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Discussion Starter #1
Recently, I rode along in a car powered by a modified Zetec. It was horrible. Gone was the smooth, torquey power I had grown used to in my own car. The engine had to be wrung out to achieve any acceleration, screamed like a banshee getting there (in a bad way), and it shook the car like it was trying to give me a massage. It made me stop to consider what I want from my own vehicle, and made me ponder a new question. What can you do to a Duratec to turn it into the smooth, sexy powerplant it was meant to be?

Right now, my engine has a Marcy intake, Cosworth flex, and a Borla cat-back. The sound is awesome. I definitely don't want it any louder. The only things I want for it are a little idle lope (stage I cams), and a bit of that boxer sound (Cosworth manifold). I'm afraid of adding a header for fear that it will mess up that lovely tone, and if I do add one I'll definitely be adding at least one resonator with it. At what point does the stock manicat become a real problem, rather than just a restriction? For smoothness, I'm sticking with full balance shafts and OE motor mounts. Is there any other common upgrade that will make the engine "harsher"?

Cams, maybe header, intake mani, then... Is the next logical step some port polishing? Or do I beef up the valvetrain so I can bring it up to 7,000 when I feel the urge? For reference, my overall goal for this vehicle is to produce something that would not be out of place in the upscale hot hatch market of Europe. A car that could pass itself off as a BMW M½, perhaps, or a FWD Porsche hatchback.
 

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DoubleStuf™
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Well, from personal experience, I think you should atleast consider the rear motor mount poly inserts, but if you raise the idle to about 1k, you won't have any more vibration problems from that. (tuning- req. w/ cams anyway)

I'd think an idle with a lope would also add vibration, so that's to consider. Any of the other air-flow mods won't cause vibration, but can increase noise. That noise can be countered with resonators & mufflers.

I'd say it's just a matter of throwing money at refinement as well as power. It's easy to throw a thousand bucks at a bunch of power mods, but you're going to get that hacked up feel unless you persue the refinement to balance the performance mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's easy to throw a thousand bucks at a bunch of power mods,
I beg to differ.


But good points.
 

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DoubleStuf™
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Yea, ok, you got me on that one. Maybe not so easy.
 

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Official [FJ] Distinguished Advisor
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Good questions, young man.


I do not wish to disrespect the Zetec; I thought I was buying one...

When my 2.3 Duratec Focus PZEV was bone stock (no CAI, Cosworth flex or FS Stealth exhaust), a friend of mine who worked as Edmunds.com's Tech Editor for two years drove my car on freeways and backroads and exclaimed, "Kee-Righst! This thing's like driving a BMW!"

Of course, the car had less than 1500 miles on it...

But it serves to illustrate how good a car the North American Focus had become.

I've modified a few cars in my life; all have been streeters, therefore I've had to choose parts and applications conservatively. Mild, instead of wild. My last project, though, evolved into a seriously fast road car with some added stroke, great cylinder heads, conservative valve timing and an efficient exhaust.

The cylinder head on the Focus Duratec is excellent; should flow enough air as cast for around 200 HP, so no porting should be necesary for a street car.

If I were not living in the People's Republic of California (see: The Newspaper) and wanted to do cams, then I'd try to find cams that bumped the .050 tappet lift duration on intake and exhaust between 4 and 6 degrees, no more and with perhaps a slight increase in lift.

Rumor has it that the OE manicat begins to be a restriction at around 160-170 HP at the crank, which makes sense considering it's 2 inch collector diameter.

I too will, for now, stick with the balance shafts and OE liquid-filled motor mounts. Along with whatever add'l sound insulation has been added to the car, those NVH guys at Ford did a decent job.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rumor has it that the OE manicat begins to be a restriction at around 160-170 HP at the crank, which makes sense considering it's 2 inch collector diameter.
Such a pity. I expect my car, in its "finished" state, to be just around that mark or slightly above. If I do have to swap it, what is likely to produce a deeper sound: small-tube headers (FS), or larger tube (Marcy, or maybe Cosworth)?
 

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Don't know the answer to that one (exhaust tone), but smaller header primaries will promote low-to-mid RPM VE (volumetric efficiency) and therefore torque, which is the direction I'd go for a daily driver.

If it weren't for the current cost of gasoline, I'd say (since you don't live in Cali) if you want torque, buy a Mustang... and opt for the large-tube header.
 

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DoubleStuf™
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Wasn't Walter originally working on that? Why'd he stop pursuing that idea?
 

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Wasn't Walter originally working on that? Why'd he stop pursuing that idea?
Soon someone will make a tri Y header ceramic coated for under $300.00.

The duratec is still an infant. Wait 2 more years and see what's availiable.
 

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I think he's revisiting the idea. it was temporarily shelved because it's a little more difficult to produce.
 

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DoubleStuf™
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any chance of that making it into the group buy? Any word on the group buy by the way?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mmm... I can just picture a stepped tri-y design...
 
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