Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread **Easy door fix 5/28/12 - FordFusionClub.com : The #1 Ford Fusion Forum


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Old 08-03-2009, 10:45 PM   #1
geist
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Default Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread **Easy door fix 5/28/12

[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/2011-09-24175226.jpg[/img]

For every car I've ever owned, I've sought out ways to make it different, so that it doesn't look exactly like the other cars on the road. Not long after driving it home, my mind already begins racing, thinking of ways to make this blank canvas an expression of myself. I believe that your car is like another layer of clothing that you put on everyday, it says something about your personality.

Over time I developed a vision of what I wanted my Fusion to look like. Once I had the picture in my mind, I set to work putting it all together, slowly and surely. Adding mods not in bunches, but one at a time, months apart - the result of hard work, dedicated saving of my money, and heartbreaking setbacks.

Every single mod I have chosen has been obsessively analyzed, meticulously planned, and thoroughly debated. Each piece brings my car closer to the final vision...

This car has become my passion. It is something I have truly come to be very proud of, a true labor of love. Here is a timeline of "Gillette" as she has been affectionately named, from the beginning to her current state.

It still a work in progress, and I'm enjoying every step of the way! I hope you will too...

In the Beginning...




Here's where it all started, sitting at the dealer lot. Slightly used (10K on the odo) but otherwise in great condition! I purchased my 06 SE V6 in August 2007, and I was so proud. A debadging was in order as soon as I got home, my mind was already working! The next morning I woke up early to take pics of it, I couldn't wait for the sun to come up. Bone stock but beautiful!

[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/IMG_2660.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/IMG_2658.jpg[/img]

I had read somewhere that the man who designed the Fusion was a former Volkswagen designer, and had also put the pen to the VW Passat design. I actually own an B5.5 Passat, and over time I have found a great many similarities between the two, inside and out. I decided that I wanted to follow the European influences in the design, and go for a Euro sport sedan look in the end.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (in progress)

The first mod I set about doing was getting the windows tinted, I chose to go a bit darker than legal at 16% on the rear window and 20% on all sides. Dark enough, but not too dark to get me in trouble... at least not yet anyway!

I also quickly added some 3.5" exhaust tips, which did a lot for the car and made me first realize how sporty the rear end looked.




I quickly realized that I wasn't crazy about the chrome on the tails and wanted to change the look, but I wasn't sure how to go about doing it. My first attempt was to use some tint to black them out completely, but after two days I ripped it off - I just didn't like it completely murdered. I didn't even keep them long enough to take a pic!

So my next idea was pretty original, albeit flawed. I've always liked European cars, and I noticed early on that it had many lines similar to a VW Jetta. So I was inspired to try to emulate the look with some black vinyl, here's what I did:





I wound up hating the look, because it only looked good to me from directly behind. From the sides you could see that it didn't flow, and after about a month or two the tail lamp mod had to go. Two failed attempts to fix those darn taillights... I did not know at the time, but my personal solution would not arrive until about a year later...
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

So the next mod was the eyelids, with a twist. Instead of just the vinyl straight across, I used chrome pinstriping to "frame" the headlight, using the chrome housing inside the lamp as a guide. It creates an optical illusion and makes it look like the light ends right there.

It was not my idea, a member named FusionFury32 first did this, and I loved it. The only improvement I made was to cut the chrome strip at an angle matching the inner chrome housing, instead of traveling all the way across the lamp.

I chose a very aggressive angle for the eyelids, I wanted them to line up with the grill and go straight across. Later, after the introduction of the new Taurus, Edge, and Flex, my eyelids were right in line with the future Ford headlamp styling, which I thought worked out nicely! I also made my first attempt at blacking out my emblems, but they were too dark imo. Wound up someone ripped them off my car one day... oh well.





I always liked the chrome beltline on the SEL versions, it seems to accentuate a very sporty line on the car, imo. So I decided to be resourceful and create the look myself. I went to AutoZone and purchased some chrome trim with adhesive backing, 1/2 inch I believe it was. After a little measuring and trimming, I had the same look for around $10 i think it was.

[img width=576 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/SSPX0066.jpg[/img]
[img width=576 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/SSPX0064.jpg[/img]
[img width=576 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/SSPX0063.jpg[/img]
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

The next mod wouldn't occur until half a year later.  I had been debating on rims or a drop, which one first?  On one of my previous cars (my old DSM, a 97 Mitsubishi Eclipse) I made the mistake of getting rims before the drop... ugh.  I hate a 4x4 look on a car, and I knew that upsizing rims would only accentuate that horrible gap and create a bigger need for a drop.  And the Fusion comes with fistfuls of gap stock, so I chose to get the springs first.  One of my better moves, imo.

I debated long and hard and did a lot of research before settling on the H&R springs.  I wanted the lowest drop I could get without spending the money for coilovers, and at the time it was indeed the lowest.  I very nearly purchased a set of Vogtland springs, a well know German tuning company, but not being able to see installed pics of them on a Fusion and scared me off, along with not being able to find a reliable place to purchase them. Not many people had the H&R's yet, but I knew I wanted to go as low as I could so I picked them. 

I love the even drop I got from the H&R's, advertised as 1.6" front and 1.9" in the rear.  Even with the stock rims, Gillette had a great new look!  I was stoked!

[img width=576 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/passengeraftermidday.jpg[/img]




I love being in the weeds, so I was pretty happy with the look I had, but I wanted to go even lower but had to settle, not being able to afford coil-overs.  Not long after, Lord Helmet pioneered the use of Mazda6 TEIN's on the Fusion (which wound up being exactly what I was looking for in the first place), and I felt quite unlucky.  Oh well, still like how she sits!

Here's some before and afters of the wheel gap, immediately after the drop.  The springs have since settled even further, to about one finger in front and one and a half in the rear.

Rear Before:


Rear After:


Front Before:


Front After:
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

Here's a few pics after the springs had settled a bit more a few months later. They would continue to settle even further in the coming months, happily for me!


[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/IMG00063.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/IMG00064.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/IMG00069.jpg[/img]

Not a bad look, imo, even with the stock rims.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

Another half a year would go by without any changes, but the fever was building.  I wanted my rims, and the more I thought about it, the more it consumed me.  I just knew it was what was going to really set my ride off...  I just had to bide my time...  but at long last, the mod I had been waiting and waiting for.  Oh the scrimping and saving!  Several times I was almost there, almost had the money, but something would come up and take a chunk out of that fund...  The crying!  The kicking and screaming!  The wailing and gnashing of teeth!

Finally, that day arrived, time to purchase my rims!  From day one, I had picked out three sets of rims.  I knew for sure I wanted hypersilver or black chrome with a polished, dished lip.  Here were the top three choices I had in mind:

The Tork Matrix Hyper Black w/polished lip staggered 18x8.5"F/9.5"R


The 5zigen Sport Engine Sc3000 Hyper Black w/polished lip 19"x8.5"


The Sportmax/XXR 502's in Chromium Black w/polished lip 18"x8.5" in a two-piece forged design


I must have looked at many hundreds of designs, but my eyes kept coming back to one particular set of rims - the Sportmax/XXR 502's in Chromium Black.  I loved the 5zigen's and the mesh look, but they were just too far out of my price range at the time.  The Tork's were hott, but I was afraid of complications that may have arisen from going with a staggered fitment.  I've always said I'm a fool for a split five spoke rim, so the XXR's were a natural choice for me.  They also fit in very well with the look I wanted to emulate, the Mercedes Benz C Class:

[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/mb_c-class_859_1600x1200.jpg[/img]

I believe with any of these three rims, I couldn't go wrong, and I am very, very happy with my final decision. 






The 18" size came in two different widths, 7.5" and 8.5", and after consulting some great minds (thanks Jaysen and Waldo) I determined that the 8.5" width with a +35 offset would just fit.  I love the look, it's exactly what I envisioned!

[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/SSPX0196.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/SSPX0242.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/SSPX0239-1.jpg[/img]
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)



Feeling pretty good about the exterior for now, I decided to turn some attention to the interior. A few months went by and I added a 26 piece Black Real Carbon Fiber dash kit. I also got a set of WeatherTech Custom fit floorliners, but I chose black instead of the matching tan... This was to more fully establish the two tone theme set by the dash and upper door panels, and also in anticipation of my future upholstery change.







At this point, I was fortunate enough to be chosen by FFC as the Sept 2008 Car of the Month and inclusion in the first FFC Calendar. I was amazed to be honest, and still I feel very honored and proud!












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Old 08-04-2009, 01:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

Not one to sit and rest, there was still more work to be done! First I purchased some smoked Lamin-X tint and put it to good use. I used it to first smoke my sidemarkers, but it wasn't dark enough for me, so I put a second layer of Lamin-X to black them out - a look I absolutely love!





Then with the remainder of the tint, I smoked my Ford emblems to try to remove the clashing blue color, but still have the Ford showing through. It came out much better than my initial attempt a year before.




I had some custom ideas in mind that I finally put into motion. After a year of staring at those tails and brainstoming, I finally came up with my solution to the chrome issue:



I taped off the red portion, sprayed 3 coats of VHT and 3 coats of clear, and I was in heaven! The chrome peeks through just enough to frame the red part nicely. This taillight mod has become one of the defining modifications of my car, and one that I truly love.





Here's a link to my original thread when I introduced my Tail Lamp design:
http://www.fordfusionclub.com/index....770.msg2650263
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

I was looking at an early rendering of the 2nd gen Fusion, and I was inspired by the fog lamp design. I thought to myself, I can create that look with a pair of the chrome fog covers and some black vinyl, and so I did. Another original mod, it's all in the little details.






After this mod , the car stayed in this state for a bit longer. I was very happy with the way things were going, and I needed some time to save up money anyway.

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Old 08-04-2009, 01:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Evolution of a Fusion - Geist's Mod Thread (thread in progress)

About 4 or 5 months went by, and I had been ready to make a drastic change with the interior. I always wanted darker seats to fully create the two tone look, and my opportunity arose after months of scanning eBay auctions... A set of black cloth seat covers from an 08 Fusion found their way into my baby girl, for only $50 bones!



Having never upholstered anything before, let alone a car interior, I was a little nervous, but I did my homework and old man lady luck did the rest. So I skinned my seats of that nasty tan cloth and reskinned them in black! No, not leather like I initially hoped for, but for $50 bucks, I am pretty damn happy! Now the interior was really starting to shape up, I think this one really opened a lot of eyes to new possibilities!

The process, slow going!
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00122.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00124.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00127.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00128.jpg[/img]

Damn headrests were a pain in the ass... I later learned that it's easier to turn it inside out... doh!!
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00129.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00130.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00132.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00133.jpg[/img]

My car did not have side airbags, but the seat covers came from a car that did... Needed a solution for this, so I came up with black adhesive felt, cut it to the proper shape - voila! To this day no one has ever noticed.

[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00134.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=768]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/p_00136.jpg[/img]

The final product, worth the effort totally!

[img width=1024 height=576]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/100_0512.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=576]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/100_0521.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=576]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/100_0500.jpg[/img]
[img width=1024 height=576]http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/Leichtspeed/100_0511.jpg[/img]
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