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What do you do when you've got to haul a boat and the manual AU1 XR8 you love so much is chewing it's clutch to bits in under 60,000 kms? With the change over price being the dictator in this transaction, John writes that the Forte unfortunately made much more sense than the same model XR8 auto - and with his wife hanging on to her XR6 John really wasn't missing out that much...
|- With the boat and trailer weighing in at a hefty 1500 kg (Ford rates the manual as only being able to cope with 1200 kg due to the weak clutch) the manual really wasn't going to last that long anyway and John set about gaining some of that XR8'ness back quick smart. Starting with a rare 175kW V8 Forte (ex Ford executive fleet) picked up from Gregory Ford in Canberra ( his local Ford dealer) - it didn't take long to start personalizing his new set of wheels starting with the TE50 look-alike 17" wheels off of his previous XR8. A February 2001 build V8 Auto, John's beast already came with the Tickford Suspension package allowing John to make the most of those 17" wheels ('Elegance' by Ford - as released on the 75th Anniversary Fairlane & Fairmont Ghias) and 235/45/17's John had planned.|
|Not one to leave go
department untouched, John
fitted a K & N air filter and 2 1/2" exhaust giving a "great note - better than the XR8
I reckon!" which is really saying something for those who know just how good the AU1 XR8
sounded straight from the factory...
Waiting in the wings is a Powerchip left over from John's days in the XR8 "that will be going in once it's reprogrammed for the Forte". Doubling the Forte's braking capabilities and helping them stand out behind those massive 17's is a careful application of red paint to the original callipers...
|Styling wise, the biggest change came in the
addition of a 'Hawk' rear spoiler courtesy of New Gel (Canberra - 02 6280 4712) followed by
a pair of AU2 side skirts and TE50-style mesh grill replacing the plastic original. Tickford
badges were then added in the right positions to gain extra horsepower with two on the front
guards and one on the boot opposite the V8 badge (that used to live on the front guard but had
to be moved due to the new side skirts) replacing the original Forte number.
"From a distance, it sort of looks similar to a TE/TS50 - a combination of the Series 2 and 3" says John "It's the closest I'll get to owning a T-series for a while!" It's ok - we understand - really! In the mean time however, John gets to enjoy what must be a very unique statement of his own personal preferences and a very good looking (and sounding) one at that...
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Info By Doug Bevan, site by Anthony
Copyright © 2000 by Doug & Any . All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Nov 2002 .