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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

First real post here. I revived an old thread about this to see if anyone was still interested. I've meant to post this a while ago, but school has limited my time frame to actually get around to doing it. But I have successfully installed a cabin air filter housing in my 2005 Focus ZX3, and as long as you have a few tools at your disposal and about 4 hours of time, its really not that bad.

Its very simple, and theres nothing complex about it. In fact, I'm surprised that all the posts about it simply had nothing to say about innovating it, and just said it was not possible, and all mods to the housing consisted of cutting dryer sheets, which is fine and dandy, but far from an ideal long-term solution.

First off, I just finished today :banana:, so I'm in the process of uploading the pictures I took and typing up the tutorial, which should be done in the next couple of days. So I was just wondering about everyone's thoughts on the topic, and if anyone was still interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool. All I needed was one person ;) I'll try to have it up tomorrow, got a brake job to do first though. Hopefully won't take all day :thumbup:
 

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I would love to see the How-To on this. You mention you don't need many tools, but you do need 4 hours, so I wonder how involved this is.
 

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is it worth replacing every once in a while? If so i would definitely give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, its not very involved, just a bit time intensive. The only thing that makes it intensive is being cautious not to damage the sheet metal, and you'll see what I mean when I get the tutorial up. Sorry, brake job was more intensive than I expected.

Don't let your girlfriends drive a Mercury Sable...crappiest back brake set up I've ever seen in my life...:bang:

@BewareofButtlice:

Definitely. If you have allergies and are sick of dust buildup in your car, its definitely worth it, especially with spring and summer coming up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: I am not at all responsible for what happens to your vehicle when following this guide. It worked perfectly for me, and will work for you, but things happen. Take your time and everything will be fine, but don't blame me if you screw up!

Supplies needed:
Pry bars http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem .taf?Itemnumber=66840
Form-a-Gasket (or black RTV) http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem .taf?Itemnumber=90024
Hammer
Flathead screwdriver and/or gasket scraper (optional, will make job easier) http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem .taf?Itemnumber=98507
Wire Clippers or other plier-type cutting tool (optional, will make job easier)
Pliers
Relatively matching color rustoleum spray paint and fine grit sandpaper (optional)
Masking Tape
Dremel tool or small rotary tool equivalent with brass or steel brushes http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=40457

Parts needed:
Cabin filter housing from 2000-2004 Focus from Ford or junkyard (be sure to get the two 10mm nuts as well or get your own) - Ford part no: YS4Z-19N619-EA

This is the housing you want:


Pollen filter - Ford Part no: FP-38


Ok, first off, we all know (should) about where the filter housing would be located. It is underneath the passenger cowl below the windshield. Removing this is slightly different than the 2000-04 Focus. There are no screws. There are only a couple of clips on the front side (inside the engine bay), and a strip of plastic on the backside.

To remove this, put your windshield wipers in the middle of your windshield and turn off the ignition. Raise the hood.

*Sorry no pics for this part, but there are tutorials all over the net with pictures. If I need to post them later I can.*

First, pop the clips in the engine bay. You might need a small flathead screwdriver to ease the process. Sometimes they can be difficult to pop out. Take your time and do not break them, or you will be replacing the cowl.

Next, pull up slowly but evenly and firmly on the back of the cowl that connects with the windshield. This will pull the plastic strip from its track groove. Note: the older foci did not have this groove, and therefore experienced the notorious passenger floorboard leak. The cowl was redesigned, and we no longer have to worry about that on newer foci.:rock:

This is the strip below the windshield.


Now that the cowl is off, you should see this:


At this point, you will be asking yourself what you have gotten yourself into. Trust me, its not that bad. Be patient, gentle, and take breaks. Your back will start to hurt. Be sure to dedicate 4+ hours to this job. It might not take that long, but count on it.

Spread a towel over the engine and right front fender like so:


The first thing you will need to do is remove the screen on top of the cheap, plastic, soon-to-be-not-so-permanent housing. If you have any crap from over the years on top, you will want to vacuum it off so it doesn't end up in your blower motor. Take the handle of your screwdriver, place it over one of the ten plastic glue spots on the top of the screen. Push firmly with ever increasing pressure until it pops off. Repeat for the other nine spots until you can remove the screen. The locations of the glue spots are shown here:


No turning back now! Now you need to remove the metal locking washers on the two bolts on each side of the glued-in housing. If you have the 10mm nuts from the housing you pulled from the junkyard, great. If not, get two 10mm nuts. If you can't or don't want to, you can re-use the locking washers, but I don't recommend it. Note: the next instruction will destroy the locking washers, so if you still need them, take a less destructive approach.

Take your pliers and grab the locking washers on each bolt. Squeeze and yank them off the bolts. Toss those $0.01 washers.

Now for the hard part. You can take two approaches here. If you want to keep your original plastic housing in tact, you have a long, frustrating day ahead of you. If you're like me, and have big hands, and tight spaces don't agree with you, you will probably have to tear it apart. First thing to do here is start on the left side corner closest to you, get your optional cutting plier tool, and snip the plastic down to where the glue contacts the bottom of the housing.

From here, use your gasket scraper or flathead screwdriver placed right at the point where the housing bends at 90 degrees, and smack it lightly with the hammer to crack the plastic. Now that you've cracked the plastic down the front, and cut the corner, you can now pull on the plastic until it snaps, giving you room to probe inside the housing. Take this opportunity to go ahead and tape up the intake inlet with masking tape to prevent anything from falling inside.
Break here:


*Sorry, no pics here either. Was by myself. If it needs more explaining, feel free to ask!*

At this point, we're getting in deep. Now this is where you need to be careful. Pull out your clips and try to cut the corner flat piece of plastic at the front, the one that is below where you cut before that is still glued to the metal of the car. Now when you start to pull up the plastic, it has a place to split instead of trying to pry up the entire housing at once. Use your scraper, and place it between the bottom plastic surface and the foam cement glue holding it in place. Go from inside the housing to the outside. Lightly tap with a hammer just enough to insert it between them and separate the seal. This will be impossible at the back, so don't try it. Only do the left and right sides, and as much as you can on the front. Remember, we're not trying to pry it up at this point.

I usually get the left side separated first because its position is the most ideal for beginning to pry. It also sets up the next steps best. If you need more room, you can try to break off the left side of the housing now as well. Do not let any plastic fall into the blower motor.

So guess what we're going to use now? Ha, the pry bar. I recommend getting at least three sizes, as the big one is hard to maneuver at first. Be very careful here. I chose to use pry bars as chisels almost, due to the fact that they are dull and will minimize the chance of punching a whole in the sheet metal of the car. They also have a 45 degree angle, which helps tremendously.

Start at the left corner and insert the small pry bar under the lip of the glued on housing. Start to hammer lightly to the right, following the path of the glue along the length of the front of the housing. This should give you enough space to insert the medium or large pry bar under the housing, and finish the entire length of the front. Try to leave the plastic in the front in one piece, as it will help you with removal later. Pry up to completely detach the front from the glue. This will take a bit of rotation from the bar, as you have limited room to pry up. This is ok, as it will prevent you from bending the sheet metal below it. Do the same for the left and right sides of the housing.

Now everything is nearly detached from the metal except the rear part of the housing. Repeat what you did for the front, using the small pry bar to get underneath the housing and separate the glue. It may be easier at this point to grab the housing and pull everything that is loose out. It will take some muscle, and will probably break, but it will give you much more room to move.

All in all, this step consists of patience, gradually working your way around the housing and pulling it to separate it from the glue. Breaking it is ok, you have a new housing to replace it. So tear it to pieces if you have to!:hump:

Have a beer, your halfway there!

If you've made it this far, you'll see that there is still a significant amount of foam cement left. We have to get rid of this to make a good seal. Bring out the dremel, and put the stainless steel brush attachment on. You shouldn't need more than two, and you might want to try to chisel as much off as you can with the pry bars and gasket scraper, as there will be plenty you must dremel off of the back. Make sure the masking tape is secure and sealed, and your towel is covering as much of your engine bay as possible. You're gonna make a mess...

After dremeling the foam, you should be left with something similar to this:


Eww...So get out your sandpaper, and smooth it out as much as possible. Dremel with brass brushes to protect the paint, and whatever you can't get perfectly smooth with the dremel, use high grit sandpaper. The part you need perfectly smooth is about 1/2" out from the inlet all the way around.

If concerned with cosmetics, vacuum out all the debris and wipe down the surface. Get a can of optional rustoleum gloss enamel from your neighborhood Chinamart, and ensuring your towel is in place, as well as a cover for your windshield and everything else (masking tape works wonders here), put a light coat of paint on top of the paint gap left by the glue. Wait an hour or so, then apply another coat. Let cure over night. Then remove your masking tape from the inlet. Here is what mine looked like after completion:


You're almost done! Now we just need to install the housing, which is the best part because it looks awesome and you can marvel at what you've overcome. The housing (picture provided under parts list) simply fits over the two bolts in the sheet metal. If the housing was pulled from a junkyard, depending on how old the car was and how stuck in the housing was, the seal on the bottom may be rotted. If needed, create a seal using the Form-a-gasket sealant. Use your 10mm nuts taken from junkyard housings with a universal joint and 10mm socket, or a stubby ratchet should work fine. Remove the worthless plastic screen that sits in the housing, tighten it down, and install your filter.

Congrats, you've done the unthinkable!:party:

Gamemaster
 

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ill have to give it a shot because i do have bad allergies now :( never used to!
 

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This is awesome. Thanks for the great write up! I wanted to put a filter in a couple years ago, and when I got the cowl off and looked at what was there I was disappointed! I'm going to have to make a weekend out of this sometime this summer. I'm so tired of a bunch of crud accumulating on my dashboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the kudos guys! I meant to have pics of the housing installed with the filter up today, but finishing the brakes took all day and it was dark when I finished. So I'll have them up tomorrow, basically for bragging rights :D

The great thing about this is the frame and body are almost exactly the same from 2000-2007. The bolts for the original housing are still there, the inlet is the same, and they are in the exact same place. So since your using the original intended housing, you can use all the official motorcraft pollen filters for the original focus and aftermarket too. Not to mention the activated carbon odor/pollen filters!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys! Got pics of final install. Here to finish the tutorial, but by now it should be obvious what to do next.

For the completionists out there, this is a factory diagram for the a/c system on 2003-early 2004 foci.



This is very handy to have, as all those numbers are Ford catalog numbers for each part.

This is what your housing should look like when your done:



Take the plastic grill out:



Install filter (be sure to note air direction marked on filter with an arrow):



Put cowl back on, and you're good to go! Make sure the filter "fins" of the filament on each end fit over the lips on the sides of the inside of the housing. The front of the housing actually has two clips that open up to give you a bit more room to install the filter, as well as provide a seal around the edges.

Its also a good idea to close all your vents but one, put the fan on recirculate, and turn it up to 4 to blow out any debris. Do this for each vent individually. Then turn recirculate off and enjoy your fresh filtered air!

Enjoy guys, and if you have any questions feel free to ask!:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yea, me too! It makes things much less complicated and convenient for the customer. It also makes you feel neat, lol. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for an easier removal, feel free to post propositions! I'll benefit from ideas as well, as I have two other foci to do this to, and if there is an easier way I haven't thought about or tried, I'm very open to it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh I almost forgot, I had another idea to help make the surface a bit more tolerable before paint.

At least when I did it, after dremel brushing the leftover foam off, I had some small black residue left. You may want to take a sanding block or some steel wool to it to remove it before washing, then painting.

Also, the current price for the housing straight from my dealer here in North Carolina is $18.43, and that includes an adhesive foam strip to replace the one under your cowl that seals to the engine bay. Happy modding guys, summer is upon us!
 

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Hey man, you post about the 05-07 Focus, regarding the cabin air filter tutorial. I love the way you explained it. So, I have a 05 Focus, this would work for me? What parts would I have to buy and there part numbers? I love this idea man, I think you should have packaged it and sold it to Focus enthusiasts! I am so wanting to do this to my Focus because I have really bad allergies.
 

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Dear Gamemaster 1988, Many thanks for your Cabin Filter Tutorial, been a 40 year retired Ford Auto Mechanic from the old country (England) I followed your Instructions, it took me 2Hrs 15 min from start to finish. I would enclose Photo's, but I can not send attachments (don't no why) I installed the Housing and Filter (Fram CF9118A Fresh breeze with A/H baking soda) on my 2006 Focus ZXW hoping it will keep the inside much cleaner. I used a small Air Saw that I have and cut down about 3" wide of the old plastic box, and then pulled it apart very easy, I then used an old 6" screw driver and sharped it like a scraper, to get off the old sealant. In mine it was quite a lot, they had it everywhere, then used a small wire wheel on a right angel Air Drill to clean every thing up and then painted and installed the Housing/Filter. Thanks Limeyde
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey guys, sorry I've been disconnected for almost two years! I didn't get any reply emails because I switched providers. I hope this retrofit has helped you 05Roush; all the part numbers you need are at the beginning of my tutorial for the air filter housing and the air filter. Those are the only parts you need. Limeyde, glad it helped you out! A wire wheel with a 90 degree attachment would work great! Good idea with the air saw; I'd have been afraid I would have sawed something on my car! :)
 
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