Dijon’s Flares, Skirts, and Wheels [Makeover Pt 2]

On Friday the long-awaited video showing Dijon’s flare install finally went live, so as we do it’s now time to follow it up with the accompanying photos and a bit more information on everything.

As noted in the video, I ended up changing my direction with it a bit and let the clips run largely unedited so that all of our discussions, joking, teasing, and so forth were left in. We realize of course that not everyone will be interested in hearing us ramble on and will want to skip to the moments showing the actual work, and that’s fine. Those parts of the video were admittedly for us, to be able to relive that time spent with José as we enjoyed each other’s company and did what brought us together in the first place: worked on cars.

This was only the second time Josè had ever been up here – so it was already a rare opportunity having him here – but as it happened a good chunk of our group was able to stop by at one point or another and frankly, we’re not sure when we’ll next have everyone shown together again. Combine that with the fun that was working on Dijon and the fact that it was one of the biggest weekends of the year for us with both All Ford and iMSS taking place, and the result was a magical combination that led to it being one of those weekends that we’ll remember forever.

If you haven’t seen the video yet you can click Play above; let’s now get to the photos!

Dijon SS flare install 2

Like the video, we start off on the Wednesday. I borrowed the keys to the trusty old Suburban (#320supportvehicle) and grabbed most of the bits from Speedy following their fresh paint. As mentioned in the video the side skirts were not picked up at this time as they weren’t quite ready yet, but they were hand-delivered to the house later that evening as soon as they were out of the booth. A+ service as always! Also in this parts pile were the replacement rear bumper and valance, which I’ll explain more about shortly.

Dijon SS flare install 8Dijon SS flare install 9

Once home I cleared out one side of the garage to get everything nicely set up for a few photos before then doing final checks to make sure we had all of the tools, supplies, and so forth for the install. Josè was landing the next day and that was when everything would get started!

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Close-ups of some of the SS Tuning pieces. Note the little triangular indentations in the front bumper finishers (first photo); this is a feature unique to the V1 flares.

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Also unique to the V1s is this step down on the main fender portion; it adds a nice detail to the body of the car without being over-the-top.

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Now, about that bumper:

Dijon was purchased in early 2015 when it was about 3 and a half years old. At some point in those first few years the rear valance had been cracked, but whatever happened had obviously been mild as there was absolutely no other damage; the bumper shell wasn’t cracked and there were no surprises underneath either.

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A standard, textured plastic, SE/SEL/Ti hatch rear valance is not an expensive part and replacing it takes mere minutes of work, but whomever oversaw its “repair” instead decided to spray the entire valance in bedliner to glue it back together and hide the damage. While an odd choice it still would’ve been easy to fix properly by simply switching out the piece, were it not for the fact that they also bedlined part of the rear bumper, and in doing so effectively glued the two pieces together.

Given it had to be remedied the hatch’s sale price was dropped a bit and it was added to the to-do list for the car, for whenever something would be painted for it.

Dijon SS flare install 1

Fast-forward to last summer and with the SS Tuning kit on its way it was finally time to sort out that old fix. Mario and I made a junkyard run to hunt some random little Mk3 parts and were also able to secure a pristine rear bumper complete with a new valance for $50. The donor car – an Ingot silver hatch – didn’t have rear parking sensors but the markings as to where to cut can be found on the inside of all bumpers so the holes could easily be added (in the video we actually quickly talked about having to still cut them in; they were cut and the sensors fitted following the show due to the time crunch).

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Jumping back to the install now – and Thursday specifically – after picking Josè up from the airport, grabbing some food, and catching up for a while, the rest of the group arrived and it was all hands on deck as teardown started and we got ready to start moving the new parts from the pile to the car.

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I made sure to pop outside though to grab a photo of Brian’s car showing its still-new Zetec front lip and ST/RS side skirts.

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Selsun peeking around the corner…

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Aside from a snapshot with a phone here and there, which you’ve seen before, no photos were really taken during the install as I instead would simply set the camera on the tripod and let it film as we worked.

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I did take a few at the ends of the work days though, to capture the progress made.

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At the end of Day One the front of the hatch was complete with the new flares and bumper finishers, Integrales, and wheel spacers. The rear Integrales had also been installed though they came off the next day anyway to fit the spacers behind them.

Also on were the new rear bumper as well as the ST/RS side skirts; every Mk3 regardless of being a hatch or sedan can benefit massively from these. Having the body colour extend that much further down makes a huge difference!

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A quick photo on Day Two, prior to the work starting; the LED rear reflectors still had to be wired back into the tail lights which is why they hadn’t been reinstalled yet. That wiring you see, coming from behind the bumper and draping over it, is from the reflector below.

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The hatch did look really good with the rear flares off but of course we were going all the way with this one! Hiding under the cover in the driveway was Mustard; the forecast hadn’t shown anything coming but we didn’t want to risk the hatch getting rained on overnight (with the fresh glue and tape up front) so I left it in the garage in the sedan’s spot. Calgary’s weather can change very quickly!

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After work everyone reconvened and by the end of the night we had the quarter panel and door pieces mounted, the rear spacers in, reflectors wired back up, and tail lights fitted.

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Along with the parking sensor install, the rear bumper finishers actually ended up waiting until after the show as well. Running without them was a cool look but the car did receive them following that weekend to have the complete kit.

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Come Saturday morning it was time to get all of the cars tidied up and over to the first show of the weekend, the Thunderbird Club All Ford Show and Shine. Fortunately there was a car wash just a few minutes from the event so the cars could all be cleaned up on the way, and then it was time to relax and let everyone see the hatch’s new look!

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I see you Derrick.

Bday weekend 12Jose at imss 2019

Another thank-you goes to Josè for his help in not just working on the hatch, but moving cars around that weekend as well. It was quickly touched on in the Sunday School intro but Dijon basically became his car for the weekend given my mother would be driving her Thunderbird to All Ford and then my Grand Prix to ill.motion. Josè was able to have some time behind the wheel of a Mk3 again and save us from excessively running back and forth or having to leave cars out from the events. Thank you!

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And so we’re now caught up on the group’s third (and final?) SS Tuning flare install. We’re obviously fans of these kits for their styling and fitment, and they really do make an impact while at the same time not being overly shouty.

I’ll send out some final thank-yous before closing this one out with the last few photos: thank you to SS Tuning for the kit, thank you to Speedy Collision for the incredibly quick turnaround and excellent paint quality, thank you to the whole group for the time spent on the car that week, and thank you guys, as always, for reading and watching!

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-Bill

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