Find out how to eas­ily up­grade a Ford Es­cort MkII

A cult fol­low­ing and reg­u­lar rally ap­pear­ances mean there are up­grades aplenty out there

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Richard Dredge

‘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.

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