The Guide to Charge Pipe Upgrades for the Ford Focus ST

The Guide to Charge Pipe Upgrades for the Ford Focus ST. We’re used to upgrading charge pipes on BMWs because they fracture and fail frequently. And where they offer almost no performance advantages. However, upgrading the charge pipe on a Focus ST to increase airflow from the intercooler to the engine is typical procedure. Fortunately, the Focus ST comes standard with a metal chargepipe, so cracking or failure isn’t an issue. It is, however, small and constrained, which is why improving it can provide significant performance gains.

This tutorial will explain what a charge pipe is, why you should upgrade it on your Focus ST, and some of our preferred brands on the market.

The Guide to Charge Pipe Upgrades for the Ford Focus ST

What is a Charge Pipe on a Focus ST?

On the Focus ST, the charge pipe connects directly to the intercooler and intake manifold. It is also known as the cold-side intercooler piping. This is because it transports air after it has been cooled by the intercooler. There are also choices to enhance your hot-side intercooler pipe, which is the piping that transports air from the turbo to the intercooler. The hot-side piping is also referred to as a charge pipe at times.

Charge air is air that has been compressed by a turbocharged engine. As a result, both the hot-side and cold-side pipes are referred to as “charge pipes” since they transport charge air.

Focus ST Hot-Side Charge Pipe = transports air from the turbo to the intercooler after it has been compressed by the turbo.

The cold-side charge pipe in the Focus ST = transports air from the intercooler to the intake manifold.

Both pipings are known as charge pipes and intercooler pipes, which might be confusing. The majority of companies will offer them separately, however others will sell them as a package.

The stock charge pipes rarely fail, although they can blow off under extreme boost conditions. The stock hot side pipe is constructed of rubber, which allows it to flex and pop off during heavy boost. While I wouldn’t recommend an update for reliability or preventative maintenance, they are useful for insuring you don’t pop one off while driving down the road.

Advantages of a Focus ST Charge Pipe Upgrade

The hot and cold side chargepipes on the Focus ST are both restricted. They are perfectly adequate for a stock car. However, as you start modifying the ST with things like an intake and tuning, it quickly becomes restricted. More power necessitates more air, so you must be able to pump more air through the charge pipe.

  • Gains in 0-5whp and torque power (mod dependant)
  • Stops boost leaks and pressure dips.
  • Increase in air flow of 20% to 30%
  • Meth injection is an option.
  • Possibility of adding a blow off valve for cool noises
  • They won’t pop off (added dependability)

Most improved intercooler pipes use 2.5′′ and 2.75′′ (hot-side, cold-side) aluminum piping, which results in a 20-30% improvement in airflow over the stock system. Larger piping also results in reduced pressure loss, which means the larger pipe will aid in maintaining boost levels through the engine. Power increases are probably nil on a standard car, however they can add some if you run a tune, intake, and larger intercooler.

The amount of air you flow determines your power increases and benefits. We think the pipes are an excellent addition with a tune, intake, and intercooler upgrade. They are strongly suggested, for example, with an improved turbo.

Two other advantages will be discussed briefly: the ability to add meth injection and the ability to run a blow off valve. A 1/8th inch bung for methanol injection is standard on most updated ST cold-side chargepipes. You can also obtain cold-side pipe with flanges for a HKS blow-off valve to make the awesome “psssh” sounds.

Meth Injection & Focus ST Blow-Off Valve

The only reason to upgrade the hot-side charge pipe on the Focus ST is for enhanced air flow. The cold-side chargepipe, on the other hand, has a few additional advantages. To begin, you can obtain a charge pipe with a flange through which to run a blow-off valve. Aside from the fact that they sound nice, there is no genuine performance benefit or reason for a blow-off valve. We like the HKS SSQV because it’s one of the loudest ones on the market and it sounds great. If you don’t like the sound of BOVs, you can obtain a cold-side pipe that uses the original diverter valve.

Second, cold-side pipes are equipped with methanol injection (WMI) bungs. The Focus ST’s stock fueling system produces roughly 350whp. Meth injection is the way to go if you want to push past this power level without altering the fueling system. Furthermore, even if you aren’t pushing these levels, meth injection can provide substantial improvements.

Is it worthwhile to upgrade the charge pipe on a Focus ST?

As previously stated, charge pipe improvements are unlikely to produce much power on a completely stock ST. As more mods are installed, power increases grow. If you already have a tune, intake, and upgraded intercooler, we recommend installing intercooler piping if it’s within your budget. The pipe will improve airflow, allowing the engine to breathe better, improve throttle response, and avoid boost leaks. If you have a more powerful turbo, the piping is highly suggested.

Overall, if it’s within your budget, it’s worthwhile. It will provide some minor power gains while also creating a healthy engine, preventing piping from popping off, and ensuring that the most boost from the turbo is transferred to the combustion chamber.

You must upgrade the cold-side charge pipe if you want the awesome BOV noises or to run WMI meth injection.

Should You Start with an Intercooler Upgrade?

Probably. The focus is the intercooler and its capacity. Increasing flow to or away from the intercooler isn’t important if the intercooler is overloaded and can’t handle the amount of air coming to it.

Again, we recommend purchasing these along with your intercooler if you can afford it. However, unless you have an improved turbo or are pushing serious boost on an aggressive tune and want maximum air flow, they aren’t a priority.

Focus ST Charge Pipes at Their Finest

When upgrading the charge pipe on the Focus ST, you have the option of upgrading the cold-side pipe, the hot-side pipe, or both. Upgrade the cold-side if you want the amazing noises and the potential for WMI. Upgrade the hot-side to avoid piping from popping off. If the price allows, we recommend upgrading both.

On the chilly side, you’ll see a variety of alternatives. You can choose a charge pipe that retains the original diverter valves or one with a flange for a blow-off valve. Just bear in mind that if you obtain something with a blow-off valve flange, you’ll need to get the BOV as well. Blow-off valves cost around $250, so it may get expensive, especially given it’s essentially just a sound mod.

The Guide to Charge Pipe Upgrades for the Ford Focus ST

1) Upgrade of the Focus ST CVF Charge Pipe

One of our favorite EcoBoost performance manufacturers is CVF. They provide the finest value for money in terms of quality, performance, and pricing that we’ve discovered on the market. CVF provides several choices for the Focus ST.

CVF offers a hot-side piping kit with a 2.5′′ aluminum pipe that is compatible with all standard and aftermarket intercoolers. On the cold side, they provide a charge pipe that is compatible with the factory diverter valve, as well as one with a HKS flange for those who desire a blow-off valve. The cold-side pipes are both 2.75′′ aluminum with 1/8th inch meth bungs. If you want to buy both the hot and cold side pipes, you may get one of their kits, which will save you roughly $70 over buying them separately.

Overall, CVF is a terrific company with a good product that offers one of the finest value for money on Focus ST downpipe systems.

Price range: $185-$350 (depending on individual vs. kit).

Related : The 6.4 HEMI Camshaft Upgrade Instructions

2) Chargepipe Kit for Mishimoto Focus ST

Because there are so many possibilities on the market, we like to stay with tried-and-true brands. Mishimoto is well-known for its intercoolers, radiators, and other cooling components. Their Focus ST chargepipe system comes with both hot and cold side piping. Mishimoto promises a 21% increase in airflow over stock pipe, which appears to be accurate.

Given the name value, this kit comes in at a pretty good price of $345. The main drawback is that the cold-side pipe is entirely made of silicone. If you don’t mind a BOV or a meth injection, this isn’t a problem. However, silicone is less robust than the metal pipe included in the CVF kit, which is likely why the pricing is lower.

Price: $345

If you don’t like the Mishimoto kit, cp-e makes a nice alternative. It costs $450, but it is another reliable brand name that we trust.

Summary of Charge Pipe Upgrades for the Focus ST

Overall, for those pushing a lot of boost, a hot-side and cold-side charge pipe improvement is a good mod for the Focus ST. Power improvements aren’t quite there for stock STs, but as other mods are applied, the piping kit begins to deliver some small power gains. Increased intercooler airflow is only advantageous if you are bringing in a lot of air from the intake.

We recommend obtaining the piping if you are upgrading your ST intercooler and can afford it. Otherwise, upgraded piping can wait till you run a particularly aggressive tune and intake, or upgrade your turbo.

However, aside from power improvements, intercooler piping has a few other advantages. A more efficient engine stems from increased air flow. You will also notice improved throttle response and a more responsive engine. Cold-side improvements include a blow out valve for cool induction noises, as well as meth bungs for those wishing to push extra power through meth injection.

If you are looking for charge pipe upgrades, we highly recommend CVF. They provide one of the most reasonably priced kits on the market without sacrificing quality.