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MK2 XR2 Zetec Track Car Project Diary

Jamie Rigby

Author: Jamie Rigby | Photographer: Jamie Rigby

A new Fiesta XR2

I bought this Mk2 XR2 on Saturday, its had front wings replaced, new ford bonnet and a total respray and undersealed last year so its mint! 12 months MOT 6 months tax along with a full engine re-build and restoration last summer.

fiesta xr2 tailgate decal tasman blue xr2 with pepperpots xr2 parked on a private road fiesta rear quarter view xr2 viewed from rear quarter xr2 cvh fitted with zx7r carbs fiesta xr2 engine bay 1989 xr2 engine bay xr2 interior and dashboard

Spec is as follows


  1. 1600 8v CVH
  2. Kawasaki 40mm Keihin zx7r carbs
  3. Ported head
  4. Kent CVH22 cam
  5. Heatwrapped Janspeed manifold
  6. Yamaha R1 fuel pump


  1. Gaz Gold coilovers fully height and damper adjustable
  2. Fully Polybushed throughtout
  3. 13" pepperpots
  4. Budget tyres y0
  5. Standard brakes


  1. Standard Full Re-spray!


  1. Standard! (not for long)


  1. New tyres
  2. De wiper rear and remover rear washer bottle
  3. Strip it
  4. Fit my Sparco circuit buckets
  5. New number plates
  6. Exhaust Manifold-back system
  7. Get it set up so its 100% sweet at Mikeancis and a get ot on the RR
  8. Welded in rear strut brace
  9. Adjust the dampening on the coilovers as im sure they're on the hardest setting
  10. Fit my Kenlowe lightweight cooling fan
  11. Bleed brakes as they are shocking at the pedal
  12. Fit one of my steering wheels once ive got a boss
  13. Relocate battery
  14. 8 ball gearknob
  15. 2.0 on twin 45s or a 2.0 ZT over winter/next spring/when the CVH gives up

So far ive ordered an Ashley exhaust system to hopefully line up wth the manifold and free abit more power and also ordered a new OMP steering wheel boss for my steering wheel off my ZS, also Isnapped my throttle cable earlier so on the lookout for a new one

Throttle cable fix

Nipped to the local Motorbike shop on my way home and got a gfew little fittings to try... one worked and now its fine altho i think the throttle cable is the original so might invest in a knew one as it sticks some times, had to take the carbs off to get a the linkage properly

zx7r motorbike carbs fitted to a cvh engine

Revealed this trapped in where the cable came out on a nasty 90degree bend straight from it if you follow me.

trapped cable and screws

So I sorted that out, it started up after 2 attempts and running sweet. Then the thing i like best...

mk2 ford fiesta parcel shelf fiesta c-pillar trims and arch carpet contents of fiesta boot and rubber waffle floor mats ford fiesta xr2 with interior on the ground ford fiesta xr2 with stripped out interior fiesta xr2 boot area

...Still no rust to be found.

rust free xr2 boot floor under floor area

I will remove the rear quater panels and the carpet etc etc when i come to fit my buckets, I also fitted an 8 ball gearknob I had lying around.


I've removed the rear wiper, just need to get a grommet for it now. Also my OMP steering wheel boss arrived today so fitted my OMP corsica wheel, what a tw*t of a job as the columns on an angle so the boss rubs against the column casing, I will just have to see how it is when i drive it next, I trimmed it back a little but still seems to be rubbing.

Hopefully the exhaust will be here tomorrow, then i'll probably be shooting upto Pipewerx to have it fitted to line up to the manifold and also have a custom tip fitted.

Just nipped out to test it and my indicators weren't working... and when I pressed my brakes my revs went up (on the tacho not for real) and my battery light came on, I checked all the fuses and the brake light one had blown so something is shorting out somewhere, I think maybe under the steering column just under the dash. I unplugged the brake sensor, replaced the fuse and indicators/revs were fine i just had to chance it driving home with no brake lights, will have a look in the day light tommorow. On the plus side the throttle cable and steering wheel feel great!

Interior stripping

I removed my rear wiper the last week so I ordered a bag of assorted grommets, they arrived so one of them was bound to fit.

I went to a mates on Saturday to try and sort the brake light fuse problem, in the end it turned out to be the rear de-mister in the bootlid is shorting out after we rewired the whole rear brake lights, so Andy has now just set my brakes up on its own fuse as there was one spare space, the only down fall is now i have no rear de-mister. Here's a pic in the process of trying to find where the brake wires lead to:

When I got back I finished off removing the headlining and then removed my door cards and speakers.

A mate had some 45mm tubing left over from when he added his extra bars for his cage, I thought it was the perfect size for a welded in rear strut brace/harness bar as last time i paid

A new exhaust for the XR2

I went to Pipewerx earlier and had my exhaust fitted, Here's the new exhaust with chosen pipe for the tip (2.25"):

Compared new pipe to the tip that came with the system:

exhaust tip comparison

Old system taken off:

standard fiesta xr2 exhaust

New one fitted without tip:

Tip fitted:

new exhaust tip fitted

The first start up

Whilst the car was up in the air I checked all under the car and the bushes... everything seemed to be fine apart from the rear ARB bushes, the lad who i bought the car off gave me 2 spare, I'll change them when I get time.

xr2 rear poly bushes split

The rear strut brace is now welded in.

rear strut brace welded in fiesta xr2 rear strut brace

Then when I came home I fitted my harnesses and lowered the seats a notch.

Another good days progress... next on the list is removing the sound deadening!

Sound deadening removal

I started removing the sound deadening over the weekend, here's a picture of the front footwells before:


And how it looks now:

Rear footwells before:

At the moment, still need to clean this up but will do that when i take the seats out to paint it all:

The boot floor beforehand:

And now:

I weighed the amount of sound deadening removed, 4.5kg's

I picked up the Oil temp. and pressure senders, T-piece etc from Jon at Shawspeed the other day:

oil temp pressure sender from shawspeed

I got some Mobil one 15w40 oil and a filter earlier, thatl'l be getting changed tommorrow, the car's booked in at Mikeanics for 9am on Saturday morning to make sure its running/set up sweet and to do a Power run. Also I've just bought some R888s, brand new for

Zetec bought

Today's update, Oil and filter changed and senders, T piece and flexi fitted:

This is where i decided to mount the pressure sender, nice and accessible:

The sump gasket has now started leaking after a drive last night, but the Oil's still on max so will just keep my eye on it.

Today I bought this off ebay:

  1. 1800 Zetec-E Silvertop Series 2 (Mk6 Escort GTI engine)
  2. 68k miles
  3. inlet & exhaust manifold
  4. Flywheel and Clutch


New engine collected

Got the R888 tyres fitted onto the my spare Pepperpots

Brakes arrived (Ferrodo DS2500 pads, Brembo HC discs):

Then I went to collect the engine earlier from Durham in the daily:

The only thing thats missing from it is the Thermostat housing, i'll get one of them from a scrappies when I go to get some coolant hoses when the time comes, also noticed this, gasket/bell housing adaptor:

Not sure if I need that when running a S1 or S2 RST Gearbox?

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Page Last Updated: Saturday 18th of May 2024