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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I have a few different things that I need clarification on, as the title would suggest. So first, some background. Car is an 07 ZX4 SE, has Steeda Sport springs (lol), KYB AGX's, 18mm front ASB, and the Steeda 21mm rear ASB kit. The tires I used for the majority of the season were the BFG Sport Comp II in 205/45/17. Swapped tires front to rear half way through the season.

So after the season ends I go to get my tires dismounted and remounted onto the other side of the car because the shoulders of my tires were pretty lunched. While the peoples are doing this they discover that the shoulders are so worn that there are clear indications that layer separation is imminent and inform me of the problem. So I'm forced to buy new tires only after 4K miles and 3\4 of a season of AX. Since it's getting into the cold season I purchase some all-seasons in 215/45/17.

My first question is: what do I need to do to the car (and probably my technique) to not have a repeat of massive tire shoulder destruction?

I noticed pretty early on that my suspension was pretty soft for AX duty, and after putting on the 215's, I'm getting a lot of tire rubbage in the front over bumps and during any semblance of sporty cornering. In order to combat the rubbage, I'm going to get a stiffer suspension setup, but need to know that whatever I get eliminates my tires rubbing my fenders in all but the most heinous bumps.

My second question is: what suspension setup do you all recommend? I have a couple in mind, but I'll wait to voice those after you all voice your advice and suggestions. I think that's everything. Apologies for the longish post.

Thank you for you much needed assistance.

Justin
 

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What wheels are on there?

Shouldn't be rubbing the tires on the fenders with a stock size.
 

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Those are only 4mm more to the outside, wouldn't expect a lot of rubbing from that.
 

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I've been hoping one of our current Auto-X experts would see this by now, we'll have to wait a bit as they don't check in as often.

Stiffer is always nice, I don't know the Steeda springs - a question on them in the Brakes/suspension/chassis section might bring some answers. Figure they're rebranded versions, maybe an Eibach smaller drop type.

More tire pressure helps when you're chewing the corners of the tires, what were you running last season front & rear? Rule of thumb I was told when I first tried Auto-X was to start at 50 psi. and back off from that to balance handling & get the scrub equal front to rear, I'd bet on 50 Front & 40-45 rear for a good starting point for the Focus sedan.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I've read a few different rates for the springs. Only way to know for sure would be to contact Steeda, but seeing as I'm going to something better I don't care anymore.

Max psi for the tires I was running 51. I was running anywhere from 42-47 on the front throughout the season. 37-40 on the rear.

My plan right now is H&R coilovers, roll front fenders, and maybe poly control arm bushings. However this is subject to change depending on community input.
 

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Don't worry about that posted max pressure, it's a street number for other purposes (like max load rating).

As long as there's a winter to think on it, class rules will come into play in your decisions unless you're just out for fun with your favorite street car. Nothing wrong with that, it's the main reason for Auto-X to a lot of participants.

Glance at what some others here have posted, we've got some top class folks who win at it posting here.

Look what Justin T did at Nationals here:http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=328233

TheNorm stops in here a bit, he does a lot of local Auto-X.

Not to limit the recommendations, just the top Winner this year & someone I know who always gives decent advice.
 

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Did it look like this?



this



or this




It may be just a "BFG" thing but I know folks running BFG Rivals have had lots of shoulder problems. My first thought was you weren't running enough air pressure but you are. Beyond that, more camber but that is the most difficult one of all on a Focus.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They looked closest to the second picture. Not quite to that point yet.

I would love some camber plates but can't afford them atm. I would like to make some at some point.
 

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iirc the detaching is caused by excessive heat... ill let someone else confirm that. you can try some tires that can take the heat better.

as far as a set up goes, is this a DD or track only car?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
DD, but do full AX season in it as well. I'm willing to sacrifice comfort for performance though.
 

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Well I was going to say if you want to retain some comfort vogtland springs, matching shocks, and eibach f/r sways is what I'm running right now. It induces over steer reduces body roll ECT.



Or you can get some performance fully adjustable coil overs and take out the sways. If you don't care about comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd rather set my suspension with springs/spring rates first (for the most part), then tune with sway bars.

Right now I'm between H&R coilvers with either a 24 or 25 mm rear bar, or koni yellows with H&R Race springs and keep my current bar.

Anyone have any input between these two setups? Or a suggestion for another option I haven't thought of?

Thank you everyone, your feedback is very much appreciated.
 

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Camber plates are the key to improve shoulder destruction problems. There's a lot of weight up front on the focus, and unless you can get at least -2.5 degrees camber, you'll be going through tires.

Going to a 7.5 inch wheel could help support the tire too.

With the rubbing, are you still on the original shocks? Shocks will help control the suspension, if there's nothing slowing down the motion of the car, there's more chance of the tire rub happening.

In my opinion, many of the lowering springs out there don't increase stiffness to coincide with the amount of drop they provide. H&R race springs are a good option with koni yellows.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Understood on the camber plates. What about increasing positive caster?

Currently on KYB AGX's, which I feel are less than adequate.

I agree with you on lowering spring spring rates. In the research I've done, I have read concerns that Koni Sports with H&R race springs don't give enough travel, or something like that. Plus I've read of more than a few people having quality issues with the koni's. I assume this setup is what you have? How has it faired for you thus far? Have you driven a focus with H&R coilovers to compare to the race springs and yellows?
 

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My current setup is some old stock valved koni yellows with H&R race springs. I also have the H&R (24mm) front bar with the steady 28.6 rear bar. Camber plates are LCR race and I have poly bushings all around. I have a Kaaz LSD, so front wheel lift is not as big an issue for me :)

I have not driven any foci with a coil over setup. I don't daily the car, and it only sees autox, so I don't see an issue with reduced wheel travel from the H&R race springs. I run a pretty small tire, so that could relate to it.
 

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why so high in pressure? your killing your contact patch doing that. a stillf sidewall tire like the sport comps shouldnt need to be run that high. and any wheelspin you may get is pumping the pressure up higher. i tent to show up at teh event with my tires at 35 psi all the way around and i barely have to adjust them pressure wise. and i ahve plenty of grip from my old kdw2's.
my current setup is stock svt springs on agx dampers. no camber adjustment at all (heck no alignment to speak of right now, haha) and saleen swaybars, open diff.

the rub is most likely from too soft a spring up front. there is a tiny tab in the top of the wheel arch you can feel with your fingers. it may be making contact there when turned and stuffed in the wheel well. i just bent it up a bit with my hands on a hot day. problem solved...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My understanding was that the increase in tire pressure would stiffen up the sidewalls of the tire. All of the experienced people who I AX with suggested running higher pressures to alleviate my shoulder wear.

Also, running those pressures did not kill my contact patch. At least that's how it felt anyway. Other than my shoulder problems, I felt that the tires handled pretty well, but this was my first venture in the world of summer tires. It didn't feel as if I had massive amounts of understeer, just a bit, and I didn't have much wheelspin either.

If I remember correctly, I did my first event or two with the pressures at the level that you run, somewhere around 35-38. I rubbed the triangle indicators off of the sidewalls that first weekend, so higher pressures it was. Although as evidenced by this thread, those higher pressures did not save the tires.

Thanks for the tip. I bent that tab on the drivers side halfway through the season, but could get the passenger side for some reason.
 

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You rubbed the indicators off with 38 pounds of pressure? Are you sure your psi stick is still good?



Also wrc fan has the best race winning formula but unless you've got autox down really well you won't live to its full potential and for DD that would kill your back.
 
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