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Thread: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

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    mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    I'm slowly putting together my '79 Fiesta. It was in pretty okay shape given that these were abused heavily back in the day, and this guy was fairly rust free. I've already been working on this for about a year so far and poking around on these forums for answers. My end goal is to have something that is rally-capable and really fun to drive, plus quirky is cool in my book. I wanted to build a rally car for some time, but all the idea of wrapping an old car around a tree is dreadful and I couldn't do that. So I was at odds on justifying putting the time and effort into such a build just for kicks. I then volunteered at a stage rally (what a hoot) and realized this is the excuse I was looking for. So I want something that can handle the rally courses in order to get to the station points and be fun along the way. The electrical will need some work, so plan on going through that extensively and putting together a nice harness. While in there I'll add a cb radio for communication during events. This is the dream, anyway. I'm currently working on the engine build. I'll throw up some pictures of the car as is before getting into that. Here is the drive from Nashville Tennessee where I bought the car back up to Boston. Ran without serious mechanical problems, certainly had some annoying issues though. And just a note, the first modification was to tare out that window tint crap, driving at night was suicide with it in!
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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    cool welcome to TS

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Piston wise, my engine guy sourced these from JE. He then put on his thermal barrier coating on the top and his friction coatings on the skirts. As far as I can tell, these are very similar to stock compression. I asked for slightly lower compression, ended up with these. I went with his judgement on this.

    I ended up going with his advice on a few things, but have since been frustrated with the results and his unwillingness to tell me what it is I'm purchasing. According to his "calculations", which he refuses to share with me, he also spec'd a cam for me. My initial understanding was it was going to be a stock cam, it was not. It is stamped "KCP291", followed by "112" underneath that. This makes me think his "calculations" are actually just some off the shelf cam from Kent Cams. Anyways, mocking everything up, the lift from the cam is causing a clearance issue with the pistons on the exhaust side. They then had to be milled out, which meant cutting through the nice thermal coating. And unexpected $$$, which sure comes with the territory but this seemed avoidable. I was frustrated that this wasn't considered before hand, especially since this is probably the "custom" cam lift. He reapplied the thermal barrier by hand (previously he had use a spray application) where the valve pockets where cut, and you can kinda see in the picture they look like garbage. He assures me it is okay.

    Also due the lift, the valve springs he sourced for me are over compressing, with a coil gap of <0.01". He wants to sonic check the spring seat thickness then cut the seats down to allow for proper compression. At this point, I'm reassessing what I started this build as, and I'm seeing that it has gotten a little out of hand. Also, this was a project to learn stuff, and I can't learn anything from this guy. I'm with a who-knows cam, there will be more problems to come, especially in getting the thing running with boost. I dont want to fall into the sunk-cost fallacy, so I'm about to scrap the cam and use my stock cam. If the lift on the stock cam allows me to use the new springs, I may do that. I measured the spring force at installed height at one point but cant find the record. It was something like 4x that I measured for the stock springs, which seemed like a lot. I may need it with the turbo back pressure though. If there is interest, I can re-measure them. They are marked with "KC151612" so perhaps another Kent product. My guy wont tell me what force he "calculated" that he insists I need, nor will tell me what the heck these springs are. I've recently contacted Kent, we'll see what they say and go from there. They came with Titainium retainers too, I do like those! You can see the ports in one of the pictures below, looks like the previous owner ported them. Exhaust look stock. This is just from comparing with a spare head that the car came with.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    I love mk1 fiesta's. I have had three and all my mates had them back in the past.

    Great project.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    For the carb, I was able to find a Solex 32 DIS carb and have shipped over from the UK. Got a rebuild kit and went to work. Everything seems in working order. Their was a crack in one of the chambers that should have vacuum, but thankfully the guy I bought it from sent me a replacement part for free, which was a huge relief. Excited to play with this thing, I'm sure I'll be asking for advice when the tuning starts!


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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Wildo, these things are really rare to find in the US. They were apparently all over the place here but people drove them into the ground. The year I drove this as my daily, I had people giving me thumbs up and talking to me at stop lights all over the place. Everyone knew someone that had one, had a lot of good memories with them, then they disappeared. I only saw one other one, and that was a trip in Cincinnati, Ohio. A real busted yellow/beige one was parked on the street, and it ticked all the boxes for me. My girlfriend really liked the car when we saw it, which gave me the excuse to splurge. I picked mine up less than a year later.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    This build has been slow, so rust was a concern while the parts are sitting around in the cold New England winter. The outside of the castings was already really rough when I pulled the engine. So in the last few decent days before winter, I set to at least getting primer on the thing. I went at it with a wire brush and drill to get the surface rust and what little paint remained off. I'm amazed this cheapo drill lived through it, took lots of hours really given it the business. Used Eastwood 2k primer, which is a rattle can 2-component paint that has a drying agent in it. Once activated, the timer starts ticking down on how long you can use it, so this was a long weekend. Pretty happy with it, however when torquing the head down the paint under the washers did peel up. I'm still unsure on color, and unsure whether I want to paint it assembled or like I did here. I do like the idea of not having painted bolt heads that get all crappy the first time you take it apart. With this build, I want to make everything as easy / user friendly to disassemble and service as possible.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    ID hazard a guess the 112 is probably lobe angle and 291 being valve lift, that would fit with the rest of the build, if it were me id stick with a std GT cam and springs! a whole load cheaper and a turbo really doenst need a cam unless your getting pretty extreme

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    That would make sense, thanks for the input Graham.

    Do you think the GT cam is worth the extra cash vs using the stock cam? My stock cam does have some light pitting on the lobes. Shipping from Burton to the states is pretty killer, which is why I haven't gone with them in the first place. And with the GT cam, are the springs that come with it highly recommended or do you think I can use the new ones I have? For reference, I just measured the stock and the new springs I have at installed height (no shims, ~1.320"). Stock I measure at 40psi; new springs at 90psi.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    i dont think the gt cam will do much more than the stock one. sounds to me like your old springs are knackered and you new ones a bit stiff

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    In that case I think I'll stick with the stock cam for now, should help simplify the tuning later on with stock set-up. I can upgrade later, after proof of concept. A place in the US offers some heavy duty springs, I sent them an email and the guy said he'd measure the springs at installed height for me in a week or two. If they're somewhere around the middle between 40 and 90psi, I'll just pick those up.

    https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pr...asp?RecID=3535


    I've been scoping out turbos now. I'm thinking about a Comp Turbo set up. I asked them what they thought a good setup would be for very low boost, they recommended their CT2 4447, t2 housing, 0.48AR. I know I could get something out of a junkyard for cheaper, but I like the idea of not dealing with questionable used parts. This has an internal wastegate, which I figure makes that easy for fabing up the plumbing. It also doesnt need oil plumbed to it, making that easy too. It is water cooled, so I'll need to figure that out. Any concerns with going with CompTurbo?

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Pegasus got back to me after measuring a set of their springs, and the set ranges 73-80psi. I re-measured the newer springs I already have and they are 90-100psi. I'm sure there is a 5psi error or more in my measurements, my rig is a little sloppy and just for an estimate. I'm glad I sprung for the nice valve compressor! I think I'll use the springs I already have, unless you guys think that's a horrible idea on the stock cam. Especially since the cam is a bit pitted on a a couple lobes, the picture below is the worst one. Lifter faces are clean. Cam journals cleaned up very well with scotch brite and a string, only one had some discoloration but nothing that catches a nail or pitting.

    If no one has any concerns about CompTurbo and the size I mentioned in my previous post, I'll move on getting this ordered.

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    Also I noticed this thread should be in the project section, sorry I put this in the wrong spot.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Stock cam (any) will be perfect, you can have this one regrind to the same profile (more like "restored") + new followers. Slightly heavier springs can give you an extra save marge but not to stiff, it will only add friction and will wear out cams.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Changed my mind and ended up getting the Pegasus springs based on your inputs. They ended up being right where I wanted, 70psi across the board when installed with one outlier being 75psi. Interestingly, these seem to be the same manufacturer as the high-pressure springs I have, judging by the markings. For the record they are marked KC151310. These do fit with the titanium retainers I have, so I'll be using those too.

    Onyd, that's a good recommendation on the regrind. I'll try to source that, if I can find a local option. Once it's warm enough, I'm going to paint and start assembly, which should go quick from there. Then turbo stuff, specifically welding up the plumbing.

    Until then, I'm diving into wiring. I would like some input on this, mainly what sort of equipment I should add for tuning and keeping this thing from killing itself. I don't want gauges everywhere, my vision is to have a port I can plug a tablet into to monitor the signals. I haven't started the search for this type of setup, if someone has used a system like this that they like please point me in that direction. For typical driving I may just have warning lights or some feedback into an electronic ignition to tone things down if needed. In summary, additional equipment I'm considering:
    -Adding bungs for wideband O2, mostly for tuning. I have an AEM unit already, I'm thinking of having a bung for each cylinder pre-turbo, but only running the one sensor. Having access to each cylinder individually is just for troubleshooting. Is this stupid?
    -I was considering maybe EGT sensor? I think keeping an eye on the heat is a good idea. Just one pre-turbine to monitor exhaust temp? Any benefit to one post compressor to monitor intake charge temp after it is pressurized?
    -Would electronic ignition be beneficial? I'm thinking something to control revs, or chill things out if EGT starts getting hot or something. Just a thought.
    -Any turbo related things, such as boost pressure sensors or something?
    -XR2 type aux driving lights up front.
    -CB radio as I mentioned before.
    -Better sound system. "Better" doesn't have to go very far to achieve this goal, I'm not putting subs in or anything.
    -Anything else I should consider? Updates to the stock electronics, coolant temp, oil temp, etc?

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    titanium retainers are very very light and strong, but they do fatigue, they are best saved for engines which are likely to be regularly stripped and have them replaced, they have no place in a road engine which may cover high mileage
    Last edited by Graham; 20-02-2019 at 18:22.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Speaking of paint, any opinions on engine color? In the Eastwood 2k lineup, options are Ford Blue, Gloss Black, Chevy Orange, Gloss Red. Going Chevy color seems like a bad idea, on principle. The interior of the car is red, very red... changing that color will be difficult so I'm trying to balance that. I'm not sure on the final exterior color, considering white or beige though since it seems like it would go with the interior. Maybe. Black on the engine will match anything, but I don't like the idea of hiding oil leaks. Still leaning heavily that way for flexibility.

    https://www.eastwood.com/2k-aerospra...ine-paint.html

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Thanks for that heads up Graham, I'll use the stock. Makes me glad I left my engine builder, who just showed up with these Ti retainers for me to pay for... just gotta rise above the sunk cost fallacy at this point.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Quote Originally Posted by blastronaught View Post
    Thanks for that heads up Graham, I'll use the stock. Makes me glad I left my engine builder, who just showed up with these Ti retainers for me to pay for... just gotta rise above the sunk cost fallacy at this point.
    So silly, and I read / see this so often. People, tuners included, trying to sell over expensive parts, not needed, not giving any more power, just spending money. I ALWAYS make a good calculation of parts and money where spend. Every penny spend should add power or reliability where needed. Better spend the extra money for example on better pistons as on retainers you don't need.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Quote Originally Posted by onyd View Post
    So silly, and I read / see this so often. People, tuners included, trying to sell over expensive parts, not needed, not giving any more power, just spending money. I ALWAYS make a good calculation of parts and money where spend. Every penny spend should add power or reliability where needed. Better spend the extra money for example on better pistons as on retainers you don't need.
    very true dirk, but alas there are two problems, some are only interested in making as much money as possible, second many customers are magpies believing more bling is better.

    recently i completed an engine which had many many expensive parts which it did not need, i told the owner he didn't need them but he bought them himself anyway, the result is he had to spend even more money with me to make these expensive parts actually work, in the end the engine cost him so much money he had to sell it!

    in the old days when i first started racing and winning people were very impressed with my engine, when i would tell them although almost everything about the engine was modified the only actual the performance parts in it were a camshaft and uprated valve springs, suddenly they were less impressed with the engine. i never understood how that 200bhp form a near standard engine wasnt impressive, but 200bhp from an engine with all steel and forged internals costing £££££ was. Neither did my mate who 30-40 years age used to be in the tuning business, his rubber x/flows used to regularly beat top spec burton all steel engines but most people preferred to spend 4 times the cost on something no faster, its still the same today!

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    Hi Graham, I had the same experiences 30 years ago here in Belgium. Seems like we had the same parts new, cam, followers and springs. BTW, my cam went bang after 5 minutes because the supplier gave me complete wrong springs and I did not had any clue about the spring rate needed. So I had to pay twice. I was running standard part, modded block, using Renault inlet and CitroŽn outlet valves 44/38 ripped from a crashed car at the breaker yard. This guy was so friendly I could take all parts from any engine ready to be scrapped. Containers full of gold those days. I even opened Pinto engines for "new" bearings. Approx 10years later I did had a dyno and was able to test my own engine when is was sold and came back in for a rebuild. 185 Bhp. I found it not bad at all.

    Yes, I also hate people spending money for nothing and finally they don't have a penny anymore for a decent dyno setup. I've seen people spending 3000 euro on an ECU doing exact the same as one for 800 € but no money left for a tune !!!

    The most difficult task is "calculating" an engine. Making a list so you got most power fo money. Why this is so difficult, answer is very simple, only a hand full of people know what they are doing.

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    Re: mk1 Fiesta Turbo project

    BTW, I ones had a customer, had to make a quote but finally did not had to build the engine. I made a quote, including a close number about the Bhp it should made. He bought elsewhere. He had an other offer, higher Bhp number and also higher bill. He told me it was logic because you pay 25 € for every extra Bhp. So the more expensive, the more power you got !!!!!

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