Find out how to easily upgrade a Ford Escort MkII
A cult following and regular rally appearances mean there are upgrades aplenty out there
‘One of the great things is that you can still incorporate a lot of upgrades very cheaply’
Ford has long been the master when it comes to producing broad model ranges, and the Escort MkII is no exception. Although some of the marque’s line-ups have been even more wide-ranging, Escort MkII buyers could opt for models as diverse as a 1.1-litre Popular at one end of the spectrum to the considerably more lively shovel-nosed RS2000 at the other.
Tuning parts for these cars are so well catered for by specialists that our focus here is on what’s available to increase power and improve dynamics. However, as with most mainstream classics, there’s a raft of other improvements you can make to pretty much every aspect of the car.
One of the many great things about the Escort MkII is that you can still incorporate a lot of upgrades very cheaply, as long as you’re prepared to get your hands dirty. By sourcing secondhand parts you can mix and match to your heart’s content or, if your pockets are deeper, you can slot in new or modern mechanicals such as a Zetec or Duratec engine with carburettors or fuel injection. Engineered to fit Ford’s recent front-wheel drive models, the parts are available offthe-shelf to fit into the rear-wheel drive Escort with the absolute minimum of hassle. Either will improve power, reliability and economy and lower emissions.
The real beauty of Ford engines is their straightforward design and construction, which makes tuning straightforward. Uprating the fuelling, breathing, ignition and exhaust will reap significant benefits and the rest of the drivetrain is also easy to improve. There’s so much you can do; for every upgrade there are usually numerous options, depending on how far you want to go. We’ve taken a minimum budget, but you can often spend several times as much if you want to create a really hardcore MkII.