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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of taking my 09 focus to the track and was wondering if the car can handle the stress. I have a racing wheels, tires, exhaust, intake and suspension system on my car but am curious if the engine can handle constant laps at full throttle or if the stress on the engine will damage it. Obviously racing quality upgrade parts are recommended (like forged Pistons and crankshaft) but will the OEM parts be ok?

I don't plan on going every weekend or anything but I'd like to try it at least once.
 

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I track my car down the quarter with no issues.

I'm pretty sure it will be fine around a track too. I know a lot of people autocross too even with a stock Focus.
 

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Thinking of taking my 09 focus to the track and was wondering if the car can handle the stress. I have a racing wheels, tires, exhaust, intake and suspension system on my car but am curious if the engine can handle constant laps at full throttle or if the stress on the engine will damage it. Obviously racing quality upgrade parts are recommended (like forged Pistons and crankshaft) but will the OEM parts be ok?

I don't plan on going every weekend or anything but I'd like to try it at least once.
A tune would go a long way for engine safety and adding more performance ,

A wide band air fuel gauge would let you know that the air fuel is safe why on track
Better octane goes a long way for engine safety , a tank of 100 , 93 octane was never ment for long sustained wide open throttle runs

Tom
 

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Your car should be fine. Just keep an eye on your temps and be sure to do a cool-down lap at the end of each heat.

Do each of these before and after your track day:

Oil Change
Gear Oil Change
Detail/Clean


Make sure you keep a tire pressure gauge with you. Over the course of the day your tires can heat up and cool down drastically which will greatly affect the pressure/performance.

Most of all, pay attention to the track referee's advice, they are there to make sure everybody has a good time, and are happy to give you advice on keeping your car running and shiny-side up.
 

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The OEM parts should be fine. I've never owned or driven a naturally aspirated 4cyl that actually needed any special prep or modification beyond tires and brake pads/fluid to run the occasional track day. Especially if the driver does not already have significant previous track/autox experience. Beyond that, just make sure that everything else is in a good to excellent state of repair, with no imminent or deferred maintenance requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great! Thanks for the input everyone. I am looking forward to taking it out. I will change my oil and clean my FSwerks CAI before I go out. I am a tweak when it comes to checking my tire pressure so that shouldn't be an issue. My tires are getting a little worn down so I will use them up at the track then get new ones. I love my Bridgestone Potenza RE-760 Sports
 

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You have changed the Exh and the intake , you should at least know what your WOT air fuel is
Its one thing to make those changes and drive it and play on the street its another to go race it

Tom
 

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Tom, please stop using every post you can find as an opportunity to sell your tune. An intake and an exhaust is not enough to cause a catastrophic melt-down of an engine.
First please show me where I tried to sell him anything , he asked for opinions and I gave him mine

Second do you have any clue what changing the intake and exh does to the fueling on 09-11 Duratec , I do and he needs to check his air fuel

I have not tuned a 09-11 that had intake and exh changed that wasnt lean , crap there lean from the factory there not race cars and to make the best MPG you have to lean them out , even the targeted STFT is set leaner for the 09-11 then the previous years

Are you saying a properly tuned modded engine with higher octane isnt safer then a non tuned 93 octane Focus that your going to race ?

Climb down off your high horse and read what I said not what you want to read into it

Tom
 

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First please show me where I tried to sell him anything , he asked for opinions and I gave him mine
See below


Second do you have any clue what changing the intake and exh does to the fueling on 09-11 Duratec , I do and he needs to check his air fuel
I don't, but if a couple of bolt-on modifications was enough to cause serious damage to a vehicle, then there would be a hell of alot more posts here from upset kids with blown engines.

I have not tuned a 09-11 that had intake and exh changed that wasn't lean , crap there lean from the factory there not race cars and to make the best MPG you have to lean them out , even the targeted STFT is set leaner for the 09-11 then the previous years
So the car is lean from the factory, and your answer is to lean them out even more?

Are you saying a properly tuned modded engine with higher octane isnt safer then a non tuned 93 octane Focus that your going to race ?
Not at all, what I'm saying is that there is a 98% chance that his engine will be fine so long as it has been properly maintained. A custom tune will change that to 99%, which is technically an increase, but a nominal one.

Climb down off your high horse and read what I said not what you want to read into it

Tom
I don't ride horses. Its just annoying that every single post you make is pushing a custom tune as if it is the end-all answer-all solution to every question on this forum.
 

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I don't, but if a couple of bolt-on modifications was enough to cause serious damage to a vehicle, then there would be a hell of alot more posts here from upset kids with blown engines.
There is a lot more blown engines then people post about , I avg 1.5 Focus engines a week through my shop as of Nov 1st , most people are not going to post bad new about blowing there engine and a lot of engines that run lean are not going to blow up but will shorten the life of the engine considerable as a second note to this why add mods that do any harm to an engine and not tune it to get all the potential out of said mods
He changed the intake so more air is going into the engine , the STFT will take care of that for the idle and cruise but what about the WOT , there is nothing to tell the WOT to add more fuel so now what happens ? yep it goes lean

He changed the header so more air is now getting out of the cylinder by scavenging this also leans out the engine , it isnt "couple of bolt-on modifications" like you stated its the mods them self that he did , if it had been a TB UDP I would agree but its the mods that were done not just that a couple mods wer done he should be fine


So the car is lean from the factory, and your answer is to lean them out even more?
Who said I was going to lean it out ? again please read what I said not what you want to read into it , I rarely lean out a tune file and most cases have to add fuel


Not at all, what I'm saying is that there is a 98% chance that his engine will be fine so long as it has been properly maintained. A custom tune will change that to 99%, which is technically an increase, but a nominal one.
98% chance the engine will be fine ? where do you get that from , how many Focus have you tuned , how many have you seen with the AF readings after modding with no tune , I have seen 1000`s and its more like 80% chance he will be fine , now whats fine mean ? that he doesnt blow up his engine , that it runs lean shortens the life of the engine but he makes it home ok , that is doesnt blow this time but 1.5 year later it blows but wouldnt of with a tune ????


I don't ride horses. Its just annoying that every single post you make is pushing a custom tune as if it is the end-all answer-all solution to every question on this forum.
Again I ask show me where I tried to sell ANYTHING in this post and never said anything about a CUSTOM TUNE those are your words , you cant because I didnt and rarely do , I may post that a tune will help but that doesnt mean buy a tune from me or that I am trying to sell one we both know a tune will help his car for safety and performance but you would never admit that now

It wouldnt hurt a thing to add a wide band air fuel gauge and see if his engine is safe , I dont sell air fuel gauges but its a good gauge to have on any modded engine and with his mods in my opinion he should have one and in the end thats all I said from the beginning

Tom
 

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See below




I don't, but if a couple of bolt-on modifications was enough to cause serious damage to a vehicle, then there would be a hell of alot more posts here from upset kids with blown engines.



So the car is lean from the factory, and your answer is to lean them out even more?



Not at all, what I'm saying is that there is a 98% chance that his engine will be fine so long as it has been properly maintained. A custom tune will change that to 99%, which is technically an increase, but a nominal one.



I don't ride horses. Its just annoying that every single post you make is pushing a custom tune as if it is the end-all answer-all solution to every question on this forum.

It is insane how much I agree with this. Everything I just read my come out of those posts should have my car in a ball of flames. I have bolts one and even more with out a tune and my car runs perfectly fine. It scoots down the track and throws a good time every time and does fine on the street when I need it to.
 

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Great! Thanks for the input everyone. I am looking forward to taking it out. I will change my oil and clean my FSwerks CAI before I go out. I am a tweak when it comes to checking my tire pressure so that shouldn't be an issue. My tires are getting a little worn down so I will use them up at the track then get new ones. I love my Bridgestone Potenza RE-760 Sports
That's a start. I would also definitely pick up some high-temp brake fluid to bleed/flush the brake lines with, if you haven't done so recently. A good widely available budget option has always been Valvoline SynPower. For pad I would at least recommend making sure your current pads (and rotors) have plenty of life left, and not get overly aggressive with late braking. If you continue doing track days, you'll definitely want/need to upgrade to higher performance pads as you gain experience and speed.

Don't get me wrong, as I won't deny that there are certainly benefits to a good tune. But I would find it much easier to buy into the relatively extreme air/fuel ratio fears that are being sold here, if details and explanations backing up the claims were also being shared to the greater benefit of genuinely educating the community and potential customers...Rather than just a superiority complex, which tends to ring pretty hollow. Recommending an air/fuel ratio gauge (or tune) first and foremost, for novice light track use on a naturally aspirated street car with just an intake and exhaust is definitely new to me. I would love to have an nice objective discussion to learn more about exactly how and why it might , or might not, be so much more of a problem on these cars than others. But I'm also still waiting for the same from the discussion about 2.5L head being too big...So forgive me if I don't hold my breath.
 

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Driven5 is onto the main concerns here, fresh oil & brake fluid plus a set of pads are more in line with typical prep. for a first track day experience.

I'm seeing Tom mention a header, if I read the OP's original post right he doesn't have one - just a new exh. system. If I'm reading it wrong, going to the track WITHOUT tuning/A/F check wouldn't be advisable IMHO.

Track days are a different environment than going to the drags, from the original post I assume that's what the OP has in mind. Even so, full throttle will be quite limited during a first experience - second day or future track days will use it a lot more.
 

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tom fattened me up to the point of being santa claus I don't have a aem a/f gauge so we both don't know how rich or lean I'm running so he decided to be safe and richen me up still getting pretty good fuel milage I am throwing some black smoke though but that's just a given.
 

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Tom, please stop using every post you can find as an opportunity to sell your tune. An intake and an exhaust is not enough to cause a catastrophic melt-down of an engine.
Why are you even here?
 

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It is insane how much I agree with this. Everything I just read my come out of those posts should have my car in a ball of flames. I have bolts one and even more with out a tune and my car runs perfectly fine. It scoots down the track and throws a good time every time and does fine on the street when I need it to.
You agree with the wrong person...
Just because your car seems fine, doesn't mean it is. I'm sure you've done plenty of damage to your car that just hasn't reached the surface yet.

To the OP - if you are going to run sustained engine speeds for any amount of time on a track with those mods, you should definitely have a tune.

I tracked my Mustang several years ago and my tune is probably the only reason the car survived what I put it through. If you talk to anyone else who tracks a daily-driven vehicle, they will likely say the same thing.
 

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You agree with the wrong person...
Just because your car seems fine, doesn't mean it is. I'm sure you've done plenty of damage to your car that just hasn't reached the surface yet.

To the OP - if you are going to run sustained engine speeds for any amount of time on a track with those mods, you should definitely have a tune.

I tracked my Mustang several years ago and my tune is probably the only reason the car survived what I put it through. If you talk to anyone else who tracks a daily-driven vehicle, they will likely say the same thing.
I've tracked every single vehicle i've owned. Many of them have had bolt-on mods, and I've never had any trouble - My first focus was totaled at 160k miles and 30+ track days. I tracked my SVT with an intake and exhaust. I've tracked my motorcycle with an intake and exhaust. None of the above had any custom tuning done.


For what it's worth though, I never did race on an oval-course, so I never did have "sustained engine speeds".

I just made sure to keep up on maintenance and never had a problem.


Again, for the record: I'm not saying that a custom tune isnt helpful, but I am saying that it's not a necessity when you have a couple basic bolt-on's on a daily driver.
 

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To the op= Enjoy your time at the track & pay attention & race the track.
 

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Not going to take part of arguments going on here but the Focus community is lucky to have great 1 on 1 tuning from people like Tom. The same can't be said for other communities who are offered subpar canned/bench tunes and those "tuners" think they are gods because nobody else cares to offer competition for the platform as it isn't popular (the Dart).. I did 7 back to back runs (9 in total) with Toms tune at the local dragstrip which I wouldn't do on any stock tune on any stock car and the car was nice and cool with safe AFRs. I don't think Tom was trying to sell his tune, he was basically saying get any dependable tune over stock even if it isn't his tune. Which I highly agree with, these modern cars are so sensitive to mods it's not funny.
 
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