire? Surely any nice looking topless girl would be honered to be photographed with your Z ;-)
  • ashsabreashsabre Posts: 3
    Just ordered a 2000 ZX2 with the S/R package. It should arrive in a few days. Everyone here seems very happy with their ZXs. Right now I'm in an 89' Mercury Tracer so anything is going to be a step up!
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    It is not hard to find a pretty girl to shoot, but to shoot topless and still be pretty cost money. I was actually hoping to find one of the legal teens to pose with the car. Perhaps one looking for an extra nights rent at the beach would have been perfect. I even had a couple candidates I thought might have been game. However posing topless beside my wrecked ZX2 was not quite what I had in mind. Somehow it doesn't convey the same emotion. To get a girl to pose free of charge you need to have something like a custom Trans Am, or better yet a Viper.

    I may have a bit goodnews here. The body shop has informed me that my ZX2 was being painted today and will be reassembled on Monday. With luck it maybe ready a little bit earlier than originaly forecast. I can only hope.
  • ralex2ralex2 Posts: 287
    Im amazed. I'm working with two dealers, neither one of which can get Ford to accept an order for an SR. How long since you ordered it and where are you located?
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    relax2: I checked with four dealers within 25 or so miles of here (Ocala)and they ALL said "come on down" we'll order you a S/R, plus we have several in stock @invoice + the $1500 rebate. Your dealers must not know what they are doing OR they just want to sell you a ZX3.

  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    For the hell of it I paid a visit on the way home from work and test drove a Cavalier Z24. I must say it is markedly superior to the standard Cavalier I had driven before. Lot's of power and very comfortable leather seats. About the only the things I could fault it for was the cornering abilty and the style of the dash. Of course it was priced at $17,000 and is clearly another league of car to our veneralbe ZX2s. However if I was in the market for a new car, and wanted one fully loaded to the gills I would consider the Z24. Sad though when you realize that the entry level ZX2 priced at about $2000 less; can beat all but the top end Cavalier which is priced at $5000 dollars more. Doesn't say much for GM does it?

    However on my list of possible used Second Cars I have now added the Cavalier Z24. Of course finding one with sufficently low mileage that I can afford maybe quite another matter.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    The thing is, you get only very slightly better power with the Z24, worse handling, worse material quality, and you take a risk. A large percentage of Cavaliers seem to be lemons. I guess its just because I like a tossable car, which the Zx2 does well, but the Z24 to me seemed overweight.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    Has anyone heard of a kit you can buy to make the ZX2 pedals suitable to heel-toe braking? All I could find was replacement pedals that don't do anything about the height of the pedals.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Much as I enjoyed and liked that Cavalier Z24. There is little danger of me defecting to the Cavalier Camp. Despite the noticible improvements in power and comfort it still couldn't corner and the suspension felt a little too soft for even my tastes. The Cavalier Z24 was very nice, and if I could get one almost new when my wallet has recovered I would certainly think about it. However my heart now belongs to the Ford ZX2 a Z24 would be a toy car and not a primary. Raw Power, and comfort are only one part of the driving equation. The ZX2 may not have the power of the Z24 or the luxuries, however it does have general handling, steering, and of course looks.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    I got a letter from ford yesterday. The ZX2 will not be available in canada for the 2001 model year. I guess this means I sort of have a rare car ;-)
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    freddyk: I have a close family member that works for DELPHI. They supply a lot of stuff for Ford. he told me they have NO "long lead" orders for parts for the ZX2 or Escort sedan for that matter. Since most of the mfgs all use the "just in time" supply/inventory system this does not bode well for our beloved ZX's. Ford is mum (at the dealer level anyway) about 2001 availability. I think the plan is to sell off all exhisting inventory of the ZX's and sedan & then dump Escort. I think they need the additional production capability for the Focus anyway. I can't stand the ZX3 looks,tho it's probably just as good as the ZX2, so what else to do ? A Tiberon ? Could be. We'll see pretty soon what they plan to do as the 2001's will be a building about the middle of July. I sure hope the ZX2 is among them. Oh well, I guess I can always buy a useed 2000 ZX.

    Floridian, killjoy
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Strange question; Edgar mentioned modifying his ZX2 by removing the upper air resonator. I have heard his tale several times and though I am not favour of doing anything major to the car. Would this simple modification violate the warranty? It sounds pretty cheap and easy to do. I know it would improve the horsepower, but would the car become very noisy? Does it affect the Gas Mileage?A similiar question exists about the lower air resonator. I just can't believe there isn't some downside to these suposedly simple modifications. If there wasn't a downside everyone who owns a ZX2 would be doing them.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    It will likely void the warrenty on the air intake system, It is louder, but not significantly louder. The main reasons why not every one does these mods is 1) they couldn't be bothered cutting up their air intakes, and 2)the difference made by these changes are so ridiculously small that it is pointless unless you are doing all the other speed oriented mods as well.

    Personally, my $ is going into the handling of the car, I don't really care about the extra 1/2 sec 0-60 or extra couple mph top end that you get by replacing air intake, exhaust, computer etc. I have replaced the rims and rubber, and will probably do the shocks and struts next. Then the sway bars and bushings.
  • photog0264photog0264 Posts: 314
    Thank you that is the most inteligent and I suspect accurate answer I have received to date. For an extra second or so of speed I am inclined to agree with you. As soon as my debits are a little clearer. My money starts being saved for that thinner sunroof I mentioned before.

    Then it's pack every spare penny I have into the bank for that second car I promised myself sometime next year. I am still mulling over the various different models. It is in fact proving to be a lot of fun, doing my research this way. No presure to buy anything soon, and the abilty to cross out dealers who annoy me or a model I just don't like.

    Point of interest the controls for that sunroof are in the doors beside the drivers side window power switches. I suppose this is all part of the depth reduction they talk about.

    Good news at 3:00pm on Wednesday I collect my newly repaired car from Beach Ford in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. I am like a kid again I am so excited.
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