fusion66 Reader
11/23/20 10:30 a.m.

So I have moved on from phase A which is thinking about a next project to phase B which is purchase and delivery of said project. I posted last month about what path I could follow to get back on track next year for HPDE  (When Miata isn't the answer...or is it...| Grassroots Motorsports forum |). 

So Friday a buddy and I rented a tow dolly from UHaul and did a 2400 mile drive and tow to purchase a 2011 Ford Fiesta SES with a reportedly bad clutch and difficulty getting into second gear. The gods smiled upon me as the tow dolly was brand new and did great at getting the Fiesta home behind a Chevrolet 1500 Silverado.  Of course it bounced around a bit unloaded when hitting bumps at high speed (saw 6"-8" of air under a tire a few times) but the noise was only annoying at low speeds on rough roads which was a very tiny fraction of the trip. We spent 41 hours from departure to arrival back at my house of which 39 hours were spent driving. 

The plan is to replace the suspension, tires, and wheels this winter with parts that are eligible for SCCA B Spec racing as that is a potential longer term goal (2022/2023). I will of course also do the basic maintenance and the clutch and transmission synchronizer replacement as needed. 

The underside is incredibly clean which I did not expect for a Colorado car with 110K miles. The paint and interior are both in very good shape and everything that is supposed to work does with the exception of the passenger door window switch.  Maintenance records are pretty solid and it drives and rides fine except for a bouncy rear due to blown rear shocks which I noticed were leaking pretty bad when viewing underside photos. 

It won't necessarily be a daily driver as I am now working from home and purchased a 2017 Fusion just prior to the pandemic for daily driving as needed. I expect it will be a slow upgrade process with end results of marginal performance but hope to end up with a reliable car to take to the track a half dozen times a year.

Required tow it home shot:


mr2s2000elise UltraDork
11/23/20 10:36 a.m.

Congrats.  !

rodknock Reader
11/23/20 11:01 a.m.

Love the color! 

kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand Reader
11/23/20 11:36 a.m.

Are the parts even available for the B-spec class anymore? I know the Eibach coilover kit is long gone.

fusion66 Reader
11/23/20 12:03 p.m.

In reply to kevinatfms :

There is an adjustable height set-up from Bilstein (B-14) that is class legal. The biggest hurdle that I see is the difficulty in getting the ABS module. There are a few out there but Ford is no longer selling them and my limited intel says they are pretty important when it comes to racing the Fiesta. The other class legal options appear to be available. 

fusion66 Reader
11/23/20 12:10 p.m.

Cleaned up decent after a 1200 mile tow with 12 hours of it in the rain.

ShawneeCreek (Forum Supporter)
ShawneeCreek (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/24/20 12:11 p.m.

Congrats! That looks like a great start to a fun little racer. Have fun fixing it up.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/24/20 4:52 p.m.

Jealous. Been shopping these. Need to find a deal like that. 

fusion66 Reader
12/1/20 8:03 a.m.

Made decent progress over the long weekend. Removing the transmission from the vehicle went relatively well with no broken or stripped fasteners so I consider that a win. A couple of tough to reach bolts as is typical of almost any job but nothing that resulted in significant swearing at engineers. 

The transmission came apart without a fuss and as expected the 2nd gear synchronizer was worn out. This resulted in rounding of the teeth as is typical and by some miracle an OEM replacement gear is only $8.56. That seems crazy but in a good way for once. 

I am waiting on parts including some snap rings, a bearing, etc. and should start to reassemble next week. With all transmission parts and sealants it looks like the transmission should be fully functional again for $76 not including the special tool ($54) required to remove the pressed on 5th gear from the input shaft assembly. The clutch was $170 for an OEM unit (Sachs) including the throw-out bearing and concentric slave cylinder. I was hoping to get things back together for under $300 and it looks like that is achievable. 

First time I have torn down a manual transmission and it was a little intimidating at first but not terrible and I have reasonable confidence that it will result in a functioning transmission when reassembled. 

fusion66 Reader
2/5/21 2:42 p.m.

The transmission went together fine with the new parts and everything is working as it should (no more second gear grind). The clutch feels 10x better than the old worn out unit and the new Bilstien shocks and struts feel pretty good from a ride quality and handling standpoint. 

I was able to put my hands on a new Ford racing ABS unit so no more nannies to ruin the fun. I also installed an Eibach rear  sway-bar and the car seems to be close to neutral with -2 degrees camber up front and -1.5 degrees in the rear.  I shimmed the rear to as near zero toe as I could per suggestions from a couple of B-spec guys on minimizing frictional losses. Stainless brake lines were installed and a new master cylinder. 

I fabricated a bracket and mounted my fire extinguisher in front of the passenger seat. I like the rapid release system that my kids got me for Xmas last year and I finally put to use. 

The only items left in prepping for the track this year include a decent front brake pad, bleeding the system with some better DOT4 fluid, and deciding on wheels and tires. 

I am more interested in seeing how it can do one the track and will focus on that but also plan to do a few auto-x as that is closer to home and can help sort the car out to some extent. 

Wheel options since I am not looking at a particular class on the track (just HDPE) include either 15x7 (what B-spec runs with 205-50-15 tires) or a 16x7/16x8 with either 205-45-16 or 215-45-16. Looking at Falken Azenis RT615K+ which I know are nowhere near the pointy end of 200 TW tires but I have heard decent things regarding wear life on the track for a reasonable cost. Any options that you feel might be a better bang for the buck that are available in some or all of the above sizes?

slowbird UltraDork
2/5/21 4:16 p.m.

You've got me looking up B-Spec rules now. Both the sedan and hatch are allowed, and it doesn't mention engines that I can see. How silly would it be to build a 3-cylinder ecoboost sedan racer?

Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/5/21 11:14 p.m.

In B-Spec only the NA 1600 is legal, for any other class read the rule book first.

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/6/21 5:26 a.m.

My wife has a 2015 fiesta st.  I have auto crossed it a few times and these things are incredibly fun.  Well done!

slowbird UltraDork
2/6/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to Rons :

Figures. I would still race a sedan though for increased comedy.

fusion66 Reader
6/2/21 10:48 a.m.

The little Fiesta now has 180 minutes of track time at Gingerman and has performed well so far. Zero mechnical issues and seems to take the abuse quite well. I did end up with Falken 615's and they have good grip and are wearing well. G-Loc R8 brakes handle the front stopping duties with OEM ford shoes in the rear. The car does push a bit and thus looking to stiffen the rear a bit but options are limited (likely a spring change as I already have the allowed rear sway bar installed). 

As points of comparison, the first car I ever tracked at Gingerman was my 2007 Ford Fusion 4 cylinder with 5 speed MT. It was on Firestone Firehawks (340TW) and had a big rear swaybar resulting in very neutral handling. Best lap time of 2:11:xx

The 2005 GT Mustang with Tokico struts/shocks, Nitto 555 300TW tires, rear sway, camber plates,  CAI, axle back, and tune went 1:54:XX best lap.

The Fiesta as currently set-up has turned a best lap of 1:59:XX. It is so slow on the straights that the last braking marker is almost always my braking point but it does corner relatively well. Lots of fun for the limited investment. 

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