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How much to pay • Project £500-1200 • Good £1350-5000 • Concours £5500-8000 Overview Practicality ★★★★★ Running costs ★★★★ Spares ★★★ DIY friendly ★★★ Investment ★★★ Desirability ★★★ Ever since Ford’s launch of the first Escort in January 1968, Ford UK has produced performance-enhanced versions of its evergreen family car for the budding rally driver behind every sensible family man. Therefore, when Erika – as the Escort Mk3 was codenamed – went on sale in October 1980, it was inevitable that a go-fast model would be a part of the line-up. Kawasaki Er6n 2006 Service Manual. Within a year of the XR3 arriving more than 11,000 had been bought, accounting for over 10 percent of Escort sales. To ensure the success continued, the XR3 was handed to Ford’s Special Vehicle Engineering division; the XR3i was the direct result. However, before the XR3i was introduced, we also got the RS1600i. With 115bhp, it enjoyed a better power-to-weight ratio than the XR3i, while the suspension featured adjustable tie-bars and an uprated front anti-roll bar. The resultant car wasn’t as composed on the road as an XR3i, but on the track it was a different story.
Built to satisfy Group A regulations, initially just 5000 were planned – but the final tally was 8659, 2608 of which were sold in the UK. Your AutoClassics Ford Escort Mk3 XR3, XR3i and RS1600i inspection checklist Engine The 1596cc overhead-cam four-cylinder CVH engine will rack up 100,000 miles between rebuilds; check for oil being burned on the over-run, thanks to worn valve guides. Cub Cadet 107 Service Manual. Head gaskets are a weak spot, so look for signs of white emulsion on the filler cap. Replacement XR3 and XR3i engines are plentiful, but the RS1600i’s cylinder head is unique, and long obsolete. Ford recommends changing the cambelt every 36,000 miles or three years.
If the car you’re looking at hasn’t had a replacement, there’s a good chance the belt will let go – wrecking the engine in the process. It’s worth fitting a new belt as a matter of course. Fuel-injected engines are fitted with a metering unit that tends to seize, leading to the engine being over-fuelled or running lean.
Distributors seem incapable of lasting more than 50,000 miles, and RS1600is have a twin-coil ignition system fitted. The coils are prone to failure (replacements are scarce), so check the car isn’t misfiring, running on two cylinders or refusing to start altogether. Gearbox All performance Escort Mk3s have a manual five-speed gearbox – except pre-February 1982 XR3s, which got a four-ratio transmission. Expect 100,000 miles between rebuilds. The gearchange was never very sweet, but if it’s particularly baulky a rebuild is due; the RS1600i’s fifth-gear mechanicals are unobtainable, as they weren’t fitted to any other car. Change linkages and bushes will probably be worn, but replacement is easy and cheap.