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Ford Fiesta Tuning tips

"Fiesta = A festival or holiday = Fun!"

Fiesta tuning

The Ford Fiesta is one of fords most popular cars. It's production run has lasted since 1976 with no end in sight.

Designed as a convenient run around town car, it came with a wide variety of smaller engine sizes. From a tuning point of view you really need to get an engine of 1.4 litres or greater and preferable a 1.6.

With the arrival of the XR2, the XR2i tuning firms started producing turbo kits for the Fiesta which pushed the power to 125bhp. (Considering the low weight of these early cars they are still able to keep up with more modern cars with bigger engine power.

There is a dedicated following of Fiesta tuners from the classic XR2 to the modern ST.

It may have been to avoid denting sales of the Hot Escorts but power was certainly not a major selling point of the Fiesta. Eventually Ford relented and released the RS turbo with 135bhp.

From 1999 to 2002 there were no hot versions on offer. Eventually ford released the ST Fiesta with the 2.0 Duratec engine pushing out power of 148bhp culminating in one of the best Fiestas produced so far.

Engine swaps are popular choices of modification for Fiesta owners with most utilising the XR2i and RS turbo engines on older models or even the modern Duratec units. A number of conversions have been done with Escort engines too including an ambitious Cosworth conversion!

Handling is one thing that really needs a little attention on most models, only the hot hatches have uprated suspension and are good at corners. A stiffer spring and damper and lowering of 35mm will really do much to improve handling. (The handling of the ST model is actually very tight from the factory though!)

Induction kits and sports exhausts, although popular modifications, will do little to add power to anything less than a 1.6 litre engine. Even on larger engines the power gain offered is only noticable as you get up the rev range. Getting the head gas flowed and ported and converting early models to electronic ignition and fuel injection are probably the best choices of modification around.

Fast road cams will also make quite a difference to the power characteristics of the 1.6 and 2.0 engines.

In an article like this we can only give an overview of tuning the Fiesta, especially since there are so many different models around. Join us in our Ford forum to discuss tuning options with other Fiesta fans and Fiesta tuners.

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