Project Ford Fiesta ST- Making the Jump to a Race Car With SPD Motorsports!

by Mike Kojima

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.

Read More About Project Fiesta ST


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!
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Monday, March 16, 2015 5:36 AM
So, maybe this is a silly question, but why remove the heater core? What will be done about windshield fogging/defrosting?
Monday, March 16, 2015 5:48 AM
Weld porn is a great way to start the morning. Scott does some really nice work.
Nick B
Nick Blink
Monday, March 16, 2015 9:14 AM
Tom - Not a big problem here in SoCal unless you're racing the 25 Hour Thunderhill.
b drecksage
b drecksagelink
Monday, March 16, 2015 10:14 AM
Awesome article, i cant believe someone can take apart a new car like that!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, March 16, 2015 10:34 AM
Because we will be running antifog coated lexan windows. Also racecars don't typically run heaters.
Monday, March 16, 2015 11:20 AM
Awesome article. Great info for my own build.
Monday, March 16, 2015 3:03 PM
Is he just going to leave the side windows out? Great article. What's the approximate cost for all this work?
ElChupacabura link
Monday, March 16, 2015 3:39 PM
Do you happen to know what the owner did with his interior? If he still has it I'm interested in buying the seats from him.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 2:17 PM
I agree with Pilun, if you guys can divulge a rough itemized budget including all parts and labour that would be fantastic.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 1:11 AM
Which engine is this ? I wonder if the the A/C delete kit fits the 2.x duratec/mzr block. http://photos.motoiq.com/MotoIQ/Project-Cars/Project-Ford-Fiesta-ST/i-B2JF3NB/1/L/7-L.jpg It might be this part http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=13228 but Wikipedia lists a bunch of different engines for 11-12 Fiestas and for different markets. Nice article!
Saturday, March 21, 2015 2:44 PM
What does Scott have against nodes? They all seem to be dead!
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