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Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started lifting my build thread from a non-Fiesta forum to here in the hopes of getting some feedback from fellow ST150 owners.

The back story

Changing jobs to one with an actual commute and some crapping car-parking meant I started thinking about converting some cash to a "station car" - something smaller, cheap to own and that wouldn't leave me with the sads if anything happened to it.

First I wanted to go back to the Clio RS172 - but they've got a timing belt that costs the value of the car every 4 years to replace. And they're largely ****ed at 18 years of age now. Good ones are out there but the best buying was 5 years ago. So I went laterally around the problem and woke up one morning remembering the Ford Fiesta XR4 (Mk6 Fiesta ST150 for the UK audience).

That was it - told the other half who surprisingly was behind the idea although strongly wary of it looking like a gay clown car when the 6'+ dude gets out of it. We narrowed down a colour choice and the hunt started.

Currently these hover around an advertised AUD5k - so I figured AUD4k would get a combination of car with decent mechanical condition, some minor detailing and fixes outstanding and a better than average chance of getting through a state Registration inspection.

After a few weeks I'd gotten familiar enough with the ads to know "good ones move, and odd ones linger", Attributes of good ones: A recently changed clutch, working A/C and working seat tilt mechanisms. Some have iffy door locks and others - well as attractive as a full cat-less race exhaust is for power it wasn't going pass a rego inspection here.

Like every unique car there's forums and a Facebook group or 6. I decided one night to hit up one group with a "Hey peepz, I got the cash money show me your dope ridez" message - well a version of that written by a 45 year old IT dude. Funny enough while a few of the "old guard" are laughing at my audacity to expect a functional car for $4k the thread shook out a few cars and my Facebook Messenger a few more. Only one of these had been advertised elsewhere and was a car in Melbourne I was prepared to chase. But another name was familiar, another car looked familiar...

Enter gbanger.

Enter gbangers FiST

A few days later I was taking my wife "to the back woods to meet a bloke named gbanger and check out his FiST". I really should have presented the invite to her differently.

Long story short - car was as described - gbanger had dailied the **** out of it with his monster commute so mechanically it's very sound despite the kms, the body was not perfect, but again sound. In short it's a 12 year old car that is straight enough for the 10 foot test, and otherwise not going to attract attention in a carpark for being a minter. Except for the stripes. gbanger had a short thread here (

I picked it up yesterday and would the big spring up and drove it 220km home. At 3500rpm because these things don't have 6th gear....

I don't like the Stripes.
When these came out they were mostly striped from the factory, with a Stripe-Delete option being available but realistically most cars were sold with the stripes. nopics didn't like the stripes, I'm not a fan. So we bought the car with only half the stripes, and for everything else I have a heatgun. Half a day of ownership later "I like the stripes", this will playout further in this thread as stripe condition wasn't part of the buying checklist..

It's a lot of blue!
White on the outside, blue on the inside. Including the dash. It's like someone turned a traditional Australian Willow esky inside out. I guess that helps with the name we've given it "Chilly Bin", Chilly for sort - that and I've always thought these things were kind cool. It's still a lot of blue. Blue is not my favourite colour.

Ok Time to make with the Pics

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited by Moderator)
What's in the Chilly Bin?

Looks a bit low? That'd be the coil-overs officer.
Sounds a bit loud? That'd be the giant pod filter and muffler swap.
Stock bits came with the car so next mission is to revert to a largely registerable standard.

The engine bay isn't inspiring - but there's a Duratec and a Pod! Will clean down and refit the stock intake before rego inspection.

So much blue! I've already ordered custom matched mats to go in.

I'm not sure if the sub was a selling point or the 12 year old version of me was thinking "hectic" and ignored gbanger telling me the headunit had stopped working. Either way the headunit started working 15km from gbangers place and allowed me to free his prized possession....


Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

As mentioned on first inspection the stereo had ceased to work. I pulled a few loose wires and found this nest. It's for some external satnav module. No module present though.

So the rest of the day I spent finding out about the stereo install from 2014ish (the Pioneer AVH-X5650BT is a 2014/2015 sold model)

Its a little chaotic on the wiring front, but all the bits were done OK in spirit. The Aerpro Ford to ISO to Pioneer harness had a few tweaks which were not the neatest.

Found the problem of it being an intermittent operation soon enough - the catch's on the plug of the main connector to the headunit were broken. $22 and a trip to Autobarn (closest place with stock) and I'd be back in business.

The Aerpro Steering wheel control adapter (the little box) doesn't work either. I'll try to be more practical and find a manual for that before just ordering a replacement. The headunit itself is a bit iffy on the volume buttons but I can probably resolve that in time.

Up the back it's actually a 5-channel amp with a few loose wires etc. The RCAs were a bit mixed up at the headunit but all squared away now I think. Will have to triple check my lefts and rights. Now the subwoofer is being driven from the dedicated SW channels and can be tuned.

gbanger had said the stereo cranks, and when it started working in the drive home it cranked - but now - fark.... It is definitely making 12 year old me happy.

I also swapped the USB input to a glovebox located generic USB socket so iPhones cables can be plugged in.

There's also an AUX socket next to the gear stick that I'll hook up in good time. Not that anyone does 3.5mm stuff anymore.

The majority of the car is done in Dynamat Extreme. The quarters are really well damped as are the doors. It sounds like they didn't bother with the hatch so I might as some just for completeness.

It does make the car feel very solid.


Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Today was going to be Rego Inspection day. So of course last night on the way to the pub last night a couple of minor things were apparent:

1. the bundle of gps antenna wire I'd stuffed up under the dash abandoned the snug crevice I'd wedged it in and tied itself around my ankles. While driving. Resolved that by cutting it out.
2. One headlight appeared to be on the :censored:, pointing off like the lazy eye of some hookers mugshot.
That meant this morning was pulling out the headlight (remove grille, detach and lower front bar enough to ease the headlight out.

yeah that'd explain the symptoms. Must have jarred out of position as I do not remember the beam pattern being out the other night.

Then I remembered the number plate lights were full of dirt.

Pull them out, clean and reinstall. Lights are now uniformly yellow and dim due to ancient well used bulbs.

by this point half of Canberra is back on fire, there's a dust storm blowing in. Absolutely perfect time to grab the nopics and take the car for its inspection.

Sailed through with an advice for worn wiper blades and a worn tyre. up to a week ago I'd have said "who needs wiper blades?"

Weather has been :censored: for the rest of the day so did some online shopping instead of queuing to fork over the $$ to the ACT gov.
- New headlight globes
- New LED number plate light modules
- New wiper blades all round
- Some service bits (cabin filter etc)


Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Skipping a lot to December 2020 now - I'll fill in some blanks over time…

I know, I'll do this 30 minute job because it's easy and Boxing Day, and well it won't take long.


I've been getting engine bay smells - usually burning Power Steering juice in the cabin since day one. As we may remember I ventured into the scuttle previously and cleared leaves and a razor blade out, but I never managed to remove the wiper arms. Anyway I suspected the source of my smell is that seam between the scuttle vent piece and the lower half of the cabin intake plenum. It always looked like it should have some rubber or closed cell seal in it.


With my new favourite special tool (wiper arm puller) I got the scuttle off and cleaned the last of the dregs from the drain and generally cleaned up all the inaccessible bits. I also cleaned out the clips and channel the upper edge of the scuttle locks into so it should fit a little better.


Using some closed cell foam tapeI created a new lower seal surface, but it was only 5mm tape and I really probably needed 10mm.


To get around that thickness problem I applied a strip to the scuttle edge, so now the two foam strips will seal against each other.


And done. The lighter foam is the plenum for the cabin and the extended section on the left is insulation to stop air bypassing the main bonnet seal.


Aladdins cave of leaf little hides down there, I was basically full to the top with leaves, so first I was raking them out, then I vacuumed, and finally I made a vacuum nozzle just to fit in the gap.

It was still an hour of digging and poking, then washing and flushing out crap. I doubt I got it all, but at least water now flows through the area.

Naturally I went into the garage intending to do an oil change, fuel filter and basic service stuff. I still haven't done that.

Productive Day? Depends on the measure I guess.

Oil and filter done, Fuel filter done. Possibly the easiest fuel filter change in history. Filter clips in place next to the tank, unclip, pull down press the quick release fittings and tug off the lines.

Old fuel filter was a Sakura brand one, so had been changed at some point in the cars life. It also didn't back flush out a lid of crap so that's a positive.

I also blew through another 2 cans of degreaser cleaning more of the crud off the steering rack. No sign of fresh leakage on it, so perhaps there's no leaking at the rack, and it was just residue from the boil overs of the reservoir and stuff.

Overall there's no fluids dropping off the car now and that makes me happy.

Then I did something Dumb. Reverse camera time!

Phase one, see if I can access enough of the cavities where the wiring has to go.
I used a bike gear cable as the pull through lead line. Worked really well, however getting an RCA jack through that rubber bellows was a nightmare.

Also wrapped the wiring that runs inside the hatch in cloth loom tape to minimise noise.


Camera in place, for $30 it fits well in place of the number plate lamp. It's got a couple of LEDs for the number plate illumination as well.


Then plumb the wire to the front of the car, pull the headunit, connect, calibrate then connect the reverse sense wiring and finally put it all back together.

As it's offset from center of the car and not angled as much as some can be it's not going to allow hyper precision parking, but at least I can aim for the neighbours kids more effectively.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I started doing all the body decontamination I used a fair array of pretty harsh cleaners, then when I removed the stripes a reasonable amount of similar strong cleaners were used on the adhesive. Naturally that meant they ran off onto the black painted plastics as started stripping the paint.

Time to get on the road with making this "right" or at least better.


The rear apron - as you can see it's losing black paint. That's on the bottom side, where the cleaning agents would drip from.


As it's rattle can paint of some kind I'm using some oven cleaner to strip it from the plastic.


Spray, agitate, stick in garbage bag in the sun. Come back in an hour.


The trim directly above the apron is black, but also needed stripping. It's a horrible pattern to clean and paint so I'm positive my effort will also fail. The piece is still available new, I have to paint this because it's scarfed and marked from the stripping process. I could have tried a trim stain like Bowdens Mr Black on this and probably had good success.


After stripping, washing and a quick wipe there's still some black in the texture. The final trick was to heat the entire panel with a heat gun, it resets some of the age related tweaks in the mounting tabs but also makes any broken down rattle can paint crumble off the surface.


I'm using a two step process with a plastic primer with also does a very slight build up. It will maintain the texture but fill a little of the minor scuffs etc.


Then two coats of satin "Bumper Black". I'm using Repco cans as they're the only bumper paints available off the shelf locally. I wouldn't say they're the best spray pattern or anything, but the end finish look and feel is pretty much on point.



Back on the car. It looks real good, and I hope that after a couple days curing it will be robust enough to for a year or two.

Next on the list for this will be the front fog light and rear reflector surrounds. It's about 5 hours of cleaning, prep and painting time for simple parts like those two apron pieces and these will need more prep time so they can wait for another day.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Pulled the grille from the end end. Sprayed, bagged and pressure washed.

It appears 2100psi and a 15 degree tip is a winning combination after a brief 15 minutes in the bag. I'll remember that for the fog light and reflector surrounds.

Had a good look over the bumper and the outer grille bits as the inner mesh section was prone to popping out. It needs some plastic welding and some of the clips are iffy, I broke one myself and another is half hanging off and a third is missing altogether. Just age the of the car really and no big deal. Couldn't be ***** sorting that all out today so it's back together with a factory grey snout for now :)

I made a thing.

You all know that the factory intake is about the most restrictive thing made so Gbanger had made a neat pod filter combo that put a pod pretty much between the grille intake and the headlight. It works well.

But heat soak in the tiny engine bay is a bitch and I'd mocked up last January a template for a shield that would both hide the pod and direct more air from the front of the car around it.


I finally cut the template out of 2mm hair cell ABS.

Then I started heat forming it into position.


Once the front edge and mounting was worked out I needed to cut the hole where the filter neck and Rocker breather pipe will go.


Hole done - it's split at the bottom for now. In this pic you can also see the excess material I've started to pinch together. The great thing about the ABS is being able to work and rework it.


And done for now. Right near the throttle body connector it is bulged in the back to open up more of a "duct" to the grille vent. The grille vent is below the front mounting flange. Below the filter is the ECU which acts as a bit of a lower wall.


Excess material cut out and plastic welded seam. This was more of a in progress pic as I've since squared it up a bit etc.

I'm not sure this will do anything for heatsoak, but it hides the pod and may give lower intake temps when running.

It was also an interesting experiment in working with ABS and I may get another sheet a built a Mk2 version but for now it'll do :)

The air deflector as I'd call it is a success, while it does nothing for heat soak idling around the moment there's a little forwards movement intake temps drop faster. It also has slightly dropped intake noise in the cabin.

So win. Still it's a bit ugly, so v2 maybe soon.

Today I pulled off the small trims surrounding the reflectors and front fog lights.


Paint definitely didn't want to hang around in these. But what's left is stuck good.


Into the bag and left in the sun. Soaked in Mr Muscle oven cleaner. For the record the new "red can" variety does work better than the older variety in the greenish can.


Meanwhile grab some mild refining polish and give the satin finish fog light surrounds a bit of love. They're plated plastic with a clear coat, so get treated as painted finish, not as a metal finish.


Out of the bags and pressure wash away the old paint. Then scuff with a pad, then wash in prep wash then wipe with iso.


Lastly spray with the plastic primer, and start building up the black over it. The Repco Bumper Black Paint can spits a bit which is annoying but actually can work win the favour of getting a very real moulded plastic finish.

It's a bit of a chore getting the paint into all the nooks and corners but I think I got there without runs.

They'll be touch dry pretty quickly but it does take a day or to to cure.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OMG I painted things.

I'm genuinely starting to feel like I'm 17 again, except when I was 17 I couldn't afford paint. The mission of stripping and repainting the wheels on the car has begun. I'm doing this because it's more practical to drop a few $$ on the VHT cans and do a semi-decent level of prep and repaint right now.

But I also painted the grille - this time with Car-Rep Bumper which is quite exotic, coming from Finland, I'm told it acts more like a dye than some bumper paints and in practice seems to have bonded really well. I was told it's more of a "body shop" product than consumer, but either way what was grey is now black.

It's got a very satin finish, and in hindsight I wish I had known about this before buying the Repco stuff I'd used for all the other pieces I've done. Coverage is OK, but painting grille mesh of this kind seems to consume a lot of paint for little visual surface area. Thankfully I've got enough left to do the upper grille, and then all the blacks are done.

Let's come back to the wheels.

The wheel I've just redone had been previously rattle canned black, and as I discovered before that it was a gunmetal or bronze. Removing the old paint was a massive pain in the ****.


Stripper with over cleaner, then wire brushed. Under the previous paint jobs the factory paint was nice and glossy.



I've then smoothed them out with a combo of wet'n'dry by hand. I also have to do the same in the barrels of the wheel. I'm only running enough to key into the factory finish and take out the wire brush gouges. The kerb rash I'm just working to minimise rather than cut out completely. As the factory primer and paint is quite think a lot of the rash is barely touching the metal on this wheel.



Then it's on with the VHT Prime Coat. At this point my ability to short-cut and be a lazy **** is evident. Yes I'm painting the tyre. It'll save me tyre shine for a while.
Anyway painting these wheels is the suck, this is the third one and I'm starting to work out the best way to get hang of the process. 11 spokes, front and back takes some wrangling on the can.

Before hitting up the second coat I scuffed some blemishes back. Why blemishes? Yeah the wheel fell off my high professional wheel stand and landed face first in the floor of the "booth". FML and all that.



The VHT Wheel Paint does spray nicely, the upper pic is the Gloss Black just after the second coat. The second pic is after the Gloss Clear. I only clear the fronts and do it with 2 coats focused on the spoke sides and stuff before trying to get a third heavier coat over the whole wheel.


Also stripped and vinyl wrapped the centre cap for it.

It's like seeing the light at the end of a tunnel.

Painted up another wheel today, nothing remarkable, it's the "just send it" wheel and actually the repaired areas tidied up nicely. Sure it will eventually open up the crack and need to be repaired again, but in the interim. I have one wheel left to do, and it if's like this one the existing paint was not letting go without a struggle.


It's obviously repaired, but no longer looks like it was repaired with a blowtorch :)


As I wanted to fit the new lower grille and never touch the thing again I had to finally resolve the mounting of the ambient air temp sensor. It's been zip tied behind/under the passenger headlight when in reality it should be clipped into the front crash beam in the center of the car.

A little faffing about working out the path of the wiring and a couple of cable ties to keep the wiring neat (although it is clipped in place with factory fasteners as well). In the above pic you can seen the connector for it in from of the steering cooler.


Grille in. What a pain in the backside. I guess a lot of the reason that it was hard is because the front bar has had a few hits in its life, as well as sagging a bit like most plastic bumpers do with age.

Anyway I eventually got the surround in place, and the entire bar set around the radiator ducting etc in a manner that I guess the factory did it.


Then getting the mesh insert panel clipping inside that was a whole new level of GTFO. In the end I used a hook tool to pull the outer grille outwards, while pushing the mesh insert inwards. If the neighbours were listening they may have learnt some new words, or interesting ways to contextualise the contents of a full swear jar.

It looks mint though. The effort in repainting these grey trims into the "bumper finish" has been well worth it and I think I'm convinced to pay the money to get the factory splitter parts (around $300).

First I'll start with a "**** You SuperCoBarnOne" - you guys noticed how the range of "fix **** on my car" has shrunk while the wall of "useless **** to bolt to my fourby" gets bigger?

A few years ago there would be a half dozen sizes of trim Scrivets and push-lock clips. Now if you're lucky there's 6mm and 8mm and a single style of each.

So when I needed to replace the zip ties attaching the rear diffuser to the bumper with something factory like a 6mm clip (that somehow cost $4 each now) was used. It flopped about like a hotdog in the proverbial hallway.

I almost grabbed the drill and made it an 8mm problem but thought I'd hit the parts book first.


It's 16K262 and very much looks like a push-lock clip or Scrivet of some kind.


Straight away there's our problem. That 0.2mm makes a difference.
Time to find some "Ford 1007932" clips. Naturally Chinabay can deliver a baggie for $5, but closer to home I secured 20 for about $17, which per-clip is still way cheaper than SuperAutoCoOne.

2 days later:

Chinabay version of a Ford 1007932 Scrivet on the right and my simple 6mm on the left.

Popped into place, locked in and now the bottom of the diffuser doesn't wobble in the breeze.

They're also used in the wheel arch linings and a few other places on the exterior of the car - so getting a baggie was worth the cost.

In other news

It looks really nice with the gloss black wheels and the wrapped centres in place.


One wheel left! Stripped off pretty easy again so a few hours with the wire brush and wet'n'dry and perhaps it'll get painted this weekend.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In January 2021 I celebrated a year of ownership…..

Has it been a year already?

Indeed it has, actually was about 9 days ago that we rolled over the anniversary.

Today as I bolted on the last painted wheel and washed Chilly down so I could take some "nice" pictures I sort of reflected on just what this little guy has done for me in the past 12 months.








It's been a lot of years since I've had the opportunity to put the time, and had the energy to "play with cars", and initially through necessity and pride I've really remembered the satisfaction of spinning spanners, creatively filling the swear jar and making a difference to a car.

It's fair to say looking back over this thread that I've done a lot things, some necessary, some for vanity and others "because I can", but it's all been fun, a journey of sorts and probably the key to staying somewhat sane through the pandemic thus far.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reflecting on mirrors.


The Focus Cabriolet/Mondeo mirror. This is a used one and only slightly better than the mirror in the car.


A genuine brand new Fiesta mirror. This will donate the mirror portion.


After much scraping and swearing I got the old mirror off. It had been silastic'd in place over the factory mount point. Part of the motivation for the swap has been the "floppy" nature of the mirror as the ball-cup joints had loosened up with age.


I made a mask for the glass that will hide the wiring and any other sins of mine while doing the install. The "window" is where the light sensor will be mounted.


I have a replacement silicone adhesive pad for the sensor, although I may try using my home made bracket system first.


DIY brackets with the sensor and the factory gel mat.

Last week I took the "Auto" headlight switch apart to install the blue LEDs. It's all sitting on the bench waiting for me to do it.

The last element will be wiring. I think I will de-pin the sensor wiring from the used roof loom I got, it's got wiring with additional lamps and to swap I'd have to consider pulling part of the head lining, which then would raise the "why not skin it with deadener" question.

Scope creep like a bitch.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Moving right along and going nowhere.


The factory rain/light sensor is factory connected in using all black wiring. It's a serial device with power, ground and a serial output. So I presume the single wire is power and the twisted pair is the signal and ground.


On my donor loom nearly everything is wired (except for the high current pins that would power the sunroof.


I de-pinned the three wires for the sensor and rewrapped in loom tape.


Roof wiring runs up the passenger A-pillar. Australian XR4s are pretty low on frills so there's minimal wires in the connector.


A fellow enthusiast (who has a car completely stripped to almost nothing) has already traced the chassis side of this wiring back to the GEM (General Electronics Module).


Slip the pins in place and clip the wiring alongside the existing loom. These combined wire, trim and airbag tethers are a terrible idea. If I'm lucky I made get one or two more releases before some part of the system breaks.


Instead of having to run the wiring via the factory route to the courtesy light I simply ran it in the front edge of the headlining. The less games I have to play there the better.


Sensor pushed up against the glass. This is with the factory pad in place and my home-made brackets.


The lower cover clips on the mirror post. I have a piece of foam inserted between the sensor and this cover to put additional pressure on the sensor.


The top section of the cover will require some tweaking to the headlining, and I can't do that without taking out the courtesy light, the bezel for that, plus the sun visors in order to hopefully get the clearance to install the cover before trimming.

I'm now left with LED surgery to do to the headlight switch and some vehicle reconfiguration in software.

At that point we will see if it works!

Time for a " :censored: yes".

It's been a couple of hours effort, around $180 in used parts, vinyl and tape but the auto headlight and auto wiper project is done (mostly)


This is the only obvious change if you ignore the wart on the windscreen and different shaped rear view mirror. Somehow nopics hasn't, or she's staying quiet so she doesn't have to listen to the story of putting it all together.

Anyway, early this week I fired up the laptop, plugged in the OBDLink EX and using Forscan reprogrammed the GEM module to enable Auto Wipers and Auto Lights. That sounds super techno amazing, but in reality it's selecting "auto wipers" from a list, clicking "change" and then selecting "enabled" before clicking the "Write" button.

Interestingly Forscan can also do module firmware updates to the most recent factory code. As Chilly is a 2007 car and there were some module updates through into 2009 I'll try and find some change logs to see if it's worth the "risk".

Anyway, auto headlights are working.

Alongside the auto light function auto wipers have also been enabled.


Now this is where I need to qualify the whole "project" with I've done this because I can, and because it's a small thing that sets Chilly apart from other XR4s. If he's not the prettiest or fastest he can be the smartest.

So auto headlights are handy/neat and having had them on quite a few cars in the past I think they're a good safety feature as generally in crap conditions the lights are on as visibility decreases.

Autowipers sometimes are as intuitive as a brick. The Fiesta system isn't the greatest, with some people claiming they lack sensitivity and other days they're hyper-active. So far I'd say they "don't suck", the intermittent delay setting now adjusts sensitivity and like the cars I've had before it does need to be adjusted for the conditions. Do I need Autowipers? Nope. Are they a minor convenience under changeable weather situations - yes.

Anyway. One thing left to do is get the upper trim in place which probably means notching the headlining etc.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The problem with a piece of software like Forscan is there's several dozen options that have been identified in the firmware of various modules - in most cases the same address/reference space is shared across large chunks of the Ford range, so when a Fiesta XR4 cluster is interrogated it throws up choices like "Instantaneous fuel consumption display".

Interestingly way back Ford thought that the car needed a trip computer, this included Average Fuel consumption, trip meter and distance to empty.

As it turns out they did the code for instantaneous consumption as well. According to another source the function when enabled doesn't work.

I flipped the switch anyway.


The Average fuel display. Normal and as you'd expect on an XR4, obvious the driver cycles through the display modes (Avg Speed, Avg Fuel, Trip, DTE), except now I've slipped "Fuel Economy" into the mix.

When stationary/idling it shows two dashes. But once moving on around a 2sec refresh interval it shows consumption. It hit 58.something L/100km while taking a run to the shops.

Again, not special, but specially different.

The next phase of tinkering with this will be to use an Arduino to inject messaging onto the upper portion of the screen.

This has been done by quite a few people - but none have documented the process and while there's some Youtube clips of the results there's scant details.

My goal in the first instance is to be able to display vehicle parameters that already exist on the canbus, Road Speed, ECT, Gear selection, RPM etc and then extend a little further to being able to feed sensor inputs into the Arduino, and include them in the display options. This could be oil temp, from a combined oil pressure/temp sender in the factory oil cooler, it could be a GPS speed or whatever.

At the moment it's ideas, I have hardware to do prototyping with, and another member of the XR4 weirdbeard community has captured the canbus header frame that address that portion of the screen, so by applying some time and then a bit more "refine to a product" effort I think it will be another cool thing.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Suck for punishment much?

"New" headlight switch arrived, but it wasn't all rosy times.

The switches consist of three key sections;
- Front: This has the **** and dials for headlight angle and dimming. The **** mechanism includes all the push-pull rotate lockouts While the dials are set to a small pair of gears much like a diff to convert the turning of the dial 90 degrees to turn potentiometers on the PCB
- Mid: The PCB, it's the dumb bit in the middle that pretty much serves no purpose but to illuminate the front half and handle the potentiometer outputs from the dials.
- Back: The actual mechanical switch. This is a sealed unit so if anything goes wrong with the magic in this section it's all over.


The back side of the front section of my latest acquisition. Unfortunately at some stage someone had smashed the dials past their stops, putting the gears out of mesh. So I had to disassemble this half and try to clean up the burrs before getting them aligned correctly. The gears themselves are "keyed" with a wider middle tooth so there's a fair bit of precision needed to get it lined up and working. An hour later and no pics it's all turning smoothly.


The front of the switch belies the complexity and precision engineering behind.


These dimming style switches use more LEDs than the Auto and basic types. However I've noticed that the same switches when used in Transit vans have LEDs in another two positions around the face of the switch. On this PCB there's holes for them too, the 6pm and 4pm positions in the above photo.

The additional potentiometer and the switching circuitry for dimming the dashboard LEDs also adds a fair bit of stuff that isn't on the basic switch PCB (below).

Obviously this new dimming switch lights up red, the basic switches illuminate green so once again I'll be converting it to blue.

While I have this apart I thought I'd follow the hunch about those last two LED positions.

Holding the switch up to light gives a decent indication that the LED positions on the board match the Foglight markers on the face. They're also well "walled off" from all the other light wells in the switch which is why they have zero visible illumination.

Time to dig a bit/lot deeper.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
**** yes, I've been kicked in the ****.

You know those Focus ST170 calipers? After 11 days in the hands of FedEx they arrived, naturally I cracked the box and found two more boxes, in the first one was this thing of beauty. A fully rebuilt "good as new" caliper that measures up and looks exactly perfect.


I then opened the next box and immediately had then ache in the groin. One of these things is most definitely not like the other.


So after playing many questions roulette with RockAuto it was determined that the silver caliper is mispacked (no ****, it's completely wrong) and RockAuto will send me another FRC11756 box, hopefully containing a FRC11756 caliper.

I was always wary about receiving a standard Focus caliper instead of the ST170/SVT type, they are the same except for the location of the mounting holes in the bracket, but this one is so so different that not even the mount bolt spacing is correct.

Fingers crossed to see what arrives in a week.

I quite like the bronze finish colour Raybestos use on them, hopefully the other caliper will be the same, otherwise it's out with the paint cans again.

Probably should order up some rotors.

It's well known in Fiesta circles that the power steering system in these cars is basically ****, or rather a system that converts clean power steering fluid into a black syrup in no time flat. I've written about this before as bits of the solution have turned up.

However in the past week I've cooked the system again and had it barf fluid all over the accessory belt making a heck of a mess. It's probably getting to the last straw before I pull things apart and make it right.


This is the Mk1 Focus reservoir that I bought used and have cleaned up. The standard way these are installed in a Fiesta is to mount it with two screws through that tab on the mid-left side directly to the battery box. That leaves two screw heads in the battery box potentially rubbing on the battery and being M4 screws at most they're not going to be as durable in the mounting sense.

I think I can do better.


Enter a tool set I acquired a few years ago and so rarely get to play with. Chassis punches.


Combine a couple of different sizes, some trimming and heating with a piece of 2mm ABS plastic and we have the foundation for a proper factory-like mount.


I had already trimmed the rubber slot/key mounts of the arm that goes to the side of the battery box, and that leaves the other two mounts to "swing in the breeze".

I'd had this idea that instead of screwing the reservoir to the battery box I could epoxy a bracket to it and slide the reservoir into position giving some future convenience.


There's a step difference, I made this by making both mount slots first and inserting the reservoir. Being ABS there's enough flex, but to make a permanent set all it takes is a pin-point heat source to soften the plastic so that it can be formed to match the reservoir shape and alignment.


Once I had that initial offset section I did the main "Z" folds to make it wrap the corner of the battery box, plus meet the other tab. Potentially I could add a mount point to make things a bit more rigid, maybe a stud about M5 in size so the reservoir can be held firmly in place. Something to think about.

Now that I had something that held the reservoir it's time to start making it work in the limited space.


Stage 1, this mounted the reservoir about 20mm too low in my opinion. So alongside clearancing for the wiring loom that runs around the strut another tweak was done.


This is what I started with, notching for the wiring on the left side. The reservoir itself doesn't foul on the loom just the bracket, in the end I simply trimmed it back so there's only about 5mm of material around that lower keyhole.


Phase two was to raise the reservoir. The 20mm I removed seems about right. There's a stack of bonding surface and I can always lower it if it's too high.


With the reservoir in place. I'm really happy with how this works. Although getting the reservoir out/in with hoses attached will be a ***** of a job it's possible. So while other people are busy with "remove headlight" All I need to do is pull the reservoir up 10mm and pop it out of the bracket.


High, but still able to close the bonnet. Winning.

Im finding working with the ABS plastic surprisingly good and in truth since making the air diverter over the pod filter I've been thinking about a lot more things that can be done with a $20 piece of plastic that would be much harder or more expensive in metal.

Because I can, that's why :)

****ty wet day today and I have a pretty solid headache, so what better than to play genius with a switch.

Obviously I've swapped a bunch of LEDs and added some bus bars, and two extra LEDs. On the other side of the board I've also had to add some surface mount current limiting resistors for the two extra LEDs. To my knowledge this hasn't been done by anyone and documented.


The switch set in place with the "find your headlight switch" illumination active.


Great work you found the switch and managed to turn the headlights "ON". This setting lights up all the other blue LEDs on the PCB.


This is a new party trick, You've pulled the **** on step out and turned on the Front Foglights! The PCB traces are there for the LED along with pads for the limiting resistor, the busbar that also needs to be added links the LED to the foglight position.


Two clicks out and the Rear Foglights are turned on so we light that telltale too.

In both cases these are functions the PCB and switch supports, but the implementation is a Fiesta, Focus or Mondeo ignores as each of these cars has a tell-tale on the instrument cluster for the foglights. However a version is used in some models of Transit vans require the tell tale in the switch.

It's a worthless mod, but for a couple of bucks and a little time tracing the PCB to be sure that was the function it's another thing to be smug about.

Next mission on this switch is to manage to get a wire into the connector so that I can then cut the dash light feed at C-812 and connect to the dimming output of the switch. One guy has documented this. In Polish :)

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks :)

will still have more posts to dump in before we are caught up.


Moving the "mucking about with the cluster" project up a notch.

Since I've been able to inject messages onto the cluster screen I guess I had better knuckle down to doing some useful things.

So I have started to assemble the elements to make a fake car - the objective of this phase is to now build up an Arduino based rig with switches and hardware that can mimic a lot of the signals the dash displays. I'm not going to bother cloning the PATS sequence as all I want to do is to be able to calibrate the dial needle positions (for when doing cluster LED swaps and board level repairs).

It will also let me work on the Display driver code on a seperate Arduino linked to the same CANBUS essentially mimicking how the display driver will have to be tied into the car.

The truely difficult aspect of this is picking what data would be useful from the CANBUS?

Or perhaps do I add Bluetooth and then let it do directions derived from Waze running on a phone Better see if I can get some Arrow symbols displayed first!

Everything Works!

It's taken the installation of a totally obscure part but I can now say every factory fitted element of the car now works.

Now to be fair I bought the car with nearly everything working because unlike a lot of other Fiestas on the market Gbanger had fixed the standard busted stuff.

But I'd always been slightly annoyed that I couldn't make the boot light work. The GEM was detecting "Boot Open" so the switch had to work right?

Investigation covered in a previous post revealed the switch was rooted and the hunt went on for a replacement switch.


Eventually one turned up from a Puma specialist dismantler in the UK. Then thanks to COVID and Australia Post the package went missing for just on 2 months before turning up looking like the Border Force drug dog had used it as a chew toy.


The switch clips into the side of the boot latch but the latch still needs to be mostly removed to allow the switch or it's plug to pass through the body to remove it.


The other end plugs into this Brown connector and there's no special path or anything.


Let thy have light, incandescent yellow ****ty light, but light nonetheless.


Threw a white LED in and it's much nicer.

I feel somewhat complete, it's been such a tiny tiny thing nagging at me, but resolved.

If only the seatbelt mechanism rattle could be dealt with the same way?

Premium Member
62 Posts
After today's PF Breakfast I think it's time to remind myself of where I'm at and also what needs to get some priority.

- Exhaust, get the joints seated better perhaps with a light touch of sealant and fit the header.

- Tune, LTFT and Timing correction seem to point towards the current tune being slightly advanced and under fueled. Matching my previous logging on a spirited run it's consistently trimming addition fuel in and retarding timing. There's some deep memory that says "plus 6, minus 2" on the Dreamscience tune config settings is the sweet spot for fuel and ignition respectively. Certainly won't hurt to try.

- Brakes, Pads in it are gone, well, more like bite is variable and pedal feel is consistent with there being air somewhere. I probably should clean up the new calipers and make with the effort.

- The bleep bleep bleep rattle in the back half upper cabin trim/curtain airbag area. Between that and the rear seatbelt retractors it's like having Fran Drescher screeching sweet somethings at regular intervals with random intensity over bumps or sometimes with rod harmonics.

Still on the fence about doing new springs and shocks - intrinsically we love the current stance and it's pretty comfortable all things considered. But would Bilsteins B12, or Koni STRT setups be that much better? We are talking a 900-1500$ investment to find out

Today I wasn't going to do any car stuff. So I just did some car stuff.

When the "new" rear brake calipers arrived I got a little triggered - RockAuto had provided one plain caliper and one "coated" caliper. I wanted plain on the grounds that I could then paint them or like the fronts leave them in their natural finish for a while.


The coated caliper is a weird silver beige. The other caliper (no pics) was obviously media blasted for remanufacture but effectively an oxide like finish.


They're now black, used some of the left over wheel primer and paint so it should be reasonably durable, although I didn't really push the :censored: given button that hard. That's probably obvious by the unpainted patches around where I masked the slide pins. The top coat is literally only on the top and front too although I was more liberal with the (black as well) primer.

Not all it's got, but more of a sample of what it's like noise wise day to day. Pretty much started torque limiting as it hit 20km/h and was playing disco lights on the dash (it lights the ESC jewel when torque limiting in addition to the expected traction control and you're going backwards into the scenery reasons) through to 60ish. It's an odd sensation because it modulates torque but doesn't actually cut throttle, kind of like a deliberate "flat spot" in acceleration. Current tune has less torque limiting than standard.

Am looking forward to getting the headers on and finally unlocking the last remaining llamathrusts that it can make without cams. And only a fool would put cams in a Duratec that's done over 251K.

Premium Member
62 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I found some extra ****s laying about the other day and added an extra coat to the front/sides of those rear calipers.

Much more even finish and feels good and smooth like a painted/coated caliper should.


Underside and back half is still only primer but also has cured nice and hard and actually is a good looking finish it is own way.

Im calling the rear calipers done.
Trivial Mod #LostCount+1

Remember my joy at making the boot/cargo area lamp work?

Short lived. Went to the shops and discovered that having the subwoofer on the same side as the cargo area light tends to block the light to the rest of the cargo area.

Whod have thought right?

Solved the problem this morning.


During the week AliExpress sourced LED cargo lamps turned up. Ford helpful used these in a heap of cars as both cargo area lights and as footwell lights so they can be bought in pairs for around $10.

This is cheaper than trying to get a replacement Ford bulb carrying lens.


The inner trim is mirrored so a piece of tape provides the canvas to mark out the required cut out to match the right hand side. Yes, the hole is not square to the obvious bits, its located off the verticalish sections of the trim.


Measure twice, **** it up at least twice. Cutting was just a case of drilling a stack of holes around the perimeter and then stabbing with a blade. A bit of shaving to give a firm fit and it was done.


Make a simple loom and then route it around the back of the car and up to the new location.


New right hand LED in place. Just like factory (because it is).


New left hand lamp in place. Its like it was always there. I also terminated the extended wiring loom into a T10 socket that mounts into the factory lamp if ever I get an extra factory lens and these LED type die.

Let the smoke out of a bunch of Arduino stuff playing with the instrument cluster, so in an effort to not have that happen again things are getting pegged down to a baseboard.

This Arduino is set up with dual CAN transceivers so will sit on both XR4 busses. Its the prototype layout for doing the Read from HS and broadcast to the Cluster on MS. I want to use a rotary encoder (not shown) to give a simple selection menu. The idea being pressing the encoder will enable/disable the display and rotating will select from whatever information Im scraping from the bus. Screen is only hooked up at the moment to test some stuff.

Additionally being a Duratec motor the Oil Pressure sender port accepts the Bosch Oil Temp/Pressure combined sender with no need for adapters. The Arduino can take both those analog inputs, convert to a reading for broadcast on the display as well as set a digital output for the Idiot light function.

Ultimately whats on this board would be resolved onto a custom PCB and mounted permanently in-car. It would be


On this baseboard Im using an Arduino with a CAN hat as part of building a fake XR4 To drive the cluster for this testing. The loom goes off to the cluster plug, but I still need to build out the analog inputs for things like the lights, fuel and ambient temp.

While this stuff is interesting its also a massive time soak, and Im being constantly reminded of how much programming experience, and CANBUS messaging experience I dont have.
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