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Old 03-15-2014, 08:33 PM   #1
DognamedMack
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ST vs Regular Focus

Been contemplating replacing my 01 ZX3

I read and have done some research on the ST. I have it narrowed down to a ST2 with moon roof if I get one.

I also had a SE 5speed with fogs and moon roof priced out for me at a dealer.

Questions are:
I looked into tire prices and with me auto-x about 10 times a year and normal driving I am looking at either a 2nd set of tires/rims or getting new tires every 1-2years. At and average of $200 per 18" tire I might not be able to swing that.

Can the ST run a smaller rim? How will it affect handling? A lot or marginal?

If I get an SE can I do what I did with my 01 and install ST suspension on it? The SVT suspension was a direct bolt on replacement for the 01.

I know there are a few different companies with tunes for the ST what about the Regular Focus?

One last thing.
If I go ST I will be most likely be looking at new. Any benefits of a '14 over a '13? I won't buy used well beaten hi-performance.

With a regular Focus is there any notable differences between a '12, '13 and '14? Would get a 5speed so issues with auto are not an issue. I may buy a used less likely to be beaten normal performance.

Thanks


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Old 03-15-2014, 08:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DognamedMack View Post
Been contemplating replacing my 01 ZX3

I read and have done some research on the ST. I have it narrowed down to a ST2 with moon roof if I get one.

I also had a SE 5speed with fogs and moon roof priced out for me at a dealer.

Questions are:
I looked into tire prices and with me auto-x about 10 times a year and normal driving I am looking at either a 2nd set of tires/rims or getting new tires every 1-2years. At and average of $200 per 18" tire I might not be able to swing that.

Can the ST run a smaller rim? How will it affect handling? A lot or marginal?

If I get an SE can I do what I did with my 01 and install ST suspension on it? The SVT suspension was a direct bolt on replacement for the 01.

I know there are a few different companies with tunes for the ST what about the Regular Focus?

One last thing.
If I go ST I will be most likely be looking at new. Any benefits of a '14 over a '13? I won't buy used well beaten hi-performance.

With a regular Focus is there any notable differences between a '12, '13 and '14? Would get a 5speed so issues with auto are not an issue. I may buy a used less likely to be beaten normal performance.

Thanks
The ST can go down to a 16" wheel, although you can run into clearance issues with the front calipers, 17" is probably a safer bet. If you live anywhere where it gets below 40F you will need to replace the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tires for at a minimum an all season if not a dedicated winter tire however.

You can get 17x8" wheels to maintain much if not all of the handling if that's your concern, the taller sidewall is marginal v.s. the 18" wheels, but going to a narrower wheel means a narrower contact patch, and that will affect handling.

You can sell the stock wheels and tires and get two sets of wheels, 16" steel wheels for winter and 17x8 for auto-x if you wanted.

2013 Focus ST and base Focus had the four spoke audio and cruise controls where as the 2014 goes down to merging the audio controls into the right d-pad which makes the wheel lopsided.

The 2014 ST should already have the latest motor mount and other production updates. It also lacks the rear door pads to unlock the car from the rear doors.

The base Focus is pretty much still the same as it was in terms of power and performance, but only the 2012 and 2014 SE was available as a sport package with rear disk brakes without ordering leather seats and other options.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:38 PM   #3
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suss,

Thank you.

I live in the Northeast but am able to put my 01 up every winter. It's only got 95K on the clock and I bought it new in Jan of 01. My current winter tires are all seasons under a 07 Ranger 4x4. 16mpg hurts a bit though.

So 17's for a ST would be aftermarket 17x8?? guessing stock 17" rims are 17x7?

Interesting on the info about the rear discs only on a 12 or 14 model year.
My car requirements are tough. manual trans, fog lights, moon roof and fun to drive. Would prefer no MFT. Rear discs would be nice but I get by with my current rear drums just fine.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DognamedMack View Post
suss,

Thank you.

I live in the Northeast but am able to put my 01 up every winter. It's only got 95K on the clock and I bought it new in Jan of 01. My current winter tires are all seasons under a 07 Ranger 4x4. 16mpg hurts a bit though.

So 17's for a ST would be aftermarket 17x8?? guessing stock 17" rims are 17x7?

Interesting on the info about the rear discs only on a 12 or 14 model year.
My car requirements are tough. manual trans, fog lights, moon roof and fun to drive. Would prefer no MFT. Rear discs would be nice but I get by with my current rear drums just fine.
Well you can get away with the stock 17x7" wheels, which were better for winter, but you would give up some handling if that was your concern, hence my recommendation for aftermarket 17x8" wheels for auto-x.

The base focus can go down to a 15" wheel as the front brakes are only 10.9" in diameter, v.s. 12.6" for the ST.

Well on the 13 in order to get rear disk brakes on an SE you had to have the 201A package with leather seats and a bunch of extra cost items that not everyone wants.

The ST is more powerful, but the SE would likely be more fuel efficient for commuting and cruising.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:07 PM   #5
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Suss,

Again thank you.

any info on the suspension? ST onto SE?
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DognamedMack View Post
Suss,

Again thank you.

any info on the suspension? ST onto SE?
The Front struts interchange, although the fact that the ST is heavier in the nose means it might not lower the car as much as the Ford Racing lowering springs for the SE.

The rear suspension is a bit different in terms of the rear knuckles and the mount points for the stabilizer bar.

ST Suspension walk around:
http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/t...alkaround.html

Titanium handling package Suspension walk around - similar to SE minus the limiters on the Steering Rack, and minor differences in spring and damper settings per weight.
http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/t...alkaround.html
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:13 PM   #7
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Those links were great.

Looks like other than the weight of the ST front end a full suspension swap is possible but just requires more parts like rear knuckle and sway bar swap out.

Also kind of nice yet also surprising that this new suspension looks very similar to my 01 suspension.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:31 AM   #8
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I think the real question is whether you want boost in your life. Both cars can daily drive in a similar manner, but the ST will pretty much leave the MK3 in the dust in nearly all performance aspects. The ST will cost a little more in overall ownership, but probably not a lot unless you are in boost constantly.

With all of the available bolt-ons, the MK3 will get close to a ST, but that's about it. All the ST has to do is install a tune and it leaves the MK3 in the dust. Not that a SE can't be made fun, just that the ST can be made to be much more fun.

A lightly used 5-speed SE can be found for significantly less money than a new ST, if you find a 5-speed relatively nearby. This can give you quite a lead on the overall cost of ownership if that's something of importance to you. If you don't 'need' boost in your life, a n/a MK3 can be a good and fun dd that will do respectably on auto-x days.

I enjoy my MK3, but there are some times that I wish I would have held out for the ST. For my overall wants/needs though, it fits my lifestyle better.
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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Adding to dyno's comments do you want a car that is a bit more relaxed in daily driving and requires a little less attention to maintenance then the NA Focus might be for you but if you don't mind a car that might be little more amped up over the regular Focus and with a turbo car there is a little more to pay attention to since the engine most likely will get worked hard time to time.

I've seen alot of people buy the sported out version of a car,especially with STIs,and find out it's a bit much for them (ride quality isn't for everybody) and isn't really the car they thought it was.
Buy what suits your driving style and needs will be.

Do I wish I had an ST? Sure but that would kill a bit of the practicality and simpleness and economically better choice for me and my wife who is the primary driver.
I am a more calm driver (I have a history with the CSP back in the day) in the Focus than I am in my STI since it brings out the racer in me but the Focus is still fun to drive in the curves but don't expect it to really pull at higher highway speeds like a turbo car would.

If you're going NA then get the 5 speed for sure since it makes the Focus a more engaging drive and IMO you can make better use of the power band than the DCT does.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DognamedMack View Post
Been contemplating replacing my 01 ZX3

I read and have done some research on the ST. I have it narrowed down to a ST2 with moon roof if I get one.

I also had a SE 5speed with fogs and moon roof priced out for me at a dealer.

Questions are:
I looked into tire prices and with me auto-x about 10 times a year
Have you considered the weight difference between the SE and the ST?

It is substantial.
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