Fiesta XR4 (aka Spac’s latest half baked race car idea).

SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
The short version is that El Wifeo and I went to the Bathurst 6 Hour at Easter and came home a bit fired up.
Then her work took her away from home for a week and I was left unattended with a head full of ideas and too much time on my hands...

The slightly longer version is that I have been gunna build a ‘more serious than Cheap Car race car’ since way before we started in Cheap Car. Dating back to an RX808 that bought in 1996ish.
More recently, Group 3E Production Touring cars were on the radar, particularly a Phase2 S40 T4.

The Production Touring Car class uses a power and torque to weight formula, and the cars are classed by the resultant number - you need 55 or higher to be in slowest class (Class E).
40-54.99999 is Class D, etc.

They changed the formula a year or too back, which moved the S40 from being a good Class D car to a slow Class C one - at which point it the idea went off the boil.

Then after the 6hr, I revisited the idea, and made a short list of:
BMW E36 325i;
BMW E56 323i;
Peugeot 306 GTi6;
Fiesta XR4.

Then this beauty came up, for a grand total of $1000. I offered $700 and he accepted immediately...


It was only $700 because the motor is stuffed - it runs really well but belches smoke once the revs are up, and eventually it oils up #3 spark plug.


  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
    edited May 2019
    I got it home at 1am this morning after a big day collecting and offloading stuff. And drinking caffeine for the first time in two years and then laying in bed at 3am wide awake with my heart pounding...

    Today was spent working on it and avoiding changing the gearbox in the Cheap Car.
    First thing was working out why it was running like crap - oil fouled #3 spark plug was easily fixed with some carby cleaner. It fouls again if I use engine braking on the hill down from my house, but seems ok if you avoid this.
    No getting around it - it needs a new motor, simple as that.

    This wasn't too much of a dent, but had already been attacked it, so it was never going to be great. Vinyl is the quick and easy way of making it look less horrific in the short term.

    Can't work out where the neg camber is coming from, but is is the same on both sides. Wheel alignment was awful - literally had 20~25mm of toe-in. It drove amazingly well considering how bad the alignment was - fixed the toe-in, and it is MUCH better. (Note replacement BMW gearbox in background).

    Camera makes the cloudiness look less back than it is... Need to get onto this.5kj2kzdr2gds.jpeg
  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
    edited May 2019
    And here's where I get all blathery, and dribble posting on OzV helps me get my brain straight.

    The Fiesta has nearly six months rego on it. Not sure if I should just cash it in straight away, or use the rego to get the basic car properly sorted. Would definitely make things like track days easier. I also do not need another road car (already have five registered road cars between the two of us...).
    110kW and a minimum weight of 1067kg inc driver.
    Big brakes for its weight, gearing is OK.

    The 306 GTi6 was also on the short list because I have been offered an old race car cheaply. Was built as a race car from new, still very clean, tidy and dead straight. Plus it has some really good parts in it - shocks and wheels being the main bits. It needs a rollcage (but so does the Fiesta).
    I definitely haven't ruled it out, but I studiously avoid French cars until now for a bunch of obvious reasons.
    120kW and minimum weight of 1187kg.
    Decent brakes for its weight, gearing is good.

    I really like the idea of an E90/92 323i. They come with 140kW (which makes then ClassE) but they run a mechanically identical motor to a 325i which has 160kW. And the electronics the make the extra 20kW are free. Also use the strong and closely geared ZF 6-speed.
    140/160kW, 1375~1405kg depending on the exact model.
    Good brakes, diff ratio is probably a bit taller than ideal. Donor car is far-and-away the most expensive if I start with a factory manual car.

    The gun car in the class is a BL Mazda 3 SP25 which is 122kW and 1300kg. Decent brakes, geared well. At most NSW events, the gun car in Class E is a Swift Sport - everything on my list blows its doors off on paper.

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
    Successful day south of the wall yesterday - got the replacement motor for $300 and the seller chucked in a straight bonnet, front guard and radiator support with radiator.

    Also paid a deposit on a gearbox with Quaife LSD, extractors, coilovers, slotted brake rotors and braided brake lines from a bloke in Qld.

    The stock diff is a weak point. Apparently the cross pin falls out and then the floating pieces munch the gearbox. The bloke I bought the motor from said "And even after I'd stopped, I could hear the pieces bouncing off the ground"....
    Consequently, good boxes are worth real money (typical asking price is $1k).
    LSD fixes it, as well as LSD goodness.

    So anyhow, I seem to have gone from 'toe in the water' to fully committed in the blink of a facebook ad.
  • PaddlerEdPaddler Ed @PaddlerEd New England Region, NSW
    Space here Spac if you need a stop point on the QLD run...
  • Loved my Fiesta!
    Back in 2006 when my v70T got swiped by a bus I knew it would be off the the road for a while.
    At the time it was my only car.
    So I needed some short term wheels.
    Wife said go and buy a cheap new car that we could keep as a spare car once the V70T was repaired.
    I didnt have much time for mucking around with cars back then then so my mind was set on getting a new car asap.
    So I trotted off to Ford to see if I could find a cheap focus.
    Then I saw a row of fiestas and said what are those cute little things?
    Drove away in a brand new little 2 door fiesta zetec.
    Like Wheels magazine said at the time they really were a "hoot" to drive.
    Went like a go cart and went even better on its 2nd set of tyres when Toyo Proxes.
    That car was a lot of fun after years and years of driving an 850 & V70.
    It was ony a 2 door but there were many times a family of 5 adults still comfortable fitted in there.
    My kids all learned to drive on that car but none loved it enough to want to keep it.
    They all drive volvos now!
  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
    Small progress: I bought nine 15” wheels for it today. Well, actually, I swapped my spare parts E36 316i for them.
    Four of them are proper Speedline wheels too.


    Other fun parts are still in Qld, but am expecting them to arrive in the next couple of weeks.
  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Got the parts from Qld on Saturday morning.

    Because selling stuff is like pulling your own teeth, and I actually gave him cash and didn’t muck him around l, the seller chucked in a pair of half shafts and a full set of new urethane front suspension bushes. 😊

    Now to find the time to fit it all...

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
    edited December 2020

    Um, whoops?!

    Six months rego, Quaife LSD fitted, new set of Eibach springs in the box, all for about 150% of the price of a Quaife.

    It is far happier at 100kph than at 110 - any long trips will be done in “not the Fiesta”. Although, there’s a howl from a crook wheel bearing (or maybe just a worn-out Chinese tyre) that will make 110kph more pleasant with its absence.

    Overall, my main thought at this point is “every FWD needs an LSD”. It just goes where you want, at least to the limit of my willingness to push the boundaries on public roads.

    I reset the average fuel consumption read out at Albion Park - at the top of Macquarie Pass it was saying 11.7l/100km... Down to 7.4l/100 now - am hoping to get into the 6.x range on my trips to work.

    Stopped at the self-serve wrecker on the way home. Bought two very good headlights and some Lancer brakes for $150, which I am happy with.

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    So, a week and a half into this experiment...

    Howl was stuffed Chinese tyre. It’s like this all the way around, and is worn like that, not flatspotted. The other three are fine.

    I am assuming the tyre case is damaged. You can’t feel it, just hear it.

    Swapped to the 16s from the silver car. Big improvement. Slightly taller gearing brings the revs down, slightly taller sidewalls soften the ride.

    But some idiot forget that there’s adjusters for the rear springs and left them out. It’s way too low in the rear...

    Need to fix that tomorrow after work.

    Overall, its a big step forward. Quieter, more comfortable, seems to handle better - I say “seems” because it is so capable that you have to be pushing much harder than I want to while driving in a conspicuous car while living in a small town...

    Silver car is sitting on the Peugeot 15s... with rally tyres. This is leading to bad thoughts... 🤪

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Fixed. Took about ten minutes to fit the adjusters

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.
    edited December 2020

    Wheel alignment. Only driven it about 1km from the tyre shop, but feels a lot better straight up.

    The toe on the rear is interesting. These have a bolt-on stub axle on the rear end - I can see some fun with shims in my future.

    Not so sure about the negative camber at this point - but will be good for tomorrow, so...

    Also, the 205/50R16s scrub occasionally. Not hard it’s still more than I am prepared to accept.

    I have a set of 195/50R16s RE003s to fit, in an attempt to stop the scrubbing but don’t want to lower the gearing. And those tyres were earmarked for the V40.

    Raising the car is the obvious next step. After tomorrow!

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Well... turning the silver one into a race car has regained some momentum again today.

    63.89 on Federal RSRRs is significantly better than I expected. Will bash out low 64s all day, and there’s clearly a lot of room for improvement.

  • Something something 13c and 7psi of boost with e85

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is a shit road car (for me - would be awesome if I lived in a city).

    While it isn’t terrible, the balance of speed:comfort:fuel economy isn’t filling my heart with joy.

    The Merc is much quieter and more relaxing to drive, a bit faster and uses about 1litre more per 100km.

    The V40 has more rattles but is more comfortable, a lot faster, and uses very slightly more fuel.

    But the Fiesta was so much fun today. Standard motor/exhaust, LSD, cheap coilovers, and it’s less than a second slower than the race car on the same tyres. If I can’t find that second simply by stripping the interior and fitting an exhaust, then I will be very disappointed in myself.

    I have no question that it is the better platform for the Deputy 4hour (nee Cheap Car).

    I need more beers to work out where to go from here.

  • 130i manual for daily drive

    Sell Merc

    Turn xr4 into race car

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Mini update...

    The XR4 is a Class D car for Production Touring Cars, not Class E like I had assumed. Need to work out how it would stack up against the BRZ/86 and Integras that dominate that class.

    I also drove a 1.6 Fiesta as a possible road car. It is actually slightly taller geared(!!?)) and more comfortable with the 15” wheels.

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Swapped the 205/50 tyres for 205/45s and raised the front end by 12mm on the black car.

    Couldn’t make it scrub at all which was nice, but I can feel the gearing being too short again, and the lower sidewall has brought some bumpiness back into the show.

    The cheap (Hifly??) 205/50s are WAY bigger than the Bridgestone RE003s. They’re wider, and the sidewalls are heaps taller - far more than the specs suggest.

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Black car sold.

    I didn’t go backwards financially(!), so I am glad that I performed the experiment, even though I did not get the results that I was hoping/expecting.

    Funnily enough, it went to a bloke who I have bought and sold RWD Mitsubishis with in the past, before he dropped off the face of the earth a few years ago.

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    I did a thing.

    Actually did 8 things.

    Brand new, to my specs (15x7 and +38ET) and a good price as part of a group buy.

    Weight is reasonable, quality seems ok but I won’t pass judgment on that until they’ve bounced off a few kerbs.

    Only negative is that they came with those stupid “tuner” nuts and won’t take proper nuts.

  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    Do you mean internal hex nuts?

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