Wheels maketh the car. Fact. It doesn’t matter what other mods you’ve fitted to your ride, if the wheels are rubbish they will let the whole car down. Thankfully, with the new range of Ford-fitment rims available from trendsetters, Fifteen 52, finding the right set of wheels for a fast Ford just got a whole lot easier.
Their designs are perfect for a modded Blue Oval, combining style with practicality, all wrapped-up in a motorsport-inspired design. While any of the Fifteen 52 range would have suited the Fiesta’s styling to a tee, there was one design that stood out above all others for me – the Turbomac. With it’s gravel rallying-esque looks and chunky five-spokes, it suits the Mk7 perfectly!
The only problem was Fifteen 52 only offer this wheel in Speed Silver or Rally White – and neither of those would match the Fiesta’s red-and-black theme.
Determined to find a solution that would work I spoke to the guys at Foliatec to discuss my options, and was soon convinced that the gloss black Spray Film would be the way to go. It would provide a quick and easy way to change the colour of the wheels without the need to scuff-up the surface beneath – so would be ideal to give the colour swap a try without the fear of damaging the wheels.
With that all sorted my flexible friend was removed from my wallet and promptly received a bloody good hiding as I ordered a full set of Turbomacs in 8x17in with an ET42 (to help fill the arches that bit better than stock), and a complete gloss black Spray Film kit.
The credit card took another hammering when I realised that because the new wheels are a full inch wider than the stock rims, I was going to need new rubber too. Looking at the options available there’s a wide range to choose from for 215/40R17s, but the ones that caught my eye were the Falken Ziex ZE914. Thanks to the new rating system required by all new tyres it’s easy to see how the tyre will perform in wet conditions, how economical there are, and even how much road noise they generate. And, for me, the Ziex ZE914 offered the best combination of performance (B-rated wet weather, E-rated economy, 71db) for the best price at £75 per tyre. Yes you can get tyres this size cheaper, but when you start to look at the performance ratings you can see why! And tyres are one thing it’s not worth skimping on!
Finally, with everything delivered I was able to make a start! Before I started to spray the new rims black I thought it would be wise to physically mount the tyres on the rims first, to reduce the risk of damaging the soft spray film at a later date. So the Mondeo (yes I still have it – more updates on that next month!) was loaded up with wheels and tyres and I headed to Tarnock Garage to use their tyre machine to get the tyres mounted to the rims.
Then, back in the garage at home I was able to start applying the spray film. Gently a few coats were dusted on before a final wet coat was applied to give the deep shine. At first you may think the finish looks horrible – it does, it’s all bumpy and uneven – but as it cures the coating self levels to leave a decent finish. A quick coat of the new Spray Sealer offers further protection and gives an even deeper shine.
The finishing touch was the custom decals that Rich at Fifteen52 painstakingly made up for me, combining both their company logo with the Fast Ford one in a neat custom graphic.
I can’t wait to get these on the car, I think they’re going to look awesome! But first I need to contend with another problem – the tyre pressure monitors that new cars run. This means I’m going to have to take the tyres off the old wheels, remove the monitors and somehow squeeze them into the new wheels without damaging anything, before putting it all back together again. And I’ll have to do one wheel at time to ensure the correct monitor goes on the correct wheel.
Nothing is ever easy, but I’m sure it’ll all be worth it in the end – as I say wheels make the car, and I reckon the Fiesta will look awesome with the Turbomacs finally fitted.