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Old 10-17-2018, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Focus - '02 Ford Focus Trend
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My Focus on MPG

Since Foci don't seem to be very popular here and mainly because I'm planning on some mild (semi-)invisible ecomods for my '02 Focus 1.6 I've started this thread.

I really love this car and honestly haven't come across a lot of cars that I like better (there is such a thing as too comfortable cars). Although it's a bit noisy at highway speeds it has everything I need except for cruise control, it even has Climate Control and a board-computer. I've fitted a bluetooth capable radio and foglights with integrated LED-DRL and just love the way it handles corners.

I don't drive often and a lot of rides are < 16km (10 miles) such as going for groceries and going to the stables for horseriding lessons. My FE varies between 6.2 and 6.8 l/100km (37.9 - 34.5 MPG) depending on weather (lots of wind here and we've had a very hot summer so the AC worked overtime) and my driving. Usually I'll just ease along at 105 km/h, but sometimes the urge to accelerate hard is too much to ignore (and I just love the primal scream of a I4 near it's redline).

My main focus will be to adapt as much ecodriving techniques as possible/safe/legal on the busy Dutch roads, but I'll also do some slight modding to the car to improve aero a bit. The mods won't be very extreme because I don't drive a lot (usually some 9-12K km a year, or about 10-15 tanks), making the money back in savings takes a very long time.

Actually already did the easiest one: increase tire pressure (currently at 2.6 Bar from OEM 2.0. Will increase this at the next refuelling to 2.8). Tires are allseasons with the best balance between rolling resistance and braking performance in the wet (front Goodyear Vector 4 Gen 2, rear Vredestein Quatrac 5 both in 185/60 R15).

I've also made an upper grille block and closed the panel gaps in around the hood, grille and headlights

Nice and invisible

In the close-up you can see the rubber-matting I've used a bit better. I want the car to look as original as possible, so I've put it behind the grille (which is only 1-2mm thick so I guess it won't be very bad for aero)

For the closing of the panel gaps I've used thick "O"-type weatherstrips of the self sticking kind.

The next "mod" I'll be doing will be of a more restorative nature: the front halve of the inner fender on the right side has been gone for a year or two after hitting a curb. So it's time for a replacement (which is only 9.66 apparently)

Further mods I'll definitely do:
- Add front belly pan (it wasn't on the car when I got it, not sure if the EU version came with it) I think this one is a bit more aero than this one
- The Simple radio on while cranking mod
- Add front tire spats (it already has them at the rear, not sure if they are OEM or put on there by on of the other owners
- Flatblade wipers (but the current ones are only two months old, so that'll have to wait until they wear out)
- Getting an OBDII-wifi adaptor to read-out all the engine related stuff on my phone. UltraGuage is twice as much without shipping...

Mods I'm considering:
- Antenna delete (and replace it with one inside the A-pillar)
- Adding an undertray for the rear bumper to reduce air resistance
- Front air dam (if I can get the materials for cheap, border edging is quite expensive for black and flat stuff, or it's green and waveshaped...)
- Wheel covers (I'm not sure if it is actually legal and I really love my OEM alloy wheels, so I won't swap them for steel ones with a cover)
- Adding a spring to the accelerator pedal so I can feel when I'm at 80% throttle

Mods I'm hoping to accomplish once upon a time:
- Create an aircurtain for the front wheels, fed from the recesses around the front foglights
- full undertray
- Adding rear skirt to reduce turbulence (the rear is a horrible shape aerodynamically)

As you can see no big stuff like A/C or power steering delete, I have the car purely for my comfort. Also the really big aero mods like a Kammback or boattail are illegal in the Netherlands (everything you put on the exterior of your car has to have an E-mark, signifying it has been tested for safety in the EU), the same goes for mirror deletes.

If you guys have any tips or low-hanging fruit I've missed, please let me know. I'll update this thread each time I've modified or bought something, and ofcourse after each fuelling (which will be every 4-6 weeks or so). unfortunately I don't have a garage or carport, so I'm very dependant on weather and daylight, things might take some time

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Old 10-17-2018, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Did closing up the gaps in your car make a noticeable difference?

There's 2 things that I'm thinking of that might help.

1. Install sound deadening material inside your car. If you live in a hot climate, you will appreciate that it does also insulate the car from heat, and you won't have to use the ac as much. Just make sure you don't buy an asphalt based one.

2. Tint your windows. This will also help keep your car cooler. It will look cooler too
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Old 10-17-2018, 09:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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After testing my hood with a pressure gauge, showing pressure difference between topside and underside, I actually removed the weatherstripping I had used to seal up the gaps--I'm not sure they're beneficial, as they might actually impede pressure relief of the underhood volume.

Hyundai or Kia air curtain ducts are easily available online, and quite cheap (just a few bucks each). That manufacturer uses them on all models today, so you can find one close to the same curve and distance of your bumper cover (probably something like the Kia Forte or Hyundai Elantra will work best).

You can pattern front wheel strakes off the -2018 Focus (RIP), which uses a tripartite rubber design with good coverage:


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Old 10-18-2018, 06:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 12

Focus - '02 Ford Focus Trend
90 day: 36.75 mpg (US)

Fizzy - '87 Yamaha FS1 2RU
90 day: 59.71 mpg (US)

Polo - '97 Volkswagen Polo
90 day: 36.21 mpg (US)
Thanks: 6
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I have not definitive results on either closing the gaps or the grille block, I have driven only some 20 miles in the past week. Although engine warmup seems to be a bit faster.

Because the right inner fender is still gone most of the pressure from under the hood will just exit there. I'll finish this tank before mounting the inner fender so I can see if it makes a lot of difference MPG-wise. Although I'm hoping that maybe the closed off gaps will force the air to go towards the windscreen, providing a sort of air curtain for the wipers (probably wishful thinking, but who knows).

I'm indeed pkanning on installing some sound deadening in the cabin. Window tinting is on my wishlist for the car, but most of the year it's below 20*C, we've had en extreme summer this year with a 5-6 weeks of ~30*C sunny weather (normally we have that for 10 days a year). I'm a bit in doubt between doing it myself (which is way cheaper), or having it done (which will make sure it's done properly, but way more expensive).

I'll have a look at the Hyundai parts and the wheel strakes for the new Focus. I've also found a kit to make flexible skirts for cars, consisting of a 2.5 meter long rubber strip with a glue strip attached (€33,95) which might be worth exploring.

Biggest downside of The Netherlands is that most of the carparts stores are located quite far away from the bigger cities so I'll have to order everything

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