Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
okay, so my SVT focus had 114k on the stock struts and springs which from what I've read is a big NO NO. For the most part the car still handled well, but the struts would fully compress and give a loud WACK sound when hitting potholes or the smallest hint of uneven pavement. SOOOO, I opted to have the struts, springs, and shock absorbers replaced on all four wheels. As a broke college student I had to save some penny's so I went with the Koni orange struts and shocks, and did the koni blue springs. (saving money and not going with the koni yellows) This lowered the car a little bit, maybe 3/4" but the car is now WORST THEN IT WAS with the old worn parts by comparison. The strut tower mounts were also replaced, but here is where I think I went wrong. I had no idea what bump stops were prior, so I did not buy any and my mechanic just reused the old ones. So now for my question. HAVING NOT REPLACED THE BUMP STOPS, IS THIS WHY MY CAR DRIVES LIKE CRAP OVER POTHOLES AND UNEVEN PAVEMENT, EVEN WORSE THEN BEFORE??? (and by worst I mean even more sensitivity to pot holes or uneven pavement causing the front struts to compress and give a loud WACK!!) One of the new struts seems to be making a really irritating squeak/creeky sound when driving.

Any suggestions, advise, help, questions are greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,023 Posts
First, I'm not familiar with the Koni blue springs. I tried hard to keep up with aftermarket springs and shocks for earlier Foci and haven't run across these. Do you have to know the spring rates? Are you sure they are Koni's and not Tokicos? Tokico makes a relatively popular shock and spring also know as "blues". The springs are known to be pretty soft.

By Koni orange shocks I'm assuming you mean Koni Strt's. These a good shock. They are equivalent to a Koni Sport (aka yellows) set on full soft (which is still a little stiffer than an OE replacement shock).

Hate to say it, but stiffer suspensions do handle and ride worse over very poor pavement conditions. They will not soak up pot holes and such like a softer and "longer travel" stock suspension will. Where they do shine is on smooth roads (which unfortunately are getting pretty rare). I'm thinking you might have had the wrong impression of what the resulting ride characteristics of lowering spring and stiffer shock provide.

Regarding the bump stops, using the old ones is certainly better than using none but new ones would be better but would not be the cure in this case. These are the last line of defense to prevent a shock from bottoming out and destroying itself or the springs coils from binding (touching under full compression). There's only a handful of cars where the bumpstops are an integral part of the suspension (a Mazda Miata for one).

I hate rubbing salt into a wound, but a new SVT spring and shock set only costs about 250.00. And while it won't drop a SVT any more, its proven to be a pretty damn good suspension that lots of regular Foci owners like to add to their cars. Those Koni Strt's also work nicely with stock springs. If ride quality is more important looks I suggest going back to the SVT springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
@ Geezer, Thank you for your well written and thought out response. Yes the Koni struts are the orange Strt's and the springs are the Koni Sport Springs, which are the color blue. Forgive me for not having the correct technical name's in the original feed . Unfortunately, I don't know the spring rates and the box is not accessible to me right now (I will look tomorrow) I do know that these springs were designed to work with the koni Strt's and yellows as per the CFM website which is where I purchased the entire set form. I went ahead and purchased the Koni Sport Springs for two reasons, first- CFM said that the koni Orange strt's complimented lowered springs, two- its all koni products so i figured that it would be the most compatible.

I always new that lowering the car would give a stiffer ride, which is what I wanted, I assumed that in stiffing up the ride even though the travel distance on the struts is made smaller, I figured it would take a lot more effort to fully compress them. Perhaps I assumed that the sport springs would be a lot stiffer, adding the resistance needed to keep the struts from compressing. I was prepared for a lumpy bumpy ride, but not a WACK Here and a WACK there ride. Even small expansion gaps on the Hwy upset them, and as I add passengers to the car, it gets more and more sensitive.

Did my first auto cross two weeks ago, Car did perform wonderfully. I didn't go off course at all, and didn't hit a single cone. In 5 heats every time was better then the one prior, and I even had faster laps then a handful of people. (who had really nice cars)

I'm glad to know that my investment hasn't been wasted on old bumpstops. I didn't exactly know how important or unimportant they were. If this is what I have to look forward to I'm gonna have the stock springs in the front put back in. I've had no issues with the backs. Id rather have the car raise 3/4" and drive like a car again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,023 Posts
You might also have a tire issue on the street as well. Try playing with tire pressures a little bit to see if it smooths things out a little. Stiff suspension and stiff tires only intensifies impacts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
thanks, I'll usually keep the front tires at 35psi and the backs at 34. I believe the stock requirements are 32 in front and 29 in back. I'll start with that, and then maybe dropping to 31 in the front if it seems to help. Good suggestion.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top