Saturday 28th August 1999
I've put the engine and gearbox back in the car, just to make sure that I've definitely now got enough cleareance around the five speed box, which it looks as though I have. I've made the offside front tie bar mounting bracket, from the piece of steel that the Fiesta Center supplied me with. Its a mirror image of the nearside bracket, and just needs painting to complete. I need the tie bar and plate from Ray next, so I'll get those ordered next week. There'll be plenty of clearance for the alternator with this new arrangement. Bought some tie bar bushes from Ford. These push in to the tiebar brackets, and cost £1.07 each. I've fitted the Powerflex bushes to the nearside tie bar, which looks much neater than the horrid foam bushes supplied with the tie-bar kit. Found a great Car magazine to read each month. Its called Practical Classics, and features articles on people doing much the same as I am, restoring a car to its former glory, although not many of the cars are as modified as Beccy, it still makes interesting reading. So called Performance Car mags nowadays are more interested in ICE, and styling, nothing about actually getting your hands dirty...
Tuesday 24th August 1999
Have you got a DVD player? If you have, have you seen Bugs Life? I've just bought a copy from DVDstreet, and its awesome. The first entirely digital DVD film, and it comes in both 1.33:1 and 2.35:1, so if you dont yet have a widescreen TV (which I dont) then you can watch it full screen with the 1.33:1 version. DVDstreet dont charge P&P, and offer discount prices on many of the films that they sell. Titanic is on order, and should be shipped on the 30th of August. The new single sided, dual layer disks are brilliant. No more swapping the disk over at half way. And Titanic is 189 minutes long, all on one side of a CD!!
Sunday 22nd August 1999
The Mondeo seems to have stopped pinking since I replaced the spark plugs. Very strange. Maybe the new ones run cooler? I'm now running NGK Laser Platinum PTR5A-13, and the ones I've removed are Motorcraft Platinum AYRF22PP. The old ones are brown (burnt) at the point where the white ceramic meets the metal body, which just shows how hot they were running. Maybe someone can tell me what temperature they're supposed to run at? I remember when running the X-Flow engine that it was very sensitive about plug temperatures. I usually ran Lotus Cortina plugs, which were expensive, but gave a few extra HP, and helped make starting the engine a little easier. Theres a bit more to plugs than meets the eye.
Friday 20th August 1999
Fitted the front wings this evening. I've just offered them up, and made a few marks where I'm going to bolt them on. I'll use stainless steel bolts to prevent the dreaded rust from breaking out. According to some advice on one of the newsgroups, the black paint on the wings should be removed with thinners/spirits before painting. I'll try to get this done over the weekend. The new tie bar is 19.25mm thick, compared with the original 17.75mm, which will make it quite a bit stronger than the original. It looks chrome plated too, very swish.
Wednesday 18th August 1999
The bits from the Fiesta Center arrived today. Rays sent me one of the new track control arms thats fitted to the new five speed kit that they manufacture. Looks of a much higher quality than the previous one. Much thicker.
Still no sign of the Rally Arch kit from MC Rallying. Rang them up, and spoke to Keith. He said that the front spoiler is out of stock, and they're waiting for the next batch, which could be 2-3 weeks. I've persuaded him to send the arches now, and the spoiler will follow on when available. He was reluctant even to do this though. His argument was that I couldn't get the car sprayed until the front spoiler was fitted, so I should wait until it arrives. But if I have the arches, I can at least start to fit them to the car, and rub the body work down ready for spraying. Fitting the front spoiler is a trivial task. Its their fault they're out of stock, so I dont see why I should pay for two loads of postage either. Sounds like another Trans-Auto-Sport/Demon Tweeks saga is developing.
Monday 16th August 1999
Ordered a pair of front wings from the Fiesta Center today. Also, Ray still hasn't been able to make me a front track control arm and bracket for the off-side, so he's going to send me the bits and I'll have a go at finding a local machine shop that'll do the work for me. We've got a milling machine at work, so if I speak to the right people they may be able to make it for me during a lunch time. No sign of the wheel arch kit yet. Found some kool websites over the weekend. Take a look at the bottom of the links page for more details.
Webpagesthatsuck I found to be very amusing.
Tuesday 10th August 1999
Ordered four Rally Arches and a GRP front spoiler from MC Rallying today. Should be here this week. Tried refitting the original front wings. Its no good, I'll have to get new ones, as the old ones were rusty when I removed them, and theres not much metal left for me to re-attach them with.
Monday 9th August 1999
The Mondeo was playing up this morning. When the engine was started, the radiator cooling fan comes on, even though the engine is stone cold, and she stalls. I removed the battery earth lead, waited ten seconds, and reconnected it, to reset the ECU (you can tell I work with PC's). But it was the same when I restarted her! The last time this happened I replaced the ECU temperature sensor, and I thought I'd fixed the problem. After a few minutes of idling with your foot on the throttle, the problem goes away. I wonder if Ford ever release firmware upgrades for their ECU's?
Sunday 8th August 1999
Tried changing the spark plugs on the Mondeo. Snapped the plug spanner in two, whilst removing the fourth and final plug. Its an alloy head, so you're not supposed to do them up too tight. But the last time they were removed was by the Ford dealer. Must have had an ape working for them that day. Removed the remnants of the spanner, and then removed the plug with a ½" drive socket. All the plugs were clean, though the platinum tips had completely eroded. Looking at the newsgroups, pinking is quite common with modern Fords. Some unleaded fuels are as weak as piss in the UK, so I'm going to have to shop around till I find a brand that is up to scratch.
Saturday 7th August 1999
Sprayed the inside of the engine bay with primer.
Wednesday 4th August 1999
Finished welding strengthening plates over the hole in the chassis where it clears the gearbox. Just need to wirebrush it and respray it on Friday evening.
Monday 2nd August 1999
Tonight I've attacked the chassis rail where the five speed gearbox sticks through. I'm enlarging the hole to give the gearbox more clearance, since when I relocated the engine, I found that I hadn't given the box enough space.
Sunday 1st August 1999
Today I removed the exhaust system, manifold, front suspension and drive shafts, gearchange mechanism, and finally the engine and gearbox, ready for the mods to the engine bay ;-)