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Yellow Track Mk2 Fiesta XR2 Project

Robert Saunders

Author: Robert Saunders | Photographer: Robert Saunders

The trials of gauge fitting

Small update time, I finally got the temperature guage working. I started from the sender and worked my way back to the gauge. Turn's out the wire had come loose from the back of the gauge. But to find that out I had to strip out all the clock's again. But at least it all work's now.

I phoned up Elliot this morning and had a chat about my non-working tacho. Turn's out that it's not a 4-cyl tacho, and is only suitable for a 2-cylinder engine. On the back of the tacho was some hand writted number's from when it was made by elliot, when he looked these up he new exactly what it was made for. It is also almost 10yr's old as well. So I got stiched up on ebay as it was listed as a 4 cylinder item.

So I'm now going to order up a new Elliot tacho direct from them. But this one will have a 0-10,000 scale as it will be more flexible if I do more engine upgrade's in the future, which allows me to rev the engine anymore.

The front strut brace is now finished and bolted fully in position.

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I cant believe how well the brace has fitted, considering it was made for a mk3 escort as I thought the turret's would be allot different shape.

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The front legs are bolted back in place ready to drop back down on it's wheel's.

MOT success

How pleased am I, the car passed the MOT this afternoon.

Booked it in for 3pm at my local testing station I've been going to for years now. Should of seen the look on the tester's face when I pulled on to his forecourt. Last time he tested the car it was red, and completely standard.

Funny thing was he still prefers my Blue XR2, as he said "yellow is a girl's colour". But he was rather impressed with the amount of work i've put into, and kept saying I must be crazy.

There was a couple of items he pulled it up on which needed putting right. One was the front brake pipes as there hanging down to low, and touching the top of the outside cv joints. Reason for this is the Leda's haven't got the bracket to fit the brake hoses into to. So I will have to make something up to hold the hose's up.

Another item he pointed out which surprised me was that by law all car's on the road MUST have two front seat's fitted with seat belt's. I went down there with just the drivers sparco seat, and the harness. But he showed me on the computer that it also should also have a front passenger seat as well. It's ok to remove the back seat and belt's, but all car's must have a front passenger seat. So that's worth remembering if you are building a track car which is going to be used on the road as well.
The final item was my rear number plate. It should have the legal yellow coulour backing, mine hasn't as i've just got black character's straight onto the paint. My letters are the correct size and font, but I thought he may pull me up on it so I took the original rear number plate with me

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So now it's MOT'd I need to phone my insurance up, and have a chat with them about transferring the insurance from my blue XR2 onto this one. Then get it taxed and it will be road legal.

The car is going back to Field motorsport tomorrow afternoon as it doesn't like starting now, and when it sometimes just cuts out? At higher rev's it still seem's to be fine, so I reckon the ignition need's looking at again. Tommy's going to hook it up to the computer and see what he can find out.

One thing I'm pleased about is that I got the Elliot tacho working. I sent Omex a email, and the reply I got back told me to connect the feed wire to a diferent wire from the ECU. I did this and it worked :shock: . Im going to ask Tommy tomorrow to if he can check the tacho that it is reading correcty just to make sure.

Thing's still left to do are as follows:

  1. Book it into Leda to get the suspension setup, and the car corner weighted.
  2. Collect my Avon track tyre's when Waltham service's get them in. Then get them fitted onto my black alloy's. John at JP polishing who refurbed the alloy's said he will fit them for me.
  3. I've also got to change my Facet fuel pump from the silvertop comp to the work's red top. Tommy said due to the engine putting out slightly more than I expected, the engine may suffer from fuel starvation at the top end (that will give you a idea of the power figure for the engine :wink: ). So I popped into Burton's on Wed and got the pump, and a few other item's.
  4. Fit door bar's, and passenger seat plus a few other item's I can't think of at the moment

Not much now till it's finished hopefully

While it was up on the ramp he let me get a few shot's of the underside. I will need picture's for the agreed value I will be getting for the car's insurance. So this was a ideal time to get the picture's taken, though it look's dirty in place's under there already.

Underside of the engine.

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Front suspension.

track xr2 front suspension Fiesta XR2 leda suspension

Front view to back of car.

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Rear view to front of car.

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Magnex tailpipe.

Magnex stainless exhaust for Mk2 Ford Fiesta XR2 with Zetec engine

A sudden come down

I was on a high yesterday after getting the car back from the mot station. Shame it didn't last into today as well. Just got back from taking the car back to Field motorsport so Tommy could have a look into the problem that's developed on the engine.
Started by having a play around with the carb's, and then when onto the management. Turns out that the signal from the crank position sensor keeps cutting out, so then the engine rev's drop right of and it stalls. He tells me it's a common problem that the sensor gets hot and kills the diode inside them, as it's so close to the exhaust. So he fits another one in which now works, but it's just the same?

So now hes thinking it's the actual Omex ECU. So he tests the wires to the crank sensor and is fine. By this time the ECU is getting worse and wont fire the engine up at all. So he get's his MBE ECU out and loom, plug's this into the engine. Turns the key and it starts first time, and idles lovely.
He's stripped out the Omex loom to get his electrician to fully test it. But the ECU has got to be sent back to Omex for them to have a look at. This will be sent of Tuesday, and i've been told to phone back Thursday when he should have some info for me.
Now this is making it tight to get the car finished for the Fiesta thrash, as I wanted to get some miles on the engine before then.

I also had a phone call today from Waltham services that my tyres should of been made for yesterday but haven't been made by Avon yet. Will now hopefully be in Thursday next week. I dont need these for the thrash, but it would of been nice to have them.

Also I'm having problem's with the starter on the engine. When it's cold it start's the engine fine. But once the engine's hot, and you need to start it again, the starter just wont spin up. It's getting to much heat into, even with the heat wrap round it.

So my questions is has anyone had the same problem? Will a diesel starter motor work better, as they have more of a kick to them? And will the heat wrap i've got around my starter (which is new) be keeping the heat trapped inside the starter motor, so causing this problem?
Any advice would be helpful.

A few small jobs crossed off

As I said at the start of this latest update I got a few job's done on the car this afternoon.

The front brake pipe's were hanging down to low because the Leda front leg's have'nt got the bracket on them, that hold's the brake hose up (I will have to ask Leda why they dont fit it?). Solved the problem with a couple of cable ties fixed to the leg that hold's the hose in position, but still alowing it to move freely with the steering/suspension.

I extended the small wire to the starter as when I was looking into the trouble with it getting to hot I noticed the wire was very taught. So I cut the original connector of, and extended it with a new connector. I then removed the heat proof material from around the starter to see if it work's a bit better when I can start the engine next time.

I also assembled up my fully adjustable rose jointed trailing arms for the rear suspension. Made in the same way as my adjustable panhard's, so they are adjustable on the car.

Mk2 Fiesta Rear trailing arms

I've had to make up some large alloy spacer's to take the place of the bushes. I wont be fitting these until i've had a chat with Leda about them. I need to make sure there a good idea, and the adjustment they will allow be beneficial for my setup.

Engine management and starter motor niggles

Well today I had a phone call from Field motorsport that my Omex ECU and loom were back. After work I went and collected it, and this evening I fitted it back into the car. It fired up the engine after a couple of attempt's.

But for some reason it doesn't want to tick over. I've tried the obvious to correct it, but didn't seem to work. I reckon it a combination of the TPS position, and the tickover screw that's causing it. I've got to phone Tommy tomorrow to report back on fitting the ECU, so I will ask him once I've got the car insured (hopefully tomorrow), if I can pop it over for him to have a quick look at.

But at least it now is running again. By the return form I got with the ECU from Omex, the fault was a 'protection diode on the aux output'. Something so small, but caused a major problem

So the plan now is I'm booking a week off work starting on Thursday so I can get the final jobs finished on it. Once it's insured and taxed I can get some miles on the engine before the Fiesta thrash. But the first major run/event it will go to is the Classic Ford show at Santa pod on Sunday, if all goes to plan.

While the car was not running I've had a look into the starter problem a bit more. My mate brought a new diesel starter round for me to offer up. But there is no way that will fit as it's much longer than a CVH item. I then phoned Burton's up about the edge performance starters they sell. The chap I spoke to wasn't much help, and they didn't have any in stock and he couldn't tell me when they were due.

I'm now making up a heat shield to go between the exhaust and the back of the starter. I remembered that Mk4 Escorts have a heat shield protecting the back of the alternator. So I got one, and I'm now modifying it to fit the Fiesta. I may cover it in the heat reflective material to hopefully direct a lot of the heat away from the starter. It's worth a try, picture's to follow.

I will update the thread over the next few day's as I fit the final items, and have used it on the road.

Insurance, Tyres and starter heat shield

Todays progress on the car was quite good. Been a busy day but got a lot done.

Phoned up my insurance company (HIC), and transfered the insurance from the blue XR2 in my sigg onto the yellow XR2. I told them all the modifications, the bhp figure and I wanted a agreed value off £5,000. She came back with a increase of £50 to pay. Well pleased with that as half of that was the fee for changing the policy, so it's only cost me £25 more than the blue XR2.

So there are benefits of becoming a middle aged old git. And as is full comp insurance, im also covered for accidental damage while out on the track.

I then took the Avon tyres, and the black alloy's back to John at JP polishing for him to fit the tyres. Were a right pain to fit, as it took two of us with tyre lever's, and another chap pushing on the side wall to get them on. But we got there in the end and they look really good, and should be very grippy.

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I then got back home and pulled the XR2 out the garage to start work on it. First job was to finish the heat sheild for the starter. This has been sprayed in heat proof paint, and the the side facing the exhaust has been covered with heat reflective cloth.

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Hopefully this will help with the heat problem to the starter, but time will tell.

I then had a look at the non idling problem? I wound the tickover screw in and checked the TPS. Then started the car. Which took a few attempts. Once it did fire, I held the revs up for a couple of minutes, and then took my foot of the peddle. It idle'd on it's own if a bit to high. So I made a couple of adjustment's, and got it down slightly. So it will idle now, but still occasionaly cut's out, and not as keen to start as when I first got it. So I will get it back to Tommy at Field motorsport to have a quick look.

I then fitted the driver's door bar to the cage, followed by the Sparco steering wheel and gearknob. The steering wheel is also has a snapoff steering wheel removal system fitted for that extra bit of security.

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Tomorrows jobs are to see if I can get the cars road tax online, as hopefully my insurance details should be up on the system.

And on the car im going to adjust the front coilover's, as the front is sitting allot higher than the back. Then change the silvertop comp facet fuel pump for the red top version. I've been told to fit this due to having slightly more power than I expected, incase of fuel starvation at higher rev's.

Taxed, insured and ready to go

The car is now offically road legal. My insurance policy came thru this morning which was bloody quick, as I only changed it over about 10am yesterday. So i've just been to the post office, and got a year's tax for it.

So in awhile im going to take it for a spin, so if your out and about in Essex look out for me. But first I need to lower the front coilover's to get it sitting level with the rear.

Ongoing ECU woes

Well I've had to make a decision if the car is going to make it along to the thrash tomorrow, and it's a no.

Still got the same problem. I've tied changing the plug's, lead's coil pack and fps, and it made no difference.

I spoke to Tommy this morning, and he seem's to think it may be the ecu that's still not right. He offered me a loan of another ecu for tomorrow. But as the engine has done 0 mile's im not prepared to risk it without any test miles done on it, or infact the complete car. Tommy said I was wise not to take it, as anything could happen and I could be put back for months.

To say I'm gutted is putting it lightly. I've been working hard on getting it finished for this event ever since Dave contacted me, and wanted me to bring my car along. Infact i've even had a week of work to finish it since Thursday.

The car is now booked in wed to go back to Field motorsport for Tommy to check out. If it is the ecu, I hope he can give Omex a bollocking for not repairing it correctly the other day.

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Page Last Updated: Saturday 18th of May 2024