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Old 06-10-2013, 12:09 PM   #41
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Back from the dead. Update pic of my Eibach Sportlines on stock shocks/struts

That looks phenomenal. Nice work!
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #42
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hey all.. question for you folks in-the-know about suspension 'upgrades' .... I have a '12 SEL and i have already installed the Steeda rear sway and find that the butt end of the car is much more 'planted' and it def feels as if it has less roll going into a turn and that the back end seems more 'responsive'. (i also replaced the OEM contis w/ DWS contis and see a bit of improvement).

I haven't installed the front steeda as folks tell me it's a pita to do and i find the front end a bit 'floaty' at times. So... this is my question:
Without replacing springs or going to coil overs will simply changing out the dampers/struts improve the suspension performance? If so, what would you recommend? I read about using Koni on this site but am interested in investigating all options before making a choice. If i were to change out the dampers what kind of driving improvements should i / can i expect... if any.? thanks.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:31 PM   #43
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This should probably go in its own thread but yes. Changing your shocks will absolutely make the car feel more planted, will make it handle better, you'll have a better "feel" for the road and it will be a nice stepping stone once you do end up getting springs with a higher spring rate.

What makes Koni's great is the fact you can dial in how responsive they are. The low settings will make the car feel pretty stock, but if you are wanting to carve up some windy roads crank them up and your car will be quite confidence inspiring.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #44
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This should probably go in its own thread but yes. Changing your shocks will absolutely make the car feel more planted, will make it handle better, you'll have a better "feel" for the road and it will be a nice stepping stone once you do end up getting springs with a higher spring rate.

What makes Koni's great is the fact you can dial in how responsive they are. The low settings will make the car feel pretty stock, but if you are wanting to carve up some windy roads crank them up and your car will be quite confidence inspiring.
thnx for the info... I went into koni's web site and the search claims there are no koni products for the focus. This can't be right. You guys are using them.
Which konis are you all using?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #45
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thnx for the info... I went into koni's web site and the search claims there are no koni products for the focus. This can't be right. You guys are using them.
Which konis are you all using?
I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that people are using Koni rear shocks. They do not currently make anything in terms of front struts, but the rear shocks are the same as 2010+ MazdaSpeed 3's. If you do a search for this, you should be able to come up with the correct parts.

For front struts, you can pick up the OEM ST struts for quite cheap from a dealer ($50-70 each), and this should be the upgrade that you are looking for.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:47 AM   #46
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I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that people are using Koni rear shocks. They do not currently make anything in terms of front struts, but the rear shocks are the same as 2010+ MazdaSpeed 3's. If you do a search for this, you should be able to come up with the correct parts.

For front struts, you can pick up the OEM ST struts for quite cheap from a dealer ($50-70 each), and this should be the upgrade that you are looking for.
thnx for the info... so the oem ST struts are a 'plug n play' upgrade? nice. IYO, how would they compare to a blistien upgrade , for example?
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:01 AM   #47
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thnx for the info... so the oem ST struts are a 'plug n play' upgrade? nice. IYO, how would they compare to a blistien upgrade , for example?
I haven't done it myself, I am in the same boat as you, just looking for options at the moment. I do know however that the Bilsteins are quite pricey, and not adjustable. I think to put the Bilstein setup on all four corners, you are looking at over $700, which is getting near coilover money...

IMO, I think the Koni rear, ST strut setup with a modest drop lowering spring would be the best value for money, but like I said before, I have not done any of this or have the hands on experience to back it up. So take the above with a grain of salt.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:58 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by MetalMuffins View Post
I haven't done it myself, I am in the same boat as you, just looking for options at the moment. I do know however that the Bilsteins are quite pricey, and not adjustable. I think to put the Bilstein setup on all four corners, you are looking at over $700, which is getting near coilover money...

IMO, I think the Koni rear, ST strut setup with a modest drop lowering spring would be the best value for money, but like I said before, I have not done any of this or have the hands on experience to back it up. So take the above with a grain of salt.
No, you're pretty close to correct. Generally speaking, the overall best 'non-adjustable but inexpensive' setup is the front ST struts and Ti Handling Package rear shocks. Generally this is paired with a RSB and Handling Package springs at the least, if not some lowering springs. The problem with replacing the front swaybar is the difficulty/time required and the fact that it will cancel out your RSB handling benefits.

The problem with changing out the dampers while leaving the OEM springs is that you're not replacing the correct part to stop the issue that you're wanting to fix. Replacing dampers will affect the rate at which the spring compresses/rebounds, but your overall roll will still be there because the spring is what supports the weight of the vehicle. You would be better off upgrading the springs to reduce the roll than the dampers. Increase spring rate and you have less roll; upgrade the dampers and you have less bounce.

Roughly speaking, of course. What sort of budget are we looking at?
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:11 AM   #49
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No, you're pretty close to correct. Generally speaking, the overall best 'non-adjustable but inexpensive' setup is the front ST struts and Ti Handling Package rear shocks. Generally this is paired with a RSB and Handling Package springs at the least, if not some lowering springs. The problem with replacing the front swaybar is the difficulty/time required and the fact that it will cancel out your RSB handling benefits.

The problem with changing out the dampers while leaving the OEM springs is that you're not replacing the correct part to stop the issue that you're wanting to fix. Replacing dampers will affect the rate at which the spring compresses/rebounds, but your overall roll will still be there because the spring is what supports the weight of the vehicle. You would be better off upgrading the springs to reduce the roll than the dampers. Increase spring rate and you have less roll; upgrade the dampers and you have less bounce.

Roughly speaking, of course. What sort of budget are we looking at?
thnx for that info... i guess i wasn't thinking things thru... ur def right about the springs vs. the dampers.. do you have any recommendations for springs? I will say i like the focus' smooth ride however i find the front end too floaty and w/ too much lean in corners. I guess i want to reduce the lean, elimiinate the float but w/o making the ride hard or harsh. Firm is fine, tho. The instal of the steeda rear S/B has helped some but i'm still not satisfied.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:34 AM   #50
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For what you're wanting, I would replace the front struts with ST struts (about $100 or so total) and then decide how low you're willing/want to go. The lower you go, the higher the spring rate and the less roll. On the flip-side, the higher the spring rate the more 'firm' the suspension. I have the Pro-Kit springs and think they're great, with the Handling Package dampers it feels sporty but not punishing. I haven't ridden any of the lower springs on our cars, but I haven't heard anyone that thought that they were too firm. It would probably be best to ask around with some of the people running them to get some more opinions as maybe some of them have ridden in different setups and can give a better comparison.

I would offer to sell you my suspension, but after shipping I can't imagine that it would be much cheaper than buying the ST struts and either V-Maxx springs or Sportlines. Interestingly, for the amount of drop that I have I have nearly the most expensive setup as the Ti HP dampers are more expensive than the ST and the Pro-Kit is more expensive than the Sportlines. Probably due to the larger audience, I imagine.

Look into the Village Ford thread in the vendor section for some ST damper pricing. Don't limit yourself, but those are probably the least expensive options.
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