The Bad Mav Project

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4
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1
City
greeley
State
CO
Country
United States
What I Drive
1979 Ford Fiesta
#1
Greetings, people of the Internet. I’ve got my hands pretty full with this crazy car project that I’m slowly working on. Its mostly thinking about the project, which steps to take first, and how to make things work. So here’s my question...

I have a 1979 Fiesta (Bad Mav) and currently it’s sitting on 13 inch, four bolt, rims. Eventually, because of all the horsepower I’ll one day be putting down, I’ll need larger brakes (preferably all rotors). How does one go about doing this?? I also want to go from 4 lug bolts to 5 lug nuts/studs and 15 inch rims. I know you can buy an adaptor but I’d rather not.

What do I need people? I feel like I’m either over thinking it or there’s a lot of different factors and I’m trying to over simplify it.
 
Messages
190
Likes
21
City
Grass Lake
State
MI
Country
United States
#2
Greetings, people of the Internet. I’ve got my hands pretty full with this crazy car project that I’m slowly working on. Its mostly thinking about the project, which steps to take first, and how to make things work. So here’s my question...

I have a 1979 Fiesta (Bad Mav) and currently it’s sitting on 13 inch, four bolt, rims. Eventually, because of all the horsepower I’ll one day be putting down, I’ll need larger brakes (preferably all rotors). How does one go about doing this?? I also want to go from 4 lug bolts to 5 lug nuts/studs and 15 inch rims. I know you can buy an adaptor but I’d rather not

What do I need people? I feel like I’m either over thinking it or there’s a lot of different factors and I’m trying to over simplify it.
Hello. Welcome to the forum. This site is primarily for the current generation Fiesta. You need to do your research on what has been done in the past. Then you can determine what is possible for you to do. In the U.K. they were doing many ZETEC engine swaps into the early Fiesta, sometimes using the original transmission that had a more performance oriented gearset or a BAT Ltd (British American Transfer company) 5 speed transmission in conjunction with a special adaptor plate. The stock transmission is not going to be able to cope with much increase in torque. In North America, the SCCA had an "Improved Touring" club racing class that was heavily populated with the early Fiesta.
But, you need to understand that ALL that stuff is now considered to be vintage cars and parts.
You don't mention anything about the current condition of the Fiesta you are interested in modifiing. Is it damaged or have rust? If so, it's a parts car and not a candidate for the time and expense of doing extensive work to.
What is your budget? What is your skill level and how well equipped with tools and equipment to do the work are you? If you're honest answers are "very little and almost none" I would have to recommend that you just go buy a nice used Fiesta ST. And call it a win for you. If you are still interested in what is possible, there is a lot of research and grunt labor ahead for you.
 
Messages
21
Likes
5
City
STL
State
MO
Country
United States
What I Drive
2019 Ford Fiesta SE
#3
I'd look into using steering knuckles from a 5 lug FWD Ford, like the 1st gen Taurus. You're going to need some pretty adjustable suspension to get the alignment correct most likely.

I don't think Ford uses bolt on bearing hubs on any of their small cars. They are pressed on, and I'm not sure about the interchangability of them. You may be able to have a machine shop modify your stock knuckles to accept a Taurus bearing and hub. Then would come the challenge of getting the caliper mounted to the knuckle.
 
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Messages
190
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21
City
Grass Lake
State
MI
Country
United States
#4
MBP is correct on the direction to go! I have found that the 1996 to 2004 Taurus and Sable have slightly larger bearings (Bolt in type) and are a lot lighter, being an aluminum component, except for the bearing/hub. I suspect that it's forged or some kind of hi tech pressure casting! But, Again you have a lot of research to do. What you want is not an off the shelf or kit build kind of thing.
I attached two pics of a 96 to 98 Taurus knuckle. It's super light, bolt in hub/bearing and has an appropriate size lower ball joint for either a heavy or very powerful car.
 

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Messages
21
Likes
5
City
STL
State
MO
Country
United States
What I Drive
2019 Ford Fiesta SE
#5
Nice, didn't know those were bolt-on hubs! Yea, to get those to work you better know or be a great fabricator.
 
Messages
190
Likes
21
City
Grass Lake
State
MI
Country
United States
#6
Knuckles are fairly easy to measure. I found that the 08 to current Dodge Caravan front knuckle is a pretty beefy yet light one too. Bearings/hub bolt in as well. A late, good friend of mine who was also a incredibly talented fabricating and part adapting genius, once told me that he believed "the quality of junk is much better than it used to be". That is so true! The world of junk is the hotrodders playground.
 
Messages
190
Likes
21
City
Grass Lake
State
MI
Country
United States
#8
Any update on this project?
I don't think it is an actual project. More like a "how can I make this into something entirely different than what I have now?" Question.
But, I will say that the idea of a different drivetrain into a reenforced modern Fiesta body shell is pretty interesting. The basic, modern Fiesta hatchback is quite light, fairly rigidly constructed and inexpensive to buy as a used or slightly damaged car. A person with the tools and imagination could create something very quick.
My experience with the Gen one Fiesta is that it needs to be caged for structural safety before any serious things are done with it.
 

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