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Modification Modification
Car: Ford | Fiesta | CX (Mk3) | XR2i | Hatchback
Engine: BUB | 3.2 | V6 | (15º V6) | N/A | Petrol

Interior

I am very happy with the standard 16v Xr2i interior, its as good as the mk3.5 Fiesta gets and I would even go as far as to say its better than any of the later Fiesta models. The plastics and fit of the interior parts from the factory are not as good as the current models, but nothing that cannot be improved upon. The main problem is that a lot of mk3 and 3.5 models suffer from vibrations/trim rattles of some kind, I wanted to alleviate this altogether when the car was back together. To combat this problem I put a few squares of barrier mat on each piece of plastic trim to absorb vibrations. On every single screw or bolt holding the interior in place there are 2 rubber o-rings to prevent vibration. It worked the car is as quiet as a mouse - no rattles at all and the doors close with a satisfying clunk. Another bonus is that nothing shakes or rattles when the stereo is turned up fairly high.

Before I installed the interior I borrowed an industrial strength wet vacuum cleaner and shampooed the whole interior and carpet, even for an immaculate looking car it was surprising the colour of the water that was removed from it! Modifications were limited to white dials and a Puma gear knob.

Fiesta RS Turbo opening rear windows

Opening rear windows

In the UK the Fiesta RS Turbo came from the factory with opening rear quarterlights, which is great for the summer months. The windows allow a nice draft through the car without the gale associated with fully open front windows.

I'd be lying if that was my main reason for fitting them, the RS windows look a little cleaner than the standard glass with it's clumsy rubber seals. These windows can be quite hard to find for 2 reasons; the age of the mk3 Fiesta in general and the rarity of the FRST.

Fitting the windows is very straightforward. I find the best way to remove the standard rear windows is to carefully cut the rubber with a Stanley knife, you should see 2 recesses in the rubber and these provide a convenient place to run your blade. When the standard glass and rubbers have been removed it is a good opportunity to polish the window reveals, as when the FRST windows are fitted a lot of extra paintwork is on show.

When purchasing a set of windows they should always come with the matching window seals, and now is the time to carefully align them and push them over the lip that the original rubbers sat on. A good tip is to apply a slim bead of bedding mastic to the inner edge to aid the seal. It can take a little time to align the seals and ensure they sit true, but it is quite easy to see where the seals should sit as they were previously fitted to a car they tend to retain the shape of the window reveal. I gave the seals a good clean once they were securely in place.

Opening rear windows

The glass is secured by 2 mounts on the B pillar and one latch on the C pillar. FRST's have captive fittings in the shell for the B pillar mounts, so I used rivets. The latch slides into a recess in the C pillar, which is under a blanking plug that has to be removed, then is bolted through from the front.

A small rectangle then needs trimming from the C pillar trim, the cut lines are already marked on the rear of the trim. You can see the latch and cut-out in the photo left

Instrumentation - 2002

White dials

Since the original engine change I decided to fit a set of white dials. Fitting involves removing the instrument cluster from the car to stick on the dial covers.

Now I am running a Zetec turbo setup I decided to swap the speedometer for a fiesta turbo item which reads 150mph instead of the usual 140mph.

To finish off I painted the needles.

Twin gauge A-pillar pod

I fitted a twin gauge A-pillar pod. The pod matches the colour of the rest of the trim perfectly and looks like original equipment!

I have fitted Autometer oil temp and pressure, these gauges will warn me of any impending problems in the engine and enable a quick shut-down if trouble is imminent.

Boost gauge (unfinished)

I have a matching Autometer boost gauge to keep on eye on turbo pressure.

I have yet to make a custom mount for this to replace the clock - to be honest I'm not entirely sure if I want to loose the clock yet so I may mount it elsewhere.

All gauges illuminate green to match the Ford standard illumination.

Instrumentation - 2004

As time has gone by I've grown a little tired of the white faced instrumentation. There is no denying that the white Autometer gauges look great but I now want something that is a little more subtle.

To achieve this I have reverted the Ford instrument cluster back to it's original black face, this is easy as the white dials were self adhesive plastic and luckily the glue was not very strong at all, in fact the glue left no residue whatsoever.

To match the Ford cluster I ordered a new complement of Autometer gauges, but this time in black. The gauges only come with a red needle so I have left the Ford needles red to match.

© Mark Stewart, Friday 15th June 2001
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