First up this month is another huge purchase with a bit of a back story. A couple of months ago I’d taken the decision I’d like to upgrade the shocks in the car from standard, and after a lot of research I settled on the Bilstein B8 shocks. I believe the Bilstein B8s paired with the Eibach Pro lowering springs is basically what Mountune used to sell as their Clubsport suspension setup and it gets great reviews from anyone who has ever used it. So, after a lot of searching around I found that the best place to buy the shocks was actually from Bilstein themselves, so the purchase was made and payment was taken (at this point everything’s great). Soon after placing the order I received an email from Bilstein with the following message…
"The fronts are in stock and ready to dispatch ASAP
The rears however are unfortunately on back order due to them being in manufacturing and we would be looking at getting them dispatched to you in around 4-6 weeks’ time
It is up to you how to proceed, we can ship the fronts ASAP and then ship the rears as soon as they are in or we can hold the whole order until everything is ready to dispatch"
I decided I’d wait until the rear shocks made it into stock as I didn’t see the point in me having half a setup and unable to use it until the rears arrived. For the next 6 weeks, it was radio silence from Bilstein with no updates on how my order was progressing, so I decided I would give them a call to see what the state of play was. To my surprise, I was told the suspension was going to be another 6-8 weeks away (making my wait time 12-14 weeks, during which they had taken payment from me) so it was at this point I obviously decided to cancel that order and a couple of days later I finally received my money back.
I then set about seeing what other suspension setups were available out there. After doing a lot of research and chatting to a lot of different people I soon found the choice of upgraded shocks wasn’t really that great and a lot of people were now running coilovers instead. I’d never really planned on going for coilovers as I was more than happy with the job the Eibach springs were doing, and I knew once fitted the coilovers would never be height adjusted again, in my opinion defeating the purpose of coilovers.
I came to a shortlist of 3…
Bilstein B14 Coilovers
BC Racing BR-RA Coilovers
KW V1 Coilovers
As is always the way for me, researching the products and trying to sniff out a deal for me is half the fun of buying car parts, so after doing plenty of research and talking to ALOT of people, I decided I was going to go with the BC Racing (I sure as hell wasn’t going to go down the Bilstein route again) and they were purchased the same day.
Within the week of ordering they were delivered, helping to reinforce how shockingly bad my interaction with Bilstein had been…
With the suspension having arrived that gave me the incentive to get in and clean the wheel arches. Thankfully they weren’t overly dirt
You can see here the bad state the standard shocks are in. Which is surprising as the car only has about 18000 miles on it.
I’d been researching on ways to protect the coilovers from road grime and dirt and bumped into this, so thought I’d give it a try…
ACF-50, it gets great reviews from a lot of motorbike users who have used it to protect exposed parts on their bikes etc. so I thought it should do what I want perfectly.
Prepping for an upcoming show (I think it’s the first I’ll have been to since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic).
Packed with some goodies
And good to go…
Last few photos of the car spotless before I head off to the show
The RS Owners Club in Northern Ireland were putting the show on in Cookstown. It was a great turnout, which wasn’t surprising as like me a lot of people hadn’t been out since the start of the pandemic, so when this show came around they jumped at the opportunity.
Some other Fiestas that were on show
After leaving the show I found a nice quiet area in a nearby industrial estate to take a few photos of the car as it was still pretty clean
I think you’ll agree the rail end covers just look so much better than the naked rain.
Next up was fitting the wind deflectors.
That’s them into place, I just needed to keep the window up for 24-48 hours to let the frame adjust to the new wind deflector.
This was another unplanned purchase
As you know I had always said I wasn’t planning on going down the Stage 3 route, and having chatted with Gareth at Stealthwerx he confirmed that a large hybrid turbo wouldn’t really suit my driving style with the long spool times etc. However, I more recently I’d been talking to Gareth about other mods and he informed me this “baby hybrid” had become available and would be more up my street. It’s an AET V1 Hybrid having covered just 9000miles and capable of round 280-300bhp depending on accompanying mods. Being the baby hybrid it offers stock like response with still getting a decent power increase.
After a bit more chatting a deal was struck on a package including the remap upgrade, the turbo and a fitting kit.
A couple of days later the turbo touched down with me and the car wish booked in to get it fitted.
The cats apparently investigating
What could we have here?
With them being on offer I couldn’t resist.
I find the Easy Coat offers a better alternative to C2v3, it last longer and give a lot better water behaviour, especially on top of the Gtechniq Ultra Ceramic Coating.
A quick trip to the shops again, parking well out of the way of everyone else.
Engine bay stripped (yet again) ready to be left to the mechanic
That’s the car dropped off to get the turbo installed
The standard turbo…
Now I’ve got the car home (it was a drive I didn’t really enjoy, as I had to avoid putting the car on boost as the car wasn’t mapped for the new turbo and I didn’t want to risk damaging it) it’s now time to get that map on and start enjoying some of the new power.
First drive since everything was installed and set up and all I can say is WOW. Don’t get me wrong I was more than happy with how the car performed on stage 2, but this is just a completely different animal now.
Going into August I’d taken another huge decision for the car and that was to sell the Team Dynamics 1.2’s. I’d been mulling over the idea for quite some time now but I’d finally decided to bite the bullet after having run them on the car for 4 summers.
Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love the wheels, both the colour and design of them on against the molten orange just works perfectly in my opinion, but with having changed so much on the car lately I just felt it was time to change one of the biggest visual elements on the car.
The standard wheels waiting to go on…
It does look great on the standard wheels to be fair
While taking the wheels off I’d noticed the side skirts were starting to ship at the rear edge. I must look for a way of either stopping this getting worse, or fixing it.
A random pic of the standard shocks, before I tidy them up and pack them away.
I’d kept the TPMS off the Team Dynamics, so I thought I’d buy these so I’d have the full setup ready for new wheels if I go down that route.
Standing out perfectly against the dark fence
Another small purchase
Some 3M sticky pads as the Lufi gauge keeps falling off the phone mount
Called into PMG Autocare for the annual check-up of the Gtechniq Ultra Coating
Finally getting around to applying the Gtechniq C5 to the inside of the wheels
Time to see how the Heyner Tyre Bags do their job…
Putting the wheels away for the winter, can’t wait for the spring to come so I can finally get them onto the car.
Rear camber plates from MJ Performance. I’d called and had a lengthy chat with Martin about a week ago about the suspension setup on my car and how to improve the handling from what it currently is. He suggested I should go for these rear camber plates and some camber bolts for the front which should help with the turn in of the car as well ask making it a bit more stable at “high” speed.
The next day I was out for a drive with the girlfriend and noticed a few more scenic areas to take photos in, thankfully she didn’t mind as she went off exploring in the sun
Home to another delivery…
Up to now I’ve been using a garden leaf blower to blow dry the car, but following a few conversations with some fellow detailers they convinced me I should really look at a proper blow drier, so I opted to go for the Carbon Collective Air Force 1.
I also decided to but a better carpet brush…
Next up was some winter prep in the form of wiper blades