April 2009

Wednesday 29th April 2009
Stripped the Quaife gearbox down last night to remove the LSD, and then re-assembled it for the new owner. I just need to remove the 3.857:1 ring gear from the LSD, and then the LSD is ready to go in to the new sequential box. I've updated the Gearbox page, to show a pictorial of how to strip the Quaife BC box down. It should be used in conjunction with the Haynes manual for the Mk2 Fiesta. I'll add some words later. I've started making enquiries for a quote for a complete exhaust system for the Fiesta. She's ready for the system, and I need the space in the garage so I can finally get round to painting the garage floor. A painted floor helps reduce dust and grit, is cleaner to lie on, and looks more professional too.

Tuesday 28th April 2009
Finished the engine steady bar last night, and its now on the engine, and the engine doesn't move at all. I then set about removing the driveshaft from the outer CV joint on the drivers side, so I can measure the length of the new shaft, and its not a particularly easy thing to do with the shaft/CV on the car. So I removed them and tried again with the drive shaft in the vice, and after 20 mins, gave up. I'll try again. Its a simple enough job. Open the circlip, and pull out the shaft. Easier said than done.

Removed the end casing from the Quaife BC box, and pulled the fifth gear off using a gear puller. This will allow me to remove the LSD tonight, and the box can then be collected by its new owner. The LSD is going in to the new sequential box, which should be available May/June with luck.

Once the drive shaft is measured, I can get the exhaust system made for the Fiesta, so I'm open to suggestion as to who to go to for this next part of the project. Simpson, BTB, Pumaspeed? Any suggestions?

Friday 24th April 2009
I'm pleased to announce today, that www.kustomengineering.com are new sponsors of my Fiesta. Karl Hacken at Kustom Engineering has supplied a complete alloy rear end for the XR2, weighing in at a total of 1135 grammes. The two link arms (280g each), and the panhard rod (575g), are made from aluminium tube, and are supplied with LH and RH threaded Alloy rod ends (66g each). The finish is excellent. And I have to say a really big Thankyou to Karl. The quality of workmanship is as good as I've ever seen for professionally made aftermarket parts, and the weight saving over the Trans Auto Sport all-steel parts I'm replacing will be known in a few weeks time, after I've had a chance to swap the parts over. It must be at least a couple of Kgs.

More exciting still, is that Kustom Engineering are also supplying a new, lightweight, adjustable front end, to replace the Rutland setup. Karl is a full time chassis / suspension designer, and we've been discussing requirements and designs for several months now, involving other Fiesta owners too, so the end product is going to be a very worthwhile wait, and it should help extend the life of the Mk1 Fiesta even further, which is the most important point of all of the modifications that we do to our cars.
Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts Kustom Engineering suspension parts

Thursday 23rd April 2009
I've made the stabiliser bracket for the back of the block, and just need to make a U bracket to fit on the steering rack mounting point. I've sold the ST150 Power Steering pump, and also the Duratec alternator bracket and Suzuki Samurai alternator, to a fellow Midland Speed Championship member, so its gone to a very good home. I've been off work all week with a viral throat infection, which resulted in debilitating four day long headache, and flu-like symptons, including a sore throat from hell, but I'm feeling better today, so I'll try to get the bracket finished and the tie bar completed. I'm between contracts this week, so the time off hasn't cost me any money, but I had so much planned.

My new rear suspension links have arrived from the USA. I'll collect them from work this morning, and will post pictures today. They're made from aluminium and should save a lot of weight over the old TAS steel trailing arms and panhard rod.

Speaking to Quaife last week about the final drive for the new gearbox. As I now have an upper RPM limit of around 8000rpm, I may run a lower final drive, which would mean a same theoretical top speed of around 130MPH, and the same speeds between gears that I had with the BC box. I'll decide for sure by the weekend.

Thursday 16th April 2009
The 2mm steel plate I ordered from Ebay has arrived, so I've set about mocking up the rear engine steady bar bracket. I'll actually use 3mm sheet for the real bracket, as the 2mm steel is a bit too flexible, but at least the 2mm is easier to work with and aids prototyping. I wish I had a guillotine though. Cutting the metal out is the most laborious of all the jobs in the workshop. The bracket will bolt directly to the engine block, and the tie bar will then join the block to the front bulkhead, via a steering rack mounting point, using an additional U bracket to connect the tie bar to the body shell.

Below are some shots of the BC output flange from the gearbox, compared along side the IB5+ Duratec intermediate shaft, and you should be able to see the size difference, particularly with the internals of both flanges. The IB5+ uses larger tri-lobe bearings, which is why I'm going to upgrade mine. As soon as the engine steady bar bracket is finished, I'll measure up the length of the new driveshaft, and get it ordered.
Output flange Output flange Output flange Engine bay shots Engine bay shots
Sunday 12th April 2009
I posted the Fiesta Centre 5speed fitting kit (10Kg) and the XR2 engine cradle (9Kg) in the last couple of days, therefore the weight I'm removing from the car is quickly adding up. Although I wasn't using the Fiesta Centre kit, the cradle was used with the Zetec, and that represents a good saving (9Kg) in my books. I wonder why no one has looked at making an tubular, alloy, engine cradle for the Fiesta?

My contract at work has been renewed for another 6 months, for which I'm very grateful in the present economic climate. At least this means I can complete the Duratec install. Target date for completion is Ford Fair at Silverstone, in August 2009.
Wednesday 8th April 2009
Last night I fitted the 275lb springs to the front shockers and refitted the front suspension, driveshafts and brakes. And the XR2 is now back on its wheels, having sat on axle stands since last August. I always forget how low it sits. Needless to say, the Duratec looks at home in the engine bay, and there's loads more ground clearance than I ever had with the Zetec in there. Dont forget that there is a webcam in the garage, so you can get sneek peeks of the progress.

I spoke to Recoprop yesterday, and they couldn't recommend shortening a hardened drive shaft. So instead, I'll measure up the new length, and get some quotes for a new shortened shaft to be made.

I sold the Fiesta Centre front suspension on ebay yesterday, and the XR2 engine cradle, both of which went for good prices.
Tuesday 7th April 2009
I've had to re-fit the intermediate drive shaft on the back of the Duratec block. I've realised that the output flange from the ST150 IB5+ box is even larger than the BC flange. I'm going to have to use the IB5+ flanges, because of the design of the shoulder/step where they locate in the end of the gearbox. It's different to the BC flange, with a shorter shoulder machined on the output shaft, and when the Quaife box arrives, I must use the appropriate parts to avoid fatigue/failure and to not void any warranties.

The IB5+ flange also uses a different tri-lobe joint. It appears to use larger bearings than the BC tri-lobe joints, So I'll have the long drive shaft I used on the Zetec, shortened for use with the ST150 intermediate shaft. And I'll change both tri-lobe joints for the later Fiesta Mk6 type.

Saturday 4th April 2009
The S80Pro arrived on Monday, with both connectors, and a very comprehensive set of wiring diagrams, and manual. I've sold the DTA E48 on ebay, for a good price, though the buyer is now saying he didn't want to pay what he offered, so I fear a dispute is in the off'ing.

I've been working on an engine stabiliser mounting bracket this week, to fit on the rear of the engine. The stabiliser bar needs to be horizontal, otherwise the engine will be forced to move upwards/downwards, which is what I want to avoid. So I'm making a plate for the rear that the stabiliser will mount on to, using M10 rod ends and aluminium bar (as before).

Oh and I've a buyer lined up for the Quaife SCCR B5/BC gearbox too, just waiting for the cheque to arrive and clear before arranging collection.

And I've a new front suspension in the pipeline, coming from a professional suspension designer, from the USA. The Rutland setup will be swapped out for a far stronger setup, which should also be lighter. Keep checking the site for more updates. My old Fiesta Centre 5speed fitting kit and tie bars etc, are on Ebay at the moment, as is my XR2 engine cradle and loads of other performance parts. Check out the Parts For Sale page for the Ebay links.