ST-swapped sedans? Nooope, Ford didn’t make any like this. 

And if you’re paying attention, you’re seeing the significance of where this kind of thing could go for the newer Ford culture, and its aftermarket. And – if you’ve been around long enough, you’re seeing a lot of similarities between modern Ford tuning… and the Honda movement in the late 90’s. Or the LS movement into drift cars. Motor swaps. Options!

Motor swaps are like Miracle Grow for the aftermarket industry. They open the aftermarket up in so many ways – like branches off a tree. And if you look at the new Ford models, you’re noticing all the turbocharged engine options as of lately. You’re noticing what companies like Cobb, JST, Panda, or CP-E  are able to do with them. In the stage we’re at now (2018), people are starting to tackle the process of shoe-horning these Ford turbo motors into other & earlier Ford chassis. And each time they pull it off, breakthroughs are made. Some obstacle is overcome & defeated. The knowledge is recorded & shared. And the Ford culture as a whole is getting wiser, with more shoulders to lean on for help & wisdom. 

Focus ST sedans

Just take a second and think about what older Ford models it might be fun to swap a boosted modern Ford motor into.

The aftermarket will grow, and when that happens, it kicks-back and REALLY allows the culture to grow. It’s a symbiotic relationship. And as the road of knowledge/expertise becomes paved, uncertainty becomes minimized, gains become proven… and people will no longer be apprehensive to dig in & get their hands dirty.

Jose, of Northern California, owns the red Focus. Bill, of Canada, owns the yellow one. And not pictured, is a Focus-guru named Mike Johnson (of Rebel Devil Customs) from Indiana… who connected the dots & made the swaps happen from a technical/wiring aspect. Mike Johnson is sort of a Rywire of the Focus realm, and the one to know if you’re considering this swap. Another name to know, is Kyle, Red Devil’s R&D fabricator out of Pinion Hills CA. He helped with the swap on the red car. (All these names/companies above are linked, if you want to see more.)

These guys had SE sedans, before the Focus ST hatch ever even came out. Then when the Focus STs (FoST’s) were released, there was kind of an automatic line drawn in the sand between regular Focus’s… and the STs. Meaning – a Focus ST owner tended to identify as ‘an ST guy’… and not ‘a Focus guy’. Understandable.

The engine & tranny mounts ‘mount’ to exactly the same spots between the SE, and ST models… making the actual swap a direct bolt-out & bolt-in process.

So Jose, Bill, and Mike sort of found themselves just a little ostracized in their own game. But that feeling of outcast, also reinforced a loyalty to their cars. Rather than jumping ship & running to buy the ST, they did what tuners do. …The same kinda thing so many Honda guy did in ’99 when the Si came out. Built it.

They started with cosmetic mods – bumpers, etc. Finding & swapping pieces from ST model that would interchange & bolt up. Eventually, they got to the end of that rope. The forums said the drivetrain swap couldn’t be done… they took that as a challenge. 

Mike Johnson tackled the wiring headaches, while Bill & Jose found donors & began wrenching. Jose’s car was originally an automatic, so he had to swap to a ‘manual’ harness in/under the dashboard. The engine & tranny mounts ‘mount’ to exactly the same spots between the SE, and ST models… making the actual swap a direct bolt-out & bolt-in process. 

The only notable difference – is that the passenger engine mount on the ST has 3 bolts to the engine (instead of 2 on the SE)… so you will want to make sure you have the ST mounts.

With modern cars, there come the inevitable ‘modern electronics’ dilemmas. And with Ford, it’s call the Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS system). Everything has to communicate electronically, or it will immobilize the car. So you’ll need to get the car to a cool Ford dealer, who will program the car to the new ECU without getting their panties all in a wad. Cost on that shouldn’t be too much: $100-$200. 

Gas tank fuel pumps are exactly the same, but the ST has a high-flow pump on the engine, which should be included with the engine you purchase.

If you get a donor-car that was involved in an accident, the brake-pedal-sensor will probably be stuck on… which it does in the even of an accident. This will keep the brake lights illuminated… but it will ALSO tell the ECU to cut fuel. Common symptom: after the swap, the car will not make power past 3k RPMs. Replace the brake-pedal-sensor, or rig it with a spacer, and problem solved. 


EXTERIOR – Focus ST front bumper, Focus ST side skirts, Focus ST RDC custom rear valance, SPR front splitter, Focus RS vents, custom SE badging, custom ST7 emblem overlays

ENGINE – Focus ST drivetrain swap: 2.0 turbocharged L4 w/ 6-speed manual Getrag transmission, Custom 2.5-inch exhaust, COBB Accessport with custom tuning by Rebel Devil Customs.

SUSPENSION – ST Suspension coilovers, Adjustable rear camber arms, Adjustable toe arms, Focus13 rear strut brace, Work Emotion CR Kai wheels in 18x9.5 +36, Muteki SR48 lug nuts.

INTERIOR – Sound Ordnance speakers, Clarion in-line amplifier, Custom gloss-black interior pieces, Carbon fiber Ford ST shift knob, ST dash swap.


EXTERIOR – OEM Focus ST front end conversion & side skirts, Rebel Devil Customs ST sedan rear valance, Fifteen52 cup spoilers, Mountune lower sport spoiler,  OEM black-housing headlights, EGR window visors, 3D Carbon spoiler, color-matched roof rails & washer nozzles, 3D-printed SE emblems, Yellow fog light bulbs, Yellow-tinted fog lights, LED tail lights, Stubby antenna.

ENGINE – Complete Focus ST conversion (engine, transmission, shifter assembly, shifter cables, radiator, AC condenser, fan, ABS module, brake booster, coolant reservoir, intercooler, charge pipes), Ford Racing intake snorkel, FSWERKS intake heatshield, K&N filter, COBB intake arm, COBB downpipe, RDC downpipe bracket, 3” exhaust, COBB rear engine mount, JBR solid shifter bushings, SMC oil cap, Redline Tuning hood struts, Breedt symposer delete, COBB short shift plate, RDC ST Sedan conversion wiring harness, COBB Accessport with Stage 1 tune, Boomba blow-off valve, OEM 2.3L Mustang throttle body, Custom Balance Auto Garage air filter retainer bracket

SUSPENSION – ST Suspension coilovers, OEM updated (thicker) front strut bar, Kyle Deyoung rear strut bar, OEM Focus ST control arms, Massive front sway bar endlinks, rear sway bar, Fifteen52 Turbomacs 18x9, Continental DWS tires 235/40/18, StanceNation lug nuts, VMAXX front big brake kit w/ 4-piston calipers & 330mm disks, stainless steel lines.

INTERIOR – OEM Focus ST: outer dash air vents, pedals, rear door cards, sill plates, gauge cluster, color-matched front door trim, Boosted Designs limited-edition dead pedal, JPM Coachworks e-brake boot (Alcantara with silver stitching), Redlinegoods armrest cover (Black Nappa leather with silver stitching) and shift boot (Alcantara with silver stitching), SS Tuning shift knob (carbon fiber insert, painted trim ring)