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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys I've been a member here on FF for a year now. Originally I joined this site just to get answers to some small things on my focus like changing light bulbs, sync help, and other small stuff. Modding was never in my plans at the start but the mod bug hit me hard after scrolling through all the DIY threads on here. So I've changed my focus a lot since I've joined here and have finally decided to start a build thread starting from day 1 to present. There is a lot to upload so bear with me as I try to organize all of my mods as best as i can in the correct order. I have a bunch of pics to upload right now and I will continually update the thread as I add more mods in the future because I have big plans for this car! Feel free to ask any questions about any of the mods you see and I hope you guys enjoy! [loveff]

So this is my Focus (Sharon) the day I got her in May of 2012. I live in Louisville, KY but no dealers had the right options I wanted (5 Speed, Sport package, Moonroof, Fogs, Spoiler, Auto lights, 17" Black wheels) so we had this one delivered from West Virginia.
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From the get-go something about the front end just didn't seem right to me so I went through a phase of playing with plasti-dip until I could get the front to a point where I was happy.
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Since I still had extra dip left over from the front I decided to do the spoiler and begin my war on the chrome starting with the rear emblems. I decided there I would try to turn as much of the chrome to black as I could and do a red on black theme with the car.
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Still bit with the plasti-dip bug I began to experiment with hood strips and continued my attack on the chrome with the grill whiskers and fog-light bezels.
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The hood stripes grew old quickly and were gone within a week or two.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
So next on my list was to Paint match the side skirts. I really liked the look as it made the car appear to be lower. Right about that time my lovely girlfriend tinted my car for my birthday.[like]
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A week or so later I purchased a new muffler tip as I absolutely HATE the stock one that ford put on these cars. Now my sights narrowed in on the ugly chrome headlights. I didnt want to shell out $400 on new headlights so I did the economical thing and brought my car back to the tint shop with some laminX Headlight tint I purchased off of ebay. They put it on for $70 and the outcome was great. Also played around with the grill scheme a little bit more and dippd my gas cap.
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The new grill scheme didn't stick around for long and I decided I liked the stock grill look better after all. [duh]
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Continuing with my Black out theme I used VHT nightshade on the taillights and dipped the strip in between them. It was quickly brought to my attention that my car looked like zoro with the strip and it was promptly removed. I also decided to paint my rear valance, an idea I got from paparacer on here.
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I tried to finalize my war on the chrome by changing the silver accents on the wheels to red but it was too much work and didn't turn out the way I had envisioned.
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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
My last aesthetic mod to date was the painting of my brake calipers gloss red. I used the duplicolor brush on kit for this and I'm very happy with how they turned out. I also added little" Powered by ford" chrome emblems on the front quarter panels to tie in the silver from the wheels.
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Now that I was done with my aesthetic mods it was time for me to start putting on some small "performance" mods before FocusFest 2014 this year. I started with the K&N Typhoon intake system. Also I remover the stock snorkel and the lower grill pieces in the triangles. Not so much of a power mod but the sound is awesome and throttle response was improved. 20140829_143049.jpg
Next came the RMM. I went with the E focus RMM for it's price, oem fit and finish, and because I didn't want a lot of vibrations. This was by far the easiest mod and made my 5 speed feel much better racking though the gears.
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Here are a couple photos I took from autcross at FocusFest this past year. Had a blast and ended with a time of 39.929, which was the fastest for the stock mk3 class.[driving] (Ford motor company actually used the 2nd picture on their social media outlets)
Here is a clip of my first run ever at Autocross, sorry for the video quality-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SITRLwNGVPA
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After FocusFest I took some time away from modding until I came across a great deal on a FSWERKS race exhaust from a FF member. It went on this past week and the link to the write up is here: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=470321. The exhaust is LOUD but I like the low rumble and it definitely added some ponies in the top end.
Here is an exhaust clip, sorry but it was recorded on my phone so sound could be better-http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz_fDlgO1is
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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That's pretty much all I have done to date. Future mods are lowering springs, new sway bars and end links, loder front lip, 3d carbon side skirts and rear valance, and slotted rotors front and back along with braided brake lines. Really trying to get my car competitive for autocross. Here is how she sits now.
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64 Posts
lesson learned... less is more when it comes to plastidip haha!

cars looking good, its come a long way from stock! keep it up and ill keep you updated on dyno numbers when i get everything tuned
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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13,111 Posts
I do like the dipped spoiler and headlight and tail light tint.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! I did the tail lights because that's how the car looks in the owners manual. The dip on the spoiler makes it much more noticeable, and I couldn't stand the chrome headlights.
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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13,111 Posts
Looking into getting a CAI. AEM, volant, or K&N. How do you like yours?
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've owned 2 K&N CAIs and I'll probably buy another some day. They are great products that are well made. Install is easy and they look and sound awesome. As far as performance goes any CAI isn't going to give you much in the form of noticeable gains, but I can say throttle response is increased. Oh, and did I mention the noise!
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
lesson learned... less is more when it comes to plastidip haha!

cars looking good, its come a long way from stock! keep it up and ill keep you updated on dyno numbers when i get everything tuned
Less is definitely more. I think most everyone goes through a plastidip or wrapping phase then realizes that oem+ was the look they wanted all along.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys I had the day off today so I decided to take care of a couple projects on my to-do list (besides wash the car[:I]).

First up was the task of removing the chipped paint on my side skirts. For this I went out and bought a giant tub of lacquer thinner, some 1000grit wet sandpaper, and approximately 12 towels from autozone. The process probably took about an hour or two but I successfully removed all the paint from my skirts. I managed to only get lacquer thinner in my eye once the whole time. [facepalm]
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You may have noticed I also added door trim, Which I also picked up at autozone. Normally door trim is not my style but I had to use it for the exhaust cutout I made in my rear valance and it only came in a roll of 18ft so I figured why not. I also added the extra trim to the front of the hood and trunk edge which came out nicely.
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Exhaust cutout-
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Since I was on the theme of utilizing my extra supplies I figured why not put the can of red plasti I had leftover from my wheel experiment, and the can of premium clear coat from my side skirts and valance, and try my hand at some of the interior trim pieces. I'm pretty pleased with the results and will be finishing it up with some carbon fiber wrapping soon. Not sure which red pieces I'll keep and which ones I'll change to CF.
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There is still more to come so make sure to check in. I'll be sure to post all the upcoming mods to here. Feel free to chime in with any suggestions or comments guys![twothumbs]
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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13,111 Posts
I haven't put it in my thread yet but the plastidip won't stay on your door handles. It will look good for a couple of days and then but as more contact hits it you will see it start to peel where you open the door at. I don't have any idea how to do vinyl wrapping but I'd like to try it.Where it peeled I actually peeled it off and then put some spare nightshade on. keeps it glossy and doesn't come off. I also did the air vents and have had no problems with them at all.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Did you just do plasti-dip or did you seal it with clear-coat enamel too?
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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13,111 Posts
I put 3-4 coats on it. No enamel as i didn't have any at the house. It was just one of those days when I didn't have anything to do but get in trouble with my car.

I didn't think about clear coating it.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Yeah I did about 6 coats of plasti and another 4 coats of clear on top to try and increase the longevity. I'll let you know how it holds up.
 

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FWIW...the exterior doesn't get any better than this. Just beautiful. Also, I'll be the first one to look at fuel door blackouts and say "WTF", but in this case it works.

As to your interior, I would lose the red. I am biased to the more austere look of BMW interiors. Like you, I have the SE trim, and I just swapped all the silver colored interior trim pieces with OEM flat black trim from the "S" model. Pictures are posted on here.

Finally, get a short throw shifter. In addition to a much improved driving experience, the aesthetic improvement will leave you stoked.
 

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The ImpoSTer
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2,285 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The short throw kit is on my list, though its behind bigger ticket items like springs and the rear sway bar. In the meantime I plan on lowering the position of the stock shifter by re-threading it lower. I'll probably get to that sometime today. As far as the interior I plan on removing the red from the vents and wrapping them in Carbon fiber wrap. I'll also wrap the faceplate near the AC controls and the outer-most silver piece that wraps around the shift column. I'm toying with the idea of making the innermost shift piece red to tie in the door handles that I'm keeping red.
 

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8 DAY HOMECOMING
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13,111 Posts
Ooh carbon fiber would look good with all the other different colors of gray and black in the cabin!
 

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Adam
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Subtly color splash on the interior looks the best imo. I keep blue to the door grabs like you, and some vinyl on the center of the steering wheel (because racecar lol). Love the painted sideskirts/valence. [thumb]
 

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Side skirts

I'm looking to paint my side skirts as well, but 2 separate body shops turned the job down saying paint just won't adhere properly to the textured plastic. I see you needed to strip yours off too. Are you planning on trying it again differently, or just sticking with black?

On ebay you can get a pair of unpainted ST style skirts for $130 which I might do.

Oh btw, I had the same idea for the front grill! I taped it up with flat black electrical tape to see if I liked it that way before making it permanent and I love it. I'm not a fan of the SE OEM grill. BUT, it sounds like this plastidip stuff would be the way to go just in case I want to reverse it.
 
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