Project Ford Fiesta ST- Making the Jump to a Race Car With SPD Motorsports!
Project Fiesta ST’s owner started to really get the track day bug after we did our initial round of mods by installing suspension into the car. He then shocked us by telling us he wanted to take the car off the street and turn it into a full time track car and eventual race car. He suddenly gutted a lot of the car’s interior out of it and wanted a cage.
We decided that if the car was going to become a race car we had better go all the way and do it right. We enlisted the help of Scott Dodgion of SPD Motorsports to help us with his expertise in building real nice competition cars.
We had previously worked with Scott for 6 years with Team Falken and were very familiar with his craftsmanship and good eye for simplicity and clean layouts of plumbing and wiring. So what better way than to go with a known good source to do the heavy construction on our car.
Project Fiesta’s owner had started to gut the car while doing track days and had removed the seats, carpet and had installed a Sparco racing seat, about 100 lbs of stuff all together. Although this was a good start there was a lot more weight left in the car as a modern car has all sorts of heavy things in it like multiple air bags and a lot of ancillary equipment. Scott started out by continuing to strip the car down to remove as much weight as posible as the cage was going to add about 120 lbs back into the car.
Scott removed all of the remaining interior trim and moved the wire harness out of the way so he could get rid of all of the OEM sound deadener. In a late model car this can account for quite a bit of weight. The tarry material also gets in the way of everything while building a cage and is very difficult to remove once a cage is in the car.
Older cars had a hard type of sound deadener that was something like tar soaked felt. This stuff could be frozen with dry ice and relatively easily chipped out. Project Fiesta’s sound deadener was a rubbery sticky stuff that would not get hard, sort of like duct seal putty. It was awful. Scott found the easiest way to remove it was to heat it up with a heat gun and scrape it out. A very time consuming and laborious process.
The car also had a lot of rubbery seam sealer that Scott had to scrape out. Probably the first 20 hours of building the car were spent dealing with this stuff and cleaning the interior to prep it for cage construction!