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Last page update was 29 Oct 2004

Fisher Fury Build Progress - March 2004

17th March

What a nightmare! I never realised just how rare a 3.38 ratio 7" Ford Sierra differential was. Even more so because I wanted one with push in shafts. I'd tried the usual suspects like Donor Spares  and Ford Spares  but they didn't have any in. This does not bode well as the chap from Donor Spares lives in Ipswich and obviously makes a regular trip to the local breakers to collect such parts.

This meant I would have to look further a field. I did a few seaches on Yell  and phoned the nearest 30 odd breakers and dismantlers. This was getting very depressing but I'd arranged to take this afternoon off to visit 6 breakers yards in Suffolk and Norfolk. Before I left, I phoned the last 8 on my list and bingo! Elliston and Son near Thetford had one sitting on a shelf ready for me to pick up. I made this my first trip but decided to do a tour of the Norfolk countryside just to see what sort size these places were and maybe look for a second diff in case the reserved one was the wrong ratio.

My rather dirty diff. Paid 50. The oil on the outside has leaked from it's journey in the boot of my car. You can't drive 150 miles through the Norfolk country side and not have some fun. Fortunately, I was aware that diff oil stinks horribly, and was prepared with some plastic sheeting to protect the inside of my boot.

The annoying thing with breakers is that they are lazy. They always say that you need to come around and look yourself. Quite often they can't even tell you how many Sierras they have in. If you want something they also charge you to take it off, so you have to remember to take some tools with you. Just resulting in a lot of wasted trips. One or two places had a large number of Sierras stacked up though. They all had the wrong ratios. I failed to find a second differential but I'm still following up my contacts made.

It turns out that my brother has found a 3.38 ratio diff with Lobra type bolt-on shafts. I also put a request into some of the places that will search breakers nationwide. One of them turned up a suitable diff but they wanted 120 for it.

20th March

Set about cleaning up the differential. My plan is to paint it black or silver. It is mainly made of Aluminium so there is not a whole lot of point and it was never designed to be painted. Cleaning it was easier than I thought and took about 30 minutes. First thing to do was to remove the rear mounting bracket as this isn't used on my car. This is a bolt on (13mm) rubber shock absorber within a metal bracket.

I plugged up the shaft holes with some rags to stop dirt and water getting in to the diff. I also plugged up the breather hole on the top. I then sprayed it with some solution to remove oil and grime and left it to soak in for 15 minutes. This got the worst of it off so I let it dry and then had a go with some white spirit. I bought one of those big trays used for gardening, to sit the diff in while I cleaned it. I can use it as a drip tray later on in the build.

One cleaned up differential. The input shaft is not aluminium so this is going to be primed and painted.

I then checked the diff over and made sure I could undo the filler bolt. This needs a 10mm Allen key. This bolt has a little magnet in it to pull any metallic particles out of the oil. This was pretty clean indicating minimal wear on the diff since its last oil fill.

As you can see, although it is clean, it is not that tidy so I've decided to paint it anyway. I've got the time and the paint so I might as well do the job. The steel input shaft mount also needed painting anyway.

Before it is bolted into the chassis, it will be emptied and refilled with a more suitable diff oil for a bike engined car.

24th March

Popped down to a local breakers today to pick up some Sierra/Granada rear calipers. I need these to exchange for my reconditioned ones but I also need the caliper carriers, which don't come with the reconditioned calipers. Also spotted a pair of Mk II Escorts in a pile of old cars so I bought the front uprights of them. As rare as hens teeth.

Some sad looking donor calipers. Before I bought them, I checked the carriers moved freely, since these are the only bits I need. A quick wire brush clean up and a lick of paint will transform them, as you can see below. The calipers themselves are going to be exchange for some reconditioned ones. This costs more money but with nearly 400bhp/ton, I want the brakes to work. And trust me, they are going get some stick. Nothing compare to what the abuse the front brakes are going to get and I'm spending proportionately on those too. As far as safety goes, I'm not cutting any corners.

These are the important carriers (well one of them), which have to be cleaned up. The sliders are held on by the rubber boots and bolt to the caliper. I just pulled these off to clean and paint them. Investigation showed that two of the rubber boots have split slighty, allowing a little rust to form on the end of the slider (but not far enough along to affect normal operation, as their was plenty of grease inside the boot). I cleaned these up and painted them. The little rubber boots (marked GIRLING 67320464) will have to be replaced.

These are the painted carriers. They are going to clash with the gold finish on my reconditioned calipers slightly but I couldn't bring myself to paint anything gold on my car.

26th March

Picked up two pairs of spare Escort Mk II front uprights at lunch time. Also phoned round a few places to try and get some rubber boots for my rear calipers. The local Ford dealership only sells a complete caliper repair kit with new piston and seals, for far too much money. Need to try a local independent parts shop.

31st March

Spent a bit of time stripping down the two spare pairs of Escort Mk II front struts. Tried cutting through the springs on them without using spring compressors this time. It saves some time but I wouldn't recommend it. There is still quite a lot of compression in there, waiting to be unleashed. Drilled them on each side to then let the shock oil drain and then cut them down roughly to save on storage space. These are being passed on at cost to other builders.

I won a nearly new MY03 R1 radiator, fan and header tank on eBay tonight for 64.77 + 12 P&P. Was looking at 160 for a new fan and radiator.

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