Ford Escort RS2000 Custom Restoration

  1. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Hi,
    After being made redundant in 2009 in decided to start working for myself. Lucky I already had a workshop that I used to tinker about in doing my own projects so I was all set. I rebuilt a few engines for people and done the odd service here and there then In August 2010 I was asked to restore an Mk2 Escort RS2000 custom, which was described as being one step away from being broken for spares.

    This particular vehicle had been brought as a project to restore by the pervious owner but unfortunately due to other commitments he never found the time to give it the attention it needed. So for some fourteen years this car stood under a lean-to with the passenger side exposed to the elements before the current owner stumbled across it and decided to bring it back to its former glory.

    I hope you enjoy the pictures

    Arrival

    I took delivery of the RS2000 Custom. It arrived on the back of a transporters and at first glance didn’t look to bad so it was pushed into the workshop for a closer inspection.

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    Initial inspection

    Once under the lights of the workshop it was easy to see which side of the car had seen fourteen winters and fourteen summers. I removed some of the outer panels to find the shell was in bad shape with the worst of the rust on the passenger side but lucky the chassis rails were in surprisingly good condition. After I report my findings I was given the go a head to start work but I could see that this was going to be a major restoration inside and out.

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    Strip out

    The vehicle arrived at the workshop has a complete car and with a boot full of spare parts the pervious owner had collected over the years but had never fitted. The escort was stripped down to a bare shell and a list of replacement panels and parts was made.

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    Engine Bay

    It was decided that the engine bay was the worst part of the vehicle so that’s where I started. Due to the availability/lead time of some panels I would have to replace what I could with new panels and fabricate the rest. I removed the wings, front panel, slam panel, battery tray, radiator mounts and front cross member. Apart from the tops and front edges the inner wings seemed to be in good condition so replacement tops panels were ordered.

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    The front suspension mounts and chassis rails also looked serviceable but sadly this could not be said for the bulkhead. The top of the bulkhead on the passenger side had rusted through and the drivers side had some poor repair work carried out at some stage this will require and new or second-hand panel.

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    Once all the old panels where removed a jig was made to relocate all the new panels and hold everything square.

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    Front bumper mounting lugs and front edges patterns were produce using my CAD system. The patterns were transferred to mild steel cut out, formed and welded into position.

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    more to follow...
     
  2. rtbcomp

    rtbcomp Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    18,615
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    Welcome to the Forum, I don't think many people would have tackled that job.
     
  3. gavuk

    gavuk artful-bodger

    Messages:
    2,951
    uk wiltshire
    Looking forward to seeing the rest ,huge job,well braced,very nice work :clapping:
     
  4. barny Member

    Messages:
    259
    Surrey
    keep the updates coming, great work!

    Wouls love one of these old fords
     
  5. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Thanks guys for the interest i'd best post up the rest lol
     
  6. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Some more pictures...

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    A second hand A post was supplied. Not in the best condition but I’ve got a welder and a big hammer.

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    Now get graft it in to the car

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  7. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Next was to remove the bulkhead top panel and start patching the bulkhead and gearbox tunnel. I wanted to make it look as original as possible and not like a patchwork quilt.

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    A goodish bulkhead top panel was found but needed a lot of prep work to fit.

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    Then a test fit of the outer panels just to make sure everything is still straight.

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  8. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Bit more done today.

    The bulkhead supplied was cut from a donor so some repair work was need on the edges and then it was welded into place.

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    Test fitted the bulkhead splash panels a found that one was shorter than the other! More work…

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    Lucky the donor bulkhead supplied had a dashboard in good condition still attached but because it was out of a ‘lesser’ Mk2 I had to cut out a hole for the glove box. lol

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    Finished of by making a corner patch for the passenger floor.

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    more tomorrow…
     
  9. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Bit more rust replacement management…

    Fitted the corner patch for the passenger floor. Still needs a bit of grinding..

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    More patch work. The passenger side of the bulkhead was really bad.

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    Couldn’t find anyone supplying the ‘Z’ section reinforcing brackets that attach to the bulkhead splash shields so made my own…

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    New one
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    Spot-welded to the panel
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    Panel cut in and tack welded into position
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    one more patch to make tomorrow to finish the passenger side.
     
  10. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Bit more done…

    One more hole to fill in the passenger floor
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    Template made
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    Patch cut out
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    Angle of the floor section checked
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    Bending to suit
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    Trimmed and welded in place
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  11. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Bit more done to the old girl.

    A bit of a rethink on the near side inner wing. On first inspection of the near side suspension struts all seemed salvageable but after dressing the inner wing to remove some dents it was found that the reinforcing plates fitted to the bottom of the struts had rusted beyond repair and sections of the inner wing needed attention so quickest way would be to remove the lot and replace with new steel.

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    I decided to remove a large section of the inner which got rid of most of the rust and a load of unwanted holes someone had drilled to mount an alarm system. Luckily the chassis rail and all its inner strengtheners were in good shape.

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    Rust treatment

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    More patches…

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    Had to put a bit a form into the next patch to match the inner wing profile.

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    Finished of by drilling the holes of the brake lines and a little paint to stop the rust before spot welding.

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    Finally tack welded in place.
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    Tomorrows job is to fit the new struts…
     
  12. stuvy

    stuvy Member

    WOW what a project, iv seen cars get scrapped needing less work!

    nice looking brace and repair work, i hope you get alot more coming in off the back of this buddy.

    As Barny said i too would love another classic ford but as the cash point so rudely says, insufficent funds! Keep the pictures coming they look great so far Im looking forward to seeing the end result.


    Lastly welcome to the forum
     
  13. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Had a bit of a mission fitting the new struts and reinforcement angles today so its been a long day. First thing was to tidy up the struts themselves i.e getting rid of the ripples on the flanges.

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    Then getting the struts to fit the profile of the inner wing and making the reinforcement angles to fit the struts.

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    Then spot weld the whole assembly together.

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    Then fitted into place ready to weld to the car.

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  14. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Took a few weeks off from the Mk2 resto to catch up with some other work I needed to finish so now that’s all done lets get this Mk2 back on the road.

    Finished of the n/s/f suspension strut and completes the work on that side of the engine bay.

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    Now for the other side. I cut out some sections of rust in the inner wing and found the inner chassis rail strengthening was in poor condition so all this had to be replaced.

    I made the replacement strengtheners from 16 SWG steel, bent a flange on each edge and welded it in.

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    then repaired the inner wing.

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    The body strengthening kit turned up in the post so I made a start fitting the parts.

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    The old girl is really coming together now and the shell has regained its structural strength so the next job will be to weld the front end on and mount the shell on the rollover jig so I can start on the floors.

    The primer, etch primer, stone guard etc has been ordered together with 5 litres of midnight blue. I am really looking forward to seeing the car in paint.
     
  15. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Quick update on the RS2000 resto. This week I have been concentrating on getting the metal work finished on the bonnet, boot and doors. The boot has been replaced with a good second hand part, which only needed a small dent removing and a quick DA down. The bonnet need a bit more work mainly around the inner frame and the underside of the bonnet skin. The driver’s door has been replaced with a second hand part, which needed the bottom corners repairing, and a new door skin fitted (forgot to take any pictures). The passenger door has been replaced the second hand part also but needed a little more TLC.

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    Seems this door had a nice coat of white paint on it but unfortunately it was the kind of paint you would put on your skirting boards not on your car!

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    The repairs..
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    Put the car on the rollover jig so will be starting the underside next week…

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  16. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Been working on the underside of the RS this week. I found a few holes but nothing too major (he says!!!).
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    so first job was to degrease the underside.
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    After a good clean we can see that the underside is in fairly good shape considering how the car was before so a bit of good news there. There are some minor repairs to do by the spring hangers on both sides and replace a few sections of chassis rail but all in all not as bad as it could have been.
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    I brought a plating kit a few years ago so I thought I would see if I could clean up a few bits what do you think?

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  17. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    This week has been spent working on the floor pan of the RS. After removing the surface rust from the floor pan and chassis rails we finally got down to some solid steel. This was then treated with a rust treatment, the odd hole patched and then etched primed ready for the stone guard. Next was to start on the passenger floor pan and inner sill. Unfortunately the inner sill and front floor repair panels were brought with the view to repair the floor rather than rebuild (i.e. the repair panels that are designed to be fitted over the seat rail) but like life things change so we have to make the most of what we got lol.

    First I flatten out the flanges of the inner sill and front floor repair panels that were meant to fit around the seat rail and removed the old seat rail from the car. Next I pinned the inner sill to a length of box section to give the panel some rigidity then G clamped it to the A post and rear quarter and started welding the cut out.

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    Made a patch to fill in the hole in the inner sill.

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    Next I adjusted the front floor pan to fit, trimmed the bulkhead side and extend the swages in the floor pan.
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    should get some more pictures up next week…
     
  18. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Do kids ever go to school? Had my son most of the week so didn’t get much done. Few more pictures of the re worked floor pan.
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    Then welded into place.
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    Finished of welding the bulkhead side shields and primed.
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    This car had a five-speed box fitted so the gearbox mounts have been drilled off and the mounts moved back and bolted back in. Unfortunately the holds left were only covered with some kind of heavy-duty tape so might explain why the passenger floor was so bad. Anyway the mounts are welded in now and the hole filled.

    Little tip for anyone needing to fill holes in thin steel with a mig welder. Get yourself a piece of copper (thinker the better) and lay this behind the hole to be filled. Then just use your mig as usually to fill the hole. You will find it a lot easer.

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    Also new cross member arrived so I had to bolt it in and take a picture lol
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  19. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    Some more progress on the RS mainly on the passenger side. Again the chassis rails are good so it’s mainly floors and sills. Had to make most of the parts apart from the rear door aperture infill that was cut of a donor panel.

    Enjoy the pictures..

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    What weld ?

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  20. redwizz

    redwizz Tin Basher

    Messages:
    47
    Essex UK
    I’ve had a few other jobs to finish and now there complete I can continue the final push to get the RS ready for the body shop.

    We still haven’t been able to get hold of a rear quarter panel so the only option is to repair it. Most of the rust on the rear quarter is at the edges and can be cut out and covered by the outer sill, rear inner and outer arch and spare wheel well panels. There are a few patches of rust by the C post and top part of the rear quarter by the boot but I have second hand parts to replace these.

    There was also a lot of work the do on the boot floor and chassis rails so I will make what I can and use some good used chassis rail to replace the rot.

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