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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, "new guy" here!

I'm considering the purchase of a 2013 SE 5-Door soon. I would be purchasing an ST, but since Ford doesn't give people the choice of an auto-trans I'm out of luck there.

I'd like to enhance the power performance and handling a bit, at least enough to notice the difference and have it be worth the money, time, and effort.

However, I do not want to make the vehicle any louder than absolutely necessary to do so. I am not looking to do any mods for the purpose of noise and attention, as a matter of fact, the less of that the better.

I know the a CAI is the first and foremost step in getting a bit of a performance improvement, but at the same time I know they don't filter as well as the stock setup, and will lead to increased wear on the engine, and thus lesson it's lifespan. Is there any CAI that will increase flow while at the some time offering filtration as good as stock? And if is so, is there also an exhaust setup that can offer some increased performance without sounding like a race car wannabe; not being really loud? I don't want any attention, I have no such needs or desires, but rather would prefer to attract the least amount I can in the this process.

As for handling, I'd like to enhance the suspension and handling dynamics a bit, but not create a harsh ride in the process; is this possible?

This car will be a high millage dally driver, dodging and weaving through city traffic and congested freeways, and ran hard much of the time, with hours spent behind the wheel every day.

So in the end I'd like to have some noticeable improvements without the negative side effects they can bring, is any of this possible?
 

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Learn manual, buy the ST, end.
 

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On a somewhat more serious note, yes, there are some performance mods you can do. Be aware there is no ECU tuning available for the non-ST 2012+ Focus. So you won't be able to just buy an intake, reflash, and gain a big amount of HP. The real way to get any power out of this car is with an intake, an exhaust (if you don't want a loud one, get the FSWERKS Stealth, or a Magnaflow. I hear the Magnaflows are pretty quiet), and a header. That's about all we have right now for power. On 93, you'd be looking at about 185whp/165wtq at the absolute max. That's with a header, full 2.5 inch catback, and a high-performance cold or ram air intake. To get that, you will be louder than stock.

Suspension, you've got a decent amount of options. If you want to improve the suspension without sacrificing ride, you'll probably want a matched set of springs and dampers, or to just go with coilovers for roughly $850-1200, depending on the brand, adjust-ability of height, etc.

Make zero allusions that it'll handle as well, or go as fast as even a stock ST in your calculations.

Edit: Power-wise, depending on what parts you choose, that setup would cost you from around $1100 up to around $1500-ish. By comparison, for cost effectiveness, here's s sub-$500 ECU reflash of a stock 2013 ST.





I'm just putting the facts at your disposal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK, thanks for the help, and that flash for the ST is freaking awesome!


I'm not expecting any major power gains here, but hoping for some noticeable ones, but I have another concern as well...

I'm here in the good ol' "People's Republic of Kalifornia"; from what I understand, changing the headers will make me fail the smog test, is that correct?

Can I even do any engine related performance mods without failing the Cali smog test?

Also, from what I can tell, the standard auto-trans Focus is at least in the top two best performing auto-trans econo-boxes along with the Mazda 3, isn't that right? If so, I really only have these two choices, and there's no way I"m getting that cartoon faced thing! lol
 

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About header(s): Generally speaking, none of them are road-legal. At least around here, the way to get around smogging a car with them is fooling the O2 sensor with spacers in the bungs. This is probably the next thing on my to-do list for my car, speaking of.

It's not really all bad news in NA 2012 land. I mean, we get decent gains from just an intake and exhaust (most of the cars, even the DCT equipped ones) are dynoing stock at 150whp, 136-140wtq on regular gas. When you consider what you can get out of the motor with simple bolt-ons, it's pretty spectacular. But, until (more like 'if') tuning becomes available, that's all we've got. I've got noticable seat-of-my-pants gains from intake, exhaust, and running 93 octane (haven't gone on a dyno yet), but it's nothing to write home about when you compare to the kind of car you can buy for the price of an ST (ST, GTI with light mods, MS3, WRX).

Don't get me wrong though, I love the 2012+ NA Focus. But had the ST been out when I was car shopping, I'd have bought that instead.
 

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Regarding handling, IMO, your best improvement for the money is the a rear swaybar. The Steeda unit reduces understeer considerably, and won't negatively affect ride when cruising.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
About header(s): Generally speaking, none of them are road-legal. At least around here, the way to get around smogging a car with them is fooling the O2 sensor with spacers in the bungs. This is probably the next thing on my to-do list for my car, speaking of.

It's not really all bad news in NA 2012 land. I mean, we get decent gains from just an intake and exhaust (most of the cars, even the DCT equipped ones) are dynoing stock at 150whp, 136-140wtq on regular gas. When you consider what you can get out of the motor with simple bolt-ons, it's pretty spectacular. But, until (more like 'if') tuning becomes available, that's all we've got. I've got noticable seat-of-my-pants gains from intake, exhaust, and running 93 octane (haven't gone on a dyno yet), but it's nothing to write home about when you compare to the kind of car you can buy for the price of an ST (ST, GTI with light mods, MS3, WRX).

Don't get me wrong though, I love the 2012+ NA Focus. But had the ST been out when I was car shopping, I'd have bought that instead.
Ah, well I'm bummed you missed out on the ST. I hope you can continue to squeeze a little more out of your SE and enjoy it.

Thanks again for all of your help here, and I'm really glad I found this forum. :)
 

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I love my intake and just ordered my exhaust and I have the DCT. It's a great trans, once it breaks in the clutches. Also, the header isn't a true bolt on. Modifications to the flex pipe, from what I understand, were necessary to make it fit the car.

The chassis is a really great one. It's a car that can be tossed around (within limits) and it's very compliant ride. Either the Mazda or the focus is a great choice (since they are somewhat related).

Whatever you get, enjoy it! Also support our great sponsors here on our website. FSWerks, Cobb, massive, tire rack etc. they support us and I feel like it's great to support them.
 

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Re the flex pipe: You just replace it with the longer auto-trans duratec one you can still buy. The real finageling is the O2 sensor wires, if I recall.
 

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It's not a matter of "learn a manual", it's a matter of driving environment and work requirements; I have to have an auto-trans.
Really? Why? Does your work require you to be doing other things with your hands while driving other than, say, steering? (Like perhaps holding a Big Gulp in one hand while texting with the other; rolling data entry or photography; yak shaving; median-strip painting...)

If not, then I fail to see how you're precluded from buying a manual. (And even a stock manual SE will outperform the auto.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Really? Why? Does your work require you to be doing other things with your hands while driving other than, say, steering? (Like perhaps holding a Big Gulp in one hand while texting with the other; rolling data entry or photography; yak shaving; median-strip painting...)

If not, then I fail to see how you're precluded from buying a manual. (And even a stock manual SE will outperform the auto.)
As I said, my work requires that my vehicle have an auto-trans; thanks for your concern. You see, I'm a juggling clown that performs for people while I'm driving in stop and go traffic on the freeway... :party:
 

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You've forgotten stuff like reading the newspaper, watching YouTube on your smartphone, applying makeup, giving every driver the finger, eating burgers from Five Guys (burgers and fries!), etc.
 
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As I said, my work requires that my vehicle have an auto-trans; thanks for your concern. You see, I'm a juggling clown that performs for people while I'm driving in stop and go traffic on the freeway... :party:
I lol'd
 
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