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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking into upgrading my 2017 RS for a few months now and figured I would get some feedback from people who know what they are doing before I go and spend thousands of dollars on mods that don't do what I'm looking for.

I've worked on older trucks a good bit so I know more than the average person and I want to install these mods myself, but I haven't worked on newer vehicles to a large extent. I'm in Colorado so generally cooler weather but we can have some hot days, and it's generally very dry and of course the high altitude needs to be considered. I'm running 91, but I'm interested in learning more about E30-E85 mixes and figuring out how that would work; plenty of E85 available nearby. This is my daily driver, and I'm not looking to boost it up to 500hp, but getting that lower gear torque up to 400+ would be awesome. It may be worth noting that my RS has ~38k miles on it. Budget is flexible, but I think I want to stay somewhere below 3k for now. Maybe after this first upgrade I'll become addicted and want to spend more.

Currently, I'm considering the Mountune kits as they are kind of an all-in-one package that suggests I can get a large performance increase, but I'm curious to hear what others have to say/suggest.

Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport B3 Package - Ford Focus RS Power & Performance Upgrade
The B3 package looks basic but it has the rear motor mount, the accessport, and the high flow air intake and filter that I've read are all good places to start.

Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport B5 Package - Mountune USA
The B5 includes the intercooler, but I was curious if an aftermarket intercooler is that significant of an upgrade over oem, specifically in Colorado where it is dryer and cooler.

Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport B7 Package - Mountune USA
The B7 includes the intercooler and the charge pipe, but I'm hesitant on this simply because I just have 4 basic jack stands to raise the car up just enough for me to get under it. Upgrading the charge pipes looks like it would be incredibly difficult with just that little space.

The accessport comes with some tunes already on it, but should I bring it to a dyno after the install? Is the accessport tunes going to consider the higher elevation/etc?
 

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I would just start looking around the forum and using that search box up top on any parts you're interested in ie intercooler, E30, etc.

A couple links to get you started since I'm too lazy
Fuel blends - Fuel choices explained?
Cobb AP and tuning - COBB AP vs Dyno tune?

Regarding your questions:
You might still benefit from an intercooler considering the elevation since the turbo will be spooling up more to meet the torque request (another thing I would recommend searching on the search box). It really depends on your intended use.

The charge pipes are totally doable with jack stands. I had the most trouble with the hot-side pipes (mostly due to my uhh..."girth") but a second set of hands helping up top really helped.

The AP OTS tunes ("off the shelf" tunes that come with it) already accounts for elevation, just like the OEM ecu programming does, but a custom tune (via dyno or e-tune) will optimize your car for the elevation you are at and fuel you use.
 

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I've been looking into upgrading my 2017 RS for a few months now and figured I would get some feedback from people who know what they are doing before I go and spend thousands of dollars on mods that don't do what I'm looking for.

I've worked on older trucks a good bit so I know more than the average person and I want to install these mods myself, but I haven't worked on newer vehicles to a large extent. I'm in Colorado so generally cooler weather but we can have some hot days, and it's generally very dry and of course the high altitude needs to be considered. I'm running 91, but I'm interested in learning more about E30-E85 mixes and figuring out how that would work; plenty of E85 available nearby. This is my daily driver, and I'm not looking to boost it up to 500hp, but getting that lower gear torque up to 400+ would be awesome. It may be worth noting that my RS has ~38k miles on it. Budget is flexible, but I think I want to stay somewhere below 3k for now. Maybe after this first upgrade I'll become addicted and want to spend more.

Currently, I'm considering the Mountune kits as they are kind of an all-in-one package that suggests I can get a large performance increase, but I'm curious to hear what others have to say/suggest.

Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport B3 Package - Ford Focus RS Power & Performance Upgrade
The B3 package looks basic but it has the rear motor mount, the accessport, and the high flow air intake and filter that I've read are all good places to start.

Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport B5 Package - Mountune USA
The B5 includes the intercooler, but I was curious if an aftermarket intercooler is that significant of an upgrade over oem, specifically in Colorado where it is dryer and cooler.

Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport B7 Package - Mountune USA
The B7 includes the intercooler and the charge pipe, but I'm hesitant on this simply because I just have 4 basic jack stands to raise the car up just enough for me to get under it. Upgrading the charge pipes looks like it would be incredibly difficult with just that little space.

The accessport comes with some tunes already on it, but should I bring it to a dyno after the install? Is the accessport tunes going to consider the higher elevation/etc?
If I was tight on budget and starting from scratch, I probably wouldn't go with a Mountune package, especially since they don't do custom tuning anymore. You aren't going to get much from replacing the stock intake. All I'd replace on the intake side is the air filter itself and the little accordion tube elbow that connects to the airbox. Also, you won't get much gains from exhaust either (but MAN does my V2X sound sexy). I would go with an intercooler, rear motor mount, uprated recirc valve (like the Mountune one) and a custom tune to start. E30 will do wonders in the power department. It's unbelievable the difference in power it produces. If you choose to go E30, I highly recommend getting an ethanol content sensor like the one Tune+ offers: TUNE+ Bluetooth Ethanol Content Analyzer (ECA) Kit for 2013+ Ford Focus RS/ST. This takes the guessing out of it and confirms the mix you calculated to make sure you don't go too high on the ethanol content. I would also save up for a decent set of coilovers.

In regards to ease of doing your own work. I can tell you the RS was the first car that I have installed every single mod myself. Everything from engine (intake, charge pipes, intercooler, RMM, recirc valve, EtOH sensor, exhaust) to suspension (coilovers, camber and toe arms) to... you get the picture. You can see all the mods I've done in my sig. What I'm trying to say is, if someone like me can do it, there's no reason you can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If I was tight on budget and starting from scratch, I probably wouldn't go with a Mountune package, especially since they don't do custom tuning anymore. You aren't going to get much from replacing the stock intake. All I'd replace on the intake side is the air filter itself and the little accordion tube elbow that connects to the airbox. Also, you won't get much gains from exhaust either (but MAN does my V2X sound sexy). I would go with an intercooler, rear motor mount, uprated recirc valve (like the Mountune one) and a custom tune to start. E30 will do wonders in the power department. It's unbelievable the difference in power it produces. If you choose to go E30, I highly recommend getting an ethanol content sensor like the one Tune+ offers: TUNE+ Bluetooth Ethanol Content Analyzer (ECA) Kit for 2013+ Ford Focus RS/ST. This takes the guessing out of it and confirms the mix you calculated to make sure you don't go too high on the ethanol content. I would also save up for a decent set of coilovers.

In regards to ease of doing your own work. I can tell you the RS was the first car that I have installed every single mod myself. Everything from engine (intake, charge pipes, intercooler, RMM, recirc valve, EtOH sensor, exhaust) to suspension (coilovers, camber and toe arms) to... you get the picture. You can see all the mods I've done in my sig. What I'm trying to say is, if someone like me can do it, there's no reason you can't.
Any advice on getting the access port vs just going to a local tuner and having them do a tune? (I'm assuming I can find a tuner nearby that has the COBB access port). I agree that I should start with the intercooler, rear motor mount, and the uprated recirc valve in terms of hardware as well. In terms of piping, Ford uses some relatively cheap plastic OEM and mountune uses a lot of silicone which I read is a lot better. I guess it would be nice to have the access port so that I could program a 91 tune and an E30 tune so I could switch between them depending on the situation.

799 Mountune Intercooler Upgrade Focus Rs (2536-Ic-Ba2)
675 Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport Ecu Flasher - Custom Focus Calibration
159 Mountune Roll Restrictor / Rear Motor Mount - Focus St, 2363-RR-Aa
169 Uprated Air Re-Circulation Valve, Focus Rs - Ford Power & Performance Upgrade
69 Mountune High Flow Induction Hose, Focus St Rs 2013-2018

After adding up some prices this would come out to 1871 as is (assuming I buy from mountune and don't shop around). Is getting the air filter and piping not worth the $120?
 

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Any advice on getting the access port vs just going to a local tuner and having them do a tune? (I'm assuming I can find a tuner nearby that has the COBB access port). I agree that I should start with the intercooler, rear motor mount, and the uprated recirc valve in terms of hardware as well. In terms of piping, Ford uses some relatively cheap plastic OEM and mountune uses a lot of silicone which I read is a lot better. I guess it would be nice to have the access port so that I could program a 91 tune and an E30 tune so I could switch between them depending on the situation.

799 Mountune Intercooler Upgrade Focus Rs (2536-Ic-Ba2)
675 Focus Rs Cobb V3 Accessport Ecu Flasher - Custom Focus Calibration
159 Mountune Roll Restrictor / Rear Motor Mount - Focus St, 2363-RR-Aa
169 Uprated Air Re-Circulation Valve, Focus Rs - Ford Power & Performance Upgrade
69 Mountune High Flow Induction Hose, Focus St Rs 2013-2018

After adding up some prices this would come out to 1871 as is (assuming I buy from mountune and don't shop around). Is getting the air filter and piping not worth the $120?
Is it worth the $120? Well, that's entirely up to your budget. You can probably find a Green Filter for like $40-50 or so. Keep in mind, you're talking to a guy that has 2 sets of $3K+ wheels and has spent more on his RS than he'd like to think about. Haha! Will it look better than stock? Yes. Will it give you noticeable gains? Probably not. I personally bought the B3 package a few years ago. But I also wasn't that budget conscious honestly (and it came with a custom tune). I also bought a Green Filter because at the time, Mountune didn't have any air filters in stock. There are some people that would rather save the $100 I'm sure, but I'm not one of them. Also keep in mind Mountune often runs promos to get "up to" 20% off on certain items. So you may be able to save a few bucks as well. In which case, I probably would just pick up the bundle if the discount applies.

Regarding the Accessport vs. other proprietary tuners, you will get people in both camps. Folks like @Snox801 swears by his tuner, Livernois. And there are other custom tuners as well. But I personally preferred the Accessport route since that gives you a lot of options to some good e-tuners for our platform. For example, the reason Mountune doesn't do custom tunes anymore is because the guy that did their tuning, @Randy, left and is now with Tunewerks. There are a lot of other e-tuners that are familiar with this platform as well like JST (who @JamoRS swears by), TunePlus, Stratified, etc. The e-tuning process is all very simple and convenient, so you don't technically have to have a local shop to tune your RS anymore. It's all done through email where they send you a tune file, you do some datalogging pulls and send them to your tuner, and they will send an update tune file to datalog once again. After several tune revisions like this, you're good to. I personally have tunes from Mountune (done by Randy) and JST. Each tuner is different, so I recommend reaching out to the ones you are considering to make sure they are what you are looking for. For example, I run E30 on occasion, but I usually run 91 if I'm just putting around town. I wanted a tune that had map slots for both 91 and E30. Randy said he wouldn't do a tune that had different slots for 91 and E30 for safety reasons (understandably), but Brian over at JST does offer that, which is why I went with JST when I got my E30 tune. I didn't want to have to flash a different tune every time I wanted to switch fuels, so it was a matter of convenience.

Also, FWIW, I was running stock plastic charge pipe and stock hoses for 31.6K miles before upgrading to the Mountune charge pipe kit. Of those 31K miles, I was running a tune for 19K, where boost would sometimes peak around 27psi. Never had a problem with them.
 
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Looks good, add an air filter. Ecoboost hardware in the RS is quite optimized . . .

The tune is where things will dramatically improve!

A local tuner will be know the fuel you're be using - big bonus. As mentioned, remote tuning is valid, confirm that revisions are included.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is it worth the $120? Well, that's entirely up to your budget. You can probably find a Green Filter for like $40-50 or so. Keep in mind, you're talking to a guy that has 2 sets of $3K+ wheels and has spent more on his RS than he'd like to think about. Haha! Will it look better than stock? Yes. Will it give you noticeable gains? Probably not. I personally bought the B3 package a few years ago. But I also wasn't that budget conscious honestly (and it came with a custom tune). I also bought a Green Filter because at the time, Mountune didn't have any air filters in stock. There are some people that would rather save the $100 I'm sure, but I'm not one of them. Also keep in mind Mountune often runs promos to get "up to" 20% off on certain items. So you may be able to save a few bucks as well. In which case, I probably would just pick up the bundle if the discount applies.

Regarding the Accessport vs. other proprietary tuners, you will get people in both camps. Folks like @Snox801 swears by his tuner, Livernois. And there are other custom tuners as well. But I personally preferred the Accessport route since that gives you a lot of options to some good e-tuners for our platform. For example, the reason Mountune doesn't do custom tunes anymore is because the guy that did their tuning, @Randy, left and is now with Tunewerks. There are a lot of other e-tuners that are familiar with this platform as well like JST (who @JamoRS swears by), TunePlus, Stratified, etc. The e-tuning process is all very simple and convenient, so you don't technically have to have a local shop to tune your RS anymore. It's all done through email where they send you a tune file, you do some datalogging pulls and send them to your tuner, and they will send an update tune file to datalog once again. After several tune revisions like this, you're good to. I personally have tunes from Mountune (done by Randy) and JST. Each tuner is different, so I recommend reaching out to the ones you are considering to make sure they are what you are looking for. For example, I run E30 on occasion, but I usually run 91 if I'm just putting around town. I wanted a tune that had map slots for both 91 and E30. Randy said he wouldn't do a tune that had different slots for 91 and E30 for safety reasons (understandably), but Brian over at JST does offer that, which is why I went with JST when I got my E30 tune. I didn't want to have to flash a different tune every time I wanted to switch fuels, so it was a matter of convenience.

Also, FWIW, I was running stock plastic charge pipe and stock hoses for 31.6K miles before upgrading to the Mountune charge pipe kit. Of those 31K miles, I was running a tune for 19K, where boost would sometimes peak around 27psi. Never had a problem with them.
I think I'm going to go ahead with the B5 package. With SUMMER21 code it's $1572 instead of $1899 for the B7 and I trust that the existing charge pipe should be fine. Now I'll just need to figure out what tuner I want to go with. Thanks for your help!
 

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If I was starting over, I'd get a Cobb AP, and an intercooler and air filter from a vendor of your choice. Mixing ethanol is entirely optional, and you can get a tune for both fuel types that you can switch without the AP. Stratified's OTS tunes are solid, but spend the extra money on a custom tune from them. Everything else is just for racecar noises. Those mods alone will put you at a reliable and dailyable ~385 HP/TQ, cost ~$1500, and make up ~90% of the power you can make before you really have to open up your wallet.
 

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I may have misled you. It's 15% off for the B5, but only 5% off for the B7. Hence why I'm going with the B5 haha.
Interesting. I spent an hour on their US site this afternoon and got 20% off on the B7. The summer21 code also worked and saved another $100. Not sure if shopping from Canada made a difference.
 

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IMO, don't go to "the local tuning guy"
Pick a guy that religiously knows these cars specifically. Adam at Tune+ has ALWAYS done me right. Randy @tunerwerks is another great option, and stratified to support to local Canadians. With todays technology, an e tune is a great way to go. OTS tunes are asking for a pop and a "why did I blow up RS engines suck wah wah"

I've been tuned for like 80,000km's now. Basic boltons. Stock charge pipes. Intercooler is a must IMO. With these smaller frame turbos, the IAT's like to creep significantly, which can lead to some pretty catastrophic damage. The list you posted from mountune is nice, but if I was to turn back the clock, and was buying it all one go, I'd do the tuners a solid and buy from them. Sometimes they offer deals in a package to get a custom e tune if you buy the Cobb etc from them. Beyond that, enjoy!
 

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I've been in the industry since 1996. And programming Focus ECUs for over 19 years now. Knowing what I know, I'd recommend custom tuning and a good intercooler upgrade like Cobb to add some consistency to the output. Pretty much all of the hard parts for these cars are for looks and sound. There are some exceptions, but when you look at the various kits out there there aren't really aspects that are adding power and torque.

The Cobb AP and custom tuning is the best path to take all things considered. Doesn't mean it's the only path, but when you consider cost, features, and flexibility it's hard to deny.

I worked on a chassis dyno for 10 years. Going to a local tuner sounds good at first, but unless they specialize in your car you're probably getting a Cobb OTS file with some slight tweaks and that's it. And unless the local shop is taking the car off the rollers and adjusting it for the street... you're definitely not getting the car fully dialed in. Working with Dynojet and Mustang dynos over the years, they do a good job, but you cannot fully emulate real world conditions. So street and track tuning are superior in that regard. Doesn't mean you can't get a pretty decent dyno tune, but everything I just mentioned is going to apply and should be considered.

If anyone has any questions about custom tuning you can message me or ask me here, etc...
 

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Have to agree with Randy, all those parts are not needed, heck even the intercooler is a not needed item in my opinion. I went a slightly different route and used the intercooler money and went with meth injection. Poof no need for intercooler. But it’s much more involved so not for everyone. All the other stuff is a waste I’m over 500whp and all the piping is stock. The recirc valve is also not needed. I’ve heard this a hundred times but I’ve gotten over 250k with stock ones and over 100k on a 2.0 which uses the same basic valve.
I would indeed recommend Livernois as I’ve had such great success with them for long term durability. That being said if I had to choose another hands down Randy. The fact he’s honest enough to tell you you don’t need to buy that stuff and then sell it to you speaks volumes. Plus he’s willing and able to have open and honest chats about how and why to tune certain ways.
I would 100 trust him with my special car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting. I spent an hour on their US site this afternoon and got 20% off on the B7. The summer21 code also worked and saved another $100. Not sure if shopping from Canada made a difference.
Interesting. If I can find a way to get that 20% I might consider that as well.

Have to agree with Randy, all those parts are not needed, heck even the intercooler is a not needed item in my opinion. I went a slightly different route and used the intercooler money and went with meth injection. Poof no need for intercooler. But it’s much more involved so not for everyone. All the other stuff is a waste I’m over 500whp and all the piping is stock. The recirc valve is also not needed. I’ve heard this a hundred times but I’ve gotten over 250k with stock ones and over 100k on a 2.0 which uses the same basic valve.
I would indeed recommend Livernois as I’ve had such great success with them for long term durability. That being said if I had to choose another hands down Randy. The fact he’s honest enough to tell you you don’t need to buy that stuff and then sell it to you speaks volumes. Plus he’s willing and able to have open and honest chats about how and why to tune certain ways.
I would 100 trust him with my special car.
Yeah, I'm going to go with Randy. I've just been busy this past week/weekend so I haven't had a chance to get it rolling.
 

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Have to agree with Randy, all those parts are not needed, heck even the intercooler is a not needed item in my opinion. I went a slightly different route and used the intercooler money and went with meth injection. Poof no need for intercooler. But it’s much more involved so not for everyone. All the other stuff is a waste I’m over 500whp and all the piping is stock. The recirc valve is also not needed. I’ve heard this a hundred times but I’ve gotten over 250k with stock ones and over 100k on a 2.0 which uses the same basic valve.
I would indeed recommend Livernois as I’ve had such great success with them for long term durability. That being said if I had to choose another hands down Randy. The fact he’s honest enough to tell you you don’t need to buy that stuff and then sell it to you speaks volumes. Plus he’s willing and able to have open and honest chats about how and why to tune certain ways.
I would 100 trust him with my special car.
It's obnoxiously hard to separate marketing from reality. You go on any hardware site and they're always touting things like improvement in airflow measured in double-digit percentages, better reliability, yada yada, while disparaging the OEM stuff. The recirc valve for ex, there's massive claims of the stock one not being good by Mountune. Question is of course about any of it is - what is this information based on? What parts are truly prone to failure, or are restrictive? At some point increasing capacity does nothing if prior capacity was sufficient
 

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@Randy , I'm normally "comfortable" with my local tuner... then I see posts from you. One of these days you might get my tuning money :D
I have a lot of dyno shop horror stories that I've encountered over the years. Some of the most lazy and illogical stuff I've seen has been at various dyno shops. Or me hearing about it directly from my customers during a remote dyno tuning session.
 

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I've been in the industry since 1996. And programming Focus ECUs for over 19 years now. Knowing what I know, I'd recommend custom tuning and a good intercooler upgrade like Cobb to add some consistency to the output. Pretty much all of the hard parts for these cars are for looks and sound. There are some exceptions, but when you look at the various kits out there there aren't really aspects that are adding power and torque.

The Cobb AP and custom tuning is the best path to take all things considered. Doesn't mean it's the only path, but when you consider cost, features, and flexibility it's hard to deny.

I worked on a chassis dyno for 10 years. Going to a local tuner sounds good at first, but unless they specialize in your car you're probably getting a Cobb OTS file with some slight tweaks and that's it. And unless the local shop is taking the car off the rollers and adjusting it for the street... you're definitely not getting the car fully dialed in. Working with Dynojet and Mustang dynos over the years, they do a good job, but you cannot fully emulate real world conditions. So street and track tuning are superior in that regard. Doesn't mean you can't get a pretty decent dyno tune, but everything I just mentioned is going to apply and should be considered.

If anyone has any questions about custom tuning you can message me or ask me here, etc...
Hey Randy,
I am kind of in the same boat with getting started on upgrading my 2016 RS. I was curious if you would be able to build a tune after my latest round of new parts? Thank you!

Bryan
 
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