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A project car clearout means Ade can Focus on the Sigma-powered Mk3 Escort Zetec once again. Pun intended…

I’ve known for a long time that this project needed a kick up the backside, so after downscaling my unmanageable fleet into single digits, a chunk of cash had to be directed towards my Mk3 Escort Zetec project. Owned for over 20 years, and having spent the majority of that in project-purgatory gives me no joy, so Sitech Racing have been tasked to get the Mk3 up and running ASAP.

It looks pretty worse for wear now, and will need cosmetics and some welding, but thankfully nothing too drastic was discovered when it was put up in the air after a long stint outside. 

The first thing to deal with is getting the Zetec SE conversion up and running. This is the stage of many projects where countless small hurdles can result in bail-outs. That has almost happened here, but it seems rude to own a car this long and not see it through. Plus in theory it shouldn’t be that far off.

mk3 escort zetec

Fault code

Theory and reality don’t always merge easily though, as was found when both of the ECUs I got in a ‘too good to be true’ deal on several years ago proved to be faulty! One basically doing nothing, and the other only firing half the ignition system. A repair by a local electrician was tried with no luck, so the next stage is Sitech sending off the units to a specialist to see if one good unit can be made from the two. The moral here being, stick to quality parts! If that doesn’t work I’ll be looking for a better ECU system, but as this one has already had a custom loom wired in, it’s worth persevering with a bit longer.

mk3 escort zetec

Looks-wise, XR3i-style on upscaled Cloverleaf split rims is my ultimate goal, but for now my Sapphire Cosworth has been robbed of its awesome Irmler Racing rims. Even though they are a touch bigger than I would normally put on an Escort I think they could actually sit quite nicely if the GAZ Golds were would down a decent chunk more. But that’s for a later chapter, first we need a working ECU and the Mk3 roaring through the ITBs on the dyno!

Words and Photos Adrian Brannan

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