Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 112 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
hey all

I am driving an ZX4 ST for 2 months now. I gotta say I like the car
but I have a few questions and comments I would like to share. Last year I moved from The Netherlands to Canada. Back in Holland, I was driving an 2001 Alfa Romeo 156 (stock, 2.0 l Twin Spark, 155 bhp, 187 nm torque).
When I started to look for cars here in Canada, I was kinda looking for something
equal (in power) compared to the Alfa I used to own in Holland. I was reading up on the ZX4 ST and noticed that the specs where pretty much the same. I went for a test drive and I bought the car.
NOw this is what I noticed with the ST in comparison with the Alfa I used to own when I was REALLY starting to test the car..
I know the ALfa and the Focus ZX4 ST are completely different (except for the amount of BHP), but I am just wondering what other ST owners can say about this..

- in first and second gear, I notice that the car has a very strong torque up to 4000 rpm, and after that it seems that the car has given everything it's got, not much more pulling. Is this normal with the ST (my ST is stock btw)? With the Alfa, after 4000 thats where all the fun al begins..

- On the highway, in 4th gear, when I shift back to 3rd, and floor it, it seems that I don't get the quick response my Alfa used to give me, it takes quite a while for the ST to start pulling a bit. How do other ST owners experience this?

- WHen I want to pull away very fast, in first gear, I never seem to take off without having wheel spin. I find that it is very easy to create wheel spin with the ST taking off fast in first gear. Again, it seems that all the power and torque are in 1st and 2nd gear, and after that it isn't as exciting anymore.


Sorry guys (and girls??) I hope I make some sense. It is just that especially in 3rd and 4th gear I expected a bit more excitement, but it seems that this is a 1st and 2nd gear car. Don't get me wrong, it is a very very nice car and I am happy I got the ST. Of course, I am not flooring it all the time but you know how that works, every once in a while you want to give a bit more gas just for fun [;)]

I hope that ST owners respond to my post and maybe even giving me some advice..
Thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,530 Posts
The ST's head actually breathes better than the SVT focus' head. The problem is that the stock intake and exhaust system doesn't. lol. This is also why the Duratec responds so well to bolt-ons.

-Yes the car has a lot of low end power coupled with gearing to make it a torquey ride from a stop in 1st gear. But like said above the engine quickly becomes choked and can't breath well enough in the higher RPM. This is the same reason highway power seems lacking.

If you replace your stocker intake with a CAI or SRI it will really move that powerband up in the RPM range while keeping that nice lower end power. If you have seen the stock intake it is around 6 feet long if it didn't have bends. Very long, full of bends and very restrictive.

The stock exhaust is also very restrictive as it has two cats on it. One is attached directly to the exhaust manifold and one is located directly after it. This coupled with a smaller diamter exhaust piping makes for a restrictive exhaust system that limits how much the motor can breathe in the high RPM.

Just getting an intake and exhaust really wakes up the car alot. You will notice the powerband move up in the RPM a little and it becomes much more enjoyable to drive. Add a header and a tune and the fun gets even more-so.

There are two more mods i would recommend for what it seems you are after.

The balance shaft delete kit: This kit basically deletes the balance shafts that are attached to the crankshaft. These shafts rotate the opposite direction of the crankshaft and cancel out some vibrations that transmit to the cabin. Its merely a creature comfort (or nuicance...) and has nothing to do with engine longevity. Just passenger comfort. Removing this will let your motor respond quicker and just make it more enjoyable to drive. The kits run around 30 bucks. focussport.com sells a cosworth kit.

-a polyurethane rear dogbone mount (VF engineering makes an awesome one): This will negate a lot of the front to back engine movement while driving. It makes shifts connect better and more precisely, improves braking and the overall feel of the vehicle. Lends you better control. This mod was honestly the one I felt the biggest improvement with. It was awesome.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
wow jet you were very thorough and you are right the ST really comes alive with a few bolt-on's and a good tune...my power seems strong clear up to 6500 rpm's.[burnout]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
584 Posts
The "stealth CAI" and BSD can both be had for CHEAP. Then you should feel some good pulling from 3-6k. First gear isn't really a running gear. You just have to learn how to launch without too much spin and get into second somewhat early. If you're still on the stock tires, there is a lot of traction to be gained with an upgrade there. There are several good threads here about good winter and summer tires in our sizes. Second gear is where the ST really shines in my opinion. If you want to learn a lot about what your car can do, check out autocross.
 

·
BodyKits=PantiesDrop
Joined
·
13,168 Posts
nice job jet, you are exactly right.

The alfa is known for more high-revving power stock whereas the ST, with its higher displacement has rare (for a NA 4-cyl) low-end torque. I'd imagine the compression is higher in the alfa as well seeing as how the ST is stuck at a lowly 9.7:1 which also explains the better top-end. The stock tires are garbage for grip, which is why they're so easy to spin, in addition to the aforementioned torque.

The breathing mods jetrinka talked about are all you need to do to have an exceedingly enjoyable car, theres very few cars you can bolt on a solid 11whp with just an intake but you got one!

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask any questions! Also don't forget to check out all the "Read First:" articles stickied at the top of this Forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
my st has no problems pulling in 3rd or 4th gear.. weird.. lol

but yeah doing an intake an exhaust will make the car pull very well.. look at my youtube if you wanna see how quick my car was with just an intake and an exhaust. youtube.com/w8lifter1265 and look at the 10-100mph
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would like to thank everyone for their awsome replies.. Especially Jetrinka... thanks so much. Very clear explanation.
So it's worth it to replace the stock CAI for an after market one..
How about the dirt and rain ? Isn't rain/snow and stuff like that going to dirty the
CAI since it is lower to the street ? I am afraid of water coming up my engine or loosing performance with a dirty CAI.
 

·
BodyKits=PantiesDrop
Joined
·
13,168 Posts
if you are worried about it, which where you live i can understand, then look into the Steeda CAI (its actually a short ram, not a true CAI as it is named) from www.steedafocus.com . Thats what i have and love it, will give you a solid 5-7whp and looks beautiful with its CNC's aluminum MAF housing and whatnot...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
yeah if your worried get that.. but with a cai you should be okay.. the k&n i have comes with a "drycharger". its a cover that fits over the filter.. keeps water out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
F2's CAI (do they still make/sell it?) also sits about half as low as all other CAI's out there. I know several people have gone that route instead of FS's or K&N's. Steeda is a name that's out there quite a bit, and is definitely worth a look at.

Then there are also the two (three, sort of) homebrew options, the "Stealth CAI," the "Stealth CAI v.2" (has a 180° bend in it to sit a bit higher), and the "Backwards MAF SRI." Just a little bit of digging will turn them up for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
yeah it can be pretty bad out here, so that's why I am a little afraid mounting a regular CAI. So a short air intake will be a better option in my case I guess. How about when the engine heats up, will the short cam be breathing hot air (since it's closer to the engine) which will result in a loss of performance?
Again, I appreciate all your info... thx for that
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,530 Posts
If you are sitting there the hot air will cause some performance loss usually felt "off the line." It really depends though on where you live. On our hottest summer days here in Seattle (yeah right... hot...) I rarely feel any bogging or power loss unless I have just sat and sat and sat with the motor on like in rush hour or something. Then other people will tell you OMG its horrible the bogging!!!!11!!!!!1111!!..... But look at Warneej. He has the SRI and lives in Florida. So gimme a break. I think its more how you drive the car and where you drive it than anything.

Take a gander at my dyno sheet as well. I have an intake, exhaust, header, and tune as my main power adders and I put down just as much HP and torque as guys out there with a CAI. So honestly its in personal preference.

Some things you can do as well to keep the heat down in the engine compartement.

-Let heat out. By taking off the rear weatherstripping the seals the rear of the hood it lets a ton of heat out of the engine bay. There is a plastic lip that remains there that keeps any water out as well. You really have to try hard to get water in there.

-If you get a header, wrap it. Keeps the heat in the header where it belongs. Just make sure the header is made outta good steel, it is totally dry when you spray it with the protective silicon, and touch it up once in a while. You will be golden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
thx
I kinda like the k&n with a drycharger idea.. all I am worried about is the filter getting dirty and water coming into my engine.
However, the Steeda CAI sounds good too.. Decisions , decisions ..
 

·
Proudly Daily Driven
Joined
·
2,255 Posts
i was just looking over the review of the ST and stock its peak HP is at 4250RPM which would describe your power loss above that....but obviously like everybody is saying with some basic bolt ons you can really wake this car up
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Actually, the peak torque is at 4250RPM, but the peak HP is at 5750... That's why I didn't
understand the loss of power. It doesn't feel like you are hitting 151 hp when I rev up to around 6000 rpm
 

·
Scuba Edition
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
i was just looking over the review of the ST and stock its peak HP is at 4250RPM which would describe your power loss above that....but obviously like everybody is saying with some basic bolt ons you can really wake this car up
Peak TQ is at 4250RPM's. Peak HP for my car stock was 5666RPM's.

Just as a reference here is a picture of my Stock VS Intake/Header/Exhaust dyno sheets.

Power gains at different RPM's are as follows.
14.43WHP @ 5000RPM's
16.92WHP @ 5500RPM's
18.67WHP @ stock peak(5666RPM's)
22.86WHP @ I/H/E peak(5949RPM's)
26.07WHP @ 6500RPM's

FYI: Power is low on the I/H/E one because I have a louvered glass pack that is restricting the exhaust and was on a shitty tune.

 

·
BodyKits=PantiesDrop
Joined
·
13,168 Posts
you don't feel HP anyways...torque is all you feel and HP is a sort of exostensic measurement of it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
hey MightyMouse, I have some questions about your sheet. If I read it correctly, I noticed that your stock whp was around 130 hp? did you gain 20 more hp ?
 

·
Scuba Edition
Joined
·
1,694 Posts
Yes my stock whp was 130. I gained 21whp with by doing a Cold Air Intake, F2 Header, and a 2.5" exhaust with a shitty glass pack. Total increase should be 25+whp.

I edited my previous post to show some different power increases at certain RPM's. I gained 26whp at 6500RPM's. Once I get rid of the shitty glass pack it should be about 30whp gain at 6500RPM's.
 
1 - 20 of 112 Posts
Top