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So I DD my 2018 ST1, and currently it has some pretty basic mods (one-step colder plugs, shifter cable/trans-side mount/shifter base bushings, 3" catted DP and no resonator plus some other stuff in my sig below). I'm going to have about $500 to spend on it pretty soon, so would like some opinions. I'm probably more interested in things to make it a more enjoyable daily driver, and just so you know, my speeds are typically in the 45-50 mph range with only a few miles at 70-ish mph on the way to and from work.... there are some days when there's lots of sitting in lines of traffic waiting for idiots to move, too...

First, I live in CO, so we deal with a bit of heat in the summer, so I'm thinking about getting a depo 3.5 to install. I figure after the t-bolt clamps and a couple various other items (locking nuts) I'll have about $400 in it. I realize it won't do anything really for performance since I'm not tuned, but it will help with heat-soak in the stop and go traffic I have to deal with between May and Sept when it's 85-100+. With the current temps, though, it's a non-issue... Another item I've looked at is getting a better shifter for it since I don't like the stock height or throw, such as a JBR or Boomba short shifter. JBR has the weights you can throw on it to help, but a lot of folks like the Boomba... I do have a 500 gram weighted knob I use from time to time on the car, although in the winter it's freaking cold to grab onto and in the summer it'll burn your hand. That would probably leave about $320 for other stuff if I go the shifter route, too.

I could just skip those things and get a tune from Stratified or JST, but I'd still need the FMIC at some point to be safe about things, and I'd rather have the supporting mods in place first before I got a tune (since I'd have to pay for a revision at that point anyway). I could get a 3" exhaust for it, which may help with flow and efficiency, but for the cost I'm constrained to it would mean an MBRP 3" using aluminized pipe. Some folks have reported drone with the 3" systems, and I rather like the quietness of the car now and the lack of drone. It really wouldn't bump up the performance much either with the stock turbo (and I have no plans of going BT).

I'd rather stay away from suspension mods since the roads here suck and if the idea is to make the drive nicer, a stiffer ride wouldn't be a great thing for me... I've got back problems already.

So what would you guys do next?
 

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If your looking at intercoolers, look at mishimoto j line intercooler. Its cheaper and does a really good job, down side is its universal so you'll have to fab up mounts.

Short Throw shifters, look at breedt shift arms it replaces the whole piece makes it lighter and doesnt just add weight to the factory arm. You'll want to use your weighted knob with it though.

But if it was my car. I would get an intercooler, which ever you prefer.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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I'll second intercooler (I'm looking at the Depo 3.5" or maybe the Vibrant), and add a gas pedal spacer as well. I like the placement of gas/brake much better since I swapped one in. Since this a DD maybe stick with a 2.5" exhaust. My car came from the dealer with a Cobb CBE installed and it was waaaay too loud. Great tone, just too loud. I swapped in an AWE and I'm going to be adding a resonator to that to chill it out just a bit more. As Deuce and others with more experience than me will tell you, the only real reason to swap the exhaust is if you really want a more aggressive tone or are looking for big power. One thing that helped me quiet things down a little is using Dynamat/Hushmat in the interior. I like the shifter idea as well, but maybe get a knob in CF or composite so it's not quite so cold in the hand.
 

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So I DD my 2018 ST1, and currently it has some pretty basic mods (one-step colder plugs, shifter cable/trans-side mount/shifter base bushings, 3" catted DP and no resonator plus some other stuff in my sig below). I'm going to have about $500 to spend on it pretty soon, so would like some opinions. I'm probably more interested in things to make it a more enjoyable daily driver, and just so you know, my speeds are typically in the 45-50 mph range with only a few miles at 70-ish mph on the way to and from work.... there are some days when there's lots of sitting in lines of traffic waiting for idiots to move, too...

First, I live in CO, so we deal with a bit of heat in the summer, so I'm thinking about getting a depo 3.5 to install. I figure after the t-bolt clamps and a couple various other items (locking nuts) I'll have about $400 in it. I realize it won't do anything really for performance since I'm not tuned, but it will help with heat-soak in the stop and go traffic I have to deal with between May and Sept when it's 85-100+. With the current temps, though, it's a non-issue... Another item I've looked at is getting a better shifter for it since I don't like the stock height or throw, such as a JBR or Boomba short shifter. JBR has the weights you can throw on it to help, but a lot of folks like the Boomba... I do have a 500 gram weighted knob I use from time to time on the car, although in the winter it's freaking cold to grab onto and in the summer it'll burn your hand. That would probably leave about $320 for other stuff if I go the shifter route, too.

I could just skip those things and get a tune from Stratified or JST, but I'd still need the FMIC at some point to be safe about things, and I'd rather have the supporting mods in place first before I got a tune (since I'd have to pay for a revision at that point anyway). I could get a 3" exhaust for it, which may help with flow and efficiency, but for the cost I'm constrained to it would mean an MBRP 3" using aluminized pipe. Some folks have reported drone with the 3" systems, and I rather like the quietness of the car now and the lack of drone. It really wouldn't bump up the performance much either with the stock turbo (and I have no plans of going BT).

I'd rather stay away from suspension mods since the roads here suck and if the idea is to make the drive nicer, a stiffer ride wouldn't be a great thing for me... I've got back problems already.

So what would you guys do next?

Well...

I'd rock the depo 3.5, and get a JBR shift arm for the trans. That will get you more safety/usable power, and the JBR shift arm is the best arm on the market currently(yes better than a Breedt).

As far as the interior shift lever goes, You hear more about the Boomba because it has been around a lot longer. JBR only released their lever like a year ago, Boomba has had theirs out for over 6 years at this point. I really love the boomba, but if I was starting from scratch, I'd probably rock all the JBR shifter goodies.

Tuning is still the best performance to dollar, but it sounds like you can be patient and do the fmic first, which is preferred.

Get a neoprene shifter hat, or a knit one, to insulate your hand from the extremes in temperature that the shift knob can experience. I also found that a thicker powder coated knob is easier to live with than a bare metal knob.
 

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I second the intercooler. For the money I run Depo 3.5. shift arm greatly improve shifting. Jbr is a great unit I run torque solutions it works fine I run it at the lowest setting 40% reduction. And for shift knobs irana shift solutions hybrid shift knob. its 540 g stainless steel. Will a delrin sleeve that threads over the top so it's not hot or cold in the extreme weather conditions. That would put you around $500.
 

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IC all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Guess I could work some extra overtime over the next month or two and get a few more bucks to spend. Then I could get the JBR shift arm and short throw shifter along with the Depo. The mishimoto is an interesting thought, but by the time I fabricated some mounts and got piping to hook up to it, I bet I'd be in the same ballpark as the Depo 3.5.

I like the shift arm idea as a cheaper alternative for getting the throws shorter, but the height bugs me, too. The Neon was easier since the shifter wasn't threaded, so I just saw-zall'd about 2" off of it to get the height down to where I wanted it...It somewhat shortened the throws, but at that time I didn't have an option for a different shifter that changed the geometry at the pivot point... Anyway can't do that with the threaded rod of the Focus without taking it apart and running a die on it to thread it further down and then cut it off... Actually... that would only cost me about $10 for a new die, which I could use to cut the threads further down the rod, then just cut off the rod once I got it where I wanted it. That, plus the shift arm, would only be about $105 and would reduce the throw to a bit more than 40% because of the decreased height.... I'd need to re-do the reverse lockout, but that'd be easy... just put a zip tie between the lockout "pull" and the actuator... would just need to shorten it the same as how much I cut off the rod. Maybe I need a weekend project this Saturday to shorten up the shifter. :)

So, a die (10), shifter arm (95), Depo FMIC (350), and some T bolt clamps (20) would total up to be $475. What do you guys think about that plan?

ETA: Just thought of something... does the stock shifter have a "shelf" below the threads that is much wider than the threads, or is it pretty much the same width rod all the way down? I can't remember and I can't get to the car right now to check.
 

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Sounds like a plan to me. I think you may be right there may be a shelf or ledge below the threads that the reverse lockout stops on. I can't remember. But if I remember to I'll check in the morning.
 

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Improve your intake flow if you live at high altitude in addition to the bigger FMIC. High altitude creates significant issues with the intake, turbo, and FMIC. Unfortunately, these negatives compound each other. I live at 5500 ft in the Denver area (Lakewood) and work in Boulder by commuting on Hwy 93. So here's how it affects me:

Let's start with the turbo and FMIC issues. With having only 12.1 psia atmospheric pressure here, the turbo inlet pressure is lower. This means that the turbo has to perform a higher compression ratio to achieve the mass air flow target, which generates more waste heat. And since the stock turbo is small, it's being pushed into a less efficient range that also generates more heat. These two extra sources of heat are good reasons to get a higher performance FMIC.

Now why the intake is important. The stock intake section that wraps up and over from the airbox has a major restriction. Compared to low altitude, the less dense air has to flow at a higher velocity to deliver the same amount of mass flow. The higher velocity results in a larger pressure drop through the intake, which is especially bad due to that restrictive part of the intake. The result is that the absolute pressure is now even lower at the intake inlet, which makes the heat generation issues even worse and ultimately limits how much mass air flow that the stock turbo can deliver, especially at 4000+ rpm. The bottom line is that the other performance upgrades can't provide their potential benefit if the turbo is breathing through a straw.

So yes, at high altitude a better intake is needed just to hit the stock tune's mass air flow (= peak HP) target, let alone a performance tune...

I suggest staying with a closed air box for cooler intake air plus so that you can add a cold ram air scoop like the Velossa Tech Bigger Mouth. The Mishimoto intake looks good and goes for about $300 on eBay. I scored a deal on the Mountune cast aluminum intake with high flow elbow and filter. And you already have a high flow filter, right?
 

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Intercooler now. That way when you do decide to tune, you can go straight to stage 3 and really make it worth your while, since you already have a downpipe.
 

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Get a neoprene shifter hat, or a knit one, to insulate your hand from the extremes in temperature that the shift knob can experience. I also found that a thicker powder coated knob is easier to live with than a bare metal knob.
Was in the teens when i drove to work today, my 2" sphere stayed ice cold the whole time. :LOL: :LOL: The heat has never bothered me in the summer though, tinted windows and front sunshade keep temps on it bearable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Improve your intake flow if you live at high altitude in addition to the bigger FMIC. High altitude creates significant issues with the intake, turbo, and FMIC. Unfortunately, these negatives compound each other. I live at 5500 ft in the Denver area (Lakewood) and work in Boulder by commuting on Hwy 93. So here's how it affects me:

Let's start with the turbo and FMIC issues. With having only 12.1 psia atmospheric pressure here, the turbo inlet pressure is lower. This means that the turbo has to perform a higher compression ratio to achieve the mass air flow target, which generates more waste heat. And since the stock turbo is small, it's being pushed into a less efficient range that also generates more heat. These two extra sources of heat are good reasons to get a higher performance FMIC.

Now why the intake is important. The stock intake section that wraps up and over from the airbox has a major restriction. Compared to low altitude, the less dense air has to flow at a higher velocity to deliver the same amount of mass flow. The higher velocity results in a larger pressure drop through the intake, which is especially bad due to that restrictive part of the intake. The result is that the absolute pressure is now even lower at the intake inlet, which makes the heat generation issues even worse and ultimately limits how much mass air flow that the stock turbo can deliver, especially at 4000+ rpm. The bottom line is that the other performance upgrades can't provide their potential benefit if the turbo is breathing through a straw.

So yes, at high altitude a better intake is needed just to hit the stock tune's mass air flow (= peak HP) target, let alone a performance tune...

I suggest staying with a closed air box for cooler intake air plus so that you can add a cold ram air scoop like the Velossa Tech Bigger Mouth. The Mishimoto intake looks good and goes for about $300 on eBay. I scored a deal on the Mountune cast aluminum intake with high flow elbow and filter. And you already have a high flow filter, right?
Not yet on the filter, but that's going in this Spring as the stock filter has about 19K on it right now... Going to grab an AEM dry filter for both the Focus and Escape since they use the same part... I am running a closed airbox, but I opened up a hole in the plastic/rubber stuff back inside the grill that feeds to the air intake... not quite big mouth air scoop, but I did see the intake temps go down about 8 degrees by doing that. It's basically the same width/height hole as the big mouth intake in that rubber stuff and you can easily see the intake hole through it.

You make a good point about the lack of air density up here... I'll have to consider an intake then to help it breath a bit better. Thanks for the insight on that.
 

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Intake is required before adding a tune in Colorado...
Yeah i read your post. I'd like to think most people going stage 3 already assume that they'll be needing one regardless of altitude.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah i read your post. I'd like to think most people going stage 3 already assume that they'll be needing one regardless of altitude.
So a Depo intake tube kit is $149 without the filter, so it looks like I'll need to work a bit extra to upgrade to that. That thing is definitely going to flow more than the stock smashed-tube thing.
 

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So a Depo intake tube kit is $149 without the filter, so it looks like I'll need to work a bit extra to upgrade to that. That thing is definitely going to flow more than the stock smashed-tube thing.
[/QUOTE
So a Depo intake tube kit is $149 without the filter, so it looks like I'll need to work a bit extra to upgrade to that. That thing is definitely going to flow more than the stock smashed-tube thing.

If you're trying to improve intake flow I'd suggest getting the Depo intake tube. And also the Depo charge pipes. They come with Cobb couplers and T bolt clamps. I'm running both.
 

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Was in the teens when i drove to work today, my 2" sphere stayed ice cold the whole time. :LOL: :LOL: The heat has never bothered me in the summer though, tinted windows and front sunshade keep temps on it bearable.
The heated steering wheel is so comfy to hold in winter, but then when frequently grabbing the CF ice cube to shift...🥶 I cut a neoprene mountain bike shock boot to wrap around it for insulation and have even used a baby sock😂. I miss my Mitsubishi leather baseball-wrap shifter knob.

The SS Tuning Gear leather/CF knob posted by Invincible in the 'BMW style shifter knob?' thread looks like a nice year-around upgrade.
 

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Not yet on the filter, but that's going in this Spring as the stock filter has about 19K on it right now... Going to grab an AEM dry filter for both the Focus and Escape since they use the same part... I am running a closed airbox, but I opened up a hole in the plastic/rubber stuff back inside the grill that feeds to the air intake... not quite big mouth air scoop, but I did see the intake temps go down about 8 degrees by doing that. It's basically the same width/height hole as the big mouth intake in that rubber stuff and you can easily see the intake hole through it.
I'll likely switch to an AEM at some point too and will cap the dual inlet Mountune filter when it warms up here or when I install the big mouth scoop. Good info on the temperature benefit of cutting a window in the radiator boot. I'm hoping the scoop will at least slightly bump up the intake pressure during 3rd gear 55 - 80 mph passing events, which is the only time I need full power.
 
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