With performance being a higher priority this season I have been keeping an eye out for any new offerings for N/A Mk3s. Earlier this year this caught my attention when it was released and I wound up ordering one for my car. Even though Mk3s handle extremely well in factory spec, and mine already has coilovers and a new rear sway bar to improve on that, I didn’t want to stop there. Rear strut bar time!
What’s unique about this part is that it’s produced by fellow Mk3 enthusiast and owner Kyle Deyoung. The overall package certainly looks more like something from an aftermarket company, rather than an individual. Included are full, well-written instructions (with photos) and all of the needed hardware. Also making it unique is the fact that it’s a part actually designed for sedans! #4over5
Kyle offers these unpainted or will paint them himself before sending them out in whatever colour you desire. I opted to order mine unpainted as that meant it could be shipped faster since there’d be no waiting for paint to dry on his end. Naturally it came down to either yellow, blue, or white in order to stick with the Focus’ colour scheme, and I ended up going with white which makes it really stand out in the sedan’s trunk. With that decided, once it arrived it was prepped, primed, painted, and then left to cure. It was resting on two shop towels here to avoid scratching the new paint.
As far as installs go, this one was really simple. First, the four bolts holding the rear shocks in place needed to be replaced with the longer pieces included with the strut bar, so the back of the car needed to be jacked up and the rear wheels removed. Once that was done it didn’t take long to swap the bolts out. It should be obvious here which is which, but on the left is the old bolt (11mm) and on the right is the new one (13mm).
The longer bolts extend into the trunk enough for the strut bar to be slid on and fastened down. Once again on the left here is the old bolt, and on the right is the replacement. It’s not shown in the photo but there should be a second washer which sits between the bottom nut and the top of the strut bar. I simply forgot to place it here for the picture.
With the four bolts replaced, the wheels were mounted back on and the car was taken off of the jack stands. I also drove the car out of the garage and back in to get everything sitting naturally before continuing. Next the trunk carpeting over the studs had to be cut back to allow the bolts to pass through, and that was honestly the trickiest part of the whole install – that’s how straight-forward this was. With that taken care of the strut bar could be set in place and secured.
The bar does take up a little room in the trunk but it’s quickly removable, and in my case I keep my trunk organizer pushed up against the back of the seat so that floor space is taken up anyway. I have a rear strut bar like this in my Grand Prix as well, and have never found it to be in the way. If it ever does need to come out, a minute or two with a wrench will make that happen.
I waited before posting this as I wanted to drive the Focus around for a little while and see if I could feel a difference, and I do. With this as part of the suspension upgrades the car really turns in sharply and feels amazing in the corners. I definitely recommend this to Mk3 sedan owners!
This now leaves me looking forward to the next performance upgrade – proper tires! I have now set a personal record as it’s July and I am still on winter wheels and tires…My summer wheels are still a few weeks away at best but I should have the tires for them this weekend. If I’m lucky, I’ll actually have time to enjoy the Focus’ new shoes before they have to come off for winter!