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Spin
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, I'm going to try to explain this the best I can, please bear with me.

I've noticed my Focus exhibits a certain behavior while I accelerate through the gears, a slow drop of RPM during shifting. I've driven other cars and none of them do this, normally you shift and the RPM drop allowing power for the next gear. But with my new stock Focus it feels like driving is awkward and I have to wait and time clutch release to make driving graceful or to get full power out of the gear.

Is this a Focus "problem"? I know my car is new and in perfect shape, but is this a known annoyance that people have overcome in the aftermarket, does any of this make any sense?

[8D]
 

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Retired Fanatic
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I bet you that is just the design of it...... I haven't driven a 2006 myself, well not a manual so I can't comment exactly but I don't recall my 2001 ever having a quick RPM drop at anytime.....
 

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are you pushing it really hard, maybe it needs to be broken in a little?? not too sure though
 

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Spin
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Discussion Starter #4
gitar111 said:
are you pushing it really hard, maybe it needs to be broken in a little?? not too sure though
I'm pushing it a little hard, the harder I push the more the effect. I'm at 3450 miles, I heard the break in period was between 1000-3000 miles, I may have heard wrong.

The only way to describe it is like some extra rev left over from the previous gear, like it needs a little to much time to settle before accelerating in the next gear feels proper. The less I push it the less the effect.
 

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Sückn' n Blown
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Thats normal. Its slow for emissions.
 

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Spin
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Discussion Starter #6
Egz said:
Thats normal. Its slow for emissions.
So you understand what I mean? Most cars I've driven rev up then down at just about the same speed, where as my Focus revs down slower than it revs up.

Now my question to readers of this thread, is there some sort of mod to improve this? [8D]
 

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FF Cleaning Squad
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I have not gotten my 06 done yet but on my 00 a SCT tune helped with the throttle response. I hope to get my SCT retuned soon and will tell you what happens.
 

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Rebecca
2016 Focus ST
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lighter flywheel would significantly help but with 3500 miles, I think it may be a bit out of the question.
 

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Spin
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Discussion Starter #9
Ahhh, throttle response, that could have saved a lot of explaining.

Duffman355 said:
lighter flywheel would significantly help but with 3500 miles, I think it may be a bit out of the question.
Why out of the question?
 

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Idle Air Restrictor

This problem is a slow throttle return to idle RPM between shifts. This is caused by the Idle Air Control solenoid programming, which keeps RPMs up with slow return drop upon closing the throttle. It also causes MTX (5 speed) Duratec's to jump up to 2,200 or 2,400 RPM upon a cold start.

There used to be an Idle Air Restrictor available from FastForward.LTD.com. It works well. They closed up recently but their parent company www.berlinettamotorcars.com might be a contact. See if Nathaniel is still around.
 

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Spin
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Discussion Starter #12
focusin said:
I have not gotten my 06 done yet but on my 00 a SCT tune helped with the throttle response. I hope to get my SCT retuned soon and will tell you what happens.
I'll wait to hear the results.

Dayna2.3 said:
This problem is a slow throttle return to idle RPM between shifts. This is caused by the Idle Air Control solenoid programming, which keeps RPMs up with slow return drop upon closing the throttle. It also causes MTX (5 speed) Duratec's to jump up to 2,200 or 2,400 RPM upon a cold start.

There used to be an Idle Air Restrictor available from FastForward.LTD.com. It works well. They closed up recently but their parent company www.berlinettamotorcars.com might be a contact. See if Nathaniel is still around.
I'll also keep this in mind.
 

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Idle Air Control

Bob,

There are other threads about this topic with much more detail under the Duratec forum.

Also, someone had mentioned that using a SCT X-Cal II tune corrected this problem, but I have never seen this in writing from an SCT dealer or SCT themselves.
 

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i noticed that problem when I first got my car, but now i barely notice it.
 

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Egz said:
Thats normal. Its slow for emissions.
This explains it all, I actually did some searching on the net on this and your correct. There are emissions reasons for this, has to to with the cycle of the exhaust flow, hard to explain, google it and you'll find some answers.

Leads me to believe that the majority of new cars on the road today are programmed and/or designed similar to this.
 

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I thought that in FF mag last year they made a little thing (dont know what its called) to put somewhere to correct this.
 

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^^ rings a bell, I don't recall it completely though and probably not very common as aside from this thread, I don't recall any threads in the past couple years on this forum on this topic.
 

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Spin
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Discussion Starter #20
I hate to bump an old thread, but I wanted to post an article I found detailing this:

SportCompactCarWeb.com

FocusSport Flywheel
Spending time with the Focus has brought some driveability issues to the front of the "things that annoy us" list. Near the top of that list is the sluggish response of the engine when between gears. On the one-two shift, for example, the engine has a tendency to hang on to revs, instead of slowing to where it can match the speed in the next gear. The result is an annoying, Driver's Ed lurch into the next gear. The opposite is true on downshifts, where a quick blip of the throttle should be sufficient to match revs for a lower gear, but the Focus requires a whole leg full of throttle to spin the engine up.

These are actually separate issues caused by separate things. The engine refuses to settle quickly because the idle control valve opens and intentionally holds revs up. This is an emissions control strategy that only seems to exist on American cars. Besides clumsy shifting, this also virtually eliminates engine braking, which adds an uneccesary level of difficulty to driving tasks as diverse as controlling the cornering attitude at the limit and trying to maintain a constant following distance in traffic. Why are American manufacturers the only ones with this problem? It probably has to do with the dominance of automatic transmissions in Detroit; they don't have engine braking either.

The sluggish blip is mostly the fault of an intentionally half-shrouded throttle body that lets very little air past in the first quarter of the throttle's travel. This very progressive throttle is an attempt to prevent the drivetrain from bouncing around on its mounts while crawling through traffic. It works, but for enthusiastic drivers, the throttle response is annoyingly slow.

We managed to dramatically improve both without addressing either cause. Instead, we replaced the massive 21.5-lb flywheel with an Aluminum FocusSport flywheel weighing only 9 lbs. The flywheel is actually a surprisingly complex piece. Besides giving the engine enough inertia to keep spinning at idle and to damp out the individual power strokes, it also has to act as a friction surface for the clutch, and, in the case of the Focus, as a toothed wheel for the crank position sensor.

The ECU monitors engine speed with a Hall-effect sensor that can sense a piece of ferrous metal passing. In many cases, these crank sensors are simply wheels with a series of square teeth cut in them, but on the Focus a series of recesses are drilled into the back of the flywheel and the metal left between each hole is what triggers the sensor. Of course, Hall effect sensors can't see aluminum passing, so with FocusSport's aluminum flywheel, the holes (or more precisely, the metal between the holes) had to be replaced with a series of steel pegs. It's a little more complicated than your average flywheel, but the sensor continues to work perfectly.

Play with the same effective weight formula that we tried on the crank pulley (only now with a radius of 5.5 inches), and you can see that in first gear, swapping to the FocusSport flywheel is like removing over 260 lbs from the car. No surprise, then, that it feels much more lively in first gear. In second, the effect is only about 95 lbs, and by third it's less than 50, but the real benefit of the lighter flywheel isn't the acceleration, it's the dramatic improvement in driveability. Blip the throttle now and it actually revs, upshift quickly and you no longer have Driver's Ed flashbacks. In short, it feels like a normal engine.

In the near future, we plan to tackle the original causes of these problems with a new throttle body and some sort of carefully engineered obstruction to the idle control circuit, but until then, we're quite happy with the flywheel solution.
Keep in mind the article is on a Zetec, but the mannerism seems the same.

I know this is not news to some here, I just wanted to post in case this thread
becomes someones search result...I also think it's interesting. : )

I just have to wait about 26,000 miles, then hope I can afford a new flywheel/clutch.
 
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