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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The motor:
  • Cougar Intake Manifold/Throttle Body
  • Comp Cams Stg 3
  • Intake Port work/Casting Cleanup
  • ARP Head Studs
  • JE 9:1 Pistons
  • Eagle Rods
  • ARP Main Studs
  • Fidanza Lightweight Flywheel
  • Spec Stg 3 Clutch
  • Balanced rotating assembly
The Prep

So after a bit of prep, planning, and work I decided I'd start up a new build thread for my new project car. I previously unsuccessfully (successfully, but just gave up) built up my '99 Mercury Cougar with a great motor and boosted it. I blew up the transmission.. twice, replaced diffs, chased down minor problems, and exhausted myself with modifications to get Focus parts to play nice with my Cougar. I always dreamed of how easy this would have all been if I had a Focus hatch...

Fast forward 8 years and I got my wish! An '02 ZX3 with very little rust and 79k on the odo. I got the price right and the game was on.



I started off with some basic mods and tried to just repair what was busted or worn out. New SVT suspension, bushings, de-ambered, sewed up my own shift/brake boots, shift knob.... basics.



I kept thinking about my motor that has been sitting for years down in Louisiana. For years I've been wanting to pull it and ship it up to my new home in Massachusetts... but it never panned out. Finally the mod bug took over and I had to convince someone to pull the motor and ship it up for my new Focus project.



The motor made it to me mostly alive. They shipped it with oil in it still and that somehow wasn't a problem... The motor had something stacked on top which crushed the valve cover at the oil cap, but no major damage to anything on the motor really.



Wasn't sure how the motor handled sitting for years. I sprayed a bit of this and that in the injector holes and cylinders every few years when I went home hoping it would keep rust away. I was actually impressed with how clean the engine was. Every part still had it's oil in it. When I drained the oil it was fine with no breakdown, and only a quarter sized drop of coolantish something (which probably actually came from something I sprayed).


The intake ports has a bit of rust around the valves... it seems someone at some point decided they wanted the injectors from my motor so moisture came in the intake manifold through the injector ports. Nothing major, but it prompted me to go ahead and disassemble the motor and check everything. I found a bit of chop on the combustion area flats.. but I can't remember if that was from chewing up some spark plug ceramics yearrrssssss ago, or if I got some detonation in my last build... Either way, I decided to address the rust and marks and sent the head to be surfaced and cleaned. The valves had a bit of squeak to them and some were just plain rough, so I decided a little manual labor would help the case as well.





I wanted to have a drop in ready motor, but that really didn't pan out. I degreed my cams and assembled what I could. Turns out the cams were just fine... but the TDC pin was off by 2 degrees. Not terrible, and the tdc pin was still helpful, but checking it through the spark plug hole with a dial indicator made me feel better.. even if it was only 2 degrees.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The Swap

I was going to wait until the weekend to start the installation, but I got bored after work on Thursday and realized there was no reason not to start now and have the weekend free to work out small bugs in the install and get to drive the car. Backed the car into the garage and it was decided.



Removal went as planned. Nothing to report there. Didn't find any surprises in my car, which was nice. The CVs could be a bit better, but they're fine. No bolts to cut out, nothing seized bent or broken... Impressive!



From this point I knew I needed to swap over some accessories. Some of the differences from the Cougar to the Focus Zetec setups that I had to address:

  • Thermostat Housing - Cougar has a coolant temperature sensor in the housing, Focus does not. I swapped the housings and reused the Focus one, but...... where might the Focus get it's temperature from?
  • CHT Sensor - Focus has a Cylinder Head Temperature sensor, the Cougar did not. This port is mostly blocked by the Cougar's intake manifold. I had an '02 Focus swapped head on the Cougar motor, so this wasn't much of an issue, but was a surprise. I had to notch the intake manifold to clear the CHT sensor. I took out two sections of ribbing in the intake manifold mounting flange, but it did not seem to affect it structurally as there were still ribs between the bolts and my notch.
  • Intake Manifold - The Cougar and Focus intake manifolds have different brake booster ports. Vacuum line, so not a big deal to fix. I'm going to try to get the correct port installed if possible, but in the meantime, just running a connector hose to a bigger port on the back of the manifold.
  • Throttle Cable Bracket - The Cougar throttle cable bracket isn't positioned ideally for the Focus cable. Still sorting out what I'll do for this, either fabbing a new bracket or swapping the cable.. Or something in between. With it attached in stock Cougar position the throttle will only open about 2/3. I bent it out a bit to get some more out of it, but it's hard to find the balance in the pull vs pedal position.
  • Throttle Position Sensor - Different connectors. The cougar uses what's basically the same as the coil pack connector. I spliced in the Cougar connector to the Focus wiring harness. I initially tried to track down another ford TPS that had the right connector and the right key shape. I *THINK* that one from a Ranger might fit, but the connector was slightly off. Splicing in the correct connector seemed the easiest and cheapest solution.
  • Stock Intake Tube - The Focus intake tube mounting area is much larger than the Cougar throttle body. The Cougar TB opening is about 2.5", where the focus was closer to 3". I just placed a reducer in the tube opening.
  • Windage Tray/Intermediate Oil Pan - I was a bit confused on how the passenger side axle mount worked. I was quickly learnted really good once I got the two pans side by side. The Cougar only has one bolt hole that's close to the axle, but still in the wrong location. The second bolt hole on the Cougar isn't even in the same zip code as the axle mount

    The gaskets for these two are also different. I was never able to find a proper gasket for my Cougar when I rebuilt in the past. I was always provided a flat gasket with oring like seals for the front and rear and the Cougar has a groove around the whole pan.. The Focus is flat on the main surface and grooved on the ends. This is where the flat gasket fit perfect.

    I clearanced the Focus intermediate pan for my ARP studs, cleaned it up, and the reused it.
  • Oil Pick Up Tube - I thought I'd be able to reuse the metal pick up tube from my Cougar as it was basically the same depth as the Focus plastic tube. I realized when trying to put on the Focus oil pan, that the differences in depth weren't important, but the length of the tube was. The mounting points on the windage trays were the same, but the Focus pick up tube was shorter to clear the oil pan.
  • Oil Pan - I knew these were different. This was the one part I planned, expected and knew very well the differences. I ran into this issue with every exhaust manifold, header, turbo manifold that I swapped onto my Cougar. Lots of cutting, welding, or just custom piping any time I wanted to use Focus stuff. Both Cougar and Focus pans have the same bolt pattern, but the exhaust cutouts are on different sides.
  • Crankshaft Position Sensor - Different Connectors on these. Swapped in the Focus one.
For the intake manifold, I notched the mounting flange to clear the sensor. I will need to remove the intake manifold to replace this sensor in the future as I was unable to confidently clearance the manifold anymore without risking damage to the nearby runner or weakening the structure. Pictured below you can see the threaded hole sticking out just next to the intake manifold. Picture is from where the alternator would be for reference.



The windage tray/intermediate oil pan. Differences pictured below.






The installation went fine and normal. Nothing to report here. Everything was going a little too easy. It's also a shame that there is really no outward appearance that this car now has such a worked motor besides the sneaking of the blue block and cam gears.





This is the part where I flame Centric Slave Cylinders and warn you to never ever try one. I read a review that said their cylinder failed on bleeding.... I didn't think that kinda bad luck could happen twice. Guess what? I was wrong. I lowered the car, filled the fluids, started it up and everything was good enough. Started the bleeding process for the clutch and then heard a pop followed by a waterfall. I looked under the car to see brake fluid pouring out of the bellhousing........ I spent the next day pulling the transmission (went easy and quick) and then the next few hours fighting to get it back in solo (so little room!). This was basically impossible for me with the tools I had. I should have just pulled the engine completely since I was alone, but eh, mistakes.






I gave up on getting the transmission back in on my last day I planned on working on the car. Called in back up Tuesday after work. My very large friend came over and very easily lifted the transmission into place.

Now the engine is back in for good, and looking awfully stock.



RECAP ON CLUTCH PROBLEM:

When I installed my Spec Stage 3 and Fidanza flywheel new on my Cougar, I ran into the issue where I couldn't get the clutch to disengage. I bled it, and bled it, and bled it, and bled it... but it would never disengage. On the Cougar, the clutch pedal had a bolt in it that worked as a limit screw. You could loosen it and it would bottom out on a metal plate when you pressed the clutch in. I installed a longer screw in the Cougar because for some reason the clutch worked if I only halfway pushed it in.... at the time I thought this was a really bad hack and I wasn't happy with it, but it worked.

Fast forward to years down the road. I exploded my slave cylinder while bleeding it. I didn't know why.. and I was just mad. I replaced it with another one, and a few days later had the same exact issue and couldn't get the car into gear and eventually it started leaking fluid out the bellhousing as well. On the drive home after it started leaking I realized that if I only barely pressed in the clutch it would let me shift just fine... and that sparked the memory of my Cougar build years ago.

The grit of this is that with different stack heights on clutches, flywheels, slave cylinders and all the different possible combinations, you may have to adjust some stuff. In my case, the slave cylinder was working great, but I was over extending the fingers of my pressure plate. When I pressed the clutch pedal all the way down, it would first disengage the clutch like normal, but then the slave cylinder would press all the way through the fingers and back into the clutch plate itself. This was manually engaging the clutch by it's center instead of the the friction plate area... but didn't seem to mess up the clutch disc. This was also a problem as the slave cylinder was over extending itself. It would push the piston out of it's cylinder, and that's where all my real problems would start.

I did a little research on this problem and posted asking questions and got an answer that made everything fall into place. A user on this forum mentioned that in some directions he read it was mentioned to "Put the car into gear, and press the clutch pedal in until it releases just enough for somebody to push the car, or to let it roll. From that point, manually set a stop so that the clutch pedal does not travel more than .25" more." That made all of the bells ring and all of the problems click. I made a spacer on the backing metal part of the pedal assembly, and set it so that the clutch only traveled a bit past the release point.

I'm still running my leaking slave cylinder, but I have now put over 4,000 miles on it (big road trip) and it has given me no issues. I will replace it once the temperatures are at least back to double digits here, but while it's giving me no issues, I trust that simply limiting the pedal travel has saved this slave cylinder and my sanity.

Next up will be the build up. I'll be going turbo once more unless I get a surprise find on a super charger kit that I'm happy with... but I would have to be great as turbo is really the direction I want on this to have power level options.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The Build Up

I've been eying this one SVT turbo kit for sale for some time now.. I stumbled across the Facebook group for FF and saw the kit again. There were a few other kits I had seen, but this one was new, clean, and looked complete. I was able to scrape up enough cash to start the turbo hunt early and decided to make an offer on the kit and we finally came to an agreement.




I was driving down from Massachusetts to Louisiana, and the kit was only about 5 hours further from my stop in Louisiana so I offered to go pick it up instead of dealing with packaging, shipping and all that hassle. The plan was to install the kit while in Louisiana to have warm weather to work out all the bugs. This didn't work out, after a few installs, uninstalls, reinstalls. Finally I packed it back up and put it in the trunk to get back to Massachusetts for installation at a later date.





I was bouncing the idea around of adapting the SVT downpipe with an SVT race pipe and flex, but it ended up being cheaper to have Tom build me a normal ZX3 downpipe instead. On the drive back up to Massachusetts I swung by his shop and dropped off the turbo for fitting. He explained that each of the V Band setups on the turbos may be slightly different, so fitting to the specific turbo was the best idea.

*The build is currently on delay as I'm over 25 days waiting for my turbo, wastegate pipe, and new downpipe to be shipped back from Focus Power.. 19 days longer than the turnaround I was given.. and I'm still not sure it has even shipped out. Side note/rant for future self. This is the 3rd time dealing with Tom, and 3rd time being burned.

In the meantime I did some work on the MAF and Injector front. For the Focus Power turbo kit default, the Zetec runs a 2.5" pipe from the TB to the 3" MAF tube, and then reduced back down to 2.5" just before the bends to snake into the bumper behind the battery. This step up and down isn't ideal, though the 2.5" may have been for better flow. For tuning and uniformity I decided to keep everything a straight 3" and move the MAF a little further out from the snakey bends. I should now have over 9" from beyond the bends to the MAF now, no matter which pipe routing I choose for the IC to underhood piping. This will hopefully make sure I run into no turbulence issues with the MAF, though that may not even be in the realm of realistic problems once I actually break into that area.

For the pipe, I welded HKS 3" bead rolled aluminum tubes to each side of the CFM MAF tube.



This weekend was nearly 50 degrees (compared to the below freezing temperatures) so I was finally willing to mess with the fuel and cold metal parts. I've been having some random driveability issues out of seemingly nowhere, but why not compound all the other problems with new injectors, intakes, and a MAFia before solving the original issue! Fortunately the issue turned out to be a dirty MAF, so the install did not cause any extra headaches.

I'll be running 60lb Seimens DEKAs that came with the kit. I don't imagine I'll have much issue with these, and the datasheet provided was a quick and easy setup for tuning.



Side note, this is the second time I've had to service injectors on my "mini wire tuck" that I run for my fuel injector harness. Cylinder 1's injector is slightly annoying to deal with, but otherwise, the effort to remove and replace injectors was not further complicated by the wires being out of the way (under the fuel rail).

The mini tuck destroys the plastic harness cover into as many pieces as possible.. accidentally maybe. Flipping the fuel injectors upside down and removing the plastic cover allows the other wires a bit of extra slack. The camshaft position sensor, throttle position sensor, knock sensor, and cylinder head sensor (maybe the alternator, but I don't remember?) all get fed in between the runners of the intake manifold. This looks pretty clean. The top view is then just the rail and the non-connector side of the injectors. With an aftermarket or painted fuel rail, this could be even more perty.



I installed my 3" MAF pipe to a cone filter to get the MAF transfer function dialed in with low load and part throttle. I'm impatient and needed to do some work on this to keep motivated, but these tuned details should not be much a problem once the turbo is installed.



Currently chopping and fitting for an oiling hose on my spare motor. Going with the standard coil side of the cylinder head feed. Will modify the other coil pack bracket and space another coil for a quick swap over once it's final install time. It's so much easier to test fit this type of stuff with a motor that's on a stand and not stuffed into the engine bay. The stock motor that I pulled from the car to install the Cougar motor has been great for mock ups and fit details regarding anything attached to the engine. It will eventually be refreshed to handle small boost, and kept as a spare race motor. If the right Focus comes along, it may just get installed as a primary race motor and leaving this current build as my "fun" project.



New downpipe and Wastegate pipe arrived, followed shortly by my turbo.






I've dialed in my MAF up to the max that the engine will breathe without boost. So really the only thing left to do is finish the install. To keep things running smoothly and iron out kinks as they arrive, I'm breaking the final build into smaller projects:

  • Oil feed line from head installed and blocked off.
  • Next oil change - oil pan tapped.
  • Intercooler installed once more and piping (with BOV) routed all the way out to intercooler inlet.
  • 2.5" flex and exhaust installed (hopefully once the snow/salt/crap is mostly gone from normal day to day)

Rallycross season is around and more work has been spent on underbody protection fab than the turbo.. but I've been chugging along on the turbo when possible as well. It also didn't help the budget for race season to start up.. but that's what credit cards are for... right?

I found a 3" Trubendz Magnaflow exhaust pop up in BST a while back, but had assumed it was sold since the thread went stale. One morning browsing I notice a post updating that it was still for sale. Immediately chimed in, worked out a price, and had bought my exhaust.

It was shipped quickly, arrived in great shape, and was kinda hilariously packed... the UPS guy laughed a good bit when he handed it to me and the top of the box came up and the exhaust and bottom half of the box just landed on the ground. "Yea.... that's been happening to everyone who touched this today"



After I purchased the exhaust, I decided to just go ahead and finish off the "big purchases" and get all the ordering out of the way, so I went ahead and ordered a 2.5" SS flex from CFM as well. It happened to arrive the same day as the exhaust, which was nice.



I got everything installed up and gave the car a first test start..... oh. It's loud....... VERY loud. It's been a minute since I've had a loud exhaust car. My previous build on this motor was a turbo with a 3" dump... and it was loud.... before that was a catless header to 2.5" back.... and that was loud.... but this seemed louder (but I'm probably just getting older) Even with a cat the exhaust was percussive at idle and sounded just a little more muffled than straight piping. Basically it sounds like a straightpipe with the high tones muffled, and the underwater effect slightly dampened.



With the exhaust and flexpipe installed and driven in a bit, it was time to do the turbo piping. I ordered new couplers and clamps, and one additional 30 degree coupler for what I proposed would help me fit the piping the way I wanted.

I tried installing the piping the "proper" way that the kit was meant to operate, but it just didn't line up. The BOV was resting on the strut tower pretty much anyway I sliced it, and the pipes didn't clear the radiator support at all. This could be a slightly too narrow intercooler, but was supposed to be the one suggested for the kit. No matter, I didn't like that pipe routing anyway.

I flipped the pipes around so that the BOV was down in the bumper and the clean bend pipe was in the engine bay. This keeps the snaking curved pipes out of sight which will look better for when/if I relocate the battery out of the engine bay.



(IC flipped backwards to see if it made a difference in fitment for the "correct" way to install" - it didn't)

I ran a super chill sweet no flow cold air intake over some bumpy roads to see what would rattle bounce or come loose (With the IC flipped properly). Everything checked out on the shakedown run.



I had the turbo and manifold setup in the garage to run the oil feed/drain and test fit the manifold. There were some issues with the fitment that worried me, but nothing that I could easily confirm without installing the turbo and manifold on my actual engine in car.

  1. The downpipe seemed to come VERY close to the waterpump outlet. It seemed it would probably interfere with the radiator hose and melt it from contact or radiant heat.
  2. The compressor inlet sits REALLLLLLLY close to the bellhousing/block. Getting a filter on the end, or even a 3" pipe would seem impossible (spoiler alert... it was impossible)


I ended up wrapping the downpipe to the oil pan to help with radiant heat in the area (coolant hose, oil drain, and the charge piping).

With everything finished up by 11am, I ran to a late brunch and enjoyed the nice weather that wasn't snow or freezing rain for once. I enjoyed it enough that I got motivated by a few friends who volunteered some help to finish up the project if I started but couldn't finish it today. I drove back home and somewhat reluctantly put the car on jackstands and got to work.

The exhaust was hot from driving, so I disconnected the flex pipe from the main exhaust and then worked on the top side of the engine. I really only needed to install the oil fitting in the head, so I also took this time to slather some more RTV my oil pan drain fitting.

After I let the engine cool down a bit, I got to work pulling the exhaust manifold off. There was a very stubborn bolt which got to me more than I would care to admit. I really thought for a few minutes that my whole day was going to come to a halt over a single bolt... but I eventually got it out.



I didn't get around to test fitting my coil pack to the bracket with an oil hose in, so I got to work on that first. It was somewhat immediately apparent what needed to be done for the hose to fit. The coil pack bracket was close enough to the oil feed port that my 17mm AN fitting nut was pretty much rubbing on the bracket if I tried to tighten it. I took the angle grinder to the corner and chopped it off in place. I couldn't get my t40 (t45?) in there to loosen the bolt to remove the tab, so I just rotated it backwards. My boost gauge sender has been dangling around, so having this tab will be a perfect mount for it.

Apart from the tab needing to be cut, the coil pack had to be spaced to clear the hose. I was previously running an MSD coil which required spacers to clear, so I had the bolts and spacers kicking around from that. I originally was running 2 spacers under each bolt in the front, but that was overkill and running just one spacer under each bolt was enough to clear the hose.



With the exhaust manifold off it was time to drop the oil pan and install my drain tapped one. I installed a new oil pan somewhat recently and decided that some stainless button head allens would be cool.... they weren't. The material was so soft and I will be replacing all of these back to the original hex head soon. I did find a somewhat alarming sliver of metal in the pan. I'm hoping it was just a dirty drain plug thread from the fresh pan.... There were no metal shavings or other signs of metal from the engine in the oil.



I was pretty much digging myself into a hole if I wanted to be driving the car today. All that was left was to install the turbo and hook up the charge piping really... and I didn't really have much of a choice since I didn't have an AN block off port for the oil pan or cylinder head. I went decided it wouldn't be any easier or harder to undo if I just installed the turbo, so I started in.



It fit.... mostly. There is a hole in the bottom center of the SPA manifold that is hilariously difficult to get to. I ended up taking the manifold off, installing a stud in that hole, measuring the flange thickness and a locking nut thickness, and cutting the stud to size. Stock stud length didn't fit, and stock bolts had no chance of fitting without a massive headache if I ever wanted to remove it.

In bolting up the downpipe and exhaust, I noticed the downpipe is about 1" shorter than stock, so my exhaust had to be pulled forward quite a bit, and then I had to open up some of the slip joints to make it actually hang properly... This kit has been pretty hilarious for fit issues.

I also then got to see the compressor inlet fit issue play out finally. I wanted to run a 3" pipe from the inlet over to the bumper and under the charge piping. Reversing the pipes left a nice gap under the driver side bumper cover that would have let a filter tuck in nicely. But no, not happening. The inlet is very close to the bellhousing, and is tucked towards the engine enough that a straight pipe off wasn't possible. I happened to have an Autozone special 3"-2.5" reducer kicking around that fit just about perfect in the gap.



For now, I didn't really have any more pipe or reducers to get a filter attached where I wanted it, but I did have the original SVT throttle body pipe from the kit. This wasn't something useful for the piping I was running, but it worked out perfect to hook up my filter for now.



One note worth mentioning is the CFM PCV delete. I installed this loosely but didn't tighten it. Once I installed the turbo I realized that I couldn't take it out without removing the turbo. I didn't install a gasket as the original Cougar oil separator didn't use a gasket... but I guess the Focus huge oil separator block does. I was debting the gasket and eventually decided to use the one from the focus, but then realized that wasn't possible without pulling the turbo. For now the PCV delete seems to be sealing well enough. Eventually I will try to slit the top of the gasket to feed it in behind the oil separator, or stop being lazy and drop the turbo and install the gasket properly.

Once the turbo was mounted up, I tried to hook up my drain line, which was now too long to fit without kinking. I swapped out the bend AN fitting and installed a straight no extension fitting instead. This was a HUGE mistake. In shorter words than the amount of time it took to figure this out, the replacement fitting sliced away the rubber in the hose and caused a major blockage and leak. I also realized that I failed to teflon tape the turbo feed hose on the turbo side (this is why you shouldn't rush things just because the weather is nice dammit!)

Now showing: 5w20 Synthetic Waterfall


I tried to make a new hose and the fitting started cutting in again so I cut the hose much shorter and went back to the curved neck fitting. So far, no leaks.

Everything seems to be running well enough. I've had a funky fuel injector issue with tuning for the last while, and my IACV is basically dead, but normal driving the car works great. I've taken the car into boost up to 5k at 5psi and it can finally get out of it's own way! Once I've given the car a bit more shakedown for oil leaks and sort out the injector and IACV problems I'll move into more fun.

Hearing spool and blow off again had a goofy smile on my face all weekend while driving. I'm going to eventually move into deeper boost, since I kinda have to having a fully built engine... But for now, I'm driving my dream car build! My built motor boosted in a Focus hatch!

 
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Discussion Starter #5
Turbo bits secured. A bit of mod chop n paste to get the SVT bits to work with the regular Zetec, but nothing crazy. ORP or SVT cat would make for more bolt-on to go. The charge piping is a bit odd for me, but it's mostly worked out. There seem to be two different ways to run the piping from the intercooler to TB, but both still require extra piping (which I knew as this is for the SVT).

I believe the routing I'm going to use will leave the BOV down in the bumper. Not sure if this is the routing Tom had intended, but I think it's the option I like as the hidden BOV is better to me anyway. The issue with this is currently the headlight is in the way.. but I believe this is something known and cutting the metal behind it is something normal. I recall reading this somewhere, but either way I'll make it work. Pictured below:

 

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awesome build man, looking forward to more updates.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Side note update on this build that I will find very relevant in the future and I want other people to be able to find if they run into problems... My slave cylinder problem. I exploded the first one as noted, and started to flame Centric parts for a bad product. I realize I never updated this thread on what really happened. Updated "The Swap" section and the details are listed below:

When I installed my Spec Stage 3 and Fidanza flywheel new on my Cougar, I ran into the issue where I couldn't get the clutch to disengage. I bled it, and bled it, and bled it, and bled it... but it would never disengage. On the Cougar, the clutch pedal had a bolt in it that worked as a limit screw. You could loosen it and it would bottom out on a metal plate when you pressed the clutch in. I installed a longer screw in the Cougar because for some reason the clutch worked if I only halfway pushed it in.... at the time I thought this was a really bad hack and I wasn't happy with it, but it worked.

Fast forward to many years down the road. I exploded my slave cylinder while bleeding it. I didn't know why.. and I was just mad. I replaced it with another one, and a few days later had the same exact issue and couldn't get the car into gear and eventually it started leaking fluid out the bellhousing as well. On the drive home after it started leaking I realized that if I only barely pressed in the clutch it would let me shift just fine... and that sparked the memory of my Cougar build years ago.

The grit of this is that with different stack heights on clutches, flywheels, slave cylinders and all the different possible combinations, you may have to adjust some stuff. In my case, the slave cylinder was working great, but I was over extending the fingers of my pressure plate. When I pressed the clutch pedal all the way down, it would first disengage the clutch like normal, but then the slave cylinder would press all the way through the fingers and back into the clutch plate itself. This was manually engaging the clutch by it's center instead of the the friction plate area... but didn't seem to mess up the clutch disc. This was also a problem as the slave cylinder was over extending itself. It would push the piston out of it's cylinder, and that's where all my real problems would start.

I did a little research on this problem and posted asking questions and got an answer that made everything fall into place. A user on this forum mentioned that in some directions he read it was mentioned to "Put the car into gear, and press the clutch pedal in until it releases just enough for somebody to push the car, or to let it roll. From that point, manually set a stop so that the clutch pedal does not travel more than .25" more." That made all of the bells ring and all of the problems click. I made a spacer on the backing metal part of the pedal assembly, and set it so that the clutch only traveled a bit past the release point.

I'm still running my leaking slave cylinder, but I have now put over 4,000 miles on it (big road trip) and it has given me no issues. I will replace it once the temperatures are at least back to double digits here, but while it's giving me no issues, I trust that simply limiting the pedal travel has saved this slave cylinder and my sanity.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The build is currently on "delay" as I'm a bit over 20 days waiting for my turbo, wastegate pipe, and new downpipe to be shipped from Focus Power..

In the meantime I did some work on the MAF and Injector front. For the Focus Power turbo kit default, the Zetec runs a 2.5" pipe from the TB to the 3" MAF tube, and then reduced back down to 2.5" just before the bends to snake into the bumper behind the battery. This step up and down isn't ideal, though the 2.5" may have been for better flow. For tuning and uniformity I decided to keep everything a straight 3" and move the MAF a little further out from the snakey bends. I should now have over 9" from beyond the bends to the MAF now, no matter which pipe routing I choose for the IC to underhood piping. This will hopefully make sure I run into no turbulence issues with the MAF, though that may not even be in the realm of realistic problems once I actually break into that area.

For the pipe, I welded HKS 3" bead rolled aluminum tubes to each side of the CFM MAF tube.



This weekend was nearly 50 degrees (compared to the below freezing temperatures) so I was finally willing to mess with the fuel and cold metal parts. I've been having some random driveability issues out of seemingly nowhere, but why not compound all the other problems with new injectors, intakes, and a MAFia before solving the original issue! Fortunately the issue turned out to be a dirty MAF, so the install did not cause any extra headaches.
I'll be running 60lb Seimens DEKAs that came with the kit. I don't imagine I'll have much issue with these, and the datasheet provided was a quick and easy setup for tuning.



Side note, this is the second time I've had to service injectors on my "mini wire tuck" that I run for my fuel injector harness. Cylinder 1's injector is slightly annoying to deal with, but otherwise, the effort to remove and replace injectors was not further complicated by the wires being out of the way (under the fuel rail).

The mini tuck destroys the plastic harness cover into as many pieces as possible.. accidentally maybe. Flipping the fuel injectors upside down and removing the plastic cover allows the other wires a bit of extra slack. The camshaft position sensor, throttle position sensor, knock sensor, and cylinder head sensor (maybe the alternator, but I don't remember?) all get fed in between the runners of the intake manifold. This looks pretty clean. The top view is then just the rail and the non-connector side of the injectors. With an aftermarket or painted fuel rail, this could be even more perty.



I installed my 3" MAF pipe to a cone filter to get the MAF transfer function dialed in with low load and part throttle. I'm impatient and needed to do some work on this to keep motivated, but these tuned details should not be much a problem once the turbo is installed.



Currently chopping and fitting for an oiling hose on my spare motor. Going with the standard coil side of the cylinder head feed. Will modify the other coil pack bracket and space another coil for a quick swap over once it's final install time. It's so much easier to test fit this type of stuff with a motor that's on a stand and not stuffed into the engine bay. The stock motor that I pulled from the car to install the Cougar motor has been great for mock ups and fit details regarding anything attached to the engine. It will eventually be refreshed to handle small boost, and kept as a spare race motor. If the right Focus comes along, it may just get installed as a primary race motor and leaving this current build as my "fun" project.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
New downpipe and Wastegate pipe arrived, followed shortly by my turbo.





I've dialed in my MAF up to the max that the engine will breathe without boost. So really the only thing left to do is finish the install. To keep things running smoothly and iron out kinks as they arrive, I'm breaking the final build into smaller projects:

  • Oil feed line from head installed and blocked off.
  • Next oil change - oil pan tapped.
  • Intercooler installed once more and piping (with BOV) routed all the way out to intercooler inlet.
  • 2.5" flex and exhaust installed (hopefully once the snow/salt/crap is mostly gone from normal day to day)
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Rallycross season is around and more work has been spent on underbody protection fab than the turbo.. but I've been chugging along on the turbo when possible as well. It also didn't help the budget for race season to start up.. but that's what credit cards are for... right?

I found a 3" Trubendz Magnaflow exhaust pop up in BST a while back, but had assumed it was sold since the thread went stale. One morning browsing I notice a post updating that it was still for sale. Immediately chimed in, worked out a price, and had bought my exhaust.

It was shipped quickly, arrived in great shape, and was kinda hilariously packed... the UPS guy laughed a good bit when he handed it to me and the top of the box came up and the exhaust and bottom half of the box just landed on the ground. "Yea.... that's been happening to everyone who touched this today"



After I purchased the exhaust, I decided to just go ahead and finish off the "big purchases" and get all the ordering out of the way, so I went ahead and ordered a 2.5" SS flex from CFM as well. It happened to arrive the same day as the exhaust, which was nice.



I got everything installed up and gave the car a first test start..... oh. It's loud....... VERY loud. It's been a minute since I've had a loud exhaust car. My previous build on this motor was a turbo with a 3" dump... and it was loud.... before that was a catless header to 2.5" back.... and that was loud.... but this seemed louder (but I'm probably just getting older) Even with a cat the exhaust was percussive at idle and sounded just a little more muffled than straight piping. Basically it sounds like a straightpipe with the high tones muffled, and the underwater effect slightly dampened.

 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
With the exhaust and flexpipe installed and driven in a bit, it was time to do the turbo piping. I ordered new couplers and clamps, and one additional 30 degree coupler for what I proposed would help me fit the piping the way I wanted.

I tried installing the piping the "proper" way that the kit was meant to operate, but it just didn't line up. The BOV was resting on the strut tower pretty much anyway I sliced it, and the pipes didn't clear the radiator support at all. This could be a slightly too narrow intercooler, but was supposed to be the one suggested for the kit. No matter, I didn't like that pipe routing anyway.

I flipped the pipes around so that the BOV was down in the bumper and the clean bend pipe was in the engine bay. This keeps the snaking curved pipes out of sight which will look better for when/if I relocate the battery out of the engine bay.



(IC flipped backwards to see if it made a difference in fitment for the "correct" way to install" - it didn't)

I ran a super chill sweet no flow cold air intake over some bumpy roads to see what would rattle bounce or come loose (With the IC flipped properly). Everything checked out on the shakedown run.



I had the turbo and manifold setup in the garage to run the oil feed/drain and test fit the manifold. There were some issues with the fitment that worried me, but nothing that I could easily confirm without installing the turbo and manifold on my actual engine in car.

  1. The downpipe seemed to come VERY close to the waterpump outlet. It seemed it would probably interfere with the radiator hose and melt it from contact or radiant heat.
  2. The compressor inlet sits REALLLLLLLY close to the bellhousing/block. Getting a filter on the end, or even a 3" pipe would seem impossible (spoiler alert... it was impossible)


I ended up wrapping the downpipe to the oil pan to help with radiant heat in the area (coolant hose, oil drain, and the charge piping).

With everything finished up by 11am, I ran to a late brunch and enjoyed the nice weather that wasn't snow or freezing rain for once. I enjoyed it enough that I got motivated by a few friends who volunteered some help to finish up the project if I started but couldn't finish it today. I drove back home and somewhat reluctantly put the car on jackstands and got to work.

The exhaust was hot from driving, so I disconnected the flex pipe from the main exhaust and then worked on the top side of the engine. I really only needed to install the oil fitting in the head, so I also took this time to slather some more RTV my oil pan drain fitting.

After I let the engine cool down a bit, I got to work pulling the exhaust manifold off. There was a very stubborn bolt which got to me more than I would care to admit. I really thought for a few minutes that my whole day was going to come to a halt over a single bolt... but I eventually got it out.



I didn't get around to test fitting my coil pack to the bracket with an oil hose in, so I got to work on that first. It was somewhat immediately apparent what needed to be done for the hose to fit. The coil pack bracket was close enough to the oil feed port that my 17mm AN fitting nut was pretty much rubbing on the bracket if I tried to tighten it. I took the angle grinder to the corner and chopped it off in place. I couldn't get my t40 (t45?) in there to loosen the bolt to remove the tab, so I just rotated it backwards. My boost gauge sender has been dangling around, so having this tab will be a perfect mount for it.

Apart from the tab needing to be cut, the coil pack had to be spaced to clear the hose. I was previously running an MSD coil which required spacers to clear, so I had the bolts and spacers kicking around from that. I originally was running 2 spacers under each bolt in the front, but that was overkill and running just one spacer under each bolt was enough to clear the hose.



With the exhaust manifold off it was time to drop the oil pan and install my drain tapped one. I installed a new oil pan somewhat recently and decided that some stainless button head allens would be cool.... they weren't. The material was so soft and I will be replacing all of these back to the original hex head soon. I did find a somewhat alarming sliver of metal in the pan. I'm hoping it was just a dirty drain plug thread from the fresh pan.... There were no metal shavings or other signs of metal from the engine in the oil.



I was pretty much digging myself into a hole if I wanted to be driving the car today. All that was left was to install the turbo and hook up the charge piping really... and I didn't really have much of a choice since I didn't have an AN block off port for the oil pan or cylinder head. I went decided it wouldn't be any easier or harder to undo if I just installed the turbo, so I started in.



It fit.... mostly. There is a hole in the bottom center of the SPA manifold that is hilariously difficult to get to. I ended up taking the manifold off, installing a stud in that hole, measuring the flange thickness and a locking nut thickness, and cutting the stud to size. Stock stud length didn't fit, and stock bolts had no chance of fitting without a massive headache if I ever wanted to remove it.

I also then got to see the compressor inlet fit issue play out finally. I wanted to run a 3" pipe from the inlet over to the bumper and under the charge piping. Reversing the pipes left a nice gap under the driver side bumper cover that would have let a filter tuck in nicely. But no, not happening. The inlet is very close to the bellhousing, and is tucked towards the engine enough that a straight pipe off wasn't possible. I happened to have an Autozone special 3"-2.5" reducer kicking around that fit just about perfect in the gap.



For now, I didn't really have any more pipe or reducers to get a filter attached where I wanted it, but I did have the original SVT throttle body pipe from the kit. This wasn't something useful for the piping I was running, but it worked out perfect to hook up my filter for now.



One note worth mentioning is the CFM PCV delete. I installed this loosely but didn't tighten it. Once I installed the turbo I realized that I couldn't take it out without removing the turbo. I didn't install a gasket as the original Cougar oil separator didn't use a gasket... but I guess the Focus huge oil separator block does. I was debting the gasket and eventually decided to use the one from the focus, but then realized that wasn't possible without pulling the turbo. For now the PCV delete seems to be sealing well enough. Eventually I will try to slit the top of the gasket to feed it in behind the oil separator, or stop being lazy and drop the turbo and install the gasket properly.

Once the turbo was mounted up, I tried to hook up my drain line, which was now too long to fit without kinking. I swapped out the bend AN fitting and installed a straight no extension fitting instead. This was a HUGE mistake. In shorter words than the amount of time it took to figure this out, the replacement fitting sliced away the rubber in the hose and caused a major blockage and leak. I also realized that I failed to teflon tape the turbo feed hose on the turbo side (this is why you shouldn't rush things just because the weather is nice dammit!)

Now showing: 5w20 Synthetic Waterfall


I tried to make a new hose and the fitting started cutting in again so I cut the hose much shorter and went back to the curved neck fitting. So far, no leaks.

Everything seems to be running well enough. I've had a funky fuel injector issue with tuning for the last while, and my IACV is basically dead, but normal driving the car works great. I've taken the car into boost up to 5k at 5psi and it can finally get out of it's own way! Once I've given the car a bit more shakedown for oil leaks and sort out the injector and IACV problems I'll move into more fun.

Hearing spool and blow off again had a goofy smile on my face all weekend while driving. I'm going to eventually move into deeper boost, since I kinda have to having a fully built engine... But for now, I'm driving my dream car build! My built motor boosted in a Focus hatch!

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Boost and RallyCross hasn't been friendly to my OEM quality engine mounts. I've been running a Steeda insert for the torque mount, but the sideways sliding and bumps while throttling out seem to have killed a brand new set of side mounts. Replaced them with Steeda poly and will have another go at it this weekend.



 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've been having coolant hose problems for a while now. Leaky everywhere, and now accelerated with the turbo project.

The proximity of the dump pipe from the wastegate to the cross over tube outlet is pretty bad. I'd like to see the dump pipe a bit more curved towards the turbo manifold and closer to the metal power steering line (which will be relocated anyway). I may fab this later on, though I'm not particularly excited that this is something I'd have to do with a "kit" designed for this car.



I purchased the CFM hose kit a while back. This weekend when going through race checklist, I noticed my coolant tank was basically empty when the engine was warm. I had noticed the temperatures appearing a bit high all week, but this explained why. I decided I was tired of leaky hoses so I did the full install.



I then promptly ruined my fairly clean engine bay racing the most ridiculously muddy RallyX course I've ever seen. Killed 2 couplers, an air filter, an exhaust clamp, an exhaust hanger, and coated everything in the engine bay in some degree of layered sandy mud.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
After last race of dragging around my intercooler, charge pipes, and exhaust, I decided it was time to get back to underbody protection. I didn't plan for turbo piping when originally replacing my radiator support, so when the turbo went on, the skidplate/radiator support project went out. This weekend I spent some time and extended the charge piping in the right direction and twisted my radiator support replacement in just the right amount to fit it all snug.

Out with the cheese, in with the solid.


A nice smash of my charge piping. Didn't notice this until I pulled the pipe for lengthening this weekend. Even more reason for the skid plate


The clearance. I welded on a segment of pipe to reach the IC inlet. I'll bead roll it before the next event, but currently it's just flush connected and not blowing off.


The car as it sits with a massive ground clearance that's all of 5" in the front.... The skid plate will basically be on the ground at all times if the course is double rutted. That's better than the oil pan or exhaust I guess.


I'll be adding 2 hoops to the front of the IC and running the skid just a tad ahead of everything with a ramp to help deflect impacts where possible.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Got the skid plate mounted up this weekend.

For the rear mounts I used some brackets I picked up from my local welding shop for $3 each. I had to trim up the driver side to clear the transmission rib. Considered rounding this out for stress riser issues.. but I think if that part broke, I'd be happier than it taking my subframe or control arm anyway.





The ~30lb skid plate is made from 3/16 steel. Originally I had ideas of bending it, but I only have an angle grinder for getting through this, and the plate steel EATS cut off wheels. I went through 3 wheels down to nubs before deciding to purchase some strips in the right length to weld in instead of doing straight cuts/bending/welding.



I'm going to be lifting the car an inch before the weekend event, and I'm going to lift the mounting points of the skid plate in the front by an inch or so. This will help my currently bottom out happy 6" of clearance with this configuration. If I get ambitious this week, I'll cut the corners of the plate to help with cornering clearance when the car pitches.



 
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Discussion Starter #18
Lifted the skid plate an inch and installed some spring boosters last night. Clearance is much more reasonable now. I'm just about .5" below the exhaust at this point, so I'm in the area of where I'd be dragging anyway.



 
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Discussion Starter #19
Why didn't anyone tell me my passenger side engine mount was installed upside down?!?! Lol..... after staring at a lopsided engine and thinking maybe the Cougar middle timing cover was actually too low (even though I swore they measured exactly the same) I decided to take a closer look. The engine mount was flipped upside down and caused the engine to slant pretty strongly over towards the passenger side. I knew something was off because the drain holes in the spark plug channel are on the driver side... but all the water and mud from washing after races was running to the passenger side....

Anyway. Flipped the mount, installed my new bling valve cover from Massive, and put on the summer wheels.



 
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Discussion Starter #20
After bottom my intercooler out on every single speed bump or slanted driveway ever.... I decided I needed to address the problem. I fabbed up 2 brackets to mount from the bottom of the IC to my skidplate.

The mounts are positioned to rotate the top of the IC forward about 30 degrees. This let me tuck the IC up higher, but will also not crush it between the bumper beam and ground in the event of an impact. There were dents in the top of my IC from bumper impacts and it was only time before a hole developed.

 
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