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14 Easy, Cheap, and Effective Focus ST Mods

October 20th, 2023 | 6 min read

By JP Alonso

Project Focus ST.jpg

There are an endless amount of Focus ST mods. From shift knobs to bolt-on turbo kits to performance built engines, the range is limitless. Whether it's function, form, or power, there is something for everyone. The good news is you don't have to be rich to modify your Focus ST and you don't need a mechanic's certification either. There are some seriously easy modifications to perform that will change your Focus ST more than you might have thought, all at a very reasonable price tag.

It's safe to say that if you bought everything on this list, you're around $1,500 total spent. That puts the average cost of each of these items around $100, making each of them a relatively painless decision.

Several other parts could have made this list. But we want to focus on parts that could easily be in all three categories - easy, cheap, effective. Bang for the buck is the name of the game here. Modifications are in no particular order!

Rear Motor Mount

cp-e Rear Motor Mount Focus ST
  • Easy - Installs in about 30 minutes. You must be able to get under the car though. Once there, basic tools will get the job done.
  • Cheap - Although it can be one of the higher priced items on the list, it still comes in as low as $120, depending on your choice.
  • Effective - This keeps the motor from moving around in the engine bay. If you didn't know already, the stock Focus ST rear motor mount is ultra squishy and moves a lot. The increased driver feel, smoother shifting, and better traction will make you wonder why the car doesn't come like that. It's a VERY effective mod.


Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Stainless Steel Brake Lines

  • Easy - In my opinion, this is the hardest to install of all the parts here. Don't worry though, there are tons of YouTube videos on how to install these and you can do it with basic tools. It can get a little messy and you need to bleed the brakes afterwards but if you're up for it, this is more than worth the money.
  • Cheap - Coming it at $70.30 per axle for StopTech lines (front and rear are sold separately for these), it's almost a no brainer for those that like some extra stopping power and feel.
  • Effective - The stock rubber lines are flexible and expand. As your foot presses the pedal, some pressure from the fluid transfer ends up lost to that expansion. Stainless lines don't expand nearly as much, resulting in more pressure on the pad against the rotor. An extremely effective mod, if you ask us. There is a noticeable difference, to say the least.

Hood Struts

Redline Hood Struts.jpg

  • Easy - Prop your hood open, disconnect a couple things, reconnect a couple things. Boom, you're done. Only basic tools needed.
  • Cheap - Starting at $99.95 with a slightly better version coming in at $129.95.
  • Effective - While performing anything from changing your oil to removing an engine, the hood prop is one of the most annoying things ever. Short of removing your hood, this is the best way to move around in front of your car when the hood is up. Open it, close simple as that.


LED Lighting
Diode Dynamics Fog Lights

  • Easy - There are many different bulbs you can replace with LED versions including fog lights, dome lights, blinkers, and more. Usually, these are very easy to access and swap out, about as easy as it is to change any given light bulb in your house.
  • Cheap - The most expensive bulb replacement is $40. The most expensive bulb and housing replacement is $160.
  • Effective - Lighting completely changes the feel of an interior and the visibility of your exterior. To others, you are more visible from the outside and from the inside, the road becomes more visible. Some would consider this a style upgrade, as well.


Spark Plugs

NGK Spark Plugs.jpg

  • Easy - A simple spark plug socket, extension, and socket wrench will remove and install any spark plug and all you need to do is take off the plastic engine cover. Gapping the plug is intimidating to many that haven't done it before but it's very easy and the gapping tools you need are very inexpensive from your local auto parts store.
  • Cheap - A nice set of iridium spark plugs are around $30-35.
  • Effective - This is on our Focus ST mods list but you eventually have to replace these anyway. But especially when you're tuning or pushing more power, your spark plugs can be the difference between a healthy running motor and one that's stumbling, idling weakly, or causing misfires. Speaking of, if you're pushing more power than stock, there's a point where one step colder plugs are a necessity.


Blowoff Valve


  • Easy - This isn't the easiest install on this list but it's not nearly as hard as many other installs. It may take a little more time and patience but the basic nature of the install is pretty easy.
  • Cheap - Currently, the most expensive stock style valve is under $200 on our site.
  • Effective - This is a toss up. You either have something that is no more effective than stock but it gives you that signature "woosh" or you have a very functional BOV kit that allows you to run a bigger turbo and discharge a much larger volume of air. Either way, it changes the experience greatly for whoever wants one.


Shift Knob

Shift Knobs

  • Easy - Quite possibly the easiest thing to install on this list. If you can't install this, you might need to rethink modding in general!
  • Cheap - $80 is the most expensive one currently on our site.
  • Effective - You wouldn't think a shift knob can have a different effect but it can. A heavier knob makes the lever travel through the gates smoother and without as much force. A delrin (type of material) knob is a smoother, machined surface that doesn't heat up and burn your hand off on a hot day like an aluminum tends to. A taller knob needs less leverage placed on it as you're rowing through the gears. Or, it might just be more aesthetically pleasing. Either way, a shift knob changes your experience.


Rear Sway Bar

ST Suspension Rear Sway Bar.jpg

  • Easy - Some sway bars are harder than others to install. In the case of the rear bar on the ST, it's a pretty simple install. Remove the end link nuts, remove the center bushing brackets and remove and replace the bar.
  • Cheap - $275 is currently the most expensive rear sway bar on our site.
  • Effective - The Focus ST isn't a slow turning car, it's actually quite nimble and rotates well. But in the aftermarket world there is always room for improvement. A thicker, stiffer rear sway bar is typically a great mod on a front wheel drive car and the ST is no exception. The car becomes more responsive and turns in more confidently.


Short Shift Adapter

Cobb Tuning Short Shift Adapter 2.jpg

  • Easy - All you need is the hood popped, a few basic tools, and some elbow grease to get this thing in. The installation is done in the engine bay while the car is on the ground. You're essentially disconnecting the shifter cables and replacing the lever they attach to on the transmission. This is much easier to install than a full short shifter.
  • Cheap - Right around $100.
  • Effective - The shifting experience is totally different. This is highly noticeable. It's a shorter distance for the shifter to travel in order for the next gear to be engaged which results in quicker shifts.


Air Filter

Cobb Tuning Air Filter

  • Easy - This is one of the easier ones on our list. Pop open the airbox and swap the filter. You've probably done this before.
  • Cheap - A much nicer filter that you can clean instead of throw away comes in around $70-80.
  • Effective - First, replacing your filter with one that lasts as long as the car saves you from needing to ever buy a new one again. Score. Second, the stock filter only takes in air around the side but many performance filters adds a secondary inlet at the top of the round style filter. This adds more airflow. You'll even hear that turbo spooling up a little more too! Lastly, the flow is going to be better than those stupid paper filters.



Dyno Stock vs Stage 1 4k Delta

  • Easy - While you must have a Cobb AccessPort or a similar custom tuning device, this is an easy way to improve your car. It does require doing a few WOT pulls on a safe road and datalogging the necessary information for a tuner.
  • Cheap - At $295, it's above the average cost of anything on this list but the value is through the roof.
  • Effective - OTS (off-the-shelf) maps are better than stock, but they're not perfect. They fit a wide variety of situations. Custom tuning the Focus ST for your exact modifications and environment can make a world of difference and make your car run much better while extracting more power and torque.

Sound Symposer Delete

cp-e Symposer Delete.jpg

  • Easy - This is all installed from the top of the engine bay with basic tools.
  • Cheap - $30-45
  • Effective - This isn't going to make anything noticeably different to the driver but it does two things. It removes a clunky plastic tube for the sound symposer that most people don't care about. It also creates a vacuum/boost port that you can easily use for a different blowoff valve or a vacuum block that has multiple uses. It's a great way to use the manifold for something Ford never designed it to be used for.


Floor Mats

WeatherTech Floor Mats.jpg

  • Easy - Do we really need to tell you how easy floor mats are?
  • Cheap - Around $200 for a really nice set that is custom fit to the Focus ST, less for a universal set.
  • Effective - Keeping your car clean is important and if you live in a place that has rough winters or you track a lot of debris and dirt into your car, these are perfect for keeping your floor in good shape. Not a typical "Focus ST Mod", but certainly effective at doing what they are designed to do.


Front Air Scoop

Cobb Tuning Carbon Air Scoop

  • Easy - Taking off the front bumper is easier than it looks. It's finicky, but it's not hard. Once it's off, this is very easy to put on.
  • Cheap - $195 (for a carbon version!)
  • Effective - Reducing intake temps is almost always a great way to gain power and efficiency. Denser air molecules = more power. Mission accomplished.


This post was originally published in October, 2017 but has been updated to reflect current parts and accurate information!

JP Alonso

I'm the founder of Edge Autosport and I remember first getting into cars in high school. I read all the magazines, bought a bunch of technical books, and finally got to start wrenching around the age of 19. I really enjoy modding and being able to live out a passion is truly awesome. I wouldn't change a thing.