Hot Car - Technical: Fiesta Tuning Potential
"Ford Fiesta. Discover the tuning potential behind Ford's top seller."
September 1982
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Technical: Fiesta Tuning Potential

Thank you to Frank Dauber (aka fiestaseriex) for supplying this article.

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.....brings us round to the large range of tuning parts currently available for this ever popular engine series. On a mundane level, perhaps a better single carb swop is all you are looking for and if this is the case, try contacting Weber or a carb specialist as conversions are available to improve top end breathing. You could also fit the usual four branch manifold along with high compression pistons and a modified head, again using parts that are tried and tested and available from most quality tuning shops, Electronic ignition is another must and something like the Lumenition contactless system should fit the bill quite nicely. As a matter of interest, the XR2 has electronic ignition as standard equipment as do the latest 1100 and 1300cc models. Weber do a twin-carb set-up for the 1.3 if you are interested which comes complete with filters/linkages and gives superior performance.

The XR2. like the 1.3 will benefit through similar modifications. Both feature a flat head, so don't go skimming it now, will you! If you do go for a four branch manifold for your XR2, from RS though, also go for the 2 into 1 Y-piece that can be used instead of the front silencer box. The engine note is slightly more pronounced but the overall gain in power over the inefficient silencer set up is well worth the investment.

Currently under evaluation at Ford RS is an XR2 fitted with twin 44IDF Weber carbs which are claimed to give around 15bhp advantage over the single and this may become available shortly. Perhaps the ultimate bolt on for the 1300 or 1600cc Fiesta is the addition of a turbocharger. In the past there have been companies who could have quite easily put together a kit using fabricated components, but real durability and reliability comes from cast components which generally speaking are more robust.

David Lazenby, of Pace Products, Little Baddow Essex ftel. 0245 41 2787) has recently announced his turbo kit for both these models which he has been developing for a considerable period of time and which was originally designed for the 1.6 Fiesta on the American market. However, David can now offer this complete bolt-on kit consisting of a tiny IHI turbocharger, cast iron manifolds, electronic engine management control system, Electric fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator, performance spark plugs, high-temp leads, high pressure carb intake plate, plus all the necessary nuts and bolts to put it together at a retail price of £980 plus VAT and fitting.

Improvements in performance are claimed to be 0-60 in 9.4 seconds (stock 13 secs) and 50-70mph in 7.5 seconds (stock 12.9 secs) while top speed is now over 100mph. These figures being taken on a 1300cc Fiesta, so clearly there is more to come from an XR2.


To complement a tuned engine whether it be 1100 or 1300cc it is advisable to uprate the suspension accordingly and using the XR2 as a guide. Uprated front struts/rear dampers are the first step, followed by the fitting of stiffer front springs and a front anti dive kit. 13" wheels of the RS type wilt bolt straight on if you feel the need and to keep these legal the RS arch kit or similar may have to used. 6" x 13" wheels are the widest you can fit without fouling the bodywork, but these must be fitted with 60 series tyres or less. Also any wider than 6" x 13" and you'll torque steer like crazy and foul the rear bodywork.

For the 1100, 1300 range RS do an engine lowering kit that improves cornering ability while the braking power can be further increased by the fitting of larger diameter discs (available from RS) that utilise a caliper relocating kit.

Andrew Kirk

Captions -

Top-Left - Bilstein dampers and uprated springs will compliment heavy duty suspension kit
Top-Right - This is the hot set up for the 1100cc motor, performance gains are substantial
Middle-Left - Anti dive kit helps keep the car level under hard braking and cornering
Middle-Left - Engine lowering kit will also aid handling and improve stability on 1100/1300 models
Bottom-Left - Increased diameter kit is useful if large amounts of power are required.


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