Published July 2004
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Aurora - A Forte with a Difference!
Discuss Matt's Creation here....
You just can't mistake that big, toothy grin! Love it or hate it, it's amazing what a lick of colour
and a drop in altitude can do...
When Ford released the AU, the Forte looked just about as far as you could get from it's XR stable mates - but as the AU ages none of that seems to matter any more as more people come to terms with one of Ford's - let's say - more challenging designs. But that would be to discount those of us who first saw the light right from the very start - and Matt was one of the very first purchasing this particular example way back in 1998 - although no where near as good looking as this!
And why AURORA? - Simple says Matt, the first two letters being for the obvious (AU - the model of the car) and Aurora was supposed to be a "beautiful and strong" Roman goddess according to our man. Matt continues - "My friend says my car looks like its doing 150 kilometres and hour when standing still." Sounds fair enough to us - 'tis amazing how good the humble Forte can look with a little care and a few mods here and there...
So what is it that makes this particular AU so special? Well, after four years of ownership, Matt found himself wanting for more - starting at the heart of the matter - in the engine bay itself...
A set of Eagle Eliminator Gold Series 9.0mm Spiral Wire Ignition Leads replaced inferior originals helping a Stage 2 Crow Cam make the most of each compression stroke, with a set of Jet-Hot ceramic coated Pacemaker 4480 model competition extractors feeding into a stainless 2.5" exhaust in-between Lukey stainless Ultra-Flow mufflers for a result that keeps Matt happy on both the power and economy fronts.
Helping the effect is a SS inductions cold air intake feeding through a K & N Filtercharger to keep things nice and clean...while an accessory drive belt cover off an EF helps neaten up things a bit in the engine bay.
Economy? I hear you ask... We'll let Matt explain: "On my road trips I have gotten between 900 and 1200 kilometres to the tank (68 litres). This is from my place in northern SA to Cobar NSW, with 1050 - 1150 being the average." Impressive! - Amongst that, about the only negative comment he can offer is that with the reduced ride height, there are a few more scrapes on the exhaust than are desirable for any self respecting ride... "I hate going over railway lines - with no more than 2 inch gap between that and the ground and the lowest point."
|While we are on the subject of altitude, this
is in fact Matt's second go at making the Forte handle and look right -
with the first (courtesy of a complete Pedders Sports Ryder kit lowering
the lot a whopping 3") ditched in favour of Koni shocks / K-Mac
springs citing reasons of dissatisfaction that we will leave you to ask
about on the Discussion
Page dealing with his ride!
Stopping is handled by a set of Ferrado heavy-duty brake pads fed by Motul & Delphi racing brake fluid making sure everything stays nice and straight at the end of the day. A set of "Speedy" 16inch wheels joined Yokohama AVS ES100 225/50/16 tyres helping complete the ride and handling package to a T.
Now when it comes to looks, it's no secret that Ford's styling department were suffering from a serious case of in-breeding come AU time (do you think that looks good Fred? Yep. Do you think that looks good George? Yep. Do you think we need to ask anybody else? Nup...) but surprisingly, the basics are pretty sound as proved by Matt's efforts. With a good dose of body colour toning down THAT grill (kinda looks good doesn't it?) a aftermarket version of Ford's series 1 rear spoiler sure took care of that lovely AU droopy arse... And with the miles that Matt does, a list of items have required the re-application of body colour due to stone chips - including the sills and front bumper - so it made sense to extend this application to other items as well. Like the engine oil filler cap, fuel filler cap (it's the detail items that make a difference on this ride!) even finding it's way into the interior...
Above: Just a little bit of blue here and there and walla! Looks heaps better! Right: do you think Matt is a FoMoCo fan or something? Looks surprisingly good...
Moving to that interior the list soon included to the door trim screw covers, seat belt push buttons and even the fuse board cover under the steering wheel... A custom blue and grey interior was installed courtesy of Claude Carafano who upgraded the interior with extra foam added to the front seats and a strengthener fitted to prevent future ripping of the drivers seat (the reason for the upgrade in the first place). Matt adds "He did a masterful job with color with enhanced seats, door trim and seat cloth with unique embroidery on front seats" taking the Aurora theme to new heights... Finally, window tinting finished off the looks dept and help keep Matt cool from all those harmful Aussie outback sun-rays...
Above & Left: proving that grey can indeed look good - all it needs is a little bit of colour... 10 out of 10 for imagination! Top stuff Matt...
Extra heat shielding / sound deadening material was also fitted along the way with a Aussie Desert Cooler 4 core brass triple bypass radiator ( my uncle recommended copper over all the other materials) taking care of the extreme temperatures Matt has on occasion encountered. Matt uses "and recommend Redline synthetic lubricants", first showed to him by the owner of Pfitzners Performance Gearboxes - who distributes Redline lubricants in SA. From engine oils to fuel system additives, power steering fluids, transmission & differential oils and additives - even coolant concentrates - Redline makes it all although not all differences have been positive...
|"Accelleration of my car has decreased a little due
since filling the diff with Redline Heavy Duty Shockproof gear oil - for maximum protection of the rear end
gear set. It increases drag and is therefore
less efficient." Still, Matt says he has
noticed both positive starting & power differences between that (Redline)
& the different engine oils he's
tried over the years - with the differences being magnified even more since the
selection of the new cam. - Unfortunately all of that wasn't enough
to save his steering, which required a new steering rack recently, but
" it's nice to have effortless
Left: the side profile has always been one of the AU's strong points...
As you might have guessed by now, Matt is an ardent fan of the AU Falcon (as are we) and has joined the AUPS - or the AU Preservation Society to most of us who don't speak in acronyms - where his car is also featured on their new website created after heaps of nice AU's were posted in a board on another rival forum. You can find the AUPS by simply going to their website www.aufalcon.com - truly a good read and a must for every AU Falcon owner & fan! Thanks once again to Matt - and we look forward to hearing of more adventures and updates in years to come. Go the AU!!!
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Info By Doug Bevan, site by Andrew Robilliard & Anthony Robinson
Copyright © 2000 by Doug & Any . All rights reserved.
Revised: 14 Jun 2004 .