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-   -   Help my Focus handle (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=302054)

AllCarFan 11-12-2012 08:00 AM

Help my Focus handle
 
This weekend, we ran the tail of the dragon and other mountain roads for about 7 hours. The focus ran great and handled well. However, I would like for it to handle better and maybe have some ride-quality adjustability.

Current setup:

ZX3 hatch
Racecraft front and rear sway bars
Eibach shocks and struts
Racecraft springs at all 4 corners
Massacre rear strut brace
Saleen front upper strut brace
CFM 4 point lower brace

I was thinking of a small wheel spacer all the way around....then maybe swapping out the shocks/struts/springs for some better ones? I am not opposed to coilovers either.

Budget is $1200. Suggestions?

rambleon84 11-12-2012 09:04 AM

You didnt mention what wheels/tires you have. If you have the saleen wheels, those are around 21lbs,m 17x7 iirc. Also, what tires are you using?

My vote would be lighter wheels and stickier tires. Unless you have higher miles on the shocks/struts, then my vote would be to replace those. You should be able to find a decent set of coil overs in your current budget.

AllCarFan 11-12-2012 09:35 AM

how do stickier tires and wheels help me with ride-quality or adjustment? I dont want to swap on new wheels everytime I want to do some spirited driving. Tires, on the other hand, will be a good idea.

The car only has 40k on the clock, but currently rides like all of the suspension has 240k on it!

wrc_fan 11-12-2012 10:09 AM

What size are the sway bars? What spring rate are the springs?

IMO, eibach branded dampers are not that great. Personally, I don't run any braces so I can't comment there.

I don't have any feedback for you on "ride quality" as this is sooooooo subjective.

You may see improvement by going to a better damper.

AllCarFan 11-12-2012 10:25 AM

I will have to measure the sway bars. I dont know what size bars the racecrafts are. The spring rates....no idea on what they are either. I would have to research. Rarely will Saleen give out those kind of specs.

As for ride quality, its 'ok' as it is. But for a nice, long, hwy trip, if I can make the shocks and struts 'somewhat' softer, that would be great. The roads around here are not the best.

I think, for right now, the best thing for me to do is put the car on a diet. Carbon Fiber hood, rear seat delete, carbon fiber hatch, smaller spoiler, and some race seats. That should net me close to a 250lb drop. A little over budget though!

wrc_fan 11-12-2012 10:45 AM

It's most likely the racecraft or saleen sway bars are rebranded eibach bars. So likely a 22mm front and a 25mm rear.

That is annoying that they don't have the spring rates, probably a rebranded eibach spring... The roush kit was just a rebranded eibach.

Anyhow, kyb is a good budget damper. Koni's are the next step up. H&R and ST are the lowest price coilovers I can recommend if you want to have some adjustability to play with.

AllCarFan 11-12-2012 10:50 AM

I was really looking at the Tokico D with a progressive rate spring.

I am sure you are right about the racecraft stuff being rebranded as eibach. The struts and shocks are supposed to be "racecraft" on this car, but when you get underneath, you can clearly see the eibach sticker.

rambleon84 11-12-2012 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AllCarFan (Post 4451581)
how do stickier tires and wheels help me with ride-quality or adjustment? I dont want to swap on new wheels everytime I want to do some spirited driving. Tires, on the other hand, will be a good idea.

The car only has 40k on the clock, but currently rides like all of the suspension has 240k on it!

Well you initially asked how to make it "handle better and maybe have some ride-quality adjustability." So I went with the handle better; a lighter weight wheel will decrease your unsprung weight, which will make your springs/shocks more responsive. This will also aid in acceleration/deceleration, both would help you handle corners more effectively. You are right though, not much adjustment there but your current suspension does have some life left in them still.

Tires, depending on what you run now and how many miles yours have can be a big difference as well (same for weight, surprisingly, same size tires can weigh several pounds +/-.) The six spoke saleen wheels you have now, tend to be less common and sell for a decent price; so you could sell your current wheels and use the proceeds towards new ones as well. This is just one direction, something to think about...

your thoughts on putting the car on a diet is going to help as well. especially since some of the choices cost little to nothing, such as removing the rear seats.

AllCarFan 11-12-2012 12:08 PM

Where is the best spot to look up some lightweight 17" wheels. I dont think I can go smaller than that and clear my brembos.

Geezer 11-12-2012 12:35 PM

1) You really have to have a baseline to start from and that's knowing the simple things like your current spring rates, sway bar diameters etc. It's hard to recommend anything if one doesn't know how what might be suggested stacks up to what you have.

2) Ride quality and handling rarely go hand in hand. One persons ride tolerance will be, in most cases, quite different than someone else's. Butt-o-meters very significantly. Not knowing you tolerance level makes it harder to make recommendations as well. In general, low spring rates result in better ride quality and high spring rates offer better handling. For the street there are some practical limitations as road conditions can turn a stiffly sprung track carver into an uncontrollable menace on the street.

3) Based on your initial comments, I'm guessing you're unhappy with either the ride quality or the handling of your current setup. Can you be more specific of what you like and dislike with your current set-up?

4) Suspension setup, especially for a street driven car, is a series of compromises. There is not a perfect suspension out there be it expensive coilovers or whatever. You need to establish your desires/criteria in order of importance and be willing to compromise on those on the bottom of the list. If your list has only two requirements on it (say handling then ride quality or the reverse), addressing the first criteria will mean the second will have to be compromised.


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