March 2002

Easter Sunday 31st March 2002
I've sorted the gear linkage out. I went to see Sean Keeling of FiestaWorld at Kirkby in Ashfield (Mob: 07901 980789) yesterday morning, and he sold me a Mk3 linkage for £20, together with two brand new Mk2 XR2 door mirrors. I fitted the linkage straight on to the car this afternoon, adjusted the linkage by following the procedure in the Haynes manual, and I've now got a smooth as silk gear change, I can get all five forward gears and reverse. Nice one, thanks Sean. The linkage is exactly the same length as the one from the Mk1/Mk2 Fiesta, so theres nothing to modify to get it to fit. It really does bolt straight on. I'd already modified the floor pan of the car to take the Mk2 remote housing, as the Mk1 housing doesn't bolt directly to the floor like the Mk2/3 does. All you have to do is drill four small holes in the floor pan, around the hole where the gear lever comes up through the floor, so that the four bolts sticking up from the new linkage housing, can pass up through the floor, so you can then secure it with four nuts. So straight forward you wouldn't believe it! The Mk1 Fiesta linkage is supported by rubber mounts, which bolt to the floor on either side of the hole in the floor, and the later Mk2/3 linkages bolt directly to the floor, as mentioned above. I've put the Momo gear knob back on again, and it feels brilliant.

With the car on the trailer, I'm able to get underneath to finish painting the underside of the car. I'd missed a couple of bits, so I was out with the Dinitrol this afternoon, finishing it off. Looks nice.

The new mirrors need the supporting plates on the inside of the doors, from a Mk2 Fiesta, so I'll go to the Ford dealers on Tuesday to see if I can order some. Unfortunately the holes in the doors don't quite match the pitch of the bolts on the Mk2 mirrors, although I was informed otherwise, so I need to drill a new mounting hole each side and fill the old hole with a rubber grommet.

The Interactive feature on the Sky Digital F1 channel didn't work at all today. Apparently, Sky are refunding the £12 to all subscribers. I should think so too.
Saturday 30th March 2002
I've booked the rolling road session for the Fiesta. I will be at **** on Friday 5th April, from 9AM. They're on Rothersthorpe Industrial Estate, just off Jct 15A of the M1. Looks like I'm going to be there most of the day.

Also, the photo shoot with Performance Ford magazine will take place the following week, at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, in Leicestershire.

The rolling road session probably won't be too exciting, but the photo shoot will finally give me the chance I've been waiting for, to stretch her legs. As long as she survives the rolling road session of course...

Does anyone have a remote gearchange mechanism they'd like to sell me? Must be in new/v.good condition. Let me know if you can help! I've tried rebuilding mine over and over, but its too worn to work properly. I need one from either a Mk3 Fiesta or Mk3/Mk4 Escort.

Watched the new ITV F1 Digital coverage yesterday. Not impressed. The Interactive Feature was unavailable due to technical reasons. If its not working today I'll ask for my £12 back. Still, it was nice to watch the debut of the new Ferrari and to see some of the Practice session live from Brazil.
Got the new trailer
Wednesday 27th March 2002
Stripped the gear change linkage down this evening. Its supposed to spring load the lever in to the center, but only appears to be working in one direction. I've taken it apart this evening, but it doesn't look like I can get it to work. I bought it from the Fiesta Centre some time ago, as a 2nd hand unit, and to be honest, its pretty knackered. I'll have a browse of the local breakers over the Easter hols and try to get one off a Mk4 Escort instead.

Heres a picture of the Fessie on the new trailer, a la wide angle lense.
Got the new trailer
Tuesday 26th March 2002
Got the new trailer! I only ordered it yesterday lunch time, and Woodford Trailers delivered the latest "Lightweight Trailer" to my house at 13:30 today. So this evening I reversed the Fiesta out of the garage, turned her round, and reversed her back to the garage entrance. Then we winched the car on to the trailer, and pushed the trailer back in to the garage, and reversed it in over the step with the Mondeo. Its a very tight squeeze. Theres about a ½" each side, but it does go in, and the garage door shuts too!

Isn't it nice to be able to buy something from a company that actually delivers what it promises. Thanks to Woodford Trailers at Woodford nr Daventry. Nice one! Its probably the single most expensive item I've bought so far, but having my own twin axle trailer means I can go out whenever I want. Now, Performance Ford are asking again about the photo-shoot for their June magazine....

And it was great to drive her again. I'd not realised quite how low I'd got the driving position. It's like driving a touring car. I just need some mirrors so I can see the sides of the car. Ideal for clipping kerbs and getting those apexes just right.
Sunday 24th March 2002
Ran the engine today. First time since December 2001. Took some persuasion to start, but when she bursts in to life it reminds me how satisfying it was to get her running for the first time. She's loud, and I held it at about 6000 rpm for about a minute to clear the cobwebs, once she had warmed up of course, and it just sounded gorgeous. 8)

I made and fitted some aluminium plates to cover the holes in the rear seat squab. I'd cut some holes to allow me to inspect the chassis when I first started the 'restoration' project some 7 years ago.

Friday 22nd March 2002
I've written a new Gearbox Guide page. This shows the different types of gearboxes available from Ford, most of which can be made to fit the Zetec engine, via use of the correct bellhousing etc. Check out the Gearbox Guide

Modified the TAS rod end bushes to reduce their width by 10mm. Removed the black paint(?) from the panhard rod, and sprayed with zinc primer and black stone chip paint. Re-assembled and bolted it to the car. Now I can actually drive the car. I'll order a trailer next week, delivery is two weeks, and when it arrives I can book the rolling road tune-up, and some test sessions. I'll also be ordering a fire extinguisher system which is highly recommended, especially with the high fuel pressures involved with fuel injection.

Received the regs for the sprint at Hethel on May 19th. Its £80 to enter! Hethel is the test track that Lotus Cars uses. By all accounts its quite a circuit, but I think I'll leave it for next year.

I'm on some even bigger tablets now. 650mg of anti-biotics, three times a day, and 400mg of Nurofen four times a day. I can't open my jaw much at all now. Eating is so frustrating. Even sneezing is a challenge. Hope this thing clears up soon. I can't even get a crash helmet on! How desperate is that?
Wednesday 20th March 2002
And today, on Trans Auto Sport challenge, we have to find out the best way of fitting the panhard rod, when the spacers that are supplied are 20mm too thick! Yes, the spacers that fit either side of the rod ends, add up to a width of 54mm, when infact the brackets on the axle and boot floor are at best, 34mm wide. I really don't believe it. Time to get the hacksaw out, and lop 10mm off each spacer.

Ordered some different coloured .com stickers today. Check the merchandise page out for the new colours, available in a week or so.
Monday 18th March 2002
Just returned from a very unpleasant 1 week holiday in Tunisia. Unpleasant because I had an abscess in a tooth, so I spent an agonising 5 days in great discomfort, and even though I went to the dentists yesterday, and he drilled a great big hole in the tooth to let it drain, and I'm on anti-biotics large enough to kill a horse, I'm still suffering from a swollen jaw and neck, and I can't open my mouth more than 15mm. Very unpleasant. Eating is very difficult and a slow and painful process.

Still, the panhard rod has returned from TAS, 50mm shorter, and I will attach it to the car just as soon as I'm well enough to recommence work.
Sunday 3rd March 2002
Nothing much to report. Putting a sponsorship proposal package together at the moment. I need someone to pay for my entry fees and fuel costs for travelling to events, and I've an opportunity to get some support from a few new sources. Watch this space for more details.

Jim Hearne's page on how to put the Zetec in to a Mk2 Fiesta is coming along in leaps and bounds. Check out his site for more details @

Just updated the Zetec Register with some more readers cars from around the world

Oh, and no Panhard Rod from TAS yet...