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Old 24-01-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Turbo RS Cabriolet Build

Hi guys. Since i found that the 1 owner erst i bought off my nan was so rotten ive been wondering what to do with it......mk2 xr2 turbo.....reshell into mk4......or escort cabriolet turbo. After doing a search on ebay and due to lack of good fiestas or mk4 shells i decided to do a mk4 turbo cabriolet.
I happened to win a xr3i cab d plate (same as my erst) cabriolet on ebay for £350. It was described as having no rust and had 12 months mot and 6 months tax in white (same as by erst too!). It also had a new white roof to fit to it as the one on it was leaking. It was over 100miles away so i got up early on a saturday and took my bro with me to go and pick it up.
When i got there my heart dropped, it had surface rust everywhere.After expressing my disappointment with the car and furthur looking at it i notcied the rust wasnt too bad at all, the worst being one of the rear wheel arches. Using this i knocked the guy down to £300 and drove the car all the way home (i drove a long way to get there in the 1st place!!!). Thankfully the car drove perfect (apart from a rev counter thatdidnt want to go higher than 1k rpm)and so i got it home and had a good look at it.
Here is a pic of what the old seller used to put on ebay:

Click the image to open in full size.

It looked dated so the first thing i did was remove the bump strips down the side of the doors. By removing these i notcied the bad rust on the drivers door so grinded the bad rust away, treated it the attempted to fill it up and spray it temporarily.I also grinded all the rust away from the wheel arch and any other areas i could spot and treated it all with kurust before painting. I rubbed down the sills and painted these with smooth white hammerite.I then fitted my rs turbo bodykit and used black tape to change the bumper strips from red to black (will fit the rs bumpers on once i get them off my donor rs).The car was looking a lot better and will put some pics on before the next steps.
During this time my bro in law and myself replaced the hood with the newer one which made it look alot better. Even though it dont fit perfect at the mo as it was in storage for a while, im hoping it will stretch now its on the car.
THEN

i pulled my finger out and have sorted someone to do the engine swap. I stripped the rs of all its interior and proceeded to strip the full loom out only cutting in a few places where i needed to (rear lights as different and immobilser in dash as couldnt remove - will solder back on when in cab).The rs is nearly stripped of the loom and this is how far i have got so far. Will keep you updated with more pics.
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Old 26-01-2009, 07:31 AM   #2
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Finished stripping the loom out of the rs. Got very bruised knuckles now tho!!! Never done anything like that before but its quite satisfying!!!Also removed the front bumper from the rs.
Started stripping out the loom in the engine bay of the cab and so far seems alot easier than the rs. Hopefully if i get home beofre dark 2moz i can finish stripping the engine bay of the cab and start on the interior.The only prob is i havent got anywhere to store the cab parts!
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Old 26-01-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
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Get some more pics up of the progress
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Old 26-01-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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will be good to see another turbo cabby hit the roads, can't wait to put mine back on the rd.
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Old 26-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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Hopefully if the swap goes ok it will be on the road on saturday maybe sunday. The engine was running in the rs, just needed clutch done and a setup which is going to be sorted on the swap.The car is already taxed and mot`d so fingers crossed!!!! Thats if i have time to fit the rs loom in the cab when its stripped out!
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Old 26-01-2009, 04:58 PM   #6
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Here are some pics after i took the side strips off ,tried to repair the door (will get a new one when i get the respray done)and when i fitted the bodykit and interior. Ive also got a spoiler to fit but needs prepping 1st.


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Shame i got to strip it all out to strip and fit the new rs loom!!

You may notice the kit isnt fitted properly and the sticker residue needs taking off. Ive got to finish fitting it and is only on temporarily to see how it looks and will give it a good clean when the car is done. Will be all done properly with the respray when i find a good price!

these pics also show off the new roof me and the bro in law fitted.
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Old 26-01-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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Looks good matewill be better once i have came and fitted lump lol
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Old 27-01-2009, 08:50 PM   #8
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LITTLE UPDATE - Stripped the rear loom and dash out of the cab today.Just got to pull it thru at the engine bay then just disconnect the starter,alternator and a few plugs then the cab loom will be out.
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Old 30-01-2009, 07:09 AM   #9
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UPDATE - Well we dint have any real problems with the loom. Started at 7pm and finished by 10pm.Finished removing cab loom in engine bay and removed the lot.Then stripped the rad out of the cab.Then fitted the rs loom which all sort of slotted into place.Just got a few wires to solder on (back lites,fuel pump,immobiliser and roof clock)then the loom is ready to plug in. I chopped out the old speaker wires as then there was less wires to run and im going to put a good system in it when i got time and money.Got the main dash back in too. Fingers crossed engine should be runnng end of sat.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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BIG UPDATE - RS Engine is in the cab and running!!!! Well done to Steve,Ricky & Adam for doing the job all in one day! New clutch was also fitted when the engine was out.Started at 9am and finished by 6pm with it running!A few niggly things to sort out but we have had the engine running and all is good!!!

Things to sort include:

1. New distributor seal (was leaking onto clutch)
2. Fit washer bottle (was thinking of modding a rear washer bottle for this)
3. Fit new exhaust clamps. (New stainless exhaust was fitted but alot of the rubbers were perished.
4. Fit rest of interior including new sound system,alarm,central locking and spare lock set i have from rs.Also fit new power roof kit i have and electric aerial.
5. Finish fitting exterior (bonnet on properly,bodykit on properly and spoiler).

Also got to sort out all the spares i have from both cars and chuck anything i dont need. And i may also have a pace intercooler to fit next weekend.

Once all the above is done then its time for a setup and then respray. Ive been thinking bout respraying it yellow but will prob keep it same colour to keep costs down.

NOW, i have a spare mk4 escort shell that has been damaged on the slam panel when we hoisted it up to get engine out.Will prob get someone to take this away once ive removed the doors and boot and spoiler to sell as they are in mint condition.

Also have my missus old mk3 fiesta 1.1 to sell as failed mot on a few things and cant be bothered to sort as got too many cars now!!!! Its a shame as the car runs excellent - like new!!!

Only managed to take a few picsduring the transplant but have more pics on the way when Adam sends them to me!

Cab Engine coming out

Click the image to open in full size.

Steve and the rs engine out

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I would highly recommend Steve for any work needed on an rs. He knows his stuff and is a regular on the xr owners club site.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:59 PM   #11
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excellent, been reading the ups n downs through this for a bit... glad to hear you got it running..

will pm you about the rst shell...

im sure others will agree with me here... dont spray it yellow! keep it diamond white! nice to see another turbo cab in action! cant wait till mines done! (needs major resto @ mo)

keep it up.

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Old 01-02-2009, 07:31 PM   #12
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just another pic of the engine out of cab.

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Old 02-02-2009, 02:00 AM   #13
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cool project mate
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:51 AM   #14
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good work mate there a few turbo cabs out and about now lol
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Old 14-02-2009, 01:40 PM   #15
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Sorry i havent updated for a while but the reason is.............I HAVENT DONE ANYTHING!!!

What with the weather being the way it has been and not having no garage i havent got much done at all. I bought a few exhaust rubbers to put on and bits and pieces but thats it. Everytime i go out to do something on the car i just cant be bothered!!!!! I was gonna get the interior sorted and wiring all in but half of it is at my mums and i get to the point where i cant be bothered to travel over to get it!!!
Im waiting on help from my bro in law to help sort the mechanical issues i have left and ive now realised i put the dash back in but need to take it out again as i havent put the stalk wires in the right place!!!! Ive applied to transfer my old rs number plate (been valued at £490!) to the cab so as soon as thats done i will be stripping the rs of what is worth anything and flogging the bits i dont need on rs club or ebay.Then i will have a bit more room on the drive to sort the cab.I did however get the front panel painted up today with kurust and smooth hammerite after sanding it all down to slow down any more rust under the bumper. Once thats dry i will put the front bumper back on.
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Old 15-02-2009, 05:55 PM   #16
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UPDATE -

Had my bro in law Adam round today at 7.30am (I had a bad hangover but wanted car done!)to help with the cab. We fitted the new exhaust rubbers and mounted that which is now alot better, we changed the dizzy seal though the old one looked fine but at least i know its done now. We finished fitting the clocks to the interior and also fitted the washer bottle and front bumper back on. We were then ready to take the car out and bloody hell, it flew!!!! Got to the petrol station, put in £15 worth of unleaded and as soon as i started it up again it ran like a bag of shite!!!! After furthur inspection,we found the dump valve leaking air into the system, one of the fuel lines was loose and a pipe had come off. After refitting all these it now runs ok though i think a good setup is in order to get it running spot on.
Just a few more things to do now:
Get horn working as not at the mo
Get flasher relay for indicators as they were not working
Sort rev counter as only goes to about 3k.This is strange as before the transplant it didnt go above 1.5k.So when we done transplant i put the rs clocks in the cab as these worked fine in the rs.It still only ran up to 1.5k after transplant. And this was with rs loom and rs clocks!! So as it gets the revs from the coil i put the rs coil on and now it shows only up to 3k. What could this be?
Fit all my alarm wiring ,central locking and audio wiring
Give the car a damn good clean and polish!!!

I havent put no pics on as the car still looks filthy and doesnt look any different (apart from a new steering wheel) than the other pics. Will get some when i clean it up.
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Old 24-02-2009, 09:01 PM   #17
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Got some quick pics of it so far (car not clean so bear with me!)

Click the image to open in full size.

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Hope this quenches your thirst for now!!
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:40 PM   #18
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Quick Update - Drove the poorly running car to Jano at Oddkidd Creations in Essex and within an hour or so the engine was running like new. He put a 200bhp chip and my pace double capacity intercooler on byut at the mo we decided to keep it at standard boost as it was previously running so badly. Ive drove the 125 miles back and the car runs really well even beating a clio williams in the process!!!! Just got to find a roof switch for my power roof conversion and thats sorted now ive bled and refilled it.Also got to get a new fan switch and new gear linkage as they need renewing then only thing left is to get a new head unit (lost the front of my old one instorage) and a respray even though i have polished most of it up and it looks good so may just get away getting a new door and rear quarter sprayed up.

Will put pics on later.
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Old 26-03-2009, 04:16 PM   #19
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UPDATE - (Taken from rs owners club forum so soz for repeating myself)

Ive noticed i havent updated this in a while so here goes. Pulled my finger out and managed to get the car down to Janos at Oddkidd Creations in Essex. Took me about 2hrs and the car was running like a bag of crap.At low revs it would stutter and "kangaroo". When i got there and Jano heard it running he said it sounded like it was running on 3 and i was lucky i made it all that way!!! Luckily he started tuning it and within an hour the car was purring and running like new. He also fitted a 195bhp chipped ecu and fitted my double pace intercooler i got for £25. The whole lot and tune up cost me £175 and the car has ran faultlessly since. I even gave a clio williams a race back coming into swindon and i beat him!
Since then I have fitted clear indicators front and side and got rid of all the old side moulding marks by t-cutting.Also touched up the boot and must say looks alot better now!!!! Just need to take my time and sort the rear ns quarter panel out and sort out a few other dinky bits. Ive also fitted cheap white dials i got from ebay for £5 posted and a bit of i.c.e which makes the whole experience driving it alot better.Had to mount it in the heater vents to see it better.Also fitted my personalised number plate i saved from the rs.I also refitted all the rubbers and it now seems alot more water proof,just a little bit showing now but i think its where the roof frame is bent.

Heres some photos of it so far:

Click the image to open in full size.

Shows off my painting skills - all with rattle cans!

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TV dont stay open -its flip front and can remove the front panel too for security.

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Things to do:

The list is starting to go down,but the more i work on it,the more things i want to sort:

Buy another exhaust as current one dont fit well
Fit new roof - think frame is bent.
Buy and fit new grafix (gonna go with either focus rs cheq`s or orginal rs stripes)
Fit or Recon Head (New cam and tappets are current is very tappety)
Tidy Up Paintwork (As the stickers are going on,i will tidy it up myself to save costs and be ready for summer)
Finish tidying interior (Want to mount tv better and just give it a good valet)
Buy and fit uprated brakes (Going for 4x4 cosworth calipers and 2wd discs - leaving rears)
Sort out both doors due to rust & damage - need to source
Fit front speaker pod covers

Maybe fit esc cos lookalike wheels (See how they look once tidied up)

And then i should be ready for summer. So not much more to do!
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Old 26-03-2009, 04:17 PM   #20
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Also thinking of fitting a puma gearstick conversion as gear change is crap.
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Old 26-03-2009, 07:26 PM   #21
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looks good so far mate
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:56 PM   #22
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Tightened gear change up a bit and seems alot better though typical escort feel.
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Old 14-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #23
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very nice mate, my cars goin to jano soon too lol
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Old 14-04-2009, 04:22 PM   #24
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tidy conversion!
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:13 PM   #25
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I havent updated for a while so thought id put a post up to catch up:

I was enjoying the car as it was when i notcied that it smoked quite a bit on startup then cleared.Then after a while i noticed smoke pouring out the back when in traffic and stood still.As the head was tappety too i decided to rebuild my head and replace the head gasket to be safe. Luckily a newly rebuilt head appeared on the bay of e and it was in my town so i went to have a look.It had been rebuilt 4k ago and included it being ported and polished and had a piper t2 cam in it with piper vernier.I managed to get this for £100 and had it skimmed to be on the safe side which cost me £20.
I then managed to get a headgasket kit "payen" from the local factors so last weekend my cousin and myself stripped the head off. The headgasket was showing signs of failure so we renewed the gasket as well as every other gasket, gave eveything a good clean up and installed the new head.I also installed a new fan switch as well as wiring up an overide switch for it too to be extra safe.
Once we got the new head it wasnt running right and as we didnt have a strobe and timing gear i managed to get it all setup by a local well known former rs mechanic.He did a full setup and set the boost at 14psi.
The car now absolutely flies!!! And as its running more boost i can hear chatter as well as my dump valve which is a bonus!
I managed to get a good secondhand door in white local to where i work for £40 so i swapped the doors over.The new door didnt include anything so i swapped everything over from the old door.
So im up to the point where the car is going well,its looking alot better and even tho the tax is due next month,its now ready for the summer!!
The near side back panel needs a slight touch up which i will do when i get the chance and the bottom of the passenger door will need a touch up.Then it will be a case of installing a better alarm system,central locking and finishing off the interior to a better standard.All this should be done within the next few months. Ive also managed to get hold of some 4x4 cosworth calipers that have been recently blasted as well as some good pads to go with them.So as soon as i got the money for new 2wd discs and some braided hoses,then these will go on.
All i got left after that is to tidy up the wheels.Im hoping to get them sprayed white and polish the fronts.
Ive also decided to leave the spoiler off as i think it looks cleaner and "newer" without it so i got 2 spoilers for sale,as well as a bootlid and a spare passenger door.
Heres some new pics:

Click the image to open in full size.
Roof Up

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Before I replaced the door

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Roof Down - Just need to sort the bottom of the passenger door

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Roof Down - Probably cant see the new door but it looks ten times better!!

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Dont you think it looks better without a spoiler?!

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Just got to sort the interior - maybe get it flocked after some fibreglassing!

Click the image to open in full size.
You cant tell but its got the new head on!!!And been tidied up a bit. Just got to sort the wiring out so its neater.


Im also planning on spraying the handles and fuel cap the same white.
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Old 13-05-2009, 12:47 AM   #26
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good stuff
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Old 24-07-2009, 08:26 AM   #27
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UPDATE - Well not really. Ive been umming and aahing about doing a xr2 fiesta turbo conversion using the engine from this cab. I even got as far as buying a mk2 fiesta which is sitting in my mums drive. However i decided the cab is good as it is with only a few things needing to be sorted to be a nice show car. SO now i have a mk2 fiesta sat in my mums drive doing nothing so gonna have to sell it.
I was also contemplating getting rid of the cab as was getting a bit bored of it.I was thinking of getting an mr2 turbo.However, im using my 7 yrs ncb on my missus car (shes only 20 and has no ncb) and the insurance for the mr2 turbo is too high as its classed as me having no ncb.So im gonna stick with the cab as i dont need my ncb for it as its classed as a classic car.
So, ive decided i need to do the following:
1. Fit a decent alarm and fix my central locking
2. Fit a new roof and frame as frame still isnt sitting right.Might got for a black roof too as the white roof gets dirty VERY quickly.
3. Get the ns rear quarter sprayed and any other bits sorted (ns front door bit scabby and bodykit needs fitting properly as well as bumpers need a respray).
4. Sort interior.I still havent fitted my speaker pods back on as finding it too difficult to get on and need to get some new sill covers as i have a mix of rs turbo ones and cabriolet ones and turbo ones dont sit properly.
5. Get wheels sorted. They are very scuffed so need a sort and paint.
6. Fit my 4wd cossie calipers and pads and buy some 2wd discs.Will RS2000 discs fit? Will also get some braided hoses as they made a lot of difference to my rover coupe turbo.
And that ladies and gentlemen will be about it. I have ideas of going efi but at the mo the car is running fine so im not gonna mess with it!
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:10 AM   #28
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Very nice car mate i got a xr3i cab and looking to replace sills and arches whats best sills and arches and where from thanks
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:03 AM   #29
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Er, this thread is 4 years old.....
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #30
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Cant beat the old threads.
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:23 PM
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