Installing Ford Racing’s short-throw shifter for the Focus ST
By Steve Turner
As you might know, this scribe is a big fan of Ford’s EcoBoost hot hatches, most notably the 2013-2014 Focus STs. My own daily driver is a 2013 ST in ST3 trim, and it goes by the moniker of Project Silver Lining, as buying it was a byproduct of some misfortune.
The allure of owning the ST was to have a daily driver that wouldn’t bore me to tears when I had a commute. These days, my commute is a bit shorter, but when I am out there chasing stories for SVTP, it is great to have the hatch to throw all my gear in, hit the road, and truly enjoy the drive.
Out of the box, the ST is a fun blend of power and handling. It does not deliver the brute force of a GT500, but throw it into a corner and I promise you will smile. Of course, as good as it is stock, the ST can certainly be sharpened for improved performance.
That kind of performance makes PSL a blast to drive, but you have to be able to put it to the ground. To help get that job done, it wears a quartet of Steeda handling springs, a Steeda rear sway bar, Ford Racing RS wheels, and Nitto Invo tires. PSL rides like it is on rails, with the grippy Nittos holding to the road as the springs and sway bar tighten the already tuned suspension.
Of course, even trying to keep myself from taking a driver too far, a project car is never really done until you part with it. While I was covering the upgrades on Lethal Performance’s Focus ST project, a.k.a. Squirt, we hit the highlights of installing Ford Racing’s Focus ST Short-Throw Shifter in that car. In my brief test drive, I really enjoyed the feel of this unit, so it seemed like a good idea to do a more detailed install on PSL, which brings us to this story.
Now, swapping the shifter is really the easy part of this installation. The trickier stuff is removing all the console trim and the console itself to gain access to the shifter. Yes, the Ford Racing unit is a complete shifter assembly, not just an upgraded lever. As such, you have to clear the way to get the job done.
The details are covered thoroughly here, but you run into any trouble and you need more than just our story and the expansive Ford Racing instructions, Bill Tumas at CJ Pony Parts filmed a great installation video for this unit. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and check it out. Moreover, the CJ Automotive Group is really getting into EcoBoost performance with its new venture, Spool Tuning. So if you are a fan of these Gas Turbo Direct Injection vehicles—including the 2015 Mustang—check it out.