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FIESTA BRAVO! - Putting on the Anchors, Project Fiesta screeches to a halt
Report: Steve Bennett
Photography: Tony Butler, David Darby
Those of you who have been following Project Fiesta are no doubt eagerly awaiting the results of the braking and suspension modifications, not to mention the rolling road results. Well unfortunately, it's disappointment time, as this month hasn't proved too successful for the Fiesta.
As is all too often the case with project cars, we have hit upon seemingly unsurmountable problems far too close to our publishing deadlines. The first absentee this month is the suspension work. As you'll remember we were planning to use Sachs shockers with uprated springs. In my usual naivety, I assumed that most lowered uprated springs would be compatible with Sachs shock absorbers. On this assumption contact was made with Leda Springs who promptly informed me that their springs wouldn't work with Sachs shock absorbers. Help was at hand, however, and Richard Ledger at Sachs advised that we use a set of Ford's Rally Sport springs.
This sounded like a good idea, so we asked Ford about the springs and also the camber problem on the front wheels of the Fiesta.
The camber problem was something we had been expecting, particularly since a couple of readers had phoned and told us of problems they had experienced when fitting wider wheels and low profile rubber to the front of their Fiestas.
Basically, what is happening is that the front wheels are now pointing inwards, and under any sort of decent acceleration, the car tries to leap across to the other side of the road. Alarming really. Barry Reynolds of Ford advised that changing the front tie bars for RS items would sort the problem out and that uprated and lowered RS springs would indeed be compatible with Sachs shock absorbers.
Terrific, that should really get the car handling properly. Any dreams of hurtling round my favourite twisty roads in a fully sorted Fiesta producing huge amounts of bhp (we'll come to that later), were shattered when Ford employees went on strike. The bits we needed were unobtainable, so that will have to wait until next month.
So what have we achieved this month? Well we've had the brake modification carried out.
As you may or may not know, we decided to investigate the claims being made for Tar.Ox brakes which are imported by tuning company Italtune. The reasons for improving the braking on the Fiesta are obvious. With the car's proposed power output, the standard brakes would soon find themselves in a spot of trouble and just unable to cope, brake fade in particular being the limiting factor.
Options open were the use of competition brake pads, these are not always suitable for road-going applications, often never reaching their designed operating temperature and requiring bedding in procedures critical to their performance and lifespan. The Tar.Ox range consists of a variety of discs and pads which can be mixed and matched according to customer needs. Tar.Ox brake discs are made of a specially developed cast iron alloy which is resistant to temperatures exceeding 700°C.
The discs we had fitted to the Fiesta were the Zero C/83 discs which have 12 oblique grooves machined on each face which creates a ventilating effect and aids the escape of fading gasses.
The discs themselves were fitted at Italtune under the watchful eye of Barry Waterhouse. To go with the Zero C/83 discs Barry recommended the use of the Tar.Ox B40 brake pads which combined with the discs would make for a good, fast road set up.
Fitting the discs and pads themselves couldn't be easier as they are direct replacements for the standard items. Bedding the brakes in is also a doddle as they are pre-bedded straight from the box......