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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my Focus for close to 6 years and have put a variety of bolt-ons, suspension goodies and even a few cosmetic parts on the car. However, my wife and I were discussing possibly getting myself a project car to work on. The conclusion that we came to was that the Focus is probably the best project car, since its already paid for, its not too rusty, its pretty easy to work on, and its got enough mileage on it that its going to need to be replaced within a few years as a daily driver.

I'll try to keep this thread updated as different phases get completed, so it may eventually expand beyond the scope of Zetec Tuning. However, at least initially, the build is focusing on the engine and it seems odd to create a thread in Rigz that primarily deals with the engine rather than the overall car. I have never attempted anything of this magnitude before, and I'm actually fairly mechanically inept, so I figured that I'd post my progress so that I can receive feedback from those who have done this before, provide a centralized source of information for those considering this type of project, and provide entertainment for those who always know the right answers.

In order to help those with ADD, I'll start with some pictures of where I'm at this evening, then I'll progress into plans and points of concern.

This is a picture from this summer of the intended recipient:


Part of the reason this car is the project car; no interior = lower trade-in value.:lol:


The "mess" in the corner. I still have a few stock parts laying around that I need to recycle or throw out.


The block is a little rusty...


...but the cylinders look pretty good!:cool: I'm going to start looking around for a machine shop that can take care of getting the bearings and pistons clearanced correctly.


Enough of the old, rusty bits and pieces, how about some new shiny goodness!
Eagle Rods - the compromise between stronger rods and not breaking the bank.






 

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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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3,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The plan for the car is to somewhat mimic Porsche's approach to the creation of the GT3. A combination of light weight, amazing suspension, an engine that revs and breathes, and a gearbox that caters to the engine, not vice versa.

I hear it on here frequently that the best way to make power is by forced induction (which I won't argue with), but I want to see where the NA path leads. I have seen a few serious NA builds on here in the past 6+ years that I've been on here, but most were years ago and often the owner went in search of more power with a turbo setup. I think that there has been a little more aftermarket development for the Zetec (even though it appears to be on the decline again), so I'm hopefully that I can develop a car that is enjoyable to drive regularly and puts down some good 'numbers' (whatever that means).

My approach is to have a general goal of where I want to end up, but to try to avoid getting too wrapped up in the big picture that its hard to continue on a daily basis. As a result, I'm buying parts in the order that I need them, and have areas where I haven't completely fleshed out my plan (such as fueling/tuning, I'm easily 6 to 9 months away from there, so I haven't put a whole lot of thought into injector sizing and what method I'm going to use to tune).

The current parts list:
-Supertech 10.6 pistons
-Eagle H-beam rods
-Clevite 77 rod and main bearings
-ARP main studs
-Fel-Pro lower end rebuild gaskets (which BTW has probably the most random assortment of gaskets I've ever seen in it; one cam oil seal? Seriously?)
-Ford MLS Headgasket

At this point, I should be able to get to the machine shop and get the shortblock machined/assembled. Once I get it back, I'll hopefully have ordered my CFM Billet Oil pump gears/pump and a set of head studs. I need to decide on a head yet. I live close to Fox Lake Performance, so I'm considering having them do a custom head for me, or I may look into Massive's Ultimate head (I think Karl is going to be my main Parts Pimp). I'm certainly willing to sacrifice a little bit of velocity for volume, even though I intend intially to stick with my FRII cams (I'm sure that will change along the way).
 

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What have I... What have I... What have I done to
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I definitely can't wait to see this thread progress, Seth :thumbup::thumbup:

-Brian
 

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Your block doesn't look too bad on the outside. I built a block from a 00 DAILY driver with 220,000 (well seasoned) original miles. You can imagine how the outside looked, surprisingly the inside was perfect.
 

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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
recar said:
Your block doesn't look too bad on the outside. I built a block from a 00 DAILY driver with 220,000 (well seasoned) original miles. You can imagine how the outside looked, surprisingly the inside was perfect.
The other side looks a little worse, but the inside is immaculate. +1 for iron blocks.:p
 

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he has it in his second post....

Seth, i had recently thought about this, what clutch are you going to use? i have a feeling that with the revs you wanna spin some of the clutches will start to slip.
 

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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Billet oil gears are definitely in the works for this engine.

I'll cross the clutch bridge when I get to it.:lol: I'm not planning on taking it that high initially. Since I'll still be on the FRIIs, its probably not going to make much extra power up top until I see about upgrading to bigger cams.

I'm getting ready to load everything up in the hatch and run it over to a local machine shop. I talked to him this morning and he didn't really want to quote a price without seeing things (understandably), but he thought between $600-1000 to get the short block assembled. Seems a little steep, but we'll see once he has a chance to look at things. It looks like he does all sorts of engines, he had a 383 on a stand for a streetrod, a torn down 440 Wedge, a 2JZ block from a Supra with some sort of torque plate that he had developed. I guess he's done a number of Supra engines that have been shipped all over the world for a local Toyota guru.

Anyhow, I was kind of hoping that the machining would be about half that...oh well.:dunno:
 

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Dang firewall :bang: I wish I could see the pictures. Anyway, it reads like a good idea.

Just a few extra details to check into to allow your upgraded parts to work as smoothly as possible...
Micronite your gears and cams (if the cams are Crane).
Check into these crank scrapers with the teflon tabs... http://www.crank-scrapers.com/ there is also a coulpe of good threads in here about them.

Have fun.
 

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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What companies offer microniting services? I'm only slightly familiar with the process, but I'm all for improving the wear resistance of the oil gears.

I think I'm probably going to pass on the crank scrapers, just from the reliability standpoint. I'm confident that Kevin has it down, but I'm just afraid that the more stuff you put into the bottom end, the more stuff that can come out of it.:dunno: I'll probably revisit the issue before the whole project is done, though.:p

The shortblock, pistons, rods and bearing are at the machine shop as of this afternoon. I told him that I wasn't in a huge hurry with it (since I'm paying for parts as I go). He's just starting on the Supra engine, and he's got a few other projects to wrap up before he can start mine. I need to get a few more parts, since he likes to balance the crank with everything that's going to be hanging off the front of it. Time to find a flywheel, oil pump and another UDP and take out a line of credit from the wife...:evilgrin:

With that, I probably won't have a whole lot of updates for a little while.
 

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Crane offers Microniting for any steel that's friction related, except if you want to do cams, then they have to be Crane cams.
 

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looks good:thumbup:

a couple of things

600-1000 for machining and assembly is a decent price

don't worry about the condition of your block. make sure he bakes and blasts the block. he should bake it in an oven to remove any grease etc. then he should bead blast it to remove all the rust and remaining paint. it should look like new. i'll post a picture of how mine come back from the machine shop. have him put a coat of paint on it. i use a flat black rust preventative paint

spend the extra couple bucks and use brass freeze plugs.

which rings are you using? did you get the supertechs?

when you got the supertechs, did they come with specs for piston to cylinder wal clearances? if not contact supertech to find them out. all pistons have different clearance based on material, size and how the engine will be used. you don't want him to use general clearances.

speaking of clearances, i saw in the pics you already bought your bearings. which sizes did you get? how was the condition of your crank? make sure he mic's the crank to check your clearances. you don't want him just assembling the parts you gave him.

i think thats it. i'll post if i think of anything else:D

chris
 

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9 and 3 Damnit! 9 AND 3!!!!!!!
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You GOTTA go with big cams and new springs. I am sure there is a market for the FrII s on the used market.

I might even know a guy ;)
 

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DO IT JEFF!! that is if Seth sells em. i know a guy with some big cams... but i dont think he is willing to part from em ;)

and i know Seth is looking for a head.. but its the money issue that is killing him.. and me.. and really all of us BOOO
 

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Good to see you doing some real work with the car, but sad to see you doing NA work to the car. Good luck.
 

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Let me IntroDouche myself...
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Man i so want to do this with my 2.3l..........but it sucks when you dont have a job.
 

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Look under the curve... UNDER THE CURVE!
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3,134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Chris - He's going to be checking out the crank, and it looks like he does a pretty thorough job of cleaning and media blasting blocks before he gets to work on them. For bearings, I didn't actually specify a size on them. I was just under the impression that they're a little bit oversized and get honed to fit. Hopefully I didn't burn myself there.:eek: I'll check with him when I take some other parts over to him. Likewise with the pistons.

Jeff and Chris - I was actually spec'ing Crane IIIs versus Crower IIIs last night. There's actually not that much difference between the Crane IIs and Crane IIIs (at least on paper). I'm just a little concerned that the Crowers are too much of a drag racing cam.

John - Thanks. I'll save the Forced Induction for something that can actually put the power I want down.:evilgrin: Although I must confess that I obviously come from a different automotive background from a lot of folks around here. To me, the Focus feels pretty quick with the bolt-ons it has already.:lol:

I got the green light last night from my wife to order the parts that I need to keep the project going this winter, so I'll post up as I get new stuff.:p
 

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Sounds like a great project with reasonable goals. I think that it is not necessary to have hundreds of HP to have a fun car. If you dyno in the 150-175 WHP range, it'll be pretty quick. Especially with some weight reduction and good traction.
 

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9 and 3 Damnit! 9 AND 3!!!!!!!
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You also need to order up an autopower roll bar for that gutted interior. Or I can hook you up with my fabricator extraordinaire in Columbus. After that you need to come out and do some HPDE in 09!
 
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