As many of you well know by now, we have retired our first time attack Focus ST. This isn't because she performed poorly or against our expectations, but rather because we felt it was time to step the game up and push the limits of this platform by building a proper Time Attack Focus ST! (We couldn't bring ourselves to completely gut and chop up on a brand new car, so why not bring a broken one back to life?!)
We were pretty excited to begin this process by selecting the perfect donor car off of Copart (an online auction company that sells damaged vehicles). It turns out that finding the perfect car that didn't have too much damage and still ran was a pretty daunting task. After bidding on and losing three Focus ST's, it took almost 2 months for us to finally win a perfect 2015 Tuxedo Black ST3 donor that looked at if it was in a rear end collision from Indianapolis, Indiana. It took another 3 weeks to get her home (lets face it, dealing with trucking companies is not the easiest task in the world either and after waiting for a few different companies to confirm pickup, we wound up going to get her ourselves...a 12 hour road trip each way!)
We have big plans for this car...but first, she needed to be repaired...and of course we needed to be sure that the damage was minimal enough to turn her into a track car without a massive amount of repair work. So we got to work! Our first task was to get her off of the trailer under her own power (Copart has these nifty giant forklifts that pick the whole car up and puts them on the trailer for you so we weren't sure exactly how bad it would be to get her moving on her own) We wound up having to replace the bent suspension pieces under the quarter panel, but with a little work and a healthy sounding engine, she backed right off the trailer!
We are by no means body work specialists, but we wanted to do most of the repairs ourselves (along with the help of our in-house custom fabrication specialist, Waylon!). We started by taking her to the frame shop to be sure that she would be able to have a straight frame before we put any work into the body damage. She checked out great and with some moderate adjustments on the machine, now has a straight frame (we are sending her back after we complete the body work just to verify everything still looks good).
To begin the process, we needed to remove the damaged doors and rear quarter panel. To do this, we had to drill out all the spot welds, pry the damaged pieces off of the car, and reshape the fender wells and other damaged areas back to their original shape as best as we could. A lot of tedious work goes into this step of the process, and thanks to Waylon, we were able to get things back to where they needed to be for the most part. Then came welding on the new quarter panel, installing the new doors, and getting the dents removed from the rear hatch and re-installing it. A few more small steps, and some bondo work and she should be ready for paint!
We have a lot of great ideas for this car that we just can't wait to put into production, including full custom aero, full weight reduction, custom suspension, lots of power, and a whole lot more! We have had quite a few big name companies getting involved with the build and showing their support by sponsoring the #TimeAttackFoST, including Diode Dynamics, Fortune Auto, Auto Power and a few more that we are super excited about (to be revealed at a future time!)
Be sure to stay tuned to keep up with all of our developments by following our Facebook (@JSTPerformance) and Instagram pages(@jst_performance)! Next up, find out what our weight reduction entails and see how much weight can be shed off of a fully loaded 2015 Focus ST ST3!