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Old 10-31-2008, 02:59 AM   #1
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Need Help With Lowering

Ok well i've been wanting to lower my car for a long time now and i've finally decided i want to have it done over the winter and have it for next spring, but i have a couple of questions. Well for one since im a newbie to suspension i need to know if the smartest way to do it is to buy the full kit or maybe just the anti roll kit and then just a kit of dampers and springs? Next, for all the pro suspension focus ppl out there i really need your help. I'm looking for a kit that would work best with 16" rims and somewhat low profile tires. I mean is 1 or 1.5 alot in person or is that what would be best. I dont mind if the ride gets a little stiffer but i want to hit corners and turns way better. Thats a paragraph but im looking for some good info on things before i decide on anything. Also, whats a good kit and decently priced that isnt an arm and leg? I know an i need an alignment once done but for right now i just the kit and then work on the rest. So if anyone can give me some info in my terms i can understand..remember newbie...ill greatly apperciate it. If theres anything else im missing just let me know cuz im willing to learn. Thanks again. -Josh


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Old 10-31-2008, 03:18 AM   #2
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I would go with the saleen suspension kit that Massive has. I don't know if they still have it but it will meet all your needs and for $499 you can't beat it.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:40 AM   #3
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I just took the plunge on a spring/damper kit (Ford Racing) and an anti-sway bar kit (also Ford Racing) all from Mike at Hilbish Ford (800-849-0233, ask for Mike in Parts). Cost me more than I really wanted to spend, but these are kits with components meant to go together in combination with each other and done by people who really know how to make your car handle better. The drop is 1.5". MIke will even assemble the front springs for you. I haven't received mine yet, so I cannot yet attest to its performance.

That's just one solution, and you can spend less (probably) on other kits and components like the SVT kit with a 0.5" drop ... I came close to going that route.
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:30 AM   #4
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The SVT Suspension, Roush, Saleen and Ford Racing are all great products to look into! I personally own a set of H & R race springs which dop the car 2 inches and kyb agx dampers. They are a bit extreme but there werent too bad in price. I bought the race springs for 200 bucks and the dampers for another 200 or so bucks on ebay. The eibach pro kit is another great kit and lots of people recomend them here.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:22 PM   #5
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I think I understand what your asking. As follows.
I have the FR springs/struts I got from Mike. This is what it feels like. My Focus is the 2007 ZX5 SES (Sport Euro Suspension). So, I have the factory sway bars, 16" cast wheels and the Pirrelli P6 205/50/16 tires. The ride on the Ford racing springs/struts is very similar to the stock springs/struts. That is, yes its a tad more harsh on road rash and 'sudden' bumps, but its not unpleasantly so (My Wife agrees so its not just me). Personally, I like the overall feel and tightness. Corners can be taken with much more confidence. Note, much of the cornering may be attributable to having a good alignment, and I also replaced the rear sway bar linkage with poly bushings and end links (MOOG). In addition to the springs and struts, I also opted for the SPF upper rear adjustable arms. These provide a good solution for rear camber control. Do NOT purchase the SPF front camber/caster upper strut bearing units. It is advisable not to drop more than 1.5" else the front end geometry gets edgy. I recommend this setup for appearance and overall driving fun without having to compromise ride quality to any large degree. Note: The rear upper shock mounts may be a problem as the stock mounts are fairly soft. I have found a cheap solution so no worries. will talk about that when the time comes. Oh! I also learned just this evening that the Pirrelli P6 is considered a soft compound tire ( even though its rated 'all weather'). Tires have a huge impact on handling, so you have to consider what I have said with that in mind.
Kits are generally better than buying separate as you get parts that are made to work together. The FR kit from Mike at Hillbish is not considered to be expensive, maybe more middle of the road so to speak. Overall, I spent ~ $1000 for Everything (deducting $200 for a onetime newbie mistake myself). $200 of that was for those upper arms I mentioned. Pricey but there very nice. I had shop(s) do it so alot of that cost is labor.
Hope that gets to what your asking about.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:53 PM   #6
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Hint: rear stress bar

I don't know about other models, but after installing H&R coilovers on my 08's sedan the ride was a little harsh. Much to my surprise, after installing a FocusSport rear stress bar, the harshness was gone. The rear stress bar really made a significant ride quality difference for me.

Oh, and S0C0nFused - it's time to spill the beans. Tell us what you found as the solution for the soft rear shock mounts. I had to add three large steel washers to the top of mine and crank down the nut to the point of stripping it to get rid of "most" of the rattle back there.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradWhite View Post
Oh, and S0C0nFused - it's time to spill the beans. Tell us what you found as the solution for the soft rear shock mounts. I had to add three large steel washers to the top of mine and crank down the nut to the point of stripping it to get rid of "most" of the rattle back there.
Ack! OK! I have to take the back stuff out again to take a picture then if necessary. But, in the meantime. IF you have a "True Value" hardware store (or similiar).
They should have rubber sheets 3/32 thick. Get a couple of them. Make doughnuts, 1 1/4" inside, 2 1/2" outside. 3 per side. So you will need 6 total.
Remove the OEM mount and stack 3 of the doughnuts, minding to keep them somewhat aligned with each other (you may want to put a dab of something between them to help keep them aligned but I did not). Install the OEM washer (Its not a flat washer, so it should be oriented to go 'up' not 'down' if that makes sense?). Tighten to 20 ft-lbs. 'run in' time is ~ week depending on how much you drive. The rubber should 'seat'. You get a semi-solid mount with just a tad bit of compliance. My 'shock' noise is gone. Add more rubber doughnuts if you want something softer. Note: Brad >> I am assuming that the 08-09's have the same mount.
Also note: I found this by accident. I originally just put them in to give me something while a farted around with the OEM mount. We sorta noticed after that week went by that the noise was gone (well, except for the swaybar squeaks, I used the wrong kinda grease). Also got rid of the (spring sounds like it wants to fall out) noise. But that maybe was the alignment.
small note: Maybe I did put 4 doughnuts back there? Sheesh! I cannot remember.
another note: I don't know if this is important or not. The rubber I bought is colored rusty red. Do they color rubber to indicate is softness? Anyway, you could make gaskets with this stuff.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:33 PM   #8
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wait what?
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:57 PM   #9
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S0C0nFused - thank you !!! I will definitely give that a shot. Sounds like an effective and practical solution.

For those that don't know, after lowering it is very common to come up with a rattle from the rear shocks. Just Google "coilover rattle" or "lowered car rattle" and see how many hits you get.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradWhite View Post
Just Google "coilover rattle" or "lowered car rattle" and see how many hits you get.
OMG! "Results 1 - 10 of about 1,330,000 for lowered car rattle."

Otay! Full disclosure time. (I was not withholding info, I just did not think it was that big of an issue). Soooo! ALSO >> When I was installing the MOOG sway bar endlink kit, I thought maybe I could get a better angle on the bushing to bar ends. Long story short, I removed the bar and discovered that one of the frame bushings had been installed 'backwards' from the factory. The frame bushings have a 'bump' (evident only on one side of the bushing). This bump is supposed to face left as viewed from the back of the car. The purpose of the bump is a visual aid to insure that the sway bar frame bushing is oriented properly to the other bushing. Also note that the factory sway bar has 'flats' where the frame bushing contacts it. This 'flated' section holds the bar (preload?), but, it also make it so the bar itself does not 'move around' causing a possible rattle. Maybe Ford discovered that if you put one of the bushings in 'upside down', with the soft rubber endlink bushings, that the preload is increased and it does not rattle? Idaknow. I removed the backward bushing and reinstalled it with the correct orientation. Now technically, Ford manual says the bushings have to be replaced if there installed wrong (cause the 'flat' part gets chewed up I assume). So you might have to take yours off and inspect them (not hard, have a rubber mallet handy). Also, do not grease the frame bushing. The bar is supposed to be tight and dry in the bushing.
Maybe that is the cause of some folks mystery rattle?
Oh! Because it read it somewhere on FF, If you have an aftermarket bar, and it does not have the 'flats' and the bar tends to move laterally (or you suspect it does). This is easily remedied with a 'shaft collar'. You can see them at "http://www.mcmaster.com/" and search "shaft collar". Just thougt I would toss that in.
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