Zakspeed Escort – 2012 – Metalwork


So this is what I did during 2012
I finished the engine mountings, now to the gearbox mountings

I have moved to the back end of the car as I am waiting for somebody to bring me my gearbox mounting steel.

I had to put the wheel arches back on to establish the center line off the rear axle.

I have cut the slots for the 4 link system. Removed the rear seat mounting and where busy removing some more unwanted steel.

In between my build I bought and fixed up a Mini to do some Gymkhana, the urge was there to be involved in some racing.
This actually took allot of my time as it broke as much as I raced it.

It went from supposed to be a cheap no maintenance interim gymkhana replacement car to costing me allot off unnecessary bucks and taking up all my free time.

See problem below


Ok, back to work on the FORD,

I have picked up a sponsor for the Mini so now I have someone to help out on the Mini, thanks Mini Service Centre

I now had more free time for my Scort
I have cleaned out the inside of the body of all the unnecessary metals and double plates in preparation for welding in the new parts.

I sent my gearbox mounting drawing in for laser cutting and bending, got that back.
The reason for the long strait bottom is so that I can run the exhaust between the gearbox and in the tunnel.
I did not want to go below the mounting for the exhaust because then it would be too low as I have already mounted the engine and gearbox as low as possible.
Also did not want to make an additional tunnel next to the bracket just for the exhaust.

I made some top plates for extra support which I will most probably weld in.

Once I cut back the tunnel there will be enough space for the exhaust.

Since the last update I completed removing all the double plates. Really f up my back on this, still in pain


Next up is to clean the metal for welding. I will then start welding in the 4 link boxes soon

Started making my new gearbox tunnel out of wire and cart board as a sample before I get to the metal work

For some this might not be a big deal, even only a second nature.

After some practice and even giving up I eventually got the hang of TIG welding

Did some practice

Started with the 4 link kit. Did some spot welds to keep it in place.
Think the welding so far looks good

I am now confidant to weld the car and must say proud that I have the hang of TIG welding

Have been working on the welding of the 4 link brackets. I find the most difficult part of the welding the uncomfortable positions that I have to weld in. It is a slow process as I can only weld in a certain position for about 15 minutes.

This is what is welded so far

While I take breaks from the welding I started working on closing the front fire wall. I use the tig welding rods and bend them in the shape that I require. From there I will make a cart board sample and then move on to the plate. I am planning on buying some 1,2mm electro galvanized plates to start closing all the big holes in my Ford




Have anybody fitted the turrets as supplied from Rally design or from other suppliers or your own. Mine does not seem to puzzle in???.

Last one. Is the best way to mount your rear coil overs on your axle 100% vertical, angled or what is the theory behind this?

I picked up my sheets of 1.2mm electro galvanized sheets.

I then started with the gearbox tunnel.

I have decided to bend the sheets myself.

How I did this was by clamping down two pieces of steel on top of the sheet on the work bench on the line of where I wanted to bend the steel. I did put a piece of 1.2mm metal sheet in the middle under the plate as I found that the forces in the middle of the steel used for clamping was bending slightly and this resulted that the middle of the sheet making a long bend and not as sharp as at the ends. I pushed the plate evenly to get my desired angle.

I used a block of timber and a hammer to get a slightly sharper bend. I use the timber block to spread the blow of the hammer to prevent dents. I still got some dents but you can hardly see them. Can more feel them

The result – my gearbox tunnel

I have cut the last bits of steel out for the new tunnel.

There is now more than enough space to run the exhaust next to the gearbox

Now just to weld in

Gearbox tunnel welded in

I will weld the last bits close to the fire wall once the fire wall is in
I removed the engine and gearbox to get going on the fire wall.

Welded the engine mountings, but they still to receive more support on top.

For the fire wall I made the profile out of welding wire and glued them together with a glue gun

Removed this maze of wire to make a cardboard sample

After that I made some notes for correction on my sample piece when it was fitted in the car.
I folded it open and marked it on the metal sheet

I then cut it out and started bending

Not so easy to bend two different bends on the same side
I managed to finish the plate for the firewall. Had to hammer on the left hand side to make it fit

The square ness does not look that great but I could not go at an angle because if you look on the engine bay side you cannot get a throttle body in on the last cylinder and you will have to suddenly bend your branch coming out because the engine is so close to the firewall. I left the welding for later

The firewall that moved back so much resulted in the air vents in front of the window to be open at the bottom. So if it is going to rain the car will be a pool inside

Made these plates to cover these openings

Still need to drain the water, the only thing builders had on a Sunday was these spray gun fittings

I drilled holes in the plate and pushed them through. Welded them on and grinded the back off to make it flush. I will pipe this out the car through the engine bay.

I started work on the turrets

I bought these turrets from Rally Design and they are supposed to be a straight fit. If you try to fit them or position them it does not seem to fit or be made for an Escort at all.
They are too long, it has a funny shape at the end that does not seem to match any shape in the car and and and….

Next step was make them fit. I marked my center line of the axle in the car, under the car, on the floor and on the turrets. Started to shape the turret and cut them shorter to fit.
I marked this out on the inside arch and cut it all away.

See that you have to cut off your diff bump stop bracket

Only after I have cut this all open I realized that the turrets actually needs no cutting or shaping and is a straight fit. But you can only see this once you have cut the arch open. Was I bit UPSET

Sorry Rally Design

Any way had to make it work which I still could

Added allot of picture of the location because it took me long to finalize the position of them.

I started this week with finishing the air vent openings. Welded them both in sealed them and did a water test. It works!!!

I used a gasket sealer as this bonds good to metals and can take heat

I have put the new front fire wall in and did not like it any more. Trying to bend a big sheet of steel in a hundred different bends is not easy. If you get one bend slightly out it has an effect on the next one and then suddenly things do not fit that nice any more. While staring at this I came up with another way of doing it.

Made one back piece

I was then left over with the side infills

Made cart box samples and copied them over to the sheet

I then cut them out and bend them to the shape

I tack welded this in and will weld it complete later.

This looked and fitted allot better than the first attempt.

From here I moved to the axle.

This is the Atlas axle imported from Fostek Engineering in the UK

Welded in the four link brackets

It is much easier to weld nice thick metals. The result is a pretty good looking weld. Impressed as I only learned how to weld a month or so ago

Tacked on the shock mounts

I then put the axle in place before welding the brackets in solid as I am worried that the springs will touch the sides of the turrets.

It seems ok but still worried as I am not sure how the suspension will move.

I reworked the watts link body brackets. Because the axle sits so high and off line of where whoever designed them to be I had to adjust them quite a bit

This is about max height. Ideal is +- 50mm lower


Diff tunnel cut out and new one made

Had to do the same at the back. The watts kit is big and hits the back.

Most of the internal body parts are now made, have the rear fire wall and tunnel between the gearbox tunnel and diff tunnel remaining.

I am going to spend the next couple of weeks just welding all the parts in properly as I have tack welded most of them.

I welded in the back diff tunnel thing.

Watts brackets welded in

Front fire wall welding complete

Have any of you used this product and how is this. It seems to make life easy. It’s a rust protector

I finished the front fire wall and gave it a coat rust protector

Finished of the rear diff tunnel and diff back thing and coated with rust protector

I sealed the front fire wall everywhere, where there are no welding.

I made the tunnel between the diff and gearbox tunnel today. Tomorrow it’s welding time

Tunnel welded

Tunnel finished

Some full pics of the car

I welded the 4 link boxes and turret boxes complete

Rust coated all and sealed the turret boxes.

I’ve put the axle back to see if I have welded the watts brackets in the right place, seems ok.

So I got going on the rear fire wall.

Made a cardboard mock up like always

Did the metal part and started welding

This fabrication went fairly easy and looks good. It supports the turrets nicely as well as I was slightly worried about the welding to the inside arches for turrets only.

And this it for 2012

2013 to follow shortly


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