Sparkplug
Thursday 23 November, 2017
6:58 am, UTC +0000
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My Ford Sierra XR4x4 3.7 Supercharged

I've been a member of the XROC since May 1996. I had just bought my boss's old car - a 1989 Sierra XR4x4 2.9 in Diamond White, as the gearbox of my MG Metro Turbo had just decided to self destruct. I had a trip in the XR the week before, and commented how good the car looked. I then found out my boss was selling it, so I decided to buy it, not really knowing anything about the car, other than it was better than no car at all. I wasn't even aware of the size of the engine until I rang around a couple of insurance companies only to find out that most companies wouldn't have insured my Metro, let alone a 2.9 V6!

I did eventually get insurance, and was happy with the car for a while. Since 1998 I took part in some local shows with the XR4 Register by this time I had changed the suspension, exhaust and air filter. I attended Trax where I saw a Power Engineering 3.7 XR4x4 and that was that - no more 2.9 for me (the engine needed a revamp anyway, having done some 200,000 miles). I eventually told myself that I could afford it, so off I went to Power Engineering with £4000 in my pocket. I came away without the money, but with a big smile on my face as I drove my newly converted XR.

I had bought the car with 100,000 miles on the clock, driven another 100,000 miles prior to converting the engine, and then clocked up another 60,000 miles on the 3.7. At this stage I took a long look at the car, and with encouragement from friends I decided that the body was in need of repair - serious repair. I stripped the car down to a bare body to find more and yet more rust. It was then that I decided to buy another car, still an XR4x4, but one with a good body.

After some 3 months of looking I bought a 1992 late spec. with air con. I got both cars together so I could swap over engines, this being completed within four days by Jiles at G Sport.

After the show season in 2002 I decided to strip the back end of the car and sort out any problems with rust and take the opportunity to refurbish the rear suspension components. With a lot of help from Bhav we removed the rear beam and fuel tank. Over the next couple of months I got the rear beam, rear suspension arm, rear springs and newly inquired Escort Cosworth anti-rollbar shot-blasted and power-coated. A new fuel tank was purchased along with all new bushes. The fuel tank, drive shafts, rear calipers and diff were all painted. Whilst this was happening Catherine and I were trying to clean and paint the underneath of the car, which seemed to take forever as a previous owner had undersealed the car. This underseal was hiding all the rust that was forming so had to be removed. Normally underseal is painted on a car to protect it from stone chip damage but as my car will not be used as an everyday car again this would not be a problem. Once the underseal was removed Catherine and I used a shot-blaster to remove any flaky paint and clean any rust spots. We then painted the underneath of the back end of the car.

By this time Town and Country show was fast approaching, we all wanted the car to be ready so with a lot of help from Bhav we reassembled the rear of the car. The day before Town and Country show the car started for the first time in over a year and after a quick drive to the jet wash to remove the dust that had gathered on the car it was off to Warwick Road Garage in Coventry to get a MOT at 6pm at night, many thanks to Deba for letting us stay after hours. The car passed without any problems and made it to Town and Country much to everybodys surprise.

Up until now I've been using the standard Ford ECU to control my engine but the engine could not produce its ultimate power due to the Ford ECU still thinking its controlling a 2.9 engine. After a lot of research I found an ECU to control my engine. I chose an Omex 700 as it seemed a good balance of powerful features yet not being far to complex to program and calibrate. I bought the ECU and talked to my friend Chris at Power Engineering. Chris was very helpful so I booked the car in to be rewired and setup with the Omex ECU. Whilst on the phone to Chris he suggested to get the most from my engine I might want to consider a supercharger, this really got me thinking. On my next phone call to Chris I discussed the supercharger idea more to which he said, I've got a supercharger that would suit your car perfectly which is brand new and quite cheap, how could I refuse!. Catherine and I drove to Power Engineering to drop the car off and to gaze at the Eaton M90 supercharger Chris had. Once we got to Power Engineering we realised that as my car had air conditioning it would not be easy to fit so we took the decision to remove the air con and fit the supercharger in its place.

After two weeks Chris had finished the supercharger install and mapped it. Catherine, Tim and I went to pick it up on a very fine but cold morning. It was the first time Tim had seen or heard a car doing 6000rpm in Forth gear just a couple of meters away and he seemed a bit concerned at times. I took the car out for a spin around the block, and was stunned how well the car picked up. Once down the motorway cruising at 70MPH in fifth gear I could put my foot down and the car leapt up to 110MPH very smoothly. I'm currently over the moon at how well the car feels, its great through towns as it so smooth whatever speed your doing. Many, many thanks to Chris and his team at Power Engineering as this car is so much better then I could imagine.