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Shakercars's 1972 Trans Am

2019 August
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Twenty

Twenty's Twenty-twelve

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This morning the rear reflectors were re-tinted and put back in place, wrapping up the back end of the Focus (for now). I thought I'd grab a few quick shots to show the full exterior now that the updates are done for the new season.

Please ignore the winter wheels. The summer shoes are waiting to go back on. :)

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FSWERKS intake, improved:



Under the hood I have the FSWERKS intake and it's great; the sound is addictive and it makes the Focus' engine actually detectable by the human ear. However, it uses an ITG filter and it's difficult to find supplies for oiling it here in Canada. I'm personally a fan of K&N filters and finding oil for them is a piece of cake. The problem was that the K&N cone filter I picked up could not be secured adequately to the MAF housing (this intake reuses the stock piece whereas others replace it as well) as it wouldn't grip properly. This was the solution:



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I had seen a similar solution used before so I knew exactly what was needed. A small L-shaped piece of metal was made up, with a hole drilled in the bottom so that it could be fastened down using one of the heat shield's mounts. It presses against the end of the filter and prevents it from sliding off. Now I can keep the FSWERKS intake but have the K&N filter and the additional cover for added protection.



When it stops pouring outside I'll take it back out and give it a coat of paint.

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Nifty.

I need to get an intake for the Accord.

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I need to get one for Camaro, they are darn expensive for a full kit


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How bad? The kits I'm looking at are between $180-$220.

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avg round $390


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For a true cold air setup or those short rams that I see on almost every 5th gen?

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Short ram


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$390 for a short ram!?


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$390 for a short ram!?

Modding a Camaro ain't cheap :lol:

Sure got tons of choices but if you want quality you gotta pay.

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I could make a short ram for that cheaper than that.

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Car is always looking better everytime I come in here.

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I could make a short ram for that cheaper than that.

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I could make a short ram for that cheaper than that.

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Installing an OEM ST exhaust:

All of this was made possible by two friends; Jackie (who owns Zero Limit) and Mario (who owns the red ST).

Yesterday the STedan was went into the shop for a never-before-attempted project. Since Jackie had replaced Mario's factory exhaust system with an aftermarket assembly on Monday, that meant that there was an OEM ST exhaust left over. Light bulbs lit up.

With my Focus being built with the idea of an ST sedan in mind, fitting an ST exhaust would be a great way to continue the progress and further set the car apart from other Mk3s.

Currently only two MK3s are known to have had ST exhausts fitted, but both are hatches. With mine being a sedan we knew there would be some additional work involved. Jackie was up to the task, Mario was willing to provide the exhaust, and I knew that it would work perfectly with what I have in mind for down the road.

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I arrived at the shop in the morning and the Focus went on the hoist right away.

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The ST system was held up underneath the car to confirm what would fit and what would need work. The sedans are nearly 7″ longer than the hatches so an extension had to be added to the exhaust. It had to go in above the rear subframe; apart from that the exhaust fit right in the opening left by the stock system.

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The original exhaust in all its glory. 2″ piping all the way with a giant muffler mounted at the back. Less than two years old and looking…less than perfect. Note the rust appearing on the new sway bar and other components…I wish I didn’t have to winter drive this.

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This is the front half of the ST exhaust. The piping is 2.5″ and there’s one less resonator. While this obviously isn’t new, Mario’s ST is much younger than my SE and hasn’t seen a full winter yet.

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The whole of the ST exhaust, with the special muffler and centered tips in the background. Alternatively just an axle-back conversion could be done but why stop there? We were going for a full replacement.

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With parts gathered and the initial checking and testing done, we committed to the project when Jackie cut the original exhaust and it was removed from the car. You have served me well, but it was time to make some progress.

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“Okay, we’re really doing this.”

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I had asked one owner I know who had done the install before and he said it was fairly straight-forward. The first half was temporarily bolted in place and then we noticed the first issue; the mounting flange is not at the same angle relative to the exhaust as it is for the N/A system. As a result, the ST piping sat angled under the car. No good. The flange had to be rotated.

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Here you can see sections of new pipe where the exhaust was cut, holding it all in line, allowing for adjustment of the pieces. Jackie’s patience here was invaluable. Many times he had to go back and cut off a fraction of an inch or rotate the piping again to get things lining up properly. We both admitted to expecting to be done by lunch, but at that point we were just getting started.

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The muffler was mounted so that we could get an idea of what it’d look like. I texted a picture to Mario and he was really excited to see it. Haha.

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Later in the afternoon the pieces of the puzzle were starting to fall into place. The muffler is still crooked here as it was aligned last. That alone was a bit of a challenge but it had to be right or it would be very noticeable.

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At this point Mario arrived to check on the progress in person.

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That was when the picture-taking slowed as it kept getting later in the afternoon and the weekly meet was approaching, which I was planning and hoping to ‘reveal’ it at. After a bit of welding, final alignment and tightening of bolts, it was in! With everything ready to go I backed the car out of the shop and parked it next to Mario. Two days, two Foci, two exhausts.

I was nervous and excited for the first post-install start up because I had no idea what to expect in terms of sound. When I turned the key, the result was a nice deep tone and just what I was hoping for.

I can’t thank Jackie enough for this. Overall the install – in concept – is pretty simple. Rotate the flange, lengthen the system slightly, and put it all together. In reality though, there were many small tweaks to make and Jackie kept making them. I tried to help out where I could (mostly holding things when needed…) but Jackie was the one with the experience and tools to make this work.

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“Mustard and ketchup.” – Mario

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I kept teasing this and some people started making guesses as to what we were working on. When I arrived at the meet they then started coming over to the car to see if they were right. I think everyone who did guess was correct, in fact.

With that done, now I’m driving the Focus around and seeing how the exhaust sounds under varying conditions - hills, flat roads, idle, acceleration – so far so good. It’s civilized but at the same time you can tell there’s something different. The Focus has a little more bark and bite.

I hope to be able to get this car on a dyno someday to see just what the intake and exhaust have done for the power. Until then, there’s the soundtrack to enjoy.

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Looks good.

I love reading your write ups, nice photography work as well.

Nice thing about transverse mufflers, center outlets are easy! :lol:

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:agreed: great documentation!


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Time to catch up on some stuff...



JBR shifter bushings:



The ST (as seen in this thread before) and SE had some James Barone Racing (JBR) solid shifter bushings fitted. They were inexpensive pieces which would hopefully improve the feel of the shifter, so Mario and I decided to give them a try in our cars. The true install, that is the removal of old and fitting of new pieces, was very simple and fast. It was the tear-down prior to and replacing all of the removed parts after that took the time (in total we were working for a handful of hours). We also may or may not have dropped a bolt and washer down into the recesses of the shifter and had to spend a lot of time hunting for them… Tip: don’t do that.



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Here’s one of the two kits; you can see the new solid bushings and washers which fit on top.



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This is the comparison with the factory piece (on the left). It consists of a metal sleeve surrounded by the rubber boot. There isn’t too much room for it to flex but it was surprisingly soft; the JBR kit sees the shifter assembly get bolted directly – with no isolators - to the car. We noticed the JBR bushings were shorter than OEM, but it appears that the extra height is just due to the rubber and the metal sleeves are the same height as the JBR parts.



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As I said, it was the tearing down and putting back of the console that took the most time. The entire unit had to come out as you can see. It wasn’t too hard to remove, but having to tear apart so many clipped-together, plastic parts on relatively new cars can be a little scary. Fortunately nothing broke and everything lined up again afterwards. No rattles either, everything is back to the way it should be.


Each car had four bushings, one of which is highlighted by the arrow. With the small bolt out the stock pieces were pried out and the new JBR bushings were put in place.



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Mario’s car was first on the agenda so by this point, when we were working on my car, it was getting dark outside. I had to resort to a harsh flash to get this last shot, which shows three of the four bushings.


At the end of the night when he was leaving, Mario noted he felt the improvement immediately, and I definitely did as well after driving around the next day. There are even better-defined gear changes now, with the shifter slotting into place with a more solid thunk. Worth the time and money? Absolutely. If you have a manual Mk3, you should buy these.


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New headlights and visors:

At this time the annual Sunday School Show and Shine hosted by ill.motion was less than two weeks away. That meant the Focus had some final items to address before the big day.

First up was to take care of the headlights:

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Both were suffering from this hazing by the parking lights. The inside of the lens was being affected and it was looking rather bad. Some research showed other owners noting the same issue.

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I was able to get the new lights under warranty fortunately, so they were quickly swapped in place of the old units and the little blemishes were gone! I’ll admit they were fairly small but were still easily seen and weren’t getting any smaller as time passed. If they had become that visible in a matter of months who knows how bad they’d get?

One difference now is that the old headlights had been wrapped in 3M (which we doubt caused it) and these new ones are still bare for the time being. With winter approaching, I may go ahead and have them wrapped again. That is to be figured out later though.

The second small change was a set of window visors.

These particular ones from EGR fit into the channel, and the install was a few minutes at most. The fronts fit in and are ready to go right away but the rears use double-sided tape and require the windows to stay up for a few days so that they stick fully.

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(Check out the marks on the black pillar trim. Clean and polish them all you want, and they still look horrible. Sigh.)

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The fitment was great, and I think I’ll like these very much in the long run. Already they have been very nice to have, with the rain that has happened on and off.

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ill.motion Sunday School 2013:

August 18th was the third annual Sunday School show and shine hosted by ill.motion. After plenty of preparation, our group was ready and arrived with a nice selection of cars; we were also lucky and got a great spot in the venue.

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I drove the 5.0 down with one friend taking the Focus for me... (this shot was taken after the show ended, hence why the Celica seen below is missing)

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...and another taking the Grand Prix.

The Focus had received a few updates, so I quickly edited some photos to post here.

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Who sees the meaning behind the design of the center caps?

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Thanks goes to everyone involved; Metro Ford included (no decal here).

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Souvenirs from shows this year.

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The V-Maxx springs are in and while the fronts are still settling, the rear has come down nicely.

Under the hood was the special piece though, a lucky find which arrived just in time.

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This is Steeda's prototype Mk3 engine cover, number 0001. You cannot buy one of these as they are not made; I have THE cover, as seen on the SEMA car. I am rather proud of this part. [:)]

Now that the show is over a couple of small updates are still in the plans for the near future, and hopefully will be in before the last events of the year.

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as always, very nice. and cool cover.

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nice!


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Kinda cool we have such a unique MKIII Focus on our boards.

I love the new centercaps on the wheels. Now they look proper.

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Thanks guys!

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