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ZX3ST's Tangerine Scream ST3 Build

9750 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ZX3ST
So I’ve been creeping the build threads for a while and thought I’d finally contribute a little around here! First, a little about me and past/present cars.

I’m an engineer, but definitely don’t fit the stereotype (well, mostly). I know how to turn a wrench. By day I do industrial controls.
I’m also a bit of a tool nut. When I’m not playing with cars, it’s bikes. If it’s too crappy outside I spend time monkeying with A/V equipment (home & car) and computers (HW & SW). I used to do custom mobile electronics and I’d like to think I’m still pretty good at it. I play pickup Hockey when I feel like I don’t have enough broken bones.

I’m coming back to the Focus world after dabbling a bit in what I consider to be a wide range of different genres. Though I’ve stayed with virtually all Ford products. This is Focus #4 for me. I began with a 2000 ZX3 when they first came out, then later a 2002 ZX3. Back then I really wanted a Euro SVT, but could never afford one. I gave up after the Mk1.5 and Mk2 came out. I bought a 2012 Titanium Hatch when hatches returned to the lineup and the ST was still a rumor.

A few shots of what else is currently in the stable:

I actually bought the ST on accident. I was visiting the dealer for wiper blades on my 2012 Titanium and was eyeballing the ST on the way out. An impromptu test drive, combined with numbers I couldn’t refuse, resulted in taking it home with me. It was a leftover 2013 they wanted off the lot. I’ll never know why someone didn’t snatch it up before I did. Must have something to do with my locale and people thinking 30k for a Focus is retarded. (that and you either LOVE or HATE Tangerine Scream)

I do not regret that decision. I do miss the gas mileage a little bit. :saint:
I think this is the the car gods' way of allowing me to own something like the Mk1 Euro SVT I wanted so badly back in the day. This one commands a bit more power though.

Here are a few pics from the day I brought her home, and what she replaced:

Current Mods:
Stratified Custom Tune
Cobb - Accessport v3, poly exhaust hangers
Green - OEM style air filter
Mountune - MRX EFR 6258 Turbo Kit, FMIC, BPV, lower intercooler pipe, silicone charge pipes, intake, silicone induction hose, catted downpipe, exhaust, clubsport suspension, symposer delete, strut bar, shift arm
JBR - solid shifter base bushings
Rebel Devil Customs - Upgraded downpipe mounting bracket
Redline Goods - shift boot and armrest
CPE - Stage2 RMM, 55a DSMM, 55a PSMM
Denso - ITV22 plugs
Steeda - solid transmission bracket bushings, OBDII port cover
Garageline - 15/20mm wheel spacers
CJPP - Hood Struts
ZL1 Addons- Rock Guards
Weathertech - digitalfit floor mats
Compustar - remote start system w/Drone

Awaiting Install:
Velossa Tech Bigger Mouth Snorkel
Ford 13" front rotor upgrade

Past Mods:
Stratified Flash Tune (stock turbo)
Cobb OTS Stage 1-93 tune
Cobb OTS Stage 2-93 tune
Cobb OTS Stage 3-93 tune
MGP matte black caliper covers
Rokblokz short mudflaps
FSWerks turbo inlet pipe
Breedt shift arm
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FS Werks Inlet Pipe, Green OEM style filter, Mountune silicone elbow

Breedt Short Shift Bracket

cpe xFlex Stage 2 rear motor mount, compared against stock and TSB mounts

Mountune FMIC, charge pipes, uprated BPV

Redline Goods shift boot, armrest cover

CJPP Hood Lift Kit

Mountune Downpipe and Exhaust, Cobb Poly Exhaust Hangers, Rebel Devil Customs Downpipe Mount

Mountune MRX Turbo Kit

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My Modification Approach
I’ve been a part of virtually every angle of the manufacturing and fabrication of parts. Over the years, I’ve grown a lot as a person, and my taste in cars and mods has grown to match. These days, I tend toward a “OEM+” style of modding. I don't care how much needed downforce that huge wing provides, or how many fractional HP this poor-fitting doodad unlocks. If fitment sucks or if it looks out of place, it's out. Keep this approach in mind if you read my reviews. Mods get bonus points if they're pointed out by non-Focus enthusiasts thinking Ford did it.

I'll try and update some of the reviews after some mileage to offer other helpful tidbits. Mods don't always withstand the test of time. Since I spent so much time doing custom work, I can be very critical of fitment. I might ding a product for reasons that 95% of people would never notice or care. I'll make some notes to that effect where it matters.

WeatherTech DigitalFit Floor Mats - Installed 2/22/2014 - 86mi
Fitment is great, function is great. I wish the driver's mat extended a little higher in the dead pedal area.

A little expensive, but IMO worth the price. Even the Ford HD winter mats can't touch these. There will be a set of these in every vehicle I own in the future.

Ford TSB (E-Focus) RMM - Installed 4/5/2014 - 1,167mi
I ordered this after the ritual 1000mi throttle-slam and accompanying wheel hop. The original mount made the car nearly impossible to launch. Cheap and somewhat effective. I later went with an aftermarket option, which you can read about below.

Breedt Quick-Shift Arm - Installed 4/5/2014 - 1,167mi
An excellent budget SS arm. The reduced weight makes shifting a little notchy, but not overly so. I have no need for the extended adjustment options. The regular 25% setting was perfect for me.

Had I not gone with this, it would have been the mountune piece. IMO, this is a better idea than the bolt-on adapter brackets being offered by other vendors. 10/10, even at the $110 I bought at debut. At the ~$80 they're going for now, this mod is a steal.

FS Werks Cool-Flo Turbo Inlet Pipe, Green OEM Style Filter - Installed 8/2/2014 - 4,523mi
Fit/finish were good, and the price is reasonable. I like that they went with a wrinkle powdercoat instead of smooth. That means you won't see little minor abrasions.

The pipe ends aren't crimped, which concerned me at first. But I haven't had any pipes come loose or blow off so I guess it's OK. The extra noise is great, and was most of the reason for this purchase. I couldn't bear having a turbo car that made absolutely zero noise. 10/10.

cp-e xFlex Stage 2 RMM - Installed 8/22/2014 - 5,101mi
A very nicely constructed piece. The TSB RMM just wasn't cutting it for me. I don't generally drive like an idiot, but wheel hop was still pretty bad on the rare occasion I want to be a hoon.

Vibrations are AWFUL right above idle, even after "breaking in". A/C makes it worse. I now have massive dash rattles at 5,000mi that my previous Focus at 20,000mi never had. Contrary to other members' reports, it's not possible to drive around it as you still have to pass through that RPM range. Other than that, it's not really noticeable while driving and wheel hop is pretty much gone. It does provide a slightly more connected feel to the car, which I do like. I shudder thinking about some of the other options out there with even stiffer bushings. You people are nuts.

Before anyone asks, yes all the fasteners are tight.

7/10 due to the vibs, which may not really be fair to cp-e. The ST's powertrain just seems to make this a hard sell. A buddy's MK1 MS3 has all 3 mounts and doesn't even vibrate like this.

mountune FMIC - Installed 9/13/2014 - 5,494mi
8.5/10 due to price. Fitment was excellent, but the instructions are junk. Is it too much to ask for a dedicated USDM install guide??? I feel like it's bad business practice to have your customers hitting up another vendor's site to install your equipment. I had to drill out the license plate rivets, which EVERYONE should add to their instructions. Had I not had many years of previous experience, I would have never gotten that ****ing bumper off.

The IC itself looks and feels like a very nice unit. The mounting brackets all have rubber isolators and allow a little movement, which I consider a good thing. It'd be nice if there were a little more support on the top somewhere, since the allowed rocking movement can result in contact with the crash bar and radiator. Whether that would actually happen during normal driving is unknown to me. I don't see any signs of contact or rubbing yet at 9000mi.

The provided horn relocation bracket is a joke, so I improvised on that a little. -0.5 point.

mountune Lower Intercooler Pipe - Installed 9/13/2014 - 5,494mi
9/10 due to price. Fits like OEM, just without the bulbous cancer the OEM pipe had. Makes a little more noise, and it feels like the turbo spools a bit sooner.

Steeda OBDII Port Cover - Installed 9/13/2014 - 5,494mi
Kind of a neat idea, and gives me recourse in case some tech wipes my AccessPort license from the car. Now I just need something similar to indicate 93oct in the fuel door.

MGP Matte Black Caliper Covers - Installed 9/13/2014 - 5,494mi
I ended up with these during a sale. Honesty, I don't really like the whole premise behind a product like this. But I wanted to do something about the brake dust, so... I went with the matte black version to call as little attention to the covers as possible. I don't really want to change the OEM pads, since my experience on the street with many aftermarket options (on other cars, not yet the ST) has been disappointing.

With these installed, I see about 30% of the brake dust accumulation as before. They look OK, but keen eyes will point them out immediately. They'll clear 17" wheels, but not if they have any wheel weights attached. 7/10. The parts are decent quality and serve the purpose I bought them for.

James Barone Racing Solid Shift Base Bushings - Installed 11/1/2014 - 7,744mi
Buy these, or something like them. This should be a required mod on every ST. There is an immediate and substantial difference in shift feel and accuracy.

I liked the Breedt short-shift arm, but shifts were still a little vague. These puppies firmed it right up. I give them 10/10, cheap and effective.

Redline Goods Shift Boot and Armrest Cover - Installed 11/1/2014 - 7,744mi
I went with the nappa leather option and white stitching to match the OEM ST3 Recaro color combo.

10/10. Seriously, this is a really nice addition to the interior and something Ford should have done. I think it brings the interior "feel" up a notch.

The leather and stitching aren't a perfect match to the seats, but I can't ding Redline Goods for that. Textures can be off, even between batches. I've seen very expensive custom interiors that didn't match this well. Also, if you look closely you can barely make out the outline of the OEM stitching on the armrest underneath the Redline cover. This could be hidden better if Redline had opted to place the stitching on top of OEM, but that would have added too much bulk in that area so I understand why they did it. (material is doubled up in those areas where the material is joined together)

mountune Silicone Induction Hose - Installed 11/1/2014 - 7,744mi
Bought to get rid of the ugly OEM accordian. Fit/finish are excellent. A little pricey for what it is, but don't regret the purchase. Includes the nicer "lined" hose clamps. Combined with the FSWerks inlet pipe, I think this makes a very attractive setup without excessive cost. 9/10

mountune Uprated Air Recirculation Valve - Installed 11/26/2014 - 8,569mi
There's not much to add about this part that others haven't already said. Sounds and operates exactly like stock, except I don't get the fluttering when I romp on the throttle. This is very cheap insurance, and IMO a required part for every stock-turbo modded ST. 10/10.

mountune Silicone Boost Hoses - Installed 11/26/2014 - 8,569mi
After the 2nd time I popped an OEM hotside hose, I was pissed off enough to buy these. While a little expensive, the fit and finish are great. All the pre-formed bends are in the right spots. And they even molded smooth diameter transitions as compared to the OEM cheapo reducer/couplers. I much prefer going this route with the hoses as compared to the hard pipes everyone else is providing, since the motor moves around so much.

I give 9/10 only because the price is a bit high. For the price, mountune should have included the optional "lined" hose clamp set which I don't consider to be optional.

Rokblokz Short Mud Flaps - Installed 11/26/2014 - 8,569mi
The price was right and the fitment OK. The curve of the rear fender puts some pressure on the paint that I don’t like. I might be able to massage it out with a heat gun.

The hardware they provide matches my idea on what it should be for this application. The screws are stainless and the anchors are plastic, so there will be no rust to worry about. It’d be nice if the spacers for the rear were solid instead of just a chunk of stiff rubber hose.

While certainly effective, they’re coming off in the Spring. I just don’t think flaps are flattering to the lines on the ST. I can’t imagine what the full-length version is like. The “shorts” are plenty big. I give them 8/10.

Denso ITV22 Plugs - Installed 11/26/2014 - 8,569mi
What can you really say about a mod like this? They work?

After about 500miles on a Cobb OTS Stage 2 tune, the soot on my tailpipe has been reduced by ~90%. I think it idles a little smoother, but that could be placebo. I’ll likely get more performance info when I finally get a custom tune.

Steeda Solid Transmission Bracket Bushings - Installed 12/12/2014 - 9,370mi
After installing the solid shifter base bushings, I was expecting to see a similar improvement in shift feel with these. I'd like to think they're doing something, but I honestly can't really tell the difference. If you can only purchase 1 or the other, go with the shifter base bushings. 10/10 even though I didn't notice any improvement.

CJPP Hood Struts - Installed 12/12/2014 - 9,370mi
I bought this kit because the brackets looked nicer than all the other options I’ve seen. The fact I could order with the brackets color-matched was icing on the cake.

The kit arrived and I immediately noticed the color was off. No biggie, I didn’t figure it would be perfect anyway. I just wanted the brackets to blend in a bit better under the hood. In hindsight, I should have just gone with black. Right now it looks like I tried to match it and missed. The paint doesn’t stick very well, and I have to wonder if they properly prepped the aluminum for paint.

Sadly, the fitment sucks bad enough I was wondering whether or not I received the correct kit. The fender brackets are only held by the fender bolt with no other support means. The pressure from the struts rotates the bracket and gouges the fender. I would have added a protrusion around the inside edge to use the frame as a means to help with rotation. The hood brackets sit too close to the hinge, so that the strut body rubs the hinge pretty aggressively.

I ended up drilling out the hood brackets so I could adjust them out a little further. I also put a layer of body molding tape under ALL the brackets so they would actually stay put. Contrary to the instructions, the rear hood seal needs to be modified significantly for proper interference-free operation. Which is nothing a few minutes with a sharp utility knife can’t fix.

I give it 5/10 because it does technically work as advertised. Maybe I’m being too critical, and maybe all the other available kits fit the same way. If I hadn’t boogered up some of the underhood paint fighting with this thing, I’d remove it. The prop rod works.

mountune Catted Downpipe, Cat-back Exhaust - Installed 3/15/2015 - 14,645mi
If you're looking for an exhaust with no drone, THIS IS IT!!! Even with the downpipe, during normal cruising, it could probably be confused with OEM. Put the hammer down, and it reports a deep purposeful growl with no rasp. This is modding under the radar.

It's really a shame all this hardware gets hidden under the car. The welds are perfect and the finish is mirror-smooth. Fitment is excellent, though it requires a little finagling and patience to get everything just right. There are a couple places where clearances are really tight.

10/10 even considering the price. I modified the 2nd O2 sensor mount with a couple "spark plug defoulers" to space it from the exhaust gas stream and all emissions monitors register as "ready".

Rebel Devil Customs upgraded downpipe bracket - Installed 3/15/2015 - 14,645mi
I didn't have any problems with tears in the OEM hanger, but figured I'd drop this in anyways while doing my DP install. It's a quality mount for the price and does exactly as advertised. I think stamping the main plate would have been a good idea (similar to oem) to reduce some of the rearward flex. I'm curious if the flex combined with stainless construction could turn into busted mounts over time? Time/mileage will tell. 10/10.

Cobb Poly Exhaust Hangers - Installed 3/15/2015 - 14,645mi
It's shocking how much movement these prevent compared to the OEM rubber hangers. I didn't notice any extra vibration, and the exhaust is very solid. 10/10.

These might even be a decent upgrade to OEM.
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Congrats on the ST!
Thanks. I've had it for about 9 months already, and am just now getting around to posting. I'm still trying to organize all my mod pictures before I share those.
So I’ve been creeping the build threads for a while and thought I’d finally contribute a little around here! ...
Congrats on what will probably be the most expensive pair of wiper blades you'll ever buy - LOL! Can't wait to see some pics! :)

Thanks. I've had it for about 9 months already, and am just now getting around to posting. I'm still trying to organize all my mod pictures before I share those.
Cool! Looking forward to more pics!
Congrats on what will probably be the most expensive pair of wiper blades you'll ever buy - LOL! Can't wait to see some pics! :)

You're not kidding! My dad talked me into it. "You should buy this car, you deserve it." lol
He's a bad influence these days.

On the bright side, at least I didn't have to return the wipers...

Some pics uploaded, more to come.
Awesome build keep the mods rolling. I recommend water/meth and a stratified or panda custom tune.
You're not kidding! My dad talked me into it. "You should buy this car, you deserve it." lol
He's a bad influence these days.

On the bright side, at least I didn't have to return the wipers...

Some pics uploaded, more to come.
LOL! Don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything; you know where to find me. Enjoy it! :)

Updated some thoughts on product installation. More pics coming soon.
I like the reviews on the products, keep it up :RockOn:
How are you liking the Nappa Shift Boot from Redline after a month? I ordered mine two days ago and I'm super pumped to get it on.
How are you liking the Nappa Shift Boot from Redline after a month? I ordered mine two days ago and I'm super pumped to get it on.
Love it. Ford should have done that as original. It's these little details that can make or break a car.
Update - moar parts, moar pics!
Updated for turbo install pics.
Hit a deer on the way to work Thursday morning. Body shop estimate at 11,800 and doesn't even include all OEM parts. This ought to be fun... :(

I didn't even get to finish my fkn custom tune!

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Updated body shop estimate: Right at $14k

Looks like NADA retail around 19,500? They may not total. Will find out tomorrow AS THE WORLD TURNS!
i hate deer. ive hit 3! i hope it works out for you looks like you plowed it good
What got your arm? Sucks about the car, glad your ok!

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