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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody! Not a big poster here, but I found myself wondering a few of these things before I put a rear swaybar on my non-swaybar'ed stock Focus. So anyone thinking of doing a retrofit on their vehicle will know what benefits I felt after the mod!

There are several ways to do this, and ALL of them are here on this forum. If you need to investigate, the search is your friend! The two ways were the steeda retrofit kit, which I did NOT use simply due to price restraints. The other is making your own brackets out of 2 3/4" exhaust clamps. This is the option I opted for since I obtained the factory bushing clamps from a junkyard for next to nothing. Again, details can be found in the forum.

As for the details, I used the energy suspension bushings and endlinks, and I used a factory 20mm sway bar I ordered from the dealership, courtesy of Mike at hilbish. Love this guy! [8D]

All in all, total price, with bar, clamps, bolts, bushings and endlinks, it was a sub-$75 mod. Well worth it. So, on to my original purpose for the posting, are the benefits! Again, this is a non-factory swaybar 2005 ZX3. These results could vary with your installation and what hardware you use, as well as the thickness of your swaybar.

Benefits:
1. The car is MUCH more stable! I drive the interstate on a daily basis, and when trucks pass me or I hit wind currents, I could feel the large hindquarters of my hatch wanting to lean. The car would hold it's course rather well, but it had the "drifting" feeling. That is now gone!
2. Relating to 1, the car holds a straight line much better and smoother. When driving in a straight line before, I could feel the rear end wobble a bit. This has now stiffened up, and the car feels much more stable in straight line driving.
3. Cornering is VASTLY improved. Not that it didn't corner fine before, which it did, but the distinct feeling that your butt was wanting to swing out in front of your face was ever present. Now completely gone! Granted, I don't drive track, and the hardest cornering I see is with on and off ramps to the interstate. But some are sharp, and I can see a night and day difference in body lean.
4. Car doesn't pull when hitting a bump on only one side. On speedbumps near the school, I would use the free space to the side of the road on the right to only hit the bump with half of the car. Before you could see the left side of the rear more or less bounce into the air. Now it cruises smoothly over the bump and holds it's ground without moving the chassis an extreme amount.
5. That annoying "thump" heard in the rear suspension when hitting bumps and potholes is all but GONE! I suppose it has something to do with the space between the rubber spacer at the top of the rear shock tower and the cover that provides a softer ride. Which IIRC, there used to be a user on here that made teflon washers that fit in that space to remove that problem, but I don't believe he makes them anymore. It seems to make for a quieter ride in this respect.
6. I suppose due to the conservative size of my bar, it did NOT make my ride any more harsh than it was from the factory. This is not to say that if you slap a 28mm on there it won't ride like a flintstone mobile. In other words, it's not beating me to death on my daily bumpy interstate journey.

So, for anyone thinking about doing a retrofit, it has nothing but benefits and NO trade offs if using a 20mm bar. I'm no expert, they will have to chime in if desired, but not going overboard on the size adds considerable improvement of handling characteristics without sacrificing ride quality. 2008+ models might notice more stiff rides, because Ford dampened the spring rates on them as opposed to earlier Foci.

Hope this helps other people like me looking to do the mod. Others feel free to chime in with input or experiences with adding your rear sway. [cheers]

-Focallocal
 

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Moved to Wheels, Tires, Brakes, and Suspension. Ford Focus Technical Chat is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls. Thanks for posting!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi! Thanks for the move. To be honest, I never even saw this section until you moved my post. Who knows, maybe I never would have discovered it! ;)
 
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