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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm starting a crazy project. I'm having a FoST drivetrain swapped into a Transit Connect (short wheelbase, wagon). Some people find this pretty ridiculous, other's seem to 'get' it right away.

Anyway, the reason I'm poking around your forum is because I'm looking to get any insight/tips into finding a good donor ST. Here's what qualifies as 'good' for me:
- Under $4k
- Under 50k miles
- Front/side airbags have not blown
- Has the full black leather Recaro seats
- Is in 'runs and drives' condition (doesn't at all mean it could be driven down the road, just that it can physically move under its own power a little bit, indicating that the drivetrain is together and operates)

The interior stuff re: airbags still intact and the Recaro seats are because I plan to make a 'factory'-ish TCST. The seats, steering wheel, gauge cluster, and auxiliary gauges are all potentially going into the van. So, seat and steering wheel airbags need to still be in good shape.

The work will be done in Florida, so ideally I'd get the donor car in the Southeast area. But, I'm not sure if it will be possible restrict my search to that area without waiting forever. I'd like to get it sourced in the next month or so.

So far, I've been watching the salvage auto auction sites like Copart. I did see one in the Miami area pop up a little over a week ago, but I sadly saw it after the auction had just closed. So, hopefully that wasn't the magical unicorn that will never be seen again...

Any impressions of the level or reasonableness of my expectations here would be welcome. Brilliant insight into how to find this donor car is even more welcome. Questions regarding my sanity or lack thereof may be fielded as well.

Thanks in advance.
 

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So your goal is what exactly? To have a transport van that can shred? I'm guessing it's a cargo van not a wagon. Sounds like a helluva project.


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Discussion Starter #6
So your goal is what exactly? To have a transport van that can shred? I'm guessing it's a cargo van not a wagon. Sounds like a helluva project.
It actually is the wagon (5 passenger short wheelbase version, not the 3 row version). But yes, a van that can shred is one way to put it.

I started out just trying to find a way to get a manual TC with a decent motor; basically the 1.6L turbo would be the only good factory option. I looked at importing one, but they only sell the 1.6L turbo in North America, and they don't sell a manual in North America. Overseas, they sell them with a wide assortment of tiny engines, none of which I wanted. So then I started looking at swapping in the transmission from a FiST since it's the same 1.6L turbo. Then the shop I've been talking with did some research and talked with some Ford engineers, and they concluded that doing a full drivetrain swap was a much lower risk option because then you know that your engine and transmission are going to mate up and the ECU is going to work with them. So, it's a win-win: lower risk (i.e. meaning the maximum potential cost is lower) and a more powerful engine.

Once we were on the full FoST drivetrain swap conversation, the idea to make a factory-esque TCST naturally followed and that's where we are today. Currently I have a deposit down on a 2014 TC that I'll be picking up in just over a week. This is definitely happening - just looking for some help with the donor now.
 

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It actually is the wagon (5 passenger short wheelbase version, not the 3 row version). But yes, a van that can shred is one way to put it.

I started out just trying to find a way to get a manual TC with a decent motor; basically the 1.6L turbo would be the only good factory option. I looked at importing one, but they only sell the 1.6L turbo in North America, and they don't sell a manual in North America. Overseas, they sell them with a wide assortment of tiny engines, none of which I wanted. So then I started looking at swapping in the transmission from a FiST since it's the same 1.6L turbo. Then the shop I've been talking with did some research and talked with some Ford engineers, and they concluded that doing a full drivetrain swap was a much lower risk option because then you know that your engine and transmission are going to mate up and the ECU is going to work with them. So, it's a win-win: lower risk (i.e. meaning the maximum potential cost is lower) and a more powerful engine.

Once we were on the full FoST drivetrain swap conversation, the idea to make a factory-esque TCST naturally followed and that's where we are today. Currently I have a deposit down on a 2014 TC that I'll be picking up in just over a week. This is definitely happening - just looking for some help with the donor now.
Makes sense. I look forward to seeing the build.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, a lot has happened over the last week or so. Last weekend I bought a van in New Jersey and drove it back home to CO to get it registered. Then, today the Vaccar guys came to pick up the van here on their way from SEMA in Las Vegas and bring it to their shop in Florida. I got to finally meet them in person after spending a lot of time on the phone with them over the last couple of months, which was great.

Here are a few pictures of the van on the trailer and with their SEMA cars:

1106161114_zpsujrfywiq.jpg
1106161206_zpsach60jpc.jpg
1106161209a_HDR_zpsii13lpyv.jpg

One interesting tidbit out of SEMA - they talked to some Ford people at a Ford Corporate dinner a few days ago about my van project and there was a lot of interest. Right now all we know is that they like the idea and want to follow the project, but we'll see if we can parlay that into some real support with parts and whatnot. At the very least, they'll provide technical support if needed and smoothing the path to getting specialty Euro parts like the pedal box. There is even a chance here that this could become a SEMA car for next year's show, but for now that's just a brainstorming level idea - who knows how this will really pan out exactly. Regardless, cool to hear that some Ford people are interested in it.

Next step is getting the donor ST. I've got a line on one in MA - we'll see if that pans out.
 

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Awesome! I really love this idea and project! Can't wait to see it develop!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi all! A quick update and an ask for a little insight.

I've got a line on a salvage ST that is being sold by a guy on Craigslist. I got him to send me a video of the car starting and a walkaround. In the video, a fair amount of blackish smoke comes out of the tailpipe right after it starts. It doesn't come blasting out, kinda rolling out. It looks a bit like a poorly tuned diesel exhaust, maybe. It seems to clear up after maybe 5-10 seconds. Looking around, I'm see that this is maybe a normal thing for STs due to them running rich on startup and something to do with direct injection - does that seem right?

Another thought I had was that maybe the intercooler or somewhere on the pressurized side of the intake system is leaking as a result of the accident damage and so the engine is running rich due to expecting metered air that it is not actually getting in the cylinders.

Here's a video clip - I edited the video he made to just be the startup showing the exhaust. It's a Cobb exhaust I think on there, so sounds different from stock. Think it's anything to worry about?

 

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Hi all! A quick update and an ask for a little insight.

I've got a line on a salvage ST that is being sold by a guy on Craigslist. I got him to send me a video of the car starting and a walkaround. In the video, a fair amount of blackish smoke comes out of the tailpipe right after it starts. It doesn't come blasting out, kinda rolling out. It looks a bit like a poorly tuned diesel exhaust, maybe. It seems to clear up after maybe 5-10 seconds. Looking around, I'm see that this is maybe a normal thing for STs due to them running rich on startup and something to do with direct injection - does that seem right?

Another thought I had was that maybe the intercooler or somewhere on the pressurized side of the intake system is leaking as a result of the accident damage and so the engine is running rich due to expecting metered air that it is not actually getting in the cylinders.

Here's a video clip - I edited the video he made to just be the startup showing the exhaust. It's a Cobb exhaust I think on there, so sounds different from stock. Think it's anything to worry about?

I have never seen that much black smoke during startup, but the ST does blow black smoke on pulls if it is straight piped. The intake thought you had would not do anything, the ST uses map, if it were maf you could be correct. But I really can't think of anything that would make it smoke that much tbh...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey everyone - long time, no update. I ended up buying that ST that smoked on startup. It is now at Vaccar in Florida, as is my TC, and we are starting to ramp up on getting this thing started.

The ST in the transporter (it was in West Virginia):



And the ST facing off with the TC in the shop:



Vaccar says it sounds like the ST may have a boost or vacuum leak that they're going to try to chase down before removing the motor. It backfires slightly when holding at low RPMs as well. It has an aftermarket BOV that is really loud that I think I'm not in love with - I'd prefer a little more subtlety long term. Any thoughts on that? Is going back to the stock relief setup a pain? Anyone got one to sell?
 

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Saw one done at Mountune's SoCal meet this weekend. It is a very cool van. Guy was cool and was handing out stickers.
 

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Hey everyone - long time, no update. I ended up buying that ST that smoked on startup. It is now at Vaccar in Florida, as is my TC, and we are starting to ramp up on getting this thing started.

Vaccar says it sounds like the ST may have a boost or vacuum leak that they're going to try to chase down before removing the motor. It backfires slightly when holding at low RPMs as well. It has an aftermarket BOV that is really loud that I think I'm not in love with - I'd prefer a little more subtlety long term. Any thoughts on that? Is going back to the stock relief setup a pain? Anyone got one to sell?
I could sell you the stock one I took out if I could make sure I have the spring still, but I wouldn't recommend it! Heck, I'd probably give it to you if you pay for shipping. It's really cheap and not worth it though. I know turbosmart makes a 50/50 so it's not as loud, and boomba has a nice bypass that just recirculates like the OEM but much better quality, that is what I upgraded too as I didn't want the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Saw one done at Mountune's SoCal meet this weekend. It is a very cool van. Guy was cool and was handing out stickers.
You saw a FoST motor/6 speed manual in a Transit Connect? Interesting, did you happen to get one of his stickers or any info on it? I have searched far and wide and while I have seen a few mentions of the idea, I've never seen one actually completed. The closest I found was a 1st Gen TC with a manual transmission swap planned. The guy bought all the major stuff but ended up selling the transmission and parts as a kit - never actually did it. If it has been done before, I'd love to see it and try to glean some information/lessons learned/etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I could sell you the stock one I took out if I could make sure I have the spring still, but I wouldn't recommend it! Heck, I'd probably give it to you if you pay for shipping. It's really cheap and not worth it though. I know turbosmart makes a 50/50 so it's not as loud, and boomba has a nice bypass that just recirculates like the OEM but much better quality, that is what I upgraded too as I didn't want the noise.
Ah, fair enough and good to know. I guess I'll just stick with whatever the BOV it has currently for now and buy a recirculating one to swap on later if it's too annoying for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've been waiting for someone to do exactly this, so you have my attention, sir. :)

Can't wait to see this come together.
You and me both! I've been working this plan since August 2016!

We're really finally moving, though. This is the exciting part. I'm pretty pumped.
 
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