March 2013


I removed all the front suspension on Sunday afternoon, and disconnected the oil lines, gearbox cables, and last of the wires from the engine. All I need to do now is remove the exhaust and the engine can come out. I need to measure up the gearbox and engine for a longitudinal brace, that will act as the lower engine mount, before I take them out the car, which shouldnt take too long to do. This will replace the troublesome gearbox link that I'd used to steady the engine. There's too much torque for the drop link to work and its a very harsh gearchange, which I'm hoping will be smoothed out by using a brace/cradle. I've just spent another week working in Berlin, and I'm returning to the UK this afternoon. Its a bit of a pain being away from home so much, but the work is very rewarding so I cant really complain. The Supertech pistons have arrived from the USA and I'll get to see them this weekend. The Subaru started on Monday morning without even as much as a misfire, so that could be the BG244 starting to work. I'll see this afternoon when I dig the car out of the snow from Birmingham airport if she's as willing to start, having stood for four days. I missed the sprint at Mallory park on Sunday, and opted for two hours in the garage, simply because of the snow and rain. Spectating or Garage? It wasn't a difficult decision.


I've been joined in Class 4E in the Service Hydraulics speed championship by a Mini Clubman. I hope we get to have a scrap at some events this year. Its the first round this weekend at Mallory Park, which I intend to go along a watch. My first event this year wont be until early summer, once I've put the car back together again.


The Fessie is now jacked up, on axle stands, with just the front suspension and exhaust system to remove and I can lower the engine and gearbox to the ground. I actually use a wooden trolley to transport the engine & box, which means raising the car high enough to clear the top of the engine once its sat on the trolley. I'll take some time lapse pics when I set about dropping the engine out. I've treated the fuel in the Subaru Diesel to a can of BG244. This may cure the cold start lumpy tickover issue which is worst when the car has been left standing overnight and there's a frost in the morning. I've done 90 miles so far, with little/no sign of improvement. We'll soon see if this stuff is as good as the manufacturer claims. The cure may be to fit new glow plugs, but they're around £30 each, plus the time it takes to swap them out. I'll report back on any progress with the BG244 in the next few weeks.

Karl Hackens Mk1 Fiesta is not only featured in this months Classic Ford magazine, but its also on the front cover. Karl started his Duratec conversion around the same time as me, and although my Duratec engined car was featured in classic ford back in 2008, there's very few Mk1s I know of who have taken the Duratec plunge in the past 5 years. I wonder why that is. They're a better engine than the Zetec, with far more tuning potential. One reason may be lack of off the shelf parts according to Classic Ford, but Karl has made a set of engine mounts for the Duratec, so these will ease the burden of anyone following in our footsteps.

Speaking of which, the Pistons are now on their way from the States, courtesey of Mark Porter. I'm having difficulty in deciding where to place the electric water pump. Ideally it needs to be level with the bottom of the radiator, adjacent to the thermostat housing. This is so the weight of the water keeps any air out from the pump impeller, so the pump is always primed. There's precious little room at that corner of the engine, without getting the radiator shortened by about 6", and if I'm going to do that, I may as well get a new rad made as I'd like to reduce its height by 2" to give me more clearance around the throttle body airhorns. But then the existing radiator fans would no longer fit as they'd be too tall. More thought is required before I jump to any decisions.


I removed the radiator and throttle body trumpets on Saturday. I spent a few hours before hand, tidying the workshop and garage of all the junk accumulated since Octobers outing to Santa Pod. The front airdam and aluminium radiator grill are safely up in the garage roof space, and I threw a load of junk out too. Now I have room to swing a cat, I'll crack on with removing the engine and gearbox. When the engine is out I'm going to fit an electric water pump to the car. This will allow me to remove the tensioner pulley, mechanical pump and run a short belt direct to the alternator from the crank pulley.