I knew it wouldn’t be long. Long before I smashed the Maxton Designs front splitter off on something that is. In the months that it’s been fitted I’ve had quite a few near-misses with various potholes, speed ramps, pedestrian crossings, and even just litter in the road! But this month I lost the battle when I tried to run over a dead badger!
To be fair, I was following another car (ironically another RS that hasn’t been lowered!) so didn’t see the offending roadkill until it emerged from the rear diffuser of the car in front. By which time it was too late to stop, and with oncoming traffic on the other side of the road I couldn’t even take evasive action. So, I simply scrubbed off as much speed as I could (without the car behind popping their bumper into my boot!), braced myself, and waited for the inevitable ‘bang’.
Luckily though, thanks to the Maxton splitters being made from ABS plastic rather than fibreglass, the splitter broke cleanly. No dangling bits dragging along the floor. No strands of fibre getting wrapped around the brakes or driveshafts. Nothing. In fact, apart from the obvious missing chunk at the font, you wouldn’t have known anything had happened!
But obviously I couldn’t leave it like that. Well, I did for about another 700miles, but you can’t drive around in a battered RS – it’s just not on! So, I popped onto Maxton’s website and ordered a replacement. This time I opted for the slightly different V4 version rather than the previous V3, simply because it protrudes slightly less so it might not catch on quite so many obstacles.
With that boxed up on the back seat I headed off to Tarnock Garage for it to be fitted in place. While there I also got their techs to replace the original clutch assistance spring with a new item from Steeda. Costing less than £20, and taking just minutes to install I thought ‘let’s see what the fuss is about’. The Steeda spring is much softer than the OE original, as such it is said to firm up the pedal feel and make shifting gear easier.
Now, I was sceptical at first but I have to admit it does make quite a significant difference! The firmer pedal allows you to feel exactly when the clutch engages and disengages, and is much more linear compared with OE setup. You do feel much more in-tune with the car as a result.
Honestly, it makes you wonder why Ford didn’t make this simple change in the factory. But thankfully Steeda has, and it only costs £19.50 and 5 minutes of fiddling to fit it. Now that’s the kind of upgrade I like!