Hand me down
Being the middle child in a family of three I understand all too well how the hand me down system works. I guess I was lucky that both my siblings are sisters and I had parents that understood dressing me in my older sisters clothes was not the thing to do. Toys on the other hand would be passed down the food chain to me from my older sister and by the time they were worn out or broken; down to my younger sister. But as with the clothes situation, this was limited to very few items, so I guess compared to my little sister I did comparatively well in the hand me down stakes.
27-year-old Systems Administrator Kris Noble although not knowing it at the time also did well out of the family hand me downs. Seven years ago when he was given his mums car, it would have been fair to say he was more than a little disappointed. Sure, owning a car of your own is the key to freedom as a teenager, but the car that mum used to drop you off to School in is less than cool. At the time Kris saw the 1990 Ford Sierra wagon as nothing more than the hack that had been in his family since brand new, and that would continue to be no more than that.
Since Kris got the car for free he had some spare cash that he thought he would spend on it to try and give it a little more street cred, or at very least a bit more cred with his mates. The easiest way to improve the vehicle was to throw on a new set of wheels, but the unusual 4x108 stud pattern of the vehicle made this harder than anticipated so Kris decided to spend his money on an audio install instead.
Seven years on, and Kris is still playing with the audio system in the car, although like the rest of the vehicle the audio system bears no resemblance at all to how it began. These days itís an all-Alpine affair, and by that I mean it contains more Alpine products than most audio retailers themselves do. After numerous installs and countless hours of design and installation Krisís latest audio incarnation is the biggest and best to date. Heading up the system is an Alpine IVA-D300E touch screen CD/DVD player aided by a KCE-104V media processor and PXA-H700 31 band equaliser. Kris has added to the CD and DVD playing capabilities of the head unit by installing both a CHA-S624 6-disc CD shuttle and a VPA-S001 VCD shuttle effectively giving the vehicle the ability to play any format of AV. Although the vehicle is comparatively large the amount of gear that has been installed into the rear of it has relegated both changers to the front. To house the changers a custom panel has been fabricated where the glove box would usually be found that holds both the VPA-S001 and a Playstation 2. Sitting higher up in the dashboard behind a flush mounted flip down panel is the CHA-S624.
Although having so many media playing devices is a blessing when it comes to entertainment, it does make installation and control difficult. So to enable simple control over the setup a KCE-104V has been added to control and direct the numerous sources to their destination. The KCE-104V media processor is controlled by the head unit and gives signal to the two headrest mounted TME-M760 9-inch monitors. The advantage of running the Media Processor in an install such as this is that it gives individual control over each monitor, enabling games to be played on one while DVD's or VCD's are played on the others. Before any signal can be sent from either the head unit or other ancillary devices to the amplifiers they must first pass through a PXA-H700 31 band per channel graphic equaliser. As well as acting as a time alignment unit the EQ is also responsible for providing the Dolby 5.1 digital surround sound. To ensure the system is perfectly tuned, Kris has also opted to run the optional PXA-H700 controller, which he has decided to mount in the lower dash.
To power the system Kris has chosen to run two pairs of matching amplifiers, two MRV-F340ís and two MRD-M1000 D-class items. To fit all four into the vehicle, Alan and Cam at the Car Audio Shop made a number of fibreglass panels and stacked the smaller F430ís above the sub enclosure. The F430 mounted to the passengersí side of the vehicle is responsible for feeding power to the 6.5-inch Type-X mid-bass speakers and matching tweeters, each with their own channel. The remaining F430 powers the Type-R 5.25-inch full range speakers mounted into the boot lid as well as the 5.25-inch Type-X midrange speakers in both front doors. In this install Kris has chosen to install both the large MRD-M1000s in the tyre well area of the boot. Each of these amps have been wired so they provide over 1000W to each of the Type-R 12-inch subs at 2ohm. As the vehicle is used for both SQ (sound quality) and SPL (Sound pressure level) competitions Kris required an easy way to control the volume of the subs, which came in the form of a RUX-4280 subwoofer level controller mounted between the vehicles front seats.
The fifth amplifier in the vehicle is a tiny MRH-T305 which powers a single Type-X 4-inch mounted below the head unit as a centre channel. Itís not only the sheer amount of gear and the quality of the gear that makes this setup impressive, as the install itself is not without its fair share of quality. As with previous installs Kris had Alan and Cam at Car Audio Shop in Howick construct and wire up the setup. In doing so they have chosen to run Monster Cable throughout the vehicle to try and avoid any interference that is very commonly found in an install of this magnitude.
As with the audio install, Kris has decided to go all out on the rest of the vehicle. The obvious part is the custom burgundy with gold pearl paint job applied by Chapmans Panelbeaters. What only the trained eye or Cosworth enthusiasts will pick up however are the Sapphire Cosworth bonnet, grill, front bumper and side skirts that are now fitted. These are not just there for show however, as the engine and running gear from that very same Sapphire Cossie has also been installed. Long gone is the wheezy carburetted 2.L dohc sohc engine and in its place is the pride of Europe. The YBB 2.0L DOHC Cosworth engine may still be stock standard, but that doesn't make it a bad thing considering how far ahead of their time they were. Gasses produced by the 9psi churning Garrett T03 turbo are quickly expelled through a 3-inch mandrel bent exhaust exiting in a RPS muffler. But besides this its as the Cosworth factory intended, meaning that a BorgwarnerT5 5-speed manual gearbox is responsible for sending power to the Cosworth 7.5-inch limited slip rear diff.
Since the power, not to mention weight is far more substantial than what the car was ever designed for, Kris wisely chose to install the 283mm vented front discs and four pot callipers off the Cossie. Wrapped around these Ferodo pad wearing callipers, and the stock rear brakes are a 17x7-inch set of polished TSW EVO-Rs. Sure by todayís standards these wheels may not be all that standout, but at the time of purchase were all that was available to fit the unusual stud pattern. Hiding behind these and helping to drop the front and raise the rear end are Bilstein coil over shocks wrapped with Tein springs front and rear. Aswell as trimming various parts of the audio install Kris has had the lads at In Car Upholstery tidy up any untouched interior with black and burgundy Lustrill. Included in the recovering were the standard Cosworth front Recaro seats and the standard wagon rears. To finish off the interior Defi oil pressure and boost gauges have been added to the custom gauge pod, and a Defi gauge controller to the centre console.
It seems strange when looking at the car these days that it was what Kris used to be dropped off to School in, and that he was too embarrassed to drive around in. As those days are long gone, and although Kris now spends most of his days in Australia he takes the wagon out at every chance he gets. I bet seven years ago when he was first handed the keys even he couldn't have imagined how the hand me down would have turned out.
Show and Shine/Event series:
Best Audio Visual - 4&Rotary Nationals, Auckland - 28-29 Jan 2006
Best Custom Audio - 4&Rotary Nationals, Auckland - 28-29 Jan 2006
Best Interior - Autosalon Final Battle, Auckland - 26-27 Nov 2005
Best Install - Autosalon Final Battle, Auckland - 26-27 Nov 2005
This Car Cranked All Show - Autosalon Final Battle, Auckland - 26-27 Nov 2005
Top Judged Interior - Autosalon Final Battle, Auckland - 27-28 Nov 2004
Top Judged Sound System - Autosalon Final Battle, Auckland - 27-28 Nov 2004
Fearsome Ford - Autosalon Final Battle, Auckland - 27-28 Nov 2004
Cinema on Wheels - Autosalon, Auckland - 17-18 May 2003
Hottest Sound System/Ice - Hot Import Nights, Auckland - 1 Feb 2003
The Sierra competed within the CANZE/IASCA circuit (OASIS in 2003) for four seasons, below are its competition results.
1st 300-550w - Hamilton Motorshow, Mystery Creek - 22-23 Mar 2003
1st 300-550w - The Big Gissy Sound Off, Gisbourne - 25-26 Jan 2003
1st Amauter 300-600w - Finals, Auckland - 8-9 June 2002
4th Amauter 300-600w - Finals, Auckland - 28-29 Apr 2001
5th Amauter 300-600w - Finals, Auckland - 29-30 Apr 2000
Most Content Copyright (C) Playloud 2001 onwards.