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Old 03-11-2013, 02:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Wagon - '95 Ford Escort Wagon LX
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Escort Wagon: Goal 35 mpg

I'm new here, but not to wrenching. I have been reading tips and posts and I already dove in and completed my first mods. I installed a lower grill block using aluminum flashing (just painted it black to blend in). It extends below the grill a couple inches, don't know if that makes it an air dam? I modified my airbox to draw warm air from the engine compartment. Not sure what to do with the crankcase breather. Also have a K&N filter in there. I pulled the AC fuse today so I can run the defrost without activating the AC. I also adjusted the auto trans kickdown cable. It now upshifts nice and early and doesn't downshift unless I floor it. This alone seems like a huge difference. I'm trying to reach 35mpgs. On my first tank with these mods, so hopefully I'm on my way.

Does anybody have experience getting 35+ mpgs out of this 1.9L engine?

I have more mods planned such as: manual rack swap/ PS delete, engine preheater, and manual trans swap (when I find lots of time).

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Old 03-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My 1.9 does though its diesel. The build looks like a lot of fun
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Practice the art of coasting (in neutral-engine on if auto transmission) and utilizing any grades you may have on your routes. I was pushing 50 MPG in my 2011 Fiesta today while averaging 47 MPH. I assume your car is not a manual? Mine is the "powershift" 6 speed automated manual transmission.

regards
Mech
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you already pulled the A/C fuse out, would you also consider to delete the entire A/C hardware for the weight savings?
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Another BG owner is always nice to see.

35MPG should be easy to do with your car. Have a '90 Protege(1.8 SOHC/AT) that readily gets~29MPG with no aero mods. Been meaning to put some form of improved undertray on it.

To improve AT performance...
Turn the wheel fully to the left, remove the under tray, and you will be looking at the transmission pan, and directly above that a large cast iron circle. That is the pump. You will see a large plug that is too close to the pan rail to use a socket you will need to use an open ended wrench(or crescent).


Remove the plug and a spring will fall out, you will need a mechanics magnet to pull out the PRV piston. Once it is out note if there are any witness marks on its circumference, if there are polish the entire surface until the marks are gone. When the transmission is cold it will cause a very hard/delayed 1-2 shift and/or a 2-3 shift flare, due to a sticking PRV valve.

If the transmission gets too hot, easy to do on these cars, it will cause the PRV to do weird stuff and cause shift flares. Completely bypass the radiator cooler and install a dedicated cooler to the transmission. You cannot over cool this transmission. When replacing transmission fluid, there is another large headed plug under the differential on the bottom of the case. Remove this for a more thorough fluid change, IIRC it is magnetic, clean off the ferrous material.

Camber on these cars tends to be in the positive range, getting the front to 0- -1 will greatly improve front tire wear.
I know on some Escorts they did not have adjustable rear lateral links on both sides. The Proteges did use adjustable units on both sides, raid the Mazda parts bin if you need to make sure rear toe is correctly set.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Tire choice can make a big difference, go with skinny 15 inchers if you can find some , also have you removed the roof rack yet, if your 0 2 sensor is old can make a huge diference, they ae pretty cheap on ebay now, of course run synthetic oil 5w 30 I guess would be your choice, I have a 5 speed 98 with the stock 2.0 and runs 40 + mpg all summer, your motor is better though, smoother. change the nti freeze often , they lose head gaskets easy to corrosion .
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The Wagon - '95 Ford Escort Wagon LX
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Old Mechanic- thanks, I have been trying to coast in neutral where I can. It is a fine art, but I am learning. It is challenging to coast below the speed limit with traffic behind you. My car is an automatic 4 speed/ overdrive. Now that I adjusted the shift linkage it feels like it holds in overdrive at a lower speed. I am interested in learning more about torque converter lockup controls. I suspect the torque converter lockup disengages often as I mainly stay under 50 mph in my commute. I will know more after I install my tach.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Wagon - '95 Ford Escort Wagon LX
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Cripple Rooster- I am considering deleting the whole AC system. I read that can be 50 lbs. Any idea what it would cost to have the refrigerant recovered so I could dismantle the AC? I am trying to prioritize my projects and I'm wondering if I could get more savings with the manual rack swap. They sell a manual rack option for escorts that will fit. Thoughts?
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The Wagon - '95 Ford Escort Wagon LX
90 day: 28.22 mpg (US)

The Green Ox - '93 Toyota Pickup DX
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MADMIKE- Thanks for the AT tips. My car does experience a hard 1-2 shift. I will have to pull out the PRV valve and check it out. When I bought the car the AT was slipping from a standstill into 1st. I changed AT fluid and filter and added a Lucas Trans additive. The slipping went away entirely. The other issue I had was the AT slipping while climbing a steep grade causing the trans to overheat. I don't normally drive steep grades, but the trans cooler would sure help when I do.

I have read about adjusting toe-in to improve mileage. Will adjusting camber to 0 also help mileage or just tire wear?
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Wagon - '95 Ford Escort Wagon LX
90 day: 28.22 mpg (US)

The Green Ox - '93 Toyota Pickup DX
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radioranger- My current tires are 175/65/14. I have considered taller tires, but worried about rpms being too low at 50mph as that is my cruise speed for my commute. I don't have my tach in yet, so I don't know where I'm at. I have a set of 14 inch stock aluminum wheels I want to put on with low rr tires. I can't find many options in my size.

I did take the cross bars off the roof rack. I use it for ladders occasionally so I didn't want to remove entirely. The O2 sensor is on the to-do list. I have a second 94 Escort wagon that I am replacing the head on someday. I also had a 2 door Escort previously that I replaced the head on. The biggest issue I have had with these 1.9s is dropping exhaust seats.

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