Ford Sierra Tuning Guide
When launched, the Sierra was not a popular replacement for the Cortina. When the majority of Fords rivals had made the switch to front-wheel drive, Ford decided that the Sierra would remain rear-wheel driven (in part due to the amount of engines that couldn’t easily be turned around to power the front wheels), never the less, Ford stuck with the Sierra for ten years. In that time it would get the addition of four-wheel drive, XR models and of course the all conquering RS Cosworth treatment. The chassis was all-new in comparison to the Cortina with MacPherson struts returning to the front along with a new independent rear suspension set up. Originally only available in hatchback format, the Sapphire was a late arrival to the line up.
Engines fitted to the Sierra were wide ranging from the Over Head Cam Pinto, through Cologne V6s, Diesels, Double Over Head Cam I4 and of course the Cosworth YB Turbo. This means that you have plenty of choice when it comes to modifying your Sierra. With the exception of the Diesel and the I4, there are a wide range of tuning options available, take a look at our engine tuning guides to get a better idea as to whether to stick with what you’ve got or to contemplate an engine swap. Zetec and Duratec are nice modern equivalents of engines if it’s a four-cylinder that you are after or you could opt to fit the BOA or BOB Cosworth if you prefer six cylinders. Many, of course, choose to fit a Cosworth YB turbo, and why not!? We stock a wide range of turbos, intercoolers, coolant hose kits, catch tanks and accessories for your engine bay.
The majority of Sierras were five-speed though there were some early four-speed examples out there. This car is obviously where the Type-9 gearbox gets removed from to be retro-fitted into older Fords. The RWD Cosworth used the strong Borg Warner T5 gearbox, later cars used the MT75 in both 2WD and 4WD formats with the later Sapphire Cosworth. We offer quick-shift kits for all three varieties of manual gearbox. There are uprated gearsets available for both varieties of RWD gearbox. Many people like to remove the standard viscous LSD and replace with superior aftermarket items. If you’re unsure which would be best for your application then our sales team would be happy to advise you.
The Sierra can be a very competent car in the corners as proved by its huge success in motorsport over the years. Whether it’s a simple lowering job that you want or full on adjustable coilovers, we can supply it for you. We also list a wide range of uprated suspension bushes to really tighten things up and for those of you with both road and track action in your mind, our adjustable TCAs which give you complete control over the camber settings of your front wheels.
There is a wide choice of braking upgrades available for the Sierra although the mounting points differ between Cosworth and non-Cosworth models so bare that in mind when specing your car. Uprated discs and pads with braided hoses will significantly improve the bite of the middle pedal but if you are going to be doing some serious braking then we recommend that you take a look at some of our big brake kits. For the ultimate track cars we can also offer an exchange bias pedal box to give you complete control over your braking system.
The Sierra is fast becoming a classic (the three-door Cosworth already is) and with so many engine choices it’s entirely possible to build a Cossie slayer without a Cossie engine or if it’s a Cossie that you’ve got, refine what is the ultimate Fast Ford.