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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always been a fan of build threads because it gives me a place to put my thoughts down and plan, but also get feedback and learn from others. This is probably going to start out as more of a maintenance thread than build thread but I have a few goodies that will be replacing old parts as I go through the car and give it a refresh.

Some info about me: Former military, work in the tech field, love cars. I've owned anything from Miatas to MR2s to Civics. Currently have the Focus ST and a Rubicon. The ST was purchased to keep the miles low on the Jeep, which I plan to mostly use for overlanding and camping trips, as well as mobbing around on trails. Just purchased a new house after being in an apartment for a bit after a divorce. So I am working to rebuild my toolsets and gear. So part of this thread may include the Garage Rebuild as well. It's a 2-car wide garage but 2 cars deep, plenty of room for activities.

Now I will be up front and say that I have no plans to go for big power. This is also a daily driver, not a track or autox car, so some things will be 'for the looks' and likely a 'waste of money'. But I like to tinker and have fun with my cars. But I much prefer the OEM+ look so you won't really see any major changes to the body other than fixing any blemishes. I like my turbos loud and my exhaust quiet.

A bit about the car: 2013 Focus ST, White, ST2, 95k miles, and appears to at least be in decent shape on the surface. Vehicle history indicates it was a single owner with fairly consistent service records at Ford. It does have what looks to be an "RS" intake box, but no other mods are obvious. It drives well, slight misfires at idle which seem to be the norm especially with this many miles. But I plan to sort that out.

Interior is minty, just one of the buttons is a bit worn, but overall seems to be in good shape. The seats are very nice.

Exterior is fair, a few blemishes and the front bumper looks to have been repainted at some point. Not sure the deal with that but I found no signs of larger damage like an unreported collision. The AGS is still there, fitment of the bumper looks good, so who knows. Either way the bumper will be coming off for some maintenance items so I'll investigate more. The headlights need to be sanded and polished, they look very salvageable though.

Goals are always good. I like to break mine down into phases. So here is the current plan (subject to change):
1. Maintenance
2. Improvements
3. Moar Powaa (kinda)

So with that all being said, I hope to start this weekend on the initial phase. I'll create another post for specifics on what maintenance items I will do, but all the standard things + I plan to walnut blast the valves.

And since a build thread is worthless without some photos:
Wheel Car Tire Sky Vehicle


Automotive tail & brake light Car Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Plant
 

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Nice intro. You may not know this, but those with a light foot and a big turbo get better gas mileage. I won't take your bet @Machspeed
 

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Nice intro and I am very much in the same mindset. Most of my mods have been to make things easier to work on, even if I bought mine new and 5 years newer than yours. Insofar as as maintenance mods go:
Jacking rails, hood struts, No Spill drain valve to make oil changes a snap, oil catch can.

I think I may get off my ass and make a build page myself...
 

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Nice intro. You may not know this, but those with a light foot and a big turbo get better gas mileage. I won't take your bet @Machspeed
I'm a lead foot with a bigger turbo and I still get better gas mileage
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Putting some plans down for this weekend. Got my toolbox in so Friday night I'll be doing some organization and clean up of the garage to prepare for the work. Starting pretty basic though..

1. Spark Plugs - I got them before I read about the one step colder. They are Motorcraft SP550 (CYFS12YPCT). I checked the gap and they are all 0.026. I am assuming that is fine for stock.
2. Oil Change - Synthetic of course + Filter
3. Compression Test - I have the kit to do it so might as well get an idea of what I'm working with
4. Headlight Restoration
5. General engine bay clean up and checking the AGS/fuses/battery. I think my AGS is randomly closing off at highway speed causing temp & oil to go to 3/4
6. Hood struts - Had to pick up a set of these.
7. I might remove the bumper just to peak at what's going on with AGS and maybe do some testing. Practice for when I eventually get an intercooler.

Oh and 8. Symposer delete.

That should be enough to get me started. All pretty basic.
 

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Putting some plans down for this weekend. Got my toolbox in so Friday night I'll be doing some organization and clean up of the garage to prepare for the work. Starting pretty basic though..

1. Spark Plugs - I got them before I read about the one step colder. They are Motorcraft SP550 (CYFS12YPCT). I checked the gap and they are all 0.026. I am assuming that is fine for stock.
2. Oil Change - Synthetic of course + Filter
3. Compression Test - I have the kit to do it so might as well get an idea of what I'm working with
4. Headlight Restoration
5. General engine bay clean up and checking the AGS/fuses/battery. I think my AGS is randomly closing off at highway speed causing temp & oil to go to 3/4
6. Hood struts - Had to pick up a set of these.
7. I might remove the bumper just to peak at what's going on with AGS and maybe do some testing. Practice for when I eventually get an intercooler.

Oh and 8. Symposer delete.

That should be enough to get me started. All pretty basic.
I'd gap at .030 for factory tune; .026 is for tuned engines to prevent spark blow out.
 

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2019 Mustang Bullitt
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I'd gap at .030 for factory tune; .026 is for tuned engines to prevent spark blow out.
I never noticed any difference on stock tuning.

Has it actually been documented that .026" is too tight for factory tuning, at factory heat range? People mention this, but I can't recall ever seeing data on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tough call. I've been doing a bit of research and it's one of those things where some say 0.026 is fine, others say go with the factory gap. I rechecked the plugs this morning as when I used my 0.026 feeler gauge it was a bit loose. I'd say it's probably closer to 0.027/8 so my plan is to leave them. Worst case I can always pull them and increase the gap slightly. Appreciate the feedback on stuff like this.

I decided to buy an Access Port so I can get data logs. Would the COBB one from stratified be fine? My only experience with this type of stuff is running data logs and tuning on my Megasquirt back when I had miatas. I really like the stratified blog articles on the Focus so figured I'd give them some business.
 

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Tough call. I've been doing a bit of research and it's one of those things where some say 0.026 is fine, others say go with the factory gap. I rechecked the plugs this morning as when I used my 0.026 feeler gauge it was a bit loose. I'd say it's probably closer to 0.027/8 so my plan is to leave them. Worst case I can always pull them and increase the gap slightly. Appreciate the feedback on stuff like this.

I decided to buy an Access Port so I can get data logs. Would the COBB one from stratified be fine? My only experience with this type of stuff is running data logs and tuning on my Megasquirt back when I had miatas. I really like the stratified blog articles on the Focus so figured I'd give them some business.
I wouldnt sweat the plugs one bit.

Buying an AP3 from Monstertuned is a very good option. His Adaptx tuning will have your car safe and sorted for all the basic mods (fmic, downpipe)

Plus Tim @MonsterTuned is pretty active on here. Unlike Strat, or any other tuner at this point, lmfao
 

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You can use a OBDLink MX and the TorquePro App for data logging and monitoring all the engine parameters. You dont need a Cobb AP for that unless you are loading a tune.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got some prep done for tomorrow. I really like the Husky brand despite it now being made overseas and got a few good deals on a compressor, toolbox, and cabinet. I need more storage but this is a good start. The garage is still a hot mess thanks to the move and needing order a lot of things that come in big boxes. This garage is two car widths but really deep..

Jeep for scale
Tire Automotive parking light Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle


I've been acquiring tools over the past month or so and they desperately needed a home. So this box showed up. (I spy and ST)
Automotive parking light Car Vehicle Hood Tire


New to the area (any one else in Maricopa, AZ???) I see a yellow ST drive past my house a lot. Anyways getting this thing off the crate was an adventure. This box is pretty cool, there is a crank that lets you raise the top to a more comfortable position (picture below)
Automotive parking light Hood Car Wood Automotive tire


No pictures of the cabinet assembly but it was actually a really big pain. They put this plastic wrap on everything and it clearly done before some steps in the partial assembly so it was tucked under some rivets making it a nightmare to get off entirely. Anyways... All set up and ready for tomorrow!
Building Cabinetry Interior design Wood Flooring


And lastly, got some parts laid out for the weekend. I need to get more oil as I had no idea these things took more than 5 quarts... what the hell haha.
Table Wood Toy Flooring Desk


Added some wipers to the mix as the ones I have are literally falling apart. Doesn't rain much in here in AZ but when it does it usually comes down hard. Not exactly an exciting update but organization and planning is half the fun... right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well it's going well. I actually finished pretty much everything I planned to do. The headlights are basically just ****ed. No amount of sanding and polishing will restore them. It looks like some of it might be on the inside. I noticed one of the caps on each headlight is missing on the back side which probably let in all sorts of dust, debris and moisture. It also looks like the previous owner may have tried to fix them as it looks like the lenses may have been removed at some point.

So the question now is aftermarket or OEM. Honestly I might just take a hit and buy OEM ones if they are still available. I just can't live with them as they are and much prefer an OEM look. Unless there is a good OEM replica brand out there but I've only seen horror stories.

I tested compression and it was 150 across the board. I'm in PHX so elevation of about 1000', I need to look up the spec but considering they are all very close I'm confident it's a solid engine.

The compressor I got also has a malfunctioning female end where the hose connects. So I have to run to the hardware store to get the part before I move on to pulling the wheels off. I planned to do brakes next week but I might just prep to do them tomorrow. It's a full brake refresh so calipers, rotors, pads, lines which is a bit of task but really not rocket science.

Question: Should the AGS be closed when the car is parked? Since I'll be doing an aftermarket intercooler is it really a big deal to just yank that **** out now? Seems like just more areas to fail even if it helps direct the airflow. I'm just not seeing the benefit, especially when it's potentially causing overheating issues in the first place. Also I just can't imagine how the airflow optimal with so much of the front closed off. I get that directing air is important as it would take the path of least resistance... but only like 10% of the radiator seems to get any direct air. Looks like almost everyone yanks the AGS out when they go FMIC so is it only beneficial if the car is other wise stock?
 

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Well it's going well. I actually finished pretty much everything I planned to do. The headlights are basically just ****ed. No amount of sanding and polishing will restore them. It looks like some of it might be on the inside. I noticed one of the caps on each headlight is missing on the back side which probably let in all sorts of dust, debris and moisture. It also looks like the previous owner may have tried to fix them as it looks like the lenses may have been removed at some point.

So the question now is aftermarket or OEM. Honestly I might just take a hit and buy OEM ones if they are still available. I just can't live with them as they are and much prefer an OEM look. Unless there is a good OEM replica brand out there but I've only seen horror stories.

I tested compression and it was 150 across the board. I'm in PHX so elevation of about 1000', I need to look up the spec but considering they are all very close I'm confident it's a solid engine.

The compressor I got also has a malfunctioning female end where the hose connects. So I have to run to the hardware store to get the part before I move on to pulling the wheels off. I planned to do brakes next week but I might just prep to do them tomorrow. It's a full brake refresh so calipers, rotors, pads, lines which is a bit of task but really not rocket science.

Question: Should the AGS be closed when the car is parked? Since I'll be doing an aftermarket intercooler is it really a big deal to just yank that **** out now? Seems like just more areas to fail even if it helps direct the airflow. I'm just not seeing the benefit, especially when it's potentially causing overheating issues in the first place. Also I just can't imagine how the airflow optimal with so much of the front closed off. I get that directing air is important as it would take the path of least resistance... but only like 10% of the radiator seems to get any direct air. Looks like almost everyone yanks the AGS out when they go FMIC so is it only beneficial if the car is other wise stock?
The only aftermarket intercooler that fits with the shutters in place is the Vortech. So unless you bought a Vortech, the shutters have to come out.
 
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