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Old 02-21-2014, 12:33 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by az99 View Post
Good luck with the baseplate install. I have a 2014 also and it required lots of extra modification to plastic parts. Blue Ox said "it should be the same as a 13". I sent them photos but in the end they did not seem to care less. Hopefully yours will go better.
The main crossbar of the baseplate needed to be about 1/2" lower. Maybe the one I got was welded wrong or the car was out of spec.
Thanks for the "heads up"...........I think.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:53 PM   #44
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Smile Focus Transmission

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Originally Posted by Davdeb1 View Post
RKh, I have a 2012 Focus manual trans, and I never have disconnected battery when towing. There is no steering column lock. Ignition is off, so why disconnect battery?
My 2014 has the 6-speed automatic, which has two electronically controlled clutches and no hydraulics. Removing all power (per owner's manual) is to ensure that the trans doesn't accidentally get engaged during tow.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:32 PM   #45
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Thanks for the "heads up"...........I think.
One other tip I would like to share is that the bumper is hard. I mean reallllllllllllly, realllllllllly hard. There is no pilot hole in it like the directions show. I have a carbide hole saw and could not even get a pilot hole in it. I used a wizzer and cut a small square hole to get the nuts in.
Download the latest instructions off their site. The instructions they sent with mine were missing a few important steps.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:44 AM   #46
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All you guys are talking me out of buying the Focus!
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:18 AM   #47
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All you guys are talking me out of buying the Focus!
I have nothing bad to say about the Focus. The Blue Ox baseplate is where I question my purchase. All the new vehicles other than maybe the Jeep have some difficulty on the baseplate install. It is a nice looking install though. And not a big deal if it would have fit as designed. Probably 3 hours max.

Ford engineers were certainly not designing the front of the vehicle (hard bumper) to make it easy to install a baseplate that probably less than .5% install.

We both really like the Focus as an any time driver car. It is a fun car to drive and my wife likes not filling the gas tank all the time and uses it rather than her new Acura RDX.

I would definitely recommend it as a toad or everyday driver.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:49 AM   #48
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[QUOTE=raoulwv;1937171][QUOTE=hdmoxness;1936805]In my 2014 Ford Focus Hatchback, the installer, a hitch and truck place, installed LED sockets and “bulbs;” Blue Ox offers a kit to do this. To install, they drilled holes in the flat, horizontal bottom of the upper (red) half of the taillight housing, just to the rear of the Ford’s incandescent bulb that lights up that top section. I don’t know if this is the best location or the only possible location or even how they did it, but I know that when they were done, they left some black plastic drilling flakes inside the bulb compartment that they couldn’t get back out. Be careful with the drilling step. 3 wires go into the socket—ground, taillight, and turn signal. The “bulb” is a 2-wire contact base unit with 5 LEDs in its boxy top end—4 around its waist and 1 on top. The 5 LEDs light up when the taillight voltage is applied to give you a taillight and when an intermittent flasher voltage is added, the LEDs all light up brighter to make it flash on top of the steady running light. Here is the right rear taillight:

Why do you need the additional bulbs? My Focus is wired using the existing tail/brake/turn signal lights with no problems. Diodes are used to prevent feed back and keep things limited to only lighting the rear bulbs.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:13 AM   #49
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Smile Focus thoughts

One of our criteria for buying a Focus was that we wanted all the bells & whistles, coming from a previous toad that had crank windows. We would be totally okay with a manual transmission, but found out that to get all the B&W in a manufacturer-authorized tow, we almost had to take them with an automatic. That really narrowed the field. The Focus automatic-manual met all those needs and we are really enjoying the car. We just turn a rotary switch to safely tow and flip a toggle switch to arm the supplementary brakes.

As for diodes, I had four of them crack and short out at different times in the previous tow car. That just made some of the lights not work, but did not affect the manual transmission. I don't want to risk any accidental 12VDC connections to my Focus' wiring, as that could damage the automatic transmission and the engine if it gets itself into gear during tow.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:12 PM   #50
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All you guys are talking me out of buying the Focus!
We bought new, a 2012 Focus. We now have 41000 trouble free miles. We have driven Cleveland to Key West and back, 3 times. Very comfortable, great power, handles great, great fuel economy. Also very quick tow hookup with ready brute elite.

We choose manual trans, because there is no steering wheel lock. Any car you buy with automatic will require battery disconnect switch for towing long distance. Also, a very inexpensive car.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:06 PM   #51
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Good luck with the baseplate install. I have a 2014 also and it required lots of extra modification to plastic parts. Blue Ox said "it should be the same as a 13". I sent them photos but in the end they did not seem to care less. Hopefully yours will go better.
The main crossbar of the baseplate needed to be about 1/2" lower. Maybe the one I got was welded wrong or the car was out of spec.
Quote:
Originally Posted by az99 View Post
One other tip I would like to share is that the bumper is hard. I mean reallllllllllllly, realllllllllly hard. There is no pilot hole in it like the directions show. I have a carbide hole saw and could not even get a pilot hole in it. I used a wizzer and cut a small square hole to get the nuts in.
Download the latest instructions off their site. The instructions they sent with mine were missing a few important steps.
I had the same trouble you did. I agree the crossbar should be a bit lower ( had to trim the whole plastic bumper cover) and a holesaw was useless on the bumper (I used a rotary tool with a cutting disc).
This was my 4th baseplate install, and by far, the most difficult, however, if I had it to do over, I would still choose the Blue Ox. To my knowledge, the BO is the only one piece baseplate available for the Focus. Demco doesn't make one and the Roadmaster is a two piece, which means I would have had to use a crossbar on the outside of the grill (didn't want that). The Blue Ox also has two rods welded on to attach the electrical socket, which I cut so the socket would be flush with the grill (see photo).
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:11 PM   #52
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Cool

Way to go, Rod!
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Old 02-26-2014, 03:51 PM   #53
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I was wondering how you made out. That looks the same as mine with the crossbar dead up against the bumper. And even the same color.
Glad it worked out for you.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:09 PM   #54
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Just finished wiring a switch on the neg. battery cable of my Focus (2014 SE sedan w/auto trans, keyed ignition). Some of you mentioned losing radio presets when disconnecting the battery. I did not. The only things that I lost were the trip counter info, the clock and, of all things, the tone controls on the radio (bass, treble etc). I can live with that.
All mods are now complete on the toad, so it is "all dressed up with no place to tow"......Actually, I'll get a chance to test it in a couple weeks.
Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:00 AM   #55
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It also loses the power door lock presets. No big deal either.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:26 AM   #56
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2014 Ford Focus BO tow plate

I also have a 2014 Focus hatchback SE that I'm in the process of DIY a Blue Ox base plate and LED drill a hole lights, haven't got to the battery disconnect as of now. The base plate is fairly troublesome the BO instructions left out a few steps when removing the facia. I hope to have the Focus back together this weekend then I will be working on the battery disconnect. I'm thinking of going with the turning the battery around idea so the neg is up front and installing a disconnect on the neg at that location. The install has been fun so far and I really like the Focus and the 35MPG.
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