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Old 12-14-2012, 05:45 AM   #511
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Quote:
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Seeing as how I still have a gift card good at some Ford dealers, I'm thinking of which OEM parts I could order. One idea I've had is to get a hold of the silver-accented outer vents, as seen in the higher models and now the ST.

Anyone know how to remove these? I haven't even taken a peek yet, honestly.



Meanwhile, I'm STILL debating a black roof too.

The black roof only looks good when it blends with the edge of the front and rear screens(like the Audi). The Focus however,has the roof mouldings further in from the edge of the screen by about an inch. You may have to blacken that too.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #512
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Quote:
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The black roof only looks good when it blends with the edge of the front and rear screens(like the Audi). The Focus however,has the roof mouldings further in from the edge of the screen by about an inch. You may have to blacken that too.
Good point. Actually, I had also done a quick render (which I don't have posted) of a gloss black roof and gloss black mouldings. It certainly couldn't hurt the look, and they'd be relatively easy to scuff and paint.


Suspension check pt. II:

Date: December 14th 2012
Mileage: ~10750 kilometers




Today was part two in starting to work through the Focus' tiny suspension noise. I parked it out in the service lot (next to the spiffy '13 Fusion, the first one we've had in our hands) and waited for our shop foreman to be free to go for a ride.

I tried to include a couple of semi-related pictures here just to break up a wall of text.

We drove around for a little while, looking for bumps and uneven road to try and get the tiny rattle to make itself known. As luck would have it, long story short it was pretty much silent. I heard a faint trace of it once or twice but I know the exact noise to listen for and it was too faint to really be detectable. Weather perhaps, as well as tightening the bolts last week are settling it down?

Our next examinations will be the front sway bar as per his idea, and the motor mounts too as I recall a TSB for them a while back, and a friend with a '12 Focus in the UK had a problem with one of his which was resulting in a noise.



No work on the front was done today but I did have a chance to address the rear sway bar; it had shifted off-center and also needed a bit more grease in spots, as it was squeaking over bumps. I used up the remaining grease I had on hand and it certainly helped. There's still the occasional squeak so more grease will be applied next time I get a chance. To be fair, our climate is not kind to the undersides of cars.

One final note relating to the noise though; I accidentally almost stalled the Focus this morning and wouldn't you know, the same rattle sound was there. The motion of the car briefly sputtering before I put the clutch in made it come back, and that was the most prominent it's been in a while.

We'll check again, if just for a double check of the rest of the bolts up front if nothing else. Even if we can't cure the noise completely it's honestly so small and infrequent (we'll see if that changes as the weather warms up) I can live with it as just a natural tendency of the car. It never really bothered me enough before to check it, but with the mystery surrounding the clunks and other issues I'm now curious to investigate further.

I'm fortunate that I don't have the severe clunking that many have reported. Knock on wood.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:23 PM   #513
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It's the Focus' turn to be the reindeer this year.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:16 PM   #514
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Just bought: FSWERKS intake.

Merry Christmas to me.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:36 PM   #515
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Just bought: FSWERKS intake.

Merry Christmas to me.
Nice!

Any further developments on tracking down the clunk?
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:46 PM   #516
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Tomorrow it'll be back in the shop to look again.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:37 PM   #517
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Alcantara shift boot:



This is something I've wanted to address for a while, but only finally had the chance to.

Having the Sport seats in my Focus, there's plenty of nice silver accent stitching in the interior. It runs all over those seats but doesn't continue to the rest of the cabin. I wanted to tie in other parts of the interior by using matching stitching, and the shift boot was one of those parts. I was prepared to restitch the original but then I saw that Redlinegoods had a pattern for the Mk3s so I placed an order.

I also took this as an opportunity to change to a different material for the boot. Since some Ford models like the new Taurus SHO have Alcantara accents, that's what I opted for; genuine black Alcantara.

It was a bit of a gamble to specify the stitching colour with only a photo on their website to estimate a match, but I feel it worked out pretty well. All together I think it'll be a nice OEM-inspired update.



Since it's now Christmas break for a couple of days hopefully I can find the time to take the old boot out and switch over to the new one.

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Old 12-25-2012, 12:40 AM   #518
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Is the new boot any taller?
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:12 PM   #519
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Is the new boot any taller?
Side by side it didn't look like it would be, but once fitted it seemed a touch taller. In any case, I ordered it specifying stock height. You can get shorter or longer ones though.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:33 PM   #520
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Alcantara shift boot installed:

Yesterday I started on the process of installing the new shift boot. Overall it was fairly straight-forward, and I am very happy with the finished product.

It started by once again removing the stock boot and silver trim from the car and separating the two.



The OEM boot is held in with glue around the plastic base. I used a hobby knife to carefully cut them apart, trying to keep the original leather boot more or less intact. It came out just fine with the only cut sections being the small square contact points where it was glued.




Alignment of the new boot was critical. With the obvious silver stitching, I did my best to ensure it'd line up like stock so that the stitching would be in each of the four corners of the silver trim. It would be clear if it wasn't aligned properly.

It took some delicate repositioning but I got it as close as I could. The new boot wasn't exactly the same dimensions as the stock one, but I was able to position the four coners fairly well around the plastic base.

Looking at the plastic base, you'll want the stitching to line up, centered, within the indented section at each corner.



Some binder clips were used to hold the boot as I adjusted its fitment, continually placing the silver trim back on top to double check.



When I was happy I then used a high-strength modeling adhesive and worked my way around the boot, applying it to one section at a time while leaving the rest clamped to avoid the boot becoming misaligned. When I was done I let it cure overnight.



Today I removed the clips, did some minor trimming of the boot to clear some of the tabs on the backside of the silver trim, and reassembled it (Bad picture, I apologize. It was the only one I had).



I then went into the garage and tested it. I found that the new boot was actually tall enough to sit against my shift knob while maintaining enough slack to go through all of the gears. This was not the case with the OEM leather piece.

However, I felt I wanted it tied down a bit lower as the original had been. I fastened a ziptie around the end and set it to the height I wanted. With the trim clipped back in place and the shift knob reattached, it was in and I'm happy.



As I had mentioned I had to take a bit of a gamble in specifying the stitching's colour, as I only had an online photo to work from. It worked out and I was able to get a very good match for the seats.



SUMMARY

Quality: Very good. Beautiful material, even stitching.
Fitment: Snug but good. Almost sized exactly like the original.
Installation: Needs patience but is straight-forward. If you have that and some basic hobby supplies you're set.
Overall: Very happy. This is something I've wanted for a long time and RedlineGoods came to the rescue.

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