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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Having turned 62 last month, you'd think I'd be possessed of enough wisdom to just leave my 2014 PB ST3 Focus ST alone and enjoy it in my golden years, but alas, I am not. Perhaps said wisdom will be gifted to me next year and I'll promptly trade in my ST for a Fusion or something suitably practical and mundane. But until then, enjoy my build thread, whereupon I will, throwing caution (and Ford's Powertrain warranty to the wind), transform my sedate PB DD into a 300HP Track Day Superstar!

First though, a quick look at my previous vehicle: 2012 Toyota Tacoma X-Runner (TRD Supercharger, overdrive pulley, headers. CAI, performance suspension,....)
X1.jpg X2.jpg

As it is customary to post a list of desired modifications at the beginning of the thread, here's mine: Bold Text means 'completed'.

Engine & Related Systems

Mountune Intercooler
Mountune Silicone Boost Hose Kit
Depo Racing Intake Tube
Mountune AP/Randy R. Tuning
Mishimoto Oil Cooler
K&N Air Filter
Magnaflow CBE
Depo Racing Catted DownPipe
Denso 2-step colder spark plugs


Chassis & Wheels

ST Suspension ST-X coilovers
Ground COntrol camber plates
Steeda RSB
Steeda RSB End Links
Ford Racing RS 19" Wheels (Gloss Black)
Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
Upgraded brake pads (Hawk)
Motul High Temp Brake fluid (RBF 600)
Mikelly's kydex brake cooling contraptions

Miscellaneous Modz

Glowshift Pillar gauge pod
Glowshift Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, and Boost/Vac gauges
Mountune shift boot
Mountune Yellow/Black shift knob
Steeda Sound Symposer Delete
Dash Camera
Valentine 1 Radar detector


Here's my FoST as she was when I drove her home from Metro Ford on December 12, 2014. I won't bore you with 50 jpegs of my bone-stock Focus ST as I'm fairly certain you know what one looks like.
Stock.jpg

I plan on installing the ST Suspension coilovers tomorrow with my son, Stephen. Pictures and commentary will follow.
ST coilovers.jpg

My overall plan for this build is to take care of some Handling/cosmetic mods first, like Lowering and Handling improvement (ST Coilovers), then wheels and tires. Then, having made her look like a 'badass', I'll go about the task of making her run like a 'badass with performance improvements (many of which I have already purchased). So check in often, this build should be done by Jan. '16.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
7/3/15

Woke up, called my son, watched this YouTube video (for the hundredth time) of Bill from CJ Pony Parts performing and install of the same ST-X Coilover set I was about to install on my unsuspecting PB ST, then stepped outside into the 85 degree heat and 85% humidity of a SoFLo summer morning, coffee in hand, to get started.


I won't post a tedious, step-bystep install report, but will instead offer some pearls of wisdom that only someone who has done it wrong, then learned from his mistakes can offer. The first such pearl has to do with the windshield wipers. You know it's not gonna be a great day when step 1 of an install procedure is impossible to perform. After removing the rubber cap from the wiper nut and removing said nut, good old 'CJ Bill' said "...just shake the wiper a bit and it will come right off." WRONG! Even a prybar after a (you should pardon the expression) liberal application of WD-40 wouldn't budge my wipers - either of them. Notice the scarred plastic around the wiper base where I tried to cajole the wipers into releasing their death grip on the shaft.
Wipers.jpg

Having determined that further efforts would result in something valuable breaking, I gave up. Any work I had to do beneath the cowl, like the removal /re-installation of the strut bolts (pictured below) will have to occur while I held up the cowl with a free hand. Luckily, it's made of flexible plastic.
Cowl.jpg

Luckily, removal of the brake line retaining bolt and the front sway bar end link was a piece of cake as was the large bolt that pinches the base of the strut. If you watch the video, 'CJ Bill' uses a 'trick' to separate the strut holder. He uses a piece of what looks like and old drum brake part and the just-removed bolt to open the strut holder (I know, I know - this is NOT the correct terminology, but someone will soon correct me). If you don't have the specialized tool, this method works great. Both struts out! Booyaah!
StrutsOut.jpg

At this point, my son and I made a decision. We decided that using a Strut spring compressor that imparts hundreds of pounds of very deadly mechanical potential energy to the strut spring as it gets compressed, might not be a wise thing to do considering that neither of us had ever done it before and we are unanimous in our desire to remain alive. We drove the struts to my favorite mechanic in Miami Lakes, stopped and had cuban coffee and pastellitos, then returned, on a caffeine high, to complete the install. For the record, the top mounting plate on the stock ST strut has to be removed and installed on the ST Suspensions struts.

While Ricardo tended to the front struts, we began on the rear springs/shocks. Removing the bolt from the control arms while a jack supported it against the force of the coil spring was a piece of cake. Likewise, removing both stock shocks. Pre-adjusting the coil spring lower perches which control the ride height of the rear springs was a simple task as was installing both of them. Removing the rubber spring isolators from the stock coils and re-installing them on the ST coils was a simple matter, as was slipping the yellow beauties into their perches. The difficulty in doing the rear was this: When the lower control arm was raised with a jack, it approached its recepticle (yeah, yea, wrong word again.....) at an angle, causing the steel sleeve in the bushing to bind. This primitive illustration might, after you're done laughing at it's cave-painting-grade sophistication, shed some light on the problem.
Bind.jpg

A rubber mallet worked where no other tool would, and with several dozen whacks, the arms were persuaded to cooperate. Installing the shocks went according to 'CJ Bill's' directions. Rear done!
RearDone.jpg
RearDone2.jpg

Time for lunch and a few bags of I.V. glucose and electrolyes ( it was now 93 degrees in the shade of my carport), then a short trip back to Richard in my autoX car, my Malibu Blue ZX3, bought new in 2000, to retrieve the struts.
ZX3.jpg

Installation of the front struts was uneventful - that's a good thing in now 95 degree heat! Just be sure to align the tang with the opening of the strut holder, tighten it up, have someone on top insert the bolts into the top plate of the strut, then tighten everything down. Reinstalling the brake line holding flange on the driver's side necessitated grinding the flange so it would fit between the bolt and the mounting location on the strut. It seems like the nut had been welded just a tad too close to the strut and did not allow for enough clearance. 2 minutes with a dremel cured that. Now attach the ABS sensor onto the end-link and tighten it up. DONE!
7.jpg 8.jpg

Finished Product!:
LoweredST.jpg

Stay Tuned for a Road Test!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Road Test

Well, after putting another 100 miles on the ST-X Coilovers I can officially say I love them. They are definitely firmer, and make the car corner flatter in spirited turns, but not harsh at all. My wife, who HATED the springs I put on my previous build (2012 Toyota Tacoma X-Ruunner) could barely tell the difference in ride except that when I pull a hard turn, "the car doesn't lean as much, I like 'em", was her only comment. that's a good thing. They are quiet and unobtrusive and lower the car to perfection, and considering I only paid $699 for them (on sale -100 + rebate from ST-Suspensions -100), I got a great deal.

My Mishimoto oil cooler is on backorder and my Ford Racing Black RS wheels with Pilot Super Sport 2s mounted on them will be here in 2 weeks! Breedt shift arm incoming in a few days...and LOTS more mods in the next few weeks. Visit often.
 

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Looks great so far. Nice list of mods. Subbed for future adventures!
 

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How are the stx coil overs doing for your ride? I'm on the edge about purchasing some for mine.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Great project you got going on with your son. My son helps me work on the car sometimes, but he's 5 and likes to beat the car body with the box wrenches.

Did these coilovers help at all with understeer under WOT turning? Have you pushed it to really see a difference? I am worried that sometimes going stiffer can actually hurt traction under throttle. What are your experiences with these coilovers so far (handling)?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Like I posted earlier today, the ST-X coilovers are definitely firmer than stock, although not a great deal firmer. The normal street/hwy ride is practically identical to stock with a slightly firmer response to bumps and road imperfections, but NOT jarring at all. So far, when I've pushed her - like this morning on a 270 degree on-ramp the lack of body roll is noticeable. Much firmer in that hard corner. I'm very impressed with them - especially for the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Additional Miscellaneous Mods

Had a chance to instal the 'Concealed Display' for my Valentine1 Radar Detector. I love having the warning lights right in the Instrument Panel, rather than up above my head. Wiring was simple using a hard-wire adapter for the V1 detector. At only $39, it's a bargain. Also included in this post is the dashcam I installed on the passenger's side at the top of the windshield. It's an inexpensive Amacam M-60 with a 32GB micro SD card I got on Amazon. It does a great job recording 3-minute chunks of road video in 1080p. It's powered by a USB adapter I wired into the glove box. If you want to see how I rigged that up, let me know, I'll take photos of it.

Radar.jpg Radar2.jpg DashCam1.jpg DashCam2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
MagnaFlow CatBack Exhaust

Got a nice surprise via UPS today from CFM (Central Florida Motorsports). My Magnaflow CatBack Exhaust (Model 15155).

Going to have it installed tomorrow morning at my favorite muffler shop, Arrow Muffler in Miami. I'll post pics and a sound clip or two tomorrow evening.

MF Box.jpg MF Pipes.jpg

UPDATE 7/10/15

Just got back from the muffler shop and can't stop smiling. THIS is how the car should have sounded from the factory. I've heard other people who have had the MF CBE installed say that on this board, but now I know what they mean. The sound is deep and throaty and sounds like someone put the sound symposer where the sub woofer is and doubled the volume. It's a wonderful Magnaflow growl that people either love or hate during normal driving. When you drive a little more spiritedly, you get the amplified symposer sound, but when you go full boost, it has a very audible throaty roar from the exhaust that's not loud by any means ( and that's a good thing ), but oh so satisfying - considering you heard ZERO from the back of the car at WOT with the stock exhaust.

Verdict: WIN!

A sound vid will follow tonight. Here's a pic.

MF installed.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
UPDATE: 7/11/2015

Finished cutting the kydex for the brake air defletors as much as I could. I need to get the car on the ramps in order to mount the brackets and tweak the kydex so it fits perfectly, so this project is on hold for a while - a short while.

Meanwhile, it was a beautiful day and I had nothing else to do so I installed the K&N air filter I got with the FRPP snorkel. Didn't notice much of a difference in performance (as expected), but I liked the sound difference. Definitely more induction noise from under the hood with the K&N.. Here are some standard install pics. Nothing to write home about, but hey, a mod is a mod!

Removal of the top of the air box is simple: 4 screws. Here are the two filters side by side.
KN1.jpg

Here is the K&N filter installed. It slips right in: Idiotproof!
KNin.jpg

Just make sure the flange at the closed end of the filter fits in the groove of the box housing, and you're done after bolting it back up.
KNclose.jpg
 

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Some good stuff here. Do you attend any of the meets up here in Broward? I'd like to hear your exhaust and see your coilovers and "brake air defletors" that you speak of. Can you point me to the original guy's design and concept? The search on here always leads me to waste too much time and give uo...:(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some good stuff here. Do you attend any of the meets up here in Broward? I'd like to hear your exhaust and see your coilovers and "brake air defletors" that you speak of. Can you point me to the original guy's design and concept? The search on here always leads me to waste too much time and give uo...:(
I've been to a few meets a Markham Park.... Let me know about the next get-together and I'll do my best to make it. Here's a link to Mikelly's Brake Cooling contraptions.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Loving the K&N filter and my new Magnaflow CBE. I just downloaded the YouTube app that allows me to directly publish videos to my page. Exhaust vids to follow - sorry for the delay.

Just got this via FedEx this morning.
Breedt Arm.jpg

In a few weeks, my son and I will be installing the Mountune FMIC, Mishimoto Oil cooler, FRPP snorkel, and some more goodies. Stay tuned.
 

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You will love the Breedt Quick Shift-Arm...:)
 

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Next Markham Park meetup I believe is Sun Aug 23 at 10:30am. Hope you can make it out there. Thanks for the Mikelly link, I'm going to do that mod I think, why not? Love a super inexpensive DIY mod that is clearly going to help, esp. on track days!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Next Markham Park meetup I believe is Sun Aug 23 at 10:30am. Hope you can make it out there. Thanks for the Mikelly link, I'm going to do that mod I think, why not? Love a super inexpensive DIY mod that is clearly going to help, esp. on track days!
I'll be there! Are you a member of the SoFlo ST Society? These brake coolers are a fun project. Got the kydex from Amazon and will get the brackets soon. Got a track day coming up in November at Atlanta Motorsports Park, so I've got plenty of time to bet my ST in track shape.
 

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Yes I am part of Florida ST Society FB group as well as the spin-off Florida Ecoboost FB group.

My next track day maybe Thurs Aug 13 at PBIR. They have a super inexpensive Track Night in America group from 4-9pm. You should come out for that one too!!

I think I am going to do the mikelly brake air-guides setup too. My rotor temps (~400F) were pretty hot last time out at PBIR...:(
 
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