September 1999

September 1999
Wednesday 29th September 1999
Stop the clock! The front spoiler has finally arrived. The journey, from Melton Mowbray (not a million miles away from where I live) to the Isle of Wight, and back to my home, has taken 50 days ! Why take such a tortuous route? Because I didn't realise until MC Rallying told me, that they're not manufactured by MC, but by Fibre Sports in Melton. Next time, I'll cut out the middle man...

Tuesday 28th September 1999
Waxoyled the inside of the wheel arch, and painted the outside.
Monday 27th September 1999
Bought some M4x20mm stainless bolts, washers and nyloc nuts to hold the glass fibre arches on with.
Sunday 26th September 1999
Welded the steel plate over the hole I discovered in the wheel arch, and finished off the mods to the rear wheel arch.
Friday 24th September 1999
Mondeo wouldn't start again this morning. Blooming plug leads dont seat properly on the ignition coil unit. I've put some spare ones off Beccys engine on, and I'm going to see what Halfords and Emergency Spares leads look like. The Ford Motorcraft ones no longer present a waterproof seal in the engine either. They just push into the cam cover, and dont actually prevent water/condensation from going in to the top of the engine. Maybe they gave me some duff ones.
Cut out and shaped a piece of steel to cover a rather large hole I found near the sill, in the inner wing. I'll weld it on tomorrow.
Thursday 23rd September 1999 PM
Removed the original steel nearside rear wheel arch, by cutting the arch out, and welding the inner wing to the outer body shell. That really hurt. It seems a shame removing rust free body work, but it does now mean that I can run some fat tyres at the rear. Took about four hours to cut and remove all the steel, and bend the inner wing out so I could weld it to the shell. I've painted it with Zinc primer, and I still need to seal the seam with some mastic to make it waterproof, and then waxoyl it to prevent the dreaded rust from breaking out. You have to be very careful when welding the bodywork, as it can easily distort with the heat.
I marked out the radius of the new arch, by using a piece of string and a permanent marker pen. I tied one end of the string to the pen, and I then adjusted the length of the string to give me sufficient clearance for the new glass fibre arches. Holding the loose end of the string on the centre cap of the wheel, you then scribe a mark on the paintwork. Simple. I need to repeat the exercise over the weekend, for the offside rear arch. The really great news is that I can now squeeze in some 18" or 19" rims. Watch this space...
The marks show where the wing is going to be snipped Started to cut and remove sections from the wheel arch. Finished, and painted with Zinc paint The glass fibre wheel arch before I modified the inner wing.
Thursday 23rd September 1999 AM
Spoken to the neighbours. I've a 3:00 PM curfew, so I cant make any noise until then. Doh! I've fitted the first of the rear glass fibre wheel arches, and I need to cut the original arch out, which means making LOTS OF NOISE!!! I'll go out this morning and see if I can find some sheet metal nibblers.
Had to change the plug leads on the Mondeo this morning. Bought some yesterday, as the cars been misfiring when damp. It rained really heavily this morning, and she wasn't going to start. The new leads seem to have cured the problem. (touch wood)
Wednesday 22nd September 1999 PM
Welded the offside tie bar to the steel plate, supplied by the Fiesta Center. They reckoned that I'd need to jig it first, but a bit of careful aligning on the workbench, and I welded it all together. Wire feed at 5 and power setting 5 on the Miget gave very good penetration in to the steel. The next problem was bending the 5mm thick steel plate. I heated it up with a blow lamp for about 40 minutes, and then proceeded to give it some grief in the vice. I'd tried bending the plate before welding the bar to it, but decided that for maximum leverage the best way was to weld on the bar first, then swing on it until it bent.
After the whole lot cooled down, I fitted it to the car. It looks really good, and I've now got masses of space for the Daihatsu Charade alternator. Four hours work in all. Ordered a water pump pulley from Ford. This will allow me to drive the water pump off the crank, as per the Fiesta RS1800i engine layout.
Offside and nearside tie bars (mine's the top one) The offside tie bar in place. View from behind Offside front suspension Nearside front suspension
Wednesday 22nd September 1999 AM
Received some feedback about two other Mk1 XR2's that have been modified for Zetec power. Stephan Mueller in Germany (1800 with 178 bhp) and another guy called Rob Lewis, whos also retained the Zetec injection system and the electronics too. This is good news. I've someone else I can call upon for advice for the alternator problem. Stephan says they used the Mk2 Fiesta alternator bracket (CVH or X-Flow?) and an Audi 80 drive belt. I've asked for some photos so I can compare notes. I've got the rest of the week off, so over the next few days I'm planning to finish off the front offside tie bar, and get the rear wheel arches cut out and extended for some fat wheels and tyres. Problem is that my neighbours wife works nights, and I may not be too popular when the angle grinder kicks in....
Sunday 19th September 1999
There were some great cars at the show yesterday. I particularly liked the GTM Libra, based around the Rover K series 16V engine. I tried sitting in the car, but at 6'3" tall I knew it was going to be a squeeze. Bad news, my head touched the roof, and that was without a crash helmet on.
A few companies gave me details on resprays. One company said that they start at £1000 and dont charge for paint, which sounds pretty good. Their show car was awesome, in two pack metallic blue.
Saturday 18th September 1999
Received the off side front tie bar from the Fiesta Center. All I need to do is bend and weld the supplied bracket to the tie bar.
The Kit Car show is on at Donington today and tomorrow. I'm going to see if I can pick up some bits, and also to see if I can find anyone that recommends a paint shop, local to where I live, and to see if anyone can give me advice as to how I fix the glass fibre wheel arches in place.
Monday 13th September 1999
Received the wheel arch extensions from MC Rallying (at last). They took the money out on the 11th of August. I should charge them interest. They were wrapped in bubble wrap, and I'm surprised they dont look too damaged. I'll have a closer inspection tonight.
The rally arches appear to have survived the trip from the Isle of Wight. Question is now, how on Earth are you supposed to know which arch goes with which body panel? Its not obvious. I mean, the fibre glass bits are not marked. I think I've sussed out which bit goes where, but I expected them to be labelled. Nah, that'd be far too easy. The new arches are quite wide, and they'll extend the wheel arches by about 3" which means I'm going to be able to stick some huge rubber bands in them. Yeah, and I am going to modify the body shell to allow wider tyres to run. The rear arches will be cut and welded to remove the original edges. Same goes for the fronts. I've seen some cars where they've stuck wide arches on, and left the original arches intact. Like, whats the point?
Saturday 11th September 1999
Fitted the front suspension back on, and the car is now sitting on its road wheels. In the photos the wheels you can see are 6J*13 steel rims, originally fitted to the Mk2 XR2. They look shite, but I am going to get some alloys soon. (7.5J*15" Hocks or similar) I've attached the near-side front wing, and refitted the bonnet (it still closes, despite the new hardware in the engine bay). A few days work and I should have both front wings fixed.
The new tie-bar from the Fiesta center is now fitted, though I've not recieved the tie-bar for the offside yet. The front wheel still seems to hit the tie bar on full lock. Apparently pukker XR2 steering racks limit the amount of lock, to prevent the wheels touching the tie-bar/inner wing. I did buy a new hi-ratio rack, but its not fitted yet, and I dont know if its got these 'stops' built in.
I'm surprised by the amount of clearance between the top of the wheel and the wheel arch. I'd thought that I'd lowered the car a lot, but theres loads of space for some big wheels and fat tyres..
Bought a superb album today. Ever heard of VAST ? (on Mushroom records, MUSH48CD). Neither had I till last week, when their video was playing on TV, 'Pretty when you cry'. I was looking for some new inspirational music while I'm working on the car. It works a treat, together with the Propellerheads 'Dexanddrumsandrockandroll'. Hope the neighbours dont mind. Having said that, the family from next door has just moved out, and a gray haired old lady has moved in. Hopefully her hearing is not too hot....
Fiesta Centre tie bar (silver) connected to the front hub assembly View from above, showing chassis strengthener bar (red oxide) and the tie bar (silver) View from underneath. Note the tie bar bracket, which replaces the standard brackets on the XR2. See how the tie bar (silver) mounts to the TCA bar. This has got to be stronger than the original tie bar Look at all that space around the wheel. Plenty of scope for larger rims The bonnet and front wing, first time these have been together for a few years
Friday 10th September 1999
Goddammit! MC Rallying have f**ked up again! Despite me phoning on Tuesday, they still hadn't dispatched the arches. I called them at lunch time, and they said that they'd see what they could do. This afternoon, after calling them again, I finally heard that the arches have been dispatched, via Parcel Force, on the 24hour service. And guess what? Parcel Force dont deliver over the weekend, so I wont get them till Monday. So whats the point in charging me for 24 hour delivery, and posting them on Friday afternoon? Why couldn't they send them on Tuesday when I phoned? Hopeless. My advice is dont use MC Rallying unless you're very patient. They get a very low vendor rating from me. Why is mail order so difficult with some companies? God knows when I'll get the remainding front spoiler from them.
Check out for some interesting reading. Ford in the States took on a US web site because it published some leaked confidential information on the Ford Mustang. And they lost! I know that Ford frequent my web site from the information gathered by my WSP and from the Captains log link on the home page.
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[24/Aug/1999:12:33:58 +0100]
[03/Sep/1999:14:16:46 +0100]
[03/Sep/1999:20:20:35 +0100]
[03/Sep/1999:20:33:30 +0100]

Thursday 9th September 1999
MC Rallying said that they're shipping the arches so I may get them in the next day or so. I'm out and about in a Honda Civic Aerodeck 1.6vi today. Theres a Micro$oft Technet briefing at Derby, on Exchange capacity planning and Implementing E-Commerce. Should be fun.
Monday 6th September 1999
MC Rallying are still on holiday. Back tomorrow. Hope they ship my fibreglass arches tomorrow. I'll call and kick up a fuss.
Friday 3rd September 1999
No sign of the tie bar from the Fiesta center. Called Ray and he says that they're still waiting for parts. I've got some Stainless Steel self tapping screws, which I'll use to fix the wings in place, hopefully on Sunday. I've managed to land a copy of Windows 2000. Looks really nice. Its Windows 98 with NT4 underneath, and a few other bits to spice things up. Seems reliable, though if you've anything less than a PIII-450 I wouldn't bother.... Titanic on DVD has arrived. Looks stunning. I've heard some people slag off the sound quality, but I wont pass judgement until I've watched the whole film.
Thursday 2nd September 1999 has now passed 8000 visitors. Could do better, but I dont want to join a webring, as the graphics you have to include look awful, and slow the download times quite considerably. I'm going to produce a Zetecinside Award for the end of the year. It'll be awarded to only those sites that I think deserve it. That should boost the traffic... (sneaky eh?)
I'm also going to rate the vendors that I've used during the past twelve months. Some will get the wooden spoon, and one or two may get the gold award.