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Mike’s two least-favourite jobs are car paintwork and wiring. Have a guess what he did on his turbo Fiesta project this month?

The two jobs I loath doing on any car are wiring and prepping for paint work. Guess what two jobs I’ve been doing on the Fiesta over the last few months… That’s right…wiring and paintwork! 

The wiring in this car has always bothered me. It is still sporting the original old crusty car loom and the engine loom that I made years ago when, in all honesty, didn’t really know what I was doing. This coupled with all extra fans, pumps, stereos and gauges that have been cut in and out of the system over the years, leaves me with one big rats’ nest of wires, connectors and the most un organised fuse box ever constructed. 

Issues started to arise when I threw the loom back in the car and tried to power up the lights and the indicators wouldn’t work properly. Fearing that I had somehow inadvertently damaged the hazard circuit when I had cut the original clocks out to make way for my new gauge cluster, I frantically re connected the severed wires to see if this would resolve the issue. Of course, it didn’t and so I asked for help online and then worked my way through all the recommendations from the very helpful car community. I tried everything from swapping out the hazard switch, to changing all the bulbs and checking all the earths. I finally found a rouge earth ring terminal hanging down the back of the fuse box. With this connected my indicators and hazard lights all started working as they should. This was a huge relief as I was close to ripping it all out and starting again, and its proof that sometimes it can be an easy fix. 

Following this saga I spent the next few nights going through all the old wiring and tidying it up as best I could. This is to enable me to get the car back on the road, and at a later date revisit this. I do still have plans to have the whole car loom remade from scratch just for my own piece of mind that its all new and reliable, especially if I end up taking the car on long road trips. The last thing I want is a break down due to a crusty old earth wire that can’t be easily traced.

turbo fiesta

Colour-coded

With the wiring now in hand my attention was drawn to the old red louvered bonnet and the white fibreglass copies of the old RS wheelarches that I’ve mounted to the car. The mismatch of coloured parts has always annoyed me and so needed to be addressed. And I could no longer avoid the inevitable prep-work that needed to be done. So I removed the parts and set about paint stripping and sanding them ready for paint. Naturally, I opted to colour-code them in the car’s originally exotic colour of Coral Beige. And while prepping the old bonnet I couldn’t resist the opportunity for drilling hundreds of weight saving holes in the inner frame. I’ll be honest I’ve done it more for ‘the look’. 

While I had my sand paper out I also grabbed the US-spec front grille that Martein recently gave me. This already had the Ford logo smoothed off, so I have managed to mount a Berg Cup badge in its place. And if you don’t know what The Berg Cup is, I highly recommend you Google it!

After many hours of sanding off the tips of my fingers and loading up all the layers of etch primer and paint, I finally manage finish them to a reasonable standard. As soon as they were dry enough, I raced home to offer the parts up on the car. And what a difference it’s made. Visually the car is now 99 per cent there, which has really encouraged me to finally get the last bits sorted and it back on the road.

turbo fiesta

Hot in here

Before it does go out on the road, I really needed to address the inevitable underbonnet temperature issue which I know is going to cause me headaches when I start pushing more boost through the two turbos. I felt that now is the time to take the necessary precautions, so I contacted the experts at Funk Motorsport who supplied me with their carbon titanium mix exhaust heat wrap, an extra exhaust blanket for the down pipe, and other various gold insulated pipe sleeves and tapes to help protect the more intricate components. I am now systematically covering any wire or pipe work that’s in close proximity to the turbos and any other hot exhaust element. I’ve even bought a square of the self-adhesive gold heat reflective sheeting to be applied to the freshly painted bonnet. As the last thing I want is for all my new paint to blister up when the turbos glow red. 

turbo fiesta

This update on Mike’s turbo Fiesta project originally appeared in the October 2020 issue

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