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Old 08-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Location: Wayland, MA
What I Drive: 2001 Lexus ES300

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Spring question for the Focus experts

Background: N00b to Focus, not to suspension in general. Most recently I had an 09 WRX, all the bushings, arms, bars, springs, custom valved Bilsteins etc. I went through a lot of setups to find the perfect smooth road/washboard road compromise type of handling.

A few Friends and I are getting an 01 ZX3 Focus in shape for a fun/race car. The suspension needs help, bushings and shocks are shot. First step to upgrade I ordered a set of Tokico HTS. Koni was a little more expensive, wanted to try the HTS/D-Spec as the WRX guys love them. We can run the stock springs for now but I want to think about where to go from here.

Question: What performance springs are available that don't lower too much? I've searched, found the thread with the spring details, I am inclined to say the answer is "No". In my mind I would like something 200# or so that doesn't lower more than 1". IMO travel is key if we use this car for anything other than glass smooth racetrack.

Question for the experts: Does the Focus suspension work fine lowered 2"? How much travel is left? My experience comes from strut suspensions, typically the geometry of a strut suspension sucks due to camber gain in compression, best you can do is not lower it too much and use a stiff spring/sway bar, and run lots of static camber. Some good handling cars with struts like a WRX/STI or a BMW use a good amount of the caster to counteract this effect in cornering. I haven't looked at the Focus but most economy cars don't run the 5 deg+ of caster like a Subie. Now the rear suspension may be a different story, the control blade I am sure has some specific characteristics that I don't know.

It seems from a spring rate perspective the H&R race would be for us. Want good handling, don't care about ride quality, I have a Lexus daily for that. I am just worried about the extreme lowering being a problem. On the other hand I might just go with stock SVT springs and we can add extra spring with thick sway bars...

Comments or other spring recommendations?

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