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Ford Focus ST Fuel System – The Story Of Direct Injection & Lesson’s Already Learned

by Haltech on October 10, 2012

alk about seeing new technology coming full circle in such a large world. 6 Years ago, Mazda introduced the MZR DISI engine, which was the first Japanese/American joint venture for bringing powerful, yet fuel efficient direct injection technology to the masses.. It’s started with the MazdaSpeed 6 and a year later, the MazdaSpeed 3 arrived, with the exact same engine. Here we are, circa 2012 and The Mazdaspeed 3 is still utilizing this engine. What does this have to do with the 2012 Ford Focus ST? Simple, the Mazdaspeed 3/6 was Ford’s testbed for the Ecoboost technology that you are driving around with today, but a lot more refined.

The importance here is the knowledge already achieved through the Mazdaspeed platform, in which the aftermarket will be successful for the Ecoboost 2.0. The DISI engine uses a Hitachi cam driven mechanical high pressure fuel pump that delivers over 1600 PSI of fuel pressure post intake valves. The Ecoboost 2.0 ups that to 2200 psi post intake valves using a Bosch mechanical cam driven high pressure fuel pump. The MZR engine utilizes single cone injectors whereas the Ecoboost 2.0 uses a multi port injector design.

Ford has stated that the fuel system is already at full operating efficiency. Funny, because with the Mazda MZR, we saw plummeting fuel pressures in cold weather conditions (below 40F) with several bolt on performance parts with the generation 1 engine. We had a little bit of headroom before issues had arisen. With the generation 2 engines, Mazda had changed the internals to run the fuel system at maximum operating efficiency leaving damn near zero headroom for modifications.

This required an immediate HPFP internal swap before performance modifications could be installed safety with dropping fuel pressure This is easily remedied by swapping the internals in the HPFP with those from the Audi/VW performance aftermarket by companies such as Autotech and KMD Tuning. After all, Audi/VW use the exact same pump as Mazda, but the Ecoboost 2.0 is in a different situation here, just like the BMW N54/55 engines

So, this is our first hurdle for the Ecoboost 2.0 and one we will have to address. The first thing we are going to have to find, is where this fuel system maxes out at. To do that, we will need to start bolting parts onto the car when they become available to see what happens. We will also need a full tuning suite with the ability to not only data log our car, but to also see live monitoring of the necessary PIDs (sensors giving us real time data such as hpfp pressures, AFR, boost, timing, stft/ltft, etc) There is only one company i know of who has proven to deliver such a suite and that’s Cobb Tuning, who by the way, have a car right now in R&D for this very device.

If the Ecoboost 2.0 fuel system is indeed at maximum operating capacity like Ford claims, this can cause problems for us. The BMW B54/55 enthusiasts still do not have any larger internal upgrades for their hpfp pumps. Like the Mazda, the BMW enthusiast have tried off the shelf kenne bell boost a pumps. It gives you a little bit of headroom, but not that much.

Another option is, we can add secondary port injection fueling to the engine to overcome the fueling issue. For the hardcore enthusiast, this will not be that big of deal. For the average guy however, this one modification will probably not sit well with them. Its not cheap for one and it’s very complex to to wire. It would also require tuning, which we aren’t there yet with.

So, as we wait for Focus ST development to produce us some parts, it’s a sit and wait game. This forum is in a unique position as we have very good relations with several companies who know direct injection very well. They are working with it in the development stages As information filters in, we will be sure to keep you updated on the findings.

I do feel very positive about this platform and what will come of it. It’s amazing how far we have gotten with the Mazda MZR platform and Cobb Tuning was a big part of that success. I am hoping, the same holds true for the Ecoboost 2.0 development. As it sits, the Focus ST shares many traits as that of the Mazdaspeed 3. So development from those companies who have worked with the Mazdaspeed for the last 6 years do have the upper hand here. I do not want to take away from the new players to direct injection who are also offering tuning suites because they too can contribute to the success of this platform. Competition always gets better results :)

Which brings me to my next point, Ecoboost Forums. I created this forum to provide ground breaking development for this platform. I successfully built a great resource with Mazdaspeed Forums. MSF changed the way enthusiast forums operate and what they can provide. I intend to do the same here, but with everything i have learned to make Ecoboost Forums better and bring development for this platform, even faster.

So spread the word that a true performance oriented Ford St forum has hit the net!

Kevin Pugh

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