News: Focus ST 2.3-liter Engine Swap

0 0 Ford Performance 2.3-liter Focus ST Featured

Bigger & Better

Ford Performance Racing Parts swaps a 2.3-liter EcoBoost into a Focus ST

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Performance Racing Parts

From the moment Ford equipped the Mustang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and the Focus RS was slated to receive an even more powerful 2.3, Focus ST owners were jealous. Maybe you won’t admit it, but as a proud Focus ST driver, your author was definitely a bit green with envy. While the EcoBoost platform has turned adage that there’s no replacement for displacement on its ear, there’s still something to that extra grunt available from a bigger engine—even if it’s only .3 liters bigger.

The engine in question did not come from a Mustang or a Focus RS. Instead, the FPRP team selected the 2.3-liter found in the Lincoln MKC. Even in stock form this engine offers a 33 horsepower and 35 lb-ft advantages over the stock EcoBoost 2.0-liter in the Focus ST. With all the supporting Ford Performance and Mountune mods it received, that advantage should be amplified.
The engine in question did not come from a Mustang or a Focus RS. Instead, the FPRP team selected the 2.3-liter found in the Lincoln MKC. Even in stock form this engine offers a 33 horsepower and 35 lb-ft advantages over the stock EcoBoost 2.0-liter in the Focus ST. With all the supporting Ford Performance and Mountune mods it received, that advantage should be amplified.

A time-tested way of adding extra displacement is with an engine swap, and the crew at Ford Performance Racing Parts set out to show what a hot-rodded 2.3-liter would do—besides making us jealous again—for a 2014 Focus ST. The goal of this project ST is to create the ultimate front-wheel-drive track car.

“A large amount of modularity exists between the 2.0- and 2.3-liter Ecoboost engines. The 2.3 engine offers a lot of ‘bang for the buck,’ as seen in the 2015 Mustang. We see potential in offering the 2.3-liter engine for both front- and rear-wheel-drive applications,” Ron Ewert, Ford Performance Racing Parts Engine Engineer, explained. “This ST project provides us the opportunity to showcase a potential crate engine package for our Ford Performance enthusiast. It also gives us the opportunity to highlight parts from our partners at Mountune, all on the same vehicle.”

In what might portend a new addition to the Ford Performance Racing Parts crate-engine line-up, the engineering team at FPRP swapped 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine into this 2014 Focus ST. Currently the project isn’t quite complete, as the calibration still must be dialed in. However, it is making its public debut at the Carlisle Ford Nationals this weekend.
In what might portend a new addition to the Ford Performance Racing Parts crate-engine line-up, the engineering team at FPRP swapped 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine into this 2014 Focus ST. Currently the project isn’t quite complete, as the calibration still must be dialed in. However, it is making its public debut at the Carlisle Ford Nationals this weekend.

To investigate that potential, the FPRP team started with a 2.3-liter engine from another platform.

“The 2.3-liter engine used in this project is from the current production Lincoln MKC, which produces 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque as installed in the Lincoln,” Ron said.

However, thanks to all the parts Ron pulled off the FPRP shelves to enhance the performance of the engine in its new home, there’s no doubt the 2.3-liter output is greater than stock. Highlights of the upgrades are the same FPRP/Mountune intercooler and charge pipes we installed on our Focus ST project, along with a Mountune cold-air intake, a ST Quaife torque-biasing differential, and more (see the full Mod List below).

Harnessing all the performance delivered by a hopped-up 2.3-liter could be a challenge, so the FPRP team upgraded this project with a Quaife torque-biasing differential (PN 2363-ATB-AA; $999) installed with FPRP’s own Focus ST Quaife differential installation kit.
Harnessing all the performance delivered by a hopped-up 2.3-liter could be a challenge, so the FPRP team upgraded this project with a Quaife torque-biasing differential (PN 2363-ATB-AA; $999) installed with FPRP’s own Focus ST Quaife differential installation kit.

Of course, like most engine swaps it’s not a purely bolt-on operation. Off-the-shelf gear will only take you so far. Some of the 2.0-liter parts swapped right over to the MKC 2.3-liter, but to make the new engine fully functional in a Focus ST required a few custom components.

Ron and his team fabricated an adapter, which mates the 2.0-liter engine’s catalytic downpipe with the 2.3-liter turbo. Supporting the cats is a modified support bracket. They also had to install a coolant de-gas line with a T to join the 2.0-liter de-gas tank with the 2.3-liter engine. Likewise, an oil-filter adapter plate allows the use of the 2.0-liter oil filter on the larger engine.

With a bigger turbo and more boost a more efficient intercooler is a wise addition to this project. FPRP chose the Mountune intercooler upgrade in silver. This unit replaces factory the Active Grille Shutters and intercooler with larger more efficient intercooler core featuring end tanks designed to minimize turbo lag.
With a bigger turbo and more boost a more efficient intercooler is a wise addition to this project. FPRP chose the Mountune intercooler upgrade in silver. This unit replaces factory the Active Grille Shutters and intercooler with larger more efficient intercooler core featuring end tanks designed to minimize turbo lag.

We can only imagine that this car is a lot of fun on the street and the racetrack. Just adding all the FPRP/Mountune parts to a Focus ST makes for a great package. The extra grunt provided by the larger engine should take it to the next level. However, since the car is just breaking cover this weekend it hasn’t seen any real testing—yet.

“A calibration is being optimized for this project,” Ron said. “We’ve not had an opportunity to evaluate on the track, but this project holds a lot of potential.”

(If you need some help with that “evaluation,” feel free to give us a call!)

In the meantime, the FPRP ST is debuting this weekend at the Carlisle Ford Nationals, so if you are at the event, be sure to stop by the Ford display and check it out.

The swap is so clean it makes you wonder why this engine isn’t stock in the Focus ST. FPRP not only upgraded the intercooler, they also installed the high-flow FPRP charge-pipe upgrade, which fits the new 2.3 setup like a glove.
The swap is so clean it makes you wonder why this engine isn’t stock in the Focus ST. FPRP not only upgraded the intercooler, they also installed the high-flow FPRP/Mountune charge-pipe upgrade, which fits the new 2.3 setup like a glove.
It’s a bit tighter, but the MKC 2.3-liter fits nicely in the Focus ST engine compartment. Let’s hope that FPRP sees fit to add this engine and the necessary swap hardware to its parts repertoire.
It’s a bit tighter, but the MKC 2.3-liter fits nicely in the Focus ST engine compartment. Let’s hope that FPRP sees fit to add this engine and the necessary swap hardware to its parts repertoire.
With the stock engine cover on, the 2.3-liter swap makes this 2014 Focus ST quite a sleeper. For the show this weekend it is wearing a snazzier cover. We’ll add a shot of that configuration when we get our hands on it.
With the stock engine cover on, the 2.3-liter swap makes this 2014 Focus ST quite a sleeper. For the show this weekend it is wearing a snazzier cover. We’ll add a shot of that configuration when we get our hands on it.

The Mod List

  • Mountune High-Flow Air Filter
  • Focus ST High-Flow Air Filter End Cap
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Mountune Low-Restriction Intake, Black
  • 2013-2014 Focus ST Intercooler Upgrade, Silver
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Mountune Charge Pipe Upgrade Kit, Blue
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Mountune Ultra-High-Performance Silicone Ancillary Coolant Kit, Blue
  • 2013-2014 Mountune Ultra-High-Performance Silicone Coolant Hose Kit, Blue
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Mountune Uprated Air Recirculation Valve
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Symposer Delete Kit
  • 2013-2014 Focus ST Catback Exhaust
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Short-Throw Shifter
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Mountune Quick Shift
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Quaife Torque-Biasing Differential
  • 2013-2015 Focus ST Quaifie Differential Installation Kit
  • TPMS Activation Tool and Sensor Kit
  • 19×8.5-inch Focus RS Wheels, White
  • 2013 Focus ST Lowering Kit

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