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Old 08-07-2017, 10:17 AM   #1
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Parts that brake on Mk1 Foci

So, I am trying to get my car prepped for a somewhat good season next year (assuming finances work out). I am tired of having parts brake on me.

My mod list is extensive, the most recent is going to be the Super Hubs which I am going to be getting in the next few weeks. I will go 1 step further and Cryo treat the hubs before putting in the ARP studs.

Hub failure was the last things I was seeing on the Focus last year (broke Driver side and passenger side. Separate weekends but $400 per side in added costs to repair and missed sessions. I was lucky not to have a wheel fly off on me.

So now that I have the hubs I am looking to see if there is experience on anything else braking. I broke the other hubs on just a UTQG tire of 200 (BFG Rivals). After these tires are gone I plan to go to more aggressive compound.

Is there anything else I need to look at replacing or strengthen?

some of the "reliability" mods I have are:
Upgraded '05 inner and outer tie rod ends
C-F-M Front Tubular Control Arms
Timken Front and rear Bearings (not really a mod but suppose to be the best quality you can get?)

Soon to be Cryo treated Super Hubs w/ ARP hardware and better lug nuts.

Brakes are good with Power Slot Rotors with Hawk HPS pads (front and back, I need to get more aggressive pads when these run out), SS brake lines, and flushed yearly with TYP200 brake fluid. I do plan on running some ducting to cool while I have down time in the winter to work on Fiberglass inlet ducts.

Soon I will likely need to look at coolant as I think track rules prevent you from running a Glycol based coolant. People just use water and something like water weter or purple ice? Or run Alcohol mixture?

My temps have not been an issue but will likely build a air dam as my aftermarket bumper does not have good shrouding on the bottom or sides as it removed the stock features.

Rear lower control arms are stock with the "SVT" upgraded ones though with the welded tab on the sway bar point. I am running the Eibach rear swaybar at the moment. with Koni shocks and springs. I do plan on upgrading to the very large Steeda one as some point when I don't have anything else to work on... Haha. Need to worry then about braking the control arm? have already done that once but was on SVT shocks and springs so with the upgraded shocks and springs should see less flex.

Whole rear suspension parts other than shocks, springs, and swaybar are OEM stock parts. Bushings are likely needing replacement as they have seen 16 years and 200k miles on them. but that should not brake anything right?

SO I guess I am asking, is there anything that is likely to brake next time out or next season due to still using stock or non "upgraded" parts? Perhaps there should be a sticky on what parts brake and options for better replacements.

Thanks!


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Old 08-07-2017, 11:06 AM   #2
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I'd use jam nuts in place of the nylock & 3.5 turns out vs 2 for the cfm arms. Are you running the svt spindles or the '05 ones? I'd add rear toe-links & a 22mm front bar w/ the Steeda fatman bar.......
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Old 08-07-2017, 12:31 PM   #3
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Running SVT front spindles. I think I am still running the Nylon Lock ones that come with the car. Was unable to find sufficient sized nuts for the proper sized nut and jam nut. Want a thicker nut and then a thin jam nut but the stack up does not provide what I think I enough thread past the jam nut.

3.5 turns vs 2? I am running LCR Race top camber plates and have camber adjust at the top. I am about 3 degrees on both sides. I need to balance it out but the Heim joint appears to be quite seized in the threads and have not been able to adjust the threads again so I can put the camber all in the arms and zero out the top camber plates so I can "more easily" adjust camber.

I have the Eibach front and rear swaybars. Do they brake? I have no rust on the sway bars.

Do the OEM rear toes links brake? Or bend excessively to take alignment completely out?

The hope of this is to better list parts that brake under heavy use for road coarse racing.

Parts work fine for Auto-X (60 seconds of run time) will fail for 20+ min or even endurance racing of multi hours of sustained higher speed abuse.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:56 PM   #4
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Before I installed the cfm a-arms, I used a couple of jam nuts vs the nylock, I figured it'd be easier to tear down if I ever had too. Never had too thou. When assembling the heim joint to the arms, the instructions mentioned to have 2 turns of thread showing, thats when I went w/ 3.5 turns= more camber. I don't care for camber plates on a foci. You mentioned about installing Steeda's fatman bar, so best to get a 22mm front bar, but since you have one, great. No issues w/ Eibach's 22mm front bar. The adjustable toe-links make it super easy to adjust rear toe vs the oem essentric's, a quick twist w/ a wrist + they'll add a little more rear end response.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:05 PM   #5
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Yea I read your reviews and information when I was getting them and got the 3.5 turns but it appears one was not quite on and is about 0.5 degrees less than the other side.

My camber plates are the LCR Race ones (supposed to be the better ones) and have not had problems other than reduced travel which is only a problem with road use on large bumps that I hit my bump stops.

Getting rear toe and camber arms are on the list to be able to dial in the rear suspension but I will work that as I can and get funding. Fairly easy to do, so as long as its not a weak point to cause me to crash and burn so to speak. Also have the camber bolts to install so again I have coarse adjustment with the rotation of the joints but then I have some adjustment with wheels off the ground work. Just like the front camber plates.

I have a bunch of nuts for the Heim joint but used the nylon and have not used them more than 3 times since install. (IIRC nylon lock are good for about 3 uses). My problem is now getting the Heim joint to rotate in the threads of the arm.
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:14 PM   #6
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Got you... I would think you would, NOT want to run a lot of rear camber more than stock, as that makes the rear end rotate better then w/ camber. Say how about a diff?
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:42 PM   #7
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With stock output power and Torque have their been issued with the differential braking? I want to get a KAZZ with the full racing clutch pack eventually. I will also need to likely get a new clutch in the next year or two so when I have that out I would like to do the Diff. Likely get a stage 4 as I plan on getting my built motor back together and getting the Turbo in it.

I am trying to stay focused on things that brake with current power levels at the moment as it will be a few more years before I get the motor and turbo build in the track car.

If I was running more power then could it cause damage to the stock diff? or with it being open that helps protect it as it will just spin the wheels if there is more power than the wheels can handle. Any Diff should be stronger than the open OEM one. I think there is one or two accounts of the Torsen failing but cant directly relate failure due to installation or application. Drag racing is harder on the clutch and Diff due to launching right? Since a road coarse is a Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast kind mentality the Diff "should" see the same or minimal more stress on a road coarse then under daily driving right?

With the car rotation, I would want it to be more oversteer conditions than understeer but want to maintain good tire patch contact in the rear under heavy cornering so a bit more camber than what the non adjustable arms and the camber bolts can provide may be wanted. I have seen that with the stiff rear sway bars and high spring rates and low weight in the back the Foci is able to easily cock a wheel up in the air. Or do I have my alignment dynamics all backwards?
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:02 PM   #8
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I agree with Felix regarding the diff. I tracked my car hard, and with sticky 225 Hoosiers I often picked the inside front wheel (and inside rear) off the ground cornering. Even with the Torsen, which acts pretty much like an open diff. when one wheel is unloaded, I would really "chatter" the tires coming off the corners trying to get power to the ground. Sometimes it even felt like I had my foot on the clutch and red-lines were inevitable. Lucky I didn't break something (axle shaft, CV joint, etc.). I'm replacing the Torsen with a Kaaz. The only real "breakage" was the front wheel bearings - wore out a set every 5-6 track days. They (SVT hubs) would just get loose and I would replace the bearings. If I were to make one mod for the track, I would investigate a longer lower ball joint stud to raise the front roll center, especially if you lower the car much.


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Old 08-07-2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input.

The hope is not to make mods that will make the car handle better. Those are always welcomed though. The hope it that I will be able to drive my car to the track, do 3 days or racing and be able to drive it home with not having to do repairs other than the needed maintenance items.

Bearings I do plan to swap out on a regular basis. Hope that those are fairly easy to tell when they are starting to go bad so I will inspect them after every session. Have my eyes on a 20 tone press from Harbor Freight so I can do my own pressing and save shop labor. Might just do a replace after every 3-day weekend kind of thing?

For the ball joint, with having the CFM control arms I would think it would be some what easy to put a longer stud on? Have a rod that is a little longer and flairs out to make good contact to the knuckle and the top of the Heim joint? I am not that lowered though. The Koni Springs are about 1.0" lower than stock. I have though of pairing them with the H&R Race springs which is 1.5" lower than stock.

Do you have full poly bushings on the front? With the C-F-M Control Arms and all Poly bushings and motor mounts I have not notices much of any issues like you mention. But again I am still running a street tire compound.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:41 PM   #10
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I have Howe metal monoballs in the front of the LCAs and poly bushings in the rear to give a little compliance. I also run Koni shocks and H&R race springs. I mentioned the LSD because if you get sticky enough tires and really press the car in corners, you will unload the inside tire, cause tire spin, and then get a lot of jerking and chattering when the tire comes back in full contact with the pavement. You are interested in not breaking stuff, and that violent chattering can definitely put strain on the drive line. Using a longer ball joint stud to raise the roll center of the suspension will cut down on some of the excessive body roll and help keep the tires in contact with the ground. It sure helps you get power to the ground on corner exit. There is an old thread showing how to extend the lower ball joint - I'll see if I can find it.

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