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Old 02-02-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
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Would this make a good autoX project?

It's a 1989 Mercury Tracer (GT, lol). It's a 1.6L, FWD, 5-spd, from what I can tell it had about 100hp when new. It was my brothers car until it blew a head gasket. It wasn't too serious and from what my dad and I can tell, the engine wasn't harmed.

Besides replacing the head gasket (and a few others) and the water pump (precautionary) the car is in decent shape. The brakes were redone less than a couple thousand miles ago and the suspension is tight. When the car was running it ran strong and was surprisingly peppy and even more surprisingly it handles very, very well.

My idea is to rebuild the engine while removing all the unneed crap like AC, heat, power steering, etc etc etc, gut the interior, install roll cage, racing seat, and get some new rubber. Am I nuts? Is it worth the effort? And of course, pics:






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Old 02-02-2005, 05:57 PM   #2
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Dude.
You're already driving around in a great AutoCross car.
Any particular reason you don't want to race the SVTF?

As far as the Tracer, let me look up what class it would be in.....back in a flash.
Hmmmm. H Stock
You'll have some pretty tough competetion to deal with.
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:59 PM   #3
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thats an escort rebadge right?? should be some decent aftermarket for it. try lookin thru escort forums.
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Dude.
You're already driving around in a great AutoCross car.
Any particular reason you don't want to race the SVTF?

As far as the Tracer, let me look up what class it would be in.....back in a flash.
Hmmmm. H Stock
You'll have some pretty tough competetion to deal with.
Damn! I didn't even think about class! Just looking through the Ford's the competition is daunting. I mean, PZEV 2.3's for cryin' out loud.

The reason I want to do it is because the SVT is my daily driver and while I DO want to and WILL autox it I'm a little afraid of breaking it. Breaking the Tracer wouldn't faze me in the slightest.
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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Well, with everything you mentioned that you would modify, you'd end up in a Prepared or Modified class.
According to that website, the only class the Tracer shows up in, is the Stock class.
I didn't think to check for where the Escort ends up in Prepared or Modified.

Here's the Street Prepared classes for Ford/Mercury....>>> Clicky
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:01 PM   #6
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Yeah, doing the mods you talked about (particularily gutting the interior), you will get bumped up classes. In HS, the tracer will not be very competetive (all stock, with your choice of tires). If you wanna be competetive in any class, you need to be taking advantage of all the mods allowed, so if you're gonna want to mod, you should plan to go all the way.

That being said, you will not damage the SVTF in any way by autoXing it. I put in a full season with my ZX3 last year with no ill effects, and your SVT is built for performance duty a lot more than my ZX3. It will not break, but of course you will go through things like brakes and especially TIRES a quicker. The SVTF is a very competetive car in GS.

Short story, I would suggest either putting some sticky tires on the tracer and go flog it around the track for kicks, or put some stickies on the SVTF and go be competitive.
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Old 02-07-2005, 06:45 PM   #7
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That would still be fun to mod the crap out of if you had the money. mmmmm, full coil-overs, turbo... *drools*
Those are my hopes eventually! But just to start I want to do the previously mentioned mods then get it in the garage for the winter to do the engine work.

Thanks for the input folks! If this gets off the ground I'll make sure to post updates.
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:11 AM   #8
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I think that you need to acknowledge that autocrossing is more demanding on your vehicle than commuting. To me, its well worth the risk. In my case, in my first year I munched a cone, pulled it up into the front left fender, where it broke the plastic fender liner. A highly modified Subaru STI blew its clutch. I'll be back next season, and I'm sure that the STI owner will be as well.
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Old 02-17-2005, 12:09 PM   #9
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I say go for it.. have fun with the little car..
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Old 02-17-2005, 02:57 PM   #10
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I like rarity factor ... you would have a pretty rare sleeper car if you mod thing up ... go for it ... I plan on picking up a beater and doing sorta the same ...
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