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Thread: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

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    1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Hi all. So here's the start of my rebuild thread.
    I'm Peter, and I've owned the car since I was 19, so just a couple of years.
    A bit of back ground. Never interested in cars that much when I was younger, I was bought up on aeroplanes... model ones mainly.
    I'd heard of a Jensen Interceptor, but didn't know what it was. Learnt to drive at 18, and on recommendation from a friend of my brother I got a Mk1 Escort estate 13L. in Bronze. Blokes at college always called it Brown..... it wasn't brown it was Bronze ! Didn't matter it was a tool, it would take my mate and I and our camping gear, as for the car and motor bike talk with my college mates, I listened but had nothing to put in, and most of the time not much clue or interest in it.
    But then ................ One of my class mates who was mad keen of what were then the fast Fords turned up with a Mk2 RS2000 in Midnight Blue.
    That was it, what a car !!!
    No way I could have one, he had a big loan to go with it, and that's just not my thing. But the seed was sown.
    Trying to keep it short, I saw a picture of a Zakspeed RS2000, and that to me was just another level, and I could buy a body kit to convert a standard escort to look like that !
    When my Mk1 Estate died, the AA man said to me the best way to get to understand cars was to take one apart and put it back together. He was absolutely right.
    Problem was I had no facilities, little cash, and no experience at all. But why should that stop me ?

    So I managed to scrape together a few hundred quid and found in "Loot" a suitable Mk2, 2 door. Suitable as in it had an MOT and was in my price range and had been patched up, so no welding needed, mmmmmmm ?
    I persuaded a college mate who lived about 2 miles from me to let me use his council garage, which had no power or light, water and was quite narrow, if I covered the rent for a couple of months. Game on !! Fortunately there was a group of lads there older than us who played about with cars and one of them had a fair bit of kit including spray kit, so there was some advice to be got if needed, and it was often.
    I cant remember all the details of how the time was spent, but over the course of 3 months working every evening after college or work and every weekend except one were I had to return home not long after arriving due to being in a bad way from some thing I ate my Zakspeed escort was born !!
    Most of that time was filling and rubbing down all by hand. Now fitted with a rebuilt 16 X-flow engine and twin carb. It was painted in a grey and white scheme with a blue/green pastel flash/block on the rear arch. (I'll dig out a pic some time) in the drawing (which I still have) this scheme was very eye catching, that was done by the lad with the experience and spray kit who also painted it for me (out side), I did a bit to under his supervision.
    A year or so later I bought my 1st home, and its most important feature was the wide garage with power, light, a pit and work area, it was also at the bottom of the garden !
    This car was my only car, so was in every day use. As time went by I did a few more mods changed the engine a couple of times each one getting more modified. I also did a Mk2 "13 sport" as in modified engine, 2 door 13 popular, with RS alloys, bib spoiler, pink bucket seats and painted it a custom mixed purple, for my then girlfriend.
    I also helped a mate do his Mk2 1600 with forest arches and a repaint. By now I was getting quite confident with this stuff. At some point focus on my car changed from a day car to making it a bit better performing and a repaint to something more sporty. So over a few weeks probably in the winter of 91/92 I took it in to the garage added the skirts and repainted it as seen below. I also around this time replaced the 7x13 Ally cat wheels with the 8x13F 9x13R Compomotive's that really filled the arches. Also replaced the black Hunt Master bucket seats with the Fishnet Recaro's. Suspension all got up-rated and proper lowered front springs rather than the clamps I'd had on before, quick rack, anti dive kit, harness's, re-wired a lot of the car, moved the battery to the boot, up-rated the lights, moved the fuse box in to the cabin on an ally centre panel with various gauges and replaced switches with toggle switches. replaced the "Sport" instrument dash with an RS2000 5 clock dash and various other stuff.
    The car remained my main day car, but I took it to various shows and "run what you brung" sprints, track days, drag days. Never understood tear arsing around the streets when you could go balls out on a track ! On one occasion I was visited at my garage by the police ( the car was a bit of a head turner back then) who said they would give me a race up the new section of the A406 from the A13 to the M11. They seemed genuine, but I never took them up on it. I knew how quick it was and how fast I could get it from the track days. Unfortunately where I lived there were a few twats, and it was broken in to, was pushed of its axle stands outside my parents house before I had the garage, caught fire on a rolling road (electrical fire because they loaded the battery with a cooling fan rather than use a mains fan). hence the re-wire with very high quality silver coated multi-strand low smoke and flame wiring.
    In 1993 I took a chance on a Mk1 that a mate had which was very badly rusted. But it had a full mk1 RS2000 interior, and I thought I'd got the experience to save it. The strut tops were 80% gone and what was left was rust, with replacement panels bolted on. Not sure this bloke realised that added no strength at all ! The floor was bad front and back as were the rear arches, and interestingly it was in it original "Bronze" colour with a black vinyl roof.
    My mate with the forest arch mk2 helped me tow it the 2 miles to my garage. I really didn't think it would make it on the front suspension, so we did it late at night, but got away with it. Long story short (I'm trying) I rebuilt that car, and now I had 2 escorts !!! That gave me options ! At the time Paul Bailey was the top man in the Vector fast ford series, in his red cosworth powered x-pack RS2000 ! This was my icon car. By now I'm on not too bad a wage and I decide that when the tax on my Mk2 ran out in September 1993 I'd take it off the road and fix all the things I couldn't do originally, and had the big idea of fitting a cosworth engine and making it a pure race car keeping the Mk1 for day to day use.
    So Sept 93, she goes in to the garage. In the December I changed jobs, and that and other social stuff started to take effect on my time. I found my self in a situation where I decided to buy a new house away from East London, so I stopped taking the car apart as I'd have to move it and needed it to be a rolling shell. A few months I thought to get this sorted and the new place would have a double garage or facility to build one. Well..... that was early 94, I eventually moved in to the new place in Sept 95. I had a garage but it was basic and no funds to build my new garage. But I got my car transported to its new home, and tucked away whilst I got my self settled. Life has a habit of changing direction.
    Several relationships and one marriage, a house move (I kept the place the car was and rented it out, minus the garage) and a majoor career change and now its 2017 !!!!




    Attachment 81088
    1992/93

    Attachment 81089

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    get ontop of that uploader

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    great story now we NEED PICS !

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    I'm trying, up loaded pics to an album as a test last week so thought I had it in hand but seems not ! Then had to head out for a while back on it now

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Last edited by Zakspak; 01-07-2017 at 21:07.

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    So 24 years later ish :-
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Just for interest, my Mk1, I sold her in 1996, to raise money for another interest. She was also sitting outside and not getting a lot of use due to using the train and a company car. Her rebuild takes up a full photo album of wet film.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Right back to the story so far.
    So 2015 I've been back at this house for a few years and I make the decision it's time I get this car back on the road. The garage door hadn't opened for years, mice had moved in and the paint I could see had deteriorated and there were signs of surface rust. I planned a quick fix, no longer the race car plan, no cosworth engine, just clean it up and get it on the road. Easy ! Not..... time really has a bad habit of getting away from you. However I started putting some funds away and doing research on what I would need. That was positive as by now the Mk1&2 Escort are really well supported. Parts that weren't available to me back then from Ford are now shelf items. Unfortunately the race car plan meant lots of bits got sold on, seats, carpet, sun visors ete etc. Although I had stored a fair few bits from other projects and a car i broke up. Some of those bit are going for silly money now. Some parts just seem to have gone missing. No wiper arms for example. January 2017 and it's time to put my time and money up behind the big idea. Dragging the car out and cleaning it down it becomes clear the quick fix isn't the answer. There's too much support out there and this car means too much to me. Now looking at that patch work and knowing what I know, its awful. Also, the cosworth engine always looked so good under those bonnets. This needs a new plan.
    The cars going back as a road car with a road interior and I want it to have a bit of go, but I don't want to be buggering about with it week in week out getting it to run, I just want to get in, turn the key and drive.
    So the plan :-
    Get rid of the patch work, all of it, where possible replace whole panels that's going to include the complete front end, floor, seat supports, rear inner wheel arch tubs (outers to be modified correctly with steel) new rear panel, inner and outer sills. Since the strip down it now includes front and centre chassis rails. Yes some of this stuff could be patched, but you cant beat removing rust and replacing it, also the chassis has gone in areas where it's strengthened so repairs would be more complicated.
    Up rate the front breaks to vented disks, but running M16 calipers
    Bias pedal break system
    Crate Engine, 2.0ltr ztech black top and full set up including exhaust, 5 speed gear box, Rad, throttle bodies etc all from Retro Ford. Yes it costs a few quid but it's all off the shelf from one place
    Interior, black mostly standard with fishnets (I've gone with a slightly more modern seat, much more comfortable than the original recaro seats, also cheaper and as the car isn't anyway near original let someone have a set of seats who really needs
    them. I've got RS2000 custom door and rear cards that I stored, along with the glove compartment and clock and pod. The centre Ally switch and fuse panel will remain but I plan to have a new one made as the old one I made and its a bit rough.
    Wheels remain, but will be referb'd and powder coated in dark blue instead of painted.
    Roll cage removed.
    Paint, to be done professionally in 2 pack in the blue and white scheme.
    Along the way, lots of little fixes and improvements to be done.
    I did consider replacing the roof panel to loose the sun roof, but they are few and far between, and I don't want one that's riddled with rust. And on reflection, I liked the sun roof, so I've decided that's staying

    I've actually started work the end of April, and its now up on stands with the RH floor removed, but time has been short and so I've not had a chance to create this tread until now whilst away with work for a coupe of days. I'd hoped to have the metal work done in 3 months but work has got busy so I've slipped behind, progress is now moving forward. I had to take time devising a plan which has changed a couple of times with regard to the order I cut out and replace panels.
    I've written enough I think, so going forward I'll try to keep it pictures, which I already have lots of Some for here, others for reference when it's going back together. If its quiet from time to time its just down to time to sit here and update as well as available time in the garage, which I hope will increase in a couple of months if not before.
    Last edited by Zakspak; 01-07-2017 at 22:48.

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    Talking Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Want to thank Tim and Julie at TJ Motor Sport for their help with ordering panels and storing them for me until I could take delivery. Customer service is fantastic, not many people who say they will check some thing for you and call back shortly do so, Tim kept me waiting all of 5 minuets And Julie kept me posted all the way, contacting me not waiting for me to chase. Fantastic !
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    catch up. May 2017 Strip down starts. Swept out 20 odd years of crap
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    May 2017 jet washed to take off 20+ years of dirt and knock off any old flaking paint ......
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    May 2017. The wheels need to come off for the 1st time in years, added to that the locking nut key was went missing when a lock up garage I had for rebuilding my motor bike was broken in to a a couple of tool boxes stolen .... Bugger !
    came up with this solution :- carefully due to the ally wheels weld on a normal steel nut to the locking nut and use a socket on that to wind them off.. the added heat might help loosen them up also but I hoped my use of copper slip on all my studs and bolts would have prevented any corrosion issues it worked, and what seemed a bonus was the front LH wheel didn't have a lock nut so only 3 to do
    The wood is holding the steel nut in place
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Now the LH front wheel didn't want to play ball at all. On the strip down where ever there were 4 fixings, 3 would come off no probs, the 4th would resist
    I tried the welding trick just for the heat, I soaked it in penetrating oil, and I cracked a "king dick" socket to try and get this nut off. In the end I went for drilling out the stud, which was tricky due to the angle but it worked. That ever was holding the nut must have been in the 1st few treads because once they were gone the nut wound off with no effort.
    I'm going to need longer studs, because the originals are clearly too short.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    May / June 2017. Strip down is gathering pace as I keep my fingers crossed I don't find anything too horrible.
    The fuel tank was a bit of a pig as the lock on the cap hadn't operated since 1993, but slowly working it with the key and penetrating oil got that off and I found it still had some petrol in there The rubber is knackered but I found a couple of really good spares in my stash.
    Brackets on the front panel are for the oil cooler
    And the door pillars have survived well.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Welcome... looks a good strong car.... i love the look after jet wash..looks kind of retro...but will be a nice car when finished....are you going to change the color scheme....cheers mark

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Thanks Mark, she's not too bad but there's a lot of structural work to get her to the standard I want. Some of it may not be 100% necessary but I don't want to cut corners as I was forced to do back when I first got the car. But far better than some of the cars I've seen people take on, and I admire them for that dedication !
    The pics after Jet washing look better than the reality. The paint is in a bad way and surface rust was staining the paint in places. As for the colour scheme, yes I'm keeping it, although I might loose the Ford logos from the doors but not decided yet. They bought the car together when they were added. If they go I think something will take their place, but what is for later. I'll try to get more pics of the work so far added this week. Cheers P

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    I like that colour scheme looks a good car too...

    I had a yellow rs with the same kit in the 90's

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Still trying to catch up with posting progress pics. June :-
    wings off and removed the scuttle and heater bubble to check condition. Not too bad.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    June. 17 :-
    The big plan as per previous post didn't include removing the rear arches, they took the majority of the time on the original build (but that was all by hand, no power tools ). However when I removed the skirts there were some rust stains on the paint in places that caused concern plus a few cracks in corners. A little but of digging and scraping and I decided with the investment of time and money on the rest of the car it was mad to not to remove the arches. Once the decision was made it was easy and also removed a concern I'd had about the welding I wanted to do around where the rear arches are attached. So off they came.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Glad I did this, there was some little nasties hiding that would only have come back to spoil things later .
    The inner arches will be re done with new inners and the outer that as you can see is cut and splayed and then hidden under a fibber glass panel (as per the instructions, it wasn't my bodge) will be replaced by a steel panel extending out to the rear 1/4.
    It also means i can repair the rear lower 1/4s. and I'm going to replace the outer sills.
    Re fitting the arches will be done differently also which will require less filler to blend them and give a better fix and I hope prevent the stress cracks in the corners.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Late June 17.
    Front running gear off and time to start some more digging. It feels like I'm under way as the strip down to this stage has taken far longer than I'd hoped for various reasons
    I'm removing all the old patches, digging in to rust etc. Unfortunately the front chassis members are in a bad way. They have rotted in all the wrong places, where the inner strengthening parts are. So I'm going to replace them.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    getting stuck in...well done...lots of welding to do...be worth it in the end...cheers mark

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Bit head scratching needed to be done, as I'm now replacing the front chassis and inner wings, and of course I need to keep it all square. Original plan was to work from the front back with the replacement panels.
    The revised plan is now to replace the floor, sills and splash panels. Then replace the front chassis using the replaced floor as a fixing and both new floor and old inner wing as a datum. Then Replace the inner wings on to the new chassis rails. From there the rest of the front end. That's the plan, but plans have to be flexible so we'll see.
    Spent a good few hours measuring and marking. The left chassis rail is not as square as the right, but that's 1970s ford QA I guess.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Late June 17.
    Going to do the floors one side at a time. Managing the cutting and replacing, by ensuring the I maintain a box structure. Floor out, Inner sill out. New floor and inner sill in. Outer sill out, new outer sill in, old splash panel out, new one in, etc etc. That way I also maintain datum's against the original panels.
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Middle chassis member isn't good, and its going to need to go. I had considered this may be the case as the RH side has quite a few patches
    I'm sure part of the reason for the RH side being worse than the LH side is that the front of the tunnel wasn't properly fixed or sealed during manufacture. Whilst cleaning up I realised I could see light between the tunnel flange and floor panel. Once what sealant was there was removed there's about 1/4" gap at its worst point
    Last edited by Zakspak; 20-07-2017 at 13:09.

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    July 17.
    removed the patches and cleaned up the inner door pillar-splash panel and its not good. I've considered replacing it as a whole, but its just the front edge that is bad and to remove the whole panel properly would be a bit involved. So decided I'd make a repair panel. 2 reasons, one already stated the other is I need a confidence boost as its been a while since I last did this kind of thing. If it went wrong, then I can replace the whole panel. Its out of sight to so it would only be me that would know about it ( I don't have to post pics here )

    Some reason I can't get these pics to load in the correct orientation
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    Last edited by Zakspak; 20-07-2017 at 13:31.

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Up to date...
    Cut out the rough edge so the panel was square, made a template and cut the repair piece. Here's the repaid welded in and the welds smoothed off. It's gone in really well. Pic is a bit blurred but it looks better in reality than here.
    IMG_9802 - Copy.JPG

    Monday I had a few hours in the garage, I cleaned up the original outer sill removing all traces of the underside patches to give me a true datum and I've started lining up the floor and inner sill panels. Hope to get them finished off and ready for fitting over the nest 3-4 days as work and time allow.
    feels good to have started to fit parts rather than just removing and cutting
    Last edited by Zakspak; 20-07-2017 at 13:45.

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Go Pete
    I have been where you are now and in the end its well worth the long days and late nights. The shell dont look that bad mate Are you getting rid of the sunroof. I plated mine (Very Carefully )

    http://bbs.rallyesportescorts.co.uk/...&highlight=nub

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Thanks. I know it will be worth it, and knowing that I've fixed the various "crimes " and forced short cuts from the past will make driving it all the more fun. You're right the shell isn't too bad considering. As I've said earlier, some of the rebuilds I've seen people take on here really are impressive and make mine look simple.
    I thought about removing the sun roof, and looked for a replacement roof panel without any luck. I did consider plating it and did a lot of research in to that, but if it doesn't go well I'll be a bit buggered, so it's not a risk I want to take.
    However I liked the sun roof when I had the car on the road, and when I removed it, its all in good condition, seals etc. So I'm going to keep it.

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Ok, so I said I hoped to have the floor trimmed and ready for welding in the next 3 days, that was a month ago. Work and life are interfering in my plans.
    Got an afternoon in the garage yesterday, and a lot of measuring, checking before cutting and I think I'm ready for that welding to start.
    Pans, sill and cross member dry fitted. Will have to make a filler to join the front pan to rear under the cross member.
    IMG_9802 - Copy.JPG

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Good luck with the build

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  37. #32
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    At last some proper progress. Sill and front pan in. Pan is just tacked. Hope to finish the floor early next week
    IMG_0013copy.JPGIMG_0014copy.JPG

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    quick update.
    done some surface cleaning and prep, and sprayed. also been cracking on with the floor and sills.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    I'm not happy with the floor. Using the repair panels isn't working out how I want it, along with the odd repairs its turning in to a patchwork. So I've made the decision (spurred on by the Mrs, she's good) to remove what I've done and start again with a complete floor panel. Wish I'd done the research on it at the start of the project. But never mind.
    Floor Panel and centre chassis sections ordered from TJ, and due the end of the week. I've also ordered steel stock to brace the body. I'm going to finish fitting the outer sill first, before the full floor removal.
    I've also got hold of a pair of nice rear chassis rails, cut from a donor car. I'll get them tided up, bead blasted and painted ready for fitting later.

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  41. #35
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakspak View Post
    I'm not happy with the floor. Using the repair panels isn't working out how I want it, along with the odd repairs its turning in to a patchwork. So I've made the decision (spurred on by the Mrs, she's good) to remove what I've done and start again with a complete floor panel. Wish I'd done the research on it at the start of the project. But never mind.
    Floor Panel and centre chassis sections ordered from TJ, and due the end of the week. I've also ordered steel stock to brace the body. I'm going to finish fitting the outer sill first, before the full floor removal.
    I've also got hold of a pair of nice rear chassis rails, cut from a donor car. I'll get them tided up, bead blasted and painted ready for fitting later.
    as i always say on my build...one step forward two steps back..... better to make the big decisions ..rather than regret it later....will be a new car when your finished...keep at it ...i like the car already...cheers mark

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  43. #36
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Very nice project.
    Congrat.

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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Very nice project.
    Congrat.

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  46. #38
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Thanks Mark, and absolutely right, the patch work floor panels would have always nagged me, so those "2 steps back" should be the best way forward. I'll be updating hopefully within the next few weeks with progress
    Cheers p

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    1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakspak View Post
    Thanks Mark, and absolutely right, the patch work floor panels would have always nagged me, so those "2 steps back" should be the best way forward. I'll be updating hopefully within the next few weeks with progress
    Cheers p
    You'll be glad you did it in the end mate.. I started off thinking about making good and ended up replacing everything that was rotten.. you'll be so happy with the results in the end


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  49. #40
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    Re: 1977 Mk2 Zakspeed Escort. Rebuilding my pride and joy.

    Got the RH sill finished off over the last few days along with a small repair. The front section of the repair sill needed to be cut, a small section approx 10mm, remover to shorten it. You can see the over hang in the first pic
    Attached Images Attached Images

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