Race Car Prep Challenges

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST EcoBoost™ Tuning' started by McRib 1s Back, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Hey all, long time! My car is *still* in the shop, and I'll have some cool photos to share soon! Basically the car has been fully gutted (another 200 pounds or so on top of the 200 pounds I removed!), 1.75" OD (.120 wall) cage, full Lexan windows, battery relocation, bigger brakes, new 17" Volk TE-37s, and even a new 10 gallon fuel cell (turns out I melted my stock tank pretty badly!). All of those unnecessary pesky brackets and sound deadening goo has been removed, too! :)

    Anyhow, I'm worried about potential issues with the stock ECU (w/Cobb AccessPort) and CANBUS when many of the stock systems are removed. For context, this car will only have wiring for lights, turn signals, and minimal dash gauges. The heater core is gone, AC has been deleted, and the blowers removed (along with NAV, etc.). I'm using the FRPP ABS pump/computer and FRPP AC delete kit.

    Do any of you have experience with this on our current generation car? Initially I was not too concerned, but I think it's a real possibility that I may run into wonky ECU issues. How are the local/NW rally guys handling this? I'd appreciate thoughts on this topic.

    For reference, I already have inside contacts at Cobb (and in turn, they have Ford contacts). So far, it is not conclusive, and that worries me. What do you guys think?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
    CrookedRacer and RodMoe like this.
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  3. koozy

    koozy Active Member

    Specs on the Volk wheels? and how did your fuel tank melt?
  4. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    These are the same TE-37 wheels the Focus guys have used in the past. They are 17x7.5s, 4x108, +40. Rare, but available! Oh yeah, I have two sets of Sparco wheels that are available (I'll post them soon in the right place).

    Long story on the tank, but involves my bright idea to run it on the track with the exhaust terminated after the DP (no cat). It worked great until the heat shield got bent and allowed hot exhaust to melt my SS brake line into the plastic tank! I was lucky, and it really was just the barest membrane of plastic away from being ripped open! I have photos from outside/inside the tank.

    So, I'll run a new turn-down tip and an aftermarket fuel cell (and possibly new fuel pump!).

    This is the least interesting part of my challenge -- help me figure out the wiring problem! :)
    RodMoe likes this.
  5. koozy

    koozy Active Member

    Thanks for the info, would appreciate seeing a photo with the wheels on the car if available.

    You're in unfamiliar territory with your wiring, I think there's a guy on one of the other forums who campaigns a FiST professionally that may offer some insight. I hope someone can offer some assistance.
  6. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Oh goodie how does that brake module work for ya ??
  7. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Trust me, I haven't forgotten about this! I plan to give a detailed report on how this works. Since I have not been able to flog it (never mind, drive it!), I just don't know quite yet.

    Like all good projects, this one got away from me a little bit! It's now a full-blown race car! :)
    RodMoe likes this.
  8. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    Give Joe at 2J racing a call. He's located in Georgia. Nice guy. He races his FiST.

    I'll be ordering a full stage 3 kit from him in about a month.

    I wouldn't be able to imagine our cars on stage 3 and another 400lbs of weight shed....
  9. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it's going to be nice. My car is effectively stage 3+ (mostly Mountune stuff without a pesky cat or full length exhaust in the way!). I also have a custom 100 octane map from Mountune. It should be fine on power, and I'm spending more time sorting out suspension and aero concerns.

    Joe really is a nice guy -- but his car is still a daily driver by comparison (at least when I talked to him last, he said his car was going to do split roles with track and street). I'm sorry to say that he's also so busy that he can't fill orders. I know he could use an extra pair of hands!

    Anyhow, I really don't know anyone else that's done this. I'm trying to avoid a Motorsports ECU (or 3rd party aftermarket). Those ECUs surely don't have a problem, but the issue I face is having an otherwise stock ECU that expects many of the stock systems (with unpredictable results when removed). Beware the CANBUS! It's a roll of the dice here. An aftermarket ECU could involve a major expense and the development of new wiring harnesses.

    Worst case is that it won't be as completely clean (in terms of wiring) as I'd like. I have spent a lot of time and money on the car, so I want everything as good as I can make it.

    I'm keeping this thread alive on the chance that someone has some insight on this.
    RodMoe likes this.
  10. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member


    You are correct. Joe does use his car as a dual purpose so you are more on the extreme route than he is.

    Why do you need a motorsports ECU? Are you currently having problems or do you want more breathing room for customization?

    I think the next step for help would be:

    1. DirtFish Rally School http://www.dirtfish.com/ (They are mostly Subaru though)

    2. Team O'Neil http://teamoneil.com/ (They are the only ones in the USA that are certifed M-Sport distributors)

    3. M-Sport http://www.m-sport.co.uk/ (These guys will be the most knowledgeable, but they are very busy) I tried talking to a couple of their managers about ordering a Reiger suspension for my FiST and I felt like small change to them for a potential 12,000 USD invoice :O

    Here's some parts for the Fiesta R2 http://www.m-sport.co.uk/motorsport/rallying/m-sport-the-cars/r2-details/downloads.html

    Other than this, you may want to reach out to some UK Motorsports teams.

    What is the end goal of your car?
  11. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Hey GolfGuy -- I think you're pretty new around here, but I like your enthusiasm! I saw your LED thread, and I'll drop you a line about my built Jeep with about $10K of Rigid Industries LED lighting on it. At my most recent night track event, I could have used them! :)

    There's some pretty dusty threads around here with what we've done at local track days and such. I've had about 30 cars, and ran some on the track, but none have gotten me like this little FiST! So, I decided that apart from a dedicated track car, I'd make something special. It's already at a level that you would not likely find outside of an earnest pro effort. By that I mean, the craftsmanship of the cage (and other systems), and overall attention to detail. I have the power of a championship winning Formula D chief engineer and his fabrication team responsible for this. The cage is the heart of a race car, but I have a lot of other custom fabrication going on too. As you know, this stuff takes a lot of time and money...

    Any modern car has the potential to develop issues when you carve out core electronics that function off the CANBUS. I'm afraid that experience from other types of cars (or even models!) isn't that helpful here. I'm not after general concepts, rather specific experience with the mods I'm doing right now. So, it's true that Ford makes a Motorsports ECU -- again, no issues there running a bare race car chassis with it. The same is true with an aftermarket ECU -- but I don't want to make the time investment there unless I must.

    So, it's a case of either leave the various wiring "in place" (but coiled out of the way), or risk cutting them out one system at a time. Remember, this car doesn't have airbags or any form of accessories. I literally only have a functional speedo/tach, lights, turn signals. I'm not worried about the impact of removing my navigation system or AC/heater core...it's everything else that we've seen issues with when fully gutting a car (including my dash!). I really need to post a couple photos here to illustrate some of the progress!

    I'll drop you a note offline about other details.
    RodMoe likes this.
  12. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member

    Yes it sounds like you are pioneering! I wish I had something to offer, but it sounds like you definitely need to talk to the .1% of the racing world for your needs. You are a few calibers up from the majority.

    I love what you're doing though.
  13. Turboduck01

    Turboduck01 Member

    any updates?
  14. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Okay, time for a few photos...

    These are not in chronological order, but you get an idea of progress.

    In this first sequence, you see the cage in a final test-fit before paint. I also tried out the window net.

    Attached Files:

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  15. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple before/after clean-up shots in the engine bay.

    To improve weight distribution, and free up some room up front, I moved the battery to the back. I originally settled on an ordinary Optima deep-cycle battery. After some consideration, I went with a much smaller lithium ferrous phosphate battery -- saving 36 pounds!

    Attached Files:

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  16. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Here's my 10 gallon FuelSafe Pro Cell -- also before painting.

    Attached Files:

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  17. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    She's black on the inside too!

    Attached Files:

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  18. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    10# FireBottle -- 3 nozzles.

    One for the engine bay, one for the fuel, oh -- and one for me! :)

    Attached Files:

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  19. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Paint prep day!

    Attached Files:

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  20. Golfguy11800

    Golfguy11800 Member


    Just curious how much your cage was parts and labor? And what safety regulations (FIA, SCCA, NASA, etc) did they adhere to. Or what racing group do you plan on running the car in, from which the shop adhered to the cage requirements?
  21. McRib 1s Back

    McRib 1s Back Well-Known Member

    Here's a little mod that I hope pays off in improved shifting quality. We've ditched some rubber mounts in favor of some custom aluminum ones.

    Attached Files:

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