Essential modifications for a Ford Focus ST250: remap; springs; quickshift; CAIS; spacers; poly bushes. Oh, bloody hell yes. The bushes. Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to own a pre-facelift ST250 unless it’s rubber bits have been replaced with polyurethane. In terms of necessity, replacing Ford’s standard rubber wishbone bushes with poly parts is as vital as petrol in the tank. You simply cannot appreciate the abilities of an ST without them.
Now, you may think I’m exaggerating, but Powerflex’s Handling Pack for the ST250 is worth every single penny of the £166.74 retail price!
The Handling Pack comprises poly bushes for the front wishbones (two on each side of the car) plus a pair of torque mount (otherwise known as lower engine mount) bushes. All have their distinct roles to play. And all work magnificently.
If you’ve driven an ST250, you’ll know it torque-steers like a turbocharged XR2, which is fun at first but quickly becomes annoying when you want to get somewhere fast. Gary at Collins Performance recommended polyurethane wishbone bushes to cure the problem but, even so, I wasn’t expecting the fault to totally vanish.
The torque mount bushes are similarly beneficial, albeit to a lesser degree. Their job is to stop the engine rocking back on its mountings, causing the front wheels to judder under hard acceleration. Although I’ve never found it to be too much of an issue, there’s no doubt that the Handling Pack reduces wheelspin if you turn off the traction control and mash the accelerator.
But surely, you say, nothing is quite so wonderful, without any negatives. And you’re right: the wishbone bushes were an absolute pig to fit! Swapping worn, sloppy bushes on an old car is one thing, but the OE Ford parts fought me all the way. So, if you’re thinking of fitting the Powerflex items – and you should – get someone else to do it.
In contrast, the torque mount bushes were easy, and one simply fills the voids in the stock bush, which is a pretty clever solution to stop the rubber moving around.
Finally, I must admit that, although I also ordered Powerflex’s rear trailing arm bushes at the same time, they appear even trickier to fit – so they’re still in the box for the time being.
Nevertheless, Fondeo ‘phase one’ is finally complete. Here comes stage two…