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How-To Section: Install a 2 litre into a Mk1 or MK2 Escort


What year is the Escort

An Early Mark one? If it is an early Mark one (with the low back seats, or the 45 degree angled rear shocks it is an early model) then there is some small fabrication to be done.
A Late one? If it is a late model Mk1 it has a M2 Chassis, you can pick these hard to get shells by the fact that they have the rear shocks coming closer to vertical than the early ones, and the shocks go up into the boot, rather than onto a plate under the floor.

So what to do... You need to cut the radiator shroud at the front(cut only the op of the radiator shroud, not the sides as these are required to mount the radiator to), so that the 2 litre radiator will fit, as it sits sunken into the shroud, as opposed to the 1600/1300 one which sits out from this area. (Fitting the radiator into the car should be done last though, as there is barely enough room for it all.)

You need to of course reroute the exhaust, as it is on the other side, so get the exhaust off a 2 litre with the engine to avoid hassles (unless you want to buy a new one)

The fuel lines need to be re-routed to the other side, as the carby is on the other side. You can either just extend them, and run it over the exhaust (I really don't recommend this as it may be a fire hazard, you will see what I mean) or re run the whole fuel line (not expensive, maybe $10 to do the whole thing). Run the whole fuel line across the back of the car, then up the other side of the car, thus avoiding the exhaust the whole way along, except the tip of the exhaust which it must pass over.

The wiring has to be altered. It is not too difficult. either try stuffing with a two litre wiring loom, and try matching it up (I have never tried that) OR Mark all of the wires off the 1300/1600 before you remove them, and just extend them or shorten them to reach. You will find that the alternator is on the other side, as the main wires that need extending, and I think the others (the temp sender and the oil pressure are on the other side. I am not sure about the starter motor, but it might be the same there too. It is not too hard if you mark the wires before you remove them..... otherwise it can be difficult to determine which wire is which.

Now you should put the 2 litre engine and gearbox together and lower them into the car. The engine mounts off the 2 litre will line up with the cross member of the 1600/1300. just a bolt up job. Now underneath, the gearbox cross member will line up if you have a late model Mk1, if you have an early model Mk1, only two holes will line up. Either get out the welder and make a new mount, or do what I did. Get some strong steel, and mark up all three holes on it(the one that lines up, and the two that don't) mark it and drill it. Then put a nut and bolt through the one that doesn't fit, and bolt the other two holes up to the original gearbox mounts. That should do the job, as we raced like that for quite a while. you should use a one piece 2 litre tail shaft to bolt up to the diff. The original diff should be ok. From what I understand it is the same as the 2 litre (Housing wise) the axles may be a different diameter, but this doesn't matter. The only difference is that the ratio is a lot higher (ie 3.7:1 or 4.1:1 instead of 3.54:1 which is the 2 litre manual diff).

I think you need a longer clutch cable (2 litre manual one) to reach the gearbox.

You definitely need a longer accelerator cable (the 2 litre one again) to reach the carby on the other side. A slight problem here is that the fitting on the two litre cable doesn't match the fitting on the accelerator pedal. It is not too difficult to work out a fix for this, and Ill leave this up to your imagination, you'll see what I mean, but the ball fittings for Webber linkages are a good start.

That should be all for engine.....

Suspension will be a little too soft if you intend driving it hard. If so, change the rear leafs for the 2 litre ones and change the front struts to the 2 litre ones. These are bolt up. An advantage to putting on the 2 litre struts is getting the bigger 2 litre calipers and rotors, as well as the larger diameter springs.

Brakes will be OK, but marginal if not changed...

You can change the rear drums to the 2 litre ones if you get really excited. I am not too sure how necessary this is though. It is also good to put in the 2 litre master cylinder (the square one) and the little bias square from the 2 litre. I found after putting the whole 2 litre braking system, from master cylinder, to lines, bias, rotors, drums etc... the car braked extremely well, and out braked many 4w disc cars on the track (due to the cars lightness, and the pad compounds).

The brakes and suspension are not mandatory I guess for a road car, It is up to you...

That is all (Finally you say)

Some of the stuff is optional, the actual engine change is not too difficult, and could be done in a weekend if you have the right tools, parts and time..

-Jamie Augustine

(C) 1999





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