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Fiesta rescue…..

Nick Jones

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One of my colleagues recently scored a company truck. This made his Fiesta redundant. Although not especially old or high mileage it has a short MoT and a number of mechanical and cosmetic issues so it was going cheap. As a family member is looking for a cheap runabout, I thought I’d have it.

It’s a 2009 Mk7 1.4TDCI in a fairly obnoxious shade of fluorescent green. The sort of colour you leave dirty to spare your eyeballs…….


Having cycled over to work to collect it (already confessed to that bit of daftness), I brought it back here for a proper look.

It actually drives quite well apart from a horrific bump-related clonking noise and goes better than I’d been led to expect by the PO. Certainly much spritelier that the Arosa was.

I started by evicting the hobo who’d been living in it…… or at least his leavings. The hoover gained alot of weight. Never before have I found so much loose change in a car, though mostly either coppers or foreign. The foreign has gone in the scrap metal bin. The coppers might as well go the same way.  I even washed it (I had the hose out to wash the Sootmonster which was wearing the evidence of a very rough night in the lanes). 

This wasn’t very rewarding. The colour is more obnoxious clean and the various battle scars more obvious. Nothing horrific, though the patch of rot on the osr arch is disappointing, as are the puncture wounds in the rear bumper skin.

List of jobs as follows
- Drivers outside door handle non functional and stuck in fully extended position. I’m on with this and I think it’ll be a no-parts repair (apart from some scrap-bin rescues). Door is much nicer to work on than contemporary VAG offerings.

- The clonk turns out to be the OSF bottom ball joint which is absolutely hanging. I could have the sworn the noise was from the rear, but I can’t find anything wrong back there apart from some dangling heat shields which I’ve already dealt with.

- It’s also got a busted spring NSF. I’ll renew both front springs, both lower wishbones and ARB drop-links. Parts are reasonably priced.

- Also needs the lower engine steady bar bush changing- it’s absolutely goosed.

- Needs the cam belt etc changing (came with the car) and a full service. Already checked the brakes and all seems good there.

- Remote key fob not working ….

- cosmetics - I’ll investigate and deal with the rotty patch and multiple stone-chips. The rest is what it is…. Though I may see if I can find some better wheel trims.

-Whatever else the MoT man finds (hopefully nothing!)

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Definitely possible to earn a living at it. The trick is sourcing the victims at a low enough price to make it worthwhile and avoiding the no-hopers. I’ve have no aspirations in that direction and I won’t be making videos.

This is the door handle mechanism, seen from the back. It’s all quite cunning, though somewhat over -complicated.  Getting it out was a bit of a challenge as the first thing you have to do is remove the lock barrel. This should be very easy, but the baboons had been in before me…..

the lock barrel is held in by a two tined fork. This is wound in and out by a special bolt with a very fine left-handed thread and large head that snaps into a slot (bolt lying loose on top in above pic). You access this through a hole in the door frame with a long Torx bit. However, the fork is pot metal and on this car the thread was well stripped. I didn’t know any of this as I’ve never seen one before, but I did manage to get whole lot out without doing any more damage. Took a while though.

It was easy enough to re-tap the fork M6, but I then had to re-invent the bolt using only the contents of my garage…. The result of that is installed in the above pic. It works, though in the opposite way to Fords intent. I can live with that.

The original problem was that the hook on the back of the handle (red arrow in pic below) was getting past the actuating ball on the swivel that it’s supposed to act on by deflecting towards the lock barrel (right in pic).

TBH I’m not entirely sure why. Possibly because the lock barrel, which is meant to limit sideways movement, wasn’t fully secure, or possibly there is meant to be a slipper pad(s) which is gone….. It’s got a new pad now, whether it had one before or not.  I think it’ll work, but time and weather were against me so not yet reassembled.

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It went back together fairly easily. It works…. Calling it a win. Now wrestling front suspension…… though the damper gaiters were completely shot, so reassembly is on hold awaiting new ones. 

Which meant getting stuck into the cam belt.  

This is after removing the header tank, the engine mount (all three parts of it), the aux belt tensioner and various bits of plastic covers held on with many tiny little bolts. And a really obstructive wiring loom trunking that seriously gets in the way.


Access is better than on an Arosa….. and much better than on a TT….. but still not exactly a joy. I’ve lost some skin. A particular joy is the genius placing of the tensioner where it can only be seen with a mirror or iPhone, which makes setting the tensioner obnoxiously fiddly.  


Done that bit now, though. Just got to to wriggle the plastic covers back in past that loom trunking….. and throw all the other bits back in.  Then torque up the crank pulley bolt, which is setting new records for the most varied torquing figure/procedure on the internet.

The old belt, tensioner and water pump were all in pretty fair shape. The date on the water pump suggests it’s the original. Might have to get a new aux belt though….. this one is done……



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4 hours ago, Hamish said:

Do what’s the dealer or a n other garage price on this cam belt job. ?

Don’t know. Reckon you’ll be looking at 4 - 500 quid total though with parts (they came with the car in this case). With the suspension work many would see it as a mechanical write-off if you had to pay a garage.

In fact, the belt probably could have been left. They have a very long belt interval (125k!), which is about where it was when the PO bought it. There’s nothing in the history to show it’s been done (there’s quite a gap in the history though), so he assumed it needed doing. However, Dayco brand belt tells me it has been done at some point and the idlers/tensioners were fine. Water pump was the original I think but seemed perfectly good.

It’s done now and even runs. Also changed the oil and filter which was very easy.

Bit of suspension work left (waiting for more parts) and a new aux belt, then time for some minor cosmetics.



Crankshaft bolt was 30Nm + 180deg.  The last 90 deg was a struggle!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got it all back together.  Checking the toe revealed a rather alarming 23mm toe out. The tyres suggest there probably was a bit of toe out before (though the state of the ball joints won’t have been helping), but I’m damn sure it wasn’t that much.

Corrected, but I’ll be watching it!

Found another key fob at the scrappy. They are very common just now and easy to reprogram to the car. Just don’t forget to keep the bit with right immobiliser chip……. It works :smile:

So today, as it’s possible to be outdoors without freezing, drowning or blowing away, I’m looking at bodywork. Not looking for perfection…. Just to help it stay together for a few more years.

Mother was right…. Don’t pick scabs….:(



I thought I might get a hole, but was hoping it didn’t go right through……

Arch joint is more like a door skin in that the outer is folded round the inner and crimped. There’s meant to be sealant in there but I think there has probably been a small gap from new that has let water in.  Disappointing. But at least means it definitely a local thing. The car is rot-free apart from this.


cut back and treated. Not quite sure what next. Welding galvanised foil is unappealing……

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I did manage to weld it. It wasn’t fun and the welding wasn’t very beautiful.

Inner arch welded and zinc primed.

Bit of CAD

Transferred to metal

Zapped in and ground back

It’s going to need a thin skim of filler in front and sealant behind. I have some paint but it’s very metallic going on pearlescent so getting a convincing match may be tricky.

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Same eye catching colour as our Mk7. Easy to find in the car park.

Similar set off issues to ours although you obviously don't have the swamp in to spare wheel well that we had until I drilled the additional drain holes.

Our random rust patch is on the front wing. Matching that paint is a b####r.

Tidy welding job there :thumbsup:

Suspension clonk. Oh yes. Lower wishbone bushes in our case. At least the replacement is cheap.

Oh yes, check the heater air filter.

Edited by Escadrille Ecosse
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15 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

I have one to fit. Not quite sure where it goes mind.

At the base of the centre console where it meets the tunnel. Access from driver's footwear behind the plastic trim panel.

For a serviceable item the need to remove the button clips seems perverse. 

Replacement however brings a complete reversal of the fan noise to flow ratio.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It’s temporarily insured and taxed ((£20/year is a most as good as free) and has been taking me to work.

Yesterday was a disappointment as the worst of the clonks was still present, definitely from the rear. Some lunchtime diagnosis with an assistant (the PO) revealed that was the RH beam bush. Bollocks. MoT on Thursday, first thing and working ‘till them. Motor factors had a pair, which I collected on the way home and did battle with the RH one last evening.  And it was a bit of a battle.  The bush may have needed to come out, but like a political leader too long in the job, it wasn’t ready to come out…..


it lost!

Car is absolutely transformed today. But I can now hear that the other side is on the way out….. Tomorrow evening’s entertainment :ermm:

Quite a nice thing to drive. Not much grunt but decent tide and sharp handling.

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48 minutes ago, Nick Jones said:

it lost!

Car is absolutely transformed today. But I can now hear that the other side is on the way out….. Tomorrow evening’s entertainment :ermm:

Quite a nice thing to drive. Not much grunt but decent tide and sharp handling.

A bit of a task that.

They are remarkably nice to drive. Ours also has the tiddly engine but once you get it going it's pretty good. A bit understeery if pushed in the wet but otherwise quite good fun as long as you don't want to pass anything. That takes a bit of planning.

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Second bush done tonight.  Less than 90 minutes for this one now I've learnt the tricks and found the random bits of scrap to make the press tool.  This bush too was shagged - though much less so.

Really hope that this is the end of the work and the MoT man doesn't write me a new list tomorrow.  Certainly better than it was.  Had to buy it a drink last night.  No fuel cap as such - most peculiar.  Only took 32L from empty (acc. to gauge), which still cost a surprising amount.  Done 55 miles since and the gauge has just started to move.

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1 hour ago, Nick Jones said:

Had to buy it a drink last night.  No fuel cap as such - most peculiar.  Only took 32L from empty (acc. to gauge), which still cost a surprising amount.  Done 55 miles since and the gauge has just started to move.

Swift work. Impressed.

The absence of filler cap made me look twice the first time. Gauge is a bit unhelpful. Kep an eye on its behaviour once you get to 1/4 full as it can go down remarkably quickly from there. Rather non-linear.

Finger crossed for Mr MOT man.

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Had one of those for a few days in Ireland as a hire car. Probably the lower powered version (100ps?) as it was no racer. Went well enough though and was good on fuel. 3pot sounds good when thrashed.

They do have a bit of a rep for fragility, initially with water leaks from fractured plastic fittings combined with very low coolant volume leading to rapid melt-down. Now, as they become older, it’s got more to do with the wet timing belts shedding material and blocking the oil pick-up, or just breaking. Supposedly due to use of the wrong oils…… Ford say….

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Pass :smile:

After changing a duff sidelight bulb that was working last night…. :huh: Bulb not as easy to change as it could be.

It’s a win though. Then the scrappy came up trumps with a spare wheel and roof trim strip.

Pretty much ready for re-homing. Actually wouldn’t mind it as a daily driver myself, especially if the mpg figures are remotely true!

14 hours ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

Gauge is a bit unhelpful. Kep an eye on its behaviour once you get to 1/4 full as it can go down remarkably quickly from there. Rather non-linear.

Exactly this…. and also….. it was in the red. I put 32L in it, which was absolutely full. Small tank I thought, even smaller than daft old Triumphs…. Except the internet and the manual say it holds 45L. So when it says empty it’s got more than 10L /150 miles left. That’s a generous reserve! Or a crap gauge, though entirely preferred to one that shows just under 1/4 when the car shudders to a halt!

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