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Old 02-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
656of1000
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656of1000's 1988 Ford Escort GT turbo



I'm going to try and chronicle the slow build of my old beater Escort. Right now my immediate goal is to turbocharge the 1.9L HO. As long as the motor build goes as planned, I will probably concentrate on other cosmetic issues down the road. But since my daily driven Galant VR4 is in need of a lot of attention, I'm simply focusing on getting the motor put together and in the car.





A brief history of this car... I bought it on 2/10/01. This was my first car, and paid $600- a lot of money for a 17 year old. Considering I've owned the car for 11 years, and I've put about 75k miles on it, I'd say I got my moneys worth. Almost a year ago, the motor let loose- well, not exactly. It still ran just fine, but the noise in the bottom end was horrific. I haven't torn down the old motor yet, but I figure a wrist pin went bad, or maybe a bent rod.



After trying to figure out if I even wanted the car anymore, I decided that sentimental value won out, and I would rebuild the motor to keep it on the road. Ever since I was 17, I wanted to turbo this car. It seemed like now was the perfect time, so I started collecting the parts I would need.

To turbocharge an Escort on the cheap, I needed to find a Merkur XR4Ti in the junkyard and grab the ECU, injectors, FPR, and air meter. I also wanted to find a roller cam HO head from a 90 GT- Ford only used the roller cams from 88.5 to 90- mine is a flat tappet 88 head. For the exhaust manifold, I'm going to be using a DSM manifold. It's not a bolt on mod, but the port spacing is dead on, so with some porting and drilling new holes it will work fine. Being a DSM manifold, it opened the door for any DSM turbo. I chose a T25 Garret from a 2g- it's small with a fast spool, and they're dirt cheap and easy to find. Also, the T25 has a curved outlet that will work great on the setup I'm planning.



I'm going to install the intercooler on the top, Subaru style, using the stock FMIC from my Galant. The turbo and manifold will be installed upside down, so the T25 compressor outlet will aim directly towards the TMIC. I'll be using a 1g BOV recirculated.

The last thing I wanted to get was the block and bottom end. The Escort LX uses lower compression pistons than the HO, and I was lucky enough to find one in the junk yard with low miles- it was a little old lady car.



With all of the parts collected, I now just need to put it all together. That's where I'm at with the build right now. As I go I'll be updating this thread. My hope is that it'll be on the road by spring.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #2
dmyers151
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Quote:
I'm going to be using a DSM manifold. It's not a bolt on mod, but the port spacing is dead on, so with some porting and drilling new holes it will work fine.
Very interesting.

Looking forward to watching this unfold.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #3
DsmRob
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Hey Mark you should have dogbox rebuild that motor for you...oh wait...

I'll be calling you guys soon to order parts for my new money pit.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #4
656of1000
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Rob, any pics of said money pit?

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmyers151 View Post
Very interesting.

Looking forward to watching this unfold.
If you are interested, this has been done before using the DSM manifold.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
DsmRob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 656of1000 View Post
Rob, any pics of said money pit?

I can text you some, I gotta a lot of cleaning up to do lol.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
DsmRob
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Any updates!!!
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
boosted_94pgt
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Yes updates please. A member on my forum has a v6 swapped 93 escort wagon boosted on 8psi. This here is very intresting
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #8
superadvan_240
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bump for a fellow escort owner!
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #9
superadvan_240
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dont kno why i typed bump lol... but nice car! i have 91 escort gt that im getting ready sell
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:33 PM   #10
656of1000
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UPDATE!!

For some odd reason, I lost motivation to work on this project. Then for some odd reason, I got it back...

The head is going out to the machine shop today to get checked for anything it may need. I've also been busy powder coating...





The motor is almost cleaned, then it will receive a coat of Ford Blue. I'll keep updating as things get accomplished!
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:45 PM   #11
DaBombDiggidy
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pretty cool and interesting build you got here.
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Quote:
-car guy to car guy "Biggest let down ever... its rear wheel drive but barely pushing 200 hp..."
-comment from non car enthusiast "I didn't know you could even be let down by a Scion....."
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:48 PM   #12
656of1000
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UPDATE:

I got the head back from the machine shop FINALLY! Now it's time to start preping everything. Right now I'm in the process of porting the exhaust ports to match up to the DSM manifold. This morning I gave the block a coat of Ford Blue.



I'm leaving my current job at the end of next week, so I'm trying to at least have the motor assembled before I go. With that said, I should be updating almost daily for the next week or so.
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
DsmRob
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Looks good!!!
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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Oil filter is threaded right into the block??
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:44 PM   #15
656of1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VETTE_50_TH View Post
Oil filter is threaded right into the block??
Yes sir. Old school.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:01 PM   #16
sleeper15
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i had one of these in highschool as well, bought mine back in 99. 88.5 escort gt.

i drove that thing till 2003, then i moved to san diego and left it behind.

i'm supirsed you're going that route for a turbo kit. i though you could use the turbo setup from a 82-84 ford EXP 1.6l turbo setup. if i remeber, it was just about a direct bolt on.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:17 PM   #17
656of1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper15 View Post
i'm supirsed you're going that route for a turbo kit. i though you could use the turbo setup from a 82-84 ford EXP 1.6l turbo setup. if i remeber, it was just about a direct bolt on.
You're right, the EXP/ Escort Turbo set up is direct bolt on... The downside to that is availability. The "log" style manifolds are hard to come by, and the little IHI turbos aren't really that common either. The DSM manifolds are seriously a dime a dozen- I've gotten quite a few for free over the years. Also the T25 from the 2g isn't the greatest turbo, but it spools quick, and they are very easy to find.

I'll admit a bolt on set up would have looked better, and been easier to work with, but I just didn't feel like using "rare" parts on a custom build where things could easily go wrong where parts would need replacing.

Thanks for the compliments, guys!
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:14 PM   #18
DelayedZ
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I am so excited for this, not the same but I am previously a Escort ZX2 owner before my Z and my Eclipse, haha. So all escorts have a place in my heart.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:33 AM   #19
sleeper15
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Quote:
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I am so excited for this, not the same but I am previously a Escort ZX2 owner before my Z and my Eclipse, haha. So all escorts have a place in my heart.
you know what, same here.

my 88.5 gt was the first car i "modified"

slapped me a fart can on the back, and a cone air filter on the front, sagged the springs, tinted the windows and flat blacked the hood.

but in reality, i miss that little car. got me from virginia beach up to scranton pa and back with no issues. and hell, if i babied it, i could make it up on one tank of gas. really wish i could find another as a beater.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:26 PM   #20
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Looks fantastic Mark! I saw you the other morning in your GVR-4 and wondered wtf happened to you lol.
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