April 2011

Friday 29th April 2011
Lots of progress over the past few days. I've repaired the crack to the chassis rail, and reinforced the chassis using 3mm mild steel plate, which is now welded to the inner wing. The original steel is quite thin in places, which is the only issue with running a 28 year old shell, but this repair should see her through the next ten years or so.

I've also welded gusset strips to the TCA box section, to join the box to the chassis rail. Again, 3mm mild steel has been used. The process of priming and spraying the areas has already begun.

The Titan ultralight flywheel has also turned up from www.raceline.co.uk. It only weighs 3.7KG and it the lightest flywheel I've ever held. I've also opted for an 8.5" AP Racing clutch and cover, and a set of ARP flywheel bolts. The next task is to split the engine and box, and change the flywheel over.

And the suspension has finally arrived at the Leicester Parcel Force depot, having spent four days in customs at Heathrow. Just waiting for confirmation that I can collect it.

Tuesday 26th April 2011
Removed the engine and gearbox, but discovered a crack in the drivers side front chassis rail where I'd box sectioned the rail to clear the crank shaft pulley. Easy repair, but it means having to do some welding to add some steel back in to re-inforce the section. At least Karls new suspension comes with braces, to re-inforce the front cross member. It looks like years of running with 170BHP has taken its toll and I'm glad I had to remove the engine and box to change the flywheel otherwise I'd have missed the crack.
Saturday 23rd April 2011
Lots more progress this week. The gearlever tower is now bolted to the floor, and the Quaife gearlever is bolted to the top of the tower. The gear cable is now fully built, after Quaife sent me the missing threaded barrel, and if I'm careful I can select all gears whilst sat in the car. I'm now in the process of fitting the gear position indicator to the car, and I just need to feed it with a +12V supply, and connect the display to the rotary position sensor on the gearbox in order for the display to give me a readout showing what gear I'm in.

Karl has finished the new front suspension, and it has been posted to me from the USA. I expect to recieve it next week. Raceline hadn't received the Titan ultralight flywheel when I spoke to Chris on Weds, but I'm expecting a call next week confirming its in, and ready to be shipped to me. In the mean time, I'll drop the engine and box out again ready to change the flywheel and clutch.

And I took a trip over to National Tyres in Leicester on Tuesday, to return the damaged Avon tyre to Cooper Tire Ltd, for inspection. I'm expecting them to say that the damage occured over several thousand miles, therefore the Subaru dealer did miss it on the 36,000 mile service.

Finally, here is a video update showing the latest modifications.

Sunday 17th April 2011
Couple of developments this week. I've been looking at replacing the flywheel and clutch, and have contacted a couple of companies for prices. I've decided to go with the Superlight Titan flywheel, with 8.5" clutch and uprated cover, from Raceline. The Titan f/w only weighs in at 3.7Kg, so that should shave a bit more weight off the Fiesta.

The replacement gear selector cable has arrived from Quaife (Thanks to Quaife for the fast turnaround). It is 68" long, which is the optimum length to reach the gearbox without having lots of excess cable sitting in the engine bay.

And Altiss.com finished the gear lever tower for me yesterday. Nigel has made it from Aluminium and the TiG welding is the usual high standard. It stands at 5" tall, and should place the gearlever knob level with the steering wheel. I'll fit it over the coming week. Obviously, a new flywheel will mean removing the engine and box again, but this shouldn't take more than a day to swap the bits over and re-fit the engine.

On the suspension front, Karl is making the braces this weekend, and I've had to supply dimensions to allow Karl to bend the braces to clear the underside of the Duratec sump and the Quaife gearbox.

Sunday 10th April 2011
I've finished off the steady bar bracket for the gearbox. I fabricated a steel U bracket from a section of 1.25" steel box tubing. On Friday I welded this to the floor, on the double skinned box section that runs across the width of the engine bay. Then I made a new steady bar, from a length of steel tube that I welded two M10 nuts on to the ends, then ground down and sprayed with black gloss paint. Finally, I've primed and sprayed the welded bracket in gray primer then in gloss black, and the steady bar is now ready for fitting.

Initially, it feels with the steady bar attached, to have made the engine absolutely rock solid. Previously I had relied on a bar on the back of the Duratec block, and one at the top of the gearbox, but I feel confident enough to remove both of those, and run now with just the gearbox steady bar.

Tuesday 5th April 2011
Some pictures of the lower rear gearbox mount, now fitted on the Fiesta. And a picture of a German Mk1 with the same body kit, but sitting on much wider rubber, a look I'd like to achieve with my Fiesta. I just need to revisit the rear arches to half tub them first.

Sunday 3rd April 2011
Gearbox/Engine steady bar is done, and fitted to the car. I just need to fabricate and weld some brackets to the engine bay floor to connect the gearbox to. I've also refitted the exhaust, and added some more Cool-it thermal protection to the tunnel, beneath the hole left from the original gearlever mounts.
Friday 1st April 2011
Quaife have received the shifter cable I returned yesterday. They confirmed that it was 2M long, and are ordering me a shorter one.

I've taken the gear lever base over to Altiss, so Nigel can fabricate me an alloy tower to raise the height of the gear lever by five inches.

The lower Mk6/Mk7 gearbox steady bracket I bought on Ebay has arrived, and I'm working on fitting it to the car, to replace the two rear engine mounts. Pictures to follow.

I've sold the two unequal length axle bars, for £250, and they're now on the way to their new owner in Tottenham (London).