Not a Dai - but a 3cyl turbo


I didn’t know this part existed until b_hoves with his Valiant.

Anyway, for work I needed to head back to WA and needed a car here. Little did I know I’d get stuck for an extended period of time thanks to Covid-19! Still, on a global scale or even local level, it is an insignificant first world problem.

So a car in Perth needed to be cheap, reliable, have air-con and be somewhat quirky or interesting. Unfortunately no suitable Dai’s were around when I was looking - I had hoped for a unicorn gtvi with low kms, manual and air-con…one can dream.

After much looking:

It is a Ford Fiesta Ecoboost S Manual - a 1.0 Litre 3cyl turbo.
A somewhat unloved model. People wanting a runabout usually went the cheaper models or the auto version of the ‘S’. People wanting outright performance would go the Fiesta ST. Still, it fit the bill and the weak link to Dai’s was there as it is powered by a 1.0 litre 3 cyl turbo…ok, so it is a very weak link…

It was a bit neglected so we rapidly:

  • Service with good quality oil and filter (oil filter is in a terrible spot and Ford Engineers should be shot for it)
  • New spark plugs - a very specific slim size due to small cylinders stuffed with direct injection nozzles
  • Air filter (standard paper)

With this, it sounded quieter (placebo maybe) and seemingly drove better.

Like all of us though, keeping things stock is difficult…
In the UK they got a model of this called the “Zetec S” which carries a Fiesta ST-like grille. I’ve had some genuine FoMoCo parts on order from the UK and just had word that due to UK citizens being able to return to work that it will be shipped. Interesting to note, since Australia didn’t get it from factory, two local ford dealerships were not interested in sourcing the items and provided local part#'s. One of the reasons for the change is the existing grills is slightly damaged (can spot it in the picture).

So the 4 piece (upper, lower, sides) front grille should soon look like (except 4dr and orange):

It’s a pretty common swap in the UK, less common here I believe.

All the service work was also to get it ready for a tune at some point soon. I feel it definitely has some torque-reduction in the lower gears which would be good to remove!

The next mod might be rims/tyres - as there are some Saiful tyres on the front and in the recent wet weather in WA they’ve proven themselves to be complete rubbish!

Anyway, hopefully I can get back to SA shortly, update the next round of mods for the sirion and get it on the track.


I do like this model Fiesta. They look good and I have friends in the automotive trades that do “all makes” who’ve said the 3cyl is pretty good. Well done.


Used the 3 day long weekend in WA (WA Day) to set aside to do this swap, turned out heaps easier than expected.

Here are the before, complete with too much chrome and a broken section:

And here is the after!

Also, sneaky extra shot, in removing the grille the “air intake” for the factory system basically went nowhere, into a void in the front bar with no direct air feed. So a little dremel-work opened up a slot in the inner front bar plastic where the air intake is…not sure if it would have any real world benefit - but it can’t be worse!


Nice! Interested to see where this goes.


The disgraceful PowerShi(f)t automatic transmission tarnished the rep of these cars, hence why these are unloved. Obviously being a manual you won’t have to worry about that, but lovely.

I’m personally quite fascinated by the Holden Spark (the last version imported by Holden looks OK style-wise, the others are fugly) and the Kia Picanto, but I’d still take a Daihatsu any day over them! Suzuki Ignis seems pretty good too.


You’d think the Manual is far more durable - but apparently it is a relatively ‘old gearbox’ from Ford’s box-of-parts. To the point that there is even a 6sp conversion that PumaSpeed offer which can handle more torque.

The Spark/Barina/whatever it is with the 1.4T was on the list of options when I got this. The Picano GT too - though as a new car it was far more expensive. Also the aftermarket support for the Fiesta Ecoboost 1.0T and the 1.4T (as it was the Chevy Spark in the US) was already established.

The old Ignis Sport was considered too, they have a lot going for them.

In the end this nugget won! I’m still trying to decipher what happened to it. Most logically it had a front windscreen replacement - why is the question…but it must’ve been the cheapest replacement job possible as:

  • Side trims broken.
  • lower trim clips missing
  • ‘box’ stuck on the inside top of the windscreen stuck down with some poor double-sided tape that comes off every few days.
  • SOMEHOW, it has ended up with two passenger wiper arms!

The Wiper Arm Saga was very strange to decipher. It all “looked” right. But when driving there was a large dead spot at the bottom of the windscreen that didn’t get swept. and also the wiper just went off the edge of the windscreen. Anyway, googling some pictures it became evident that the whole wiper arm was different (also the difference between a 15" blade and a 26" blade!). So luckily a nearby wreckers had the same Fiesta in stock. And so picked up the wiper arm&blade, and a rear parcel shelf as mine was MIA.

So with that quality-of-life modification done - it is on to the tune…

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What sort of power do these put out in stock form?

Ford says - 92kw and 170nM torque. Although the internet does seem to imply they have Ford’s “overboost” function and can pump out 200nM from factory, not sure if the ADM one received it or not.

The bluefin/superchips tune is slated to put out 112kw and 230nM. which doesn’t sound that hard as Ford UK got a “Red” and “Black” edition - which were putting out just shy of these numbers from factory.

Hopefully it gets rid of some boost-by-gear or slow-spooling in lower gears. It’s not fast off the line, but 3rd gear is quite good. I feel in lower gears they’ve reduced boost to reduce torque on gearbox or to improve driveability for the ‘masses’.


Wow, 230nM is going to feel pretty rapid on a small car. Should be a fun little thing after he tune.