Well, where do I begin? It’s been a hectic month for the big ol’ Mondeo, starting with the not insignificant matter of having an expired MOT and tax! Last month I fitted the new Formula Power ignition leads and swapped the spark plugs, which cured the annoying misfire the car was previously suffering from.
So with the big 3.0-litre once again running on all six of its cylinders I booked the car in for an MOT. Watching the MOT prod and poke around as you quietly pray he finds nothing untoward has to be one of the most nerve-wracking situations are car enthusiast has to endure, especially as it’s all completely out of your control.
Thankfully, however, the inspector couldn’t find anything amiss and the Mondeo sailed through the test. There were advisories on the rear tyres and the a bit of moisture of around one of the rear shocks, but as these are all due to be replaced or upgraded over the next few months it didn’t really pose any concerns.
With the MOT certificate in hand, and after the nice lady at the Post Office relieved me of a further £156, the ST220 was officially back on the road again. And to celebrate I had the perfect little run-out already lined up – a 600mile cross-country trip from Bristol to Norfolk and back again, plus a fair few miles of faffing around in between!
I’m pleased to say that the big ol’ bus took them all in stride. It may not be the fastest thing off the mark, but for hours of eating up motorway and A-road miles, you’d be hard pressed to find something better. In fact, the recently installed Formula Power leads seem to have made a noticeable difference – the engine feels smoother, more willing to rev, and actually more efficient too. The whole 700-plus mile journey, which included a mix of motorways, A-roads, and urban driving saw the V6 returning 30mpg! The only snag is that on the way a bloody stone chipped and cracked the windscreen, so I’m going to need to claim on the insurance and get it replaced soon.
You may remember a few weeks ago I mentioned changing the wheels, and seeing as the rear tyres are going to need to be replaced soon I thought now would be the perfect time. After hours of searching the ‘net, I found myself keep coming back to one wheel in particular – the Cades Bern. I think it really suits the Mk3 Mondeo. The only problem is, a 5×108 version is only available in 18in or 20in! I initially wanted a 19in rim, but the more I thought about it, the more I started to think the Mondeo could take a 20in rim without too much trouble.
So I bit the bullet, spoke to Cades Wheels, and ordered a set in 8.5×20 with an offset of ET49, finished in silver. While on the phone I also ordered a set of TPi lightweight wheel nuts in ‘titanium’ finish so I could get it all bolted up.
I’m currently working out what tyre options are best, and in order to have a quick measure up I decided to bolt one of the wheels in place and see what it looks like. I’m sure you’ll agree the Bern really suits the Mondeo’s chunky arches, and the 20in rim doesn’t look overly big. It’s gonna be a squeeze once the rubber is fitted, but I can’t wait, as teh wheels will definitely transform the was this car looks!