Ford Aspire, Ford Festiva Performance Automotive Forum

Car Of The Month


James' 1997 Ford Aspire GV Project

I bought the car in September of 2002 from a Ford Dealership. It is an almost fully loaded example that came with all the goodies. The car has ABS (which I got really excited over), Manual transmission, Air conditioning, Interior group (includes upgraded seats, rear cargo cover, light group and AM/FM Cassette) and manual steering.

The car was clean inside and out. Other then a few dings and faded paint on the doors, the car was a great example. Rust is a problem in Michigan and I did not find any on this car. Paint can be fixed up easy; I was not too concerned about it.

When I got it home, I replaced the battery and took out that AWFUL stock Aspire radio. The radio had to go; I kept hitting the wrong buttons due to its poor layout. I picked up a Sony Xplod CDX-CA650X 52 watt x 4 CD receivers and it has done very well in this car. I don't plan on adding anything to the Sony but I wanted good sound and a flip-down face. The battery seemed OK but I was not going to take any chances.

After my speedometer head died, I added the Aspire SE dash. I love the blue color and the white background. The tachometer didn't work since there is no signal. Ford decided to save a few bucks and delete that wire on all 1996+ cars. I found someone parting out an Aspire on ebay and they sold me the harness for the distributor and the dash plug. We plan on adding those pins to my dash and distributor wiring. I will let everyone know how it turns out in the next update.


1995 SE Dash

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Middle Console

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Seats

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Front

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Update for 7/14/03

I have been really busy fixing up my Aspire this summer. At this point, I am almost done until next year. In the last 4 months, I have replaced the rims and tires, fixed the air conditioning and painted the trim on the doors.

The rims and tires were bought at Pep Boys. They are 13x5.5" rims with P175/70R13 Futura 775 tires. These tires are little taller then the original P165 so they fill the wheel well much better. Having bigger tires always helps road noise and such. Other then a nagging balance issue, I am pretty happy with them. I am hoping to get that fixed up in a month when I do my wheel bearings.

I also had to fix my air conditioning system. I lost all of my relays that controlled the main cooling fan for the engine and the air conditioning radiator fan. After buying these relay parts for $40 a peice, I had proper cooling and the air worked.

I just got done painting the trim pieces on my doors. The paint that was on there was so faded that it made the whole car look bad. After not being able to find an exact match for my paint color, a common problem with Aspires, I decided to paint it black. I was very happy with the result and it made the car look even better then I thought. I also added a Yugo GV emblem under the Aspire emblem. It looks like it belongs there.


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UPDATE This car got traded in for a 2000 Mercury Villager in October 2003. I miss her very much, but my Villager has been a nice replacement. I still love Aspires and Festivas, so that is why I made up this website.