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Saron81 New Reader
1/31/18 11:32 a.m.

Just joined, and looking forward to sharing my progress on what’s turned into my long term project. This is the 2nd mk1 Fiesta I’ve owned. My 1st one was totaled sitting in my driveway about 12 years ago when a 15 year old girl “borrowed” her grandmother’s e30, and drifted through my yard into it. (Pictures lost to photobucket) I actually found this car broken down on the side of 95, with a phone number in the window, on my way home from work less than a week after that happened! I guess it was meant to be. After I got it home, I stripped it apart with plans to put all of my good stuff (wheels, suspension, etc.) from my old wrecked one onto this shell. I got as far as stripping it out, and started to sand it down when life got in the way. With my 2nd kid now here, I decided I wouldn’t have time to work on it, so I called a friend and asked if he wanted it. He did, and collected it soon after. That was around 2008.

Last summer, he called me up, and told me he had lost his storage spot, and wanted to know if I wanted the Fiesta back! With the kids now a little older, I figured why not... so I drug it back home. It was rougher than I remembered after sitting outside for a decade, but I cleaned it back up, and dove in.

 I had actually kept all of my cool Fiesta parts all those years, and went about bolting on the big 13x6 ! wheels (lol!)  some blue body pieces I kept, and suspension, however I did dispose of the driveline, thinking I’d never have a use for it. Way back when, I had wanted to do a Zetec swap, so I figured that’d be the plan. Then I realized... if I’m doing a swap, may as well find the most powerful one, so I started to look for a SVT Focus. 

 After a few weeks of searching, I came across one on cl up in Philly, about 2 hours from me, that didn’t have any keys. It had been for sale for a while with no interest I guess, so I low balled him, and he accepted a very cheap price. It was a gamble, but I figured at the price I paid, I could still part it out and be ok, even if it didn’t run. After breaking into the car in the driveway, and smashing out the ignition cylinder, the parking brake cables were frozen. D’oh! Finally got it on the trailer and pulled it home. 


When I got it home, I programmed 2 new keys, and it fired right up! Now that I knew it ran, I began stripping it down. 

My original plan was to use just the engine, but figured a 6 speed would be cool too, so I pulled that with the engine, along with all the wiring, and everything else needed to make it run.

I just started learning to weld working on this, so the welds aren’t the prettiest, and I’m open to advice! This swap is pretty common in the UK, but not with the 6 speed, and not with the factory variable intake and stock engine management with vvt, so mine’s a little different. 


Saron81 New Reader
1/31/18 11:47 a.m.

I started by making mounts copied off a car I saw online years ago.  Cut and rewelded trans mount (someone else welded the aluminum!)

Mocking up the rest:


And welding them in:


Made this bottom/torque strut mount:

That pretty much finished up the mounts.


RossD MegaDork
1/31/18 11:51 a.m.

Nice project!

Saron81 New Reader
1/31/18 11:58 a.m.

I’m really bad about not stopping to take pictures while I’m working on stuff. 

Now that the engine is in, I made the header. Started with the top half of the svt header, cut it at the 4-2 merge, and welded in 2 90* bends into a collector. 

The Focus pump is inside the stock Fiesta tank with a sump/collector basket welded in it.  Made the fuel line to connect to th engine:

how it sits now:

need to get a radiator from England, and finish the wiring for it to be a runner.

Then onto bodywork which will be a learning experience... needs floor boards and a outer rocker, and paint.

Then need to figure out the driveshafts. I have both sets (Fiesta and Focus), and the shafts themselves are the same size diameter. Does anyone know if it’s possible (or who can) to cut and re-spline the focus axle to accept the Fiesta outer joint? That seems like the easiest (best) solution without the crazy cost of custom axles, or the shadiness of me cutting and sleeving some.

914Driver MegaDork
1/31/18 2:23 p.m.

Saron, love your enthusiasm and the project almost as much as that Courier!

RossD MegaDork
1/31/18 2:26 p.m.

In reply to Saron81 :

Cant find a radiator closer than England?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/31/18 2:39 p.m.

I spend a LOT of time shagging cones on the rallycross course discussing just this build with people. None of use were brave enough to give it a try. Looks like a good time. 

MazdaFace HalfDork
1/31/18 2:42 p.m.

Looks like a cool project. Crazy to end up back with this car after so many years. 

Saron81 New Reader
1/31/18 2:44 p.m.

In reply to RossD :

A mk3 Fiesta bolts right up and has all the right connections, and I can get a new one for under $100 shipped. No reason to reinvent the wheel!

Saron81 New Reader
1/31/18 2:47 p.m.

In reply to 914Driver :

Thanks! They’re a pretty rare sight around here in the Mid Atlantic!

Thinkkker UltraDork
1/31/18 3:22 p.m.

You have done, what I have wanted to do for the last 15 years.....

I applaud you!

TED_fiestaHP Reader
1/31/18 6:28 p.m.

Axles....   you don't want to use the original MK I fiesta front hubs, to weak, or the front bearings, have to replace to often.  I raced a fiesta and modified the front spindles to use  tempo hubs and bearings.  Of course I then had to get custom axles made.


  Great project, should be great fun!!

Dirtydog GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/31/18 6:33 p.m.

Nice fab work.  Should be a nice car when done.  Good score on the donor.

Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/31/18 6:51 p.m.
TED_fiestaHP said:

Axles....   you don't want to use the original MK I fiesta front hubs, to weak, or the front bearings, have to replace to often.  I raced a fiesta and modified the front spindles to use  tempo hubs and bearings.  Of course I then had to get custom axles made.


  Great project, should be great fun!!

I was just coming in to comment on the hubs.  I raced one in Improved Touring where we weren't allowed to change them.  They were basically a wear item.  A wear item that had the potential to put you on your roof when (not if) they failed. surprise

Mezzanine Dork
2/1/18 9:40 a.m.

Sounds like using the MK1 uprights is not in your cards. Any chance you can adapt the Focus suspension components?

RossD MegaDork
2/1/18 9:47 a.m.

Does that generation of Focii have those 'no torque steer' spindles? Did they actually work?

Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/1/18 9:51 a.m.
RossD said:

Does that generation of Focii have those 'no torque steer' spindles? Did they actually work?

The "RevoKnuckle" came out later, in the 2nd gen Focus, I beleive.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/1/18 10:41 a.m.

I know you are new here, but you are already my hero.  

Saron81 New Reader
2/2/18 7:26 a.m.

Thanks for the warm welcome!

This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Just now feeling confident enough in my skills (and have a little time) to actually complete it. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how it’s come out so far, lol.

re the hubs... just when I thought I had everything figured out! I might look into trying to get the Focus bearing and hub to fit in the Fiesta knuckle. A quick search says the od of the Fiesta is 60mm, and the Focus 72mm, with the same overall hight. There might be 1/2” of machinable metal in the knuckle. 

I also think XR2s have bigger hubs, so that might be a solution too...

Hoping to purchase the last of the parts I need in the next few weeks. Need the aforementioned radiator, a belt tensioner off a Mazda 3 to finish the fead, some hoses and a belt, some sheet metal patch panels, a fuse box to finish the pcm wiring, and stuff to plumb the brakes to the pedal box. 

jfryjfry HalfDork
2/2/18 3:46 p.m.

Definitely look at just using the focus stuff.  I'm sure you'll be much happier.  

As a former mk1 fiesta owner I also endorse this. 

jimbbski Dork
2/2/18 6:58 p.m.

I'm a long time Fiesta owner myself.  I owned 3 back in the 80's, one of which became a IT race car. I sold the others all by 1995. I just bought a '79 last summer. I have some work to make it a good driver but the body is good so the mechanicals are not an issue.


Now to your project.  As for the knuckles.  I have modified stock MK I (Rabbit) VW knuckles to take larger (Dasher) OD bearings. This requires some machining and welding but I have the tools to do all that from a lathe to a TIG welder.  From what I remember of the Fiestas they use two tapered roller bearings that are pressed fit to the knuckle.  Most FWD cars today use a double row ball bearing for the front wheel bearing.

What does the Focus use?  I think that the same process could work for you.

If you want more details on the knuckle mod contact me via Email and we can exchange info.

Saron81 New Reader
2/11/18 8:21 p.m.

Started on wiring this weekend....

As far as I can tell this is what’s required to make a SVT Zetec run:

So I went to Harbor Freight to stock up on cheap wire:

Then went to work... started by making a semi-square plate to bolt everything to then built out from the fuse box. It’s a Jegs part that uses 6 mini fuses and has fancy leds that show you blown fuses. 

Mounted 3 relays for fuel pump, starter, and power hold. 

Started running wires....

This is everything wired up that needs to be added. Fuse box, imrc, pats, and dlc. All wires connected at at least one end!

hopefully try to fire it next weekend!

Bill Mesker
Bill Mesker New Reader
2/11/18 11:23 p.m.

I like that Jegs setup. Makes it a hell of a lot easier to diagnose as well as see what fuse decided to plink itself into oblivion.

Saron81 New Reader
2/14/18 7:00 a.m.

Thanks! It seems like it’ll be perfect for my application, and it was only $20! 

I figured out the fead. The water pump on Zetec engines is made to spin counterclockwise, so it’s not as easy as just putting a triangulated belt on there. 

I found a belt tensioner from a Mazda 3 that bolted to where the power steering pump used to go, and it lines up with all of the Focus pump holes. Score! One more thing off the list....

Also got my radiator from a mk3 Fiesta (in 2 days from England!) and that looks like it’ll work easily,

and my replacement sheet metal is scheduled to be delivered today. It’s like Christmas time! 

Saron81 New Reader
2/19/18 8:44 a.m.

Been busy this weekend!

started off finishing the wiring, and actually putting it in the car. 

I used the factory location for mounting the rear defroster relay, and seat belt buzzer (you can see them hanging) to mount my fuse box in the car. 

Then put the pcm, data link connector, and pats system on the other side

Then wired everything under the hood...

You will also notice the radiator and all hoses are attached in these pics. That’s the stock Focus upper hose, bypass hoses, and coolant bottle and the stock Fiesta bottom hose cut down.

So at this point, I turned the key.... 

and nothing happened. D’oh!

I went back and revisited my wiring diagrams I made, and realized that I had a wire wrong on the relays (hence the crimp connectors in the pic.) Fixed that and hit the key and everything powered up.... including the fuel pump which started spraying fuel all over the ground from the fuel pump connection. Apparently I used the wrong size fitting here. 

So today, made a new line for the filter outlet to the hard line (with the correct size fitting this time) and will hopefully try to start it this evening! 

Here’s how it now sits.... waiting 

The starter operates on the key, and I think if I get fuel to it it’ll fire. Then off to clean up the wiring after I’m sure it all works, lol.

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