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Old 01-28-2010, 02:43 PM   #11
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^^Yeah, that's the explanation I was originally looking for, I remember reading that article a long time ago :D

I imagine Auto-x-zts has done a lot of study on this, trying to catch up to those spec civics in a ZX2
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrc_fan View Post
^^Yeah, that's the explanation I was originally looking for, I remember reading that article a long time ago :D

I imagine Auto-x-zts has done a lot of study on this, trying to catch up to those spec civics in a ZX2
We're certainly trying to reel 'em in. We're seeminly inside of 2 seconds on 60second courses right now (vs. National 2nd and 3rd in 2009).

Our car runs just-a wee-bit-past-level LCAs--but we're on 650# front springs too.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:55 PM   #13
 
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So, if the top of my rear tires tilt inward is that ok? is it going to put excessive wear on the tires? if so, how can i fix it?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalfocus01 View Post
How do you move the pivot points on the front LCA?
Cut, move, then weld in new position with some re-inforcement to stiffen strucutre as much as posssible within class rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrammer View Post
Nice writeup! I love hearing from people that knows what they are tallking about. Unless of course your copy and paste skills are as good as mine....
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No "cut and paste" but simply a repetition of various info from books and online articles in my own words. Like I said in the original post, this is somewhat common knowledge for those that have had enough interest to do the research, but it is an often underestimated or unexpected impact when lowering suspension.

I think most people assume lowering a car always means it will handle better, which it can, but you have to be aware of the trade offs.

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Originally Posted by thenorm View Post
I've been dealing with these tradeoffs too. my car is quite low, probably too low, but it looks good dammit.

My plan to deal with the loss of camber gain was huge static camber. I bought LCR plates to do this. I found, as you mentioned above, that i had lost too much acceleration and braking traction.

My solution was to swap the camber plates from driver to passenger (and vice versa) and rotate 270. What this did for me was to give me enough negative camber adjustment for my needs, but also gave me appeciable castor.
So now, when i auto-x. i have good straight line accel and braking, and when i corner, the castor provides more camber than I lose through the position of the control arm.
win-win in my opinion.

I dont have any alignment printouts from this setup, because I do my alignments (mostly toe adjustments) in my driveway, and now I'm on my winter springs. So in the spring when i go back to coilovers and LCR's. i can put it on a rack and let you know.
I think LCR is making a new camber plate design for this year that provides both camber and caster adjustment, check out the LCR forum. Also there is a company called K-MAC, that offers a strut mount that offers similar advantages.

I had a friend of mine fabricate some custom plates similar to the K-MAC plates, but with a more extreme range or movement that will allow up to about 6 degress of positive caster and a good 5 degrees negative camber. Not that I expect to go that far with my alignment, but if I ever trade paint with someone on track, I wanted to have a little extra movement to offset crash damage and not have to worry about getting the strut towers back into perfect alignment.

I love the idea that this has stirred up some good dialog. Dealing with a simple mac strut suspension and trying to find the best balance of trade offs for your type of competition and driving style is not easy. This is reflected in my class rules that allow cars with mac strut suspension to reduce thier minimum weight by 50 lbs. ( I also get another 50lb credit towards min weight for FWD)
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:32 PM   #15
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So, if the top of my rear tires tilt inward is that ok? is it going to put excessive wear on the tires? if so, how can i fix it?
that's ususally OK, but if it's too severe you will wear the inside edges.

The only way to minimize tire wear is to have a quality 4 wheel alignment.

IF you have lowered the car and need to correct camber in the rear to improve tire wear and get the alingment back into factory specs there are simple "eccentric bolts" that can be used to correct the alignment.

Check out some of the Focus part suppliers' web sites. I know FSWerks, and Central Florida Motorsports carry these bolts.

Also these bolts are also available from many autoparts stores, and they are also referred to as "crash bolts" by garages and bodyshops etc since they will allow corrections to alignment when there is very mild frame damage and they just want to get the car to align and drive correctly.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:58 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tb1999 View Post
that's ususally OK, but if it's too severe you will wear the inside edges.

The only way to minimize tire wear is to have a quality 4 wheel alignment.

IF you have lowered the car and need to correct camber in the rear to improve tire wear and get the alingment back into factory specs there are simple "eccentric bolts" that can be used to correct the alignment.

Check out some of the Focus part suppliers' web sites. I know FSWerks, and Central Florida Motorsports carry these bolts.

Also these bolts are also available from many autoparts stores, and they are also referred to as "crash bolts" by garages and bodyshops etc since they will allow corrections to alignment when there is very mild frame damage and they just want to get the car to align and drive correctly.
thanks tb. Yeah, i just bought the car for my son and don't know alot about it yet. we just replaced the tires and the inside of one was pretty worn. then i noticed the back wheel alignment.

How can i know if it's been lowered? Its sitting on 18" rims so im guessing no but how can i tell? sorry for all the dumb questions, but i'm totally new to this!
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
thanks tb. Yeah, i just bought the car for my son and don't know alot about it yet. we just replaced the tires and the inside of one was pretty worn. then i noticed the back wheel alignment.

How can i know if it's been lowered? Its sitting on 18" rims so im guessing no but how can i tell? sorry for all the dumb questions, but i'm totally new to this!
If you can measure the distance from the center of the rim, to the fender lip that will provide an estimate of the drop on your car.

You'll need to compare it to a stock vehicle that has not started sagging to get an idea of how far your suspension has been dropped.

You can also measure from the pinch weld below the rocker to the ground.

Maybe someone here on the forum with access to a car at stock ride height can provide some baseline numbers for you.

Just keep in mind that when you go for an alignment, you still want to have the stock alignment angles to get the best wear even with different size rims and the lower ride height.

Unless you are going racing, or want to run autocross etc, keep the alignment stock. You will problably need camber bolts in the rear, and some sort of camber plates on the front struts to make this happen after the car was lowered. A good repair shop will work with you on that, there is no reason why you can't get decent tire wear on a vehicle with a lowered suspension if you get the alignment done correctly.

I'm not sure where you live, but IMHO if you have bad roads/potholes, the 18 inch rims are going to be a constant source of grief, and prone to rim/tire damage, and possibly knocking you alignment out more frequenlty.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:40 PM   #18
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Tb1999 this is good stuff, I'm going through this in school (I go to a tech school) and your spot on with everything. It makes it alot simpler to adjust your alignment with a lowered car and the effects of it. Added some rep points for this useful information.

I'll keep this in mind for dropping my focus, though I'm thinking of just going from a ZX3 to an SVT setup for daily driving. Though the h&r cup kit looks sooooo nice
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:39 PM   #19
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So, it sounds like on tight tracks, you need less camber so you can get more bite off the corners & use more brake. And on bigger tracks w/ more momentum ,you can use more camber. I really enjoy these kinds of write-ups, awesome!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:03 PM   #20
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So, it sounds like on tight tracks, you need less camber so you can get more bite off the corners & use more brake. And on bigger tracks w/ more momentum ,you can use more camber. I really enjoy these kinds of write-ups, awesome!
I believe it's just the opposite. On tight couses more camber is OK. On long fast courses reduced camber because you want lots of tire on the pavement for straight line stability. It's better to tune with spring and sway bar stiffness than relying on camber alone.
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