Ford Focus ST 250 (mk3) - Basic Upgrades guide

Steeda Europe can help you upgrade your Focus ST mk3! The Focus mk3 ST 250 is a versatile family car that is just as happy taking the kids to school as it is taking you to the track. To get the best of this Fast Ford, you will need a select few upgrades....

We all start off with the great package that Ford gave us as our entry point and perhaps we can help you decide as to what to do with your car. The ST is a great daily use car, which can double as a really fun car to drive, and once tweaked can be a very capable driving machine...

There are 2 golden rules (in our opinion) that you need to follow:

1. It's YOUR car. So if it makes YOU happy, and it's what YOU want, then you have done it right and just ignore what other people say! 

2. What is your aim for the car? Developing a car for style, or performance, or track days all will mean different priorities and different trade-offs. Think about WHAT you want to achieve when drawing up your list.

Having said that, there are a few simple rules to help you along, and also a few simple mods that we can recommend to get you started in this guide.

There are some parameters that can help you decide what you want to start with and how to do things.

1. Budget?
2. Fitting?
3. Priority (this goes back to WHAT)
4. Supporting / Complimentary upgrades. (this in some ways is related to point 2, but not totally)
5. Impact.

Lets address these points individually to start with:

1. BUDGET:

Modifying your car is expensive right? So you need to save up a LOT before getting stuck in? WRONG.

One of our most popular mods is our Focus mk3 Clutch Help Spring at only €21.50 

So should you get one? NO. Not if you think your clutch pedal feels fine and you are happy with the way the clutch pedal feels! This goes back to 1. It's YOUR car so even if 100 people say the clutch spring is great, if you don't need it, don't get it! However, if you do have some issues with clutch feel, or kangarooing, driveability etc, then certainly get the spring. At that price you can't go wrong!

One thing we think that you SHOULD get is our Steeda Rear Engine Mount. It doesn't sound exciting (and it really isn't) but the change in the driveability and feel of your car IS exciting. The OEM mount especially on pre facelift ST's is so flexible that you can literally swing the engine about with your hands if it is up on a ramp! On the road that translates to a LOT of wheel spin and wheel hop, which kills performance..  At €139 inc tax its not a lot of money for a huge change in performance. Don't even think about adding power before adding one of these as all you will do is add more wheelspin!



Of course if you want to go all out we can help you with that too, by adding our engine side mounts as well. This would be very much for a track focussed "ultimate performance car" or a car with a big power upgrade which needs stronger mounts. Use one side or both....

 

2. FITTING:

Why is this a consideration? Well because you can save money on parts OR you can save money on fitting. Trying to "synchronise" installs to minimize duplicated labour is a good way of doing things. For example doing the Steeda Short Shift Bracket at the same time as our great Steeda Cold Air Intake is a great idea as the shift bracket is located directly under the intake area, so it needs to be removed to do the install. 

Doing the clutch and flywheel at the same time is always a good idea. Body kits are a classic example of where fitting can have a major impact? Save money buying a cheap kit, spend a lot more trying to get it to fit! 

 

3. PRIORITY: 

You see buying a huge selection of Steeda suspension mods might not be a great way to spend money if you aren't that bothered by driveability or performance, but just love the way your Focus ST looks and sounds.

For a daily driven ST, spending more on suspension parts, especially initially, probably isn't where you want to put your budget (apart from that rear engine mount). The stock springs ride nicely, and the stock exhaust looks cool. Now of course you can change them.... but do you need to?

So think about the WHAT you want to achieve and then either ask us what we think will help you further that aim most effectively, or choose yourself.

If it's all about enjoying things on track, then piling money into styling mods isn't a great idea. Drag racing a focus will mean that trying to enhance power without actually giving yourself a good traction base to launch from is a waste of time.

ALWAYS feel free to ask the Steeda UK team for advice, that's what we are here for.

4. SUPPORTING MODS:

In some ways related to fitting costs, but not always. This means how certain mods can contribute to the success of other mods. For example:

We can add power to the ST nicely with the Steeda Cold Air Intake, our Manifold spacer and Steeda Turbo Inlet Pipe all of which add power with no tune required. You can also add a Steeda tune for ultimate performance and to bring the ST up to near 300hp with a much nicer sound and torque and power curve. It will be a huge difference, and very enjoyable (but make sure you have that engine mount!)

However if you want this added power for use on the track or for very committed driving, then it will be next to useless without an improved Intercooler. The stock intercooler is fine for a daily driver and the odd foot down blast (unless you live somewhere very hot) but will fail almost immediately when under duress. This is a great example of knowing what you want the car for is essential, as the intercooler / no intercooler question is totally dependant on the cars use.

5. IMPACT:

You are changing your car so what do we think will have the maximum impact. What are our recommendations? (bearing in mind the golden rule, it's YOUR car)

1. Rear Engine Mount- Come on.. Surely you have gotten the message now!  8)

If you want something a bit special you can go for the CP-E X Flex rear motor mount


2. Steeda Power Pack. Cold Air intake and tune, or go for the whole pack with inlet tube and manifold spacer too. Great sound and great pull, and improved mpg too!

3. Wheels. A selection from Sparco and OZ Racing are always available to give your car great looks, and by losing rotational weight and nice improvement in performance in ALL categories, acceleration, braking, suspension, handling and of course style. We think the 18s look great still, but you can step up to 19s if you like... 

4. Short Shift Bracket. The ST250 has a Verrrrrrrrry long throw. We think that installing our shift bracket (or shift bracket and short throw lever) makes it a lot nicer and more sporty feeling to drive. Top it off with one of our great shift knobs if you want!

Ford Performance Carbon ST knob for Focus and Fiesta

These are what we regard as "the big 4" but of course you decide, and if you want to make it the big 23, then we can help! CONTACT US

There are so many options and you can keep your ST as an every day STreet car or make it into a track STar. 

 

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