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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased the SVT suspension kit from the Ford dealer and I am going to attempt to install it myself today. I am wondering if you guys who have done this have any pointers or tips to make the job easier. Also, is there any quick way to install the new swaybar?

Thanks!
 

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I think there is one, but I can't find it right now. I'm surprised there's not one- really.

Here's one on installing lowering springs.

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=191779

I'm going to move you to "Wheels, Tires, Brakes, and Suspension" where you'll get more informative answers. 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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I hate saying this, but expect problems with removing bolts especially the rear control arm bolt if you expect to lower the control arm (makes removing the rear spring so much easier). Being in the rust belt and the car having years or exposure you'll find a lot of them seized up. Soak all bolts and nuts with plenty of PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench penetrating oils. There's no assurance this will be enough but you might get lucky.

On the front, you may want to have a new set of sway bar end links ready to install especially if you haven't replaced them in some time. They seem to wear out regardless of quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hate saying this, but expect problems with removing bolts especially the rear control arm bolt if you expect to lower the control arm (makes removing the rear spring so much easier). Being in the rust belt and the car having years or exposure you'll find a lot of them seized up. Soak all bolts and nuts with plenty of PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench penetrating oils. There's no assurance this will be enough but you might get lucky.

On the front, you may want to have a new set of sway bar end links ready to install especially if you haven't replaced them in some time. They seem to wear out regardless of quality.
Thanks! I have gotten to that exact point right now with the rear lower control arm bolt. In the process of trying to remove the bolt, I managed to screw up the bushing in the rear lower control arm. Is there any way to replace the bushing in the control arm or do I have to buy a new control arm?
 

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You didn't screw it up, the rust did it for you. The bolt more or less welds itself to the metal sleeve in the bushing making it virtually impossible to remove short of cutting it out. If I remember correctly Ford doesn't sell the bushings separately. There are some poly bushings available in kits but these don't cost much less than a new arm with the bushings already installed.
 

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low n slow
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control arms are around 90 a side i got my kit for the rear control arms for $103 it has every thing for the rear except the big bushings on the trailing arm i believe, but all i installed are the four lca bushings so im not 100% sure but i do have like 8 bushings left. my bolts were so bad that even after soaking them in pb blaster every night for a week ahead of time i broke the bolt heads off before i could get them loose so i ended up cutting everything with a cutoff wheel
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alrighty, so I am almost done cutting through the second bolt on the passenger side rear control arm. I am wondering if there is any other way to replace the spring without removing the control arm bolt. The reason why is because I REALLY don't want to go through the same bolt cutting process that I am doing on the passenger side (I am 95% sure that the bolts on the drivers side will be frozen to the bushings as well). If you guys have any pointers as to how to replace the rear springs without removing the control arm bolts that would be great.

Thanks!
 

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Some people have had luck undoing the lower shock bolt. Undoing the "upper" control arms from one end and were able to pry the control arm down enough to slip the spring out. Some have been able to get an internal (?) spring compressor on the spring to get it out as well.

Just thinking out loud now...........I've wondered if the arm would come down enough if the bolt on the crossmember (opposite end of the control arm) were removed instead of the more common one on the knuckle. Seems like you could place a jack under it and lower it the same way. One downside is that it may be harder to realign and install, but that's just a guess with no basis. Has anyone tried this? Like I said, just thinking out loud and it may be a dumb idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some people have had luck undoing the lower shock bolt. Undoing the "upper" control arms from one end and were able to pry the control arm down enough to slip the spring out. Some have been able to get an internal (?) spring compressor on the spring to get it out as well.

Just thinking out loud now...........I've wondered if the arm would come down enough if the bolt on the crossmember (opposite end of the control arm) were removed instead of the more common one on the knuckle. Seems like you could place a jack under it and lower it the same way. One downside is that it may be harder to realign and install, but that's just a guess with no basis. Has anyone tried this? Like I said, just thinking out loud and it may be a dumb idea.
In my situation, both bolts (the one attaching it to the crossmember and the one to the knuckle) were frozen up on the bushings so unbolting the one on the crossmember side wouldn't make a difference. I think I'm going to try and find a spring compressor (scissor type) to compress the spring. Does anyone know where I can purchase one of these spring compressors?

EDIT: Also, does the SVT kit use coil spring isolators on the strut assembly?
 

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Do some searching in this section of the forum, this is a common issue and has been discussed to great length. There are spring compressors that will work for what you're trying to do, do some searching online.

I would recommend to anyone doing a suspension upgrade on a rust belt car to plan on replacing the lower control arms.
 

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I changed my entire brake and suspension setup on my 2004 last month. The bolts do rust to the inner bushing liner. I tried everything (except the internal spring compressor) that was mentioned above and nothing worked. I would personally buy new arms. Reason being is that there should be free movement of the suspension when assembled. If you bolts are rusted to the liner, you should see that they arms (when the upper control arm (rear) is unbolted) pretty much don't have any free movement. Call one of the vendors here that is a Ford dealer. I ended up replacing everything for a lot less than what I was expecting.

P.J.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well guys last night I finished cutting off both control arms and today after work I am going to try and install the actual kit. I purchased two new control arms from the local auto parts store for $100 each w/taxes. My one question is now is which way the new SVT springs go in. There are colors painted on the coils and one end of the coils has some rubber tubing glued to it. Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

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low n slow
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not 100% sure on which way they go see how mine sit i just looked around on ff and fj when i did it. i think you made a wise choice with the new arms. even if you could have found a way to get the springs swapped its still not really good to have the inner bushing sleeve and the bolt froze together. the bolts on the cross member in the rear are eccentric bolts for adjusting the toe angle, my thought on it is with those frozen to the bushing when you hit a bump it can change your toe angle. not sure if its valid just a thought i had
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK guys I took a picture of my rear spring to give you all an idea what I'm talking about. So, which end goes up?!

Also, do I have to worry about any special adjustments other then having the rear end aligned?



Thanks!
 

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sorry no marking or insulators on mine. youll just have to do what i did and search
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK well I got the rear end together. The springs were identical on both ends in size and the gap between the coils, so I installed them so that the end with the rubber sleeve was on the bottom.

Now I'm working on the front.

I had to torch the sway bar end links to get them off (make sure you cut the rubber boots off on the link before doing this), then hit them with an impact wrench with a long extension (9+ in) and a universal adapter with a short 15mm socket from underneath the car (use a bottle jack to move the control arm into an ideal position to fit the impact in from behind). Make sure you use an 18mm open end wrench to hold the other side of the link in place so it won't spin.

The pinch bolt (for strut) in the drivers side knuckle required the "fire & ice" method. I used a Mapp gas torch to heat the pinch bolt for 3-5min, and then put a socket on the end of 18" breaker bar that had been sitting in ice water for 15min, and slowly broke the bolt loose. The difference in temps caused "thermal shock", which sounded like a bag of rice crispies being stepped on. The bolt broke loose with firm pressure on the breaker bar. I had the breaker bar and socket attached to each-other as they were in the ice water (which had two freezer trays of ice in it), I think its important to do this instead of just chilling the socket.

Now I have an issue with the passenger side CV shaft/joint. In the process of removing the passenger side strut assy, I managed to pull the inner CV joint apart, the one right next to the idler bearing on the shaft. I had a helper try to wiggle the outer end of the shaft and try and force it back togather while I laid under the car and turned the inner portion of the shaft back and forth. This did not work [mad]. So long story short, do you guys know how to put a CV joint back together without removing the rubber cover or removing the shaft?
 
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