April 1999

Fitted the new engine cradle to the engine. It doesn't line up with the original mounting holes in the chassis, so I'll need to drill some new holes and reinforce them with tubing and a steel plate. My demon tweek looks like it'll work. The engine is lower and now leans back, therefore lowering the CG and moving the weight back towards the center of the car. Tell you what, I'm amazed how much stiffer the shell is since I welded the door bars in place. When I now jack the front of the car up, the rear wheel lifts a long way off the ground.
Five speed gear change mech and the engine cradle arrived at work today. Cleaned the oil and muck off the engine cradle with Gunk. Dismantled and overhauled the gear change mechanism. It looks in very good condition, and even came with a 5sp gear lever knob!
Ordered a five speed gear change mech and new engine cross member from the Fiesta Center today. The cross member is a spare, as I've an idea as to how to tilt the engine further back, and I dont want to modify the existing cross member. Only £20 for a 2nd hand one, and £25 for the gear change mech. Weighed the drivers and passengers doors on Sunday. They weigh 20 KG each! (44 lbs). I've removed the glass and window winders from them, and they now both weigh approx 14.5 KG each. Thats quite a saving, and the perspex windows shouldn't add too much weight back. I'm going to drill 2", 1.5" and 1" diameter holes in the doors (on the inside!) to reduce the weight even further. Peeled the XR2 decals from the passenger side door and body-shell, which is a very difficult job. They're brittle because of the UV exposure, so you have to use a hair dryer to soften them, and peel very carefully.
Bought a new 1KW starter motor. Its the one from a Fiesta RS1800 16V so it should start the engine no probs. Sprayed the door bars with grey primer. Went round to my parents house, and helped my Dad put the newly painted bodyshell on to his Liege kit car. Its painted Peugeot Red, and looks so cool.
Finished the door bars on the passenger side. I want to extend the cage forward to the firewall/front bulkead, for a bit more rigidity. I've a 1.2m length of tubing left so I'll use that. Now I can also start on the gear-linkage mechanism. I want to bring it inside the car, so theres more room under the floor for the 2.25" exhaust system that I'm going to run. Ashley Performance exhausts in Birmingham are going to fabricate the exhaust system for me. It'll be a 4 in to 1 manifold, with the silencer under the floor where the fuel tank usually sits (under the rear seats). Found the Contour web site in the States. Some nice looking Mondeo/Contours on there. Question? Whats a Contour SVT? www.contour.org
Welded the second nearside door bar in to place. Two down, one to go.

Removed both the side windows. (Anyone want some XR2 tinted side windows?). I'm going to fit perspex ones, but for the car to be resprayed, I need to strip out all stuff I dont want spraying. ie Sunroof, steering column, electrics, pedals etc.
Welded the long door bar in place on the passenger side. Two bars left to cut and file, and I'll have the passenger side completed in the next few days. Have you seen the FordUnleashed web site recently? Theres an awesome looking Ford Escort ZX2 on there. Its nothing like a Ford Escort that we know in the UK. Looks more like a Toyota Celica. Anyway, its got a turbo charged Zetec engine in it, with 230 BHP and this is a production car.. Gimme gimme...
Am I being paranoid? Virgin (My ISP) has gone free of charge for existing customers. I opted for the £1 a minute tech support instead of the £5.99 month unlimited calls option, and already this morning I've have problems downloading E-mail (now sorted), and I've noticed a weird problem with the menubar on the startup page. Hmm... Happy Easter everyone. I'm going to do some more work this weekend, weather permitting.
The zetecinside web site is a year old today.