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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I’m leaning towards getting Tom’s tune. My Focus SVT is a 2003. My only engine mod is a K&N drop in filter. And next time I change the oil I’m going to synthetic and a K&N oil filter.

Primarily I want to understand the downside. 42 years of living has taught me that things that seem to be good to be true usually are. Apparently the tune improves performance, increases gas mileage and makes the car sound better. So what are the negatives (or potential negatives)?

1)If they know about it, it voids Ford’s warranty. Of course why is that: a) because if they say it caused the problem, whether it did or not, it gets them out of paying for a warranty claim, b) maybe because it actually does have an impact?

2)Does the tune reduce the life expectancy of the engine & related systems?

3)Tom’s tune is described as conservative. I suppose it’s most unlikely that this type of tune would do harm. Maybe a more “aggressive” tune would be more likely to cause problems?

4)I expect letting a “hack” do the tuning could result in serious consequences? Tom seems to know what he’s doing. He has too many satisfied customers not to. So that shouldn’t be an issue.

5)I asked my Ford dealer if it voided the warranty, duh? He told me that he had personal experience where tuning caused $1,300 worth of damage, including the wiring harness. I didn’t ask specific questions. He didn’t say it was a focus. I probably should have. Can anybody offer input on potential problems?

6)Does the increase in HP put additional strain on other parts…clutch, flywheel, transmission, etc…and cause them to wear more quickly? Apparently many of you have already had clutch problems anyway.

7)Does this increase emissions? Is that one of the sacrifices to gain HP and mpg? Would the car fail emissions testing? Luckily for now VA does not test emissions. I think they do check to make sure you’ve got the proper hardware in place.

I can barely afford the tune (I get a $25/week allowance, stop laughing). So I certainly cannot afford to fix damage, especially $1,300. The car would sit in the garage for 1 year (52 weeks x $25/week = $1,300) while I saved the money to fix it. So I need to be careful.

I guess I’ve learned not to mess with things I know nothing about. Car tuning and electronics fit into that category. It makes me uncomfortable but on the other hand a little improvement would make me even happier with my SVT. Again, I suppose normally there are consequences or sacrifices for these sorts of things. Usually an increase in HP causes a decrease in mpg…no good deed goes unpunished…sex can result in children who are often the greatest joy in life only a split second ahead of being the greatest frustration in life. So what are the downsides?
 

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First off, don't go with the KN filter. It doesn't have the correct anti-drain valve size. Stick with the motorcraft FL-2005 (or something equivilant). As for the tune affecting mileage it probably will......but in a good way. Most people see an increase in mpg. As for the warranty issue, personaly I think it's because Ford doesn't want you to mess with the computer since it controls everything, and if a "hack job" were to tune it, they could blow your engine. With that being said, Tom has an awesome reputation for having none to very minimal issues with his tune. And if there is an issue, he'll be on top of it (you're in safe hands). If you do have to go back to the dealer, you can always reflash the ecu back to stock.

The clutch is an issue, but it seems it's hit or miss on these cars. Some people have gone over 50k with the stocker (some even longer) and some have to change it at 8k. Personally I have 35k on mine, and it holds fine, but SOMETIMES when I first turn on the car I can barely hear the "clutch tsb noise." Once the car is up to temp, the noise goes away.

If you want to enhance drivability and keep it as safe as possible, I would suggest the following to start:

Tune
VF Rear Mount
Ford Racing STS

Hope that helps,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK I searched and I give up: What is Ford Racing STS?

And while I'm at it how does the VF Rear Mount help so much?...I've seen it mentioned a few times.

I already bought the K&N filter and the synthetic oil...all that money for the filter and it doesn't help would the anti-drain valve size issue actually cause it to be worse?
 

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STS = Short Throw Shifter

Do Tom's tune.... dont even hesitate about it.
 

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Never mind
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I saw the older thread in my research. I doesn't address my questions. That thread is a poll about who's tune is the best. I've already worn Tom out through PMs. If I do this it will be with him.

The only way to know if you've chosen the right guy is to buy them all and decide for yourself...since each of us have different driving styles and goals. I like that Tom has a "conservative" approach with improvement across the range. I live close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy "spirited" driving on twisty roads. It sounds like Tom's tune will achieve my goals.

In this thread I am trying to make sure I understand ALL the issues before pulling the trigger. I don't like surprises down-the-road especially if I'm spending about $400 (alot to me, about 1/3 of my annual budget--for all my wants--for the car and otherwise too). I need to make every dollar count.
 

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Have you ever tried a hard 1-2 shift???? Does the gear lever seem not to want to go into gear when you do??? Once you do get it into gear, does it sound like you broke something???

The VF mount and STS will solve that. Pure shifting joy.

The mount keeps the back of engine from shifting under hard acceleration. You will probably get a little vibration at idle, but since you seem to want to get the tune (which you should get right away......like right now.....have you done it yet???) you can always ask Tom to raise the idle to 1000 rpm or so. That will eliminate the vibration.

Happy modding.
May the Focus be with you.....Always
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Evidently I'm not going get these questions answered. My insecurty about messing with the electronics is going to prevent me from doing this until after the warranty has expired. Which is fine. The cars performs better than anything else I've ever owned now so this would've just been icing on the cake. If I start saving my money now by the time the warranty expires maybe I can afford what I really want...the Powerworks SC!

Thanks for the tip on the K&N oil filter. If you go to their website they don't even list an oil filter for the SVT but if you change the parameters to a 2.0L standard Focus you get the one I bought. So it seems they don't acknowledge they sell one for the SVT. So it goes back to the store today and I guess I'll just use the motorcraft one.

And I guess for now I'll just have Ford do the PCM update.
 
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