It's been a while since I've updated, as I tend to maintain my StanceWorks build thread a little more diligently. But I wanted to bring my '02 FAQ blog up to speed as well. Since I last posted, I've made some more changes to the car. A couple months back, I took the Roundie to a local show at FourTillFour. The day before, we gave it a very light buff. The results were pretty impressive, given how shot the paint is.
You can see the before and after here.
After that, the temperatures here in AZ started creeping up pretty rapidly, and I pretty much stopped driving the car. I started looking towards my 4 lug swap so I could run my BBS RSs, and decided a brake upgrade was in order while I was in there. I did some digging, and settled on piecing together my own budget BBK, using Volvo 240 front calipers, VW Mk4 rear calipers and a mix of E21 and Mk1 Golf pieces elsewhere. I ordered what I couldn't source, and pieced together the whole kit. I had the stock rear hubs machined down, so they fit in the rotor top hats, and pressed new studs in.
Note how the stock hub does not fit in the rear rotor.
Post machining. Took quite a bit of material out of the hub.
Excuse the bag, but the hub now fits.
So I did all this work, and was set to do the big brake swap and go back to four lug. But after spending a good 15 minutes trying to scrub the grit out of the 240 calipers, I decided to do things right. Instead of throwing grimey parts on my 2002, I'm going to be getting the calipers all powder coated, and rebuild them so they're nice and fresh. In the mean time, I've just left stock equipment on the car, as fortunately I had a back up set of stock front hubs, new stock rotors and pads.
I then tackled (finally) finishing the BBS RS rebuild. I had some hiccups with the wheel bolts, my torque wrench had fallen way out of spec. As a result I had over torqued everything, and only realized this when one bolt snapped. In retrospect, I did think it felt like it was taking too much force, but didn't bother to try another torque wrench. So all 120 bolts came back out, and I ordered new hardware. I borrowed a Snap On torque wrench and had them all back together in one evening. I ordered some Hankook RS4s and got them mounted up. The car came with a similarly size (195/50r15) Kumho A/S when I bought it. The M20 pretty easily over powered those tires, and frankly they never were confidence inspiring. The RS4 might be overkill for a street tire, but I like the tread pattern and the additional grip is welcome.
Yes, I went overboard with the silicone. I trimmed the excess off later.
Upside of daily driving a Fiesta ST, I can haul wheels easily.
Then, out of impatience, I started tearing apart the hubs one evening to test fit the wheel. My initial test fit revealed that the stock studs were far too short for my redrilled RSs. I also discovered the the passenger side, rear hub was completely frozen on. It wasn't an ideal situation to be working, Monsoons kept hitting here in Arizona and I work outside.
If you look closely, you'll see the nuts barely thread on. It also revealed the rear suspension was far too high.
I then struggled with the whole wheel stud situation for a day or two. I knew a needed longer studs, but not too long. Otherwise it would interfere with the BBS waffle. I tried a couple different options, but finally settled on the most ridiculous option. I ordered Ireland Engineering's 70mm studs, and then cut them down to the length I needed. Is this the most efficient way to do things? No, not at all. But it did work, and now the wheels can safely be bolted to the car.
Stock vs. IE 70mm studs.
Now I have the opposite issue, these are too long for the waffle to fit.
Shitty photo, but you can see that they were cut down to spec.
Now I was ready to retackle the whole hub swap. The drivers rear, and both the fronts went very smoothly. I was done in no time at all. That frozen rear axle nut remained an issue however. I broke two breaker bars, one ratchet, a pair of vice grips and went through a full tank of MAPP gas, a can and a half of PB Blaster, a half can of Aero Kroil, and bent a metal extension pipe. I was starting to lose faith that I could get that nut off and would have to cut it. After struggling in my driveway for a full day and a half, a friend dropped by with a monster of an impact gun, and zipped it right off. I definitely loosened it for him... There were not photos from this process, because it was largely uninteresting. But afterwards, I took the 2002 for it's first spin on new wheels and took a few photos to celebrate the occasion.
Note that I finally attached the missing knee-line trim piece. It's the little things that make a difference. The car drives a million times better. I took some of the pre-load out of the rear suspension, and suddenly it didn't ride like it had 100k springs in it anymore. There is no more wicked wobble in the front end, and the car legitimately has some serious grip with these RS4s. Before the car would roast tires on command, now it just hooks up and scoots. It's not like the M20 is pushing any serious power, but more the all-seasons on it before were just garbage.
Up next, I really need to refocus my efforts on the cooling system. I think a bigger radiator, fan and lower temp switch are all in order. I also want to tackle more chassis issues, like the lack of front sway bar, bushings and just basic items like tie-rods and such. The car is so much sharper than it was when I got it, with just a few basic tweaks. I think it has potential to be a really fun canyon car, but I have to make sure it's safely up for the task. For now, I'm just going to enjoy how good this car looks on some shiny BBS RSs.