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New ZX2 Owner


v_lestat
02-26-2008, 03:07 PM
well i just, 2 weeks ago, picked up a 1998 ZX2 w/ 102k mileage.
auto tranny
i am pleased with my purchase.
but have a few questions.
i have read thru several threads and they have given me answers to a few questions but here are a few more than i would surely appreciate any help on, and most definately share that knowledge in the future.

1)
where is my 2nd gear ? lol. its the auto tranny so given what i have read, this sounds like a typical issue.
2nd gear lasts about 2 seconds and then its right into drive. which absolutely kills my power as i am almost missing a gear.
its not a hard shift (that happens later) but a smooth one so i figured, as i have read here, the shift calibration is off.
2nd gear does last alot longer when i get on it, but skipping around town 2nd gear feels like its not even there.

2)
after about 20-30min of in town driving the tranny starts shifting very hard. even at very slow speeds the shifting is very hard, almost a slam. it reminds me of a tranny shift kit. the gears are not holding any longer than normal, just the shift is hard.
this will not go away until the engine/tranny cools down. ie; shutting the car off for a period of time.
i had an old's intrigue that did that and ended up selling it off because no one would tell us what it was. everyone had a different opinion of the cause.

i said it was a sensor, another place said the entire tranny, another place said the CAT would actually cause that if its clogged up (which i am not sure i believe since the CAT isnt linked to the tranny that i am aware of)

3)
i don't see anyone talking about the IAT mod, which is removing the IAT sensor (its the one with the green & green/white wires right on the air intake tube) and sticking a resistor in the female recepticle of the plug. the resistor makes the car think its breathing in cold air, thus making the vacuum system suck more and the fuel system give more gas. yielding 5-25hp. i did this and it is definately noticeable. my idle smoothed out (i had a slight surging idle in when i started it up first thing in the morning and late in the evening after work)
upon putting her to the wood you absolutely know that the little 99 cent resistor is doing its job. she goes like a bat outa hell.
my question is, this is more or less a passive mod, what kind of adverse effects could this have on the overall engine health. ie; advanced timing when idle or when proper timing should be in effect thus damaging something internally.
check engine light is on so atleast the engine knows i unplugged that sensor.
i would have though it would not have came on since the resistor just makes it believe cold air is being sucked in.

4)
tires, i would like to see a little wider meatier tire on the car. they are currently 185 something. i saw that the one ZX2 that they only made like 160 units of used a 225/55 which sounds alot better than what i have. is that a good size so that the tires are not sucked up under the wheel well all the time making the car look whimpy?

5)
air intake. was looking at using a new K&N intake or full cold air intake.
is this really worth it ? i mean engine appearance i could care less about. i dont run around with my hood off showing off my "little engine that could".

6)
Jaycoautomotive.com has the tranny kit which sounds like a cheap way to fix what could be my typical ZX2 tranny issues.
they have two listed, one for 80-ish and one for 65.
is this the one i want to use?

ZX2 Transgo Shift Kit

Fits 98-03 Escort and ZX2

F4A-III shift kit prevents or corrects the following problems: EPC and Cable Controlled Trans’s Rough 1-2 shift and band failure; 3rd clutch failure; premature pump and sealing ring wear ; high line; low line; accumulator seal and nibble wear—Won’t move. Fits 4 & 5 solenoid models. Includes pump regulator valve and spring.

Price: $64.50


thanks for all your advice guys/gals i really appreciate it.
and as always i will share the knowledge you share with me.

p.s.

last one.
is there an online place or a manual or book i can buy that really points out all these sensors and other engine components?
i am a touchy feely guy i have to see these things to make them sink into my thick skull and to really understand them.

v_lestat
02-26-2008, 11:59 PM
i decided to take the long road home from work and see what else the IAT mod does.

acceleration shift speeds are greatly reduced along with it being a harder shift. the shift time from 1-->2-->3rd is a faster transision.
this is not the odd hard shift i mentioned up above, this shift is only when i get on the gas and go go go.

shift speeds between gears seem shorter also when i am just going slow around town. its not nearly as short as when i get on it, but they do seem to have been reduced a little

there is definately a noticeable difference between pre and post mod.

i just wish the automatic tranny had a much better bottom end same with the engine, she really has a crappy low end.

AltecZX2
02-27-2008, 05:24 PM
1. Jayco is a rip off stay away..he is actualy banned from most zx2 sites.

2. Cat can cause bad readings that MAY cause tranny issues...but get the tranny looked at anyway.

3. Iceman or Roush or Roush style are teh 3 best to get for intakes, Iceman, and Roush Style from ZXtuner.com are teh cheapest.the Roush is typicly 300 is you can find one(very rare)

4. if you have the stock 15in rims, 205/22 is the biggest tire you can go.

5. the faster you accelerate the harder the tranny will shift..but that doesnt mean its still not an issue.

v_lestat
02-28-2008, 01:18 AM
1. Jayco is a rip off stay away..he is actualy banned from most zx2 sites.

2. Cat can cause bad readings that MAY cause tranny issues...but get the tranny looked at anyway.

3. Iceman or Roush or Roush style are teh 3 best to get for intakes, Iceman, and Roush Style from ZXtuner.com are teh cheapest.the Roush is typicly 300 is you can find one(very rare)

4. if you have the stock 15in rims, 205/22 is the biggest tire you can go.

5. the faster you accelerate the harder the tranny will shift..but that doesnt mean its still not an issue.


Thanks Altec,

harder shifting caused by acceleration isnt a common feature among stock factory cars unless its a sports car. the ZX2 is far from that.

when i say it shifts harder after i did the IAT mod i mean it shifts harder, it will bark the tires shifting from 1st into 2nd and really jerk the car lol i love it.

in regards to the tranny issues, is there any tranny kit that i can buy or tell the transmissions guys to look into ?

the tranny is far from bad i think, but if i take it to have someone look at it, should i say "the ZX2's have known tranny problems but my research has shown that this kit will fix it, where ford doesn't offer a fix"

but what should i tell him ? i have a transmission shop here in town that is very well known for being very good. so i am hoping that they may know how to fix any problems it might have.

air intakes are not a priority, i can always just cut the factory air filter area and mount a different filter.
so that it sucks in more air.

but that is a ghetto mod and i would like to stay away from ugly ghetto mods.

money IS an issue, i am not a rich man, so i am willing to buy cheaper things as long as they are not garbage. just cheaper, and may not last as long as a more expensive model.

i have been reading around at some of the ZX2 mod sites and alot of people are really putting alot of money into their cars, and thats ok for them, but its not really an option for me ya know. i cant really spend alot right now.


i NEVER beat my cars ever, i may get on them to have a little fun sometimes but i never beat on them.
i always take car of my cars, and baby them 98% of the time. and always watch temps, oil pressure, suspension feel, steering feel, etc etc. for anything odd.

my last little sporty car was a Honda Del Sol w/ V-tech motor & 5-speed.
i loved that car but alas lost it due to a bankruptcy.

the ZX2 isnt quite as powerful but the honda had a 5 speed which did offer a slightly better low end. and a higher rpm top end.

both cars are similar in that the torque range is higher up in the rpm range but you can really feel it when the torque kicks in.

AltecZX2
02-28-2008, 05:11 PM
that 1-2 cherp/jerk is the tranny clutches dying. my old car did that to, do that to often and you will be seeing your tranny shop soon.

v_lestat
02-29-2008, 08:49 AM
ouch thanks for the warning man!!!

v_lestat
03-04-2008, 01:01 PM
well i took off the IAT resistor mod and she's dropped power, shifting is back to slow and tedious. no hard shifts under heavy acceleration.

2nd gear is still almost not even used when just tooling around town. goes from first to second and then immediately into drive. 2nd gear doesnt hold for very long at all.
even when you put her to the wood 2nd gear shifts way too early. atleast i think it does.

anyone able to direct me to the knock sensor so i can unplug it ?
i can't seem to find a picture with its location ...

im putting the IAT mod back on too i am interested to see if i can pick up anything else that happens pre and post mod..

v_lestat
03-05-2008, 12:17 PM
ok again, putting the IAT resistor inplace removes any and all surging idle i had.
it only surges when the motor is cold (since its winter here) and hoefully wouldn't do so when its warm. but it also surges when i go to take off. the car is surging forward and such until the car warms up.

almost sounds like some sort of timing or choke issue????

the 1-->2 hard shift and tire chirp (and its more than a chirp, the whole front end of the car jerks and raises up) is only there when you put the gas down about 3/4 way or more. just getting on it in general i mean.

other things are just a smoother engine ingeneral although it runs smooth already without any hits or misses. but it just seems ot run stronger.

as this is what the IAT mod does it increases vacuum, increases fuel injected, and advances the timing 2-3 degrees.

the car is absolutely snappier, 2nd gear seems to hold a little longer but still not long enough for my tastes.

what i dont see and i really need to find a way to get this working is the tranny doesnt downshift until you really put your foot down.

since the auto tranny doesnt have 2nd gear as a selectable gear you have to rely on the gas pedal, and it wont shift into 2nd until you put the gas way down.

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