One of the useful functions of a site such as this one is that it provides a forum in which to learn and especially to make others aware of issues. It was on this site that I first learned about the raised cargo deck. Up until this point, I had no explanation as to why the Ford cargo area protector was almost 4 inches too long. In addition, I wasn't even aware that the spare in my Ti was different from stock Foci.
This will be my last post on this subject. So I will cut to the chase. Ford has a Vehicle Notes: in it's parts catalogue and on its web page for the protector that states: "Not Available w/Full-Size Spare. Not for use with BEV".
Based on what I now know, the Full-Size Spare only comes with the 18 inch wheel option or the Sports Suspension package. Further, the issue isn't whether the part is available (the part is staring the reader in the face), the issue is that the part doesn't fit Foci with a Full-Size Spare. What Ford should have said in their Vehicle Notes is "Will not fit Foci with optional 18" wheels or Sport Suspension" full stop.
Is the spare full size as some maintain it is?
Here's a definition from the Tire Rack again. There are two issues.
"Full-Size Temporary Spares
1. Full-size temporary spare tires and wheels match the vehicle's original tire dimensions"
My Full Size Tire is a:
Michelin Pilot Sports 3
Approximate outside diameter is 25.5 inches
My Full Size Spare is:
Approximate outside diameter is 24.75 inches
The universal standard for measuring tire size is wheel rim diameter not outside tire diameter. Sixteen inch wheels are not the same dimension as 18 inch wheels. R18 95W tires are not the same dimensions as R16 93H tires. A 25.5 inch outside diameter is not the same as a 24.75 inch diameter, ergo on all 3 points the spare is not Full-Size by any definition.
Someone else has pointed out that the Ford Owner's Manual says the spare tire is dissimilar. This is consistent with the definition of Tire Rack:
"................but typically feature lighter-weight construction and a shallower tread depth to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy and make the spare easier to install. While most of today's vehicles are originally equipped with alloy wheels, full-size temporary spares are typically mounted on steel wheels and should be used only as spares."
As a final comment, I emailed both Weather tech and Husky about the availability of cargo protectors for the altered cargo. I explained in detail the issue and how and why the Ford protector was too long. I asked both parties to get back to me if they had a protector that would fit. So far I have not heard back from Weathertech. I heard back from Husky right away. But they referenced the protector that fit the standard Focus 5 door cargo area. This certainly suggests that the issue I experienced is not common knowledge.
If this post helps one Focus owner avoid this issue my efforts will not have been in vain.