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Turbo Diesel Escort ... Mods?

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Hi, newcomer to this forum

For the past couple of years I've been driving a 98 gti escort estate with some minor performance mods (great car) which I foolishly lent to my sister as she was moving house and she noticed it overheating, decided to put water in it, noticed the coolant tank was empty, now you're thinking she rang to ask me what to do right cos there's probably a leak? .... Wrong!

In true blonde fashion she completely filled the tank with cold water then proceeded to get back on the m4 and start tanking along again ... for a mile or two until she blew the head gasket anyway. I've a spare engine for the car but not gonna have time to start swapping it over until sometime early next year so for the meantime I'm picking up a w reg (2000) 1.8 tdi escort estate at the weekend

Know next to nothing about the turbo diesel version but I'm guessing they don't have quite the same snap as the gti and as I do a lot of driving involving hill climbing and carrying reasonably weighty loads I'll lose patience with it pretty quickly if I find it low on grunt, so the question is, what options are there with this model escort that'll give some modest performance benefits without spending silly amounts of money that add up to more than the car will end up being worth?

On the gti I had polished/gasflowed throttle body and air sensor, would this be worth doing on the diesel?

I have a set of mondeo 2.0 cams which I was gonna put in the gti (still might), anyone know if these are also a direct fit for the diesel version and if so an advisable/beneficial thing to do?

Do these cars have an intercooler and if not would it be worth fitting one?

Head tuning options?

I will most likely get a stainless freeflow catback made for it and depending on what I end up doing to it possible finish off with a remap

Never having done anything with a diesel engine before I don't really know what can be done, what's worth doing & what's not, and I don't doubt there's a host of other things that I haven't mentioned due to being pretty much clueless. I'm not looking to spend thousands building a track/race car but I don't have much of a tendency to dawdle everywhere, do like my cars to go well and am pretty much happy to spend a few hundred improving things

Thanks in advance for any advice & suggestions

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Doesn't seem to be much happening on this section of the forum, but I'll give it one more go ...

Picked the car up earlier today and well impressed with it's condition, aside from a couple of small touch-up jobs the bodywork's excellent for the age and the inside's even better, seats look like the car's hardly ever been sat in! A mechanic mate came with me to collect it, checked it over as best he could without having it up on a ramp etc and aside from some slight bubbling on the arches (looks to be in very early stages so should be an easy enough fix) he pronounced everything to appear to be well sound

As for the engine it also seems to be sound, I made sure to work it well on the 150+ mile drive home and it stood up to some hard driving without complaint, gonna give it a service and a proper look over hopefully next weekend and if I get time this side of xmas change the timing belt, then after xmas I'll start thinking on what to do with it, some of my earlier are questions already answered

Does have an intercooler which I may or may not upgrade, they're not a twin cam engine so I will put the 2.0L set I have in the gti when I swap the head over

Done some reading so I have a few clues on some simple mods to start off with, decat pipe, turbo boost and look at tweaking the fuel pipe to suit the boost seem like a good place to start

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Tuning a diesel... Im guessing its the old mechanical fuel pump. not a newer common rail...

if so you can tweak the pump, and adjust the smoke screw and turbo slightly to minimise off boost smoke. Bigger I/C will help. If your serious about it you can fit a bigger pump head into the fuel pump for more fuel delivery ;)

I'm a moderator on another forum dedicated to Turbo Diesel Tuning... I wont mention it here, dont want to upset anyone... but have a look on google and youll find loads of info!

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I'm sure I saw something in either the book or a google result about it being a common rail mate, but I won't swear to it, have to check that out in the morning

I have thought about a bigger intercooler but I haven't been able to find any info on any that might fit, but I haven't spent a lot of time looking as yet, would maybe a 2.0 mondeo one fit is one thought I've had, don't even know whether it would have to be off a diesel or not to be honest

Not sure if I'd need to fit a bigger pump head and again, which one to get if I did.

I'm not after monumental gains (though they would be nice if they didn't cost too much ;) ), but I regularly drive over some good sized hills with fair-sized loads, releasing some of the engines potential to give me a bit of extra grunt for situations like that without breaking the bank and I'll be happy

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if it is common rail then WIN! from a remap you should see 25-30bhp and a decent hike in torque...

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Its a mechanical pump.

You can tweak the pump a little but you wont gain a lot.

Yeah vinny after some more googling I think it's indirect injection, I don't know enough about the subject to tell just by looking at it, so again I might be wrong

I'm seeing a considerable difference in the car already compared to when I picked it up thanks to changing and/or fixing a few simple things though:

Throttle cable was badly stretched, had to adjust it pretty much to the max to get proper travel on the pedal so I'm planning on replacing it with a new one

Turbo pipe had come adfrift from what looks being badly fitted by someone who even less knowhat they're doing than me!

It's probably those two that've made the most difference but I've also fitted a decat pipe and changed the air filter and filter pipe setup, the stock filter pipe seems to take the senic route to the ram pipe at the front of the car so I've completely done away with it

Instead I now have this: 45 degree elbow -> maf -> heatshielded mesh filter, the filter fits nicely right alongside the outlet on the ram pipe with a gap of a few inches in between, which I think works better maybe cos of allowing the air coming in to 'spread' over a greater surface area of the filter

Fitting the filter this way definitely made a noticeable difference, as much I suspect because the air now has to travel a much shorter distance as much as changinh the filter type (if not more), the car immediately started running smoother all round after doing this

and noticed it being more responsive in the low to mid range

Next plan is once the boost gauge I've ordered arrives to have a play with boost and fuelling, reading up a lot on both subjects, also gonna fit a stainless exhaust as the one that's on there is in dire need of changing, someone 'fixed' it with what looks like gun gum. It turns out I can get one made for not an awful lot more than a standard one would cost me so I figured why the hell not do it properly

Might eventually change the intercooler for a better one which I'm seriously considering front-mounting but I won't even think about that until I get my other estate back on the road cos otherwise while I'm doing the work I'l have to drive either an auris everywhere or even worse my wife's suzuki liana ... nah, that ain't happening at all!

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