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How to Modify a Ford Escort ZX2

by Sara McArt

The Ford ZX2 is a small car that was built by The Ford Motor Company between 1997 and 2003 as part of its Focus series. The small two-door coupe offered drivers interested in a small car a chance to own a sporty option to choose from. The key feature of the car is a 4-cylinder 110-horsepower engine. Because of the diminutive size of the car, the engine is punchy and fast. If you own one of these cars and are looking to modify it, install an aftermarket performance chip to replace the computer chip currently in the car. This is a simple upgrade that you can do yourself that will increase torque and horsepower and increase fuel economy.

Boost the Power

Step 1

Read the instructions and any literature that came with your aftermarket performance computer chip even if you have made this sort of upgrade before. Every manufacturer offers different tips, instructions and warnings and you will want to be familiar with this information.

Step 2

Open the hood of your Ford ZX2 and locate the battery. Use a wrench to remove the negative battery cable from the battery. This will ensure that you do not short out the electrical system of your car when working on it.

Step 3

Use a flashlight to look along the firewall in the engine compartment of your ZX2 to locate the small box that houses the computer chip in the car. Search for a box that is rectangular in shape and either black or silver in color.

Step 4

Remove the lid of the box and locate the computer chip inside. Move the chip back and forth gently to coax it out of the socket. Do not force the chip or you will risk causing damage to the chip or the socket.

Step 5

Line up the prongs on the new chip and press it firmly into the empty socket. Again, do not apply too much force. Test the fit by pressing the sides of the chip to make sure that the chip does not move at all.

Reattach the lid of the computer chip box and the batter cable and close the hood of your Ford ZX2. Insert the key into the ignition and start the car. Listen to the engine for any unusual sounds. Contact the manufacturer of the chip if you are concerned with strange sounds or if you have performance issues.


  • It is imperative that you do not have the negative battery cable connected to the car when you make this upgrade and that they car is not running. Not following these instructions could result in permanent engine damage.


  • Become familiar with the laws of your state in regard to vehicle modification.

Items you will need

  • Aftermarket performance computer chip
  • Flashlight
  • Battery terminal wrench

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