Cars and Car Conversions - Feature: Project Fiesta 1300S (Sport)
"Part 5 - ...pros and cons of building a quick Fiesta"
May 1988



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Feature: Project Fiesta 1300S (Sport)

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FIESTA BRAVO! - More excuses as we examine the pros and cons of building a quick Fiesta

Report: Steve Bennett
Photography: Tony Butler

Greetings Fiesta fans, welcome to another chapter in our thrilling saga. Firstly many thanks to all of you who have phoned in to offer or ask for advice, or just to chat about Fiestas in general. Quite simply, the response has been staggering and has reinforced our opinion that the Fiesta is a good basis for a budget performer. So what sort of Fiestas are you readers running? Well, all sorts it would appear, from mildly tuned 1100s to tarmac burning 1700s. One industrious reader is running a 1700 Fiesta with an XR3i gearbox, shortened and minus its fifth gear! Also included in this potent machine are 10m Audi quattro front disc brakes cannibalised from a written-off quattro down at the local breaker's yard. Apparently these went stiaight on with only modifications to the shims needed. Remarkable!

One of the more common questions asked, relates to that touchy old area, money; why are prices not included? To put a price on this sort of project is both difficult ana subjective. For a start, project cars on the whole are only intended as a guide to what s available and what can be achieved. You could follow Project Fiesta down to the last detail, or just follow certain parts of the Project as funds permit.

The most expensive part of any project car is the engine. Modifying an engine is never going to be cheap but it can remain cost-effective up to a point. Relatively good increases in horsepower can be achieved by simple bolt-on modifications. An extra five or six bhp could be achieved with an improved exhaust manifold and system, combined with a bigger carb (such as a Weber 34 DMTR in the Fiesta's case) and a decent air filter, and you could be looking at an extra 13 to 15bhp.

At this point you could decide to call it a day. Further power increases start to get expensive, the cylinder head is the next item on the performance agenda. A good gas flowed cylinder head for a Fiesta can cost around E150, but will give a substantial power increase, particularly if combined with a performance camshaft.

Another factor to be considered when counting the cost is how much of the work you can do yourself. Stage One in the horsepower stakes, exhaust, carb and filter should be within most people's capabilities. Stage Two, cylinder heads and cams require partial stripping of the engine and some fairly good mechanical knowledge, which if beyond your capabilities or inclination, could prove to be very expensive......

Captions -

Bottom-Left - Stage 1 tuning, a Weber 34 DMTR with a K&N filter for good breathing