Ford Focus ST Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, this is not a how to and I am not a professional audio installer. But i wanted to share my experience with putting a stereo in this car and what equipment I purchased. Before we get started i just want to say that if you decide to install your own stereo system do so AT YOUR OWN RISK and I WILL NOT be liable for any damages, I am only writing this to share my experience and a few things i learned along the way.

So first we all know that the stock stereo system in the ST1 is anything but good (and from what I've read the ST2&3 is not much better). While I was trying to research products for this car they are very limited and even more limited seems people actually upgrading their system, or at least doing a write up about it.

Products Purchased:
Pioneer AVH501EX Kit for 12-18 Ford Focus $499.99 free shipping this kit comes with everything you need to install the stereo including the dash kit, Maestro RR, wiring harness, and the antenna adapter.
Pioneer AVH501EX, KIT-FOC1 Kit 12-18 Ford Focus + ADSMRR + Antenna Adapter 19213338114 | eBay
Kicker KS Speaker Upgrade Package 13-18 Focus ST $199.95 free shipping
2013-2018 Focus ST Complete Kicker KS Series Speaker Upgrade Package S3M-KICKFOCSTKS
MTX Terminator Series TNE212D 12inch 1200 Watt subs with enclosure $149.95
https://www.amazon.com/MTX-Terminator-TNE212D-200-Watt-Enclosure/dp/B001JECAM2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=MTX+Terminator+Series+TNE212D+12inch+1200+Watt+subs+with+enclosure&qid=1578799410&sr=8-1
Elite Audio 4 Gauge Wiring Kit $41.99
https://www.amazon.com/Elite-Audio-Gauge-Premium-Interconnects/dp/B081FVJBJ4/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Elite+Audio+4+Gauge+Wiring+Kit&qid=1578799457&sr=8-2
Rockford Fosgate R500X1D Monoblock Amp $134.97
https://www.amazon.com/Rockford-Fosgate-R500X1D-1-Channel-Amplifier/dp/B00BF6HYDE/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Rockford+Fosgate+R500X1D+Monoblock+Amp&qid=1578799507&sr=8-1


Total: $1026.85

This is definitely not a cheap upgrade but is still cheaper than the $3000 upgrade for the ST2/3 system, and you get a better system in the end. Alright I'll get into it now. I started with running all of the wires for the amp, which was the biggest PIA I think I've ever had installing subs. I ran the power wire through a grommet behind the glove box and snaked it behind the engine up to the battery. There's a fuse panel directly on the front of the battery box that has a great spot to attach the power wire.
376377
376378
376379


I then ran all the wires for the amp under the trim on the passenger side back to the rear hatch area. There is a small groove in the body of the car under the back seat that i ran the wires through. I grounded it on the back seat mount.
376380
376381


I used a box cutter the trim the foam in the rear so the amp would fit. Next was on to installing the head unit, which was the hardest head unit i have ever installed. The dash kit that came in the kit I ordered is made to fit flush to the front of the head unit instead of allowing the head unit to go through it like every other kit I've ever used, this means the head unit has to be fit perfectly so the dash kit will install around it and snap into place. This part alone took an hour and a lot of taking the stereo in and out and fitting up the dash kit. The wiring harnesses looks like a mess for this setup and you have to use the Maestro RR in order to retain the steering wheel controls and sync. The Maestro RR has to be programmed to work with your specific vehicle, it comes with instructions and their program software is really simple to use. Then you combine the wiring harness that comes with the dash kit, the Maestro RR harness, and the stereo harness. I highly recommend printing the wiring diagram from Maestro's website. Also be very careful when unplugging the radio antenna from the factory radio, I broke mine but fortunately I listen to music through my phone so I'll fix the antenna later.
376382


After the new head unit was installed i decided to see what it sounded like with the factory door speakers before i swapped them out with the Kickers. I was shocked at just how bad the factory speakers were. I was only able to turn the volume up to 10 before the speakers started distorting. After I removed the factory speakers I found out why, they are only rated to 25 Watts. Yes 25 Watts, that's insane! Even the the ST2/3 speakers are only rated to 25 Watts. The Kickers are rated for 100 W RMS and 200 W Peak. So if nothing else upgrade your door speakers at least, trust me it's worth the $200. The kit I ordered from stage3motorsports came with the adapter rings to mount them to the door and the wiring harness to adapt the speaker to the factory wiring, so no cutting required and everything is mounted behind the factory door panel so nothing to cut there either. They also have a really detailed install video on their website. It is worth noting that Ford apparently used whatever stupid screw they had laying around to mount the speakers and the door panels. My front speakers had 2 T20 (maybe T25 I can't remember) Torx screws and 1 5.5mm screw. Also apparently my left rear speaker was the "upgraded" ST2/3 speaker for some reason.
376383
376385


So after all of that I was finally finished. I've installed a lot of stereos and subs and this one is definitely the hardest one I have ever installed. From start to finish it took about 7.5 hours to complete and that's not counting programming the Maestro RR or getting the wiring harness together so another hour for that so 8.5 hours altogether. But it was worth it, this blows the stock system away. I tried to put all of this together as cheap as i could and that played a big factor in what I ordered. I picked that particular Pioneer kit because that was the cheapest on they had. And I know I could of went better on the subs but they are decent for the price as long as you get a decent amp to push them. MTX also offers the same subs with an amp included but its way under powered at 150 Watt RMS. So here's the finished product and I hope this helps someone who is wanting to upgrade their stereo in their ST1 or at least give someone some ideas and show there is actually some stereo stuff out there for our STs.
376386
376387
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Nice! I have the Pioneer AVH-2500NEX and the same dash kit and Maestro RR. I still have the stock speakers which I know are a huge bottleneck. I've heard that you lose some mid-bass if you don't also upgrade the tweeters in the front with aftermarket door speakers. Is there as reason why you didn't go with a new component set for the front? I'm weighing options as I need to upgrade all the speakers as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Honestly Pandru I would say mostly for simplicity. The last thing I would have wanted to do after fighting with that all day would be install some tweeters, these have tweeters built in on the front so I'm happy with them. I think it would be about impossible to lose anything from upgrading the factory speakers, tweeters or not. I'm pretty sure my 95 Honda civic had better factory speakers until I blew them of course :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:. I'm sure a component set of speakers would have sounded better but I'm happy with these so far and I didnt have to mod anything which was something I didn't want to do. My problem now seems to be getting the Maestro rr to play nice with sync.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,795 Posts
Jbl gto 609c tweets pop right into factory pod. You can use factory wiring. Then 3m tape and zip tie the crossover in the bottom of the door. They're 90 Watts RMS. I'm giving them 120. But they still sounded great when I had them still hooked to the factory head unit. Should sound good on an aftermarket head unit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Post a pic of the back up camera on the new head unit! I am trying to talk myself into doing a new head unit in my ST1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Post a pic of the back up camera on the new head unit! I am trying to talk myself into doing a new head unit in my ST1
That was one of my main reasons for upgrading, the tiny screen wasnt working for me and it's about impossible to see anything out of the hatch in this car. I'm really pleased with the camera now
376413

P.S. ignore my crooked sticker, I'm going to have to redo it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Jbl gto 609c tweets pop right into factory pod. You can use factory wiring. Then 3m tape and zip tie the crossover in the bottom of the door. They're 90 Watts RMS. I'm giving them 120. But they still sounded great when I had them still hooked to the factory head unit. Should sound good on an aftermarket head unit.
I was actually considering getting .75 inch kicker tweeters because I had read they go in the factory housings but I might upgrade them later. Now I'm going to focus on going stage 3 here soon!!! No pun intended on the focus :ROFLMAO:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
[QUOTE="wingnutt, post: 2547316, member: 114589"

...how is THIS not stage 3 😂
[/QUOTE]
Now I have to go stage 3 to make up for the 50 lbs. I added in the hatch, or at least that's my excuse for it 😂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,795 Posts
I was actually considering getting .75 inch kicker tweeters because I had read they go in the factory housings but I might upgrade them later. Now I'm going to focus on going stage 3 here soon!!! No pun intended on the focus :ROFLMAO:
[QUOTE="wingnutt, post: 2547316, member: 114589"

...how is THIS not stage 3 😂
Now I have to go stage 3 to make up for the 50 lbs. I added in the hatch, or at least that's my excuse for it 😂
[/QUOTE]


Only 50 lbs? My Sub alone weighs that much. I probably have a hundred and fifty pounds in my hatch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I wish the ST1 stereo sounded better but man, this is a bit overkill for me.

Nice job though!
dont need to do it all at once...start with the speaker upgrade and go from there!
I agree with wingnutt, I'd at least upgrade the speakers. Stage3motorsports offers a couple different kits and they're drop in replacements for the factory speakers. Or you could order the ring adapters and speakers separately so you could put whatever speakers you want. Honestly that's the easiest upgrade, probably only took 30-45 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Nice write-up. I did something similar in my ST1, except that I took a used OEM Sony sub from the ST2/3 and upgraded it with polyfill and a better driver from Rockford Fosgate (I wanted a stock look and no loss of hatch storage). Also I retained the stock head unit and fed it into a JL Audio FiX86 to give me a clean, flat and properly time aligned line level output. From there the signal goes to a JL Audio TwK-88 processor/equalizer and an XD700/5 amp which powers all speakers, including the subwoofer. The speakers themselves are Infinity Primus series - component in the front and coaxial in the rear. The biggest improvement in the sound for the these cars actually comes from proper time alignment of the channels, which can only be done with a processor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Thanks for this. How do you like the touch screen in comparison to the tactile buttons?

Those subs would be overkill for me. Don't get me wrong, back in the day I had two 15s and 2000w pushing almost 150dB in my truck. I'm past the days of hear me before you see me. However, I would like a bit more bass and some cleaner sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,795 Posts
I agree with wingnutt, I'd at least upgrade the speakers. Stage3motorsports offers a couple different kits and they're drop in replacements for the factory speakers. Or you could order the ring adapters and speakers separately so you could put whatever speakers you want. Honestly that's the easiest upgrade, probably only took 30-45 minutes.

You don't need adapters. Since the factory speaker is part of the mounting bracket. You just cut out the phone and everything out of the factory speaker and the new speaker drops right in can you drill some holes and screw the new speaker for the old speaker frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for this. How do you like the touch screen in comparison to the tactile buttons?

Those subs would be overkill for me. Don't get me wrong, back in the day I had two 15s and 2000w pushing almost 150dB in my truck. I'm past the days of hear me before you see me. However, I would like a bit more bass and some cleaner sound.
I really like the touch screen my only complaint is the lack of a volume knob, it has tactile buttons for volume or you can use the touch screen but it's so much easier just to turn a knob. And yea I agree on the subs, I hadn't had subs in a vehicle in about 5 years and thought I'd like them but they are kinda overkill for me too and I keep them turned down most of the time. I'll probably end up swapping them out for a shallow mount 10 so I can get some of my hatch space back. I guess I dont like bass as much as I used to, I guess I'm just getting old :rolleyes::LOL:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
You don't need adapters. Since the factory speaker is part of the mounting bracket. You just cut out the phone and everything out of the factory speaker and the new speaker drops right in can you drill some holes and screw the new speaker for the old speaker frame.
That's true, I actually watched a video on YouTube were a guy actually did that. But I was feeling extra lazy and wanted the adapters :LOL:
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top