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Discussion Starter #41
Sticking the same trans that's in their other cars into the focus makes it easier and cheaper for the supply chain, plus something that's proven more reliable in the long run.
Yeah, I'm not quite sure what they were thinking. Not all DCTs are as bad as the DPS6, but the ones that don't suck are almost exclusively wet and not dry. A wet DCT isn't much (if any) more efficient than a modern hydraulic automatic on account of the fluid drag in the DCT and more gear ratios in the auto. They may be simpler and cheaper, but they're heavier and differences in performance are negligible in the vast majority of situations.

I would have loved for the DPS6 to have been a success, but the truth is that it was probably doomed from the beginning. It wasn't especially innovative, so there wasn't any industry-changing potential there. Simply put, there isn't any compelling reason to go with a DCT - wet or dry, DSG or DPS6 - over a slushbox in the overwhelming majority of situations (in a car, anyway). Traditional manual or a modern auto will do what 99% of consumers want.
 

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So I'm on my third clutchpack, which was great for a year and several months, and is now shuddering once again, worse than ever, even from 2nd to third (which it never did before). Two days ago, dry weather, 50-ish degrees, worst day ever. I drove it normally to and from work, doing one errand after work, shuddering the whole time, even getting some of the ratcheting noise I used to get. Next day, rain all day, same temperature 50-ish degrees, IT DROVE FINE. Smooth as silk. Granted, I didn't drive it the one errand extra, but come on. Why would it drive terribly on a cool, dry day as compared to a cool, wet one? This monster is driving me insane.
 

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Yeah...there will be no MK4 in the foreseeable future. Got my hopes up and everything! [:(]
WTH! Seriously? Ahh crap:

https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/future-cars/a22886625/2019-ford-focus-active-dead-us/

This really suks. We love or Foci, my family has two of them. They are the perfect size for us and great on gas. I really did not want to move up to an SUV sized vehicle, even if it was just an Escape. Plus they cost more $$$.

Thanks for setting me straight :)
 

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Discussion Starter #45
The Mazda 3 wagon is a great alternative. I'm actually kicking myself in the ass for not getting that over the focus.
Yep, I had a 2010 Mazda3 hatch which I sold when I got the 2014 Focus. It was better in every way I can imagine (trim, style, fit and finish, little extras, materials, design, performance, made in Japan, etc) except fuel economy. Mazda had been working on their Skyactiv for years and so the engines they were throwing in these cars were old-school and pretty inefficient. It had a 2.5L I4 that got me only upper teens with winter gas.

The 2019 Mazda3 hatch looks almost exactly like the Kai concept and damn, that is a fine-looking car. Pricing should be in the same range as the Focus (SE-Titanium-ST). Better design and better tech for the same price? It's just as well that Ford has bowed out, as they couldn't have competed, anyway.
 

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Yep, I had a 2010 Mazda3 hatch which I sold when I got the 2014 Focus. It was better in every way I can imagine (trim, style, fit and finish, little extras, materials, design, performance, made in Japan, etc) except fuel economy. Mazda had been working on their Skyactiv for years and so the engines they were throwing in these cars were old-school and pretty inefficient. It had a 2.5L I4 that got me only upper teens with winter gas.

The 2019 Mazda3 hatch looks almost exactly like the Kai concept and damn, that is a fine-looking car. Pricing should be in the same range as the Focus (SE-Titanium-ST). Better design and better tech for the same price? It's just as well that Ford has bowed out, as they couldn't have competed, anyway.
I've looked at the Mazda 3's too, and it was the fuel eco that kept me away. And i just read an article describing the Skyactiv X engines that will be in the newer models... up to 40 mpg on the freeway... BUT, holy cow what a complicated engine management system. And its brand new tech. I like to keep cars well past the 100k mark, love going 5-6 years with no car payments :). But something tells me that these new engines might be hard to keep running smoothly in the long run. Great of you lease or swap out your car every 5 years and don't mind having a car payment for the rest of your life.

If I can keep my 2002 Focus (250k miles) on the road for a couple more years I'll probably end up with a used Escape.
 

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I did a search and didn't find a thread that mentions better ground contact, but if I missed it, I apologize.

I try not to rely on one forum for everything and was poking around the Ford Focus subreddit and came across these threads:

DCT shudder mitigation.
2015 SE shudder disappeared temporarily

The idea seems to be that the grounding design is flawed, providing insufficient contact due to the ground point being painted and so contact is only using the bolt. This could cause signal problems for the TCM, producing the shudder when it has no idea what to do, and potentially damaging it over time (and part of the reason the TCM is being replaced so often). Side note: this grounding issue seems to be the cause to some intermittent A/C issues folks have experienced.

The solution is to sand off the paint at the contact point and use some dielectric grease for good measure. The video below provides a demonstration (I've skipped ahead to the demo). In the comments, someone mentioned not sanding off the paint to reduce corrosion, but to add a serrated lock washer to the grease, thereby increasing contact with minimal damage.

Thoughts? There isn't a whole lot of feedback, but of what feedback there is, it's positive. I will say here what I said on reddit: I'm skeptical for the same reason I'm skeptical of Tom's tune. If it's really this easy, I have a hard time reconciling the fact that Ford engineers have completely missed it.

But hey, this "fix" is dirt cheap and shouldn't hurt anything.

Ford Focus & Fiesta Multiple Transmission Problems One Easy Fix

EDIT: fun fact, the YouTube video was done by FordTechMakuloco, who is makuloco2000 on here and the OP of the 2012+ Transmission Shudder Issue Explained thread. The video above was made before he created the thread and as far as I can tell, he never references the video in that thread. Not sure why, but he hasn't been active since April of 2015.
Well, there is another grounding point I found on the front of the trans only visible once the bottom apron is removed. I cleaned both. Still shuddered for about 50 miles but I must say it has been much better. I'm on my third trans and must say I really doubted this fix or approach. But damn, it's been really behaving better than ever before. 400 miles and all is good so far.
 

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This TSB most likely WILL NOT fix shuddering. There's other issues that this TSB addresses better.

Three things contribute to the shuddering.

Most of the shuddering is caused by the leaking input shaft seal. No amount of grounding is going to repair that seal, and these clutches aren't designed to get wet. Dry clutches start to fail, and slip when they get wet.

The second factor is heat. These clutches are not cooled properly. Clutches that are too hot wear very quickly causing them to slip more easily as time goes on.

The third cause of shuddering is TCM programming. Ford programmed these things to behave like a traditional automatic as much as physically possible. That means that they have a tendency to spend a lot of time slipping the clutch in attempts to get smooth starts, crawling, and other things that people like about traditional automatics. The problem is that slipping the clutch heats it up even further, and the now that the clutch is wet from the leaking seal, it doesn't grab like the TCM is expecting it to. That further adds to clutch slipping/shuddering.

Well, how does Tom improve/stop shuddering with a tune then?

A while back I was curious, so I asked him. This was his reply.

"I change a lot of things , times , psi , shift times , slippage allowed and much much more"

It's vague, I know. There's a lot more information here than you would think, though. Two causes of the shuddering are heat, and TCM programming. Tunning can definitely address the TCM programming, and from what I can gleam, help alleviate the heat issue. Not to mention the part where the transmission can be adjusted to suit your driving style better.

Less time with the clutch partially engaged = less heat/wear

The tunning can't make the seal stop leaking, but from what I understand, Tom can adjust the control of the transmission to make it either much less noticable, or cause it to be almost non-existent. I think this also has much to do with the transmission spending more time fully engaged after tunning seeing as it seems like most of the slipping happens when the clutches aren't fully engaged.

I imagine there is probably a few rare cases where the clutches were just too far gone as well.

So yeah, I don't know exactly what Tom does to help with the shuddering, but he's given us a pretty good idea, and I find it to be fairly believable. I actually intend to purchase the tune myself at some point in the near future.
 

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I had this fix done shortly after the TSB came out. I think it helped temporarily just due to the fact that it's unhooking the battery and the TCM has to re-learn the shift strategy. My shudder eventually came back. It's probably still a worthwhile fix if the grounding actually is poor.
I agree that every time i disconnect the battery my shudder goes away temproarily.
Why does relearning solve the problem and if it does why not simply disconnect battery periodically?
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I agree that every time i disconnect the battery my shudder goes away temproarily.
Why does relearning solve the problem and if it does why not simply disconnect battery periodically?
Because while it's "learning", it's essentially in Sport mode, meaning it's not really trying to be smooth. It's gathering data to determine the optimal shifting pattern to maximize fuel economy while providing a smooth, slushbox-like feel.

During this process, shift points occur at a higher rev, and so therefore less frequently. This leads to less feathering (slip), which may feel a bit rougher, but also means less heat and wear on the clutch plates (which are inadequately sized and made of a material that is likely too soft, anyway).

In theory, this is why Tom's tune can work (which is not to say it works for everyone, nor does it seem to be very useful if your clutch plates are already shot). Ford's software is meant to be a one-size-fits-all approach to shift strategy, but there is too much variance in individual DCTs for it to be effective. Sure, it works for some transmissions (which is why you'll hear stories of folks getting 100k+ miles on the original pack), but it's an absolute mess for others (the ones who have clutch packs replaced every 10k miles or so). If done right, Tom's tune is (theoretically) smarter than the stock one from Ford, and is customized to your particular transmission.

This doesn't fix the overarching issue of a poorly-designed transmission with defective components, but it can (again, theoretically) minimize wear and extend the life of the clutch plates. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the tune unless you're 1.) looking for a bit more performance in conjunction with mods of some kind, and/or 2.) have the last clutch pack that Ford is going to put in under warranty (and if this is the case, get the tune sooner than later).
 

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Because while it's "learning", it's essentially in Sport mode, meaning it's not really trying to be smooth. It's gathering data to determine the optimal shifting pattern to maximize fuel economy while providing a smooth, slushbox-like feel.

During this process, shift points occur at a higher rev, and so therefore less frequently. This leads to less feathering (slip), which may feel a bit rougher, but also means less heat and wear on the clutch plates (which are inadequately sized and made of a material that is likely too soft, anyway).

In theory, this is why Tom's tune can work (which is not to say it works for everyone, nor does it seem to be very useful if your clutch plates are already shot). Ford's software is meant to be a one-size-fits-all approach to shift strategy, but there is too much variance in individual DCTs for it to be effective. Sure, it works for some transmissions (which is why you'll hear stories of folks getting 100k+ miles on the original pack), but it's an absolute mess for others (the ones who have clutch packs replaced every 10k miles or so). If done right, Tom's tune is (theoretically) smarter than the stock one from Ford, and is customized to your particular transmission.

This doesn't fix the overarching issue of a poorly-designed transmission with defective components, but it can (again, theoretically) minimize wear and extend the life of the clutch plates. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the tune unless you're 1.) looking for a bit more performance in conjunction with mods of some kind, and/or 2.) have the last clutch pack that Ford is going to put in under warranty (and if this is the case, get the tune sooner than later).
Interesting... Is there a way to force the DCT to stay in Sport mode on non-RS/ST models?
 

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Discussion Starter #56 (Edited)
Interesting... Is there a way to force the DCT to stay in Sport mode on non-RS/ST models?
Yep. If you don't already have SelectShift (which I'm assuming you don't since you're asking about Sport mode), you can enable it via FORscan and then put it in L / Low (which will then be S / Sport on the dash). Replacing the shift knob with Hill Assist to one with SelectShift (which will allow you to select your gear while in Sport mode) is not necessary, but may be worth the $70-80 and 60-90 minutes of your time to do it if that interests you. You can replace the whole assembly (more expensive, but easier) or just the knob (which requires a little rewiring, but is cheaper).

I only did the change in FORscan, no knob replacement. I use Sport in traffic, since it prevents the transmission from shifting with every little change in acceleration. At highway speeds, I move back to Drive to take advantage of the fuel economy since (IIRC) 6th is only available in Drive.
 

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Probably better to do the Forscan mod and use sport mode in the city. There are other things that get reset by disconneting the battery that you are probably better off not resetting.

Losing things like learned fuel trim will impact economy and the life of the catalytic converter. It's also a pain to reset clocks, radio presets and the like.
 

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Funny thing is my mileage GOES UP after battery disconnect.
Why will the catalytic converter get affected? Sorry to be ignorant
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Funny thing is my mileage GOES UP after battery disconnect.
I doubt that. At least, not in any meaningful way.

IIRC, learning is generally complete after a couple of hundred miles (I suppose it depends how many of those require frequent shifting, though). That's not even a full tank. Certainly mileage can differ from tank to tank (and day to day and season to season, etc), so that's not really enough time to see any significant or permanent improvements to mileage.

I'm guessing you're looking at the dash to get your MPG estimate? Some people swear theirs are spot-on; mine has overestimated every single tank since the day I bought the car, and by at least 2MPG (and frequently 3-4MPG). I keep track of my mileage in Fuelly, and my dash MPG calculator is garbage.
 
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