View Full Version : Escort Twin-Cam

01-04-2007, 11:06 PM
OK, it's not technically a British race car......but there *is* a British sports sedan with the same name
(although, even more technically, mine's an "Escort GT").

And mine doesn't have a real Ford "Twink". Actually it has a sixteen-valve Mazda 1.8 that makes more power than the Brit-mill, at least in stock form.

So this is a progress report on Race Car Deux....a dumpy, little front-wheel drive, American Ford Escort GT. Better than it sounds and the price was right.

I'm "semi-retiring" the Spridget to vintage racing, but I'd miss the Hammer-&-Tongs of real club racing, so the Red Ford will be my disposable club racing hack. And my two sons-in-law want to have a go at racing too. More's the reason for a disposable hack.

My sister-in-law bought it new in '93 and drove it very gently. When she replaced it with a kid-hauling minivan, she gave it to me. Soon after, a pal found out I was building an Escort racer and gave me another perfectly good ~Silver One~ (https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/aeronca65t/escort/silver-escort.jpg) (but with the slower 1.9 liter, eight-valve engine) . So now I have two.

The GT has a slush-box, but I have already sourced a cheap 5-speed plus the flywheel and other hardware needed. My silver car already has a 5-speed, but the stick trans is different between 1.8 and 1.9. so if I want to use the trans from the silver car, I'll need to use the 1.9 engine as well. ......I'll probably run the 1.8 and keep the 1.9 as a spare.

It's been fun stripping the car down.....I've been removing every little thing that I can....radio, A/C unit, the entire interior, etc. The first thing I pulled off was the stupid "wing" and all the dumb "aero-cladding". Yesterday, I scraped off about 25 lbs of sound deadner.

As luck would have it, another friend passed on a partly completed DOM roll cage that was never used. It's not a perfect fit, so I am tweaking it right now. I have access to a DOM tubing bender.
I just got a good lead on some 13 X 7 rims (semi-free) and maybe some tires. The silver car has new radials, so they will serve as rains.
Since the last few days have been nice, I've been working on it (betwen sneezes...I have a horrible cold). Once the snow comes, I'll have to ignore it, since I'm not wasting any precious interior garage space on it.

So far, I have about $87 in it. I'm hoping to get it together for under $500. And if I have time in the Fall, I'll run the Grassroots $2007 Challenge with it.


Door is gutted for the crash bars, so I'll hold the door glass in with duct tape for now (to keep the snow out).

The Mazda "Twink" has a nice "Ford" log on the cam cover.

01-04-2007, 11:10 PM
Bring it out to California,& we'll hillclimb it!

- Doug

01-05-2007, 08:39 AM

Does the 1.9L car have an EDIS ignition? If it does and you don't plan on using it please let me know, I have a need for one.

Simon TR4a
01-05-2007, 09:09 AM
Sounds as though you are making good progress!

Incidentally there is a real Ford Escort with Cosworth BDA racing in the Toronto area. I saw it at Mosport last fall but forget the owner's name.
He bought it in New Zealand where it was rallied, so had the wrong diff ratio, but was pretty fast in spite of that and rather "tall" suspension. (I think his budget was a bit bigger than yours though!)


01-05-2007, 09:24 AM

Right now, I'm keeping the 1.9 car running. I have a small-ish driveway at our lake house and I need to juggle it around as needed (actually, it's on the trailer right now, to save driveway space).

But to answer your question, it does not have a distributor, so I would guess it's got the EDIS sytem. Sounds like you're cooking up a MegaSquirt system with 36-1 front pully for the 1275. Cool.

By the way, the 1.8 has a distributor (off of one of the cams). That seems to be the main difference between it and a 1.8 Miata engine.

01-05-2007, 04:00 PM
Well if you get anymore Escort donations keep me in mind.

01-05-2007, 05:59 PM
Doesn't the 1.9 make more torque than the twin cam? For that reason I think the 1.9's do well in their Auto-X classes and are the preferred Escort for that field. The twin cam should work a lot better for road course stuff though.

01-05-2007, 07:16 PM
The 1.8 (Mazda) Twin-Cam has 127 HP and 114 lbs.ft of torque

The 1.9 (Ford) 8-valve has 88 HP and 108 lbs.ft of torque.

And the 1.9 I have is geared for 13" tires, but the 1.8 is geared for 15" tires. The (free) 13" tires I'm going to fit will allow the 1.8 to spin up nicely, maybe even using 5th gear.

Still, I like the 1.9 engine. Sort of a "solid-citizen", unassuming, pedestrian-type engine (like most of the powerplants in our LBCs).....but I want to see how the 1.8 goes first.

In our club, I could run the 1.9 in a slower class, where I'd be more likely to win trophies. But I'm not really concerned about that...I just want to get out there and scrap with the other guys.