As probably everyone on the forum knows I have an '88 Ford Escort with nearly 500K miles on it that I have been averaging almost 44 MPG on for the last year and 20K miles.
Well I lucked up last week and found, guess what? Another '88 Ford Escort and this one only has 78K original miles and is in near perfect condition. The only problem is this one has an automatic transmission instead of the 4 speed which my other one has that gets such good mileage. The person I bought it from thought the transmission was going to have to be replaced or rebuilt and had it up for sale for $800. It has a brand new set of LRR tires and new rear brakes and wheel cylinders. As soon as I popped the hood and took a look I knew what the problem was with the transmission. There's a downshift rod that is supposed to go from the throttle to the transmission and the nylon bushing had broken and let the rod come off it's connection. With a little further inspection I even found the rod still laying on top of the transmission, but no bushing. I went to a junk yard and bought a downshift rod from a salvaged car for $4. put it on the car and my son and I went and picked up the car Friday night and brought it home. So it looks like I'll be driving an '88 Escort for another 20 years or so. The previous owner said the car would probably have to be buffed in order to make the paint look right, again he was wrong a half bottle of wax and about 3-4 hours of elbow grease and the paint looks like new.
So this morning I started my mods on it. First mod was get the air pressure up in the tires. Tomorrow I will probably change the oil in it and maybe work on the warm air intake. It's going to need a little TLC for a while to get everything in tip top shape, because the A/C isn't working and the previous owner said he didn't think it had ever had the timing belt changed so I want to get that done and check other little things like the drive belt and hoses to see if any of them need replacing. I'm curious to see what I am going to be able to get with the automatic transmission. If I'm not satisfied with the mileage I'll probably pull the automatic and put a four speed in it like my other one has. I filled the car up shortly after getting it and so far it looks like it's probably getting around 40 MPG if the gas gauge in it reads near the way the one in the other '88 does. I'll be getting a gas log started on it with my next fill up.
I'll still be running it a lot especially during the morning hours when it is still cool outside, but if I can get the A/C fixed on the new '88 I'll probably be driving it a fair amount during the summer months. I figure the 500K Escort will make a great winter car, because it has a good heater, just lots of air leaks in the car, and if there's snow or ice I'm not worried about what the salt will do to it. If it rusts out it will just help gas mileage since it won't have to carry around as much weight. LOL