21 Jun New Project??
We’ve been contemplating a project for a few years now… It’s been a while since we had a car that could show our abilities and the products we can offer, Kevins’ old Sierra Cosworth was an awesome car but technology moves on.
What to build was the next issue, a BMW 3 series or VW Golf or Ford Fiesta ST is a great project car, but we cover so many different brands here, we didn’t want to confuse our customers into thinking we are a one-trick, one-brand, pony. So much careful discussion and thought we have decided the best route for us is to build a kit car.
After scanning the market, we decided on the Exo Sports Cars “Rocket Classic” as our new love interest. The car is a British made, skeletal tube framed, ultra light weight, rear engined, well… rocket. We had a few emails and conversations with Exo, decided on a spec of chassis and put the order in. Build time around 6 weeks, time to think about the rest of the car…
Originally designed around the MK1 Ford Focus, the Rocket normally shares the Ford’s 2.0 engine, transmission and some of the running gear. Now this is all fine and well, but the MK1 focus is an old car and we wanted something a bit more modern propelling us down the Fife back-roads, around Knockhill and up the Crail strip.
There were some candidates for this job, including the 2.5 5 cylinder from the Mk2 Focus ST and the 1.0 3 cylinder form the Fiesta Zetec S. In the end we decided on the 1.6 EcoBoost powerplant from the current generation of Ford Fiesta ST. This little engine makes over 180bhp in standard form, is turbocharged, all aluminium, comes with a 6 speed gearbox and, due to the number of these cars on the road (i.e. crashed) is quite cheap to pick up a 2nd hand unit.
The phone call was made and a complete engine and gearbox ordered from a 6000 mile old crashed car. The next issue was engine management, the EcoBoost engines are direct fuel injection with a drive-by-wire throttle and turbocharged. Normally we would’ve gone with the excellent Omex 600 ECU, but in this case, that unit isn’t powerful enough to run this configuration . Omex are developing a unit but it wont be ready for little while, so we had to do some more research… We finally decided on a unit made by Specialist Components. This ECU is excellent value but still powerful enough to run all the features of our engine and has a few bonus features like launch control, which might be handy in the future.
With the big bits on the way, all we have to do now is sort out all the minor details, like cooling, fuel supply, wiring, braking, steering mechanism…. this might take a while.