: Tired of my stupid pain in the A (literally) stock suspension
03-11-2009, 10:51 PM
Alright yeah, I'm young......why the hell would I have back problems, right? well I'd probably be fine if I hadn't thrown it out twenty times too many, or something of the sort (some people just don't learn....apparently I'm one of them [wiggle]) but damn it I'm tired of going over every little moderate size (even small) bumps, dips, pot holes......whatever, and having a sore ass and mid to lower back whenever I get to work or home...... and I'm almost willing to go as far as not driving cause this is getting kinda ridiculous now.....
ok rant time's over, had to get that out a bit; but really, I'm not far from it.....
I gotta ask, there are quite a few different suspension set ups out there for the focus. Who can attest to having the best ride? by that I mean not compressing your spine everytime you hit a dip in the road (slight exaggeration, but it almost feels that way sometimes) going over bumps and potholes with more uh......softness, and I don't want a big drop, I have a lovely foot wide, half foot deep gutter depression along the whole street into the driveway that's a killer for anything dropped below maybe 1.5"......
in simpler terms, what's out there for a nice smooth comfortable ride? Anyone remember The Transporter, the first one? remember he says something about his shocks as he's driving up a staircase? [hihi] I could use some of those about right now.
Gimme your thoughts, guys n gals...... my ass will thank you [wiggle]
03-11-2009, 11:02 PM
My chiropractor said if you drive for more than 1 hour it is really bad for your back. He also told me that small hits to the back add up. I had a bad back when I was 18 and still do (Damn sports). You should really see a chiropractor.
But for suspension stay away from eibach because they will make the ride really rough. Don't get me wrong they are a great brand but not for your application. You can look into getting a good set of tires because they acted like springs to smooth out the ride.
03-11-2009, 11:08 PM
If you looking for something smooth, i couldn't reccomend anything but the SVT suspension. If you're looking for something not expensive then opt for the SVT Suspension. Its about 260, and only lowers your car about .5 inch from stock i believe.. From what I've heard it is great. Also, you might want to look any adjustable shock (Koni's, KYB, etc.) This will let you further even more adjust your firmness/softness driving.
Sometimes tire do the trick also. I just got some Kuhmo All Season and it made a better ride, but that will only last for so long.
03-11-2009, 11:09 PM
Try some KYB GR2's Mike. Great OEM replacement shocks.
03-11-2009, 11:15 PM
^^ how would OEM replacements work out? the stock ones suck for me anyway.
well I don't normally have back problems, and I haven't thrown it out for a while, but I do get a very rare occasional twitch (I guess you could say) once in a very long interval, but it just makes me kinda sore down there when I'm driving usually (some days it's ok, but it's still.... sucky, the others)
also I'm getting a bit uh, mushy, with the steering (any bumps or dips send me trying to control the car more than I'd like too) I think I need to replace those endlinks now as I've heard old worn ones (like mine) kinda kill the steering rigidity.
can anyone who has actually added the whole thing give a word or two about the SVT setup? I'd been planning on that orginally, but who knows now, lol)
03-11-2009, 11:41 PM
I drive daily on the eibach pro-system (includes tuned dampers) and when im in my friend's svt its like riding on a cloud comparatively...
03-11-2009, 11:51 PM
^^ wow..... that's saying a lot. (I mean it) [:)]
maybe...... buy the SVT kit, and then try to sell (someone'll want them, yeah?) the SVT struts, and buy those KYB struts. eh I dunno lol, just thinking out loud for a sec lol.
03-11-2009, 11:55 PM
waste of money imo, the svt struts are tuned very well to the springs
03-11-2009, 11:57 PM
^^ yeah that's what I was thinking......
03-12-2009, 12:47 AM
well..... the drop may be worth it, but not for me lol...... a dent on every return trip, lol.
sounding good for SVT suspension.
has anyone installed the full thing? is it fairly hard to do or no?
03-12-2009, 12:47 AM
the roush kit is a prettty comfortable ride.
03-12-2009, 12:48 AM
mlb, did you go from stock to roush? how do they compare, if you can remember?
03-12-2009, 12:49 AM
be prepared to do some cutting of bolts and metal bushings. Order all new bolts and you might as well get a pair of new lower control arms, since you will inevitably have to cut them out.
03-12-2009, 12:50 AM
ilinipo, front LCA's or rear LCA's? or both? ( meh whatever, mine look awful anyway lol)
03-12-2009, 12:51 AM
rears only, you dont have to even touch the fronts when doing the struts.
03-12-2009, 12:52 AM
Oh and you might also have to cut out your front swaybar endlinks, at least I did.
03-12-2009, 12:56 AM
Oh and you might also have to cut out your front swaybar endlinks, at least I did.
ah alright, well...... I gotta replace em anyway, it doesn't completely eliminate them, would it (stupid question, I know lol) actually with the condition they're in, I probably wouldn't have to cut, just smack with a hammer [:p]
btw, I was wondering.....you know anything about that progress bar that appears to eliminate the rear LCA's and maybe the springs? (probably not what I'm looking for though, just curious)
03-12-2009, 01:00 AM
hm? the progress bar is just a rear anti-roll bar, no elimination of parts...
dont mess with anti-roll bar sizes until you have driven your car in a performance environment and only then if you need to change handling characteristics.
03-12-2009, 01:05 AM
ah alright I was just wondering what that was and if it made any difference.... comfort wise [:)]
out of curiosity.....how long would it take to do something like this?
03-12-2009, 01:07 AM
my suspension was nice and rusty, had to cut 6 bolts in total and it was my first time doing it, took two of us about 12 hours.
03-12-2009, 01:09 AM
wow.......that's a good job [:0]
would you assume it would go quicker being in a shop (on a lift) with a guy 40+ years experience giving some advice, with a partner and I doing the job? [giggle]
03-12-2009, 01:11 AM
yeah but be careful about "experienced" advice, a lot of things are done differently on the focus. its a european platform.
03-12-2009, 01:13 AM
^^ hehe he's WELL aware of that now...... he said in all of his career he's never seen such a weirdly designed car as mine [hihi] guess it HAS to be Euro then [:D]
03-12-2009, 01:22 AM
I like it, for a dd, its comfortable, but still gives you a decent cornering edge. but i'm going w/ a much more aggressive setup now!
03-12-2009, 01:23 AM
that's good......was it a very noticeable difference between that and stock?
03-12-2009, 01:30 AM
as per handling, not amazing, there was still some body roll, but it was noticeable. the stance is alot nicer though.
03-12-2009, 01:33 AM
now about when taking bumps and stuff.....much smoother/softer?
sorry if I'm kinda bein persistent, lol.
03-12-2009, 06:23 AM
I have the SVT set up myself. Ride is really gentle compared to the other set ups I have had before. Lowers he car .5" and still maintains a good ride quality and the ability to be thrown into some corners. I had the same situation with my back as well and that was one of the reasons I had switched over to it. And the fact that I also didn't like the idea of hitting a crack in the road and destroying a fiberglass kit lol
There are no aftermarket springs that are going to be as soft as stock. Period. SVT is just a tiny bit stiffer, but that may feel smoother sometimes. The parts that will make the most difference are dampers and tires. I'd say just keep your stock springs. SVT springs can be ordered alone for pretty cheap if that's what you want to do. Koni dampers ride noticably smoother than KYB AGX in a performance setting, but do not adjust as soft, so I don't know what to tell you there. The GR2 might be a good option, but I don't know anything about them. Tires will also make a big difference. 15s seem to be the standard for the focus, but sometimes 14s work. I wouldn't spend money if you already have 15s. What you're looking for in a tire is an all season Touring or Grand Touring tire. Think mini van tire. Ultimately you're going to sacrifice performance to gain ride comfort.
03-12-2009, 09:42 AM
If you get KYB AGX shock's/struts they have adjustable dampering witch will absorbe some of the hard impacts. dont get koni adjustable's b/c mainly they do the opposite.
03-12-2009, 12:25 PM
Mike, I'm assuming from your comments that your still riding on your original shocks. Regardless of mileage that is a long time, and as you have come to realize, they wore out a long time ago. If ride comfort is your primary objective the KYB GR2's with the STOCK springs would afford a very good ride and improve handling even over new stock shocks.
If you want to improve handling and performance and not impact ride quality too much the SVT suspension is an affordable way to go. The reason is that the SVT parts retain reasonable suspension travel which is a key ingredient to ride quality.
All that said, we also have the pro system on our ZX3. I do not find it overly harsh at all. I'm 60 years old and have a very bad back from several sports related injuries when I was much younger. (note: every injury I have had including broken bones, torn muscles and ligaments, etc have come back to haunt me with age. Doctors have advised me its natural!!! So my advise, either don't get old or be a geek where joining the computer or chess club may be better for your health in the long run). I just bought a 09 VW GTI. A fabulous car with gobs of power and unbelievable handling. I just took it on a 3000 mile trip to Mississippi and Louisiana. That car is seriously stiff and on stretches of bad roads I was almost willing to give it back. Even the beautiful Recaro designed seats were not enough to dampen the suspension. The car will become our fast grocery getter!!!
03-12-2009, 12:39 PM
if your dampers are blown out, ride is going to suck regardless of what suspension you have.
the cheapest and most comfortable option, IMO, is to replace your stockers with KYB GR2 and call it a day.
03-12-2009, 01:23 PM
You can still feel the bumps in the roush, but its not too bad. I ould say the roush is a step up from the svt, but not as aggressive as teh pro kit.