OUR CARS: Mk1 Fiesta
It’s all go for Mike as he steams ahead with the Mk1’s latest revamp in time for the shows.
With the compound turbo set-up in, Mike turns his attention to the interior.
Over the winter period the Fiesta ended up off the road and SORN’d to enable me to tinker with a few bits, and before I knew it I had sold all the supercharger parts and had fully committed to the compound turbo route.The more I dismantled the car the more areas I saw that needed improvements.
For example, as soon as the seats were removed I shipped them down to James at Raw-Hide Upholstery to have custom leather seat covers made up. These seats have always been as uncomfortable as they look, and despite this I want to keep them as they are the focal point of the interior. James has accepted the challenge to make them a little more bearable for longer drives and introduce a retro-race interior feel at the same time. I am eagerly awaiting James’s call saying they are done as the photos he has sent me so far of his progress are really impressive.
With the seats removed I also ripped out the rest of the interior to get to the bulkhead where I need to make brackets to mount my new Wilwood pedal box, and I will also use this opportunity to tidy some of the wiring up. I’ve also got to attack the bulkhead with a hole-saw to enable me to run boost pipes into the car and onto the charge-cooler. I have also made an aluminium gearshift tower that has swaged holes in to match the Kirkey seats. Alongside the gearshift tower, I am in the process of mounting an OBP hydraulic handbrake to aid launching at Santa Pod. I’ll admit the main reason is because it looks cool and it adds to the pub points!
The custom six-speed gearbox bearer has been cut and I’ve TIG welded it all up along with the driveshaft bracket and a new alternator mount. Stupidly I decided to lighten them by drilling loads of holes in the 5 mm steel as it weighed a fair bit. This proved to be a job I wish I never started as it turned into hours at the pillar drill with cutting fluid all over my shoes. The end result looks like Swiss cheese brackets with at least 30 per cent of the material removed. Time will tell if I have weakened it too much, but they are all noticeably lighter.
The best update has to be where I’ve finally offered up the two turbos and tubular manifold in the engine bay, and fitted the shiny new Tial external wastegate complete with screamer pipe. I’ve also made up some turbo support brackets that will mount onto the engine and the gearbox to help take some of the weight of the turbo unit off the manifold and give support from all the vibrations. Another addition to the engine bay is the coil-on-plug bracket. This was cut from 8 mm aluminium to hold Toyota Yaris coils and should provide a stronger spark for when we start pushing more boost through the engine.
Going for Gold
The best recent purchase has to be my new Gaz Gold coil-overs that came from Outlaw Motorsport. I placed the order with Steve and he was kind enough to send me out the set that he had lined up for his own project, as there was a wait list for new kits at the time. He was very helpful with speccing the right spring rates and heights and he even sorted me out with a pair of rear polybushed trailing arms to add to the rear suspension set-up. With regards to the exterior, I have taken the arches off the car with the intention of painting them body colour. On closer inspection I noticed how much work they needed before I painted them in a beige gloss finish. So as a starting point I have dusted them over in a white coat to highlight the issues whilst I prep them.
Another really big change is the wheels. I bought back the Graku split-rim centres then stripped and painted them silver. The dishes came from a Stephan Müller over in Germany and when they arrived I shipped them straight off to Voodoo Motorsport for kerbing repairs and a good polish. I have undertaken the polishing on previous sets of split-rims I’ve owned but with all the hours I invest in them I can never get the same lustre that Voodoo Motorsport can achieve.
When I collected the dishes I knew straight away I had made the right choice in getting them done by the professionals. They look better than new and this encouraged me to get them rebuilt and back on the car as soon as I physically could. Don’t get me wrong, I did like the Turbofan wheels I had on it before, but these I feel are better suited to the car’s era and everyone knows you have to change it all to keep people guessing, plus it gives me something to do!
“THE GRAKU SPLIT RIMS ARE MUCH BETTER SUITED TO THE FIESTA’S ERA”
Mike’s bought back his old Graku split-rim centres, painting them silver and adding new outer rims from Germany.
The dash is out to cut out holes in the bulkhead to allow the boost pipes to run inside the car...
Mike’s still sorting out the engine bay layout after installing the compound turbo set-up, though he’s got distracted with other areas of the car.
Arches are being prepped and painted ready for the shows.
Outlaw Motorsport’s trailing arms to go on.
Gearbox mount and brackets now third lighter.
Split-rims polished up by Voodoo Motorsport.