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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-28-2010 01:49 PM
mozerman I would get an old RWD car that you can beat the crap out of. A guy had an old cop car and did pretty well with it. In my opinion its better to have some sideways fun than to get into modification. Then once you get better and more into it, buy yourself a cheap G2 car and do stage rally. I would highly suggest going that route.
01-26-2010 09:59 AM
Originally Posted by SykSVT View Post

Thanks Geezer for the info about the suspension. I'm trying to find who makes a spring with high spring rates for the SVTf. I keep coming back to GC (eibach) as the only player in town. I did read an article online of a "Custom Racing" magazine that actually cut one for their application (80's Audi), but I thought that was a big "No, No"? Other than that the Bilsteins wouldn't work unless I went with coilovers or used the GC's. Correct?
As a rule of thumb, springs for rally are not overally stiff. Rarely are they much more than 1.5 times stiffer than a stock spring. It's the shock that takes on most of the work. The keys to the spring are length and spacing between coils to prevent binding. There are springs with fewer coils, but have a little thicker wire, that work well for rally purposes. Eibach has a race series catalog with hundreds (thousands?) of applications based on diameter, length, number of coils, and rates. Some years ago I wrote to them and they sent me the catalog which seemd to be about the thickness of a decent magazine. There are a couple of other lessor known performance spring manufacturers and I'll try to track them down for you. And yes cutting springs is rarely advisable as it can effect the structural integrity of the spring as well as changes the spring rate.

Here's one of the US companies with decent spring selection and used by a number of rally car builders:
01-26-2010 09:44 AM
SykSVT Whoa Lou, thank you! I'm a member of the SCCA and I've read all the rules for AutoX and RallyX. Then I went to Rally America and printed off and read all their rules. It gets a little overwhelming so its nice to talk to some Rally'rs who can simplify it a little bit, and give valuable real Rally info on suspension and other important upgrades for the Foci.

I'm planning on going to the 100AW this year so I might see if I can help (work). I'm bringing my recorder because I'm sure to get some info!

Thanks Everyone for your help. I now have my plan!

01-26-2010 02:06 AM
Rally Focused SykSVT, I haven't been on this site much, but can't resist helping out a fellow rally fan! I run a 2.3L focus in NASA & RA Rally events. I threw out the option of building for the spec focus, one because I had the wrong motor, and two because I had to buy expensive contingency sponsor products, like DMS suspension...but the spec focus website hasn't been updated in a while, so maybe it's not even running. Anyway, I wanted to help answer some of your questions:

Why 15" wheels? 15" rims are easy to come by for the Focus, but more importantly, anything bigger than 15" rally tires gets really expensive and is not readily available. 14" and 13" wheels would also be options for you though, but I wouldn't recommend that.

You wonder what's the best upgrades to do next...I'll echo other people: Suspension and traction hands down. First your car has to survive an event. I've used stock suspension and KYB AGX's, both failed by bending severely right at the Knuckle. Ended up with Hotbits. 2.5 years ago I paid $1500 for entry level rally Hotbits suspension and they've never failed me yet. Also, get a loose surface LSD. By this I mean clutch type or anything else that still works when one wheel has no traction. I have a Quaife in right now that I'm about to sell because it's not good for loose surfaces. I've been stuck in a ditch because one wheel was in the air. It sucks.

The minimum you have to do to your car to rally is as follows (prices are based on my own experience):
-Cage ($2000 2.5 years ago)
-Seats & harness (prices vary)
-Skidplates (not req'd, metal engine guard, plastic under floor guard, $250)
-Intercom (not req'd, but highly recommended)
-Rally tires (see for some current pricing and sizing)
-Mud flaps ($60, I buy urethane sheeting and cut to fit)
-tow hooks (have the cage builder do these)
-fire extinguisher, spill kit, first aid kit.

Honestly, that's all you need to do to rally a car. However, what other people have suggested will make you car lighter and stronger. Seam welding is pricey, so I only did the areas near to the suspension towers. Lights are almost a must have, but now days, some rallies hardly run at night anyway. I would recommend making a custom light bar, just make sure your mounting system is well thought out, so you don't get bad vibrations, or a crushed radiator if you hit something. One thing about the cage: if you can tie into the front strut towers, this will make the car much stronger. But it will cost you extra $$$ and many people don't do it and their car holds up just fine.

One thing about Coilovers in the rear: clearance is very tight. I would make sure to get a lower offset wheel. I've been using the Al. alloy 15x6" rims w/ 52.5 offset, and they just barely rub the spring. So, ideally, you'd want wheels with less offset, or spacers.

Drop me line if you have any detailed questions.


Brakes: The ford racing rally brake kit, I believe is just the disc brakes and hubs/knuckles off an 05 zx3. When I had to replace my pads, this car seemed to meet all the fitment requirements.
01-25-2010 09:29 PM
SykSVT I remember that sale. That morning I was going to buy them until I saw SOLD. Thats what happens when you go away for the holidays I guess. Red Sonja got a heckuva deal!

Just read the back issue of GRM on the Rally Spec Focus, it really puts into perspective of whats really important. Now I'm thinking of selling all my NA upgrades for suspension parts!

Thanks Geezer for the info about the suspension. I'm trying to find who makes a spring with high spring rates for the SVTf. I keep coming back to GC (eibach) as the only player in town. I did read an article online of a "Custom Racing" magazine that actually cut one for their application (80's Audi), but I thought that was a big "No, No"? Other than that the Bilsteins wouldn't work unless I went with coilovers or used the GC's. Correct?
01-23-2010 03:27 PM
Geezer Another option would be to order some Bilstein HD's from Germany (see this thread) -

then have them revalved by Bilstein in California or a private shop such as Fat Cat Motorsports. You will need to know what spring rates you'll be using before they can do the revalve. Revalving runs about 75 to 100.00 per shock. In the long run they are still a LOT cheaper than Hotbits, DMS, etc.
01-22-2010 07:28 PM
SykSVT Thanks mlbbaseball for the suspension info. Hotbits sound like the best for under $5k and will probably pay for themselves in few seasons. I started looking at Proflex and quickly realized that wasn't going to happen.
01-22-2010 07:24 PM
SykSVT Yes thenorm, I thought using the resin and hardener was implied. But your right, just wrapping it without any resin and hardener would be useless. So to answer your question as to how,

Assuming they are already removed then:
1) Cut pieces to fit front stamped control arms (example)
2) Get an ice cream (gallon bucket) and mix the 3 to 1 probably medium since I'm in no rush
3) Take the pieces Ive cut to fit the front stamped control arms and mix in with the resin and hardener mix
4) Apply to the control arms (use the excess resin to smooth and thoroughly cover the kevlar)
5) Wait for it to dry.
5) Take six foot strips of the 2" wrap and mix with the resin and hardener and mix.
6) Wrap the stamped control arms with the 2" wrap.
7) Reinstall after its dry.

I don't know if the ends will start to fray, so I was thinking that once the whole thing is dry I would come back with resin/hardener and a paint brush. Going over the whole thing again just to make sure.

End result should be one tough piece of suspension!
01-22-2010 03:49 PM
Originally Posted by SykSVT View Post
Thanks mlbbaseball! I tried finding negative things about D2 and couldn't find anything. Most people said they were "ok". As for the ksport's I read that the old style would leak, but the newer manufactured one's were much better. Your thoughts?

One other question for everyone. I can get ballistic 706 kevlar in sheets, and 1140 kevlar tow in 2" + rolls. Has anyone ever heard of anybody wrapping the weak front Foci suspension parts in kevlar? Just a thought!

which are the "weak" front suspension parts, and how would wrapping them in kevlar help? are u epoxing the kevlar making a composite shroud?
01-22-2010 02:33 PM
mlbbaseball i've never heard of it, but its not gonna hurt! anyways, i've heard ok stuff about ksport rally setups, HOWEVER, don't expect them to last the whole season!
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