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Alright guys, I know Tom is around and a lot of you are very knowledgeable, so I'd like to get a discussion going for my benefit (and any other serious ATX tuners) about building up a decently-quick, daily-driven streetable, reliable ATX Focus.

A little background about my personal situation; I'm 20 and working part-time (nearly fulltime during the summers when classes are out) making alright but not great money. I recently bought a 2002 Mandarin Copper Focus ZTS Mach Audio Edition. I was kinda hoping for a MTX ZX3 but I looked for a month and a half and worked with the biggest Ford dealerships in the area and simply nothing was turning up. This car came across and I was impressed by the low miles, cleanliness and stock style. Anyway, enough rambling; that's what I have.

I've got a couple bolt-ons in the works (exhaust on the way, UDP kit and intake next on deck) and I know the stock ATX is rated to aroud 145 TQ or so before it starts getting unreliable. As I said it's a low-mileage (30k) car and the guy who had it before was a head tech. at a large dealership so I imagine it was kept up and not beaten, so I'm assuming a fairly strong stock tranny.

My plans are to keep at getting the standard bolt-ons and a good 2.5-2.75 drop with the H&R cup kit, and then I want to start looking at some more serious gains. I know at least some of you are are familiar with Lentech (I know Tom is, apparently!). My questions are as follows:

I'm looking at, in a year or 2 when I have the money, going with a S/C. I haven't decided on a brand or anything, but that's the route I want to go because it will give me a good solid F/I boost in WHP/WTQ, and looks to be less expensive than the turbo route (I heard I'd be looking at miniumum $4000 just for a kit, I know Tom's is over 5k) and the Jackson Racing S/C kit at least is around the 2500 mark. I know along with my other mods staying with a fully stock trans. I was looking at Lentech, and I was curious about what I would really need to be looking at getting from them to remain confident on the long-life (as this is my daily driver with years of payments left) of my transmission, if I reach my WHP goal of 190ish. S/C would put me aroud 170-180 along, with boltons making another 20 or so. I didn't know if the valve body would be enough (probably not), would the entry-level from them be enough?


Sorry for the very long post; input is appreciated!
 

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The 4F27E ATX is not rated to 145 TQ...the most you could push it for would be maybe 130 without it dying on you within 1,000 miles. There have been horror stories of them giving out on a stock setup at less than 15,000. My policy on the 4F27E: if its prone to failure on a stock engine, adding power to it is like throwing gasoline on an open fire; you're going to get burned eventually.

With a stock ATX, the most you should expect out of it is the usual set of bolt-ons; I/E/H, UDP, cam gears, mild-grind cams, a TB and 2000 intake. Any form of FI is going to require either a built auto (Lentech) or a MTX swap (it can be done, but it isn't easy.)
 

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Check out my mods. I love the power I am getting. I just saved up and little by little added to the collection. I don't have exact #'s what I make but I know its pretty good. Get a 65mm T/B and you will love the throttle response you will get.
 

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I'm rolling on an ATX SE with an ungodly amount of miles on it...I've asked around about the same matter, and I would like to confirm: going F/I on an ATX is not a good idea. Those Lentech's are the way to go (but damned expensive!!!) if you're looking at going F/I later on down the road.

With a CAI, off road headers, exhaust, UDP, cams, cam gears, 65 mm tb, ported 2000 intake manifold, and an SCT chip (A MUST FOR THE ATX), an ATX Focus should hopefully be around the 14 second range. Dropping and weight reduction will lower times even more, but not my much.
 

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LokiG said:
I'm rolling on an ATX SE with an ungodly amount of miles on it...I've asked around about the same matter, and I would like to confirm: going F/I on an ATX is not a good idea. Those Lentech's are the way to go (but damned expensive!!!) if you're looking at going F/I later on down the road.

With a CAI, off road headers, exhaust, UDP, cams, cam gears, 65 mm tb, ported 2000 intake manifold, and an SCT chip (A MUST FOR THE ATX), an ATX Focus should hopefully be around the 14 second range. Dropping and weight reduction will lower times even more, but not my much.
try mid to upper 15's with FR2's. You will need to drop alot of weight to break the 14's.
 

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whp wise you will top out @ 140....and there you will be pushing it...

realisticly you can go with 125 and be happy with it....
 

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atx is the best way to go with a good tune on the atx youl be getting better numbers than mtx
i dont know why everyone thinks mtx is better, i got this question what do the funny cars and dragsters use? atx but ofcourse a built one. just change the clutches and lip seals and thats it
 

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IZZ said:
i got this question what do the funny cars and dragsters use? atx but ofcourse a built one. just change the clutches and lip seals and thats it
Yeah, and the transmission in a funny car or dragster costs more than your entire Focus...your point?

I seriously doubt you could build a 4F27E to handle any major amount of power (say, over 200 WHP.) You have to get a Lentech for that, and remind us all again how much those are? Which is what makes the MTX so attractive...it can handle serious power and it doesn't cost an arm an a leg. Sure built autos are the best you can get, but for the price of one what else could you do to your car?
 

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I have an autotragic with a volant CAI, FC UDPs, FC Throttle body, JBA Headers(Staying emissions legal), and a magnaflow cat-back. I am also getting the street terminator trans from Lentech. In about a month, I will have my cams and cam gears and then most likely be getting a chip around Christmas.

But as far as your transmission question, You will need to get the street terminator trans if you go over 175 WHP. I just bought the overhaul kit from the street terminator kit and the regular valvebody and street terminator 9 in torque converter. I will hopefully be getting it back next week sometime. I will let you know how it feels and all.
 

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I get you bro. ATX is really not the best tranny to run in a car. My ZX3 is an ATX and for now that's what I got and what Im working with. For now I am building my car even though it's an ATX and Im serious about it. My car may even go turbo with the ATX tranny still on it. If you want some good power while running ATX a couple of bolt ons may help you out for now. Like: a larger Throttle body , Intake system( cold air ) , pulleys , exhaust , header ( not shorty) ,and the mod that helps the ATX the most the all famous and reliable chip. It's known to bring new life and very awesome power to ATX cars. ( SCT and Diablo Sport are the most reccomended around here). Forced induction on ATX cars is a challenge. Modding the ATX tranny is usually more expensive than modding an ATX. But yet and still a well modded ATX tranny can give you a serious edge even against MTX drivers. The ATX tranny is not that bad if you get the hang of it and it can get pretty well built if you buy the right parts( Lentech , Performance Automatics are some of the most well known around ). The supercharger is really not a bad method of gaining power but I would rather go turbo. You can get more power out of a turbo and the turbo is a bit more tuneable than the supercharger it self but if you still wanna go with the S/C Vortech or Jackson Racing are the way to go. With the S/C on I reccomend that you tune your tranny with a torque converter valve cover tranny oil cooler and if you can change your tranny fluid to synthetic or just go with a full race ATX tranny from lentech.

Good Luck to you dude.
It's nice to see other tuners who like to race and mod their ATX tranny and their car at that.
I think youll be fine.
 

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I have an ATX and it has 50K on it, I only have a chip and an intake on it and it runs great, I've only had 1 problem with my ATX..... The filter got dirty, so I changed it [:D]
but it's never slipped or mis-shifted....
Lentech is deffinately the way to go, I'm purchasing the street terminator Valve body myself,
I think it will extend the life of the transmission quite well.....
And I too plan on modding the (sensored) out of my car, evan with the ATX, Lentech will be my buddy....[thumb]
 

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For those that don't know (like me!!!), how much would a Lentech conversion cost? Is it more cost efficient to to a MTX swap, and how much would that cost (ballpark)?
 

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Pkmgarf said:
For those that don't know (like me!!!), how much would a Lentech conversion cost? Is it more cost efficient to to a MTX swap, and how much would that cost (ballpark)?
Im also interested in this. I wanna do all the bolt ons, but Im afraid my tranny wont be able to handle it. If I get a Lentech, Ill just buy a turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's probably cheaper, just slightly, to go with a MTX swap, but if you're going to do serious modding might as well just go with Lentech and get a performance transmission.

They have pricing for 3 trannies...entry-level is rated to 175WHP and costs $1299 I believe, next is rated at 275WHP for around $2000, and then a third is rated for like 400+WHP or something crazy like for $3000+. Check out parts/pricing on their website.
 

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Getting sorta off topic, but what do you think a MTX swap would cost (all the work done by myself, basically cost of parts only)?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm not knowledgeable enough myself about the conversion on a Focus, but granted you did the work yourself (and thus no labor charge) then I would imagine you'd be in the area of $1000...just my guess. I think there's a write-up somewhere here, or maybe over at Focal Jet's Shift-It forum.
 

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Pkmgarf said:
Getting sorta off topic, but what do you think a MTX swap would cost (all the work done by myself, basically cost of parts only)?
It would cost about $1,000 like Trancer said but if you are really serious about modding your ATX why not just buy the Lentech and not worry about it then. MTX is a lot more fun to go shifting around and such but a built ATX can get consistent numbers and you can't screw it up while drag racing. That means when you lose don't make excuses(miss a shift,etc.)[:p]
 

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blackandgold said:
It would cost about $1,000 like Trancer said but if you are really serious about modding your ATX why not just buy the Lentech and not worry about it then. MTX is a lot more fun to go shifting around and such but a built ATX can get consistent numbers and you can't screw it up while drag racing. That means when you lose don't make excuses(miss a shift,etc.)[:p]
Lol cool thanks man. If I wanted all the basic bolt ons and a turbo, would I be fine the entry level Lentech? How long would it last me? What else would I need to upgrade to be able to handle the turbo? Thanks!!!!
 
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