Hooking up Blue Steel with a late Christmas gift

It’s been a minute since I’ve written a little something, not sure why…maybe just being lazy. But today I have some updates for the Focus ST a.k.a. Blue Steel. Bought and installed a little something and did some exterior touch up/ enhancements. Back in December, after much research and debate, I ordered a set of Mountune lowering springs. The springs are supposedly designed to work great with the ST’s factory struts without being too low and ruining the struts prematurely. Dropping the ride height up to 1 inch up front and 1.4 out rear. Those numbers help to eliminate the unnecessary and unsightly wheel gap that the factory springs provide. The Mountune springs lower the cars center of gravity, tighten up the turn in, while sharpening the car’s already impressive handling. What’s in the box? I was excited to finally get notification that they shipped after almost 2 months of waiting. Funny thing is a cancelled the order when I found out they were backordered but after looking around and reading reviews I reordered them. Figured I wouldn’t have the time to install them until February anyway so the wait wouldn’t kill me. You know for me it’s like Christmas when car parts arrive at the house, but unlike my younger years I’m a little more apprehensive on doing installs. Just thinking about breaking something or just the soreness that comes from a day of labor under a car. Although I didn’t run into the garage to install them the same day they arrived, I have a friend who was pretty eager to get his hands dirty and help take the job. It was a rainy weekend and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave to even leave the house or even be in a garage, but I’m glad I did. My buddy Rahman helped me get the job done. The only hiccupa we had was not loosening the sway bar for the rear springs first. Would’ve made the job much easier and saved some time. Probably not necessary, but it did help. And not spreading the front knuckle wide enough. Being too gentle when it wasn’t necessary. That made for a workout. These tips I carry with me in the event another spring install comes my way.
Front strut removed
All in all it’s a simple install, but we took our time. Didn’t need any extra nuts and bolts after we were done. Plus it gave us some needed male bonding. Here is a pic from right after the install. I’ll get together with Rahman once we get some consecutive dry days to take some pics and compare my Mountune springs to his Ford Performance springs. From the little driving I’ve done, I’ve noticed a difference but I also want to hit some twisties soon. That’ll give me a chance to push the car and really test out the springs. And here is after a week of settling and a much needed wash. Looking pretty good. Along with lowering the car I also tinted the rear lower reflectors. Bought some inexpensive self adhering film from Amazon. Made a template. And wala! Just need to red out my 3rd brake light to finish off the look of the rear. Lastly I desperately needed to replace the crappy factory lug nuts. Mine were swelling making it difficult to use a standard tool to remove them. Apparently there is pending lawsuit about this as people have been unable to change there tire and have gotten stranded. Here are the new ones. I didn’t think that I wanted black but they do look good. Notice the swelling on the stock ones. Shame… Shame… Shame That about does it for this post. I will definitely follow up with a review of the springs and how the new lugs are holding up. Thanks for reading. Remember to like and follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our Perks Garage YouTube Channel and now on Instagram @perksgarageblog

Ford Focus Recall has been issues

My wife sent me a text today with a screenshot that read “Ford has issued a recall for nearly 1.5 million Ford Focus vehicles.” An hour or so later I received a text from one of my buddies regarding this as well. Once I had the chance to look up the info I found that Ford is issuing a recall for 2012-18 Ford Focus vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter GDI & GTDI engines made in the U.S. Not all Focus vehicles are affected, so RS owners you are safe…at least from this recall. We all know they have had their fair share of recalls for the 2016 – 2017 model years.

The recall pertains to the canister purge valve (CPV) causing stalling and gas tank deformaty. Apparently the valve has been known to get stuck open on vehicles low on fuel. With the valve stuck in the open position, cars have been experiencing false fuel gauge readings, sputtering and stalling. In severe cases the gas deforms causing the tank to basically collapse on itself. All of this poses a great safety risk.

I have been plugged in to many Focus ST forums since purchasing my car and have read many posts of owners replacing their purge valves on their own due to finding a malfunction code during a troubleshooting scan. Apparently it is an inexpensive part and a simple fix, but without running a diagnosis and finding the error code you may not know if the valve needs replacing.

Ford says they will start sending out letters to owners around the 10th of December. In the meantime they advise all owners to keep their tanks above the half mark to prevent further incidents of stalling. During the recall owners will drop off their vehicle at their local dealership to be diagnosed. Each car will undergo new computer programming to help the purge valve operate correctly. The vehicles fuel system will also be checked and after the evaluation, any defective components will be replaced free of charge. The parts include: the purge valve, charcoal canister, fuel delivery module, and even the gas tank. For reference the recall number is 18S32.

Here are a few screenshots from my Ford Pass app regarding the recall.

Here’s to hoping that the recall goes smoother than the head gasket recall did for the RS. That was a nightmare for some owners.

Thanks for reading and be safe.

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Getting my Saturday in Focus

Today the weather in CA was pretty close to perfect so I finally took some time clean up the little Focus. I think I did an alright job of knocking the dirty off of the car. I even popped the hood and checked the spark plugs to make sure everything was in good order.

With the car clean, my son (home from completing his first year away at college) wanted to try Raising Cane’s, and he was not disappointed. The 2 locations that I’ve been to are always busy. Hmmm, maybe I should look into getting a franchise of my own.

After lunch we headed to the local Honda dealership because I wanted to check out the new Civic Type R. A friend of mine just picked up a red one that I’ll be checking out this week, but I wanted to see if I could check one out today. Do you know some dealers won’t let you test drive one unless you buy it first? We arrived at the dealership, but no luck. The salesman told me a guy came in yesterday and bought the last 2 they had on the showroom floor. Even at a $4k~$10k dealer markup, these things are flying out of dealerships. And buying 2 of them, well that’s just seems crazy. It reminds me of back in the day when you’d buy 2 of the same toy and play with one and leave the other in the package in the hopes that it would appreciate.

So with the dealer visit out of the way I decided to use this time to capture the beauty of the Focus’ Kona Blue color. I was able to capture a few good pics and even had my son take a video of me driving by so I could see and hear how the car looks and sounds to everyone else when I’m driving. Being the driver you never really get get to be an observer of your car in motion, so this is the next best thing.

The pictures came out pretty good and the car sounds great. Not bad for a little Focus, I think I’ll keep it for a while 🙂

Since we were having a father and son outing, I also took the opportunity to show him how to drive a manual. He did great, we only did laps in the parking lot but at least he now had the knowledge and experience…it’s all about creating memories.

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Happy Birthday to me

Back in November my wife posed the question to me,  “what do you want for your birthday?”  This was something that I had to think about because last year she bought me, well us, an inversion table that has brought much satisfaction on many occasion.  This year, what is my gift range?  Is this a trick question?  Do I simply ask for new undies or colorful and stylish socks to help with my sock game?  I wasn’t sure and had to put some thought into it.  

Being that I’m kinda into cars, can’t even type this without laughing 🤣😂!  Being that cars are my life, I thought maybe I’ll ask her for a 2018 Still Night Blue Pearl Acura TLX A-Spec.

To be fair this is really the car that she wants so I’ll let her treat herself when the time is right.  

Ok, so maybe I’ll shoot for a car part or two, that should hopefully be an easy ask.  I mean, I have been good for most of the year 😁.

Around Thanksgiving I told her that I have my Christmas and birthday list ready and she asked what was on it.  I rambled off the 3 items for my car and she replied with those magical 7 words that every husband/car enthusiast wants to hear…”maybe we should just buy our own gifts.”  Thats like your parents telling you we are having ice cream for dinner, or you can pick out your own clothes, or better yet, we are moving to Disneyland to live in the Magic Castle.  Whaaaaaaaaat?!?!?! Additional confirmation that she is the one!

Online Black Friday deals were in affect around this time so I was able to capitalize on some amazing deals from Mountune and CJ Pony Parts, which made me one happy camper.  With the packages arriving like a scene from the greatest movie ever…I have been very patient and have not opened one of them yet.  But today is my birthday and something’s getting unboxed.   

Here is my car for reference and the goodies are below, muhahahaha!

Can you guess what’s in the boxes?   Here’s a hint… it’s your typical Ford Focus ST/ Fiesta ST/ Focus RS tuning stater kit.  Well to be fair, it’s the starter kit for most modded cars, but the brands for the parts pictured here are fairly exclusive to Ford vehicles.

The reveal and installs to follow.  Now its time to git ta opening!!!

Yay! Happy dance time! 

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We dun gone ‘merican!

Howdy everyone!  I feel like it’s been a long time since my last blog post, but the reality is that a lot has changed and it is time for an update.  In my last full post I got the car blues, I talked quite a bit about my beloved Audi TT and the issues it had during the month of October.  Prior to the October issues I was having, the shifter cables snapped and I was able to do complete circles with the stick shift and not lock the transmission into any gear. 

After getting all of those issues resolved, I had a good week or two before the electrical gremlins started to surface throwing my car into limp-mode with the traction control light popping up and rendering my car even more unreliable.  So I decided to park the Audi and start driving the car that we had purchased for my son…a 2005 Mazda 3. 

I used the little Mazda to get me back and forth to where I needed to be, but the looming thought of more costly repairs for the Audi was causing me unnecessary stress. I checked the Audi and the traction control light had turned off after a day or so.  I was able to get my hands on a scanner tool, but when I scanned the cars ecu there was no error code present. Ugh, this is crazy!

So, after some thought and a very brief (which in hindsight should have been muuuuuuuch more detailed) conversation with my wife I put the Audi up for sale and began shopping based on my list of needs, wants and desires for a replacement vehicle.  Do I want new, CPO, upgrade in class, stick with euro or go back to a JDM platform.  I really liked the Audi S5 I test drove.

I’m a huge fan of the new Infiniti Q60S.

Unfortunately they are more than what my budget would allow this go round. 😔

Should I give Acura another go and get into the TLX V6?  I really loved my 2005 TL.  I miss that car.

How about the new Accord Coupe Touring Edition?  Only thing is I’m not really a fan of the automatic CVT’s in Honda’s, but they do come with a 6-speed manual.  I really want a car that looks good enough in factory trim that doesn’t beckon me to alter the appearance in any way (lower, body kit or change wheels).  I do like the Scion-buru FRS/BRZ, but too small and it begs for a better looking set of wheels.  I do want a sunroof and HID’s.  Oh, how about a RWD V8 like the E46 or E90 BMW M3.  An M3 is one of my dream cars, although I’d take a 335i with no complaints.  Maybe AWD and turbo/supercharged with over 300 hp.  The replacement car should wear a STi or Audi S/RS or VW R or Focus RS badge.  So many choices!   Basically I want a car that is hella fun to drive and can bend corners and handle a track and canyon roads 😎.  

But what do I need?  Hmmm.  Room for 3 or more passengers, 4-doors, better on gas than the 18mpg the Audi is getting.  A steering wheel, windows, a gas and brake pedal.  It needs to be reliable, have a very low monthly payment and cost of ownership.  In other words…practical.

Hoping to sell the Audi private party I posted it for sale.  Forums, Cars.com, craigslist, wherever I thought someone would look for a modded TT.

I did receive a few inquiries but decided I should prep the car for a possible dealer trade so I removed the wheels and raised up the car by adjusting the coilover suspension.  While showing the car to a potential buyer one day, the rear window motor took a crap on me as I was holding the button to lower the window back down.  Now this stupid wind buffer window thingy (that I never really used) was now jammed halfway up/down…but at an angle!  “Uh, I’ll get back to you.” No deal and now I have more repairs mounting!  Ugh!

To turn the corner on this whoa is me story, I finally decided on a vehicle.  Now I just needed to choose a color and find a dealer willing to do good on my trade-in value.  It was coming up on the end of the year and as usual dealers are offering potential buyers the moon and the stars.  “Just come on down.  Can you make it in today? What time can you be here?”  They all ask.  I emailed all around and a dealer provided me a quote with the perfect price, but it was a typo.  I held onto that quote and used that as my bargaining tool against other dealers. 

Now this car that I had decided on was a car that I had not yet driven, nor had I seen the colors that I was considering in person.  Did I want a white, gray, blue, or a black car?  Out of those four colors, blue was the only color I had never owned.  Always wanted, but never owned.  So that made it tough as the car looks good in all those colors. 

One of the local dealership had a red one available and made me a great offer on my trade.  I drove the car and really enjoyed the driving dynamics and being a hatchback I was pleased with the extra space.  Functional, fun to drive and decent on gas are all winners in my book and that solidified I was making the right vehicle choice. Although this dealer was offering the right price for my Audi, they could not produce the car in the trim level or price that I wanted, so I kept looking. 

After test driving a few more in the trim level I wanted, I showed the car to my son in the different colors and he said he liked the blue the best since I had already owned cars in the other colors.  There was one dealer with the a blue one in stock and they were very persistent in contacting me and trying to get me to come down.  So after blowing them off a few times, I took my son’s advice on the color.  I drove out to the dealer and after some dealership sales negotiations, I took delivery of this…

 A 2016 Kona Blue Ford Focus ST in the ST3 trim.The ST3 trim provides full leather wrapped Recaro seats, heated with 8-way power adjustability for the driver.  

Hid projector headlights with cornering.  A sunroof.  A perforated leather wrapped HEATED steering wheel!  Ford’s Sync 3 system operated through a giant touchscreen with navigation and a nice Sony sound system that includes a subwoofer.  

New for the 2016 model year, the ST3 trim level gets a carbon fiber interior trim package.  The carbon fiber accents are on the door handles, boost gauge cluster, e-brake lever and a nicely done shift knob with ST branded on there.  

The car also has a black headliner.  Very important for anyone who loves a dark interior.  Very nicely packaged and sorted vehicle for being a $30k car.  Even better when you get the end of the year deal that comes with a hefty discount that undercuts lesser equipped competitors vehicles.

Based on all of this, I am very satisfied with my decision.  So far nothing but smiles from every mile I’ve put on it.  A more thorough review of this and the content editors Focus RS.

Check out this video I edited using my GoPro app.

Farewell Silver Surfer you will be missed!

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The Darkside of the Force has awakened…


A new Jedi has emerged from the Darkness!

“The dark side of the Force, called Bogan or Boga by ancient Force-sensitives on Tython, was an aspect of the Force. Those who used the dark side were known as either DarksidersDark Side Adepts, or Dark Jedi when unaffiliated with a dark side organization such as the Sith. Unlike the Jedi, who were famous for using the light side of the Force, darksiders drew power from raw emotions and feelings such as anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, fear, aggression, megalomania, and unrestrained passion.” 

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Content credits http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki