Text: Wooley X Corrin Tyson Photos: Jonathan Walker Issue 43
If you own a Fiesta ST or Focus ST/RS, this guy Brian Tyson is your secret-weapon. A game changer. He works under the name – JST Performance, or JSTUNED. Remember those names, because they’re not going to beat you to death on social media, fighting for ‘top spot on the newsfeed’. This guy is not the 21st-century self-promoting type… he’s word-of-mouth. Old school in that respect. He’s peaceful, humble, picture-shy. A driver. He lives on 30 acres out in the middle of nowhere Dublin, Georgia. But on that simple-life property, Brian has a dyno… and a nationwide reputation.
As soon as I got my Fiesta ST (FiST), Brian Tyson’s name began coming up virally amongst friends. I decided to go check him out, and he pulled an additional 40whp and 68wtq over my COBB Stage 3 tune on the Fiesta. Ask any ricer and he’ll tell you, that’s good investing!
If you’re an ST/RS owner and can make the drive to middle Georgia, it’s worth the experience. But if you live outside of driving-range & it’s just not in the cards, have no fear. With all the features that the amazing Cobb Accessport offers, Brian Tyson is literally able to communicate with & tune your car remotely from his computer in GA – by reading, sending, and adjusting maps on your Accessport. A few open 3rd gear pulls, and a few emails back & forth dialing things in – is all it will take.
As for this car pictured – this is Brian Tyson’s 2015 Ford Focus ST. He bought the car almost brand new, but wrecked & salvage titled. The car had been crunched hard in the rear/passenger. But that was probably going to be okay for Brian’s intentions – a bit of a gamble, but good odds for being savable from a visual inspection. Plus it put him at the right starting point, budget-wise, for a wild track build without being ‘held back’ by a nice, new, pristine chassis.
The car got a couple tweaks on the chassis-puller, and checked out ok. The rear/passenger suspension pieces needed to be replaced, as did the rear quarter panel, rear bumper, and passenger-side doors. At this point, the car was still not pretty, but it was complete again… and able to drive straight & true under it’s own power. Next step: lighten the chassis.
For anyone who has never stripped/gutted a project car… it’s one of the most therapeutic things you can do honestly. Plus – every pound outta there, equals more performance. And it’s free! This ST happened to be a top-of-the-line model with all the bells & whistles… so there was plenty of weight to be removed. Brian & his wife, Corrin, set a lofty goal to get 800lbs out of the ST. First is the easy/obvious stuff: OEM seating, A/C, stereo components, airbags, carpet, sound deadening, etc. The glass in the rear hatch had been shattered in the previous accident, so Brian replaced the hatch-glass, and the rear door-glass with Lexan. But then, you get to a point where finding additional pounds gets trickier. They went through the wiring harness, and started clipping out any/all wiring that was no longer necessary. Structural impact beams were scaled away form the front & rear doors. Framing behind the hood was cut out. Headlights were gutted. And the dash is just an empty shell of its original self… only retained to meet class requirements. Here is a list of removed weight (down to the pound), as well as weight added back in for safety/performance, but to summarize, the result is a super-lean 2750lbs with driver & fluids.
WEIGHT REMOVED (not all… but most)
ST3 leather front driver’s seat – 53lbs
ST3 leather front passenger’s seat – 48lbs
ST3 leather rear seat assembly – 71lbs
OEM seat belts/brackets – 24lbs
ST3 heated steering wheel – 5.9lbs
Gutted OEM dashboard & dash airbag – 44.2lbs
Headunit & climate control – 11.2lbs
Glovebox & owner’s manual – 6.7lbs
Interior door panels (x4) – 19.8lbs
Door window glass (x4) – 28lbs
Door window motors (x4) – 13.5lbs
Door speakers & wire – 12.8lbs
Gutted metal from doors (x4) – 28lbs
OEM subwoofer & amp – 13lbs
Center console & brackets – 8.5lbs
Hatchback interior panels – 7.2lbs
Headliner, dome lights, & visors – 11.2lbs
Overhead airbags – 7.2lbs
Sunroof assembly – 28lbs
Carpet – 25lbs
Floormats – 3.4lbs
Spare tire cover/floor – 7.9lbs
Spare tire – 51lbs
Jack & tools – 6.4lbs
Hatch wiper assembly – 2.4lbs
Gut rear hatch – 14lbs
Unneeded wire removal – 26lbs
Gut headlights – 13.8lbs
OEM wheels & tires – 208lbs
Rear crash bar – 12.2lbs
Gutted OEM hood – 8lbs
Rear fender liners – 12lbs
OEM exhaust 47.3lbs
OEM downpipe – 12.7lbs
OWM intercooler core – 6.2lbs
Windshield washer tank with fluid – 17lbs
OEM battery – 31lbs
A/C condenser & lines – 22lbs
OEM springs & shocks – 49.2lbs
WEIGHT ADDED BACK IN
Sparco Grid Grip driver’s seat – +16lbs
Sparco Print XL passenger seat – +18lbs
Seat brackets (x2) – +16lbs
BridgeMoto safety harnesses (x2) – +16lbs
Sparco steering wheel & mount – +3.20lbs
Lexan windows – +4lbs
Sunroof fill panel – +1lb
Autopower roll bar – +63lbs
Option Lab wheels & Maxxis tires – +180lbs
Custom exhaust – +14lbs
Aftermarket catless downpipe – +7lbs
JST & Mishimoto intercooler kit – +18lbs
Mishimoto oil cooler – +7.8lbs
Race battery – +7.3lbs
Fortune Auto coilovers – +41.4lbs
The JST ST is running Fortune Auto 510-Series coilovers with SPC rear camber arms, Fortune Auto front end-links, and a COBB rear sway bar. If you are not familiar with the 510 series coilovers, they differ slightly from the more common 500-Series, in that they include a higher range of customization for your particular application, as well as their “motorsports tuned digressive valving”. Brian chose to go with 8k front and 6k rear settings in order to help offset the huge amount of weight shaved from the rear of the car.
WHEELS / TIRES / BRAKES
The wheels are made by Option Lab. They are 18×9.5 +35. And they’re paired with a grippy set of Maxxis RC1s in 275/35/18. The brake are stock rotors with Hawk pads & stainless steel lines.
The ST was actually wrapped in-house in the garage by Brian’s wife, Corrin. No – she has never wrapped a car before. But yes – she is incredibly patient & calculated. In fact, any blemishes in the wrap is pretty much Brian’s doing lol.
The wing is from Rally Innovations. (Note: the same wing is also available for the Fiesta ST as well.)
The mirrors are APR with custom-cut brackets for the ST… more so installed to reduce drag, than anything else. The fenders & quarters have been rolled, pulled, and beaten to fit the 9.5-wide Option Labs with 275 Maxxis tires. And JST/Brian has a custom designed front & rear diffuser in the works, which will be finalized & on the car by the time this magazine is released. Brain also has a custom cage planned to replace the bolt-in Autopower roll bar.
As mentioned, Brian Tyson tunes on the COBB Accessport, so his ST naturally runs the COBB Accessport… with his custom JST Performance tune on top of it.
It’s got his JST Performance intercooler kit, which uses a Mishimoto core. It’s also got a Focus RS intake, with a COBB drop-in filter. The exhaust includes an MBRP catless downpipe, with 3” piping & a custom dump.
Brian’s using a Mountune balance-shaft-delete & windage tray. The balance-shaft-delete reduces rotating mass on the engine, allowing it to have a quicker response. However, without the balance shaft, it is possible to get oil starvation in hard-driving situations. So the windage tray ensures that does not happen.
The ST runs a JST Performance oil cooler setup, with Mishimoto core & catch can. It also runs an E35 ethanol/fuel blend – kind of a pain – but STs love ethanol.
The new turbo is a Garrett GTX2971, chosen by Brian because it offers similar spool to 2867… but with an extra 50-60 hp headroom.
Interestingly, Brian’s also still running a stock clutch. Although, the OEM torque vectoring setup has been disabled, and a mechanical MFactory diff has been installed. Admittedly, the clutch is next on the list to be modified, nevertheless, it’s impressive that the OEM setup was able handle the abuse/power without any issues so far.
This is no drag car, but it ran 11.9s on a whim at the strip, and that was with a slipping clutch & the old Garrett 2867 turbo.