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Old 11-12-2012, 08:00 AM   #1
AllCarFan
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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?


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Old 11-12-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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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!
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllCarFan View Post
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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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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!
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
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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.
tirerack.com is one of the easier ones to find weight and other specs but there are other resources out there as well.

Some of the lighter wheels that I like the looks of:
Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 (12 spoke) 17x7 17.3lbs
Team Dynamics Pro Race 3 (5 spoke) 17x7 18lbs
O.Z. Leggenda (11 spoke) 17x7 17.4lbs
O.Z.Ultraleggera (12 spoke) 17x7 16lbs

tirerack sells the oz's and there is a group buy on fj for the td's.
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