May 2002

Saturday 25th May 2002
I'm now a fully paid up member of fordsport, my hosts during the FITP show last week.

I've added a hires image page to the picture gallery. Click on the image below to see the new page.

Tuesday 21st May 2002
As promised, here are the pictures from the FITP show at the weekend. I'd have taken more, only the batteries in the camera gave out!
FITP 2002 - Awarded Best Fiesta of the Day FITP 2002 - Awarded Best Fiesta of the Day FITP 2002 - Awarded Best Fiesta of the Day FITP 2002 - Awarded Best Fiesta of the Day FITP 2002 - Awarded Best Fiesta of the Day
Monday 20th May 2002
Hello to everyone who came to see the Fiesta yesterday at FITP. We had a very busy day, the flow of people around the car never really eased, and everyone seemed impressed in the quality of the work I've done. So much so that we won an award. I didn't realise that there were any awards on the day, but there were, and we won the Best Fiesta of the Day, and I now have a trophy sitting on the TV at home. A very big thankyou to everyone at Fordsport, such an enthusiastic and friendly bunch of guys, and to the Fiesta Club of Great Britain for putting on such a brilliant show. I was planning on making this the one and only time that Beccy was going to be shown, but theres something called Ford Fair later on in the year, and I'm quite tempted to take her along to that too. I took a few photos of the day, and I'll post these later this week.

So whats next? Well, she is finally finished, and now the development work begins. The car is sitting in the garage, and I can set about sorting out the toe in, and the sticky brakes, and the handbrake needs a tweak too. I need to get some track time sorted out at either Mallory Park or Bruntingthorpe, so I'll get on with fixing the problems, and I'll keep you posted with the details of when I finally get to give her a shakedown.
Saturday 18th May 2002
My Mondeo (Contour) has her MOT this morning. I changed the oil on her last weekend, and had a new Ford exhaust system fitted in readiness. Fingers crossed she passes with no major problems.

I think I've sorted the cooling problems out. We won't see until I get her out on the track in a few weeks for testing, but the modifications I've made to the body shell to allow more air in through the radiator, and replacing the thermostat with a new one, should make her run a lot cooler. I've also changed the oil for some fresh 0W40 Mobil 1. I use a Capri 2.8 V6 oil filter on the remote filter housing. Its a much bigger filter than you'd normally use on a Zetec, and by using a bigger filter, it extends the life of the oil, and increases the amount of oil that circulates around the engine, again extending the life of the oil.

So she's all ready for the Fiesta in the Park show tomorrow. I'll be on the Ford Sport stand all day, so if you want to come and say hello, just look out for the bright red Mk1 Fiesta with the Piper Cams sun strip. I'll have plenty of stickers with me, so you can show your support for and buy some at discounted prices. Hope to see you there.

FITP this year is being held at Wicksteed Park, Kettering on Sunday 19th May. Just follow the brown tourism signs for Wicksteed Park, from the Kettering ring road.

BTW I've still not received a reply from Hi Spec regarding the maximum operating pressures of the front calipers. Another supplier that advertises an email address, yet doesn't check their mail maybe?
Friday 17th May 2002
I've just bought a Nintendo Gamecube, with Star Wars Rogue Leader and Luigi's Mansion. WOW, awesome graphics. Nintendo once again leaps ahead of the opposition with the stunning little box of tricks.
Sunday 12th May 2002
Drilled some large holes in the front of the car, and opened out the slots as shown in the picture below. Took the thermostat out and dropped it in boiling water, and found that it doesn't open very far, so I'll get another one. These two mods should improve the cooling problem that we had on Wednesday.

I think I've found the cause of the sticking front brakes. The bias box has both master cylinders mounted vertically, and their input shafts are connected together by a threaded rod, which is adjusted using a cable adjuster mounted on the steering column. If you look at the photograph, you can see that with the bias wound to the front brakes, the input shaft on the front master cylinder is pushed up by the bias adjuster. This means two things. One, with the shaft in the position it's in, the fluid isn't allowed to travel back through the cylinder in to the reservoir, which makes the front brakes lock on. The second effect is that there isn't much piston travel left, to actually produce the hydraulic pressure required to operate the front brakes, which is why they feel so wooden.

I've emailed HiSpec to see what the Maximum Operating Pressure of their alloy 4 pot calipers is, as I'm using a 0.625" cylinder, and this may not be producing anywhere near enough pressure to operate the front brakes efficiently. Also, I need to talk to TAS about their bias box, as I can't use it in it's current configuration. A design fault? Maybe. Maybe I need to 'adjust' the adjustment out? I'll keep you posted....
New cooling holes Lopsided bias
Wednesday 8th May 2002
Crunch time! Rolling road visit at Owen Developments today! After spending 2 hours on the rolling road, and one loose water hose later, and I've some work to do cleaning the engine bay in time for FITP on the 19th of May. The hose had been disturbed when I took the engine out last week, and I'd only tightened the jubilee clip up to stop the hose from falling off. Not tight enough for an engine pulling 7000 rpm! Boom, water and steam everywhere. Never mind. We reconnected the hose, refilled the rad, checked the other hoses, and then continued with the tune-up.

The good news is that after a first power run in fourth gear, she topped out at 170 BHP at 6200 rpm. Some slight adjustments to weaken the mixture, and the next power run saw a jaw dropping

178 BHP at 6243 RPM
152 ft/lb at 5750 RPM

Power graph
Click on the graph to see a larger version

I've a few things left to do now to get her fully sorted. I need to check the thermostat is opening, as the engine temperature was all over the place. The radiator is large enough, but theres not enough air flowing through it, so I need to cut some holes in the front under the grill, to let the air through. The front brakes are sticking on. We had to release one of the brake pipes to release the pressure, and the brakes then stopped binding against the front disks. And I need to check the oil level in the gearbox, as she lost quite a lot through one of the oil seals where the drive shaft comes out the side of the box. Must have been damaged when then box was rebuilt. Simple job, just means getting a bit mucky thats all.

Aside from a few development problems that I was expecting, I'm really pleased with the power figures. Who would guess that you can squeeze almost 180 BHP from a completely bog standard 2.0 Zetec? I'm going out to celebrate.
On the rollers Adjusting the fuel map Ready to go home again
Sunday PM 5th May 2002
Well, she started first time with the green injectors. Obviously the blue ones weren't suited to the map in the ECU as starting from cold normally took half a dozen or more attempts to coax her in to life. I've left the existing map in the ECU, and I'll take the new one with me on Wednesday. The crank sensor position in the new map is 90°, whereas the actual sensor position should be 72°, so all the timing figures are 18° out to compensate. Maybe this is the practice of some rolling road operators. I'll find out on Wednesday. It probably doesn't make an ounce of difference, but we'll soon see. Whatever, if she produces anything close to 150 BHP at the wheels, I'm going to have a huge grin on my face!

Ran the engine up to temperature, and then gave the car a wash (first time in 7 years that I've washed the Fiesta! Thats how long she's been off the road) and put her back on the trailer, and reversed the whole lot in to the garage. I just need to tighten one exhaust bracket ready for Wednesday.

The Kit Car show was well attended. I bought the grommets that I wanted. Took some pictures too. These are called Ultima's, and are manufactured in the UK as a kit so you assemble the car yourself. Imagine rolling one of these out of the garage on a sunny Sunday morning! Ford V8 powered too. Nice.

Ultima kit car Ultima kit car Ultima kit car Ultima kit car Ultima kit car
Sunday AM 5th May 2002
Almost finished. Just need to fit the radiator today, and start the engine. Covered in scratches and bruises. I'm keeping everything crossed that the gearbox doesn't do this again, as the prospect of dropping the engine and gearbox out again is more than I can cope with at the moment.

I've fitted an extra engine stabiliser bar. It runs from the front bulkhead to the back of the block, just below the cylinder head. Rubber mounting on one end, and track rod end on the other.

The new green injectors (IW031's) are now fitted, and as luck would have it, I've been sent a map for an engine of identical specification to mine (cheers Adrian ). They managed to squeeze 150 BHP at the wheels out of the engine at a rolling road session last month! So I'll back my existing map up, and download the new one today. I just have to make a couple of changes to it. ie use AUX2 to operate the radiator fan between 90° and 100 ° C etc, and it should run. If I keep to this map, then the rolling road session on Wednesday will be extremely short, saving me lots of money! Now, if only I could get the rain clouds to stay away too. Anyone have a spell for sunny weather?

We're off to the Kit-Car show today. It's at Stoneleigh, in Warwickshire. I'm after a few more stainless fasteners and rubber grommets, and anything else that jumps out at me. Bought a brand new Mk1 rear axle last year (now fitted to the car) so it'll be interesting to see what I spot this time. Jim Hearne should be there with his fantastic Quantum ZVH Turbo, which I've not seen for about 8 months. Its been trimmed inside and is about 99% complete now. It even has an MP3 player built in to the dash board!
Friday 3rd May 2002
Engine and gearbox are now back in the car. All I have left to do is re-fit the suspension, drive shafts, exhaust, wiring loom, injection system and radiator and she'll be ready to go again. I want to get her back on the trailer, and keep the whole lot in the garage, as before, as the trailer is getting in the way on the drive.
Wednesday 1st May 2002
Now I can reveal what the problem was on Friday, that prevented me from changing gear. I removed the engine and gearbox over Monday/Tuesday evening, and this morning set off for Sevenoaks in Kent, to take the gearbox back to Quaife for a technical inspection. 2 hours later, I was presented with a small cardboard box full of bits. As you can see from the photo, one of the three metal lugs that forms part of the syncro ring, had broken (it should be straight), and had jammed the gearbox in 3rd gear. On the photo you can see the broken bit, A, and the brass ring, B, which has lost a tooth, and the syncro ring C, which the two other items are part of. No wonder when I drained the oil on Tuesday evening, it had a fine layer of brass flecks sitting on the bottom of the tray. Quaife say that they've never seen this happen before. Indeed, it would appear impossible for the metal lug to bend, particularly in the direction that it has. I'm praying that the tooth that was sheared off met a swift ending, and didn't do any harm to the LSD or any other parts. I guess I was just incredibly unlucky, and that it was a fluke. I'm so relieved that it wasn't anything that I'd done wrong. I dread to think what the bill would have been, had the broken lug worked its way out of the syncro gear, and in to the rest of the gearbox. Phew.

So a huge Thankyou to Andy Chivers at Quaife for the fantastic level of service that I received. A two hour turn round, plus the 6 hour trip for me, and by 14:00 hrs I was back at home, refilling the gearbox with new fully synthetic gearbox oil, ready to put the whole lot back in the car. Removing the engine used to be a fairly easy job. But with all the bits I've added over the past twelve months, it certainly isn't a five minute job any longer. Whilst the engine is out, I'll add some clips to hold the brake pipes in place, and I'll give the alternator mounting bracket a 2nd look, as its the first time I've seen the alternator on the engine, with the engine out the car. Just another 7 hours, and I'll have everything bolted back in, and the engine running again. I was hoping for a quiet week this week. So far its been anything but.
Broken bits inside the gearbox