1999 Ford Escort ZX2 2.0 DOHC zetec from North America
Great car, before and after
When I got the car, it was running like a champ with a stock motor. Nothing was wrong with it at all, even with about 80,000 miles.
From what I hear, it has been owned by two other people that kept the car serviced regularly, but I did a tune up on it, and when I changed the spark plugs, then the end of a star torque key had been broke off inside my valve cover, and when I took the plug out, the key fell inside one of my cylinder without me knowing, and I put everything back on and started the engine, which caused my head to get damaged (not bad enough to get it shaved), and it also put a dent in my piston, but without scratching my cylinder walls.
After that, I bought an Eagle rebuild kit, and bored my cylinder out 40 over, putting in the new stronger titanium rods and piston, plus new crank bearings. For the head, all titanium valves and springs, and I had my cams sent off to Focus Power to get them mildly lifted, and I had the head ported and polished, with the head shaved.
I've not had it put on a dyno tested to see the horse power gain, but it will beat a 2009 Mustang GT with ease, and if I had to guess, I would say it's a little over 350 hp, and it's a big jump from a 145 hp car stock. Has the same original motor with a lot of work, but it was way worth it.
Ps: they do make a racing edition ZX2; it's called the ZX2 S/R. I have a sport model 5-speed, but want a 6-speed.
Make sure you have good gaskets, belts timing, drive belt. Exedy is what I go with.
Make sure all your pulleys are either good and are in good shape before you put in your serpentine belt, but the best way to go is all aluminum pulleys, but you're talking $$$.
Best bolt on's 3" K&N cold air intake, MSD coil, MSD ignition coil/rev limiter and 10.1 mm MSD wires with a good set of plugs.
Best fuel pressure; you can do a lot of things including bigger injectors, bigger fuel rail, better gas lines (stainless) and a fuel pressure regulator and tune from there (or just make yourslef a fuel cell - $$$)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd October, 2010