As project Save the ST170 draws to an end, we reflect on the improvements we’ve made. No longer an engine donor in waiting, our Ford Focus ST170 has been revitalised and is ready for another 20 years of sheer driving excitement.

As we look back at our latest Ford Focus project car, affectionately dubbed ‘Save the ST170’, we reflect on a remarkable transformation, showcasing the ST170’s true potential and inspiring enthusiasts to appreciate its unique qualities.

adding Cera Tec engine protection to a Ford Focus ST170 engine.

Liqui Moly’s Cera Tec adds extra protection to the engine.

Revitalising the Engine with Liqui Moly Oils and Additives

Recognizing the importance of a healthy powerplant, we kicked off our transformation journey by giving the Ford Focus ST170’s engine a complete service using premium Liqui Moly oils and additives. This comprehensive approach not only ensured optimal performance but also safeguarded the longevity of this potent engine, setting a solid foundation for enhanced driving pleasure.

close up image of a tyre with EU labelling

Unleashing Performance with Toyo Proxes TR1 Tyres

To truly harness the ST170’s potential, we knew that upgrading the tyres was crucial. Enter Toyo Proxes TR1 high-performance tyres, renowned for their outstanding grip, responsiveness, and durability. These impressive rubber companions elevated the car’s cornering abilities, instilling confidence during spirited drives while maintaining a smooth and comfortable ride for everyday cruising.

Fitting performance brake pads and discs to a Ford Focus ST170

Braking Precision with EBC Discs and Pads

Safety is paramount, especially when pushing boundaries on the road. To enhance the ST170’s stopping power, we turned to EBC Brakes. Renowned for their unrivaled braking performance, these performance discs and pads provide exceptional bite, allowing us to rein in the car’s newfound power and enjoy exhilarating driving experiences with complete peace of mind.

installing a new performance poly bush

Embracing Performance and Durability with Polybush Suspension Bushes

Suspension bushes may sound unassuming, but their impact on a car’s handling can be profound. With that in mind, we replaced all the original rubber bushes with performance-enhancing polyurethane bushes from Polybush. This upgrade significantly reduced unwanted suspension deflection, improving overall stability, precision, and responsiveness.

Installing Bilstein suspension upgrades

Improving Handling with Bilstein Performance Springs and Dampers

To further elevate the ST170’s capabilities, we turned to Bilstein’s famed B12 suspension kit. Upgrading springs and dampers brought a new level of agility, fine-tuning the car’s suspension dynamics for improved body control, reduced body roll, and a more engaging driving experience. The ST170 now confidently tackles corners with precision, making every twist and turn an exhilarating delight.

man adjusting the wheel alignment of a Ford Focus ST170

Fine-Tuning the Experience: Sporty Wheel Alignment

No comprehensive upgrade is complete without meticulous attention to detail. Setting the wheel alignment to deliver a sportier feel was the icing on the cake for our Ford Focus ST170. With precise adjustments made to toe, camber, and caster angles, we achieved an optimal balance of stability and responsiveness, transforming the car’s overall dynamics and making it a true joy to drive.

Ford Focus ST170 parked in the pit lane at Mallory Park race track

Road Test to Mallory Park Circuit

To put our upgraded ST170 to the ultimate test, we embarked on a 300-mile road trip to the scenic Mallory Park circuit ahead of Ford Fest returning in September. This journey not only highlighted the car’s power and poise but also showcased its versatility as we effortlessly cruised the highways and conquered demanding corners alike. The ST170’s improved performance, responsive handling, and refined braking capabilities shone through at every moment, leaving us and our fellow enthusiasts captivated.

Ford Focus ST170 engine bay

Did We Save the ST170?

Yes! We did. The ‘Save the ST170’ project car has triumphantly emerged from the workshops, showcasing the incredible improvements and upgrades that have truly restored its glory. From the revitalised engine to the performance handling upgrades, each component has harmoniously combined to create an exhilarating driving experience that pays homage to the ST170’s original charm.

No longer is this car destined for the scrapyard, or to be pulled apart so its engine can live on elsewhere. No, this ST170 is ready for another 20 years of action. It’s not mint, and the new owner will have a few small jobs to keep them busy and allow them to put their own stamp on this future classic Ford. But the foundations for a truly formidable and enormously entertaining fast road car are already in place, without compromising on the original character of the Focus ST170. So yeah, we’d consider this ST170 saved.

Side image of a Ford Focus ST170

With Thanks

As we get ready to wave goodbye to our Ford Focus ST170 and wish it well with its new owner, we’d like to take a minute to say thanks to all those who supported this project: Liqui Moly, Toyo Tires, EBC Brakes, Polybush, and Bilstein. Together, these quality performance upgrades have transformed our Focus.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without help from our friends at Ford Parts R Us and the ongoing support from Machine Mart. When we started the Save the ST170 project we not only wanted to save a Ford Focus from the scrapyard, we wanted to show how you could embark on a similar project from the comfort of your own home. Armed with a selection of quality tools and equipment, we’ve shown how a competent DIY mechanic can achieve professional results… and have a load of fun along the way.

So, if you’ve always fancied tackling a project car yourself, we hope we’ve inspired you enough and given you the confidence to have a go! Go on, you’ll love it!