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Sunday, January 22, 2006

 

First mod for the Focus

Well, such as it is. This mod isn't a very big one, cost about $30, doesn't make it go faster, and took me only a few minutes. I've converted it to adjustable-delay windshield wipers. If you've been following my Dart build, you may be a little disappointed that I haven't tried replacing the computer with a Megasquirt, converting the suspension to coil-overs, or adding a centrifugal supercharger. On the other hand, some of the less ambitious readers may be glad to see something that doesn't require a gazillion tools and days of wrenching.

Converting a Focus from the normal wipers with one delay setting to six-way adjustable delay is simply a matter of replacing the wiper switch. I bought one with a Ford Racing part number from Steeda, but this switch came standard on some higher Focus trim levels.

Like many hot rodders, I was somewhat suspicious of the claim, "Installs in less than 10 minutes with just a screwdriver!" There's been a lot of times where I have seen a part that was "an easy bolt-in" turn into a nightmare of stuck bolts and undocumented steps. With this part, though, calling it a bolt-in would make it sound harder than it actually is to install, because there aren't any actual bolts involved.

You heard that right. This switch just clips in. To install it, just use a screwdriver to pop off the top cover on the steering column by pressing on the two clip points, one on each side. I've shown one of the clips in the above picture. Once the cover is off, you can push a thumb catch to release the turn signal switch, and another catch to release the wiring from the switch. Then you just snap the new switch into place. It's easier than assembling the G.I. Joe snap-together models I played with as a boy. This adjustability is really nice for Georgia's wet weather.

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