It became a true team effort between both Vaccar and our customer to seek out the best possible donor vehicle for the Transit Connect swap. Admittedly, we first consider simply pulling the drivetrain from wrecked vehicle – but, the more we considered the potential needs and requirements of parts for the proper swap (and to save time and money), we started pursuing the purchase of an entire, running, vehicle. Once the choice to find a “full” vehicle was made, it also made sense to obtain a vehicle that boasted the best of vehicle options – bonuses, if you will.
The specimen that was ultimately narrowed down and chosen, located in West Virginia, couldn't have been better find! It was a running and driving 2014 Focus ST, honestly with somewhat minimum front-end damage from the wreck that rendered it a salvage vehicle. It also features a beautiful black leather Recaro seat set, a fairly good condition set of ST wheels, and more. The customer was even able to have a forum-friend, locally check out the vehicle prior to us making the drive with our rig and to do our own inspection.
Once we loaded up the new donor vehicle, and headed back to Vaccar's Master Garage in Florida, we were ready to prep the shop for things to get serious. Upon arrival, we did an initial inspection, as we started to 'unpack' the vehicle of all the parts and pieces. It became apparent that he previous owner of this ST had it equipped with various aftermarket piece, many of which are some nice add-ons that will transfer over to the new chassis - some of those items included upgraded intercooler pipes, aftermarket rear engine mount, bypass valve, and documentation of what might also be a nice clutch set.
At this point, we knew we'd need to take special care with evaluating and handling of parts of the drivetrain from a vehicle that at one point had a owner who may or may not have abused it (sadly, a factor to consider when we spot aftermarket modifications).
Clean Culture x ImportExpo struck the Orlando convention center on April 24th - just several miles from Vaccar's Florida HQ - so we had to get in on the action. Aaron Vaccar's AutoLife Tour, featuring our 2015 Ford Edge Sport was already set to be in attendance, so as a special treat we included the AVSS Ford Fusion Sport and Blood & Grease Ford Transit Connect as well. The trio showcased a variety of customization, prototyping, and styles, all originally debuted at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Ford Transit sales increased 51 percent in January with 9,631 vehicles sold, lifting overall Ford van performance 20 percent for their best start since 1985.
In late 2013, Vaccar supported Ford's efforts to introduce the all-new Transit and Transit Connect to the automotive aftermarket - we teamed up with Blood & Grease 'Kustom Klothing' to help design and build a "mobile boutique" to showcase their original goods. The custom creation debuted at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas with wild popularity for it's unique theme.
Featuring: Privat Wheels, Continental Tires, Ksport coilovers, BASF paint, NRG steering wheel and quick-release, Weapon-R intake and exhaust, and complete Vaccar's Master Garage interior decor.
- Aaron Vaccar
<Info Source: Ford Motor Company>