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04 FSTi Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Nothing major planned for the car, but I want to keep a record of my time with it so that I can pass it on in the unlikely event that I ever sell it.

There's a bit of catch-up to do as I've owned it for a couple of years now.

This is the day I bought it, spent slightly more than I was hoping but it felt like a good fit for me

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The first thing I had done to it was the a service and belts and pumps, it had been a while since they were changed last so I thought that it was worth doing to be on the safe side.

It also developed a clunk a month or so after buying it, so got the suspension refurbished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Next minor mod was fitting a strut brace and some rally flaps

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I really liked the look of the flaps, however had a few issues with them dragging and catching between the kerb and tyres when manouvering that caused some body work damage so took them off again. I may refit in the future, but I'd need to modify the brackets so they sit slightly higher and further in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Finally, after about a year of ownership, I decided to get it mapped to run on UK fuel and add a bit more power.

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They bumped it up from 264 bhp to 300 (295ft/lbs to 318 respectively). It was the first time I had done this on a car, I was expecting the increase in performance and MPG but I couldn't get over how much smoother it felt after the map.
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I kept it fairly low as it was my daily drive at the time, since then I bought a cheap runabout so may take it back at some point and take it up to 330 or so at some point. Will need a couple of other minor mods to get there safely though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also took it on my first ever track day, we had a real mix of weather with bright sunshine and torrential downpours
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The car dealt with it all with no issues at all, I got a compliment from the instructor because she was impressed how quick it was with enough space to fit her sheep in the back....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
With the lockdown in full effect i have had some time to make some plans for the future. As I said in the first post, I have no major modifications planned, just a few tweaks to improve on the already brilliant car it is.

So, the checklist is:
  • Put some work into the engine bay to get it looking a bit nicer
    • Sort the rusty header tank cover, either a new header tank or just treat and paint the one that's there already
    • gas bonnet struts Done
    • new turbo heatshield as the old one has developed a rattle
    • radiator shroud
    • oil filler cap, battery tie-down, dress-up bolts etc Done
    • brake stopper
    • change hoses to match the new radiator hose
  • Fix the airbox and put a new panel filter in Done
  • sort the cloudy headlights, lenses need to come off as the worst of it is now on the inside
  • possibly change to LED headlights, need to do some proper research on this though
  • coilovers - I had the suspension refurbished just after I bought it but its already developing a clunk so may just swap them out. Done
  • droplinks/ARB/bushes Done
  • Rear strut-brace Done
  • remap with associated mods
    • uprated fuel pump Done
    • New down pipe
    • new mid section
    • new back box
  • Sort the bodywork, being a daily driver hasn't been kind. Other cars seem to be drawn to it in carparks so it has a few scuffs that need sorting.
  • Alloy wheel refurbish - this is pretty low on the list to be honest, find it hard to bring myself to spend so much on making something look nice that gets so much abuse.
  • New alloy wheels and tyres - cost of a refurb with new tyres isn't far off a set of speedline turini's with tyres and it means i can keep the OEM as a set of winter spares decided against new alloys as the prices seem to have increased quite a lot recently, have just had the original alloys refurbed and some Eagle F1's put on
  • Engine mounts and pitch-stopper - this is more of a long-term thing, ideally I'd like to get a go in a car with this done to see how it effects the nvh
  • New clutch, definitely feels like the old one is on its last legs. Done
  • sort steering wheel - either replace or refurbish, the lining is in pretty poor condition
  • sort stereo surround plastics - they got a little butchered while putting the stereo in, the plan is to get a decent second-hand unit and spend more time on making a neater job.
  • rear arb mounts Done
I'll be updating and adding to this list as I go along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cheers @Kevin I'll keep the two seperate for the time being though as this is mainly to record what I've done rather than covering my aimless blundering and inane questions ;)
 

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Excited to see the progression on this. That thing is clean.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I had high hopes for a productive day working on the car today, didn't quite go according to plan though.

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From left-to-right, I had a new panel filter, replacement airbox (the old one had cracked), new radiator stays, battery clamp and oil filler cap and a turbo heatshield. I also decided to get rid of the old bonnet liner because it was fraying quite badly around the edges and a couple of the clips had broken.

It all started well with removing the liner and replacing with some sound deadening and new liner from silent coat.

old liner in poor condition:
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line removed and sound deadening mat installed on the flat panel elements:
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silent coat buffler over the top:
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Haven't had a chance to drive it around just yet, but the bonnet gives a very satisfying 'thunk' when it closes now. Will see how much of a difference it makes when actually driving later on this week.

Once the bonnet was done I moved onto the heat shield. First stage was to removed the airbox as i was changing it anyway and it gave me slighty better access to the heatshield bolts.

This is where it all started to go wrong though, managed to get 4 of the 6 bolts out with a bit of swearing and elbow grease, unfortunately the 5th bolt sheared. It is also the one in the most inaccessible location, on the side between the turbo and intercooler. Luckily, I managed to find the broken bolt head so I don't have bits of metal rattling around the engine:
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Not 100% sure how I'm going to resolve this at the moment, I've put the other bolts back in so the heatshield is re-attached. Not too concerned about it coming loose or anything as there are 5 others keeping it in place, but I am worried it'll start rattling once it the engine gets up to temperature and that side is not secured. I plan on removing the intercooler later on this year to give it an overhaul, so will be able to get much better access to it then.

The Cobb heatshield only has three mounting spots, one of which is the sheared bolt, so I decided against carrying on with the swap until I could get a better idea of what I'm dealing with.

This all took a while to work through so didn't get a chance to do the other bits, will attempt them later on this week when I have some spare time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, with the help of @don1952 it seems that the snapped bolt is attached to a bracket that is easily removed, which is good news.

I'll remove the heatshield and bracket soon so that I can drill the broken bolt out and replace the whole unit with the shiny Cobb unit, I'll also put a turbo blanket seeing as I'll be messing about in there again.

I also fitted some bonnet struts that arrived recently, really pleased with the action on them.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Made a few updates to my list after finally getting around to swapping the fuel pump and putting the rear strut brace in. Planning on trying to sort the turbo heat shield/turbo blanket this weekend as well as I have the car booked in for some fairly substantial work in the new year:
  • New clutch
  • New suspension - BC Racing BR series
  • thicker rear ARB
  • New drop-links to all 4 corners
  • Remap
Really looking forward to getting all of this done, will feel like a new car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's been a while since my last post, had a few things to sort out including a new baby!

Anyway, got the suspension work and clutch sorted. Decided against the remap in the end after talking it through with the guys at TDR, it would only offer marginal gains at the moment without some supporting mods so will go back when the funds have been replenished.

Will get some pics uploaded of the new ride height soon, went for a 15-20mm drop as wanted to keep it reasonably practical. The difference in ride is significant though, it feels a lot more stable on the corners and there's been a substantial decrease in understeer. It is a stiffer than previously, but overall it isn't too bad.

Next on the list will be to sort the wheels. The tyres are coming towards the end of their usable life and the alloys are in serious need of a refurb. I've been looking at new alloys recently, as it won't be a massive amount extra to buy a new set with tyres over a set of tyres and refurb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
set of roof bars and a cage fitted now:
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Had some camping expeditions planned over the summer but the weather hasn't been kind so haven't had a chance to test it out properly yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A clunk from the back turned out to be a broken arb mount,
Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Bumper Vehicle door

I guess the thicker arb that was fitted with the new suspension was putting too much stress on it.

Ordered a new set from whitelines mounts and fitted them this weekend, was fairly straight forward although I did have to shave a few millimetres off the edge of the bracket as it was a little snug.

Stonemason's hammer Wood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Bumper
 
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