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Mk1 Escort - St170 Conversion - To be or not to be..?

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But surely if you have a leak, you have a leak whatever coolant you have - and to try driving on is folly! I've been there with SWMBO - sprung a rad leak 60 miles from home and even after 6 litres of water added every 20 miles it still cooked the engine 5 miles from home! Stop, park and get it relayed home! If anyone thinks Evans fluid will cure an overheating system they are deluded! Personally I know my Zetec is a 'hot run' designed engine - it is designed to run at 85-95 deg C ie. some 10 degrees hotter than older engines. One thing to also consider is a system can shed heat easier the higher the delta is between ambient air temp and the coolant temp - i'm used to a turbo'd Suzuki bike engine that is solely oil cooled - thick'ish oil running at 100 - 125 degrees C with a cooler approx half the size of my car rad and producing 370hp . . . . . that is a challenge on the cooling front!

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Another week and a bit more done. The fuel system is complete now, the nylon braided teflon lines are all in up to the regulator which i have had to put on the o/s inner wing due to the throttle bodies making bulkhead mounting difficult. The outlet from the tank will suffice for now, but i have the technical drawings back for an adaptor, I'm just waiting on making an order as i need to order 10 @25 a go!

The cooling hoses arrived from RF, makes life very simple to be honest as everything just fits. The heater matrix pipes were the only slightly tricky part as where the copper matrix pipes were cut flush with the bulkhead, trying to get the silicone hoses through the bulkhead hole was tight. I ended up slackening the heater box mounts to give a bit of wiggle room. Im just waiting on my radiator which Im having repaired for now - id like a big alloy job but its not immediately required, something for the future once its running.

Decided to order a HPE exhaust manifold and system, it works out cheaper than RF, piper etc and the manifold looks fantastic! Hopefully ill get that in the next few weeks. And then,  i just need the ME221 management, but i suspect i need another pay day to arrive before i can buy that! 
 

In the meantime I’m just tidying up bits under the bonnet and making things as neat as possible. 

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Small update on this, again just to keep things recorded as much for myself as anything else!

The throttle bodies are now bolted down hopefully for the foreseeable! I have roughly connected the throttle cable for now, it needs cutting down properly but I just wanted to see where things sat initially. 

I have also sorted the ht leads and coil mounting out. This is one area where as great as RF are, they could probably do with reviewing thier prices a bit. I got an under inlet coil bracket for £20 delivered from D A Engineering, RF are closer to £40 delivered and they are obviously identical. The longer HT leads to suit the new coil are around £80 delivered from RF though which i find hard to swallow. I ended up getting them from MR Retro Leads - £33 delivered. These leads come with the sparkplug boot fitted and 24” of lead, so you can route them however you like. You also get the coilpack boots and terminals so you terminate them yourself once you have cut the lead to your required length. Once the leads were done, a cut a small slot in the Sparkplug cover so, everything looks neat and tidy.

I have also managed to prime the fuel system to check for leaks and ensure the static pressure is correct. Thankfully no leaks were present and i got a nice steady 3.2bar which should suffice. It was really nice to hear the pump run actually, with that and the engine cranking from the key now it feels very close to being complete.

Finally i have just ordered my exhaust - a HPE manifold and HPE full 2.25” system - very pleased! I spoke with James at length and he was really helpful. For those that don't know, the system and manifold are produced by piper and they get really good reviews. The only alternatives are mega bucks for a bespoke systems/TLE/Simpson, or an Ashley which is gramted cheap but will (guarantee) just not fit. That should be with me within the next 2 weeks and I’m really looking forward to fitting it!!

Im hoping to be able to order the me221 management in the next week, so there is a small chance before July is done ill be able to go for a start but we shall see - Im in no rush really. In preperation for that im running in a decent supply to a small fusebox with a main relay for the ECU, and a fuel pump relay. The main relay will just be aux controlled, and the fuel pump relay will be operated by the ECU. 

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OOOOOH - that exhaust manifold is an exact copy of the 105E Performance manifold that they had Piper make for them. Piper then upped the minimum order numbers which 105E couldn't justify. They are obviously selling them under the HPE 'brand name' - i'd love to know who holds the copyright!

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One of the more exciting packages arrived today - the exhaust from HPE/Piper. It took a little under a week to arrive which is pretty good considering everything, and was packaged really well. Ive had the manifold and 2 1/4” system. 
 

I immediately offered the manifold up, as i have been looking at the gap the down pipe has to fit through, and to be honest i couldn't see this bit being straight forward, especially after previously trying an ashley  manifold which (no exaggeration) did not fit anywhere, even the head flange was bent and the holes were out. I neednt have worried though, it fits perfectly! I dont think it could fit any better if it had been made on the car. Its absolutely perfect. And the rest of the system was just as simple, it all just slid together in no time and hung perfectly. You also get a cotton reel mount for the centre pipe which i think mk2s use, for the sake of 1 hole in the rear floor pan i will fit this as it will make the hole thing much sturdier, not that it really needs it. 
 

In other news, the type 9 us filled back up with oil, and ive fitted a new cambelt kit. I dont normally use the locking tools on these and zetecs, but as Ive never heard this engine run i thought id better. It was out, but not by much, and to be fair its easily done on these due to the VVT pulley not locking when there is no oil pressure (so when you tension the belt it pulls the pulley round a touch). 
 

I still dont havey radiator back which is a pain as i could finish the engine bay cometely if i did but there we go! Only big purchase left is the ME221, and if things go well in the next couple of weeks i may be able to get it this month :)

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Yet another small update! I'm just working through a few little bits that are outstanding whilst I wait to have enough cash saved to buy the engine management. This time it was the wiring. Firstly where I moved the original fuse box to inside the passenger foot well, there wasn't much spare cable to fit it nicely anywhere, plus it was pretty fragile anyway so I replaced it with a standard blade fuse box. This has enough spare slots to take the output from the fuel pump relay, and also a main relay output to power up the ECU on ignition on. I needed to extend the cables that originally connected to the fuse box in the engine bay, but the rest were ok. I just need to tidy the wiring up to it (still pretty messy in the pics) and fit the cover for it, then find somewhere neat to fit it permanently, initially I'm thinking under the dash out the way. Then the ECU and relays can live there aswell. The wiring to this fuse box I've done exactly as standard with the fuse positions the same as they are in the original fuse box, so the original wiring diagram is still applicable. This means the fuse ratings can be kept the same (the 20A fuses in the pic were all I had at the time so I could test). 

I also got hold of a battery terminal fuse box from a Renault Megane Scenic, so that I can fuse the main power line to the front of the car, and also the independent battery lines (one for the fuel pump relay and one for the main relay). This is really neat and I've been meaning to do it for ages. Its silly there never was a fuse to the front but this was how I bought the car and I never got round to sorting it before.

So I'm very close to the end of the actual work at this stage... i still need my radiator back (6 weeks to swap the inlet and outlet connections over and leak test it!) and then the front of the car can go back together. Then the management fit, should take long as I'm preparing the connections for it in advance, then hopefully start it and go through the preliminary checks and snagging...  and then hopefully I can get it over to NMS for mapping!

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Don't tuck the fusebox too out of the way - last thing you need beside the road having to stand on your melon to find a popped fuse! Top of footwell, high on inner wing / scuttle - discrete but out of the way?

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Yeah, no doubt where ever I put it, it will be easily accessible. Although I should need to look at it far less often than I did with the ceramic fuse box, a ritual on the car used to be to re tension them! Behind the dash is very much 'open plan' in my car so I can get to it fine. Though in general I must admit, I am a sucker for trying so hard to hide things away, I make life more difficult  :)

 

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