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Yellow Track Mk2 Fiesta XR2 Project

Robert Saunders

Author: Robert Saunders | Photographer: Robert Saunders

ECU returned to OMEX

Thanks guys for your remarks over the last day. But im in a better frame of mind, as I now exactly what the problem is now.

Late yesterday evening I made my mind up to stay home today, instead of going to watch the thrash. I thought my time would be best spent working on the car.

So this morning I phoned FMS and asked if I could have the use of there ecu, so I could try it out on my engine and see if it fire's up and run's ok. And it did, so that's the proof I needed that Omex didn't repair the ecu when it went back the other week :x . Really pissed off with them, as that's the reason I missed the thrash. Tommy did say that's the reason he doesn't deal with them and recommends MBE stuff.

So I removed my omex ecu and loom, and dropped them into FMS for them to send back for me. Hopefully Tommy will send the bill for the extra work to them as well. At least I now now that there isn't anything else wrong with the engine

Also today I've changed the springs on the leda front coilovers. The ones I had on there wouldn't let me lower the car anymore. The front was sitting 1" higher than the back. I borrowed a pair of a mate to try, which were 1/2" longer in length than mine. With these fitted the front is now almost the same level as the back, with the tyre quite a bit inside the arch. I now need to have a chat with Leda about getting a pair made up for my car at the right poundage etc.

Also replaced the facet silvertop competition fuel pump, with the red top item. Primed, and ready to fire up next time. And fitted the sump adaptor drain plug, which take's the sender for the Ractech oil temp gauge.

Tommy's letting me keep the ecu till thursday morning. So tomorrow im planning on doing a fair bit of driving to test the car out. So anyone in Essex, keep a eye out for the yellow racer.

July 14th 2006 Rolling road results

Here's a scan of the printout I got from Field motorsport when I picked the car up from getting the engine setup.

I was hoping to get close to the 200 bhp mark, but when Tommy said it was 209 bhp I was well pleased. Even he was impressed with the figure, and he said it should go really well. Rev limiter has been set @ 7,500rpm on the Omex. But as it's still a standard bottom end I shall be using between 6,000-7,000 rpm as that's when the power is at it's best.

Looking forward to seeing how this goes once out on the track. Will have to take it easy for a while to get used to the extra power, as my blue xr2 is 128bhp and that feel's quick! So this one's going to be that much more, especially how light the overall car should be as well.

First Drive

I've just got back from my first drive in it. Didn't get to far (just half way round the island), cause the front arches are fouling on the tyres real bad. I've got a quick rack on it that reduces the turning circle, but the tyre's had gone so far up in the arch I reckon I only had 1/3 of the quick rack turning circle.

It was also like driving a pogo stick. The road's near me are sh!te, and with this suspension setup I was getting blurred vision. But the engine behaved itself, but I was only going slow due the sound of tyres being munched.

Im popping back out to the garage now to put the original spring's back on the front coilover's. Hopefully with them back on it will sit right, so not coming into contact with the arches.

But for a first test run, not to bad.

The repaired ECU returns

I've finally got something to update my post with. The Thursday before Ford fair, I got a phone call from Field motorsport to say that my ECU had arrived back from omex. I shot up there and collected it. As it was so close to Ford fair I new the car still wouldn't make it. So all I did was to fit the ecu and loom back in the car, and give it a go at starting to see if it was repaired correctly this time. Thankfully it fired up after a few attempt's and seemed basically back to how it sounded when I fist got it after the engine was setup. So it was left till after Ford fair as I needed to get the Orion ready for the show.

Now about Omex. I wont be buying anything else from them again. I can't understand a company like that, who can say they have repaired a item, only for me to get it back with the same problem. When it went back the 2nd time I was told that first they would have to ask a local engine tuners to test it on one of there cars. But they didn't have any in, so then it was sent to another customer who runs a car with a similar setup to me. This person then confirmed that his engine with my ECU only run on 2 cylinders. I even found out that the chap dealing with my ECU at omex went on holiday for 2 weeks, and nobody else bothered to carry on with the ECU while he was away.

I was told by OMEX that the only way they can test there units is on the bench, which doesn't show up some faults that well. Now they new what the fault was they would have to get someone in to fix it, (so they dont make there ECUs). So I have wasted 2 months mot and tax due to Omex since the engine was setup. Missed out on the Fiesta thrash and also taking it to Ford fair. So you can see why im not best pleased with them. So there after sales service could be vastly improved.

But hopefully now it's ok, as this morning I took it out for it's first propper test drive. Only did a few miles around where I live, but how awesome does it sound and even driving carefully you can feel the power there. It was reving it's nuts off on tickover, and the rev counter still doesn't work. But tomorrow I will set the tickover, and check all the fluids before I drive it again. I also stopped off and got a few pictures for my agreed value im adding to my insurance policy with HIC.

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This weekend im planning on getting some miles on the engine. I've booked monday and tuesday of work as I've got it booked in on Monday at Leda for the suspension to be setup. I've been told it will be in for the day, and hopefully once they have finished it should handle spot on as I've only set it up myself.

I've done a few small jobs to the car while I was waiting for the ecu to come back.

These included changing the clear side repeaters to the smoked version as I thought they would suit the car better.

Removed the stick on number plate from the bonnet, and fitted a slightly cut down number plate back on the bumper. This will be removed at track event's to allow the increased air flow thru the holes in the front bumper.

I've revised the heater switch panel again which now has four orange rocker switche's, and two fuse boxe's for any electrical items added to the car (picture to follow).

Fitted the TAS alloy passenger foot rest, and fitted a central locking unit to control the motors in the front doors, as I haven't been able to so far due to the doors being de-locked.


Works really well and is excellent value for money (another good ebay purchase.

I've just also found out today that the ford fuel guage doesn't work correctly. I've got a brand new temp/fuel guage I could put in my clocks. But I really would like to fit a Racetech 52mm electric fuel guage instead to match the other one's. But talking to Burton's this moning they said it will only work with the ractech sender unit. Is this correct?

Anyway, if anyone out and about in Essex over the weekend and the start of next week. keep a eye out for a yellow Fiesta.

Leda suspension setup

As the weekend has been rather wet I didn't get out till late sunday for a drive, when I went for another drive round the island. But this morning I was up and out on the roads at 7.30am to get to Braintree for Leda to setup the suspension.

The engine wasn't running that well, infact I was worried I wasn't going to get there as it kept getting a misfire in top gear, and 50% of the time slowing down at a junction or roundabout it would cut out, and then struggle to start. Not what you want to happen in rush hour traffic.

But I made it in the end and was still early. So in it went and after explaining what suspension was fitted and what im going to be using the car for (track, but still used on the road for now) it was moved onto the lift and the setup began.


First off the car is checked and the figures are recorded as it arrived. Then they discussed with me what would be the best setup for me.

The back end isn't adjustable so is just checked against the standard book figure's. But due to having one of my adjustable panhard's on the car the 'thrust angle' could be set exactly to the correct position. The chap setting up the car was impressed with my panhard, so good new's for the people on here who have bought one of me.

The camber was going to be set to -1 deg 50', but due to the offset of the wheel's the inside top of the rim was almost in contact with the strut, this was'nt possible. So it's been set at -1 deg 20'. Toe has been set at -0 deg 12' and due to the castor on my car not being adjustable and the car lowered, it was out quite a bit and have advised me to look into a modification to bring the castor back in. So it looks' like I will on the look out for idea's to improve this. I do now of one method which is a modification to the tie bar.





I did ask about corner weighting. But was advised that as im planning on using the car on the road as well that it was'nt really worth doing now. But I got them to weigh the car for me as I was interested in finding out how much I had reduced it by.


The figures came out as;

n/s/f 265kg, o/s/f 259kg.
n/s/r 128kg, o/s/r 148kg.

With a total weight of 801kg (1767 lbs).

This was with 3/4 tank of fuel. Now I thought this was still a bit high, I thought I may of got down in to the high 700's especially after removing every bit of trim/metal etc I thought I could lose?

So after most of the day setting the car up, and paying the bill I set off home. On the way there the handling was a bit skitish especially as it was very wet out there. But on the way home it was like driving a different car as it handled SO much better. More precise and stable, and just gave you so much more confidence.

And the strange thing as well was the engine on the way home was running faultlessly. No misfire, and did not once cut out on me. So the drive up to Leda must of got rid of all the gremlin's as it's now running really well.

Tomorrow im going to take it back to Field motorsport to hopefully get Tommy to take it for a drive so I can get his opinion on how the engine is. If he say's it's ok, it's looking like the RS show at donnington sunday will be it's first major event.

I've still got a couple of jobs that need doing before then though as the fuel guage isn't working correctly. Rev counter needs connecting up to the ecu (need to speak to omex), and i've found out now the engine is running that the fuel pump is to high in the engine bay. As there's no other space lower down for it, im now going to fit it in the boot ,and run a braided fuel line thru the car to the regulator in the engine bay.

But overall a very rewarding day, and has given me a lot of confidence in the car now.

For those interested, the complete suspension setup is £100 plus vat, but I had a set of gaitor's fitted to the front coilover's which stop stone's and dirt getting onto the shaft. And then the car weighed. So I was charged another 2hr's labour. The suspension setup is well worth getting done if you've got the facility to adjust your suspension. The machine they use made by Hunter engineering company (USA), is amazing bit of kit and so accurate. But then it should be for what it cost them

Unwanted rubbing

On tuesday evening I was out for a drive, when suddenly a knocking sound started from the front suspension. It didn't do it all the time, mostly when going round a bend. So yesterday I thought I had better get the car jacked up, and have a look. I started with all the obvious bits, and everything seemed to be ok. But when I was giving all the components a wipe over, I noticed a mark on top of each of the lower arm's near the inboard bush. On closer inspection the top of the arm has come into contact with the flange on the bottom of the inner wing.


What I reckon has happened is the suspension has started to settle down, and started to contact the inner wing. Not good, so yesterday I started to cut a section of the flange off (about 2" long) to give the arm more clearance. Both side's are now finished and painted with a good covering in underbody sealer. Hopefully now that will cure the problem, but I wont now until I drive it again.


Has anyone else had this problem? The car is low, but not as low as some of the 'Euro look' cars I've seen. The car has now been washed and filled up with petrol for Sunday. All I've got left to do is clean the rear suspension up, and im going to fit the black alloy's on the car. Then it will be ready for Donnington.

It’s show time

Today the XR2 went on it's longest journey so far. And im pleased to say that it made it to Donnington without to much in the way of problems. On the way up to Donnington me and mate Kev in his MK3 Escort had to stop for a break at some services. As we drove in we clocked a RS200 parked up. Seen the car a lot at shows etc, and though that this would be a cool photo opportunity.

Ready, steady.........GO!

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Took it easy driving up there without any problems at all. But queuing up to get in, the coolant temp's went rather high, even with the fan on. So to be on the safe side, I pulled out of the queue, and turned then engine off leaving the fan to cool it down.

Once it was back to cold I started it up again, and drove the rest of the way in and parked up on the Fordsport stand. But driving in to the infield area was like driving on a rally stage. Mud, gravel and soaking wet. The car was filthy. luckly I went prepared and soon had it cleaned up. Was a good day. Had allot of people looking at the car, and allot asking question's etc. It was also nice to meet a few more people of here again.


Must admit watching the cars going round the track, made me want to get out there. But she's not quite ready yet. Few little jobs to put right first. I had a chat with Wayne at pro alloy at the show, and I am planning on taking the car up to them so they can check the fan/switch/rad out to find out why them temp's can get quite high, as im sure the fan does'nt come on on it's own? (it's on a manual switch also).

Opened it up a bit more on the way home. The junction of the M11/M25 has a nice sweeping left hander of a bend onto the m25. Went blasting round it followed by Kev in his XR3, and shot past a chap in a 3 door cossie just as he was winding it up. Must of frightened the life out of him, as the look on his face as he went past further down the road was a picture.

Overall a good day, and I now now the car is basically good for long journey's. So it's getting there.

Rev counter advice

Spent most of this morning before work cleaning the car after the trip to Donnington. It's now looking how it looked before I went out Sunday. I could'nt believe the amount of mud/grit around the arches!!!

I phoned Elliot up today to have a chat about my rev counter not working. Very helpful chap I spoke to who has pointed me, hopefully in the right direction. It seems the problem I've got with my current rev counter is that it's a 4 cylinder, and I need a 2 cylinder one for coil negative triggering (due to dis 4 cyl firing) :? . Does'nt meen much to me, but after him checking the build code on my clock and telling me it's quite a few years old. It's also only 0-8000rpm clock, i've gone and ordered up a new one. Now I could of sent my one back to have it checked, modified etc. But I thought I would rather pay the extra and get a brand new one with the full waranty. So i've ordered a 2 cyl 80mm, 0-10,000 black face dial tacho. Should arrive wed morning, and he did'nt even charge me for the postage.

Also this evening at work I've modified the first tie bar, so I can improve the castor angle on the front suspension. I've followed 'fiecos dan' advice, and modified the threaded end by moving the shoulder back, which will allow the suspenion to be pulled forward to improve the castor. Also with the black wheel's fitted to the car and having a better offset, I should hopefully be able to get more negative camber. I am also now not getting any problem's with the lower arm's comming into contact with the lip of the inner arch.

Tacho and push start

Just thought I would update my post again. The new 0-10,000 rpm tacho was fitted a couple of day's ago, and im pleased to say it's working. Haven't been out for a drive in it since it's been fitted, but I can now see it tick's over at 1,100 rpm.


Today I fitted my engine push start. I've fitted it into a manual choke holder as fitted in mk2 fiesta's. Really pleased how it look's and work's a treat. You still need the key for obvious security reasons. Just turn the key to the 2nd position to get the dash light's up, then you give the button a push and up it fire's.

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Page Last Updated: Saturday 18th of May 2024