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Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
9/29/19 7:09 p.m.

I had been dumping info and photos on my RX-8 thread. Since I just registered for the Challenge I decided to make a build thread.

Mostly where it started:

This is what it looked like as I towed it home. I flat towed it and used the frame ends for tow mounts. So the bumper is just not bolted on.

Currently I am cleaning up the hood and painting it black. I figure Accordianfolder painted it black because of glare off the yellow. The flex paint had been on there for a while and it was hard to get off.

I have receipts and will get the spreadsheet started pretty quick to track costs. It did come with 5 extra rims, 4 with older r888s and one like the front for a spare.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
9/30/19 8:25 p.m.

 

Another thread got me curious about the parts in the ZX2. I can't find a reference for the ECU. It does say Prototype in faded letters at the top but CA2 just doesn't come up and tried several different search engines. (shows me  12A650 - ND or CD)

Does anybody here have a better source or idea? I'm kind of new to Ford history / products at this level.

Ford ECU:

F8CF - 12A650 - CA2

MLT 214 PWB4505

Build 994 Build Level PH 3

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
10/1/19 7:19 a.m.

That's an odd one - the sticker on the connector isn't the style I've usually seen at all. What year is this ZX2? I can look up what the expected ECU part numbers are.

I'd also see if you can find a VIN decoder to see if there's something unusual about this car.

Subscriber-unavailabile
Subscriber-unavailabile Reader
10/1/19 8:10 a.m.

Nice another ZX2 here!

Yea I’m not sure what that ECU is, or from. Mazda letterinG is defiantly not on either of the ECUs I have. I’ll snap a pic of mine when I get home.

Subscriber-unavailabile
Subscriber-unavailabile Reader
10/1/19 1:06 p.m.

This is the non S/R ECU I have

Only difference between this and the S/R one is the 4 letter/number code on top. I’m really curious what you have there 

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/1/19 6:29 p.m.

It's a 2002. It was pulled off the assembly line and raced in showroom stock class by Alan and Annie Cloutherd(sp?). As I understand they were Ford engineers at the time.

So there may not be an answer but I just wondered if the joint mind here might have an answer.

One odd thing, after it sits and cools down you have to bump the starter, let off, then hit it again to start. Something with the ec U that Alan told Accordianfolder about. (A debug ecu ?)

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/1/19 7:03 p.m.
Bent-Valve said:

 

Another thread got me curious about the parts in the ZX2. I can't find a reference for the ECU. It does say Prototype in faded letters at the top but CA2 just doesn't come up and tried several different search engines. (shows me  12A650 - ND or CD)

Does anybody here have a better source or idea? I'm kind of new to Ford history / products at this level.

Ford ECU:

F8CF - 12A650 - CA2

MLT 214 PWB4505

Build 994 Build Level PH 3

Haven't seen one of those for about 20 years.  Don't lose that- it really is a prototype ECU- how that got in the car and stayed there is a pretty good mystery.   Can you take a picture of the back side of it (side opposite of the connector)- can you see the blade connector?  There's  company out there that makes the adaptor between that and a computer where you can talk to it.  Actually better- the board has an emulator on it, so you can see pretty much anything totally live.

IIRC the company is MOATS or something like that.

Subscriber-unavailabile
Subscriber-unavailabile Reader
10/1/19 7:32 p.m.

Not sure about the starting 

If they were ford engineers I’m willing to bet it’s an S/R ECU or something similar to it. I believe there were only 2000 S/R models made so that might explain the “prototype” if it came direct from Ford.

I know the S/R ecu gives 13-15hp jump over stock alone. Maybe you got one that’s tweaked a little better!

I was amazed how much of a difference the SR ecu changed my car. Engine pulls soo much better/smoother and steady thru the revs.

are you running 93 oct?

 

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/1/19 8:21 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Is this what you mean? Looks like what you were describing.

Edit -- Ok so this is a J3 port. This is my first time tuning or datalogging. Got some learnin to do!

(Mostly I want to log data)

I think this is the company , Moates.net, I'll do some research. Thanks.

In reply to Subscriber-unavalible:

It does pull really good, but then I have never driven this model Escort / ZX2 before. I did have the previous generation and the two are completely different.

93 octant, yes I put premium in it. I have driven it a grand total of 10 minutes, maybe. Lets see around the block at Accordianfolders, 5 autox runs, to the end of the driveway and back (800 feet). No its more like 8 minutes total, lol. I put 4 or 5 gallons in on the way to the track

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/1/19 8:24 p.m.

In reply to Subscriber-unavailabile :

That module would not have gone into any production car- the calibration in the SR isn't really unique- just another code set.  It's more likely that the engineers knew someone in development and got the module- thinking that it would be easier to put on a better calibration for power.

Which is really odd- as in that era- flashing on a better calibration is easy in a production part.  Just a little easier in a prototype.

Bent-Valve

As for the start issue- that one is odd.  I've never seen that in any work we did- and given that it's from a production line, the base production cal would be still in there- just that the spark and some of the component protections are turned up for more power.  One thing I can't remember- when did PATS get put into US vehicles.  If it's that, you can turn it off in that module, with the right hardware.

BTW, looking at the part number on the module, it's a '98 part.  So it uses the RCON from ages ago- I have the link to the MOATS at work.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/1/19 8:29 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Yep- that's it- with the right box, and an adaptor to an old fashioned parallel connector, you can talk to it with a PC.  Even with the Moates stuff, you will be running it in a DOS emulator.   The computer we used for that era was a 30-40lb beast- very hardened PC with some cool A/D boards.  Not state of the art, but strong as heck, and could deal with -40 to +150 F environment.   It's been at least 20 years since I've used on of them.

Subscriber-unavailabile
Subscriber-unavailabile Reader
10/1/19 8:35 p.m.

This why I love this place so much knowledge. I never knew there was that much depth into the ECU from this car. 

Im all in purchase/parts with my zx2 for around $1250 and its one of funniest cars to flog around in

slowbird
slowbird HalfDork
10/1/19 9:26 p.m.

This combines my love of cars with my love of obscure vintage computer equipment. I didn't even know that was possible. Friggin' sweet. laugh

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/1/19 10:37 p.m.
slowbird said:

This combines my love of cars with my love of obscure vintage computer equipment. I didn't even know that was possible. Friggin' sweet. laugh

Obscure, lol originally meant "Little old Lady" in reference to the lol memory blocks woven by seamstresses for the apollo computers that took us to the moon. Wires would be wrapped in a certain order around a ferrite core and when a current passed through one of them the others would put out either 0 or 1 in order. It was the static startup memory that could NOT be erased by cosmic radiation. Yes I'm a nerd.

But I need to get back on topic of prepping this car for the challenge. Tomorrow its supposed to rain so I was going to work on the spreadsheet and book. Today all I got done was returning the carpet cleaner, lawn mowing, tree trimming, dirt moving, etc. I did clean the ZX2 wheels, but that was all.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/2/19 6:38 a.m.
slowbird said:

This combines my love of cars with my love of obscure vintage computer equipment. I didn't even know that was possible. Friggin' sweet. laugh

What's really funny is that you can't find a public image of the computers we used.  I've tired a few search strings in google, and have not found one- but we really stopped using them just around the time cell phones got cameras.  And at the time, there was a sharp ban on photos.  If there are any left, they are all in storage.

But they were just toughened PC's anyway, so any PC with the right software and communications can do the same work.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
10/2/19 8:11 a.m.

Interesting... Panasonic Toughbook CF27s weren't tough enough? :) Or maybe not available when the project started.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/2/19 8:13 a.m.

 

Ok, I sat down to get "Organized" for the event

To Do List:

   Record keeping:

     Make the Build Book

     Get the Spreadsheet up to date

     Photocopy receipts

   Safety:

     Full Face Helmet * – Drag Race rule  Edit -- Ordered, Arrive Friday

     New 5 point harness ** -- Ordered, Arrive Friday, Dated June 2019, budget neutral

     Fix headlights on ZX2 – Drag race rule

    Un modified OEM battery tie-down or reusable battery tie down made of metal

    Close the holes in the firewall (heater core openings)

    Grease suspension bushings if possible

 

*Every competitor must wear a helmet when driving in the autocross or drag race. Minimum helmet requirements are as follows: Snell-certified SA- or SM- helmet with a certification not more than 10 years old. NHRA rules will require SA- rated helmets if your car has certain modifications or runs a certain E.T. or MPH.

**Racing harnesses must have a minimum of five points, and may be no more than two years old. Older harnesses that have been professionally re-webbed, inspected and re-certified within the previous two years are acceptable.

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/2/19 8:38 a.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

Interesting... Panasonic Toughbook CF27s weren't tough enough? :) Or maybe not available when the project started.

Yea, tough computers didn't really exist in the early 90s.  When the system changed over to a different set up (late 90's), and laptops started to get broken via normal use, then we went to Toughbooks in the early 2000's.  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/2/19 8:39 a.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

So for this first challenge, you don't have much to do.  Which is good.

What are the long term plans for it?  It's a solid car with real racing history, I assume.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
10/2/19 9:15 a.m.

It has history indeed.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/201x-classifieds/another-racecar-for-sale-in-se-mi-2k-nmna/133382/page1/

 

Is a good place to start. It really needs all the bushings looked over, it has serious bind issues especially in the rear. The race bushings have all dried up, some poly bushing grease might get them going again. It turned left much better than it turned right, but that was before I reset the alignment some. The car has the "trunk package" (made to compete with the neon in SSC at the time) and then some. Including the Ford racing spool valve coilovers.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/2/19 8:51 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Bent-Valve :

So for this first challenge, you don't have much to do.  Which is good.

What are the long term plans for it?  It's a solid car with real racing history, I assume.

Plan one is to autox next season at least 4 to 6 times and maybe a track day.

Part of that plan is to get the title, which I have checked with an attorney that does that and its possible. Accordianfolder and I found that it does have a vin number, however, if you try to decode it the decoder / website pukes, so a none standard vin.

If I get the title, register it so I don't have to tow it and I'll be more likely to go autox. Besides that on October 18th I'll definitely drive it to work....

If your wondering if I plan to sell it, no not really.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/5/19 8:02 a.m.

A little build history to bring this thread up to date.

The usual conversation,

Him -- "You want a car?" Me --"Sure."

So many months later I went to Tennessee to tow the ZX-2 home.  A short video of that part.

Then it sat, unloved, in the way, for a short time.

Then I decided to try auto cross, I needed a battery. I bought a new one for the RX-8 since that one is dying slowly.

I decided to use it for the auto cross session since it would definately start the car. But the cable was too short.

I got a piece of copper tubing and a new cable end. I cut the old end off and used 3 inches of tubing to splice the new end on.

I covered it with heat shrink and added a battery hold down.

I added numbers with some flexible / peelable paint. I figured I was as ready as I was going to get for this first event.

I didn't do much of anything to the car. I just took it and drove the silly thing....

Another short video of the conditions at that event.

And I figured out I needed to put the slicks on, the tires on the car were very limiting. I also needed to change the inside of the car to fit me.

I painted the hood and will continue to update the thread later today or tomorrow. Its the 5th, I have approximately 15 days before I leave for Florida. I have to do something on the way down so I have to take care of that.

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/5/19 8:06 a.m.

 

And I started the budget sheet to see where I stood. $807.51. That's as accurate as I can be right now.

I plan to update it later today.

 

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/5/19 12:59 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

Not really thinking you would sell it, but HSR does allow more modern cars to run their events.  Your car is at least 20 years old and has real racing history- so it should be eligible to run in their events.  Maybe more options for the car than you were thinking of....

Bent-Valve
Bent-Valve Reader
10/5/19 10:39 p.m.

 

I took quite a bit of video while working on the ZX 2 before I decided to do the Challenge.

I edited it and put it together to help document the build and how I got to the Challenge.

Today I took more video as I worked on the car, but I wont get it done until tomorrow.

I pulled the seat, removed the old harness, and cleaned up some of the junk in the floor.

Then I removed sharp stuff from the dash bar, sanded the rust on it, and sprayed it with some Rust convertor someone gave me years ago.

I tried to remove the dash bar, it is a puzzle worthy of the best. I think if I pulled the windshield I could get it out. I don't have time.

Finally I painted the dash bar and some of the roll cage black. I had to crawl out of the trunk as I sprayed the bars I would rub against if I went out the doors.

I'll get pictures of that tomorrow.

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