April 2000

Sunday 30th April 2000
There are some great links in this months Grass Roots Motorsport's magazine. Some of the parts available state-side look awesome. Seriously, its well worth the subscription, a very interesting magazine, much more informative than CCC.
Unorthodox Racing
Bought some new disks (rotors) for the Mondeo. I'll change them tomorrow morning, ready for the trip to Hednesford. I've offered them up on the Fiesta. They fit perfectly on the hub, and the holes all line up, so the PCD (96mm) must be the same! 260mm diameter is quite a bit larger than the standard XR2 disks, but there's not much clearance with 13" wheel rims. With 14" wheels, that'd make quite a nice conversion for the Fiesta. Wonder what calipers you could use? I'll check if the Mondeo calipers fit tomorrow. This of course means that Contour/Mondeo wheels will also fit a Fiesta Mk1+2, dependant on the offset of course. Spent a few hours preparing the front valance for welding. ie removing rust and paint.

Received news that a friend has successfully installed an 1800 Zetec in to his Escort XR3i, and the conversion was very straightforwards. I'll get the pictures up as soon as I get them.
Saturday 29th April 2000
Cut out the rusty metal, and fabricated two metal panels, ready to weld in place. As you can see, I used the original front wing as donor material for the metal. The original wings are a bit rotten round the edges, but basically the metal is sound, and good enough to be recycled. Once I've welded the panels in, I'll use some filler to get the contour back to it's original shape. Shouldn't take too long to do. Then the inner wing can be sprayed, and I can get the front wing fixed in place. I'd have preferred to have fitted a new front valance, but they're not available for the XR2 anymore. Both doors are now off the car. I shan't be putting them back on again until after the respray. One is quite rusty along the bottom edge, so again, I've got a little work to do to it. She is 17 years old, after all.
Quite rottenYou can see some of the old fillerI've cut out the rusty metalUsing the original wing as a donor Cut and beaten in to shapeClamped ready for weldingClamped ready for welding
Friday 28th April 2000
Spent another two hours working on the drivers side front inner wing. I've removed a load of filler that I applied about 5 years ago. Now the wings off, I can make a better job of it. Theres a whole in the front valance, directly behind the front bumper, beneath the headlight. It shouldn't take too long to repair.
Thursday 27th April 2000
Started fitting the second front wing. With both wings on, I just can't see how the MC Rallying front spoiler will fit. It'll need heavily modifying. Anyone fitted one of these kits before?

Someones asked on the guestbook, why the same registration number appears on two different cars on this site (red and blue Fiesta's). Quite simple. I bought the red XR2 as an insurance right off (stolen/recovered) in '92, and as such I wasn't allowed to re-register it with its original number place (A269FEJ) so I transferred the registration documents from the 1300 Ghia. The XR is definitely a genuine XR, the insurance documents confirm this. It came with all the XR2 running gear, trim etc, and even has the bulge in the rear valance for the spare wheel. The blue Fiesta was a complete shed, and I rebuilt the XR over the summer of 1992, retaining all the XR running gear, but using the rebuilt 1300 engine. Read the story so far page for more info.
Sunday 23rd April 2000
Reached a major milestone today. I've actually fixed one of the new wings in place. Using the Unibond sealant, and stainless rivets, I've re-attached the passenger side front wing. The sealant forms a water-proof seal between the wing and the shell, to stop rust from forming between both surfaces when she gets wet (that's the theory anyway). The wings were removed in 1995, which is why its such a big occasion. I'll start on the drivers side today (Bank holiday plans permitting). I also used my new hole punches for the first time. I've put three 1.25" holes in the rear of the wing, to allow air to pass through for extra ventilation. Cooling the 2.0 engine may be a problem. Air pressure usually builds in the front wings, reducing airflow from the engine bay. These holes will reduce the air pressure, allowing extra flow from the bay, something I learnt with the X-flow engine, which used to run very hot until I made a similar modification.
Lots of reinforcing plates welded on hereFinished spraying the inner wing with stoneguardSpot the three 1.25inch holesIt's not coming off again!
Sorry about the quality of the pictures. My DX8 is showing it's age now. Also, excuse the tatty looking wheels. They're some original XR2 Mk2 13"x6J rims, which aren't going to be used on the finished car. I've spotted some really nice looking 16"x7J minilites in this weeks Motoring News. I think they'd be in keeping with the age of the car (I don't think Venoms's would look right!)
Friday 21st April 2000
Bought some more stone chip paint. I can get the Plastic Padding stone chip for only £4.18 for 500ml from my local motor factors, Hex Holdings. Removed the front suspension leg and drive shaft. Primed and sprayed the passenger side front inner wing (chassis), so I'm now ready to fit the first of the wings. I've some sealant which needs to be sandwiched between the wing and the chassis, to make a water proof seal. I'm going to try to use a plastic liner in the wing anyway, to prevent mud from collecting in the seams, which is generally where the rot starts. This car should never go rusty again, with the amount paint that she's wearing underneath.

Well, the British F1 Grand Prix is going to be a farce this weekend. Already the organisers have closed the car parks for Saturday Qualifying, due to the water logged fields. Its rained almost every day for nearly two weeks, and the Silverstone circuit is completely waterlogged. So anyone going to Silverstone today will be turned away! I turned down some discounted tickets this week, cos I didn't fancy sitting outside on Sunday from 7AM, in the pouring rain. The FIA decided to move the race from July, to April. Why? It's a bank holiday weekend, so the roads are going to be jammed solid. And its almost guaranteed to rain at Easter. Ludicrous!!
Tuesday 18th April 2000
Bought 100 stainless 3mm pop-rivets. I've drilled the top of the passenger side wing where it'll be riveted to the chassis. I need to spray the chassis with stone chip now.
Saturday 15th April 2000
Well, I didn't fit the wings today. I need some stainless pop-rivets for holding the wings on with. I'll get some ordered this week. I did paint the tailgate, and I've finished priming the chassis rails under the rear of the car, ready for spraying. I've sprayed the inside of the drivers side front wing with another two coats of Hammerite black stone chip. Also swept the garage floor. You should've seen the pile of dust. I need to get a GRP bonnet (hood) on order, as the steel one weighs a ton, and is an area where I can definitely save some weight. I'll call Fibresports in Melton tomorrow. I tried the Jenolite gel today. Its not as good as I was hoping for. The tube tends to spit the gel out, in blobs, which isn't safe, and theres sod all in the tube, considering its size. Stick with the normal Jenolite liquid and paint it on with an old paintbrush.
Saturday 15th April 2000
Picked up that cold that's going round. It's Saturday morning, and the cold's almost gone, so I is determined to get them blooming wings fitted this weekend. Bought an excellent album this week. Significant Other by Limp Bizkit. Very good for listening to while in the garage. I've been scanning a few more pictures in this week. One of me working on the car, from about 1995. You can see that it's early days with the Fiesta. I'd just removed the front wing, and was about to attack the inner wing. And another two of the Baines Racing Fiesta at Mallory. These are of the rear-axle setup. I've no idea why you'd go to so much trouble locating the rear axle. See what you think.

My guess is it's because they've converted the rear to disk brakes. And the standard panhard rod arrangement would let the axle move too much under braking, which is the last thing you want when slowing for a corner.

The Zetec in the Mondeo is a lot better now, since the service. The split pipe is apparently off the PCV valve on the front of the engine, its hidden by the heat shield. I can't make the engine pink anymore. She pulls cleanly from 2000 RPM in fifth now, with no detonation at all. Did you hear those Ginetta's on Top Gear on Thursday. They were all 1800 Zetec powered, and sounded sooo sweet. Beccy should sound something like that. She'll be a bit noisier with the race cams though. One day...
Thursday 13th April 2000
Posted the birthday stickers today. They're headed off towards Finland, Canada, the USA and the UK.
Monday 10th April 2000
Bought a can of Hammerite Stonechip paint (black), and I've now painted the inside of the second wing. Sprayed the outside of the GRP Tailgate with red plastic primer. Smelly stuff. I've now got some Jenolite jel, which I'll have a go with tomorrow night.
Sunday 9th April 2000
Realised that I'd only primed the inside of the front wings, so I couldn't fit them today. Instead I've sprayed one of the wings with Stonechip paint, but I've now run out of paint, so I'll have to get some more tomorrow night after work
Saturday 8th April 2000
I changed the plug leads, ran the engine for about twenty seconds, and left her until the afternoon. At 4:00PM, I tried starting the Mondeo. Nothing! She just turned over, very quickly too, like when you've removed the plugs (ie no compression). But there was no firing by any of the cylinders. After another 20 seconds of spinning over, I pushed the throttle to the floor, and after another few seconds, she started coughing and spluttering. She started running, so I lifted off the throttle, and it just died. Another couple of attempts, and I coaxed her back in to life. £50 well spent? I don't think so. If she does it again on Sunday, or Monday, then its straight back round to the garage. Heres the picture of the part that they replaced. I had another good look round the engine, and I still can't find where its from.
Split tube
Another good day in the garage. Sprayed the back end, over the areas where I've removed rust spots. It's just surface rust, not rot, but it needs removing before I respray her. I've also repaired the glass fibre rear door, which although I've never used it, has delaminated in several places. I've used some Ciba-Geigy Araldite Rapid to glue the layers back together. And about another 2 hours were spent on the underside of the car, under the rear floorpan. I've still got to paint the chassis rails, but I haven't finished removing all the surface rust yet. Jenolite is available in a gel, so I might buy a tube tomorrow from Halfords. The fluid is great, but it dries out very quickly, and therefore stops working. A gel base would be much more effective. I could leave it on overnight. I left a piece of steel plate in the jar which I've poured some Jenolite in to. You wouldn't believe the difference after leaving it in overnight. The rust simply disappeared, and the metal looks brand new.

Sprayed rear-endRepaired door

Friday 7th April 2000
I've spent another hour working on the rust at the back of the car. That rust convertor is a must have. It's amazing how new the metal looks when the Jenolite has dissolved all the rust spots away.

Collected the Mondeo, after paying a bill for £50. They didn't change the oil like they said they were going to do. I've now got a rubber T-Piece, with a huge whole in the side of it. Part number 7038378 "Tube-Crank.Vent". For the life of me I can't find the new pipe anywhere on the engine. I'm going to have a closer inspection at the weekend. I'll change the plug leads this morning, for the new ones that I had for Beccy. I'll let you know if she still has that cold start problem. Tomorrow I'll mostly be in the garage, spraying, rubbing down, spraying, rubbing down (get the picture?). And on Sunday, I'll be fitting the front wings permanently to the shell...
Thursday 6th April 2000
An overwelming response to the stickers giveaway. They'll be in the post next week. The Mondeo's in the garage this morning. She's got her original cold start problem back, which has started since the service two weeks ago. And she cuts out when I accelerate, which aint much fun. This Friday afternoon and all weekend are dedicated to getting the car finished for the respray. I'm determined to get her sprayed this month. I've been lazy recently. I've got to get her finished....
Thursday 6th April 2000 PM
Spent two hours working on the Fiesta. I've been treating surface rust on the back of the car and I've removed the rubber stops, from the shell, where the rear tailgate rests, and also the air-vents from either side of the rear door.

Sandicliffe, my Ford dealer, says that the engine started first time this morning. They reckon that there is a split hose on the rear of the engine. Something to do with the emission system? They're going to change it. And they reckon that a full engine diagnostic, taking half an hour, highlighted a fault with the water temperature sensor. An argument then ensued, in that I changed the sensor only last year, and they couldn't provide me with a printout from their super duper £17000 diagnostics system, to prove that this was coming up as an error. (It is in fact a code that says that the sensor has at some time in the past been short circuited. There's nothing wrong with the sensor.)

And they want to charge me half an hours labour for the honour! I've asked them to change the oil, as the service manager, Colin, yesterday said that they'd change it for free. Guess what? He hadn't told the workshop. I'm beginning to loose my patience. The engine cut-out fault developed immediately after the last service, and I've got to pay for them to fix it? What a money spinner? I cant wait to see the so-called 'split pipe' tomorrow. Am I alone in suffering from this 'sticky-valve' problem? No. I've now heard from two other Zetec owners that their engines exhibit exactly the same symptons. I wonder if www.blueovalnews.com have heard of this?