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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a 2011 Focus SES as a commuter. I'm new to these cars but I am not new to upgrading and modifying vehicles. Now, given that it is a commuter and most of my fun money goes into my Jeep, I have limited reasoning and funds for playing with my new purchase. However, I have never driven a vehicle without making it my own, at least to an extent so I'm looking for the cheap/easy stuff for now. I have searched google and I have searched this forum but I am having trouble getting clear answers for what I'm looking to do.

Exhaust resonator delete - from what I'm reading, deeper exhaust note with little-to-no performance noticed…..Is this accurate?

Intake resonator delete - again, more noise with little-to-no performance. Would that the addition of a K&N drop in filter help? Also, what should be done with the open hole in the air box from removing the resonator?

Suspension - I know, this is the DURATEC thread but I thought I'd knock out all my questions in one shot. Not looking to go lower or make this thing track ready, maybe just tighten things up around the corners. My first instinct is sway bars. What would be best for every day driving: front, rear, or both?

Thank you in advance, I look forward to your guys' input. After searching google for answers and seeing this forum pop up time and time again, I know I'm in the right spot.
 

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Resonator delete saves weight, adds a little sound - got that correct.

Drop in filter is worthwhile, resonator delete - not so much.

Rear sway bar helps, helps a LOT if there isn't one already.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Resonator delete saves weight, adds a little sound - got that correct.

Drop in filter is worthwhile, resonator delete - not so much.

Rear sway bar helps, helps a LOT if there isn't one already.
Thanks for the reply! Of course I read it literally 5 minutes after I removed the intake resonator, ha. Oh well, I'll forward to doing the drop in K&N when the OEM gets dirty.

Looking to do the exhaust resonator next week, or whenever I can get into the shop. Should be a quick job. Do you know off hand the size of the OEM exhaust tubing?

If it ends up being the only suspension thing I do, and this car remains a DD/commuter only, what size rear sway bar would be good to go with?
 

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Have you been able to tell if the car has a rear swaybar? a 2011 SES should have come with it ...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Have you been able to tell if the car has a rear swaybar? a 2011 SES should have come with it ...
The dealer info said it had one but we all know how accurate they can be, but I haven't put my eyes on it yet. My thought is if doesn't have one, I still want to put an upgraded sway bar on. I'm not going to spend the money to bring this thing up the highest OEM handling, I want better. But I know I will have to look in case I need the hardware as well.
 

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A SES car has a 22mm front and a 20mm rear. An endlink upgrade and a polyurethane bushing upgrade will help a little. I would look to doing a lower front stress bar too, it's been on my mind
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, so far I've eliminated both the intake and the exhaust resonators. Had about the outcome I was expecting. Really only notice it at higher RPMs. Seems to breathe just a little better and has a little more noise. Which is fine.


The more reading I'm doing, it seems there isn't really any one end-all/be-all component that's going to change my driving experience as far as the suspension is concerned. I may have to look into the SVT package after a while, maybe once the shocks are ready to be replaced. I really wasn't looking to lower it but .5in isn't too drastic. Time will tell I guess. Right now, the Jeep gets the fun money. And I have a hard enough time convincing the wife of that.
 

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You won't even hardly notice a half inch, and once it's done you'll probably end up wanting more. A mild drop of a inch or inch and a half isn't going to really be much noticeable. The best one time mod you can do is tires, and it's really the most over looked thing. A set of good tires will improve everything you want without changing a part on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You won't even hardly notice a half inch, and once it's done you'll probably end up wanting more. A mild drop of a inch or inch and a half isn't going to really be much noticeable. The best one time mod you can do is tires, and it's really the most over looked thing. A set of good tires will improve everything you want without changing a part on the car.
Tires are very important but I'll need a good all season when it comes time to replace the ones I have and they aren't typically known for quenching the thirst of a spirited driver.

I'm a little confused on the SVT kit. It's not listed for MK2s. But here and there I see someone talking about putting it in an MK2. Can anyone shed some light on that?
 

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If you can find one, it's not listed for the MkII's because it's not a direct fit.

The struts are smaller diameter, and need Massive's "Omni Kit" of spacers to fit the knuckle.

If you don't get the version with assembled struts, you'll also need the top hdwe. for an '04 & earlier car to fit the springs. Top spring "hat" and strut bearing are a larger size than used for later cars, yours has a spring with a small top that fits on a combined top hat/bearing assy..

Strut mount itself stays the same, usually replaced anyways while the struts are apart.


Similar changes are often made to fit parts from different years, availability of suspension is best for the earlier models so Massive's adapter is popular. (Spring top mounting is different between '00-'04, '05-'07, '08-'11 - strut size changed in '06)
 

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Your tires are probably going to be one of the most noticeable things you can do. You might waste more money throwing shit at that you don't need when really all you need is better tires. Then again, I have a nearly identical car, and have done all the mods that your looking at. I'm giving you my opinion on the best bang for your buck for what your looking for. Sways bars and great suspension and other mods are not going to do anything if your tires are crap. I bought the tires shown and my cars driving attitude completely changed. Something that sway bars, urathane bushings, toe arms, camber arms, braces all didn't change much.
 

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There are decent high performance all seasons out there, what I'm researching now. Moving to DC next month, so don't really need a dedicated snow tire for winter now (although I'll keep the ones I already have just in case). Was looking at general gmax as-03, a good buy and pretty good reviews. I like spirited driving but won't go to the track ever, so something like that would work. Also the upgrade to larger tires is where I'll get the performance increase
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I love projects but that SVT game sounds more complicated than I can to get with this car. I'm thinking what I might do is just wait until it's time to replace shocks/struts and put something better in, not mess with the springs, and maybe upgrade the rear sway bar in the near future. As for the tires, they were new when I bought the car, they have less than 3K miles on them. But I'll do some research when the time comes for a high(er) performance all season. When you say "larger", how do you mean? Just wider? How much?
 

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I wouldn't go larger at all. 215 is way more contact patch then our cars will ever, ever need. Just a better tire will do.
 

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I have the same car, I threw on all seasons after my OEMs quit. They definitely make more noise and have more roll resistance. Try not to go cheap. Also I moved up to a 2.5" exhaust, worked wonders at high end rpm with a header.
 

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That SVT suspension isn't a great deal for a later model, unless you're stuck on the smallest drop possible with slightly stiffer suspension.

Better to go Eibach for something that'll bolt in easier & is readily avail..

Stick with replacing pieces that you need anyways as the other guys mentioned for the cheapest upgrades.
 
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