I haven’t been making many mods to the big Mondy recently, and that’s mainly because I’ve been too busy using it! Having recently just moved house the ST has been busy with trips back and forth to the dump, picking up bits from Screwfix and B&Q, and of course, the obligatory IKEA trip that comes with moving home.
I’m pleased to report that the Mondeo took all of this in it’s stride, and aside from a little paint spillage (my own fault for accelerating away from a junction too fast), there have been no problems at all.
That was until very recently when a trip to Norfolk saw the ST start to play up on the return leg. I had driven about 200 faultless miles (plus around 350 miles two days previously) without missing a beat, but back on the M4 I noticed a distinct drop in power, especially as the engine tried to exceed 2-3000 rpm. At the same time, the trip computer indicated a huge drop in fuel economy. I continued to limp along, trying to diagnose the symptoms from the inside lane, until I admitted defeat and pulled over at the next services and called the AA for help. The AA man was very helpful, and after plugging in his code reader equipment, could tell me that bank one was running lean, bank two was running lean, and that all injectors were trimmed beyond exceptable levels (in an attempt to prevent the leaning out). Instantly I knew what this meant – air leak. But where from? Well after a bit of scratching around and spraying some carb cleaner on all joints, it turns out the induction hose between the air filter and throttle body was at fault. The take-off in this hose had work loose and, while not visible, was actually allowing air into the system. Refitting this hose – along with a cable tie to prevent it popping out again – and I was soon on my way once more.
So, to treat the car I thought I’d buy a set of silicone hoses. These would spruce up the under bonnet and aid reliability, preventing similar faults occuring in the future. But then I stood on the brakes! And realised soon the standard stoppers really do leave a lot to be desired. In fact, they’re plain rubbish!
So I spoke to serial Focus tuner and friend of the mag Eric Lloyd from KMS Motorsport. While I’d love a set of the mammoth 8-pots Eric has on his Focus RS demo car, a set of Focus ST225 brakes make the perfect fast road upgrade for the ST220. And as Eric has upgraded many STs in his time, he had a set of calipers he was able to send down. And to show what a top bloke he really is, he even spent a few hours cleaning them all up and even gave them a fresh coat of red paint for me!
I just need to get some new discs, pads, and braided lines and then I’ll be able to bolt them in place – I can’t wait!