The only thing holding the bumper on is a bunch of screws. Remove the plastic panel at the inside rear of the trunk (around the trunk lock hook). It is secured with a bunch of removable plastic clips. Remove some of the trunk lining carpet-like stuff. Search for a bunch of bronze-colored screws connecting to the bumper (you meay need a socket set). If I remember correctly, there are a couple of screws that you need to access from under the bumper itself as well. Just search with a flashlight. Make sure you have a protective cloth or something under the bumper to lay it on when it lets go...
To remove the front bumper on a zx2 , first you need to remove all of the fasteners on the top side of the bumper. ( open the hood and look straight down, remove all of those black plastic retaing screws.) After you remove the fasteners from the topyou need to lay down and get all of those small screws on the bottom/front of the bumper. Basically they just hold on the front splash guard but you need to remove them anyways. Once you take care of the top and bottom side of the bumper you need to remove both of the front inner fender wells. It's usually easier if you remove the wheels first. Once you remove the inner fender wells, get you a 3/8 drive ratchet wrench with a LONG extension. There are two (2) bolts on each side of the bumper, I believe they are a 13mm. Take out all four (4) bolts and then remove the front bumper cover and your done.
I was looking for the same answer and I found mine at this page: http://www.fixya.com/cars/t1850172-remove_headlight_assembly_from_1998 Mine is a 1998 Escort ZX2. Hope this helps. Well, I don't know if this forum will allow links to be displayed, so I've copied and pasted below the answer just in case: You have to basically remove the bumper cover in order to do this. You will need a 10mm socket with a couple extensions and a Phillips screwdriver. First remove the plastic shield inside the wheel well using the Phillips screwdriver. There are 3 10mm bolts that have to be removed the attach the bumper cover to the fender. The first one is just inside the newly uncovered hole. For the other 2 you will need the extensions. They are located all the way back in the hole beside the headlight assembly. If you look in with a flashlight You will see 3 bolts down in there. One of them will have a 1/2 inch spacer on it. Do not worry about this bolt, it holds the header panel on. The other 2 bolts are the ones you need to remove. Once this is done, if you need to remove the bolts under the hood that hold the bumper cover on the header panel. You should now have adequate movement to move the bumper cover out of the way of the 3 10mm bolts on the headlight assembly that were blocked.
you don't have to remove the bumper. look for the retaining screws around the top of the headlight housing. PLEASE READ UPDATE FOR ZX2 (mine is 2001) This is not true on the ZX2 Coup, you do have to remove the bumper skin to expose 3 nuts that hold the headlight assembly in. You can do this but I'm guessing your not a pro cause your here, neither am I, but I just did it. It will take you the afternoon. Best to put front end on jack stands, remove front tires, remove front plastic inner fender well protectors, unbolt bumper skin from inside front fender wells and at top under hood. Also turn and remove front turn signal lamps before removing bumper skin since ts lens goes w/ it. Do not remove black plastic brace between radiator/ac condenser and bumper skin...it holds the headlight lens assembly. Remove/replace headlights and put back the way you took apart. Be careful of wiring and not to break the old fragile socket clips to the lights or you will cause more work. Be patient at this point...take a break first, then look carefully at what your doing. What the gentleman said at the start is likely true for the Escort sedan but the coup is trickier. if this scares you pay someone. Good luck.
any escort ZX2 engine will fit into other escort ZX2s as there was only one engine offered from 1998-2003, the VCT equipped 2.0l zetec. The only real difference in ZX2 engines was the timing kit used. The early ZX2 (1998-1999.5) used a timing kit which used 3 pulleys. These are usually identified by the early style cam cover with the recess for the installation of a spark plug cover. The later version (1999.5-2003) of the zetec used in the ZX2 used a 2 pulley timing kit. This later version can be identified by the cam cover, either light gray or black, which does not have a provision for a spark plug cover
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