Another tiny update on the 220, in that I finally decided to go with some stainless still Zunsport Grills for the front end. Both the ST24 and ST200 had them as standard, and it always made the 220 feel a bit cheap with its plastic ones. They only fit over the existing grilles so not a full refit but I think they really lift the front end!
With all of the leather repair work completed, ST200 mats sorted, a replica plaque fitted and a general tidy up done, the interior is now one part of the 200 Limited that’s finished! So happy with how it’s come out, looks factory fresh.
Today’s task was to attack the faded and discoloured headlights, which sadly the whole fleet seem to suffer with! I picked up a drill based 3M headlight restoration kit and I was really happy with the results. 500 grit, 800 grit, 3000 grit with lubrication and a polishing pad and compound. Again, aside from some stone chips they look brand new!
One of the biggest issues with the 200 Limited was the state of some of the interior leather, and as happy coincidence would have it a guy literally 10 minutes down the road turns out to be a very accomplished detailed and leather worker!
A few pics of his incredible work below, it’s honestly transformed her! Drivers seat, steering wheel and the gear knob all fully repaired and coloured in the factory blue and black leather.
So another small update on the 220, with the old and weather beaten plates replaced for shiny new ones. Still a few more bits needed, but that one at least is definitely nearing the end of the work needed!
Next up, refurb on the interior of the 200. Full leather reupholster and repair to follow. Watch this space!
Doing the usual weekend semi-drunk browsing on Ebay this weekend, it occurred to me that while the ST24 and ST200 both have the correct branded floor mats, the 220 was notably still running generic black mats that had seen better days.
So these are now finally retired in favour of some Ford Approved MK3 Mondeo mats, much smarter with the correct Mondeo font badging. Better quality too!
So while still living in a very weird at the moment, I have at least managed to get a pretty major bit of work done on the ST220. The way that the front and rear sat was always a bit weird to me, with the rear being about an inch higher than the front. Well, I finally had a reason to sort this!
A front spring snapped on a short journey a few weeks back, so I took the opportunity to fit a new set of Eibach lowering springs and fresh Sachs shocks. It’s levelled the car up a treat and really feels sharp now. Twinned with the ASBO brakes, it’s a much more focussed proposition. How it should have been from factory I would say!
Well, 2020 ended up being a fairly rubbish year for all things car meet related. Almost none were possible what with our good friend the virus knocking about, so all that’s been going on is some general maintenance.
Both the ST24 and the ST200 needed some suspension and brake work (front discs and pads, lower suspension arms, pinch bolts etc) which I got the local garage to deal with, but the whole fleet has now passed the MOT saga for another year!
I’m moving to a new place with a good sized garage in the next month or two, so i’m hoping to put up some more regular updates on the work being done. Main thing to tackle once i’m able to work indoors is the rust on rear arches, but there are lots of other jobs and improvements I have in mind. Hopefully that will mean a bunch of videos and pics of work.
Few pics below, of the only meet that was possible in the latter part of 2020, when the 200 was joined by one of its Limited Edition brothers! Plus a few recent shots of the motors to sign off the year. Not sure there will be much more now so here’s to a better 2021!
Well, it couldn’t all be sunshine and rainbows I guess! Sadly after just shy of a decade on the road I have had my first accident. A Muntjac deer decided that it no longer wanted to be a part of this world and threw itself under the ST24 on the A12. Sadly, as well as taking out Mr Deer, this has caused a fair amount of damage:
Front bumper smashed apart, front grille bent.
Front fog lights smashed and surrounds gone.
Radiator and Air Con condenser smashed.
Undertray and various trim ripped off.
New radiator and air con condenser were fitted and regassed, and the front bumper repaired with fibreglass and repainted. Plenty of progress pics below, and really happy with how it turned out.
So another big issue solved on the 200. Since buying her the idle speed has been sticking at 1500-2000 from start up. From doing some research we came up with two potential problems that could be the culprit – a split in the front breather pipe or a fix needed on the Air intake bypass pipe.
Breather pipe fix.
This one was simple, the pipe was half hiding under the plastic engine cover but after three bolts this was off and the pipe was replaced. Just pulled off from both ends, and the new one was replaced in moments. The original pipe had a number of splits and was clearing letting air by.
So, had this done the trick? Well no. Idle was still really bad so it was on to part two of the possible fixes!
The fast Idle fix – Restrictor in the Filter Bypass
Probably should have gone straight to this! Turns out that there is a pretty common issue with the 2.5 Litre Duratec. The idle can often be affected due to excess air in the filter bypass pipe, and this can be solved by fitting copper stop end into the pipe with a 4.5mm hole drilled through in it. This restricts the air and in turn brings the idle down, and being a bypass it does not reduce overall engine power.
Once slipped into place we fired her up again and took her for a run…..success! Still a tad haigh at 1000-1100, but the revs drop off nicely when changing gear or in neutral. So another major issue resolved.
This would have been the summer we’d of gone back and hit the track hard. Alas thanks to COVID-19 we’re armchair pondering car builds and keeping in isolated in lockdown polishing exhaust tips.
In that time from our first visit to both the track, and indeed the Crown in Adenau, ‘shout out’ This time around we made our return trip to battle some demons and give one of the fleet a shakedown lap.
I was able to stumble across some lovely footage from last year. This is The ST 220’s 2019 trial at the Ring for Darren’s 30th.
Sit back, enjoy…. Raise a glass, to another summer on the track. Albeit this year, for us, from afar.