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June, 2017 Fiesta ST Update and Plans

SGC11189My last series of articles regarding my 2016 Fiesta ST focused on the suspension modifications I have done: as they should, because the ISC coilovers I had put on were a relatively untried product on the platform. The coilovers went great, but were not the only modifications I did at the time. These unreported on modifications, as well some minor additions since then, mean that an update article is warranted, as well as a look at my future plans and how they have changed.

First things first; what exactly has been done:

  • Ford’s flimsy rear motor mount has been replaced with a Mountune unit (installed at the same time as ISC kit).
  • The brakes have been slightly breathed-on to withstand track abuse with the installation of Mountune stainless steel brake lines, Mountune RS-R brake pads, and Motul 660 high-temp brake fluid (installed at the same time as ISC kit).
  • Lamin-X amber fog light protective film, mostly for the looks.
  • Old Shark Dashcam, mostly for my fellow California driver.

rmm

To quickly sum up the four, mild modifications; I have nothing bad to say about them. Going down the list, the Mountune RMM has turned out to be fully beneficial, with no real downsides. The internet will tell people researching this modification—including myself—that shifting could become harsher, along with general road-harshness. The tradeoff is an improvement in launches and shifting, removing the terrible sound of the cars firewall being slapped by the downpipe, as the normal RMM allows. In my experience, there has been no change in shift or launch smoothness, with all of the projected benefits turning into realized benefits.

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The stock brakes on the Fiesta ST are tiny. Almost everyone who notices the brakes mentions their diminutive size, yet anyone who gets behind the wheel and stomps on the slow pedal will know that the are effective. One area where this effectiveness is lacking however is the longevity over a session of spirited driving, while another is the crazy amount of dust they generate.  The Mountune lines increase the responsiveness of the brake pedal ever so slightly, while the Motul high-temperature fluid ensure that feel no longer fades over long, hard sessions. The pads also contribute to the lack of fade, as well as improving the bite and effectiveness of the pedal, with the decrease in dust highly appreciated.

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I have been bouncing around the idea of putting an amber protective film on my fog lights for a few weeks now, partly for the protection such a film would offer, while mostly desiring the looks imparted. My mother-in-law breaking a taillight due to a rogue pebble sealed the deal: I was getting it. At $14, it wasn’t exactly breaking the bank, and to keep costs lower I decided to do the install myself. While a more detailed article can be expected next week on the install and the results, suffice to say I love the look of the finished result.

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The addition of a dashcam was a spur-of-the-moment type decision. I am constantly—constantly—faced with terrible California drivers. Speaking very generally, our bad drivers tend to be really bad, refusing to signal, driving either much to slow or much to fast, and generally acting in totally unpredictable manners. Because of this, I purchased a relatively nicely reviewed model—Old Shark’s offering, a Chinese company—and had my automotive electrician wire it up.

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This is one of the smartest decisions I have made with my car. As the camera is hard-wired in to my car, it turns on and off with the ignition. Featuring low-light shooting and a continuous loop feature, the camera is truly wire-and-forget: until an accident happens, it is merely there, and if an accident where to happen, it would be greatly appreciated. A modification I recommend anyone to do, regardless of their interest in automotive things.

Besides these small additions, the only other way the Fiesta has changed is my outlook towards it, and the modification path I am going to take. Whereas I thought I was ready for more power upgrades, my track sessions and the heat wave in my area have shown me this is not to be: yet. Rather than going faster, my new focus on the car is making it better.

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This may sound like the same thing, but there is a clear distinction in the two plans. Whereas before I was looking at intercooler and exhaust upgrades, combined with chassis bracing—faster upgrades—the new plans calls for reliability and safety upgrades. These included an upgraded radiator, oil cooler, and front lights.

Priority number one is to bring the cooling system up to Northern California’s scorching standards. With temperatures commonly over the triple digits, normal driving can put a significant strain on a stock car, while taking a car on track in such conditions places even more. The Fiesta ST can overheat on track, both in terms of coolant temperature and oil temperature, with oil temperatures climbing faster than coolant.

As such, my first planned upgrade is an oil cooler from Mishimoto, which lowers temperatures by a claimed 35 degrees, and raising the oil capacity by .65qts. While it should fit with no modification, this remains to be seen. Joining the upgraded oil cooler would be Mountune’s new radiator for the Fiesta ST, which promises to keep temperatures controlled on-track.

Finally, and perhaps surprisingly, I need to upgrade my forward lighting. This calls for a HID kit for my low-beams and LED lights for my fog lights, both from ModBargains. The reasoning behind these upgrades is simple: it is really easy to ‘outdrive’ the ST’s stock lighting. Having such an improvement will mean my car can keep up with itself when the sun goes down.

While these upgrades won’t make my car any faster or quicker, they will mean I can drive my car with less stress. To me, this is more important than outright performance. This, as well as my changed modification plans, highlights an important part of modifying your car: remember that it is your car, where you live, how you drive it. As you spend time with a vehicle, you start to learn the actual modifications your car will need, and not just the one the internet tells you to do.

Three modification updates in, 7 months of ownership, and 15500 miles later, I am pleased to say I still love my car as much as the first day I drove it. Expect to keep seeing modification updates as I move forward with my car.

If you like the article show it to me by slamming that button! And remember to share it with your friends.

Stephen Hyden View All

I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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