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Old 08-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Joey D View Post
No issues yet, but the dampers will wear out prematurely. You're using the damper in a way it wasn't intended to, not to mention you're screwing even more with the suspension geometry. Just about every company that sells lowering springs recommends replacing the damper with ones made for a lowered vehicle.
Yes, I understand all that, but wearing prematurely is different from the "you'll blow the OEMs out quick" statement that you made before.

There are companies that are making aftermarket springs specifically to work with stock struts, BTW.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:59 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by TboneZX3 View Post
Yes, I understand all that, but wearing prematurely is different from the "you'll blow the OEMs out quick" statement that you made before.

There are companies that are making aftermarket springs specifically to work with stock struts, BTW.
Do you know how long OEM struts last? Most can go 50,000 miles pretty handily, and some even longer than that depending on road conditions, my Neon had original struts on it when I bought it and it had 126k on it. It still feels just fine. Blowing struts out in 20,000 miles is quick compared to how long they are supposed to last. I don't know about you but if I had to replace my struts once a year I wouldn't be all that happy.

And they might be making aftermarket springs that work with OEM struts, but they aren't lowering the car any more than .5" at most, even that .5" is quite a change to the suspension geometry.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:21 PM   #53
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Do you know how long OEM struts last?
With OEM springs? Yes, I've replaced worn struts on many cars that I've owned over the past 25 years.

I had aftermarket springs on my MkI with stock struts and shorter, higher-durometer stops. They were good for about 50-60K miles. That was a .8" drop. Even then, they didn't "blow", they just wore out.

I have no idea how long the MkIII struts will last with that kind of drop, and I don't think anyone else does at this point either. Life will be reduced, but I'm not going to act like I know and make a guess that they will only last 20K miles.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:56 PM   #54
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With OEM springs? Yes, I've replaced worn struts on many cars that I've owned over the past 25 years.

I had aftermarket springs on my MkI with stock struts and higher-durometer stops. They were good for about 45-50K miles. That was a .8" drop. Even then, they didn't "blow", they just wore out.

I have no idea how long the MkIII struts will last with that kind of drop, and I don't think anyone else does at this point either. I'm not going to act like I know and make a guess that they will only last 20K miles.
When you change anything in the suspension you are changing the geometry, if other components aren't changed to bring the geometry back to spec you're vehicle is going to have premature wear.

Ford spent millions in R&D to make a suspension that works for the Focus. A set of $200 spring on all those stock components is just going to throw the geometry out of whack, which does decrease the life of OEM parts (and probably the modified part too) and changes the car's handling characteristics.

I'll just leave off saying that putting lowering springs on a vehicle, any vehicle, with other OEM suspension components is going to ruin the suspension. If all you're looking for is low, at least put coilovers on the car, they aren't that expensive and if you do them correctly they will last you for quite some time.

As of right now the Ford Racing Handling Kit seems to be the only lowering kit (non-coliover) out there that will actually work. If Steeda gets their act together I'm sure they will be right there with them too.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:23 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey D View Post
When you change anything in the suspension you are changing the geometry, if other components aren't changed to bring the geometry back to spec you're vehicle is going to have premature wear.

Ford spent millions in R&D to make a suspension that works for the Focus. A set of $200 spring on all those stock components is just going to throw the geometry out of whack, which does decrease the life of OEM parts (and probably the modified part too) and changes the car's handling characteristics.

I'll just leave off saying that putting lowering springs on a vehicle, any vehicle, with other OEM suspension components is going to ruin the suspension. If all you're looking for is low, at least put coilovers on the car, they aren't that expensive and if you do them correctly they will last you for quite some time.

As of right now the Ford Racing Handling Kit seems to be the only lowering kit (non-coliover) out there that will actually work. If Steeda gets their act together I'm sure they will be right there with them too.
You've got it wrong. Ford spent millions in R&D to find a compromise between comfort, performance, and cost. Just because it's an OEM component, doesn't mean it's the best one for the car. Just ask my clunking strut bearings.

Additionally, Americans wouldn't tolerate a car that actually handles well, because it would sit too low, ride too stiff, and be too expensive. That's what they've made the ST for, which sits .5" lower, handles better, and rides stiffer.

I think you're blowing the whole geometry thing out of whack when it matters far more to simply have your springs matched to a set of dampers.
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:52 AM   #56
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Quote:
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Ford spent millions in R&D to make a suspension that works for the Focus.
They made a suspension that works--but is not necessarily designed for performance in mind. Their suspension handles admirably, is comfortable, and safely understeers for the masses. Yet, for a small amount of money, I can fit a rear sway bar that dramatically reduces understeer and improves the handling balance of the car.

Quote:
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I'll just leave off saying that putting lowering springs on a vehicle, any vehicle, with other OEM suspension components is going to ruin the suspension.
I'll just leave off saying you're wrong. If springs are designed with use of the factory struts (and all other components) in mind, the handling balance can be improved. When you actually have solid evidence of what swapping springs such as Steeda, Eibach pro-kit, etc. do to the performance and longevity of the stock components, let us know. Otherwise, you're just guessing.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:24 AM   #57
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The stock springs aren't even that great for the factory dampers. The dampers need more rebound dampening for sure. The thing has that 'float' or 'light' feeling over crests and rises, especially at speed. Yes, it's a Focus, but shit good suspension tuning isn't too difficult to achieve.
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Old 08-28-2012, 07:52 AM   #58
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The general rule of thumb when altering a suspension inexpensively is to not drop it more than 1". Above that, you need to put a lot of work into recreating stock specs to get the scrub radius corrected.

I can't speak for the non-Handling Package suspensions, but imo the handling package setup is pretty good and really only needs a bit of roll-bar adjustment to make it better. The 'float' over crests and rises is nothing out of the ordinary given the momentum and change of direction. I was actually really surprised at how it maintained its' poise ove a railroad track crossing that I occasionally have to cross in town.
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #59
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The general rule of thumb when altering a suspension inexpensively is to not drop it more than 1". Above that, you need to put a lot of work into recreating stock specs to get the scrub radius corrected. Totalley!! ^^^^

I can't speak for the non-Handling Package suspensions, but imo the handling package setup is pretty good and really only needs a bit of roll-bar adjustment to make it better. The 'float' over crests and rises is nothing out of the ordinary given the momentum and change of direction. I was actually really surprised at how it maintained its' poise ove a railroad track crossing that I occasionally have to cross in town.
A great upgrade then would be the ST rear bar & rear spindle's to go w/ it.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:15 AM   #60
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ZX3Matt or Zillon had the pricing somewhere for the ST RSB, and if I remember correctly it was a wash between that and an aftermarket bar.
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