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I've been debating posting this question but I decided to ask...

My wife has ok'd a ONE TIME budget for me to get some work done to my car. As it sits now, it is stock except for lowering springs. The car is my daily driver and my typical commute to the office is about 5 miles on a 55 mph two lane state road with little room for fun. I do, however, plan to continue to autocross and get back to track events next year.

The above being said, I initially was looking at the Cobb Stage 2+ (link: COBB Power Package Stage 2+ Silver Focus RS 2016-2018) because it has everything together easily. Plus, if I buy the same thing from Stratified it comes with a custom tune. Upon further investigation, there's a little disclaimer on the Stage 2+ page that reads "Due to the substantial restriction in the factory turbine-housing on all stock Focus RS turbo configurations, there will be no consistent power gains between Stage 2 and Stage 2+ maps and parts. Therefore, the main focus for installing the Stage 2+ Power Package is for the improved exhaust tone, but it will also effectively prepare the car to make optimal power for those that want to upgrade the factory turbo system". Unless my engine blows up I do not plan to upgrade the engine or turbo so that lead me to wonder if the Stage 2 was more appropriate (link: COBB Power Package Stage 2 Black Focus RS 2016-2018).

I would like to replace my clutch and all relevant components after the OEM getting stuck on me the other day and Ford not wanting to fix it. I'd rather replace it all and hope I never bump into the issue again. I was looking at ACT kits (link: https://www.focusrsshop.com/focus-r...-hd-performance-street-sprung-clutch-kit.html).

On my wish list is also a skid plate (ADF) and hood struts. What I need your help with is helping me make sure I maximize this one time event. Should I consider:
  • Wastegate actuator
  • Blow off valve
  • Recirc valve
  • If I get the regular Stage 2 with no exhaust, should I still replace the exhaust and leave the OEM downpipe (am I leaving easy performance gains on the table)? Note I am not looking for loudness gains, I prefer a sleeper setup. My tune will have burbles, which I love, but keep pops to minimum levels to retain RS status!
  • What else am I missing?

I do not need to do brakes/rotors/tires as I have convinced my wife those are part of routine maintenance and I can replace in the spring before the season starts. My budget for this is about $8k with a little wiggle room if necessary. Note that I will have a mechanic installing all this so I need to factor in labor costs which I estimate at about $2,250 (again, let me know if I'm wrong).

Apologies for the long winded question, but I appreciate all I've learned reading these threads.
 

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You can go cheaper if you piece meal your own Stage 2 package, the CF intake is the one that's making it expensive.

the blow off valve will replace the recirc valve if you want to have it release to atmosphere.

$8K is a lot of a budget, I am sure you can a lot out of it.
 
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The car is my daily driver and my typical commute to the office is about 5 miles on a 55 mph two lane state road with little room for fun. I do, however, plan to continue to autocross and get back to track events next year.
Given everything you said above and your intended purpose:
-I think the Cobb stage 2 would be a good start, should give you the additional "pep" on your short commute. Installation of the intercooler, pipes and rear motor mount will be the bulk of the labor. Definitely opt for getting it from Stratified for the custom tuning. I would honestly skip the exhaust parts from the "2+" kit since, as Stratified mentioned, it's more for sound and it sounds like you're not a fan of that anyway. Plus, installation of those two parts, specially the down pipe, will substantially add to your labor cost. I would leave exhaust stock.
-Clutch: I can honestly say I have never "met" and aftermarket clutch I liked. If it were me, I would go with another OEM clutch, but YMMV. Also, maybe opt for a limited slip diff (for autox) while you're in there. Do note, this would also be a labor intensive job, I was quoted $1k when I looked into it a few months ago.
-Wastegate: If you want more performance, sure, this would be good to drop in along with your custom tune. Be warned, this one is also a pain to install, so it will add to your labor cost.
-Blow-off valve vs recirc valve: all personal taste (noise vs no noise), but this won't add to performance and it's a relatively easy part to install.
-Other suggestions: I would factor in cost of marriage counseling as well (j/k). But being completely honest, it's worth a chat with your partner that this "one time deal" thing might not be healthy. Seeing your post sounds a lot like somebody getting a "hall pass" to "get it out of their system" type of deal. Can you honestly be happy with this one "bender"? Will it really be enough and be "just this one time"? It's really just better to set expectations and have a clear understanding between the two of you and the reasons behind it.
 

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Once you start modding, it's hard to stop.
 

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-Other suggestions: I would factor in cost of marriage counseling as well (j/k). But being completely honest, it's worth a chat with your partner that this "one time deal" thing might not be healthy. Seeing your post sounds a lot like somebody getting a "hall pass" to "get it out of their system" type of deal. Can you honestly be happy with this one "bender"? Will it really be enough and be "just this one time"? It's really just better to set expectations and have a clear understanding between the two of you and the reasons behind it.
Appreciate your thoughts. My wife is very supportive of my hobbies. Problem is I tend to move on to new hobbies often. If I prove to her that this is one that will stick, future budgets won't be an issue, I just don't think I'd get a huge bucket all at once. Here and there, sure. And, to your point, taking a lot of stuff apart at once I'm trying to jam as much work in as possible. I've also never modded a car before so I am learning all this on the fly.
 

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Appreciate your thoughts. My wife is very supportive of my hobbies. Problem is I tend to move on to new hobbies often. If I prove to her that this is one that will stick, future budgets won't be an issue, I just don't think I'd get a huge bucket all at once. Here and there, sure. And, to your point, taking a lot of stuff apart at once I'm trying to jam as much work in as possible. I've also never modded a car before so I am learning all this on the fly.
Agreed and glad to hear you have a supportive partner. I enjoy DIY, so I like the long and slow "build-up".

Since you're new, if you're willing to learn a few things a bout the car, I think you can benefit from piecing your kit together and installing those "little things". The blow-off /recirc valve might be a good start.
 

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Agreed and glad to hear you have a supportive partner. I enjoy DIY, so I like the long and slow "build-up".

Since you're new, if you're willing to learn a few things a bout the car, I think you can benefit from piecing your kit together and installing those "little things". The blow-off /recirc valve might be a good start.
I envy handy people. I don't think handy people understand how inept those of us who aren't handy are. I get you need to learn but I am as beyond hope as they get. I put those decals on my car last week and I was outside for 2 hours pushing and manipulating that sticker so it was just right. Maybe there's a touch of OCD mixed in with my inability but it's just bad, bad news any time I get near tools.
 

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I envy handy people. I don't think handy people understand how inept those of us who aren't handy are. I get you need to learn but I am as beyond hope as they get. I put those decals on my car last week and I was outside for 2 hours pushing and manipulating that sticker so it was just right. Maybe there's a touch of OCD mixed in with my inability but it's just bad, bad news any time I get near tools.

Where you at?
 

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@BMoneyMan great list and great questions. I think you’re definitely on the right track. From my own experience I’d skip an exhaust. 99% of focus systems (whether ST or RS) are extremely drone bias and in my personal opinion don’t sound very good at wide open throttle. I run the stock exhaust with a catless downpipe, and it’s an amazing blend of quiet when cruising, but loud when you get on it. Though a catted downpipe would probably be best. If it were just an autox car or weekend cruiser it would be fine, but the daily slog to/from work can get a little tiring with a full system.

everything else on your list seems great. Cobb accessport with tune, blow off valve, rear motor mount, air filter (and sound suppression chamber) and an intercooler and you’ll be laughing! I wouldn’t be super worried about the intake/wastegate actuator too much if cost is a factor.
 

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Maryland. 30 minutes outside of Baltimore.
Man, If you were in SoCal.... we could have wrench during the weekend and a six pack.....

The RMM, air filter, recirc (or BOV), SSC (I plan to take mine off, prefer Cobb's SSC than Mountune) are a half a day thing... and that's taking it really slow.

It's fairly easy to do those.

Me I just need the time to do my other parts (TS wastegate, FMIC and pipes, etc.) been helping my nephew on his MazdaSpeed6 and plumbing at my sister's bathroom... which I'll be doing her other bathroom this coming weekend.
 

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Quick question.
I haven't seen any DIY here showing how to remove the front passenger/driver seat.
I found this video and its for the MK3 Focus.
Just want to know if it will apply to the RS as well.
 

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Quick question.
I haven't seen any DIY here showing how to remove the front passenger/driver seat.
I found this video and its for the MK3 Focus.
Just want to know if it will apply to the RS as well.
It's close, but not accurate. Instead of the 4 torx bolts on the 4 corners, it's just regular bolts I believe. You don't have to unscrew the wiring harness like they show. It will be a latching type near the middle of the seat instead of off to the side. It's really not very complicated.

Main thing to keep in mind is disconnecting the battery and allowing some time to discharge so that there is no chance of the airbags deploying.
 

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It's close, but not accurate. Instead of the 4 torx bolts on the 4 corners, it's just regular bolts I believe. You don't have to unscrew the wiring harness like they show. It will be a latching type near the middle of the seat instead of off to the side. It's really not very complicated.

Main thing to keep in mind is disconnecting the battery and allowing some time to discharge so that there is no chance of the airbags deploying.

You dont want to get "popcorned".
 
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I saw the Ford tech pull my driver seat out without even popping the hood and asked if he should have disconnected the battery first.

Seems like this step was not part of his manual’s instructions. I would have disconnected it if I had done it myself just in case.

No popcorn although it would have been on their cost at least being in the shop!

Edit: Mine was driver seat, he pulled it out from driver front door and managed not to hit the steering wheel, I remember another thread where someone had pulled it at the back through the rear hatch (rear seats down obviously) which is probably what I would have tried to minimize risk of hitting the steering wheel or door inner panels.
 

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I saw the Ford tech pull my driver seat out without even popping the hood and asked if he should have disconnected the battery first.

Seems like this step was not part of his manual’s instructions. I would have disconnected it if I had done it myself just in case.

No popcorn although it would have been on their cost at least being in the shop!

Edit: Mine was driver seat, he pulled it out from driver front door and managed not to hit the steering wheel, I remember another thread where someone had pulled it at the back through the rear hatch (rear seats down obviously) which is probably what I would have tried to minimize risk of hitting the steering wheel or door inner panels.
If I recall correctly, the shop manual actually goes a step farther and has a procedure of bridging a circuit with a jumper tool to discharge any remaining charge in the system. After install, it also makes you use a similar tool to turn on the car from the engine compartment to ensure that no body is in the seat if the air bags were to deploy. I'm lazy, so I just disconnect the battery for a few hours before working on it.

I tried pulling it out of the driver seat first time I did it, but the seat base mounts have sharp edges that cut into the plastic lower door trims. I found it easier to recline the seat so it's somewhat flat and then thread it out of the rear door.
 

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If I recall correctly, the shop manual actually goes a step farther and has a procedure of bridging a circuit with a jumper tool to discharge any remaining charge in the system. After install, it also makes you use a similar tool to turn on the car from the engine compartment to ensure that no body is in the seat if the air bags were to deploy. I'm lazy, so I just disconnect the battery for a few hours before working on it.

I tried pulling it out of the driver seat first time I did it, but the seat base mounts have sharp edges that cut into the plastic lower door trims. I found it easier to recline the seat so it's somewhat flat and then thread it out of the rear door.
Wow I guess they just skipped that part! I’m happy it didnt blow it would have taken forever to have a replacement again!
 

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Ever see an airbag blow? We were at a demolition derby, one got missed and passed tech insp. It was like a shotgun blast! They had to help the guy out of his seat. (AOK)
Crowd pleaser!
Story time: I was 16 in my first car (92 plymouth sundance). Was following too closely behind a Bronco when they had to hit the brakes suddenly because someone was jay walking crossing the street. I slammed on my brakes but not fast enough and plowed right into his rear bumper. The impact was slow enough that it barely scuffed their bumper but it crunched my front end. After impact, I had enough time to settle down and realize what just happened, turn to my passenger (my then girlfriend, now wife) to check if she was ok and....BLAM! air bag deploys and sucker punches me in the face. This had to have been at least 5-10 seconds after impact. I had a black eye, fat bruise on my chin and burns all over my cheek and neck.

I rebuilt the front end with wrecker parts, took that steering wheel off and never reinstalled another air bag and installed a racing wheel instead. It was my rallycross car for the rest of the summer.

tapatalk_1538775735069.jpeg


Long story short, I don't trust air bags anymore and will never f*ck with em.
 

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I have some questions for those of you running e30/40:

1. Do you use 13.4 gallons or 13.9 gallons for tank size? There is a discrepancy between Ford Media and the workshop manual.

2. If the pump says 93 octane contains up to 10% ethanol, do you automatically assume it's 10% when putting it in the calculator?

3. Do you fill up when exactly at half or a quarter tank to make the math easy off whatever number you use in question 1?
 
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