Tech: Ford Racing Focus ST Shifter

Ford Racing ST Shifter Install Featured

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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.

Here’s my daily driver, Project Silver Lining. This 2013 Focus ST is a blast to drive, and thanks to a new Ford Racing shifter, it is even more fun.
Here’s my daily driver, Project Silver Lining. This 2013 Focus ST is a blast to drive, and thanks to a new Ford Racing shifter, it is even more fun.

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.

The Ford Racing Focus ST Short-Throw Shifter (PN M-7210-FST; $449) is a complete (right down to the knob and boot) shifter assembly that is a direct replacement for the factory mechanism. As you might guess it is a stock shift tower upgraded with a new billet lever that reduces the shift throw by 18 percent.
The Ford Racing Focus ST Short-Throw Shifter (PN M-7210-FST; $449) is a complete (right down to the knob and boot) shifter assembly that is a direct replacement for the factory mechanism. As you might guess it is a stock shift tower upgraded with a new billet lever that reduces the shift throw by 18 percent.

As my daily, I didn’t want to get too aggressive with the mods, but there had to be some mods. For improved power, PSL is hooked up with a Ford Racing calibration, a Ford Racing after-cat exhaust, a Steeda cold-air intake, a Ford Racing cold-air scoop, a Steeda Focus ST Catted Downpipe, and a Steeda engine mount. With this combo, it puts down 253.01 horsepower and 341.83 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels.

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.

Get down to business by popping out the shift boot and removing the three fasteners that retain the shifter trim. It
Get down to business by popping out the shift boot and removing the three fasteners that retain the shifter trim. It

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.

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5 thoughts on “Tech: Ford Racing Focus ST Shifter”

  1. I got to see a batch of these being manufactured recently. There’s actually quite a few steps that go into it. Don’t think I can disclose the manufacturer though Tob.

  2. http://s772.photobucket.com/user/Tobphotobucket/media/__FocusFRPPshiftercomparison.jpg.html

    My assumption would be that Ford Racing engineers worked with Dura in [URL=”http://www.duraauto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/auburn-hills-michigan.pdf”]Auburn Hills[/URL] to validate the chang
    I understand. I still like the challenge to figure it out on my own. :dw: My guess would be that Dura makes the OEM shifter and if they don’t assemble the FRPP unit, that they either supply OEM units for disassembly/modification to either FRPP or a subcontractor to FRPP. In studying your photos Steve it looks like cable actuation speed has been accelerated via a new billet cable bracket.

    http://i772.photobucket.com/albums/yy1/Tobphotobucket/__FocusFRPPshiftercomparison.jpg

    My assumption would be that Ford Racing engineers worked with Dura in Auburn Hills to validate the change and to ensure that it didn’t reduce component life or effectiveness elsewhere. Interesting that FRPP lists it as being an 18% reduction in throw as that isn’t too far from the 20% reduction FRPP lists for their GT500/KR shifter (made by a totally different Tier supplier). It would make sense if Ford Racing used the economies of scale advantage with respect to using an already in production shifter and achieved their results with such a small modification. I don’t see mention of any change made that would imply any springs were changed but it would make sense in line with the change to the throw.

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