January Update

Hello everyone!

I’ve finally found time to give you all a fresh update on what has been going on in the past few months as far as the Focus goes. It is now the beginning of February, and I have been super busy. Although, this rainy Sunday evening has given me the vibe to write out this quick update!

I would like to begin at the end. The end of last year that is. The winter this year has been a huge blessing with all of the rain that has come down on us in the West Coast. The four year drought that California was plagued with has officially ended. Reservoirs and lakes are at full capacity, and we’ve even had flooded back roads. It seemed as if I hadn’t seen these conditions for ages. All of this is cool and all, but the progress on the Focus has been somewhat slow because of it.

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Mid-November, I decided to start looking for a Cobb Accessport tuner. Mike at RDC let me know that because I did the engine swap through them, I’d get custom tuning from them on the house. I scoured the Sacramento and Bay Area Craigslist and found a brand new tuner in Sacramento! I immediately sent the seller a text, and we came to a deal. My buddies, Chava and Gabe tagged along to go pick it up.

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I opened the box almost immediately, and set it up in the parking lot where the transaction went down. In the box was the following: A Cobb Accessport Tuner, clip on case-holder, mount for the case-holder, OBD cable, USB cable, Cobb sticker, and  instruction booklet.

I initially uploaded the Cobb over-the-shelf stage 1, 91 octane map. It ran okay, and definitely woke the car up a bit. I emailed RDC with my information, and then get the first 91 octane map from them. It woke the car up! So much power down low, and the top end didn’t just fall as it did on the stock tune. I still need to datalog and refine the tune. I will once I find time.

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As you can see in the picture above, I have six different gauges. I have gauges set up for boost pressure, corrections on all 4 cylinders, and charge air temperatures. This was absolutely necessary to see how the car was running post-swap. I am very happy with the device, and I can’t wait to add more mods to the car to really take advantage of the tuner!

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To ring in the new year, I got a cool surprise at work. I switched to a newer truck! This is a 2015 Freightliner Cascadia. I didn’t waste any time taking a picture of the Focus and Truck 11 together.

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Christmas didn’t end in December, as the first mods of the new year had made their way from RDC to my front doorstep. Mike sent me a wheel and tire combo that included Andros wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, a body wiring harness, and a steering wheel clock-spring. These new wheels will be used as track wheels once the Works get re-coated.

At the same time, I also ordered some new rear camber arms. Those, were installed a few days after the new year rolled in. I then went to get an alignment the next day with the new wheels and tires installed. The toe up front was way off, and the rear camber is still off as I need to raise the rear in order to out the rear camber into spec and not rub the fender.

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I went on a quick little shoot using the GoPro Mike had included in my package o’ stuff. I’m pretty excited to put it to use on track days!

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Here’s a cool thing that I found out. My dad’s first long haul trucking job was in a truck that was red and white just like mine! The pictures above were both our first pictures alongside our trucks too! It was so cool to see this, and just goes to show that trucking is in my blood.

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One of the final updates is actually the one that has me most excited. Notice that there are now fault lights at all on my dash in the picture above? That’s because an issue that as plagued my car for years has finally been fixed!

Remember how that clock-spring and wiring harness were included in the parts Mike had sent? Well, my ABS issue was going to be fixed with one of those two parts.The question was which one? I just couldn’t see the clock-spring fixing my ABS issue.

Well, I went ahead and did the clock-spring first, since it was easier to replace. All it was, was removing the airbag and steering wheel, then the clock-spring was right there. It has to be installed in a certain way for it to be installed properly. So, I made sure I took my time doing it.

Once installed, I immediately tried my steering wheel buttons, and they worked! I honked the horn for the first time post swap as well. I had lost both accessories after the swap, and I think the old clock-spring was not compatible with the new manual dash harness that was installed during the swap.

It didn’t however, fix the ABS issue. Right away that is. A week later I was driving around and I suddenly had my speedometer back, and my excitement was too real! After years of trying to fix this issue, it seems to have been fixed with the magic clock-spring. I kept driving that night, and after the speedometer came back, the traction control light turned off. I immediately plugged the laptop into the car via my modified ELM327, and programmed the necessary ABS parameters that needed to be programmed.

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Fast forward to today. The car is, for the most part, complete post swap. Save for a few small interior pieces that I am painting. The car is ready to be taken to the state referee to have the engine registered as a legal swap. The ABS system has not shut off for a month, and I know now that the fix is permanent and the body harness does not need to be replaced.

In other news, I have come upon a new job opportunity that I am very excited about. It is a line-haul trucking job that will allow me to come home every night, has the same base salary as my current job, and includes benefits! I am stoked about this opportunity! I have also started a new YouTube channel that bears the same name as this blog. My first video was on Dallas, and his Crown Victoria. Click on the link to view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0kt6AMnbb8

I will update the blog as much as possible in the next months as I make more improvments to the Focus. I hope everyone is having an awesome 2017, and as always, GodSpeed!

-Jose

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