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Tokyo's between my toes
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Discussion Starter #1
When I got my OB in June of 1998, I never got rid of my Escort that I got in June 1988. My family thought I was nuts to hold on to it, as it had, at the time, about 120Kmi on it already. But I said hey, if it dies, I'll junk it; until then, it's paid for and it's cheap to run.

So, when I have some simple errand in good weather, I'll still run the Escort. I don't always need all the capabilities of the OB. And the Escort gets approx. 35 mpg on the highway, compared to the approx. 25 mpg of the OB, so I'll still take the Escort on longer trips (if traveling without a bunch of gear, etc.).

Well, time has passed, the Escort looks more weather-worn and rusted all the time; it just passed the 217Kmi mark, and now when I drive it, friends and family ask me, you drove the Ford??

I just grin my cheapskate grin, and say, yep.

And when that car finally dies, I'll probably want to replace it with some similar equivalent, a little FWD hatch for single-person running around.

So does anyone else here keep a little donkey car like that for similar reasons?
 

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I have a 1990 Ford Ranger long bed pick up. It's such a great little truck. Doesn't look too great but runs amazingly well. 170,000 miles on the original clutch and no major engine work. Can't complain about that!
 

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I guess the OB is that car for me. Funny though, on the trip to Nebraska I was thinking: We have 3 cars, the OB, the wife's Jetta VR6 and my Camaro RS. For long trips, the most comfortable with the best gas mileage is still the RS.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I took the Escort to the junkyard yesterday...



yes...



but I drove it home, too *G* I finally found a camshaft sprocket for the EA82 engine in the 1989 GL sedan I'm overhauling.

I'll go back today, looking for a replacement rearview mirror for the Escort. You know, it's kind of sad and funny at the same time when you sit in a junked car, and its interior is in better shape than your own.
 

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My main car, the daily commuter vehicle, is a 2003 Outback wagon, with about 8K miles. My other car is a '95 Saturn SL1 with 104K miles on it...it is used almost exclusively for trips that involve bringing along our two rambunctious dogs, for example, when we go to the off-leash dog park about ten miles away. They like to get filthy every chance they get, so no getting in the Subaru (I need to order the gate for the back, I suppose). It was the first new car my wife and I bought together, and it has held up reasonably well--but after owning this car and another Saturn, I gave a third Saturn barely any consideration when car-shopping this time. Having test-driven the Outback, I thought the Saturn L-series and VUE seemed a little on the cheap side in terms of construction and interior materials, not to mention one lacked AWD altogether (the L) and the other had an AWD system I didn't really like (VUE) built from a mishmash of GM and other components. Granted, the SL1 is now nine years old, but the contrast between driving it and the OB is profound...like sitting in a tin can vs. sitting in a bank vault.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, the Escort can feel like a can, too.

(Anyone else here know the Marvin Pontiac song Small Car?)

Funny thing is, when I got it in 1988, I also looked at a Subaru Justy and a Ford Fiesta. But I thought both were a little bit too small, and I chose an Escort just to have a little bit more metal around me.

And that was before everybody and his brother decided they need a truck to run their every daily errand....

One nice thing about a full-sized Outback, there is a lot of metal between you and whatever idiot is going to fail to stop his SUV behind you.
 

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I too have an old car that I just don't want to let go - a 92 Saturn SL1 with 385,000 kms (231,000 miles). I just picked up a 2000 Outback yesterday, and overall I like the car, but...

The Subaru 8-way power seat with lumbar support is killing my back after only 1 day! I thought these seats were supposed to be MORE comfortable. The Saturn certainly doesn't have stellar seats, but it takes several hours of driving for me to experience back problems and I've only driven the Subaru around town. Has anyone else experienced problems with their seats?

The 2000 Outback is a gas guzzler. Mind you, it's not fair to compare it with the Saturn, as it is a much bigger and heavier car. I'll need a few tanks to give my overall opinion, but I can tell this car is going to be hitting me in the wallet for gas....a good thing that I commute by bike 8 months of the year.

The Outback is hefty, it feels like I'm driving a tank! I guess I'm too accustomed to having the Saturn for 10 years. The Saturn is 1200lbs. lighter than the Outback. Overall the Outback handles well, but the Saturn is easier to shift and very agile, due to it's lightweight construction and lotus suspension.

The Subaru has a nice, simple and quiet interior. The Saturn is...well it's a cheap car, what do you want for $10,000?

I chose the Outback due to my mountain biking and camping activities, and also because of the Subaru reputation for quality and reliability. Now I'm finding out that Subaru has serious problems that only cheaper cars are supposed to have. Head gasket failures being the scariest thing I've seen so far. Coolant conditioner fixes...what kind of crap is that? Has anyone here had the coolant additive put in their 2.5L SOHC boxter engine? Any comments?
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
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Discussion Starter #8
Now I'm having second thoughts about junking the Escort. Looks like a clutch job would be ~$600. *suspicious glance at oil futures prices* it just might be worth keeping.

(edited to add) Here's a shot of it delivering our patio furniture set *G*

 

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The_Lizard said:
Now I'm having second thoughts about junking the Escort. Looks like a clutch job would be ~$600. *suspicious glance at oil futures prices* it just might be worth keeping.


QUOTE]

But wouldn't the patio furniture have fit in the Outback even easier? ;)
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
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Discussion Starter #12
That pic was taken when the OB was in its "second collision" phase, with the right front corner smashed in. (see the gallery) It was parked right around the corner of the building.

And yes, as the Escort was always out in the weather, it got that clear-coat failure due to UV exposure, that you see on many Fords, Mazdas, Chryslers, and other makes - when the clear coat turns white and spotty, and eventually comes off the skyward-facing surfaces. But the paint underneath is still pretty tough.

BTW the hatch could close and latch over that box, The store manager was amazed when I could fit it in.
 

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I have always been partial to hatchbacks. They have more utility than a car with a trunk. Especially before the days when the rear seats didn't fold down in cars w/trunks. I had a Dodge Omni GLH hatchback and it was so much more useful than a car w/trunk. I then had a '93 T-Bird with two doors and a regular trunk. Going back to a hatch (OBS) was a relief for me. That Escort sure has earned it's keep! Brian
 

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bheinz57 said:
I have always been partial to hatchbacks. They have more utility than a car with a trunk. Especially before the days when the rear seats didn't fold down in cars w/trunks. I had a Dodge Omni GLH hatchback and it was so much more useful than a car w/trunk. I then had a '93 T-Bird with two doors and a regular trunk. Going back to a hatch (OBS) was a relief for me. That Escort sure has earned it's keep! Brian
I too am a fan of hatchbacks, with the proviso that they must be rigid enough in the body, many 70's and 80's hatchbacks I drove had way too much body flex which totally stuffed up the handling and didn't inspire confidence.

Forgive my ignorance but was that Escort based on a Mazda design? We had a Ford here that looked very similar apart from being a 5 door hatch that was basically a rebadged Mazda 323.

Cheers,
Karl
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
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Discussion Starter #15
After having the Escort hatch (and before that, the Phoenix 5-door) I have no intention of going back to a traditional sedan layout. If I want two rows of seats, I can set them up; if I want one row of seats and a big cargo area, I can set that up. I was calling the Escort hatch a "sneak station wagon" for years before I got a real wagon.

That particular Escort body is the 1988-1/2, which is a half-breed. The 1988 Escort had the older and more square sheet metal in the rear, and the 1989 was almost identical to mine except mine has the remote release for the fuel filler door. IIRC they ran that body until 1992 when the Escort became a re-badged Mazda (323?) which was much smaller, especially inside.
 
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