More like an RS blog than a build thread...

meFiSTo

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#1
Well. friends, since there are are only a few of us here, I figured I would use this space to document the life of my RS. Since this car has an extended aftermarket warranty, I can't really do anything substantive to the engine or drive train (no upgrades to power, no LSD, no performance clutch, no flywheel, no oil-control assembly, no balance-shaft delete, etc.) without probably running into warranty issues should the car experience a serious failure. So, not really a build thread. If my car attends events, track days, etc, I'll post here.

What's happened to this car so far:
This will now be my *alternative* daily driver and occasional track-day car. It does not need to be the fastest car or even fastest RS at an event. I just want to have a little fun and get home in one piece. I had planned to use my Fiesta ST as my track car, but I'm wary of that car's reliability with all of its engine mods. Plus, I'm dialing back track visits. This RS will be a joy to take out to a local road courses from time to time. It was made for that. I think the Fiesta was made more for canyon carving--which I don't do anymore since putting my then-new Gen1 MR2 into a ditch driving back to San Jose on Highway 9 from Boulder Creek in 1985. It was a minor ditching, but still sliding on Highway 9 toward the precipice when your rear-end snaps around is not fun. The ditch side was better than the cliff side so, WIN. And I DID drive home from that with only damage to the lower front valance.

The Focus platform is SO much more stable than the Fiesta. That translates into speed on the track (at least for me); add the AWD and a fairly significant HP/TQ bump compared to the Fiesta (even with the MRX upgraded turbo) and...yeehah!

Other possible stuff:
  • Tint rear passenger windows and around back

I'll add thoughts about this car as time passes. We mostly drive a couple of beaters around town, especially when we have our double-coated pug with us. More than one passenger friend has commented to my wife about the insane amount of pug fur in the Jeep. I rarely have passengers (except Oscar and my wife) riding along. Anyway, I do not want Oscar's fur to take over this car or the other hatch, but mostly this car.

The fur-generating culprit:

 
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#4
[MENTION=201]meFiSTo[/MENTION] we are going to be quite the pair next summer. I’m also installing the Mountune RMM and short-throw shifter.

You should come down to The Shop when I tackle these projects. Probably after the holidays are over.


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meFiSTo

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#5
[MENTION=201]meFiSTo[/MENTION] we are going to be quite the pair next summer. I’m also installing the Mountune RMM and short-throw shifter.

You should come down to The Shop when I tackle these projects. Probably after the holidays are over.


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Maybe so.

It won't always be the Focus at the track, but we will be representing Ford no doubt.

I think the likely split is 2/3 Fiesta, 1/3 RS for my track days. If I attend more track days, the higher the percentage of Fiesta days; fewer track days, closer to a 50/50 split. No matter what, it won't be many. Low end would be 1 event/year; high end would be 6. Fiesta is (and will remain) much more set up for track days. Despite its issues last summer, I do think it will hold up once any other mountune gotchas are discovered and settled. The (largely stock) Focus will hold up as well (probably better), but I want to hang on to that one for awhile. Keeping my fingers crossed that I never see the cold start white smoke, but I have an extended warranty just in case.
 
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meFiSTo

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#6
Photo of winter wheels when they went on in October. This will be my year-round, everyday setup.

 

meFiSTo

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#7
This car is finally headed into the shop to get the few bits installed (pads, brake lines, RMM, PTU brace). After some thought, I've decided to make this my "track car" after all. That kind of reflects my tilt toward fewer track days and my distrust of the Fiesta in track day situations. My final two track days last year ended in the car limping home and requiring repairs. It will become my everyday grocery getter and occasional commuter.

I'm pretty sure that the RS will make a couple of track days before the end of the year. If so, I'll try to post some video and perhaps pics from the day. Portland will happen for sure and maybe Shelton. Fiesta is still stuck in the garage pending garage door replacement. Looks like we are going to get a custom door to match the existing doors rather than replacing all 3 doors with "standard" doors. It's going to cost some $$$.
 

GhostRS

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#8
This car is finally headed into the shop to get the few bits installed (pads, brake lines, RMM, PTU brace). After some thought, I've decided to make this my "track car" after all. That kind of reflects my tilt toward fewer track days and my distrust of the Fiesta in track day situations. My final two track days last year ended in the car limping home and requiring repairs. It will become my everyday grocery getter and occasional commuter.

I'm pretty sure that the RS will make a couple of track days before the end of the year. If so, I'll try to post some video and perhaps pics from the day. Portland will happen for sure and maybe Shelton. Fiesta is still stuck in the garage pending garage door replacement. Looks like we are going to get a custom door to match the existing doors rather than replacing all 3 doors with "standard" doors. It's going to cost some $$$.
Damn! Get those doors fixed! The poor Fiesta needs to come out!

Thx for posting... definitely post up your track days.
 

meFiSTo

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#10
Kim which RMM did you get?
Hi! Mountune.

First track day today. Just out to shake out the cobwebs and get a feel for the car.




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meFiSTo

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#11
Focus was very fun at the track last weekend. First time with this car at the track. It took a little while to get reacquainted with the Ridge and then some learning about the car. By the fourth session, I was getting a feel for the car and the Ridge, but by the end of fifth session I was getting a little groggy and missed several consecutive apexes. I called it a day. That was probably wise as I got super groggy on the way home and had to pull over to take a little mental rest.

My video setup was not working and was VERY distracting in the first two sessions, so I pulled the plug on that. It helped my concentration immeasurably to stop tinkering and worrying about it. I just sprung for a Waylens in-car cam this week. That should run mostly on its own once set up. I do like capturing lapping data, but I don't like messing with the stuff while driving.

Here are some photos taken by Kirk Myhre of MyhreCreative:









 

meFiSTo

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#12
I got out to The Ridge again last weekend. I was a little worried it is was going to be too hot, but amazingly, there was a break in the heat wave and it was a nearly perfect day. Some notes, images, and a 3-lap video follow.

Location: The Ridge Motorsports Park, Shelton, WA

Date: August 10, 2018

Weather conditions: Breezy and cool in the a.m., then slowly warming to a high of 73 deg F with continued breezy conditions, but sunny after about 1 p.m. -- incredible considering highs consistently in the mid-90s for the prior couple of weeks in Shelton (including the day before the event).

Temp Observations

I really did not even have to monitor temps much. During sessions, the oil temp split the difference on the stock gauge between the midpoint and the "limit" indicator. The coolant temp was similar, but a little lower. I could go back and check the captured OBD II readings from my Waylens camera data, but the car just ran great. No brake fade (second day on mountune track compound pads with the Brembo fluid).

Tires

The tires held up pretty well, but are starting to show some track-related wear. I did learn an interesting thing. An instructor from the RS Adrenaline Academy in Utah was there (Ronnie) and he approached me concerning my tire pressures. He noticed that they were not inflated all the way to spec while I sat in pre-grid. In general, I have always bled tires to about 31/32 psi (side depends on clockwise vs. counterclockwise direction of track), so that the hot temp pressure is about 38 psi or so. That's always worked well for me, but he said that, at the academy, they recommend a cold tire pressure of 42 psi (the actual spec on the door). He acknowledged that it is counter intuitive, but that they found the tires hold up much better in the long run and work fine on track at the higher cold psi. I'm going to try 40 psi cold first and see how that goes next time. The fronts do look a little tortured. I'll snap a photo and post here later.

He also is a vocal proponent of the Michelin stockers (Pilot Super Sports) and the (newer) Pilot Sport 4S. Not cheap tires, but there are not many options in this size.


On Track Observations

Wow. This car is a delight to drive at the track. It is both stable and nimble. What I love about the handling is something that probably some folks don't love. If I enter a little hot into a high-speed corner and the rear starts to slip, I can actually lift slightly and the nose straightens out bit, then back to throttle and instant traction. That's in "Track Mode." That's something that I could always do with my FWD cars, but I could not add much throttle. RWD cars would not take well to a lift during a rear slip. The back to throttle part is fantastic. The rear wheels engage along with the fronts and --> TRACTION, baby. Slight slide, little lift, back hard to throttle. Oh yeah. I try to minimize the use of nannies and this car handles that so well. Nothing seemed to overheat at all.

And the brakes. OMG. The Brembos on this thing -- in combination with the mountune track pads and Brembo fluids -- are awesome. They work smoothly and progressively with zero fade -- and when you really need them (overshoot into threshold braking), the thing can stand on its nose. I don't recommend that (just not necessary with this car), but it can do it.

As for overall performance, the car has plenty of grunt for my purposes in stock form. I have a lot more that I can do as far as driving the car closer to its limit before worrying about adding power. The suspension is probably a little stiff in track mode, but the car was very composed. I LOVE the way that it slips out a little at the limit on these stock tires and is so easy to bring back and get back to throttle. Throttle steering is so fun. I know there is a ton of room to play with that based on my lap times. I was basically getting lap times that matched the fastest times in my heavily modified Fiesta ST -- with no real effort on my part in the RS. I was just working on line adjustments (plenty of more work to do there), but not really pushing on the car much at all.

So glad I got this car out to the track. I guess I'm glad my Fiesta was stuck in the garage. Hah.


I've got a new in-car camera system from Waylens. The "Horizon" is not a cheap option, but generally it takes care of itself once set up correctly. I had some issues with the UI, but I think I have a strategy for getting set up more consistently when getting in to pre-grid. It's a little tricky to get ready. If you turn power off to the car, it resets (hardwired to a switched fuse). When you are belted in with a Schroth harness, HANS, etc., it can be a PITA to get it reset into lapping mode. I did get one good session recorded in the afternoon once I figured out how to get it into auto-lapping mode (with the help of my nephew-in-law [MENTION=203]alexvollmer[/MENTION]). There were practically no cars on the track, so it was a great opportunity to try some lines suggested by one of the coaches (Lane).

Last points: The Hooked on Driving crew and event were both perfect for me. I like having someone to discuss different approaches for optimizing entry/exit for different parts of the track, but then working on that with no one chattering at me in the cockpit. Shelton is a moderately technical track. While not as complex nor as long as some (like Utah), it does have some technical areas. Those areas (back side of the track at Shelton) is where I lose time to better drivers and where I have a ton of room to improve. Having said that, I'm running a pretty consistent 2:10-2:11 when in the clear -- with a very laid-back approach (concentrating, but really only focusing on working on my line and adding speed incrementally in certain specific areas, etc.). I reckon I can pretty easily knock off about 5 seconds when pushing on the back side a bit (chasing a faster driver). That will be just fine for me.

All in all: A really fun day in a wonderful car. Fiesta ST is now my daily driver (and maybe a car for recreational AutoX).

YMMV.

A couple images and a representative video.

About this video: I (inadvertently) disabled the camera's microphone. So, this video has a couple of short soundtracks added. All you normally hear is engine noise and wind anyway, so it's no great loss.

[video=youtube_share;454s9Kq8V_k]https://youtu.be/454s9Kq8V_k[/video]


Thanks to Kirk Myhre of MyhreCreative for coming out to another track day and snapping some photos of all us car nuts.



 

GhostRS

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#13
Great write-up.
I really need to get to the track. I knew these cars would perform well.

Nice to hear you didn’t have brake fade and no over-heating.
 

meFiSTo

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#14
fire extinguisher plan

Now that the RS appears to be headed to a few track days a year, I've decided to do the bare minimum and get a fire extinguisher.

I found a couple of options, but opted for one from Austalian firm Kap Industries: Focus ST/RS specific fire extinguisher bracket

Thanks, Russell for your lightning quick responses.

I'm going to couple that with the same bottle that is in my other car: Safecraft PB2 Fire Extinguisher The "stock" (ordered separate) mount has a built-in quick release pin to allow fast access when needed. That's a nice feature, but the Safecraft mounting hardware is not cheap and I don't think it would attach as-is to the Kap part. I do need to to check about the bracket they have that is without the plate. Still not sure that would attach to the Kap bracket.

In any event, I did find quick release-styled fire extinguisher mounting that should work perfect: Drake Fire Extinguisher Mount

The extinguisher is attached to the quick-release bracket with 2 t-bolt clamps (need to find the right size; varies depending on bottle diameter) and some fasteners to attach the Drake mount base to the Kap bracket. Tacoma Screw here I come. Everything else is in the mail.

The only concern I had was whether the Drake base would mate to the Kap bracket, but that bracket has slots to allow some wiggle room for the bracket positioning. Perfect.

I'll post a couple of pictures once it's installed. It's not as slick as the setup I had made for the Fiesta (slides with seat), but it is hella cheaper if I can do the assembly at home.
 
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GhostRS

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#15
Now that the RS appears to be headed to a few track days a year, I've decided to do the bare minimum and get a fire extinguisher.

I found a couple of options, but opted for one from Austalian firm Kap Industries: Focus ST/RS specific fire extinguisher bracket

Thanks, Russell for your lightning quick responses.

I'm going to couple that with the same bottle that is in my other car: Safecraft PB2 Fire Extinguisher The "stock" (ordered separate) mount has a built-in quick release pin to allow fast access when needed. That's a nice feature, but the Safecraft mounting hardware is not cheap and I don't think it would attach as-is to the Kap part. I do need to to check about the bracket they have that is without the plate. Still not sure that would attach to the Kap bracket.

In any event, I did find quick release-styled fire extinguisher mounting that should work perfect: Drake Fire Extinguisher Mount

It's attached to the quick-release bracket with 2 t-bolt clamps (need to find the right size; varies depending on bottle diameter) and some fasteners to attach the Drake mount base to the Kap bracket. Tacoma Screw here I come. Everything else is in the mail.

The only concern I had was whether the Drake base would mate to the Kap bracket, but that bracket has slots to allow some wiggle room for the bracket positioning. Perfect.

I'll post a couple of pictures once it's installed. It's not as slick as the setup I had made for the Fiesta (slides with seat), but it is hella cheaper if I can do the assembly at home.
If you're going to do track days, the fire extinguisher is a good idea.
Drake makes some nice stuff. Good choice!
 


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