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Discussion Starter #1
Well I finally did it. After racing SCCA for years, I've made the ultimate resolution that the 1st gen Focus is a commuter/student car with zero potential for competition.

I say this after having replaced both front suspension arms, tie rod ends, and struts after understeer led the nose off track on two different occasions. Both occurrences were dry warm conditions. Since my previous daily driver was a Ranger, I was confident in the Focus and it's ability to make these turns at the controlled speed I approached the turns in. However, no matter what tuning I did to control body roll or adjustments I made to strut dampening, understeer was the ultimate demise.

Last week I watched the Focus ride away on a flat bed after insurance totaled it for an understeer accident on public roads.

Thoughts? Arguments? I already miss my Focus...so let me have it!
 

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PARTS HUNTER
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3,001 Posts
What tires did u have on it when it happened? And how big was the rear sway bar?
 

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w/ my magic bag
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29,468 Posts
I 2nd that question ^^^^ Obviously he's not using a Steeda rear sway bar!
 

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R.I.P Kona
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12,868 Posts
Have never had understeer in dry weather on public roads or autox. My car is either neutral or oversteers when I push through turns at 30-50 mph.
 

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Sucks your car is gone, at least the accident didn't happen at an event! Might've been harder to collect on insurance...
I've been running autoX since 2003, I've only recently upgraded the suspension, but with just lowering springs, the thing would only understeer when I went through a corner way too hot... it wasn't SCCA competition though.
 

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I don't have that problem, I have two focus's and they don't switch to any heavy understeer unless I really go stupid fast on a corner. I can leave most cars in my wake on a corner so I don't know why yours acted that way. Something was amiss in the suspension somewhere. Probably in the rear suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow guys I'm an idiot. My bad. OVERsteer. It pushes thru turns, cones, curbs, etc. oopsie. I guess I was tired when I made this post originally.

Toyo Proxes R-compound RA1 tires
Steeda sways
H&R coilovers
Fswerks camber plates

I had a professional alignment at the local race shop (Macon Motorsports) after the suspension install, and again after each repair and new parts install. I was running stock suspension arms and wheels through all of this mess and never invested in a strut tower brace or rear stress bar. I guess I was so used to understeer from my 5.0 Ranger I never expected to push through a turn like the Focus did. Every time I ran a switchback too hot I would grab a little ebrake and never could get the rear to swing like I expected it to. I didn't spend enough time getting to know this car before I thought I could run at competitive paces. That's what got me every time. My buddies call it "go-kart syndrome". I'll stick to the straight lines in my Fords from now on. That innocent little pocketbook friendly purchase that I thought had potential to compete turned out to be expensive in suspension parts alone!
 

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slow
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1,734 Posts
What is your previous SCCA racing experience?

Both of my cars love to lift off throttle oversteer. My autox car rotates quite well with a left foot trail braking, the only time I see understeer at an autox is running into a corner way too fast. I tune handling balance with my car with a delta in front to rear air pressure.

My setup:
Hankook RS-3s in 225/45/15 on a 7.5 inch wheel
H&R Race Springs
Koni Yellows usually running the front on full soft, rears to half stiff
LCR Front camber plates
Stock front Sway
AUTO -X - ZTS Rear sway bar adjustable to 22/23/24 equivalent

I think this car rotates well on this setup, not quite autox CRX loose, but it does enough with left foot braking.
 

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VEKTOR PLATE
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5,657 Posts
i have saleen sways and a koni sport suspension on my car (nothing extreme and real good for the budget). its lovely for competition and daily use. even in stock form it handled well since my zx3 got blessed with a rear swaybar. this car will never oversteer in a corner like a 5.0 ranger. its not powering the rear wheels. but with the right technique learned you can get them to slide a little bit. my suggestion is to buy a stock one again and really learn the car before changing parts. it took me 6 years of owning and competeing with my car before deciding to start playing with suspension. it handles that well.


also is it jsut me, or does he have his terms backwards??
to state the obvious

oversteer= ass wants to come out around corners
understeer= wheels are turned but your still going straight.
 

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Don't remember who said it but it was one of the old time NASCAR drivers.

"understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and oversteer is when you hit the wall with the back of the car."
 
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