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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Acquiring a Focus

I found a 02 ZX3 listed for sale as a "rally car" on the local Craigslist. They mentioned transmission problems but also said they had done some work to prep the car for rally cross. When my buddy c0alition and I arrived we found the focus had a blown dif and some interesting modifications. Interior was stripped, mismatched race seats, harnesses, airbags ripped out, clutch replaced recently, and sunroof removed with sheet metal fairly neatly covering the hole. There was also a collection of parts in the back of the car new in boxes including MSS rear disc conversion kit, hydraulic ebrake, a few suspension parts, etc. I decided to offer the guy a grand and called up the towing company to bring it home to start the adventure.

The current goal for this car is to have some fun going around cones at some autocross events, try out a track day, and maybe dabble into rallycross. The power goal is about 175-200hp with a small turbo while maintaining stock engine internals.

Here's how it looked that first couple days:








Acquiring another Focus

A friend had an 01 ZX3 sitting in his driveway for years, and I now had need for a new transmission and spare parts. They gave me the car for the low price of towing it out of their driveway. It had been sitting through New England weather for a few years and it really showed. The subframes were rusted through and it definitely wasn't starting up, but it was perfect for what I would need.




Tearing Focuses apart

Now it was time to have some fun and pull my first and second ever engines/transmissions. The first one I pulled at my home garage with the help of c0alition. The drivers side axle proved difficult to remove so we pulled it with it attached.



almost there...



finally...



I smartened up a bit and pulled the second in a larger garage that I have access to. The second time was much easier thanks to a forklift, an extra set of helping hands, and maybe a couple of lessons learned from the first one(like having c0alition remove that tricky bolt on the starter).

before...


during...


after...



2 motors/transmissions are now sitting on skids just waiting to be taken apart some more. The plans are to clean them up, and swap transmissions so I have one running set. While everything is out of the car I figured I will do some other maintenance like replacing water pump, and alternator. And some power adding....




Making the Focus go Choowawawawaaa

Acquired a DSM turbo model: te04h-13c with a manifold and downpipe from C0alition in need of some TLC. These turbos are OEM from Dodge Daytona's and Chrysler LeBaron's. I was looking for something that would spool up quickly and produce a little bit of power [strike]since I am keeping stock internals[/strike], this should fit the bill. There was very minimal shaft play, with no evidence of rubbing on the housing. Rebuild kit is on the way, and soon it will be sent off for bead blasting and rebuild.



The wastegate was stuck open, the arm was stuck up against the housing from a misalignment caused by the mount welded onto the flange being off. The actuator was originally mounted to the cold side housing, but in order to run the piping the direction that makes most sense this needs to be spun around. I took it apart and found once the arm was free from rubbing it functioned normally. My plan is to grab an adjustable from Mambatek anyways, so I will just have to figure out a mount for it when that time comes.





Next the manifold/flange pipe had the worlds ugliest weld, upon taking it apart we found the weld was cracked almost entirely around. This will be getting welded again.





Turbo has been rebuilt and bead blasted by a local shop. It came out really nice, the new adjustable wastegate actuator is on the way, figuring out how to mount that with the clocking change will be the next challenge.



Motor is up on the stand now and most everything removed. It is in need of a really good cleaning.



Mocked up the turbo off the motor just to see how it looks. Intake side clocking will need to change, probably going to point it down.



I decided to build the engine... I had not come to a complete decision at this point as to exactly which components to purchase, but the first step was disassembling the motor. C0alition stopped by and we took it apart in a few hours. It was my first time doing this so we took our time and I got to really see how motor functioned, really cool.







Next step now is to bring the block and crank to the machine shop for some work.


Making the Focus go Skrrrrrt Skrrrrrrrrt

I have two transmissions available, one with a blown stock differential and 200k on it, and the other was functioning normally when it was parked for a few years(to my knowledge) with 176k on it. I am going to take the latter and purchase an Mfactory Helical Limited Slip Differential to be installed, as well as a refresh of the transmission as needed.

First time pulling a transmission off of a motor. Its much easier when you remove all of the bell housing bolts, I learned.

Expelliarmus...


I did the same thing for the other motor/transmission I have. This way I have a spare if it is needed.



To be continued...
 

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More pictures of making the car unusable plz. I wanna see the destruction.
 

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What do those engines normally make at the wheels, around 120-130ish? How much boost will you need to hit your goal with that turbo, maybe only around 7lbs? That's plenty to have fun in around 2600-2700lbs or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey mrniceguy, I believe you are correct about 130 stock, at production. I am not sure if that was to the wheels however. Yes, I think around 7-10 psi(which is what these oem turbos would do back in the day) should get me close to that number. I think it will be really fun, it is also a few pounds lighter considering the previous owner ripped the interior out.

I owned a MK6 GTI which was over 3,000 lbs, produced about the same power and was a huge amount of fun.
 

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Yeah, for all of the hype and love that mega horsepower cars get on the internet, personally I've always preferred something that I can drive nearer the limits without hitting warp speeds on a track lol. I had a little '93 Altima 2.4L for years that made around 150-160whp with bolt ons and around 2850lbs, it was lots of fun around town, kindof a point and shoot little car.
 

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Looks great. I feel like this is a little old school and I love it. Get it close to 200bhp, make it light, get it to handle/ride well and it'll be a class track toy. Looking forward to seeing how this moves forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks FocScot, that's the goal.. a fun, reliable track toy. It's going to take a bit to get there but I am having fun and learning along the way.
 

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I see a Massachusetts plate there. Where abouts in the state? Doing a turbo project zx3 myself and I'm in mass also. Interested to know the width on that harness bar. It was get an aftermarket like that or use massive speeds. Big price difference.
 

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Soooo, I've taken over this project now.... along with my normal project car that's currently being rebuilt (Big wordy '02 ZX3 Build Thread ('99 Cougar Zetec Swap)).




The motor that I pulled out of my Focus originally is currently at the machine shop being spec'd for bearings and piston size. It was relatively low mileage at 80k vs the 210k on the clock for this new project car.



The plan is a 10.6:1 compression low boost build with an LSD. I'll either be putting these parts into the motor from my original Focus, or into the motor that I built up documented in my other thread. I've also got 2 other motors around... so once I have an idea of cylinder conditions and sizes I'll move, but either way plenty of motors to choose from.

 

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Doing some small projects on the car while I'm waiting for the head and block to get back from the machine shop.

The original owner of this car had wired up a battery cut off to the ignition which wasn't much of a use as it still required the key to be installed. I wired up an ignition switch panel on my other Focus a while back when my ignition switch decided to die. Now that I've got a car that will be dedicated for rally-x duty, putting this switch panel in and deleting the column lock made sense.

I installed the panel, routed a ground cable to the engine bay, and 3d printed a PATS transponder holder to put in place of the locking ignition cylinder.





This particular car came with ABS, but the original owner mentioned that it wasn't working and was throwing a code. I don't particularly care for ABS, so I removed the unit and replaced the master cylinder with a non-ABS one. I pulled this particular master cylinder from my regular Focus as I'm converting it to rear disc brakes and won't need the drum balancers. The ABS distribution block had 11mm and 13mm for front and rear mixed. The non-ABS master cylinder kept the 11mm for the rears and 13mm for the fronts. I chopped the hose, swapped a set of fittings and re-flared. I'll straighten up the hoses, and possibly replace a few that are a bit rusty so don't pay too much attention there.

 

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Today was interior day. I'm tired of getting greasy, so took care of a few creature comfort/aesthetic things. Gutted racecars are cool, but driving 4 hours to race them is made a little cooler with a little effort on comfort.

Cut some reflectix today to cover the stripped door frames. Apart from the holes being sharp, I'm hoping the reflectix will help some heat stay in the cabin while driving to winter events. I'll be putting a layer on the roof after I finish another project up there to hopefully keep the sun from baking me while staging in summer events.



A less needed job was covering up the airbag and glove box that the original owner ripped out. Cut some plastic to size for it.. nothing crazy, but minor visual stuff will go a long way for comfort to me personally.

 
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