Sunday, 15 December 2002

Fiesta XR2 Turbo Conversion - A Day in the life of...

How to Convert | Wiring it up | FAQ | My build diary


This is a diary of my last XR2 turbo, as you can see by the dates it was quite a while ago however for those owning or contiplating converting an XR2 to a Turbo it may prove interesting

Here's a couple of Pictures in it's hey day at Santa Pod
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Well I'll start back in april of 2001 when I bought it - It was in the factory colour burgandy, and there was much speculation one whether or not is was an XR2 40 - a limited edition. Whether it was or wasn't I never found out for sure but I did contact the dealer and it was a one off dealer special with a limited run althogh he never gave out numbers I've never seen another the same colour on the road since
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Wed 4th April 2001
Spent most of the afternoon cutting the rust from the corners of the boot as you can probably see from the photo it has spread to the outer skin, this is likely to have been caused by trapped water. I will have to cut back considerably if I want to stop it spreading further.
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Wed 4th April 2001
Removing bonnet, headlights and radiator to allow removal of the engine.
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Sat 7th April 2001
Removed remaining wires and plumbing and single handedly removed engine, forgot to pull a sensor off the carb and ripped it clean fortunately I won't be needing it
Sat 7th April 2001
My friend had a spare cage for his Nova so I thought I'd try it in the fiesta - a word of advise DON'T apart from it not fitting I managed to put a nasty scrape near my petrol cap although I'm having a repair done in that area so I can get it done at the same time (but still annoying)
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Sat 7th April 2001
Whilst I was at the front I have had a further look at the inner wings looks like another bit of welding . It's quite strange as the rest of the bodywork seems mint, guess it's just were the water gets trapped.
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Wed 11th April 2001
Did a long awaited oil change on the RS lump, I'll do another when I change the sump and gearbox
I have trimmed back the inner wings on F57 to prepare for welding
And finally I have labeled and marked up the loom on both cars ready for removing the turbo lump from F781 and inserting the standard engine from F57
Sat 14th April 2001
My friend came around to have a look at the work required for welding, he has thankfully accepted and will commence on the 21st April
Sun 15th April 2001
With some help, I managed to remove the RS unit and install the standard CVH lump by 11pm the beers came out and we'd had quite enough.
Mon 16th April 2001
Up first thing to finish things off - calipers back on, petrol tanks swapped and exhaust on - guess what it fired up straight away so after a few minor adjustments to the carb everything was well... slow, I guess, but never less will allow me to concentrate on the project itself
So a big thank you to Alan and Darran for their help.
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Thurs 19th April 2001
Came home from work and decided to do some grinding, I managed to remove the battery tray, trim back yet more rust from the front panel, cut out a little noggin on the cross member for the exhaust exit, then finished off by forming the hole for the intercooler to sit. At this point it decided to chuck it down with rain so I thought I'd quit whilst I was ahead.
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I also wanted to move the RS Lump and turn my car around for better access a quick phone call and before I knew it six burly blokes appeared and my car was turned around and the lump was exactly where I wanted it, in the next instance they were gone and didn't even want a coffee - thanks lads appreciate the help.
Fri 20th April 2001
There was a bit of rust on the front side of the drivers rear arch so I removed the piece of kit around the arch and though I'd investigate, I wish I hadn't. Never mind once it's welded at least that will be everything sorted.

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Sat 21st April 2001
Things finally moving in a positive direction. Lee, a friend who has worked in a dealer body shop for over 12 years came round to do the first installment of welding, managed to cover the passenger inner wing, a little bit and the airel hole on the top side of the wing, the drivers side inner wing and one side of the front panel, the quality of the work is excellent despite having to use substandard welding wire that we bought from a local supplier, however I have now bought some decent stuff from Machine Mart.
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I also cut a rather large aperture for the radiator to sit lower at the front, we're starting to be a little concerned about the strength of the front panel so something may have to be done about this soon.
Sun 22nd April 2001
Once again Lee cracked on with the welding and now the front end is complete, just the sanding and painting to go, after he left I sealed the non-visible welds. I will leave the visible ones for him to deal with as I don't want to make a mess of things.
I have also started to build the engine back up with a new dipstick and auto-choke thingy.
Mon 23rd April 2001
Well I'm knackered but the engine is now in place I managed to do it with just a good jack and a couple of axle stands now it's a case of putting everything together.
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Tues 24th April 2001
Worked out most of the plumbing and Intercooler hoses also made the brackets for the Radiator and Intercooler
Wed 25th April 2001
My back seems to be taking a toll it seems to have worsened over the past few days, although partly through working on the car I think I'm having troubles with the chairs at work
Despite this I have managed to drill the hole through the bulkhead, make a start on the wiring and mount the fuel distributor.
Sat 28th April 2001
As my back is still giving me troubles I haven't managed to do anything but Lee carried on with the welding this time doing a great job of the rear quarter panel/sill, basically having to construct one from nothing as the good old rust beetle had really bit in. Needless to say he's done another great job.
also the intercooler brackets are now welded in place, from what Lee is saying he should be able to complete the welding next weekend.
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Thurs 3th May 2001
Well here we are in another month I have tidied the loom up and plugged on all the engine sensors, I have also neatened up the front panel and painted the majority of it.
Fri 4th May 2001
My new fuel tank with internal swirl pot arrived today from Fiesta Centre along with my racing clutch should handle up to 230bhp from Burton so I should have no more clutch slipping worries, I also went and bought more pipes of varying sizes to finish off the plumbing I have left. Roll on Saturday
Sat 5th May 2001
Fitted the tank although not very happy with the mounting points nor the position of the fuel pump feed the photos will explain this better. Despite this I have mounted it and positioned the fuel pump.
I have also sealed the new welds on the inner wings and will paint tomorrow once it has gone off. I have also neatened up the RS Turbo loom and put it in place, ran the starter motor feed and ground some protruding brackets off the intercooler.
Sun 6th May 2001
Happy with the progress today, both inner wings are now painted and finish although they do look very red in the photos I can assure you they're not so bright in the flesh. I took the opportunity to replace the water bottles and the XR2 wiring.


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The fuel pump was also on the agenda today mounting it well to the back seat base and making off all the connections although I will state I'm not happy with the position of the fuel pump feed, I just have to get hold of a pair of longer 10mm bolts to secure the pump fully then I can put this bit out of my mind.
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Back up front I have finished the rest of the boost hoses of which I'm quite happy with the best thing is that they fit snuggly in the front bumper I just need some jubilee clips and a top hose to complete this.
Pretty productive day I plan to have the radiator properly mounted tomorrow and make a start on the wiring lets see what happens.

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Mon 7th May 2001
Well I managed to get the battery mounted, radiator and fan so I'm pleased with that in addition I've managed to mount the bonnet correctly so I am more than happy.
Things have really started moving now so just a case of wiring up and finishing I plan to bring the deadline forward to the 19th June possibly ready for the Fiesta in the Park but it will require a lot of effort.
Weds 9th May 2001
Not a great deal to report but managed to swap the rear suspension over between the two cars so now Project C7 is sitting 35mm lower well at the back anyway.
Oh and I have removed the front towing eye from F781 so that the front valance would look acceptable again and replaced the headlight as the lense had mysteriously worked it's way lose.
Thursday 31st May 2001
Started the car up first thing in the morning after a few turns it fired up everything seemed fine went to work came out at 5pm started the car and it sounded like I was running on two cylinders anyway I left it running hoping it would clear itself... nothing so, I trundled home it was the same all the way I decided at this point it needed to be looked at by a professional
Sorry there's a large gap I will be filling it in shortly
Friday 1st June 2001
Turned the key and once again it was running like a dog so I popped down to my local engine tuners unfortunately the earliest I could have any work done was Monday so I booked it in and the long weekend began
Monday 4th June 2001
Limped to Moore Bridge Diagnostic centre in the morning dreading the worst, I was thinking leaking injectors, vapor locks and sticking valves....
Most of the day I spent playing on the PC trying to keep my mind off things then the phone rang.
It was 4.30pm and my car was ready for collection the problem? over fueling... an adjustment to the fueling and a change of spark plugs and £41.50 later it ran perfect, I must say I was most impressed with both the value and work carried out so here's a free plug
Automotive Diagnostic Centre
Unit 3 Moorbridge, Hucknall Lane Bulwell
Nottingham Nottinghamshire NG6 8AF
Tel: 0115 975 5200
Fri 8th June 2001
Collected some oil and a filter ready for fitting my newly conditioned gearbox, racing clutch and long awaited sump which has been leaking for the past year
Sat 9th June 2001
Everything fitted, feels nice and smooth now, although, the clutch doesn't half bite, I have started to put the interior back in and will continue work on my front valance.
Thanks to Mark who kindly installed gearbox and changed the sump.
Sunday 24th June 2001
The Journey
Well the day started early me picking my brother up at 8.30am and the voyage started, we when straight in tailing a group of modded R5's in we went and straight to the signing up office.
The runs
£10 later I found myself on the line raring to go 14.97sec was my first run I decided to start playing with the boost after a couple of disastrous runs I managed a 14.40 which is the quickest I've done since E46ROH covering a 14.22 the day just got hotter and hotter and times didn't seem to improve so we called it a day.
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The journey home
was fun seeing many RS's everyone was acknowledging each other which was nice... we smelt oil occasionally on the way back thinking it was just coming out the dump valve I kept my eye on the oil pressure it was fine so we continued. That was until we reached Nottingham to hear a screeching noise every time I'd tried to pull away, on later inspection the reverse sensor had sheared off and the 2" long thread had made its way into the g/b so it was kind of a good day
I managed to get towed home so I guess I'll have to be removing it tomorrow.
Friday 24th August 2001
Wow doesn't time fly, I'll be honest I haven't done a single thing to F57 due to financial constraints although to keep me busy Bomber a.k.a Mark Lister has asked me to prepare his wiring loom for an up and coming MK1 Turbo conversion.
I will receive it tomorrow and hopefully start work, this will be the ideal opportunity to expand my conversion section under wiring as I know this causes a lot of people problems.
Watch this space
Saturday 4th September 2001
After meeting with Marks parents I received a package containing a full RS Turbo wiring loom, I happen to take this with me to my parents house, where I decided to get busy by the afternoon I had the majority of it finished and just required labeling. I won't go into it here but you can read more about the wiring here.
Sunday 14th October 2001
Well finally I have landed myself with a decent paid job enabling me to continue Project C7. First on my list is to put things right namely the gearbox but before I can even think about removal I have a problem - I have lost my locking wheel nuts! After trying fruitlessly for many an hour with a claw hammer and a socket plus trying any other method in my tool box I finally decided a trip to B&Q was needed once there I found the ideal tool a 4lb lump hammer, 20mins later all locking wheel bolts were removed. Unfortunately I was losing light so I thought better leave the rest until next weekend.
Saturday 20th October 2001
Today has to be one of the most productive days for about three months, I've managed to remove the gearbox, this went to plan and was fairly straight forward, on closer inspection I could see where the sensor had sheared off and it seemed to be still there (not fallen into the gearbox as first thought) also I found the internals of the sensor which happen to be a ball bearing and spring again they weren't in the gearbox. At a guess I would think some of the bearings have run dry and possibly ceased them, I will take it in to Hi Gear for a check over as I plan to run a lot more power through it in the future!
Next was a pod for the gauges, I have been planning this ever since I bought them! they had been mounted on a piece of plywood with lots of insulation tape - hardly professional looking. Well now I have made one out of fiberglass which looks quite smart I'll post pictures as soon as I get my hands on the digi camera again.
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Finally I decided to get busy with the front valance again being not happy with the look of it so I went to it with a power sander chisel and three tubs of fiberglass, it is by no means finished but is starting to take shape.
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Sunday 28th October 2001
Well at least there wasn't a months gap between now and the last entry, well today was really a continuation of the valance, I've worked on it from 11am until 5pm although it looks better it is still quite a way from being finished besides I've got to make a mould of it and then create the actual article from that itself. However it is starting to look like the valance I wanted rather than a cornflakes box to bits of plywood and a lump of fibreglass anyway enough talking have a look yourself.
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Sunday 11th November 2001
You thought I'd slipped slightly hadn't you, well the reason is because it's damn cold out there. Anyways I've now had the gearbox repaired for a very reasonable £130 this was a favour which I appreciate greatly from HiGear of Nottingham. If you read earlier in this diary you'll know that I managed to lose all oil in my gearbox resulting in killing 5th gear, I also had to have replaced 3&4th the corresponding bearings selectors and a couple of other bits and bobs. Next time I smell oil I shall be stopping pronto.
Well after a couple of hours work start to finish with just the aid of a jack and axle stands oh plus the 3 bricks :) I've manage to refit the box just a case of waiting for the oil which should fingers crossed arrive before the weekend.
Thursday 6th December 2001
Well the winter months are and there's not really a lot to tell apart from last weekend when I fired F57 up for the first time in five months mind you the should be quite an occasion actually, but I couldn't drive her due to not having enough juice in the really dead ( 5v ) 12v battery. Though despite this after jump starting it off another car she ran like a dream in fact as if it had never been off the road.
I've just ordered my new battery and I have also bought some new strut top rubbers as the old ones were perished, these will be fitted before she's back on the road. Unfortunately still no ETA for going back on the road but I would estimate January all being well. It's been quite hard to photograph my progress of late but should have the digi camera soon.

Saturday 8th December 2001
Finally the day has come, I am now insured for £378 that was inclusive of all the modifications the advantages of being old eh?
That battery arrived courtesy of Glenn along with the strut top mounts of which I shall fit tomorrow. I have also order a digi camera which will be my present for xmas this should allow me to make the site a little more picturesque.
Anyway I'm off to give the car a road test so I'll fill you in tomorrow.
Sunday 9th December 2001
Everything seems to be running a dream, just need some drier weather to turn up the boost
Sunday 30th December 2001
A busy day today, I have now fitted new strut top mounts these went on with relative ease, and sprayed the lower rear quarter readying it for fitting the remaining bodykit.
Also I have now raised the boost to 14psi, getting closer but I was unable to get it any higher as I didn't have the apppropriate tools to hand, whilst under there I noticed that the gearbox oil appears to be leaking from one of the driveshaft seals, these will be changed hopefully on Thursday the 3rd, via my trusty friend in Mansfield.
Wednesday 2nd January 2002
Well my first entry of the new year, today I finally put the rest of my bodykit on, the fixings I needed weren't available from Ford whilst there I bought a set of drivshaft seals ready for tomorrow, after that stop I set about looking in the scrapyard, but unfortuantely there were no XR2's which I must say has to be a first, does this mean they're starting to get scarce? I ended up improvising by cutting the heads of some threaded screws, well the kits certainly not going anywhere so I would class it as a success.
Saturday 16th March 2002
Ooops here I go again missing huge chunks out of my diary, well to cut it short alot of things have happened but not to much has been done to the car.
Anyway, today I have change the oil and filter, changed the fuel tank back to the original one I had prior to buying the fiesta centre item which is for sale. I also removed the water feed to the turbo and replaced the radiator top hose for a more robust item without a t'piece in the hope that it will be more durable on trackdays.
The reason behind removing the water feed is so that the engine as a whole will run a little cooler.
Sunday 17th March 2002
I have started work on the rear bumper which as everything seems easier on paper, with regards to being a rare car - I appreciate that and have decided that any thing I do must be reversible in this instance a new bodykit would revert me back to standard ;)
but for now I shall go the bumper route, the rear end looks quite a sight at the moment I shall have pictures tomorrow.. I have next Thursday and Friday off work so by Sunday I should have both front and rear bumpers painted, finished and the car ready to be painted (well the bonnet anyway) I'm also looking at a front opening bonnet which will utilise the 106 hinges again I'll keep you ll posted.
Oh just to add I have found a pair of spots that fit perfectly in the XR2i front bumper and what were they off? - a Skoda Felcia that was sitting pretty in the scrappers.
Another star buy was an auto boot release from the MK3 complete with switch this cost an amazing £6. I have seen this fitted to XR2Babes car which works a treat so I'll be showing you how it fits.
Finally to close --- the fog light two ideas on this one is 206 style with it mounted centrally alternatively have them in existing positions poking through (finished of course)
Thursday 21st March 2002
Well today I continued with the rear bumper and also blended the front in some more to finish it off better, tomorrow I shall continue.
Friday 22nd March 2002
More of the same thing, sanding, filling, sanding, filling you get the idea by 4.30pm I went ahead with the painting and by 6pm I had them fitted, I'm quite happy with the overall result but need to find a better way of fixing them.
Saturday 23rd March 2002
Today I went round to my friends house for a change of scenery as decided to use my old petrol tank as the fiesta centre one is continuing to annoy me as when under half full it'll cause the car to stall as the petrol surges to one side.
The down side with my old tank is that is has a leak so we decided to tackle this, I learnt a valuable lesson today and that is not to weld fuel tanks as the make loud noises and spurt flames, after nearly blowing it up we managed to patch it together and get it on the car, all seems to be working well.
Tuesday 26th March 2002
After two days of strong fuel smells and dripping fuel I thought it may be an idea to investigate the tank further, after dropping the tank down I located the leak to be on the return pipe, which is on the top half of the tank, I decided to just keep the tank on half empty for the time being until I come up with a lasting solution
Wednesday 27th March 2002
After purchasing my new number plate A11 XRT last month I felt it was time to get it on the car so off I went to the DVLA despite quite a lengthy queue no sooner was I at the desk, I was walking away with the necessary tax disc to start using my new plates.
After nipping to Maccess (local autoparts) I bought some mesh for the front bumper and set to work. I decided against the fogs and instead I have enlarge the middle aparture to let more air through and meshed either side to allow the number plate to be mounted on the right again this was to allow more air through to the radiator.
Friday 29th March 2002
Here we are another weekend is here this weekend I decided I was to make the bonnet front opening as lifting it off every other day becomes quite a strain especially if in you work clothes and it's raining !
I spotted the brackets from a Peugeot 106 and set about making the brackets, it was relatively slow progress, but by the end of the day I had something that resembled a mount.
Saturday 30th March 2002
Today flew by, and with the help of Lee (Sparky as he's more commonly known) the bonnet was now functional and everything welded into place, I really am happy with this now it just needs tidying and a bonnet painting.
Sunday 7th April 2002
After much contiplating I decided to go to SantaPod a quick call to my brother and we were off.
After much traffic we arrived about 1pm, which happened to be their lunch half hour so with the car in the fire up lane it gave me an oppurtunity to get myself sorted out with my pass, which incidently is now £13 for unlimited runs which is still good value in my books.
I wasn't expecting miricles as long as I hit the 14.44 I achieved before I had all the trouble with my gearbox last May. My first and second runs were 14.65 and 14.63 which after missing a gear on each I thought was quite good.
With the conditions nigh on perfect despite many folk complaining of lack of grip (isn't that always the case?) I set off smashing my previous time getting a 14.23 which was just 0.01secs slower than my personal best 4 years previous although I was over the moon and as time was ticking due to a 40 minute wait between runs I said to my brother the next would be the last! and what a run it was too 13.98secs yes you heard right I've finally made it into the 13's well I was exstatic, but on this note we thought it would be a good time to roll out.
As my goal this year was to get into the 13's I have now had to change it and say low 13's ie 13.5sec or lower so we'll see what happens.
Later that evening I took everything off my bulkhead and cleaned around ready for painting the bonnet the following day.
Monday 8th April 2002
Early start, I removed the rear bumper in hope that I will get chance to do something with it before the weekend.
I reach SMG body repairs at just before 9am where I met Steve and handed over the keys and set off on foot, well it's all in his hands, can't wait to see the result hopefully Wednesday/Thursday
Wednesday 10th April 2002
Start work on the bumper mould and left it outside in hope that it would cure overnight
Thursday 11th April 2002
Called the bodyshop around 11am to see how it was coming along, much to my disappointment it hadn't been started due to another job turning from one panel to a full respray.
Oh well, I decided it would be best just to collect the car and try and put it back together for the Doncaster show.
On my return home I checked upon the bumper unfortuantly it was still tacky so decided I would have to leave it inside to cure, yet another thing not ready for the weekend.
Friday 12th April 2002
I worked until 12.20am to get the car in a road worthy state, ie I now have window wipers and the mesh is back in the bonnet, I have also used the illumination wiring for the heater controls to illuminate the boost and oil pressure so I now know what boost I'm running at night aswell.
Saturday 13th April 2002
I was up at 5.45am and set off at 7am to the Doncaster show, much to my suprise it only took 40mins so I was there in plenty of time, everything went smoothly and was on the fordsport stand before the public were allowed in.
There was plenty to see and the main attraction for me had to be the flip paint jobs so many cars seem to be sporting these days.
I had a mixed response to mine, obviously the state it was in (ie ready for the bodyshop) didn't do it any favours and it hardly looked like a show car, but never the less it attracted a hell of a lot more when the bonnet was up and had quite a few people asking about the conversion and also the bumpers.
Sadly there were only three other Mk2 fiestas there and one Mk1 although that's not necessarly a bad thing as I guess it makes mine a little more unique.
I had planned on going for both days, but due to me being so tired, and the car not being anywhere near how I wanted it, I took the lie in and decided to save it all for another day.

Well the rest of the year really
So much time has passed an no updates well basically it's been sitting in my garage since the last trackday so rather than go to waste I thought I would sell it to someone who has a little more time spare so this will be my last entry for F57KHK aka A11 XRT
Thank you to Jason at Retrofiesta.co.uk for hosting my XR2 stuff whilst I’ve been finding a new home for it.

How to Convert | Wiring it up | FAQ | My build diary

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