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Watching. This thread is great!
Can't wait to see someone attempt this on a Se sedan.
Thanks @HiluxSR5 for diving into this for us all!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The Focus community, and myself. When I had the '18 RS everything was an unfamiliar mystery to me.

Engine and transmission are out now, put aside for later. Still need to deal with the leaking transfer case. All the seals cost about $150.

So another thing that made this project a reasonable gamble, was this picture from the Ford sales training manual. It shows all the body shell modifications from the base Focus. Seeing how they took note to even mention a removed stud (like really, who cares lol) I felt confident there were no other significant changes.

Now we already know about the floor bracing, and have seen the floor itself doesn't differ much, aside from losing the strengthening ribs which may just be a year difference (2013 to 2017), the one unknown to me was the "structural foam". From the picture it's hard to tell exactly what, or even where it is. So I pulled out an inspection camera and looked into all the rear frame rails crossmembers.

The rails forward of the rear subframe mount are the same inside and out. So that's good. But there is a couple differences in the rail right where the subframe mounts (above the coil spring) both inside and out. Firstly, the SE rail has more holes in it, no apparent purpose for them. Secondary, and unexpectedly the SE has more spot welds on either side of the rail. The RS has most of the same holes, but some are blocked off by a second layer above.

When viewed from the end, there is not much to see, except that the SE central brace has an open hole, and the RS has a closed one. Being that this is the only point in the rail that had some abnormality, it's time to get real exploitative.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Decided to make this two posts as I'm not sure if there is an image limit.

Knowing there was something going on in this boxed section, I pulled out the angle grinder and made a window on the RS.

This showed that the box's large hole was blocked by some plastic. Very odd. Surely this couldn't be the so called structural foam? So I cut more.

The boxed section has this piece of honeycomb plastic inside. Still not foam.... but then I looked closer and noticed this blue goo. Closer inspection revealed it to be of similar construction to the expanded foam used on the lion's foot.

It glues down the plastic box in this section of the rail - but only the bottom. It took a while for me to understand how this offers any sort of improvement, but I eventually came to the conclusion it is for lateral movement in the rail when combined with the different boxed section.

Why this boxed section was changed, I can't say. The SE box has more bracing in every direction but laterally. I made a sketch of the two variants to visualize this.

Now, is this little cube neccessary? Does it actually have any significant effect? I somewhat doubt it. Nevertheless, I will be adding something which should offer the same effect (or even more) to the SE.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
As a follow up to yesterday's posts about the reported changes by Ford, I actually found the shortened stud in the engine bay. Looks to be simply cut off. Fortunately for whatever reason, the SE didn't even have a stud there at all.

Since the rear rails and floor have been figured out, I wanted to double check the fuel tank strapping. Using a homemade point to point measuring device, I can confirm all 4 fuel tank strap holes are in the same position. However the LH rear one has no threads, just a hole, and the LH front one has threads but they are unused and rusty so they needed to be tapped.

Tomorrow we get to cutting out the spare tire well. From everything I see, there will be no way to keep it without relocating both the differential ecu and the carbon canister, and even then it would be tight.
 

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I really hope the OP will try to keep as much of the standard SE body panels as possible to retain the look and keep the "sleeper" theme.

Considering a few blokes/Olegs across the pond were able to do the same on a standard Focus estate/wagon, should be very doable. Might even be easier since the wheels base is more similar?

I think a sleeper would be great, but it wouldn’t have enough grill space for intercooler and radiator and brake ducts etc.

Personally I like the ST fascia better than the RS so I considered doing that swap for a while, but then I came up with a much easier option of whiting out the crash bar.

Anyway keep up the good work!
 

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There was a guy over on he ST forum that successfully rebuilt an ST with an SE bumper. He just ended up shaving some of the plastics to allow more airflow to the FMIC.
Se bumper swap can be done with modifications.
 

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I think a sleeper would be great, but it wouldn’t have enough grill space for intercooler and radiator and brake ducts etc.
There was a guy over on he ST forum that successfully rebuilt an ST with an SE bumper. He just ended up shaving some of the plastics to allow more airflow to the FMIC.
Se bumper swap can be done with modifications.
^This was what I was going to suggest. Very popular mod on ST's, but figured it would be possible to do on the SE bumper as well. Another option would be to do some sort of grill delete/custom grill insert like this:

 

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Discussion Starter #30
Of all those bumper variants, the RS one is the only one I like. Something about the grill shape, kind of reminds me of the Evo X. I'm sure anyone who wants to go with the sleeper look could make the base or ST bumper fit.

Today, we cut a great big hole in the floor! Once the spare well was removed, the flat floor fit even smoother. Also, side note, the flat floor weights almost double that of the spare tire well. Much thicker material. I used the floor brace to help align it. I found this part number on the brace, and tried to look it up, but there is no such listing. This brought me to a decision.

If the RS specific floor parts can't be purchased alone, and only as an assembly for around $2800, I made the decision to make them removable. Plug weld filling the drilled spot welds makes it extremely hard to ever remove them again, so I needed to find a solution that was removable, but as strong as welding. Enter rivets, bolts, and panel bond.

For the flat floor, I would need to make 50 rivet holes, and for the brace and lions another 20-30 bolts. I definitely reconsidered this a few times, but it did provide some advantages later. Everything needed to be captive nuts or bolts, both for stiffness and ease of installation. Flanged nuts are great for this, make a larger hole, press them in, and weld around the edges. It will take a while to fabricate all these.

A couple other finds in this area. The SE uses this extremely over built bracket for the carbon canister which needs to be removed. Also, this odd sharpened tube which points forward to where the spare tire well once was - nothing attached to it. I have a theory about it's purpose, any ideas?
 

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Sorry didn’t mean to hijack your thread - d make it about bumpers...

Out of curiosity why do you want a removable solution for the floor part?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Because if I ever wanted to reshell the car it would make it much easier, given that you can't buy those individual parts. A bit of an odd reason I know, but this will show a useful feature I was able to integrate.

Ever since discovering the secret of the structural foam, I've been thinking how best to incorporate the intended strengthening into the SE, without cutting open the frame rail. Looking at the design of the two boxed sections, amount and location of the spot welds, lateral movement was the only gain this modification provided. So, I made my own lateral braces.

Two triangular brackets extending from the rails at the boxed section into the floor. That on it's own is pretty good. Then I thought, well if we have the upper brace and lions foot parts bolted in, I could integrate all 3 support systems into one extremely solid brace.

I positioned them so the vertical structure of the triangles would interface with the same vertical structure above, and then bolt them together. Now, I really don't know if this is neccessary, a part of me feels even the rail is plenty strong enough as is, yet here we are.

Now that's all sorted, time to attach the flat floor. Both surfaces cleaned up with rough grit, and a bead of panel bond on either side which is then spread around. This stuff costs about $80, and the dual barrel gun is even more. Very useful though and mixes automatically! One that's all laid out, 50 rivets get put it - after which I seriously considered buying a powered rivet gun.

Floor brace and the lions get the same treatment of panel bond, but instead of rivets a series of m6 and m8 bolts. Some of which go directly into the triangles at the bottom, others go into the frame rail weld seams.

Definitely more complicated than necessary. The final result should actually be more rigid than an real RS, so that's something.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Rear floor is sorted out, but there is still missing mount points for the gas tank and driveshaft. I decided to make captive nuts, because why not, but I suppose you could use speed nuts or drill a hole from the top if you lacked a welder.

Lining up the front driveshaft bracket confirms what I expected. The mount holes are there but lack the threads. Same situation for the rear mount, and the one missing gas tank mount. Circled in orange are the 5 captive nuts needed to be added.

The method I used was to obtain some large flanged nuts (M8), drill two holes on either side of the hole, and then weld them to it. Takes a bit of snaking, but all the holes had nearby access points large enough to get them inside.

In addition, and not strictly neccessary, I added the two captive bolts which hold the fuel filter below the RH forward gas tank strap. There is also one large hole needed under the rear seats for the LH fuel tank level sender. For whatever reason, there is also the addition of a sort of plastic bumper or protector that goes on the crossmember just behind the tank. It doesn't actually contact the tank at all, so not really sure what the purpose is. I marked and drilled the holes just in case. There is also a short stud on the SE in this area I cut off to ensure it would not puncture the fuel tank.

And with that, I believe we are at the end of the body modifications. If calculations are correct, everything should bolt up as factory now. Assembly begins tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Engine bay wiring and brake/fuel line assembly went in without issue. All mounts the same.

Fuel tank, is in. Again no issues with installation aside from Ford's questionable decision to not put a fuel pump access hole in the floor which makes it a challenge to connect the electrical bits on the top. If I ever need to take out the pump I'm cutting a hole in the floor.

Clearance looks good everywhere, and all the points of contact meet the rubber bumpers properly.

I thought there was a difference between the two firewalls, but it's only the application of seam sealer that made it look so.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Before the big reveal of rear subframe installation, I discovered a strange downgrade for the RS. The SE had a solid lateral brace at the back of the front seats which the RS lacks. Must have been deemed extra weight.

Anyway, installing the rear subframe was as easy as expected. Slid right into place, no drama with bolts or any other issues. Well, one issue of my own making. The hose clamp I used for the tank to filler neck was badly positioned putting the sharp edge directly against the rh axle boot. But after readjusting it, all was well.

I took a moment to change out the swaybar brace bolts for hex heads. As well as antiseize the hell out of them. Even after only 30k they were getting rusty. Torx heads may be stronger, but the bits are weaker and are not a great idea in rust prone areas.

I also removed and coated every suspension bolt to ensure none would be rusted solid to the bushings after 5 years. Rear arm bolts though, tricky... removal blocked by the differential. I'd say they were out in backward, but every RS seems to be like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Before I can put in the driveshaft and engine, the ptu leak needs to be addressed. It's leaking from the main cover, and the transmission interface.

With it removed, which by the way is a very annoying process as only one bolt can be accessed with an appropriate ratchet (definitely invest in ratcheting wrenches), it's apparently the transmission's seal that is leaking and not the transfer case itself. At least the cause is quite obvious.... a paint mark was left on the input shaft exactly where the seal rides. You can see the lines it cut through. Previous dealer repair, or factory error, hard to say. The cover side leak was also obvious. Some bolts not completely tightened, and the large o ring had a gouge in it.

Not knowing what to expect, I bought all the seals. Disassembly was easy, it is not a complicated piece, and as such I forgot to take any pictures. One interesting note though, for those who have had leaks on the RH axle shaft, that is actually transmission fluid and not transfer fluid. There are two seals on the RH side, one to seal the case to itself and one to seal the axle. Very different design.

What is not an interesting or fun design is these stupid plastic deflector rings. Unbelievably hard to remove (had to cut them) and equally hard to install. They are SO tight to the shaft, one split as I put it on. This left me with quite the dilemma as they are only sold with the seal kit, cost almost $100, and would have taken at least a day to arrive. After experimenting with various ways to fix this ring, and contemplating it's purpose and if it is even neccessary, I made a replacement. This is the old LH transfer case seal - fits the shaft snugly, and held in place with gasket maker, and is the exact diameter to cover the recess in the transmission to keep dirt away. If it ever moves, it can't damage the real seal either.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Despite the whole front end being open, it was a bit tricky to maneuver the whole powertrain in. I assume if I had picked better attachment points for the hoist it would have been easier. Bottom line, engine is in, everything lines up and fits as expected.

Driveshaft fit exactly as it should, the tunnel has the same shape and clearance. However, let it be known this driveshaft has the weakest joint boots, and the service manual recommendations to lock the pivot angle should not be overlooked. Letting it hang freely like any other shaft caused a rip right at the tip. Of course these boots are non serviceable and non replaceable.... so using seam sealer, and many many layers of tape I sealed it up. This has worked on CV boots for cheap cars in the past, it should hold up here as well.

Front subframe also went it smoothly, though I really doubt the recommended torque specs for the rear mounts. 103ftlbs plus 180 degrees. I did 70 degrees and it reached about 180ftlbs, another 120 seems extremely over torqued, even for a bolt that size.

And with that, the whole RS powertrain is installed! I was confident it would all fit yet having it actually done is a relief. So now that that's done the next test will be actually going for a drive to see if there are any differences in vehicle dynamics. I doubt it though.

For now, touching up some bodywork, accessories, interior, and a couple mods.
 

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Nice work buddy.
Didn't muck around!!
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Before I can start adding all the body panels back I need to address a few cosmetic flaws. For one, the bottom of the A pillars were dented and chipped from the old hood having bad hinges and alignment. Then the rear fenders had many chips and flaking paint along the edge, same as my 18 RS had. And finally, my big miscalculation - that all black Focuses are the same. They really look the same in pictures, but in person under the light the older variant has a world more metallic sparkle to it. So that means I need to repaint everything I can't transfer from the RS.

In order to fix the A pillars, I need to put the new hood on, and to do that you need a radiator support, and headlights, and fenders, etc. The hinges have a vast range of adjustment making this both easy and hard.

I encountered an issue with the hood striker being about an inch away from latching. At first I thought there was some difference in the hood itself, or that I had moved the latch and forgotten. Turns out the radiator support from the RS had bowed down a bit. I hadn't considered this possibility as it appeared to be all plastic, though on closer inspection it is a steel beam that has been coated in plastic. Very misleading. Using the engine hoist I was able to lift it and bring the shape back to normal. Now the hood closes easily.

And so begins my least favorite part, sanding, and bodywork. I really should have just sent it to a shop for this...
 

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