Monday, January 15, 2007


Here they are after a cleanup. they don't seem to be worn at all.

First things first, clean up and inspect all components. Here are the selector rails.

While I have some spare time I grabbed the old bullet gearbox from the garden where it had sat in bits over the winter. This box was very nice before I broke reverse. I'm sure it's a great basis for rebuild.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


After much gear crunching the gearbox finally gave up today so it looks like the engine and gearbox are coming back out. I've been wanting to do this for a while so I can sort out the engine bay anyway. As you can see I have been busy stripping it back to bare metal to sort out any tin worm issues.

These lovely new billies i bought for my original 1300 super!

Since getting the mex legal I have been to a few meets organised by the boys and girls on the oldskoolford forum and made some new freinds and got the car in two seperate issues of Retro Ford magazine \o/ I still have lots to do to the car and now the show season is over I am gonna start sorting her out. Unfortunately over christmas I lost my job so money is tight while a tribumeral is organised. There is still stuff I can do which I can do myself like replacing the dodgy old struts with....

Christmas and new year has come and gone since my last post and I haven't really done a lot to the mex.As you can see I have some shiny new polished aluminium RS center caps for my wheels thanks to father christmas and my girlfriend. These were from speedshack and cost �55. They look great but they seem to be very loose and rattle around a lot.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Almost disaster! My dizzy broke this afternoon on a very quiet backroad in the country. I didn't know it was the dizzy until I had a nose under the bonnet. Seems the screws had vibrated loose causing it to move and the rotor arm to smash into one of the terminals and shear off the plastic locating tab inside and also smash the dizzy cap into several parts I thought I was FOOKED. Miles from anywhere and skint too. After about 30 mins of trying to will the thing back together I found some superglue and had an idea I got as many fragments as I could find and glued the thing back together and also the rotor arm to the spindle. It only flippin worked and got me all the way home! I LOVE osf's!

Friday, October 20, 2006


Loving the RS wheels!

Russ' cortina. His missus has got a 1600e too!

The day before the MOT was due I broke the gearbox when showing off to my girlfriends sister. This was a major blow as I had already messed about taking the engine in and out to put in the d-clip I forgot to add to the gearbox which the Haynes manual makes a point of noting (turns out it's not needed after all, just means the clutch dissenganges with more pedal movement than normal). After asking if anyone could recommend a seller of reconditioned boxes on various forums I got a lead to several firms. After a few phone calls it became apparent that these were all out of my price range as this month I am pretty much skint. Even a local breakers was asking �100 for a 2000e gearbox that he wasn't even sure was any good. Luckily I got a reply from Ben Morley (dep editor of Retro Ford magazine) who said he had a spare in his shed and I could have it fer nowt! RESULT! I took the man some beers and collected the gearbox which was fitted tonight and works like a charm! This act of generosity sparked me off to give away some of my spare stuff hence the x-member and steering setup given away to a fella called Russ off of oldskoolford forum. He's gonne use it to fit a nice XE lump into his MK11 Cortina...

The nights are drawing in a lot faster as we aproach winter which is not ideal when you want to work on your car in the evenings after work. My garage has no electricity so I make good use of the local multi-story car park to do bits and bobs. This particular evening I decided to try and find out why my fuel gauge wasn't working. POINTS TO NOTE...1. Try to find out how much fuel is in the tank before removing the fuel gauge sender unit. 2. Move the car away from the scene of the spillage before supermarket security come looking for the source of the mysterious petrol smell coming from thier ventilation system. :P

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What next?

Saturday, October 07, 2006


All I need to source is the larger RS center caps.

After much debate and an online poll whether I should get RS 4 spokes or Minilites heres the result! RS4's from ebay at a reasonable �300

Monday, October 02, 2006


BD Engineering of Newington in Kent carried out the tuning of the Mexico today and what a difference it made! The tappets had to be set and the carbs were balanced and set up including re-drilling the corroded jets. The Haynes manual qotes the standard 1600 Kent engine @ 86BHP The dyno test says mine is producing 113BHP, a 27BHP difference! The Haynes manual quotes the Torque @ 92lb/sq ft, mine is producing 105.5lb/sq ft. The compression pressures for each cylinder are quoted @ 188lb/sq in and mine are producing 185, 185, 195 and 200 (I'll have to find out if the higher pressures are a good thing or not, I seem to remember the guy who sold the car to me telling me there was 1300 pistons which would explain this) I asked the technician what modifications have been made. As far as he could see without stripping the engine "Duplex valve springs and a modified rocker shaft arrangement. All in all a great result culminating in a fun filled,slightly nervy,grin enducing wet country lane drive home!

Friday, September 29, 2006


Gave the car it's first polish since the respray. I used an old bottle of Turtle wax polish I had lying around. I like to use Autoglym resin polish on cars but can't find my litre bottle. I have a bottle of Autoglym extra gloss shine which you apply after polish but i'll do that before it's first run out. I'll get a few coats of wax on it first. I'm also trying to decide weather to fork out for a set of minilte wheels or RS four spokes. I love the look of minilites but everyone seems to have them. RS four spokes are more original. The wheels on it now are actually capri laser alloys which look similar to RS four spokes. The only difference i understand is the size of the rim and the thickness of the alloy around the wheel nuts.

Got very messy after I decided to underseal the car yesterday. It's gonna be driven all weathers so a thick coat of Hammerite was plastered all over the vitals.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


A bloke round the corner from my lockup who has a used tyre fitting shop saw me farting about today and ended up tuning my carbs and sorting the timing so the car was actually driveable! Turns out he has a Lotus cortina and "loves a Mk1 escy" Result! The car is booked in to be rolling roaded on monday so I have the rest of the week and the weekend to sort out the niggly electrics and bits n pieces. I took the kids for a quick spin and you can see the vid here... http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l243/johnnyh1/th_Bas.jpg

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Thanks to Jon from the AVO Owners club I found out what all this body plate mumbo jumbo meant.
A = Escort R = RHD T = 2 Door Saloon X = Mexico F = Manual R = Reversing Lights Electric refers to the colour = Electric Blue (So I'm guessing this must be a fairly early car as the name later changed to Monza Blue) G7285 refers to the Hard Trim colour code.....


Tonight was the first time I managed to get the car back in the garage without pushing it! I removed the remote servo (which has a leak) and bypassed it using Goodridge performance braided brake hoses. With the help of my girlfriend I managed to bleed the hydraulic brake/clutch system enough to drive around the block and stop again (just). I say "just" because I had to reuse the fluid that was pumped out of the bleed nipples (which was airated) because i'm skint until friday! It was enough to change gear and stop but could be lots better. There was a fair bit of smoke left behind but I put that down to oil spilled on the engine and exhaust, the carbs not being balanced and tuned and also the valve clearances not being checked which I will do tomorrow. The main thing is the car is moving and it's all been done by myself ( a complete amatuer mechanic!)

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I rushed home from work today and bolted the surplus earth strap onto the gearbox, trying not to get too exited in case it makes no difference. I also got out the haynes manual and learned how to make sure the timing was correct by moving the dizzy and making sure the leads were on the correct plugs. I jumped in the drivers seat, pumped the throttle a few times and turned the key. Success! It turned over like a charm and fired up into life! It ran lumpy as hell and smoked to high heaven but after careful sniffing this turned out to be the brake fluid in the manifold that was burning! After ten minutes of messing with the carb volume screws and throttle it cleared. I am so happy it's running! One thing that imediately worried me was that oil was backing up out of the dipstick tube which I had to block of with a 14mm bolt. Hopefully someone will be able to help me roughly adjust the carbs so it runs more evenly. If not i'll find out how myself. (I have done everything else!)

A lot of headscratching, forum searching and manual reading has taken place since my last post. Money has changed hands and parts have been swapped. Unfortunately unneccesarily! After the engine was fitted and lubed up I turned the ignition key foolishly expecting it to fire first time! (I don't know if I mentioned I know nothing about car mechanics) The engine struggled to turn over. It seemed as though the battery was completely flat. Some jump leads and the girlfriends renault clio were added to the equation but the engine still struggled to turn and ended up creating a nasty melting plastic smell. This turned out to be the jump leads. Using my vast knowledge of car workings I decided that the starter motor must be shagged. I took it off and took it round to Lucas who checked it out and told me it was indeed knackered (from overheating). I then asked for other peoples opinions on various forums and basically found that the standard inertia starter motors don't really have a long life in tuned cars and was advised to buy a high torque starter from H&H Ignition solutions which I did. (It should be here on Monday) �165 is not cheap but if it cured my starting troubles it was worth it. I had a small brainwave to see if the starter from my 1300 super would work on the Mex. Looking at it, it seemed the same so I bolted it on and turned the key and hey presto! Nothing. It was doing exactly what the old starter was doing. I then decided that the battery was dead and went out and bought a new one. Once again I turned the key and! Nothing. A whole week of head scratching and shelling out had passed when someone on the AVO owners site asked "did you connect the engine earth strap when you refitted the engine?" I knew I had an earth strap in the garage waiting to be bolted on somewhere but I didn't realise it was so vital!

Friday, September 15, 2006


With the extra weight in the front the mex looks mean .

Good mates with tail lift trucks are good to have (Thanks Wayne and Tracy ;)

Here's the engine and gearbox moments before transplant.

This is a true testament to my knowledge of mechanics. For an hour I tried to figure out how the clutch cable Burton Power sold me fitted to my clutch...................Turns out Mexico's have hydraulic clutches ;) There is now a hydraulic servo where the cable is in this pic.

Made up a new pipe to replace the snapped steel brake pipe. How sexy are braided hose pipes? Eventually all my pipes will be like this!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


FEED ME!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


One of the rear tyres (which have never been used under the cars own steam!) has a slow puncture which explains the cars stance in this pic. The rear number plate strangely came back from the garage with it's numbers and letters clear instead of silver :S Looks kinda cool with car colour showing thru I think. Probably not entirely legal although i'm sure i've seen a works rally MK1 with a blue number plate.

All the interior is in and bolted down correctly. The heater box is hooked up, the pedal box is ready to go but needs a new pipe which I snapped. The drivers seat has seen better days and will need a little stitching. The headlining is MINT!

Been hard at it all weekend from dawn till dusk so this is gonna be a short report! The car is now complete apart from engine and gearbox and as you can see a carpet! I'm still hoping to make the ACE cafe meet this coming weekend but in reality without someone who knows a lot more than me it's not gonna happen.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I just want to get the lump in now! I may have to hire a hoist.

I really didn't want to do this job myself and am pleased with the job the sign guy did. I also refitted the brake servo, heater box and replaced a few old rusty nuts and bolts here and there for new ones that I relieved from the fitter at work!

Today the stripe man came and pimped my ride!

Friday, September 08, 2006


I also fitted the radiator, pedal box and was about to fit the brake servo when I snapped one of the steel brake lines that connects to the cylinder on the top of the pedal box :( That's going to set me back.

Got more of the exterior fitted tonight.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


The rear inner arch patched up niceley.

A new floor so no flintstones antics!

The rear arches and quarters are 1000% better. I was a bit worried the paint would be too dark but it seems to be the perfect shade. Can't wait to get the stripes on it!

The gaps between the doors and the new RS wings are a bit wide. Although they were wide before. The bottom of the drivers door needs a whack with a rubber mallet to follow the sill line.

Here's the mex back from the garage after it's cosmetics. I'm happy with the work done. As I said before the guys did a lot more work than I actually asked for. Having said that there are a couple of things that still need sorting.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


The one peice prop shaft ready to go back on when the car comes out of the garage.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Here's another oldskool ford they are working on!

The arches are in pretty much A1 condition so I'll sell them anyway. Maybe someone will want to cut off the arches and blend them onto standard wings.

On not such a good note the RS wings they removed were not taken off very carefully. I was hoping to recover some money from selling these but most of the mounting points have been cut off.

The only thing they wont do is apply the mexico stripes and theres no way I am even gonna attempt that! That's a skill best left to the professionals. If you have ever tried to put a window sticker in your car without any air bubbles in it you will know where I am coming from.

The generosity of the guys at the garage didnt extend to the engine bay unfortunately! Still I'm not after a concourse car and there will be oil under the bonnet!

Originally I wanted a daytona yellow mexico but this blue and white scheme has really grown on me. The bloke spraying it says he has a LOT paint to go on! Wicked stuff. The more the merrier I rekon.

Today the car is being sprayed! I received the Mexico stripes from the AVO owners club today and went to drop them off at the garage. I didn't expect the place to be open as "we don't work on saturdays". It was nearly 5pm and there they were! These guys have done me proud. They have done a lot more work than I actually asked for or was quoted for at no extra charge. To do a half decent job of one panel sometimes you have to mess about with adjoining panels otherwise the respray will be a waste of time. Luckily for me the guys did the extra work instead of bodging it. The sills needed some work, the offside rear quarter needed finishing after the previous owner had welded in some new steel, the drivers door didn't close properly which has been sorted...

Unfortunately the rear arches turned out to be 90% filler! The rot was cut back ready for the new arches to be welded on. The bloke doing the welding rekons the arches that were repaired before were actually welded on lower than they should have been to lower the look of the car! It's already running 2 inch lowering blocks! You can see in this picture where the replacement quarter was welded to the original back in '85.
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