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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
When I switched jobs 18 months ago (which was the catalyst for buying this thing) I moved to a role where the movement of people, freight and mail in and out of the country is used as a core data input for my work. So Ive learnt a lot about how freight moves. However sometimes the mind does boggle at it.

For example heres the tracking for my bunch of Gates pets sourced from RockAuto in the USA.
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FedEx is pretty quick at getting the package from RockAuto and moves it to a freight hub in Memphis Tennessee where it sits for a while before heading for Honolulu.

Now lets check out the radiator that was ordered from a UK supplier, but ships direct from a warehouse in Denmark. Its travelling with UPS.

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It moves very quickly from Denmark to Sweden and onto Germany. It loiters in Koeln Germany for nearly a day before flying to Louisville Kentucky, a quick connection and its on to Honolulu.

In both cases theyll be on the ground in Honolulu for a fairly short period.

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Now with a bit of mucking around in commonly available apps we can look up flights coming into Sydney with UPS as the airline.

And theres my Radiator.

FedEx on the other hand also has a flight inbound, but I think the Gates bundle from RockAuto missed it.

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This isnt great news as the next FedEx flight (FX77) is in 48 hours and that really will push the ETA at my door badly.

In itself thats not very exciting, but its all nice to see that I should have my parts for the long weekend, so instead of watching warbirds in Temora (original plan) Ill be under a 14 year old Fiesta swearing.

So why send a package through at least 2 more airports and another whole country instead of direct Europe to Australia? Why not go through the Middle East like most passenger flights?

The answer there lies in aircraft efficiency, in general the big freighters trade off cargo weight capacity for fuel beyond 8 hours of flying. Honolulu - Sydney at 10 hours doesnt have much tradeoff, but stretch out to 14 hours and we are talking a significant extra cost, and potentially less cargo because of the additional fuel.

Theres also a concept of fuel tankering where a flight will be heavy on fuel because the cost of the fuel, and the cost of flying the fuel is lower than the cost to buy fuel at certain points on the route. Domestically Qantas used to tanker flights coming into Canberra (most expensive contract price JetA1 in Australia at the time) so theyd fly in heavy, refuel just enough to meet the minimum fuel needed for safety margins to the next destination, and some variance to ensure the minimum fuel purchase contract was met for the month. Short haul this isnt great because theres an expectation for planes to be a maximum weight when landing thats lighter than their maximum takeoff weight due to fuel burn, but Qantas still saved money. I heard unofficially that on some flights this could increase profitability per passenger mile by around 30% but was on average sub 10% improvement. Anyway its next to impossible to do that flying International In or Out of Australia long haul.

The other side is the flow of freight, UPS, FedEx, DHL etc all operate their own airlines moving freight, so their objective is to have as much occupied capacity in and out of a country. The Europe/US routes are like Sydney/Melbourne to them, theres always enough freight to fill a plane. But you may not fill a freight aircraft between Europe and Australia more than once a week. That doesnt work for express delivery times, so instead they move the freight to concentration points and it still takes about two days for the combined load of Europe/USA to fill a Sydney bound flight for each of these companies. Yes they also fly into other cities, but the frequency and routing choices change. So where to from Sydney? Most aircraft fly out of Sydney on into China or Asia, hopping from there into the Middle East and/or Europe before crossing to the USA. Of course between maintenance, curfews and flight times we dont see the same plane week in week out, but rather in a weird oscillating pattern. Some of these patterns follow freight volume, in part influenced by airport costs, and local labour costs, and even warehousing costs to hold freight in the lead up to flights. Is it cheaper to do that at an airport in Tennessee than Honolulu? Hell yes!

The other real interesting thing to me is that before either of those packages took off from the mainland USA they were subject to the Australian customs declaration process. https://www.abf.gov.au/imports/Pages/How-to-import/Import-declarations.aspx. Its pretty dry reading, and in short it says around 8-24hours before a packages arrival in Australia the Border Force (Australian Customs) wants to get a message like this: Aaron has a bundle of goods coming on this flight. Aaron claims they are car parts, theyre in this duty category, theyre a low value import and GST has been paid.

If you buy a lot of stuff overseas that gets delivered by Australia Post and you use their App, this moment is typically when AusPost says oi ****, Ive got a package coming that we are going to kick around our warehouse network before delivering to your neighbours roof.

Behind the scenes though the package, its sender and recipient are all subjected to some awesome data matching and flagged if necessary for further scrutiny upon arrival. Lets leave the details at random packages are inspected. Its like the parcel version of that TV show where somehow the Border Force officials always manage to find the random dude with 43 lizards in his pants and a jar of beetles.

When these flights finally land, the palletised loads are deplaned and given another once over by customs are any random items extracted from their pallet for inspection. In most cases though packages remain in the same pallet like bundle they were packed in back in the USA, and onforwarded to a more local distribution hub if theres sufficient volume.

For us this seems to be where the wheels and package movement stops. Somehow (in my experience anyway) once a package ends up in Sydney it gets to go on the meandering tour.

So in a few days we will see whether my long weekend is ruined completely or just messed up because either way no thunderous Merlin and P&W warbird fun for me.

And there you go a rudimentary description of global airfreight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
No good deed (or preventative maintenance) goes unpunished.

As you all know I had to swap the radiator because leaks and decided to double down and do the single serpentine belt, the idler and the tensioner.

Something like eight hours of internalised tool throwing tantrums I managed it.

Lets call it 9am on a sunny winters day.
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New radiator looks the goods. Has all the clips for attaching the AC condenser, the single cooling fan and the all important bleed port. It also survived the journey from Denmark without harm.

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In standard Fiesta tradition engine work is done through a headlight hole. Access goes from not, to barely.

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With the belt off (more on that 2.2m long monster later) and the water pump pulley exposed I can conform its a few ruins Ford pump, and seems to be a 2007 date coded one.

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Looking up from the bottom with the tensioner and the idler removed. The tensioner goes just above the CAS, and the Idler is about in parallel with the alternator pulley. Although not super clear in the picture everything has a thick congealed layer of steering fluid.

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Comparing all the bits - interestingly the idler is larger, and metal which will probably make no difference during my ownership period, but I think I was lucky with the plastic genuine item only showing a belt grove worn around 1/2mm down. While not perfect none of the bearings were bad, and no wobbles etc.

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Looks a bit worse for wear now doesnt it. While its almost a Duratec tradition to snap the most accessible ear off I spent close to 4 hours beating this thing into submission.

What had happened is the pump had corroded on the interface to the block. So using a long drift and hammer all I could do was smack it until something gave. Eventually I was able to rotate the pump about 30 degrees with hammer blows, and clock it about 10 degrees back. At this point it started to start working its way out. Thats not all that hard, but two hits from under the car, then two hits from the top, and then two from the front. Repeat. Eventually I bolted a spanner to the flange and got it to a point where it could be wiggled. Finally it jiggled its way out.

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This is the new pump. When new they are a gentle sliding fit, just a bit of lube on the o-ring and a push.

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So many hours.

The broken tool toll was, 2x chisels, 1x screwdriver and I actually somehow twisted my fancy spring steel prybar.

Pump bearings were fine.

Pump hadnt leaked.

If I didnt change it Id estimate it would have leaked next week.
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For what its worth, changing a Duratec to run an Electric Waterpump simply requires the pump to be replaced with a bung. The water inlet and the thermostat (changed around this time last year) is mounted direct to the block behind the pump casting.

Id also been liberally applying the degreaser and scrubbing away the grease.

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New tensioner in place. By this point the sheer relief at having the pump out and only having got the old radiator out meant I had to crack on and kinda forgot to take photos.

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The maze of pulleys ready for the belt.

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It looks easy. Incidentally the belt width is basically the same as the clearance between the motor and the frame. Id ordered a slightly longer belt (as specd by Gates) which obviously compensates for the larger idler. Getting the belt on was a three handed job. One cranks the tensioner back, the other guides the belt onto the crank pulley, the last hand swings a 20mm socket on the crank and turns the motor over until the belt schnicks into place. Then turn it over until the belt is seated where it should be on the idler and water pump pulleys.

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Working backwards its finally time to put the radiator in and reinstall the headlight.

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New genuine reservoir. These are intermittently available and while the old one wasnt leaking it had some spider webs forming. More prevention, and it does look nice.

No pics of the radiator install. The process is kind of neat, all being done from under the car, and for the most part its a juggle of clips and sliding things about until it goes into place.

Thank **** its over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I know I’ve mentioned a few rattles and buzzes from the interior as being (minor) annoyances.

Today I decided to dig a little deeper while still avoiding the “remove the inside of the car”.

First the rear drivers side buzz.


To remove this panel the rear seat abs to come out, along with the C-pillar trim and luggage are trim. Today is not that day. However as I’ve pulled it loose a few times to get up in the B-Pillar area I knew there were some dirty secrets behind it.


Dirty Secrets? Well more dirt than secrets. What is obvious to me is the lack of a retaining clip between the two cupped areas.


Last melon. I usually have a bunch of these in the various sizes as I replace busted ones when I find them and more often than not fit them in the place of missing ones when doing work on other peoples cars. If you’ve ever done that you’ll know while they look the same there’s probably two dozen distinct shapes and diameters and as such the generic ones from parts stores generally work.

Anyway this sucker got slipped into place and now that trim still moves like it did before. Yay. Defeated I will do something else.


Door trim! The passenger door card vibrates terribly at times, usually when the engines cold and definitely more loudly with the engine mount insert in place. While I’ve had the window switches out for the LED install I haven’t had this trim off.


I really appreciate the way the doors are built. The inner skin mounts everything and doesn’t rattle, buzz or otherwise have any issues.


The outer skin - eventually I’ll have to pull the brown pressed fibre section and retrim it (you can see the sag in the trim material in the previous pic) but for now what’s painfully obvious is the lack of clips. No wonder the trim felt loose.


With my supply of clips perilously low anyway I went looking for more of these. As they clip into plastic tabs on the inner door skins the fit needs to be Goldilocks.

As it turns out Ford 1208973 clips were used in exactly one model, the WP/WQ Fiesta. That’s it. Hopefully a visit to the local parts shops will yield an aftermarket clip, but with a 5 to 6mm diameter and short stem I’m not liking my chances.



There’s also meant to be three of these.


They mate to a very specific socket in the trim. Meet Ford 1230332, I’m pretty sure they’re kept behind the boxes of rocking horse **** and chicken teeth in the unobtainium factory.


Our first clip type at least has a ready supply, not cheap at about $25 for a baggie of 20, but I would be able to redo both doors and have spares.

The second seem to be an eye watering $5 each, when/if available from Ford only. I need a few, plus their “socket” side as I am pretty the drivers door was missing some too.

If you’re looking for me I’ll be over there having a quiet rage about how stereo installers are largely a group of hamfisted apes who shouldn’t be allowed to work with toy blocks let alone cars.




My last little thought exercise is the silver grab handles in the doors. The photo does really show it as well as I’d like, but they’re quite yellowed where they’re exposed and the mounting section shows just how bright sliver they were from the factory.

I guess future me will be doing some painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Eventually having my own ****up staring me in the face wore me down into fixing it.


Probably well over a year ago I committed the cardinal sin of detailing. I got a fair mist of interior trim spray, or leather cleaner onto the instrument cluster. As is the norm for these sprays a hazy spatter got etched into the clear plastic (above the centre gauges) and more embarrassingly I rubbed it in good on the lower left of the speedo.

It’s always been a bit of a mystery as to why the clear plastics react so badly to products designed to work on plastics, but I guess it’s got a lot to do with surface penetration etc.

Either way it’s annoying, and doubly so because I know I did it.

The fix is pretty simply, polish it out, and as I’ve been wanting to pull the cluster out for ages to do the LEDs I’d convinced myself “I’ll do it then”, but I haven’t and it really really is getting annoying.


In the past I’ve used all manner of super mild automotive polishes and gotten good results, I’ve also had a hankering to try this stuff.

The word is that it works by hand exceptionally well which is a nice change when you’re working on cluster faces. Plastic polish is nothing new, and there’s any number of options boutique or retail.

Like all polishes it’s a case of shaking the bottle until you’re fed with shaking. Then shake it some more.


First pass worked, but needed more pressure and a bit more consistency across the cluster. But within a couple of passes I ended up with it looking pretty good.




A little bit more “all over” work and it’s looking pretty good. There’s still deeper spots to get out but I can do something about them when the cluster is out of the car.




The closeup doesn’t lie.

Spent about 10 minutes in total and now grumbling to myself about “should have done this ages ago”.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
The day has come to drag the Arduino kit out to the car and have a bit of a go with pushing stuff to the cluster while the car is actually running.


It’s rough looking but portable enough now.


First I need to re-enable the radio display in the Cluster (this is done via the Dash user settings)


The on my Arduino all it takes is a click of the Rotary encoder to enter the menu and scroll to the “Speed” option, another click to select it.



A couple of seconds later we have the Speed displayed.

I’m exceptionally happy with this - although the speed display is randomly generated at this point the data for the Tach and Coolant temp aren’t.

So switching over to this gives me….


Nothing. A big fat nothing.

So I either have a bug in my code, a bug in the code I “borrowed” or a hardware fault reading the HSCAN bus.

Nothing like a definitive point to start troubleshooting.


In other news, there’s a couple of coolant drops at the joint of the upper radiator hose and the coolant outlet on the head. This was that corroded, crusty alloy piece I cleaned up last year. My current thought is to ignore it, but ultimately I think I’ll just buy a plastic outlet and swap it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·

We have success!

It took a few hours until I realised that I had inadvertently not assigned the CANBUS board that queries the car (HS-CAN) a hardware interrupt on the Arduino correctly. Move one wire, reassign the interrupt in my code and BAM!

Now feeling less like a fool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Clippy, the friend no one wanted.

The scuttle is attached with two clips. Two very unique clips, I’d not had a matched set and for some reason aftermarket clips weren’t “right” and don’t hold much.


Ford (reproduction) clips are very snug, the Goldilocks length and the lock button had to be tapped down with a hammer.


Last weeks coolant drop mark hasn’t gotten worse or been joined by any friends. This is good as it seems that the upper rad hose as somewhat sealed itself again on the corroded outlet. When I changed the rad hose this time last year it did the same as then didn’t drip again.

That said I ordered a revised design water outlet complete with matched temp sender for $30. The major revision is it’s made of plastic. These were a production change on all Duratec motors from 2007/2008. Im not stressed about this leak, yes it can get worse, but ultimately it’s not really a driving along and all the coolant goes missing in one hit like the radiator end tanks were.

Also don’t appear to ******* power steering fluid all over the place - although there’s still some wetness on a flex section of the return line that I didn’t change.

That can be a summer job as it’s going to need the system drained and by then another go with fresh fluid should take care of any lingering crud in the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
This morning I decided I’d lived long enough and went out to the garage to end it all.


Remember these? My spare factory springs and KYB struts?


Well I Played with the kill-deathy spring compressors, didn’t die and managed to swap a set of Eibach springs onto them.


Pull the rear ended apart. Beat the adjustable spring platforms off with a hammer.


The decide to fit up the big rear brakes while there’s no spring in the way. New (rebuilt) Focus SVT caliper and carrier, new TRW plain rotors (because cheap), and new Goodridge braided lines.


A bit bigger than the old rotors.


When I fitted the 12mm axle spacers I put them on the inside of the backing plate that conveniently gives the clearance to run the bigger rotors and retain the factory backing plate. This one needed some tweaking as well.

Eventually got it all back together. The Eibachs sit the rear at the same height it was with the coilover rears. I will need to get new shocks for the rear at least but kept the ones from the coilover kit in for now as they are better than the original Ford ones.

Used Forscan to cycle the ABS pump to at least ghetto bleed the calipers.

Still have to sort out handbrake adjustment and bleed them properly, but for now it will do until I throw the struts into the front, and the 300mm brake setup (tomorrow).
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Today was a good day, and then not.


I pulled the coilovers out, they didn’t fight half as much as the rear end did.


There’s a considerable difference in length. The KYB in the right is well used and came in a box with the stock springs. Just take note of the relative heights of the two tabs on the leg.

But first a meandering story.

During last year I got new bump stops covers and strut tops, assembled theM and left them under the workbench for the “it’s too low” problem.

Then because the coilovers seems to not cope with potholes and rougher roads that well I started keeping my eye out for springs. This is when the Eibachs turned up, but I’m feeling too tight to buy shocks.

Anyway with a 3 week lockdown and a Camry to drive nowhere I decided to knock off some jobs and get some garage space back.


New old strut in, caliper pulled off and ready to do brakes. I didn’t exactly take many photos because well, everything just worked.

The caliper mounts holes needed to be bored out to 12mm (from the 10.5mm they are factory) to match the new Focus SVT/ST170 calipers. Having all brand new parts reassembly was best summed up by: “That went well”



New rotors are 300mm. One of the attractions of the swap is that the consumables are exactly the same price. Just Focus St170 instead of Fiesta ST150.

So anyway wait to the last minute when everything is bolted up, then disconnect the old brake hose, screw the Goodridge braided one and go do the other side.

Takes bugger all time, and Forscan is dumping brake fluid out with the bleed process. Fresh fluid is now completely through the system. Win.

Test drive time.

Roll off the driveway “clunk”.

Think that maybe I need to tweak the rear anti roll bar a bit more - if it’s snugged up too close to the rear beam it can strike it under load - start driving down the street.

clunk

Gingerly reverse back up the driveway. Do a quick bolt check. Yep everything right.

Try again.

Clunking down the road at least the brakes work. Well once they start burning off all the usual new brake and pad crap.

Lap of the street (400m) and stick my head under the car.

Now let’s go back to picture two. See the tag that’s distinctly at a different level on the right side of the leg? That’s the mount for the antiroll bar link.

At rest the car was sitting the frame rails on the front antiroll bar because the links are now too short. No worries they’re adjustable. Installed they were set to about 230mm. So he let’s just loosen the lock nuts and spin it.

Adjustable to 255mm max and they need to be 290mm. So at their maximum tried another test drive - only clunks on compression - which is uncannily like what was happening with the coilovers fitted.

Scratch my head and actually get right under the rail and look up. It all makes sense now. The rail “flange” has witness marks, they’re not fresh. I guess that explains why I thought the coilovers were smashing non-existent bump stops. Turns out they weren’t even getting to the bump stops!

Oh well now we know.

New OEM links ordered for a grand sum of $46.80, hopefully that’s the end of the suspension adventure for a while. Early impression is that the car is a billionty times nicer on the Eibachs anyway :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
And we are caught up for now. Currently in lockdown so can’t go anywhere, and those linkrods still haven’t turned up (been a few weeks)
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
With another 4 weeks of lockdown I figured I could make a good start on the standalone loom setup that I’ve posted about previously.

So my UK Spec engine loom came out of its shipping box and I started to strip away the convoluted tubing, mounting clips and the like.


Fiesta engine looms terminate into a single junction point to the rest of the vehicle. My conversion of the loom follows the same concept, but it will be a lot less pins!


After a couple hours on a milk-crake throne the vast majority of the loom is stripped. The alternator control and AC compressor clutch wiring is still in situ but everything else is gone.


It’s pretty straight forward when you have the diagrams. But even then there’s a mix of splices and junctions built into the loom that need to be considered. For example the “branch” that triggers the AC Compressor clutch also has a couple of junctions that double back some earthing and power, cut the branch off and suddenly something else doesn’t ground!


Next steps are to construct looms that would be on the “car side” of the large C800 connector:
  • ECU to Accelerator Pedal sensor
  • ECU to PATS key Reader
  • ECU to Cluster
  • Body to Cluster

For this project we are keeping the Cluster in place, however I may end up replacing it with an Arduino that will fulfil the immobiliser requirement by acting as the validation reference of Keys.

I’ll be using all Ford factory wire colours/traces for the extension loom. That’s 24 distinct combinations.

On the ECU/Engine bay side I am also converting to run COP instead of the coil pack (again factory wire colour and spec in use).

On the whole these looms are very easy to convert, as this is going into a RWD car I’m also going to significantly change the routing of some sections for better presentation.

Probably should have ordered some more Deutsch stuff when I put in the wire order :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Part of the conversion I’m doing for the spare loom
involves adapting from a Ford EDIS style coil pack to Coil-On-Plug.

The destination engine is an LS Focus motor that has COP already. Switching ignition types is actually a minor pain because the COP cars don’t have the provision to mount the Coil pack - it bolts on a platform built into the water outlet for the head - and the coil-pack cars don’t have the mounts for the individual coils.

All told it’s a pretty pointless exercise swapping between the two styles. The XR4 Coil packs and short leads don’t suffer from poor spark, and the COP cars don’t suffer from coil issues. So it’s just not done because the expense gains nothing measurable.

But it does mean when moving wiring and management between the engines it’s cheaper to change the XR4 wiring to suit the COP setup.


Coils are simple 12v direct fire, “2-wire”. On a 2.3L they’re different again being a “3-wire” aka triggered coil. The coil-packs are direct fire waste-spark configuration.



XR4 / ST150 (and early Mazda3, early Mondeo Mk3 Duratec) set up for coil pack. These are also non-VVT motors.


LS Focus (non VVT) cover.

Between the two you can see the obvious change to suit the two coil types. I have some spare 2.3L coils around so will do a fitment test to see if they will work on the Focus cover. If in the future we end up building an engine that’s going to run aftermarket management (we have another potential Duratec powered build in the pipeline) we will use the 2.3L coils as they’re proven to support a metric ****-ton more power than in scope for that build. Then again we are likely to start with a 2.3L.

That’s the hardware. The wiring is pretty simple, the COP coils use the standard Ford coil plugs, and the wiring is simply extended and branched to fire them in pairs. This is no different to the COP conversions done on MX5s etc.

All up about $15 in connectors, wire and tape instead of a few hundred $$ and a bunch of messy work swapping cam covers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Moving on with the loom work I figured I’d share the next phase of the process. That is trying to minimise both the weight and future troubleshooting “red-herrings”.


This is where we left off. There were a few wires up the branches for the Alternator (disappearing to the right below the paper) and AC clutch being the bigger ticket items.


The Alternator branch is shared with the crank sensor sub-loom. So the alternator wiring is completely unwrapped. And then the connector opened up and the pins removed.


The junction connector with only the crank sensor wiring remaining. The loose pins are the alternator wires that will now get pulled out of the main loom branches for removal.


Once this process starts very quickly a rats nest develops. The only way forward is to double down on stripping things apart.


Here’s a couple of now redundant inputs for the ECU. Some might just cut them off and leave them but as I’ve come to learn when you’re back trying to fix some other issue the last thing you need to loose ends!


So the back half of the ECU plug is popped off.


Then the front cover removed so I can access the release tabs for the pins. The two wires are released and pulled out the back of the ecu.


Covers clipped back on. Now here’s a funny one. These are the two ECU plugs. The physical pin layouts are identical, the electrical connections they make are vastly different. The only thing preventing disaster is a tiny difference in keyway position.


As the loom splits out we can see that one ECU plug is largely devoted to engine sensors and controls. In this case it’s “C2”. I will only have to remove two “no longer needed” wires from C2.

C1, now that’s a different story.
 

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Part of the conversion I’m doing for the spare loom
involves adapting from a Ford EDIS style coil pack to Coil-On-Plug.

The destination engine is an LS Focus motor that has COP already. Switching ignition types is actually a minor pain because the COP cars don’t have the provision to mount the Coil pack - it bolts on a platform built into the water outlet for the head - and the coil-pack cars don’t have the mounts for the individual coils.

All told it’s a pretty pointless exercise swapping between the two styles. The XR4 Coil packs and short leads don’t suffer from poor spark, and the COP cars don’t suffer from coil issues. So it’s just not done because the expense gains nothing measurable.

But it does mean when moving wiring and management between the engines it’s cheaper to change the XR4 wiring to suit the COP setup.


Coils are simple 12v direct fire, “2-wire”. On a 2.3L they’re different again being a “3-wire” aka triggered coil. The coil-packs are direct fire waste-spark configuration.



XR4 / ST150 (and early Mazda3, early Mondeo Mk3 Duratec) set up for coil pack. These are also non-VVT motors.


LS Focus (non VVT) cover.

Between the two you can see the obvious change to suit the two coil types. I have some spare 2.3L coils around so will do a fitment test to see if they will work on the Focus cover. If in the future we end up building an engine that’s going to run aftermarket management (we have another potential Duratec powered build in the pipeline) we will use the 2.3L coils as they’re proven to support a metric ****-ton more power than in scope for that build. Then again we are likely to start with a 2.3L.

That’s the hardware. The wiring is pretty simple, the COP coils use the standard Ford coil plugs, and the wiring is simply extended and branched to fire them in pairs. This is no different to the COP conversions done on MX5s etc.

All up about $15 in connectors, wire and tape instead of a few hundred $$ and a bunch of messy work swapping cam covers.
I used the cam cover for the mk3 mx5 on mine so I could utilise the internal dipstick. They use COP as standard but even with standalone management I stuck with a wasted spark setup, as it was just a lot simpler when you can pay £300 for a loom adapter that makes everything plug and play.

Vehicle Hood Automotive air manifold Motor vehicle Automotive exterior
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
C1 is where things start becoming more of a challenge.

This connector carries some critical control and Inout functions for the ECU, and as such most of the wiring that integrates the ECU to the rest of the car is now at play.


We start at C1 itself. First with a process of elimination, the already labelled redundant AC and Alternator wires are pulled to one side.

Next known sensors (in this case it’s the two O2 sensors and and then Evap solenoid) are traced back and split out. This leaves a touch over 30 wires to trace and identify.


It doesn’t take long to ID the Accelerator Pedal wiring (6 down), PATS key reader (4 down) and a couple of single wires for sensing Fuel Pump power and the like. This is because they’re distinct colours terminating and the body junction connector.


The remaining 18 are the challenge.




We have 3x Black-Blue. Black-Blue is typically an ECU switched ground. In this case they control the ECU Power Relay, Fuel Pump Relay and the Cooling Fan Relay.

There’s a lot more Black-Yellow. Now these are not fun. Throughout the car they’re generally a downstream Ground. That means they can be a ground and simply go off and join into a Chassis Ground (Black) via a splice. But they can also be an ECU input (Or Input to the GEM or ABS or Cluster).

I could probably just tie these all straight to ground, the ECU would boot and the engine would start. Cheering. Then I’d have a massive head**** when a couple of seconds after starting the ECU would shutdown the throttle body. So each one will need to be traced, the function confirmed and treated accordingly. See one of them goes back to a brake pedal switch. There’s another running to a switch on the clutch pedal.

There’s another wire, Green-Red, that has similar trick. Green wires are typically power distribution - Green-Yellow is the typical IGN-ON feed while Green-Blue is more of a switched for purpose Power. There’s Green-White, Green-Orange and Green-Red scattered around the car as well, and you could almost say “when in doubt apply power”.

But at C1 there’s a Green-Red that links to the power feed of the brake lights. It’s the failsafe for the Brake-Light-Switch input.

Why the failsafes? Well I suppose under some weird circumstances the accelerator pedal might get stuck down, so when the driver holds the brake on the ECU closes the throttle a second or two later. It will only allow the throttle to open again once the brake is released. If you wanted to have fun at the track and experiment with left foot braking you may want to pull those inputs from the ECU.

In any case, this is just one way to change and adapt factory looms. A combination of obvious “process of elimination”, testing and knowing a lot more about the overall vehicle wiring language is what it takes. And time. Lots of time.

The next step from here will be to plan the chassis to ECU link for the car this is going into. It’s already got all the relays and chassis loom in place so it’s back to the notes I made when I built that loom around 2006/7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I used the cam cover for the mk3 mx5 on mine so I could utilise the internal dipstick. They use COP as standard but even with standalone management I stuck with a wasted spark setup, as it was just a lot simpler when you can pay £300 for a loom adapter that makes everything plug and play.
Nice. The car this loom is going into is currently running a Mk2 Focus Duratec and ECU - originally and automatic as well! We built it back in 2006/2007 and took a lot of shortcuts at the time. We are hoping to get some improved performance simply by having the ST150 stock computer that seems to take advantage of improved intake and exhaust flows without tuning. The ability to then plug in an Dreamscience unit and flash a tune on is a bonus, we will spend maybe $800 (on the conversion including used ST150 loom, computer and cluster including shipping from the UK. Some new plugs and wire etc to make a proper neat job of it and will be either have it dyno tuned locally and/or flash tune.

At the same time we are setting up the car to be able to take a Haltech in the future, and would simply just redo another ST150 loom to terminate at a Haltech instead.

We have a Mk2 Escort to build - so may play more games then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I pulled up a chair today and 22m of my new wire stash to make a pigtail loom for connecting to my Arduino based testing and hacking jig.

That’s getting a makeover at the moment as well, I’m basically building a rudimentary “chassis” loom so I can test various functions off car.


Because this is just a test bench pig tail it only has to be about 1m long. I tend to do this in stages, cut the length in each colour. Then the canbus lines get twisted together, although not necessary on such a short run because there’s High and Mid buses it’s also convenient.


All crimped and ready for the connector


Next step, clip them into the connector. And there we go, factory colours, new connector.


Fits like it’s in a car :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Small thing, but finally the OBD Port sockets turned up.


They are just another thing that goes to making the standalone install be more factory like.

I’m still digging around for the connectors to suit the key-reader. But as it’s a standard 2.54mm pin header inside we can work around that.



I know you’re thinking but why?

Well here’s some ****ty pics of what can be done with a $800 handset tuner.



It’s not super fine detailed tuning but pretty good adjustment on an ECU that blends the WOT fuel rate down its map. Likewise the timing.

It’s enough to be able to maximise the performance and sort the driveability.

My car for example has benefited massively from bumping up the fueling. The car that I got these screen grabs from runs cams and a so on and again the aftermarket map was “pretty close” but just honing in the fueling gas made it much nicer to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
How many embarrassing errors can I make and admit to? Well not many are going to eclipse this one for a while.

[video=youtube_share;qigC0akabNM]

Yep. After swapping the struts I had a rattle. Front left corner. But with lockdown and a lack of ****s I’d sort of ignored looking too hard. This morning I found a few ****s and in turn found my ****-up.

So while playing with kill-deathly spring compressors I had completely failed to fully tighten the strut top nut. At least it was an easy find, Jack car, grab wheel do the 12-6 and 3-9 jiggles and no noise, then do the lift, and clunk-tunk…. Complete with a decent enough movement to be seen.

I’d sort of guess that’s what it was, so on some level of incompetence I feel vindicated.



Grab the good vice grips, some lead flashing sheet to protect the shock shaft and crank it tight.

Result, only the wiggle of a rubber strut bushing and pressed steel too plate.
Automotive tire Automotive wheel system Gas Coil spring Rim
 
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