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Showtime! But first Ade tries to sort a mysterious misfire on his Sierra three-door before dusting off some classic 1980s body styling.

sierra three-door

The plan for just simply getting my Sierra up and running and usable has been easier said than done recently. The initial problem of a broken distributor was simply replaced and got the Pinto running again, but problems continued. The car would be fine locally, but as soon as about an hour’s driving time had been reached it would splutter, pop and bang. Not ideal as I don’t want to impersonate a remapped modern hot hatch, and also the lack of momentum that ensued was also quite inconvenient! 

Bypassing the weird old ignition ECU was completed, then a used Weber was fitted replacing the typically problematic Pierburg carb, but still the issues would arise. Clean fuel was getting to the carb and the spark seemed reliable, so a brand-new Weber DGAV was fitted the night before the 400-mile trip from Glasgow to Ford Fair. All seemed well until the throttle linkage burst apart, so it was nursed around to MJ Racing where Ali McMillan got to work on constructing a modified linkage out of random bits and pieces. Sorted! 

Well, so I thought. Once again after about an hour of late-night errands the car started spluttering so I decided to head back to my unit and swap any remaining parts I could think of over in an attempt to cure this infuriating problem.

I managed three streets away from the unit before it spluttered to a halt. The remaining journey being undertaken via me pushing and lurching about on the starter motor when faced with an incline! Back at the unit at 1 am, I scrambled to find a solution. Leads, dizzy cap and rotor arm were all replaced with no change, then the only thing left had to be the coil. So I robbed one out my Granada and it instantly fired up! I have often over the years scoffed at people blaming the coil as I have never had one fail myself, but this time I had to eat my words. It must have been breaking down internally after around an hour of use each time when the spluttering started.


Destination Silverstone

Now back on track and ready to head to the Ford Fair, I could finally take in the new changes to the Sierra. While I was on holiday I left the car with MJ Racing for some bodywork. Some little bits of TLC around the edges aren’t to go unexpected on a 38-year-old Diamond White Ford and the results are well worth the spend. Even more noticeable though is the stunning Zender front spoiler. I had to source a slightly different Mk1 front bumper with a wider lower aperture for it to fit from GS Escorts (a detail that I would have never noticed before!). The idea of going white rather than a subtle grey was a last-minute decision the day before fitting via a Sangria-influenced message from Menorca, but I think it absolutely works.

At the rear a 2.0i S spoiler (near identical to the RS500’s lower one) was attached. Well, quite loosely! The silicone didn’t quite take the first time, so at Ford Fair there was quite a bit of tape involved too. All good now though after a much more thorough refitting.

sierra three-door

Cheap dampers

The same can’t be said for the suspension though. I opted for some cheapo Fiesta ST Mk6 coil-over units as a budget gamble. The fronts are fine, but after nearly a couple of thousand miles in a month the rears are absolutely destroyed! Poor quality or just not being up to the job? Not sure, but next month it needs a better solution, and it also needs a less-temporary powerplant, too. 

Plans are in motion for both, and it looks like some affordable solutions for power and handling should be on the cards for this ace car.

Words and Photos Adrian Brannan

See more photos of Ade’s Sierra three-door in the November 2021 issue

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