Focus on Cooling! Mishimoto's Ford Focus ST Radiator R&D, Part 2: A Look at Our First Prototype
It has been around two months since our last update on this project. We've had great feedback on the forums, and we appreciate everyone's comments and patience as we work toward completion. Our goal is to provide a performance radiator that allows users to track drive their STs without fear of overheating and entering limp mode.
The primary reason for the delay was the construction of our first prototype. This radiator design is quite complex, as we showed with our 3D models in the first segment.
The stock Focus radiator features several complicated components, each of which needed to be replicated in our design. Our goal is that this piece bolts into position just like the stock radiator, so the design must be precise.
The rear side of the radiator shows the quick-disconnect fittings on both the inlet and outlet. These will be CNC-machined. In addition, we incorporated seven mounting points, one nipple, and two lower mounting pegs.
The front of the radiator is just as busy; we will design, construct, and weld 11 brackets to the end tanks. Check out the side profile of the front of the radiator below.
Creating the end tanks was the toughest part in designing our first prototype. If you recall from our first segment, this design was modeled after measurements from a 3D model of the car along with dimensions taken from a test vehicle. Often we will make slight adjustments after test fitting, most of which are minute changes. Due to time constraints, we decided to use this first prototype for fitment purposes only. We will then revise the tanks as needed and mate them to the appropriate core.
Check out the rear side of our first prototype!
These images show the CNC-machined quick-disconnect hose fittings as well as the mounting brackets for the fan shroud. Weld quality is pretty good, but we found a few areas where the design can be adjusted slightly to facilitate an easier construction process.
Now take a look at the front of the radiator.
The front sides of the end tanks feature the various mounts for the AC condenser, the intercooler, and the active grille-shutter system. We want to retain all these features, which is why you see all our machined brackets in place. Check out another look at this row of mounting points.
Other features of the tanks include the stamped Mishimoto logo as well as the lower mounting pegs.
Product Test Fitting
Our prototype looks good, so it's time to see how well our engineers did with fitment. As we noted before, a few minor tweaks will be made in construction style, but let's see if we need to adjust any other features. A flawless install is our goal here, so we need to address even minor issues..
First, we removed the stock radiator assembly and attached the stock fan shroud to our aluminum counterpart.
Everything seemed to fit well, requiring only slight tweaks to make the installation a bit easier. Take a look below at the shroud clipped into place and the positioning of the upper radiator pegs.
With our radiator prototype in place, we installed the intercooler and grille shutter system.
Our prototype exhibited great fitment from here on out, with all components bolting up perfectly. Our machined quick-disconnect fittings provided for a solid, leak-free install.
Additional interesting updates are on the way! We will be working up a second prototype featuring our new core design and the tank adjustments. Once complete we will begin in-depth testing to determine the efficiency of our radiator.
Thanks for reading!