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Maintenance Maintenance
Car: Ford | Fiesta | CX (Mk3) | Ghia | Hatchback
Engine: PTE | 1.4 | Inline 4 | (SEFI CVH based) | N/A | Petrol

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

I purchased a Mk3.5 Ghia to use when I was in between changing my main car, I spotted it on eBay and I was attracted to a low mileage of 27k, I assumed 127k at first until a phone call to the owner confirmed it was 27k genuine miles with a Full Ford Service History, all old MOT's, bills and a full set of keys. The Service book has 14 stamps - sometimes it only did 1k between services. Mechanically it is superb; everything is tight, even things like the interior switch gear are still firm to the touch.

The car had been stood outside for a long time and as a result the paint was oxidised and covered in green growth. Two girls had learned to drive in the car (same family as original owner) and the front bumper, N/S/F door and bonnet had dents, and other panels had scrapes. The N/S side was immaculate but the O/S had (small) rust patches on front and rear arches and the front panel had some corrosion, but on the whole, it was pretty good.

The car was originally bought as a temporary run around and not something that would be kept, but I decided it was too good to let go and so I decided to restore it to its former glory and give it to my girlfriend as a Christmas Present.

Bodywork | Repair

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

As already stated, this wasn’t a terrible example and was worth saving in view of the mileage. The build labels in the boot (right) show a Dagenham car, and taking off the rear bumper shows a pretty good valance for 15 years of use.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Starting off I removed both front wheels and arch liners to inspect the wheel houses, which is an area Mk3's tend to rot. The area was generally OK but I plated two sections at the top of each well, near the turret (left).
I plate with 1.4mm steel, plug weld and finish with an RTV sealant

I fitted a complete sill to the N/S which involved some reconstruction to the inner sill before it could be fitted, this was where corrosion had worked up from the sill lip and weakened the inner sill. I made good this area by forming repair sections from 1.5mm plate. The floor itself was OK.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

I used a pattern part ‘sill cover’ which is made from metal that is at best, paper thin so I cut the original sill around 20mm from the bottom of the doors in order to retain as much strength in the area as possible, then used an air joggler to inset the sill behind the existing sill and plug welded the lip at 1 intervals right.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

I used a pattern part 'wheel arch repair panel' to make good corrosion on the N/S/R arch. These are cheap panels which are designed to be laid over the existing panel; fitting is a case of trimming the repair panel to suit the repair in question. I used the air joggler to create a lip on the repair panel and an air punch to make holes to plug weld the section in place (left).

Careful preparation is imperative to ensure corrosion doesn't start from under the repair section. I cut out all of the rot from the original Ford wing, and dressed with Grey Oxide Primer. Once the repair section is welded in place I seal the wheel arch area with a high quality RTV sealant, and pump in wax to the area from within the car.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Corrosion had appeared in several places on the front panel and so I decided to replace the entire part rather than the bottom valance alone. I used a pattern part which, unlike the sill, was of comparable quality to the original panel.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The original panel was removed with a mixture of air chisel, grinder and spot weld drill. Pattern parts are always slightly harder to line up than OEM parts, but I managed to get the panel on in 15 minutes. I used an air punch to make holes for plug welding and finished seams with Grey Oxide and sealer (left).

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Both front wings had corrosion at the lower front edge near the valance, so in view of the fact I'd need to paint other areas of the car then I decided to fit a pair of wings.

Again I used pattern parts, which do take more time to fit than Ford panels, but given enough patience during fitment then end result can be perfectly acceptable. The challenge is to achieve a uniform door shut and bonnet shut line gap, and with a pattern part wing there's always a compromise between the two, and sometimes even the wing itself sometimes needs modification. This was true in my case and I ended up removing some metal from the edge which sits above the scuttle panel, in order to achieve a good door shut line gap

Bodywork | Preparation

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

In contrast to the N/S, the O/S was in superb condition and did not require any repair work. The only work required on this side was to grind down some light marks in the paint (right), and fill a small dent in the wheel arch lip.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The rest of the prearation work was to put a skim of filler over the reapired areas and ensure a smooth surface ready for primer. I flatted all areas with 1500 Wet and Dry.

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Here are some photos of the car all maksed off ready for paint. I decided against pating the doors as these were already very good.

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Bodywork | Complete

I was unfortunately painting during what was set to be the coldest winter for 37 years! This does nothing for paint adhesion so to alleviate this problem I employed the use of an industrial sized Propane Space Heater.

I was using one-shot Max Meyer over an Epoxy primer for superior protection. I did suffer one or two runs due to the cold weather, and these had to be buffed out afterwards but the end results were great and colour match was perfect, which is rare for Diamond White.

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Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Once finished I sprayed all seams on the car with an Aerosol based copper grease spray (left). I'm against using underseal as I believe this traps moisture and causes more harm than good in the long run, I find grease is a much better corrosion inhibitor.

Suspension

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

I visited all of the common weak points on the Mk3; bushes, top mounts etc. and added the following genuine new Ford Parts:

I also added an OMP Strut Brace. The standard mounting position is in my opinion useless, so I shortened the brace to allow it to be installed upside down. This means the mounting brackets brace the shoulders of the rear turrets (Bottom, Left) which is where the majority of torsional movement occurs.

I refitted the standard turret carpets by cutting a slit in the top edge to allow the brace to pass through.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Exterior

As this is a white car it accentuates any discolouration of the headlights and indicator lenses. To finish off the exterior I replaced the following parts:

Interior

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

My first port of call in the Interior was to improve (read reduce) noise levels at Motorway cruising speed. One cheap way of achieving this I've found is to fit a second underlay sheet over the top of the original (right).
Fitting the carpet takes slightly longer due to the second sheet, but is entirely possible.

I decided to fit an Si interior. I used the Si seats I had fitted to the Turbo/Quattro project, as these seats had only seen 36k worth of use, and I picked upa set of 5 door door cards to go with them.
Unfortuantely one of the 5 door door cards I'd picked up had suffered damage to the fibre backing board (Outlined in red - see photo). To remedy this I stripped off the material from a Ghia door card leaving a good backing board, then stripped off the material from the Si card and re-covered the Ghia backing board.

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Engine

I've done this so far:

Service with genuine Ford parts: spark plugs, fuel filter, air filter, oil, antifreeze and brake fluid

Complete

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© Mark Stewart, Wednesday 2nd December 2009

Mondeo Mk2 Servo

I find standard Mk3 Fiesta brakes lacking in terms of both power and feel. Stepping in to a Mk3 after driving a more modern car can now take some getting used to, especially if larger than standard Calipers are fitted. Mechanically, RHD cars are at a disadvantage due to the link-bar arrangement which introduces further pedal movement due to its bushes which have some degree of tolerance. LHD models have a direct Pedal-to-Servo Arrangement like most modern cars.

There are several options which I identified for improving pedal feel with larger capacity brakes (e.g. Cosworth or ST170:

Of all these options replacement of the Servo and MC (Master Cylinder) will represent the largest improvement to pedal feel, and an increase in Master Cylinder size will permit the fitment of larger Calipers without the usual resultant sacrifice of increased pedal travel.

information

Info

The optimum Size of MC bore is calculated based on variables including Pedal Ratio, Brake calliper size, Brake Caliper leverage, Dynamic Axle weight and more. The non-scientific method is to fit a MC from a similar car to that which your modified brakes have come from. In my case, I was using Cosworth brakes which are identical in piston volume to the Mondeo V6.

Master Cylinder and Servo Information

FWD Ford models manufactured between the 80's late 00's tend to feature a similar arrangement for mounting the Servo and Master Cylinder which makes adapting another servo a reasonably straight-forward task. There are many options to choose from, including Escorts, Ka's, and later Fiestas.

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Info

Mk3 Fiestas come with several Master Cylinder sizes:

  • 20.6mm - Mk3 non-sport models without ABS
  • 22.22mm - Mk3 Sport models and ABS equipped vehicles;
  • 22.Xmm - Mk3.5 non-sport models without ABS;
  • 23.80mm - Mk3.5 Sport models and ABS equipped vehicles.

The Mk5 Escort Servo/Master Cylinder has been used for some time when fitting larger Calipers but I wanted to improve on that and fit something newer. I chose to replace my MC with much larger 2001 Mk2 Mondeo Servo and non-ABS (4 outlet) 25mm Alloy MC taken from scrapped Mondeo (I also cut the Monedo brake pipes to leave the fittings in the MC). This is improved from the earlier Mk1 cast iron master cylinder. This setup will provide additional pedal assistance and increased capacity to support larger brakes.

Mounting the Master Cylinder and Servo

Start by removing the existing Master Cylinder and Servo and draining the system of fluid.

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The Mondeo Servo is considerably larger than the Mk3 (right0 and just clears the Fuel Pressure Regulator on my CVH-type Inlet Manifold.
Please take measurements of your chosen servo before work commences to ensure it will fit your particular Engine bay.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Ford change the mounting bolt pattern depending on the vehicle and this is the first area requiring modification. I made a template of the Mondeo bolt pattern and transferred this to my Fiesta mounting bracket (left), then drilled the new bolt pattern using a 10mm bit

If mounting to a Mk3.5 with PAS, ensure that the (flimsy!) reinforcement bracket is also re-drilled to suit (far left – see the second bracket behind the servo bracket).

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The Mondeo Servo shares the same pivot mount diameter and split pin arrangement as the Fiesta, I find it easier to mount the pivot bush and split pin first (right), then pull the entire assembly forward until the Servo dowels can be inserted into the Fiesta mounting bracket.

Once mounted, tighten the four mounting nuts and check pedal operation.

Plumbing

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The Fiesta uses M10 fittings in the MC, but the Mondeo uses M10 for one circuit and M13 for the other (left), meaning the Fiesta lines must be converted. The OEM lines are made from a material which is much harder then the Kunifer 'bunding' tube available from most Automotive outlets, and I found it nearly impossible to re-flare two of the Fiesta pipes to add the Mondeo M13 fittings I'd got with the MC.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

I ended up making new Brake Pipes for one of the front corners to add the M13 Male fitting, and modifying the opposite side rear corner to add the same. The rear brake lines on the Mk3 have couplings down in the steering rack area, which means (thankfully!) the entire line doesn't require replacing, only the MC to connector section!

I carefully bent all pipes, including the Mk3 lines I didn't modify, and used clips kept from the Mondeo to tidy the installation (right).

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The image left shows one of the new front pipes in the wheelhouse area, the original Fiesta/Mondeo fittings can be re-used providing they are in good condition.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

I mounted the bias valves in the rear wheelarches (right)at the end of the brake pipes, this is beacause 1 bank of the Master Cylinder outlets are different sizes to the M10 threads in the bias valves.

Fluid Reservoir

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The Mondeo MC Reservoir features exactly the same thread and cap diameter as the Mk3 meaning the Fiesta cap can be re-used. I checked the depth of the cap before fitting to ensure that the low fluid sensor would be operating within the correct fluid range - it was (left). The Mondeo sensor is integral with the Reservoir itself and features the same style 3 pin AMP connector as the Fiesta, it can be used providing enough slack is made available in the Fiesta loom.

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

The final modification is to blank off the Mondeo Hydraulic Clutch feed line. For this I used an old sawn-off M10 bolt (right). The Fiesta vaccum hose can be carefully rearranged to fit the Mondeo MC.

information

Info

Mk3.5 Ghia Freshen Up

Whilst the brake fluid was drained I took the opportunity to replace all of the brake hoses. Take note that post 95 brake calipers feature a convex seat where pre-95 are concave (left).

I fitted Mk5 Fiesta calipers to the car and so I fitted Mk5 hoses, front and rear. These are compatible with the Mk3 pipes have have the correct post-95 style fitting at the caliper end.

Bleeding the System

It can be tricky to bleed an entirely new, or opened, brake system. It is advised to 'Bench Bleed' the MC before fitment. This is performed by fitting the Reservoir and manually pumping the MC in a vice until fluid is ejected from each port. I do not perform a Bench-Bleed but instead use a pressurised bleeding system to great effect; these are available from most well-stocked Automotive outlets. I recommend the 'pump' variety rather than those which use air from the spare wheel.

© Mark Stewart, Friday 4th December 2009
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