Since Chilly arrived the visors have been a bit wobbly and a bit **** at staying in position. Its a common fault and it all down to the vinyl on the retainer failing with age.
Around March last year Southport Autorecyclers (who Ive gotten a few bits and pieces from) had a pair of original Fiesta but somehow they were lost by Australia Post in Redback Plains. Got a refund and moved on with life.
The vinyl is dry and generally a bit **** as well.
Without this being firmly clipped in place they dont hold position, which form me commuting in the morning means a balance between being blinded by the sun or having the visor blocking my view. Not ideal.
A year later and no decent Fiesta ones turning up it was time to start looking at other options.
As it turns out the LW Focus (so a car released about 5 years after the WQ Fiesta) has identical visors. Focus models before this are different.
So then the hunt started for a set cheap, theyre about $120 per side new, so scoring a pair for $35 each isnt too bad - again from Southport AutoRecyclers.
Standard wrecker parts, clean, but not really clean. Sorted that out and screwed them in.
Beige versus soft grey does stand out, but at least they fit perfectly, work exactly the way they should and didnt cost $120 each.
Future me might do something about this, but it would be a full-one task considering the vanity mirrors would need to be masked up as well.
A car built in Germany, designed in Germany. Germany country that pretty much went to war twice to enforce the metric system as part part of their plans for global domination.
****ing Imperial Bolts used to join the two sections of heat shield over the exhaust.
Two hours later the rusted, cracked tin house is off.
Factory headers are cute little things.
Now that Ive discovered the nuts retaining the header to the head are basically rusted in place I think its time to fire the money gun at a workshop and get them to remove and fit the new headers.
Sometimes its worth remembering that theres people who will do undesirable things for money.
Today I waved some dollars around and drove home with the headers installed and my sanity intact.
Ill take some pics of them installed at some stage, but they really are the 16lbs of **** in a 5lb bag.
Prior to this I popped the old throttle body off and whacked on the 60mm unit. 60mm is for a 2.3L Mondeo (new via Ali Express for like $80 delivered)
Honestly its unnecessary for power, but I do think the actual newness of this means it is smoother in opening action and perhaps a little more snappy in mechanical action on lift-off (granted it will be allowing my airflow for an given pedal position as well).
Chucked in LED taillight/brake bulbs. Much more distinctive/brighter/noticeable on Brake application in daylight which I figure is handy.
A new post because I guess I need to make a list of what I still have sitting on the shelf to fit, and also what I need to do because old cars suck.
The Honey-Do list:
- Power steering flush and reservoir relocation
- Brake upgrade/refresh
- Cruise control
- Paint upper grille
- Actually have a matched set of tyres all the way around
Old Cars Suck:
- Front right corner thumps like a mother****er on hard bumps/potholes etc in a way that the left doesnt.
- Left side has a clank as the load comes on.
- Needs an alignment
- Aka its time to spend money on some bushes, ball joints and probably bearings before too long.
At least with the headers done I can work through the suspension.
Oh taller 5th gear and a LSD and a 2.3 with some cams would be nice too
Found myself needing to go up the back end of Sydney today - and from there climb a little way up I to the base of Blue Mountains. It was the first time Ive really given Chilly a day of solid running since getting him. Sure you spend a decent whack of time driving around the ACT but not the 7-8 hours I had to do.
Thought Id see how fuel use went as well so filled on the way out of my burb and topped up 132km later achieving 6.34L/100km. Thats sitting on the freeway doing an indicated $1.20.
Next leg was a round run from Marulan, up into South Windsor, across to Springwood the back way and then down on the highways back to Marulan. 382km for 7.62L/100km
Tracing the path back to my departure servo is the same 132km but a marginally better 6.2L/100km
Genuinely surprised as 115km translates to 3500-3600rpm in 5th gear. Its loud, but mostly intake resonance I think, will have to think about enclosing the pod better.
Got some half reasonable capture of the engine noise climbing up to Springwood.
Have tweaked some of the heat shields a bit more for clearance.
I buy 99% of the **** for this car online, and in general Im always trying to save money because nothing wastes money like doing up a car that cost $4K and is still worth $4k.
So as Ive worked over the car its pretty clear that while mostly intact the suspension is tired. The bumps and thumps indicate that the bushes might be done for, and the ball joints are probably like my knee joints and a little bit worn out.
The solution could be to invest $180 on new suspension arms, complete with rubber bushes and ball joints.
Invest close to $1k in going for a full set of Powerflex bushes out of the UK. The minor bonus is for that money caster and camber adjustment comes available.
Compromise, which is the path of the tightarse.
Recently Sparesbox had a 20% off sale on Superpro, and like usual their website was being utterly retarded at showing the correct pricing. So while in the mood to spend money somehow theyd listed the same bush kits at marginally under RRP, then applied a 17% discount, and on top of that had some stackable discount code. End price for both kits was about the RRP of the eccentric set (so roughly 25% off). Being Sparesbox the big question is would they simply cancel the order and refund me like they normally do for weird Fiesta bits. 5 days later I got a shipping notice. And a few days after that I got these:
Front arm bushes; the rear pair are eccentric which will be installed to increase castor and the fronts are just poly replacements. Powerflex do a lockable eccentric version of the front that allows camber adjustment but theyre mega $$.
Next will be new bushes for the front antiroll bar (once I measure it) and some new bushes for the rear beam. These will almost most certainly have to come from Powerflex so Im on the clean living Kale Smoothie diet to maximise the value of my kidneys.
Last puzzle piece will be some arms to fit all this up to along with fresh ball joints off-car before doing the quick swap.
I suspect there will be a lot of incremental suspension update posts in the future.
Remember that stupid idea I had to get a Seat Cupra splitter and mount that like the cool kids do? That was dumb.
Plus thanks to Elon making my crypto worth nothing overnight I cant/dont want to afford the new Genuine bits. Thankfully someones finally listed a pretty good used Splitter our on eBay.
Its now mine for about 1/3rd the price of new bits.
Postie also delivered a little something yesterday;
A Drive-by-Wire pedal connector pair so that I can do the cruise control intercepts Plug-and-Play. Why go to this effort? Well this way I can take the cruise out of the pedal circuit in a few moments if it fails out on the road. It shouldnt happen, but $7 for a pair connectors is cheap insurance.
Well that explains something. The side indicators had deviled this habit of filling with water and were looking a bit ****. The fact the lens fell off both sides while removing them screams well theres the problem.
Replacements are $25 each from Ford or for $12 get some LED ones via AliExpress.
Not bad looking.
But they do this. All the cool kids will be frothing about now. Me? Im thinking Im off to Ford when Ive got an excess of $$.
Until then Im that ****** with the sequential indicators.
Started on the cruise control install, this is going to be easy, maybe.
First Ive picked up some OEM pedal connectors so I can make this a plug and play install - so when/if the unit fails it can be taken out of the pedal circuit quickly.
Step One; check the connector pairs I have plug into the loom and the pedal.
Step Two; make the cable.
Im less worried about patching in the CANBUS, Brake and Clutch wiring because realistically theyre just inputs to the Cruise unit not impacting the function of the car whether connected or not. The pedal signal is different.
Some suppliers of cruise kits supply this loom completely plug and play. So there shouldnt be a technical issue as long as the connectors and crimps are OK
Next time I get a couple hours spare Ill pull the lower dash trim, patch in the other wiring and mount the unit. Then its off with the steering column shroud, and out with the drill.
This morning I set about finishing the install of the CANM8 Precision Cruise control.
There were only 4 wires to solder in, an earth and a hole to drill for the stalk, how hard could that be?
Turns out 4 hours of cut hands, minor burns and a enriched swear jar because someone in the factory pinned one connector differently.
First step was to pull off the lower dash trim.
It was at this point I decided that the stereo wiring bundle Ive ignored for close to 15 months needed some little work.
So it got wrapped all the way down to the B-pillar and ultimately tucked around the factory looms a bit better. The green connector incidentally is where I have to splice in the dimming control for the instrument cluster, but thats for another day.
Next the cruise wiring starts. First the pedal interface and power harness are spliced in. The instructions are pretty good, and show the connector pins that need to be tapped. The unit is powered from the brake light feed, ground is a factory chassis ground on the a-pillar frame.
The clutch switch gets tapped, but thanks to the switch location and cost effective wiring loom its almost inaccessible. Soldering the splice up there was a lesson in hot things in confined spaces.
Overall the wiring plan was to bring all the elements of the cruise wiring into a single wrapped bundle then the unit mounted.
The stalk gets mounted to the lower column trim. Theres realistically one place it can go but with the weird angled offset attachment the way the stalk points has quite a bit of adjustment.
I set it well back so that its out of the way of the indicator stalk, but theres enough finger room to hit the cancel button on the rear or operate the cruise without dashing the dash either.
In place. I tried to make it factory like by being as parallel to the indicator stalk as possible.
In practice from my driving position the indicator lamp is just visible over the left hand spoke of the steering wheel, but to control itself is readily operable without interfering with or be obscured by the other stalks. I call that a win.
The last step was to power it all up and run the diagnostics, before a long awaited test drive.
The instructions are a bit like Turn on IGN, within two seconds press and hold the on button u til the LED lights Red. It was a bit disappointing when it didnt.
Following a hunch that the unit wasnt getting power I tried to enter Diagnostic mode while holding the brake pedal. Success! Obviously I had tapped the downstream side of the brake switch. Oh well, probably should have read the instructions. However I had wired it as per instructions. So it was obviously the other right hand side wire when viewed from the wire side. The wire colour is the same on each side so maybe I should have actually checked with a meter first. Swapped than around and tried again.
Passed all diagnostics except the Brake detection.
Look down and realise I hadnt plugged the pedal switch in. Plug it in and try again.
Clean up the tools and go for a drive.
Im pretty happy with it, performance (smoothness of engagement, disengagement etc) is no different the factory cruise in other DBW cars and miles better than the old school aftermarket stuff.
Ive started back working with the arduino to drive the 8 character display on the instrument cluster.
There are numerous challenges along the way, and I think I have finally gotten over one that Id made a mountain of in my mind.
How to select what gets displayed
In the early exploration I simply hard coded the arduino to display a single value, and yeah thats cool, but what happens when I want to see STFT or ECT instead of Speed?
The control also needed to be discrete yet easy enough to use while driving.
Ive settled on using a rotary encoder.
The way the system currently works:
- Display welcome banner for 5 secs
- Clear display and wait for the control dial to be turned or pressed.
- pressing the dial displays the current setting, and also enters the menu mode. Turning the dial scrolls through the options.
- When the desired mode name is displayed pressing the dial selects it.
5 seconds after the last dial turn, or selection the menu mode closes and the actual live data is displayed.
So its pretty simple to select things, and while some of the timeouts are definitely a bit long Im pretty happy with the use ability.
The next hurdle has been reducing the number of sins in my coding.
One of the frustrations with Canbus messaging is that some messages or queries need to be timed very specifically. For example to display the full 8 characters on the dash I actually have to send two messages to the cluster. They can be sent independently but the minimum time between the left 5 character message and the right 3 character message is expected to be 40ms.
As Ive written a function that takes a string input from the main code loop and breaks it down into those two messages I had to embed a 40ms delay into that function. When we are displaying the menu options, or wanky slogans the 44ish ms time out of the main program loop is fine. However if we also have to have a 20-40ms delay in reading some data from the other Canbus interface (remember this reads from HSBUS (500kbps) and writes to the cluster via the MSBUS (125kbps)) we then have 80-100ms of delay and execution time. Thats not going to be acceptable.
So I dug a little into how the factory radio uses those messages.
Yes like my project the factory stereo will display an 8 character string, but more often then not it sets either the Left 5 characters OR right 3 characters and then only updates the opposite character set. For example youre playing a CD and start changing tracks: TRACK gets displayed on the left, the display is persistent until overwritten, but the 01, 02 etc is cycled on the right 3 character message.
The role flips when radio frequencies are changed.
So now Im going to rewrite the DisplayDash function so that it splits the incoming 8 character string into the two sections, checks to see if they have changed since the last call to the function, and only pushes out the changed one. If theyre both different then we wear the delay. As thats only likely as a result of menu operation or an external override its not going to break things.
In the main execution loop of the arduino, delays are pretty much poison. Instead a variable is set to the current system clock/timer and tested each loop of the code under the desired delay has occurred. This means that the processor can be doing other things in the time.
In my case I need to poll some of the arduino i/o ports to get analogue data and some digital states for some future ideas.
This also plays into LCD refresh time, and how frequently we need to update the display. A slow moving value like coolant temperature probably can be updated every 15 seconds, while road speed is between off being updated every second or two. The tachometer really needs to be right at the limit of the display refresh and probably rounded to the nearest 10rpm.
Each mode is coded into its own function, the functions do the collection of data (whether it be from the Canbus or analogue input) does any manipulation or unit conversion and then calls the DisplayDash function before returning to the main loop.
In the main loop for each mode I set the update rate, that way we only incur the processing and Canbus delay if we actually want to change the display.
Enough of learn to program badly with Aaron for now.
The video linked below shows how the menu works, yes I have it running to a seperate LCD because its a lot quicker rebooting the I2C driven LCD each code change compared to the actual Fiesta Dashboard. I also use random number generators in place of the Canbus OBD2 queries so I dont need to be running a billionty other boards for testing.
other boards for testing.
Next step is to rewrite that DisplayDash code to do the split messages.
Then I need to start work on the OBD2 functions, theyre easy but so so many.
Somewhere along the way Ive got plans to do a 0-100 timer and 1/8 and 1/4mile timers for a bit of fun. (Simply have it calculate the ET and display until reset, or maybe store a handful of run times while the arduino remains powered.
So much effort for something that ultimately is a gimmick.
It was going to be a good day today and then it went bad.
First the good bits.
During the week I received a large squishy parce from the UK.
It was a lot of bubble wrap, a piece of cardboard and these two bits of flexible plastic.
Yep, time to get a factory splitter!
10 metal clips and a bunch of ohh thats how it fits later and its fitting as best it will to my mangled from bar. I think Ill get another set of clips to tighten it up as most of the plastic moulded clips are long gone off my bumper. Probably could stick a screw or two in also.
But while I was under the bumper wrangling this I found something less good.
Yeah, suspiciously like my radiator is starting to weep from the end tank seal/join.
Glance over the other side. Urgh. Same again. FML.
A quick Google confirms an XR4 radiator is made from gold and 19mm think versus a lesser Fiesta with a 16mm core and made from normal cheap radiator materials.
Ill do some looking about, but it seems my best bet is going to be a Nissen assuming I can find stock somewhere.
Otherwise its taking a punt on one from the UK.
With the radiator question blowing a $350 odd dollar hole in my enthusiasm I decided to play shove the pokey thing into the rubber thing.
Or dodgy fix my unobtainium Right-hand engine mount with a moulded piece of poly instead of a new $600 mount (if theyre actually available)
Pull the XR4 specific coolant tank (trying not to break it or the XR4 specific hard coolant bleed line) to expose the XR4 specific engine mount. This corner of the engine bay is like the home of hard to get parts that fail frequently it seems.
The mount could be best described as ****ed.
Powerflex make these inserts which take up the voids but are barely firmer than the rubber of the mount itself. So they dont increase NVH like the aftermarket Vibratec mounts do.
I ended up having to undo the mount bolts, and jack the motor to open the lower voids enough to insert this.
Took a bit of silicone paste lube but I probably should have invited it out to dinner followed by some Netflix and chill first.
Once its through the voids the purple locking clip goes on.
And then the coolant tank goes back over it leaving a barely visible sign of the install.
Of course to actually get the thing bolted down I had to shove the engine forward in the bay and nip the mount down.
Time to get this power steering reservoir relocation done, hopefully once and for all getting done with the dumping of steering fluid all over the engine.
Step one pull the battery box out so I can finalise my fluid reservoir bracket mounting.
Reservoir on the ABS bracket, additional pair of screws to attach the bracket to the battery box, one screw is extra long to also clamp the reservoir.
Casually remove the front of the car. Disconnect the fluid return from the reservoir and (engine off) cycle the steering to pump a bunch of the old fluid out.
Pull off the old reservoir.
Remove the factory return hose from the hardline (gbanger had used a joiner at the reservoir end when he did the steering cooler). Theres not much room back there.
The old fluid was toasted. Very very toasted.
As I was also replacing all the return hoses I had to pull the steering cooler out. This gives me the option of changing the orientation and also adjusting how it was mounted.
The Anembo billet pump intake adapter being introduced to the pump.
In place, theres so much caked up residue of steering fluid around here that I dont think my case of degreaser is going to resolve it.
Routed around to the reservoir. The large hose is the feed to the pump, the smaller is the return from the cooler.
Cooler rotated and a much more gentle turn in the lines as a result. Cooler is now mounted against the crash bar instead of the ac condenser.
Rather than trying to run from a lower point on the factory return I let it come up over the the engine and then deviate across and down into the front bar.
At this point I did some manual cycling of the rack and then fired it up to flush through some fluid. I would have pumped about 1.2L through.
From there it was all down hill. Connect the return up to the new reservoir, more manual cycling, then finally fire it up again cycle it. Then let it sit for a bit and repeat again.
So out with the degreaser.
Start cleaning up the various spills and wait for it to stop dripping so I could put the front of the car back on.
While the bumper was off I took some time to make a few repairs or tweaks.
First wrestle all the clips for the grilles to be fully engaged. This should make things a little more firm fitting.
On the drivers side the lower mount is completely missing. So I made a new one. Its not perfect and I really need to get a new sheet of ABS and redo this better than using old scrap pieces. The screws are stainless and hold my new tongue piece to the bumper. The slot cut in the bend allows a tongue on the bumper to move freely and keep the bumper aligned, but allows some movement when bumped.
The mount on the passenger side was just hanging in place so Ive reinforced the lower section. You can see that tongue more clearly. I didnt make the lock tab for the other side, but when/if I remake the piece I will also cut a couple of slots and create a locking tab.
You can see how my piece of scrap just barely fits in place. When it looks really dodgy the bumper now locates well. Tip for future me is to have longer scrap bits laying about or actually buy more ABS when the last bits are used.
My bumper bracket is broken like that but its stitched on with 2 cable ties hah
Nice work on the PAS, I just have an oil cooler on it and it never overheats now, even on autosolos which are brutal on the steering. The o-ring on the cap sometimes overspills too when it sloshes, I swapped mine to a slightly thicker o-ring which stops leaks on track but the downside is the cap is reallllly hard to get off.
The awesome of paying someone to install the headers wire off shortly after when I found the stuff broken in the process. You know, nothing so bad as to be dangerous, but enough to **** of a person who actually gives a damn about their car.
Just a little piece of plastic, nothing really. Except those of you whove watch this thread will know that this is that seal between the plenum pieces for the cabin air intake. I knew there was a problem when I smelt more burning power steering fluid than reasonable.
In two places no less.
And this is where things get frustrating. Its not a super difficult part to replace, and its common to all Fiestas from 2002-2008, so its not even impossible to find one. However instead of doing a Karen at the exhaust shop and getting some alternative level of collateral damage Ive decided to bodge a fix until some time that I can get a new lower plenum. Theyre made form brittle plastic so having one shipped is not high on my list of priorities.
Ignoring it isnt an option because the tang of engine bay gases is just not pleasant.
First step is to outline a filler piece. It doesnt have to be perfect.
Cut and sand it so it sits in the opening.
To reinforce the section I made a ABS flange that was bent to sit over the old flange and new insert. It addresses the damage between the brake booster vacuum line clip and the broken out section.
The whole lot is epoxied into place. Its ugly, but its solid and with some new foam will seal the gap ok.
On the next section I simply used the folded flange approach as there was only a need to create a new seal mating surface.
I also removed the tacky old head mat and wrapped the plenum in deadener. At some stage Ill also layer on more heat insulation. This should improve the function of the AC a little.
Id take more photos but once I started working with the epoxy, well you know the drill, that **** sticks to everything.
It was at this point I kicked back for a bit to reset the ECU after all the fussing with the electronics for the past few weeks (Cruise install etc). Yeah surprising how many fault codes can be accumulated when connecting and disconnecting random wiring.
Also went on a squeak hunt on the B-Pillar. I simply wrapped a lot of things with cloth tape and crossed my fingers. Theres some metal on metal noise of some screw points for the trim that clip into the bodywork. Its a long bow, but Ill try it
Also made myself a pair of umbrella hooks that attach to the rear seat base hinge.