Zakspeed Escort 2013 – Suspension & Brakes


This year was about completing the suspension and getting the brakes going

I did not do much in my 4 week holiday on the Ford, worked on the Mini to fix a oil leak. You have to take out the engine or you must be a gynecologist which I am unfortunately not just to fix the leak.

I received  my castor camber plates back from laser cutting this week, they look great. This is the only thing I did for the 4 weeks on the Ford

Some pics, will assemble in next couple of days.

Laser cut parts

Had the top machined where swivel bearing will fit for the strut. The material seems to thin. Never seem to guess it right Will have to redo it at a later stage.

This can be max caster and camber

I had the steering cross member brackets laser cut




The bottom right hole is where the standard cross member hole would sit. All the holes are there for adjustment as I do not know where ideal for the car would be. But I reckoned up and out would be more ideal from standard.

Strut mounts welded in

One step back,
The strut tower is made out of three elements, a cup under, the body and the top plate. If you cut such a big hole you weaken this quite a bit. You also lose some spot welds. I welded the 3 elements together to strengthen it.

I then welded the top plate to the body as I lost some of the original spot welds

Strut mount with bearing, wrong bolts still in. Have to go buy the right ones.

I have put the tension strut together with the lower control arm.

Had these bushes made to fit the lca rose joint as it is a 20dia and I am using a 10mm bolt.

Pressed the bearings into hubs and hubs onto the struts

I Welded tension strut bracket to body after some measurements.

All just put together by tack welds as I now require a 15″wheel with a slick to test this setup.

Things moving slowly like always, Mini have had lots of breakages so far, on my second Lumina so the Lumina club also keeping me busy and work is hectic. Excuses I know!!


I am busy with steering, on revision 4 already. Keep on cocking it up. Moving the engine so low as possible will have its advantages but now giving me headaches as it is where the steering should sit naturally. Moving it becomes a hassle with steering arms and buggering up your ackermann

Some pics, but not there yet

Had to redo this one again as it was a flop

I started on the radiator end while I was waiting week after week for my steering laser cut parts, set after set.
Still incomplete but moving forward

I Basically cut out the front end, added a new plate to fit the radiator. Slightly of center to allow some space for the oil cooler.

I Also change the compression strut to a tensions strut. After some research and advise this is the better option. Basically compression is for rally and tension for track.

Bought some 15″steellies and got a set of 15″slicks for free. Have to get them widened and center moved to suit.

It was time to remove all the rubberizing form the car

I used the plumbers torch and scraper for this.

Borrowed a mig welder from the Mathee brothers for the seam welding, Herman gave me some tips and off I went to go play

I did some practicing as it is my first time with this machine. Seemed easy enough on my scrap pieces but it went pretty crap on the car.

Got it right on the thicker stuff

Got frustrated with the mig so quickly moved back to tig. Did some nice welds with it. Now about 5% with the seam welding. Long hours ahead!!!

I marked out my welds, 50mm weld and 50mm gap. Put the tape in the inside of the car and started welding.
Do I need to explain what happened next?

Welding the chassi channel to the under body.

What I want to know if it is necessary to weld both sides of the channel to the under body?

I decided not to weld the other side of the chassis rail. I do not think it is necessary.

I Finished the steering rack mount.

Sold my extra Duratec engine

Got my wheels back last week. They are 15×8 with a 7mm off set.

I started this weekend on the cutting open the arches to get the wheels in to finish of the front suspension, steering and rear back inner arch.

I Started in front, getting the exact position of the kit was not that easy as the moulds are not exact, especially the front scoop. I marked it at as close to where it should be to 100% as there is space for movement.

At the back it is easier as the arch can be slightly moved to your ideal position. At the back involves more work as you cut out your inner arch and will need to replace it.

Assembled the front suspension to start going on the steering rack.

I am almost done with the right rear arch, going to start on the left side for now and finish this one later.

I have completed the steering rack cross member after hundreds of tries.

Mike borrowed me his car trolley that he build for is Mini project to me. This makes life so much easier. I felt stupid for not doing this long ago. Struggled my ass off to get the car up onto the thing, got my Father and brother in laws help in for that after I managed to crash the car to the ground.

This now allows me to work on any area of the car with plenty of space around me.

I then finished off all the arch work to all outstanding wheels, pre fitted the front scoop to get the idea and placement right for the front arches.

I started on my steering arms, was not that easy to get the Ackermann right. I started off by drawing hundreds of different scenarios on Auto Cad to make the wheels turn right. Please if you ever do change your steering geometry go look up on Ackermann. You do not want it wrong. I got it right eventually but still could not do it in a 3-4D situation on cad

I made up these temp adjustable steering arms just to see how my worked out theory steering arms position would react. It seems that it should work but my steering rack arms is to short, about 100mm to short. Ordered some extensions from Rally Design still waiting on those

I had the axle assembled.

I then put the axle into its place

I am waiting on my wheel bearing retaining plates and steering arms from laser cutting. Then the car can stand on its own legs again after two years
I finished the front section for mounting the radiator and oil cooler. I decided to mount the oil cooler to the engine side as it creates too many issues if you try and squeeze it in front of the radiator.

I added some rust protector as my parts seems to rust before I get a chance to put them in place.

All welded in

I managed to get the radiator mounted and the oil cooler in

I made new bearing retaining plates from alluminium for the axle. Had them laser cut and then the center machined out to make space for the bearing

Thanks to the Mathee brothers for the machining

I received my poly bushes for the steering rack, end caps for aluminium hubs, brake fluid holders, steering arm ends to change to rose joint and some parts of my brake kit. The kit was a bit off a mess with plenty of missing and wrong parts.

Eventually received the missing parts

Temporary mounted them to measure for my steering arms again.

Got the pads with a mate’s shipment from South West Speed US

I could not really get the overall size of this kit so was a bit worried that it might not fit in 15″ wheels. It measures about 340mm over all.

After three years the car is back on its own wheels

Pushed the car out to hose it down to get rid of 3 years of dust.

The steering arms are very tight against the rim and disc. Not much allowance for big suspension travel. Not ideal but for the track it should be fine. Moving the steering rack made things really difficult.

I started on the rear brakes. I chose the Fiesta mk6, I think they are 2002 – 2008 models, the ST150 shape. I went with the normal 1.4-1.6 front vented discs and calipers. I thought of going with the ST but I am sure all costs will be double just for the ST name The discs are 258×22 ventilated. The nice thing is that there are upgrade discs and pads available from Powerbrake and EBC. They also fit the Quaife flange perfectly with out any machining. This is a rare luck.

For starters I bought standard ones from local Midas, with the cheapest pads available just the get the brackets going.

I had my brackets for the rear calipers laser cut. No re drilling of holes required. Seems like I measured and drawn properly for once.

I also received my engine management, I bought the Vi-PEC V88 after recomendation from some friends. If you go through the specs it is far better than any off our local managements with plenty of safety features and nice to haves.

I completed my rear brake fitment yesterday.I welded the brackets together and gave them a coat ns5 primer, which should be black and came out brown for some reason?

I then welded the brackets to the axle, could not really get the best weld in at the front

I got a very nice weld in all the way at the back. It should be more than enough.

Brakes fitted


This was it for 2013


2014 to follow soon……………



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