Ford Mondeo ST200 project update: This is where it will be restored
It won't be long until the Mondeo ST is getting a full engine-out restoration!
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I realise it’s been a while since I’ve produced any content surrounding the DriveTribe project car, the Ford Mondeo ST200. It was due to be restored months ago, but sadly lockdown put that to bed.
The restoration will soon be back up and running, and I’ve chosen MAD Ford Engineering to help me. These guys are THE Ford restoration specialists in the UK, so the Mondeo could not be in better hands.
In preparation for the full engine-out restoration to bring this car back to a factory-fresh state, I drove up to MAD to let them give the car the once over. I also got my hands dirty with a couple of maintenance jobs to keep the car on the road for now.
My weapons of choice? The Halfords Advanced 200-piece socket and ratchet spanner set, which features all the tools an amateur mechanic like me could ever need.
I'm going to try and keep this kit as pristine as the Mondeo allows...
The first job – changing a snapped spring
The front end of the ST had seen some nasty metal-on-metal contact in the past, and after finding a piece of the driver’s side front spring resting on a suspension arm, I quickly realised that my car wasn’t the safest to drive day-to-day.
Off came the wheel (thanks to some lovely colour-coded, nylon-coated sockets), then the brake caliper followed by the hub, which also revealed a desperately rough-sounding wheel bearing.
Mick doing his famous 'that's broken' finger point
A couple more dives into the deep-access socket set and the whole suspension leg was out, revealing the snapped spring.
Spring compressors scare me, so I left the switch to Mick – the man behind MAD Ford Engineering – and instead started on the passenger side. And would you believe it, the other front spring was also snapped in two. That’s what I get for living in three consecutive locations inundated with speed bumps…
I stay well clear of compressed springs, and I recommend you do the same!
So in a jiffy, both front springs were out and replaced with new Apex springs that have lowered the car by 40mm. The Halfords ratchets came into their own during this whole process and quickly became my favourite tools from the day, with the ½” and ⅜” coping with all but the most rusted and gnarly of bolts.
Then came the smaller satisfying stuff
With 153,000 miles on the clock, there are plenty of bits on the car that have suffered general wear and tear. You could see them as character, but knowing that the car is about to be brought back to better-than-new, I thought I’d quickly switch over some of the creature comforts in the meantime to make it less scabby to live with.
The interior is in surprisingly good shape for a 20-year-old car
First up, the armrest. Someone’s sharp elbow had eroded away the leather by the time I got hold of the car. So, diving into my new toolbox, I grabbed the screwdriver, attached a star head and quickly switched the clean leather number from the donor car to my ST.
If you guys have seen previous videos with the car, you’ll know that one of the rear doors has badly peeling lacquer. In fact, it’s the first thing that people annoyingly point out about the car. So again, between now and the restoration, I thought it would be best to quickly switch the door to be less of an eyesore until the car gets stripped and painted.
It won't be long until the Mondeo lives in this garage for its full restoration
In less than a minute, the MAD Ford lads had taken the battered original door off and perfectly aligned the fresh donor door. It would have taken me hours, so it’s great to know how incredibly effective these guys are at tearing apart and reassembling a Mondeo.
So, what now?
Well now it’s simply a case of finding space in Mick’s incredibly busy calendar to fit in what will probably be a four-month restoration.
Just to be clear, we aren’t planning a bit of metal work here and some interior stitching there; my Mondeo is set to become a proper minter. It’ll be stripped back to bare metal, a full engine-out job, with no stone unturned.
The ST was sharing the garage with the usual minters that hang around MAD Ford Engineering
It’s quite a scary prospect to think about my beloved 2.5-litre V6 being lowered out of the car with the subframe, but seeing the finished cars currently sitting in Mick’s workshop, ready to be received by their lucky owners, I could potentially end up with the best Mondeo in the world.
If you’d like to win a £300+ Halfords toolkit just like the one featured in this article, click the link below and follow the instructions!