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Old 07-27-2007, 04:41 PM   #1
cookiemonster52
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Slightly different "tuner" question

So I know every other day somebody puts a post about "what upgrades should i get" and I hope this doesn't get the same responses. I realize my Focus will never be a "street machine" but I do know that it is a fun car to drive out of the box, which is essentially why I bought it. If I wanted to make 200+ hp, I would have looked elsewhere. However, I'd like to maximize the "fun" I receive out of it.

Before the FI-heads flood the responses, read it here first: A turbo will not ever happen. Please, please, please, I know you guys love it and swear by it and that's fine, more power to you, but I don't want to have to sift through a dozen "get a turbo" responses to find what I'm looking for. No turbo. None. I can't justify spending that much for the piece itself, nor for the financial aftermath that follows, especially while saving for a house and paying off my loans lol.

So far I've lowered it, put some wheels on, short shifter, tinted it, got my stereo how i like it, and got a CAI. I'm going to get an exhaust and throttle body eventually, and as far as I'm concerned that's really it for "performance." If my car's breathing right, I'm satisfied.

I'm more concerned with drivability, although I understand it is a byproduct of power in most cases; if I can get a "driveability upgrade" and gain some ponies in the process then I'm all for it, but trying to win a speed record with an economy car isn't in my future.

I was thinking a tune would be a good idea, even though it's a manual. I'm not crazy about having to put premium fuel in my economy car, but if it increases the MPG like I hear it does and makes it a more enjoyable ride then I guess the $.20/gallon difference is acceptable. I can always "un-tune" it from my understanding. If this is correct please let me know because the whole idea of tuning to achieve better drivability is still a little lost on me.

My question, finally, is what else would make it a "funner" (I know, I know) car? Am I right in thinking a tune would help? Maybe some sway bars? I'm open to the possibility of maximizing efficiency of the engine as well... cutting down on lost power due to rotating/moving mass, etc.


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Old 07-27-2007, 11:21 PM   #2
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a tuner will deffinately help... randy at FS agrees it really helps the car be more driveable... and please... save the TB for down the road... what little gain for so much money you should spend money else where...

cutting rotational mass on a 2.0 will have to come with pistons and rods... we dont have a BS like the 2.3 so the 2.0 is free as much as it can be with out opening the block... also throw in blueprint and balance...

it does feal weird sometimes filling a focus with 93 oct... but you'll get used to it...

i have the 22mm progress bar and i may go stiffer... but suspension mods on a chassis that loves corners really helps!
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:34 AM   #3
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Engine mounts yo....honhon just told me about the driver's side mount, which I might try but the lower tranny mount will eliminate that jerk you feel when you shift in the lower gears. Great driveability mod IMO!
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Old 07-28-2007, 09:05 AM   #4
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OK so handling or "drivability" is the way you want to go. I wouldn't go with a "tune" yet, you just haven't modified the engine enough to justify spending $400.00 or so on a tune.
What do you mean by "lowered" the car? Look into the SVT or Dynamic suspension system from Ford Racing. You can also get a sway bar set from them. A front Strut Bar will help the handling. You have a manual trans. so get a rear engine mount with urethane instead of rubber.
For a little more power and a cool sound an exhaust is a good idea. This will be the most expensive upgrade I've mentioned so far. Oh and re-gap your stock plugs to .060.
Look into Stainless Steel brake lines to firm up the feel of your brakes.
By this time you will have a pretty "funner" ride!
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Old 07-28-2007, 12:05 PM   #5
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i think in the next week or so when i get my refund from xtralights.com im gonna order a new headunit... SS brake lines and the FS oil cooler...

i didnt relize it but my mod list is REALLY growing with my car...
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Old 07-28-2007, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honhon View Post
cutting rotational mass on a 2.0 will have to come with pistons and rods... we dont have a BS like the 2.3 so the 2.0 is free as much as it can be with out opening the block... also throw in blueprint and balance...
??? I have the 2.3, not 2.0.
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Old 07-28-2007, 01:21 PM   #7
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Engine mounts are a good idea, I overlooked those.

I'm down to 10% on my brakes too so I suppose the first to get done will be those. On my 2002 ZX5 I did some ceramics (mostly because of the brake dust problem the earlier years had) and they were pretty good. Lasted forever. Anybody have other recommendations for pads? And no, not Playtex.

By lowered I mean just the springs. I was considering swapping in the SVT suspension because I hear it really tightens things up a lot, which is right up my alley, but I'm a little unsure of exactly what is replaced in doing the conversion. But I'm interested in the possibility... the most fun I have with my car is on those circular entrance/exit ramps on the highway safely going 45 while the SUVs and tank-sedans have to practically idle. Really makes me smile knowing their car costs 2-3 times what mine did and it's hardly able to drive in those conditions.

I like the idea of some bars to stiffen up the suspension too, but I'm concerned that I'll only be able to get the front one. Is it a bad idea to have just the front? I have a pretty large sub box in my trunk, and as far as I'm concerned my stereo trumps all, so it won't be going anywhere.

So right now based on the recommendations we're looking at exhaust, SVT suspension swap / bars, or both, engine mounts and maybe a tune. I've got a pretty good idea of what everything costs, except for the suspension swap. Considering I won't be doing the work myself I don't know how likely it is that it will happen. Depends how much a shop wants to do the work. Everything else I'm pretty comfortable doing myself.
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Old 07-28-2007, 01:44 PM   #8
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The suspension swap is WAAAAY easy. An impact wrench really helps! You can save yourself 200-400 bucks doing the labor yourself. Just get an alignment after you do the swap.

By bars do you mean sway bars? If so, the front sway bar is a PITA to install. You will have to drop the subframe for that. If you're going to spend money on labor, spend it on the sway bar install.

If you drive around with only a front sway bar, then you will oversteer like a bitch. Just pick up both sway bars if you want to upgrade.
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemonster52 View Post
??? I have the 2.3, not 2.0.
sorry... it was late...

but if you wanna cut rotational mass on the 2.3 get a BS delete
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:13 AM   #10
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BS deletes are cheap too.

As for tuning, talk to Walter at marcy motorsport about a tune. You don't have to run 91/93 to make power on these cars. You can get just about the same from running an 87 tune, and save money on gas.

If you are wanting to get exhaust, get something 2.5in, and if you plan on running a header later, first when you get a tune, make sure they fix that so the header will go without issues, and second, put a cat in there cause it will be really loud even with both a resonator and a muffler.

When you clutch starts to go, put in a flywheel and clutch. Talk about removing rotational mass. If you want a little more power, put in stage I cams.

Even without the cams, you can make some decent power, just one little thing at a time.
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