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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a place to discuss:
- Lowering Springs
- Coil-overs
- Air suspension
- Shocks/Dampers
- Sway bars/Roll bars/End links/Braces
- Control Arms
- Braking kits
 

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Old Phart
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Sounds useful for a discussion thread, as promised it's now moved to the Brakes, Suspension & Chassis section with a permanent redirect from the MkIII section.
 

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I know this has been discussed before, but what are your opinions on coilovers v strut/spring combos used for spirited driving. I am not talking about a track day build or even an autoX build. Just something to carve up back roads and other fun roads.
 

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Old Phart
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To continue prev. discussion, lowering springs have a variable effect on body roll.

Progressive types have the least effect on initial roll, since their initial spring rates are not a lot higher than stock. Straight rate springs are the preferred type for ultimate performance, since they react the same at all points in their travel. More reduction of initial roll, quicker response, added predictability.

The progressives ARE favored for DD use due to the better ride over small bumps, just as softer bushings are preferred for DD suspension.

Sway bars (anti-roll bars) are intended to reduce body roll by partially linking left & right sides. NO effect when suspension moves up & down in concert such as over large bumps affecting the whole car. They serve their main function on turning by linking the suspension side to side through a torsion bar. Part of the force pressing one side suspension UP as the car rolls is transferred to force the OTHER side suspension up as well. This increases the effective spring rate on the side of the car compressing it's suspension, and reduces it on the side trying to lift.

At an extreme it's like standing on one foot, all the weight transferred to one side with none on the other.
 

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Old Phart
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I know this has been discussed before, but what are your opinions on coilovers v strut/spring combos used for spirited driving. I am not talking about a track day build or even an autoX build. Just something to carve up back roads and other fun roads.
IMHO there's no point to coilovers for DD/Spirited driving type use.

They vary in adjustment capabilities, but NONE of those are typically used once set, and it's just added expense for no gain. In any but perfect conditions, they also deteriorate (corrode) over time to lose easy adjustment capability. Added maint. to try and keep them useful.

There are selections avail. in std. strut/shock types for uses up to Auto-X/race level, including some adjustable damping. True racers even get top level ones rebuilt to their specs.

For regular use, they require NO added maint. over stock and perform just as well (or better) than coilover types.

The ONLY time coilovers work for street use is when someone wants a lower ride than achievable with avail. aftermarket springs, and that falls outside the 'spirited driving' category.

'Race car' for the street? Go for it. Practical DD/spirited driving use? Forget 'em.
 

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Thanks for the input, I have been running Eibach Sportlines for 8 months and Steeda springs for about a year before that, all on St struts/handling pckg rears. I have been itching to get coilovers because they are the "cool" thing to get, but always have talked myself out of it using many of the points you talked about above. I wouldnt mind running straight rate springs instead of the progressive springs, but dont feel that running coilovers is needed.

Also, FWIW I have also been having an ongoing debate between the better performance of the Steeda springs and the better looks (IMO) of the Eibach springs.
 

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Old Phart
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It can be a difficult choice (springs) and one that isn't solved by going the coilover route.

Debated long & hard before making a choice, ending up with the compromise that fits my desires/actual use best IMHO. Not the cool choice, but most enjoyable for me everyday and functional for all purposes desired.

Slight drop & somewhat stiffer in straight rate with matching dampers for myself. Conservative choice, but a decent ride and good sporty feel at all times while retaining capabilities to go anywhere at any speed with good control was the objective.
 

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I think going back to the Steeda springs will be a good choice for me. They handle a significant amount better. Having both sets makes it easy to do a side by side comparison for me, a luxury others may not have.

I always thought i didnt mind sacrificing performance for looks until I started running the sportlines. Dont get me wrong, they are well made and they lower your car a decent amount while keeping the ride bearable, but they cannot match the performance of the steeda springs. It has been said in the past, and was the reason my first choice in springs was steeda, that the steeda springs are the best handling lowering spring option for our cars. I might consider running either koni or bilstein struts/shocks or just stick with my current setup.

The steeda springs in combination with the steeda rear sway bar completely changed the characteristics of the car. The handling package for the titanium should have came with a a spring rear sway bar combo similar to Steedas IMO.
 

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Old Phart
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The Eibach Pro type is aimed more at looks/ride with healthy lowering yet the progressive rate springs for ride.

Not going to get the same taut feel as from a similar drop on straight rate springs.

You'd appreciate upgraded dampers, particularly with the Steeda ones. Better match of damping will make them feel better. Stock, while functional, is no match for stiffer springs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Eibach Pro type is aimed more at looks/ride with healthy lowering yet the progressive rate springs for ride.

Not going to get the same taut feel as from a similar drop on straight rate springs.

You'd appreciate upgraded dampers, particularly with the Steeda ones. Better match of damping will make them feel better. Stock, while functional, is no match for stiffer springs.

Thanks (ONCE AGAIN) for all your input Sailor.
Our stock suspension is definitely one of the best I've experienced and high speed highway cornering is just mind blowing.
I suspect that the torque vectoring has a lot to do with that? Even in quick short turns, the car just sticks and still feels safe. However, that is more to do with preventing the car from spinning/sliding out and does nothing for body roll, which has the opposite affect.
I'm on the Eibach Pro-kit and I won't be changing them any time soon. I'd like to know what I can do to make the car roll less. I have my eyes on 2 things right now:
1. Rear Sway Bar (same thing as anti roll bar?). Importing this from US/UK is totally impractical so I need to find another solution.
2. Bushings - I've been told that changing the right bushings can make a huge difference. I'm keen to go this route first (best bang for back?) as I can get the Powerflex stuff locally. I have no idea where to begin though.....
 

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Old Phart
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Maybe Whiteline products are available?

Australian source.

Rear bar is actually a simple shape to make, if the right materials are avail. any weld shop or decent custom car shop could build one.

Actually did that here for a VW Golf built for the track MANY years ago, the shop owner picked up some spring steel bar stock of a type that could be heated/bent to shape and we bent up front & rear bars to fit. WAY too long ago to remember the alloy, but he just called up steel supply sources locally to find what he wanted.

There are charts for % increase in stiffness by size, start with stock size measurement/specs. to work from. IDK offhand the MkIII size, would need to look that up. MkI/II has a 20mm stock where fitted, 21mm for SVT, 24/26? for Eibach.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Maybe Whiteline products are available?

Australian source.

Rear bar is actually a simple shape to make, if the right materials are avail. any weld shop or decent custom car shop could build one.

Actually did that here for a VW Golf built for the track MANY years ago, the shop owner picked up some spring steel bar stock of a type that could be heated/bent to shape and we bent up front & rear bars to fit. WAY too long ago to remember the alloy, but he just called up steel supply sources locally to find what he wanted.

There are charts for % increase in stiffness by size, start with stock size measurement/specs. to work from. IDK offhand the MkIII size, would need to look that up. MkI/II has a 20mm stock where fitted, 21mm for SVT, 24/26? for Eibach.
Do you know if there's a difference between the NA and ST RSBs? Will one made for the ST for ours?

And what about bushings Roger? Which ones would you recommended tackling?
 

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Maybe Whiteline products are available?

Australian source.

Rear bar is actually a simple shape to make, if the right materials are avail. any weld shop or decent custom car shop could build one.

Actually did that here for a VW Golf built for the track MANY years ago, the shop owner picked up some spring steel bar stock of a type that could be heated/bent to shape and we bent up front & rear bars to fit. WAY too long ago to remember the alloy, but he just called up steel supply sources locally to find what he wanted.

There are charts for % increase in stiffness by size, start with stock size measurement/specs. to work from. IDK offhand the MkIII size, would need to look that up. MkI/II has a 20mm stock where fitted, 21mm for SVT, 24/26? for Eibach.
Do you know if there's a difference between the NA and ST RSBs? Will one made for the ST for ours?

And what about bushings Roger? Which ones would you recommended tackling?
AFAIK the FoST RSB does not fit our car. HOWEVER, rear sway bars from the 2007-2009 mazdaspeed 3 do fit our cars. And the stock rear sway bar from those cars is a decent upgrade. I know early on members we're using them and we're happy. Hopefully someone else can confirm, but that might be easier to source.

Other than that, sailor is correct and a custom RSB wouldn't be hard for someone who can weld.
 

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Old Phart
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If you'll be doing a sway bar, put off bushings until doing that to get them for fit.

It's more of a change when both rubber bushed end links and rubber bar mounting bushes are used.

I wouldn't recommend doing more of the suspension in Poly bushes for most users.
 

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Old Phart
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(copied from a current thread on sway bars/chassis braces with stock suspension)


The larger the rear sway vs. the front, the more understeer is reduced.

ESC (stability control) is the savior for going too far that way, it's what allows the ST to be a bit 'loose' at the tail from the Factory.

Haven't heard of anyone who got bit by that with only the Steeda rear, just be a bit cautious in feeling it out when it's slick enough to slide it.
 

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For me, the steeda RSB, in conjunction with the springs and with the stock suspension have helped the car have steer very well( cant remember the term for no oversteer AND no understeer). Only in the snow have I been able to notice the car oversteer.
 

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Old Phart
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Neutral or balanced work for describing that.

Sounds like a good fit with the springs you used, a quite stiff rear bar works best with stiffer springs as well for a starting point.

It's very nice with FWD when you have a balance that allows you to steer the car in a curve with the throttle.

Steer in with neutral throttle, let it take a 'set' with the suspension stable, then be able to make it go wider (drift out) with throttle and tuck in to a tighter turn when you back off the throttle. Mild understeer & mild oversteer from a balanced starting point, all without turning the wheel once set.

Fun!
 

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The Whiteline bar doesn't fit the Mk3!!! Looked into this over a year ago, and the endlink studs are larger on the Mk3 vs the Mk2 for which its designed for! The Steeda 1 inch RSB was perfect!
 

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Mk 3 Suspension under a Mk 1

Anybody else put Mk 3 ST suspension under a Mk 1? While I had the motor out of my old (2000) NASA Spec Focus, I decided to modify the suspension to raise the roll center. Then, I got "project creep". Mk 3 ST spindles/ hubs, control arms, axles, etc. I modified the X-member to move the control arm pick-up points up, lengthened the lower control arms, made adapter sleeves to use the Mk 1 struts (for now). The ST hubs/spindles are massive compared to the old SVT parts I removed and the track width is increased. I have included a couple of construction photos, but I will start a thread for documentation in the Road Race section.

Pappy

Focus ST suspension 4.jpg

Focus ST suspension 6.jpg

Focus ST suspension 5.jpg
 

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Not sure if this is the right section to post this question - but - we have a 2012 Ford Focus Titanium - we are stationed overseas and before I go into town to seek a mechanic wanted to get some feedback. We have been lucky to not have any Transmission issues but lately if the car has been sitting for a while a few days - last was 5 days sitting - when it starts moving forward there is somewhat of a noise. The noise seems to be happening when the car moves forward on rotation. It's not a tick or grind but it sounds like say a playing card is hitting a spoke. After driving it for the first 30mins or so - the noise goes away never to be heard again - till we of course let it sit for another few days. Let me also add that Where we are - there are active volcanoes - so lots of dust/volcanic Ash settles in the tiniest of spaces. Anyone ever experience this. Also are there any greaseable points that we need to service - it has 62k miles. We also have some rattling on the front which I think may be so.e arms. Thanks in advance.

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