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Discussion Starter #41
Time to fix stuff!

Rallycross casualties:


I got a new CV axle from AutoZone. The one that broke was still under warranty and Autozone didn't ask any questions, just refunded my money. The previous one was a remanufactured one. This one was a "Gold" Duralast axle or whatever they call it and 15 dollars more than the reman... not much different, everything looks the same but it weighs maybe a pound or two less.

The CFM HFC.. I don't blame CFM for that at all. I abuse the car hard with racing and CFM has always been good to me and makes good products. I suspect some combination of hard shifting and the torque strut mount causes that pipe to flex in a certain way that puts a lot of stress on it. I'm getting an ORP to replace it. Right now I have the stock cat back on it so I can drive the car.

The mounts are the big concern and problem I'm trying to figure out. The passenger side and driver side (trans mount) are motorcraft mounts. Relatively new, I replaced them back in March or April. For the dogbone mount, I had a VF engineering mount that I got from a forum user, used with an unknown amount of miles on them. The bushings in that mount lasted one or two events. I then switched back to my stock mount and replaced the bushings with energy suspension poly bushings which lasted until it failed terribly earlier this month.

I think there's a couple problems... the poly bushings are getting destroyed quickly probably from all the rough driving. This could be because they're poly so a lot stronger and harder.. but more likely to crack since they don't have as much give. Or it could be that I only have one poly and the rest are the regular motorcraft. This would put most of the force on the one poly since they aren't really balanced.

I'm thinking I'll either have to make all three new poly mounts. Probably CFM with race bushings for the rear dogbone. Steeda for passenger side and CFM or VF for the driver side (the steeda driver side one doesn't fit with stock airbox).

Or I replace all three with new motorcraft mounts without poly bushings.

With the Dorman dogbone and the other two motorcraft mounts the car is already vibrating roughly at idle on cold start. I suspect the other mounts are worn or the Dorman is just that crappy (cost $29). When I have time I need to check the other mounts and see how worn they are.

Any thoughts on this? Probably take some experimenting with mounts until I figure out what works. I just need to remove the dogbone after each race and really inspect it.

Oh, I did fix my headlight :p I got the car running again and drove it to the police station to get inspected. The officer told me to pull up in front and he'd come out and look at it... I hadn't washed the car at all so it still had the dirt and outline of my numbers. He just started laughing and was like "what the hell.." But he didn't give me any shit and that was no problem.

I also need to order that 28mm CFM rear sway bar but may wait a little bit since money is tight after everything else.

My next race is November 23rd. There is one this weekend (Nov 2nd) but the car isn't ready yet. Still waiting on an ORP and to figure out my mount situation.

Some more pics of the car and garage:



 

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The CFM HFC.. I don't blame CFM for that at all.


I also need to order that 28mm CFM rear sway bar but may wait a little bit since money is tight after everything else.
The CFM cats break at that location, period.
Did you look to see if the substrate was gone as well?
I got about two years on mine before it sheared off and my friend's even less.
No cat material left in either housing.

Msperber runs a Jame Barone adjustable rear bar for the new Focus ST / Mazdaspeed 3.

http://forums.focaljet.com/focus-road-racing/648696-spec-focus-racecar.html
The sway bar pertinent information is on page 7.

Went with the thin wall 32 mm, the completion bar's numbers while super big I just went with this one to first get the feel for the adjustability. The rate of this one actually according to their quoted rates goes below the steeda, then close to the 28 mm unit and then exceeds it. Using the stock 12' end links and they bolt right up. Have found some really cool custom units but thought I would try these first as it was the easy button and cheaper, especially after the cost of motor and wheels this winter. It is a direct and perfect fit. Working at Asheboro Ford, I was able to put a 12/14 model up on a lift next to the racecar, before we just bought it, all measurements were done and while a lot has changed a lot between the two are so similar. If you need pics let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
The CFM cats break at that location, period.
Did you look to see if the substrate was gone as well?
I got about two years on mine before it sheared off and my friend's even less.
No cat material left in either housing.

Msperber runs a Jame Barone adjustable rear bar for the new Focus ST / Mazdaspeed 3.

http://forums.focaljet.com/focus-road-racing/648696-spec-focus-racecar.html
The sway bar pertinent information is on page 7.
Oh wow, didn't realize they broke that often. The substrate is still inside it just sheared off right after the cat.

Hopefully the ORP fairs better.

I just looked up that sway bar: http://www.jamesbaroneracing.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=46_223_282&products_id=772

That would be perfect and should fit the SVT fine. I'm pretty sure the measurements are the same so if it fits msperber's race car then it'll work. Adjustable is great so I can dial it in just how I like it.
 

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I want your Z-car
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I want your Z-car
Haha, no. The 240z is my baby. Though it's been hard lately to get work done on it, so much time and money has been going to the Focus. The 240z runs great - just rebuilt the carburetors, valve adjustments, new plugs and wires etc earlier this year - but it has its quirks and could use a new suspension and bushings all around. The joys of owning a 40 year old car.
 

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I can understand not letting that go, nice looking car
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I can understand not letting that go, nice looking car
Thanks, I got it a few years ago and work on restoring it as I have the time and money. It's a fun project car and a blast to drive. It's also still surprisingly quick for being 40 years old. Original engine, 4speed, SU carburetors.. everything is stock. I've considered putting aftermarket stuff on it for more power or maybe a 5 speed but it's kind of great how it is.

Btw, do you still have racing seats for sale? I think I saw you post on the Facebook Focus parts group a while back with a couple. I'm looking into installing some racing seats in the SVT over the winter.
 

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On one of the last few runs of the morning session I run into my first problem. I take off the line, shift from 1st to second and BAM then a loud deafening roar of exhaust dumping straight out of the high flow cat.

Next run I hope to improve on my time even more and know what to do... However, first hard left, it's a tight 90 degree turn, I accelerate out of it in 1st then shift hard into second and another BAM. This time it's not my exhaust and I feel that I no longer am putting power down.

I jacked up the car and take off the wheels and remove the skid plate. Driver side.. looks ok. Passenger side.. oh shit. The CV joint had popped out of the axle and the axle had just flopped around the engine. That's what shattered the lower plastic cover. I check the block and there's little chunk taken out of the engine where the axle hit. Luckily it's only cosmetic and part of one of those ribbed portions. I forgot to take a picture of that but I'll get one later.
i think the problem is you shift too hard...

I've had the PS mount break, and my axle fell out the same way. broke the same web on the block too. however i broke the 3 rollers at the CV joint so i needed to be towed home.

for you cat, you could weld it up to keep as a spare. ORP may crack too. there is a group buy for a bracket that might help keep some stress off your header.

its funny how stuff always breaks. my last rallyX my power steering rack shat the bed, wouldnt hold any fluid, pump was dry, then it too burnt out on the drive home, spat the belt and i over heated. LOL [?|]
 

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Discussion Starter #49
i think the problem is you shift too hard...

I've had the PS mount break, and my axle fell out the same way. broke the same web on the block too. however i broke the 3 rollers at the CV joint so i needed to be towed home.

for you cat, you could weld it up to keep as a spare. ORP may crack too. there is a group buy for a bracket that might help keep some stress off your header.

its funny how stuff always breaks. my last rallyX my power steering rack shat the bed, wouldnt hold any fluid, pump was dry, then it too burnt out on the drive home, spat the belt and i over heated. LOL [?|]
I probably do shift too hard... but difficult to control that in the heat of the moment. I could use new shift bushings and hopefully the CFM dogbone with race bushings will handle it better. I'll just be sure to check every mount more thoroughly after each race.

Ouch! Yeah it could have been a lot worse for me so I'm glad I was able to put it back together and drive home.

Thanks for the tip on the group buy. I PMed the guy about it. That has been a concern for a while with the header and cat pipe just hanging there without any kind of support. I'll practice some welding on the broken one so I can keep it around just in case.

Ugh the power steering rack failed? I've been really worried about that one actually. Mine has been making more noise than is normal sometimes. Next time I have the car up on jacks I'm going to try and take a better look at it.

It's frustrating rallycrossing the car sometimes. I see the Subarus racing without much issue all season and I'm constantly having to figure things out for the Focus. All the Subaru issues on the old RSs have been sorted out so people know what to expect. For the Focus it seems to be more of an unknown. Oh well, it's a great learning experience and I still love the car. It's really competitive in the 2WD classes. I just need to figure out how to make it more reliable.

I plan on dedicating the car to racing next season I just need to get a truck and trailer to tow it to races. I've thought about deleting the power steering system... but then steering may be too tough for my liking... will take some experimenting.
 

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I had the exact same thing happen to my HFC on the track car. Broke at the exact same spot. I haven’t had any issues with the ORP. But I also replace the rubber hangers with poly urethane units where the flex pipe meets the resonator pipe. It made a big difference with eliminating exhaust movement and flex on the header ect.

They look like this
 

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I had the exact same thing happen to my HFC on the track car. Broke at the exact same spot. I haven’t had any issues with the ORP. But I also replace the rubber hangers with poly urethane units where the flex pipe meets the resonator pipe. It made a big difference with eliminating exhaust movement and flex on the header ect.

They look like this
do you know what size hanger hole the focus uses? i need to pick up some of these.
 

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Discussion Starter #53

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Thanks, I got it a few years ago and work on restoring it as I have the time and money. It's a fun project car and a blast to drive. It's also still surprisingly quick for being 40 years old. Original engine, 4speed, SU carburetors.. everything is stock. I've considered putting aftermarket stuff on it for more power or maybe a 5 speed but it's kind of great how it is.

Btw, do you still have racing seats for sale? I think I saw you post on the Facebook Focus parts group a while back with a couple. I'm looking into installing some racing seats in the SVT over the winter.
Yep I still have them.
 

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do you know what size hanger hole the focus uses? i need to pick up some of these.
I used the 2 x 9mm. Found them on amazon. They seemed to work perfectly...

http://www.amazon.com/Exhaust-Hangers-Muffler-Polyurethane-Universal/dp/B006YGR50C/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1415297826&sr=1-1&keywords=2+x+9mm+Exhaust+Hangers+Muffler+Hanger+Polyurethane+Silicon+Red+Universal

Haha, Matt I just had the same idea to try and help with the exhaust banging around. I ordered new motor mounts and these from CFM:

http://www.c-f-m.com/performanceparts/pc/CFM-Exhaust-Hanger-Bushing-Kit-for-00-10-Focus-95p78.htm#.VFqWvzTF_MA

Probably a bit more expensive than the ones you got but should be an easy fit. I'll install them when they come in and update with how everything went (mounts, ORP and the poly hangers).
The CFM exhaust mounts are great. But they are only for the 3 most rear exhaust mounts. The hangers i mentioned are for the front most mounts. Where the flex pipe connection meets the resonator pipe (towards the front of the car). Ideally you will want the 3 CFM mounts plus the 2 (2x9mm) poly hangers. [twothumbs]
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Sorry, it's been busy with the holidays and I was in Hawaii for most of December for work. Forgot to update this thread again!

I did install all three poly motor mounts and I put on some of the CFM exhaust hangers. I actually ran out of time on doing the rest... I tried to install the 9mm ones from Amazon but could not get them on. Maybe it was because it was below 30 degrees outside but I tried lubing them up with lithium grease and could not get them on. I also verified they were 9mm. I got on two of the CFM exhaust hangers but by this time it was late and I had to leave for Frostburg for racing the next day. As a temporary fix I used some strong zipties to give the existing exhaust hangers more rigidity.

Once I get around to working on those hangers again maybe I'll try warming them up first or try to find a tool to fit in there. I have channel locks.. but couldn't get them to fit. May have to get creative with some c-clamps or just take the exhaust off (I'm thinking about getting an fswerks stealth exhaust anyways).



We had a double header on November 22nd and 23rd. A previous event was cancelled so to get in all the events for the season we had two in one weekend.

The 3 poly mounts were a big help. Previously I was running the 2 front mounts stock and the torque strut mount was the original dogbone with a poly insert. I spoke to a guy that stage rallys a Focus and he recommended going with VF engineering for the front two and a CFM with race bushing on the rear. On the street the vibration and noise is pretty terrible (of course) but when racing the car feels great. Not sure how to describe it really but it definitely feels more like a race car and you feel a lot more connected to the car and how it's behaving. I also inspected the mounts afterwards and didn't notice any damage or wear on them (yet).

Also installed my ORP after breaking the HFC. The car sounds pretty awful with the ORP and stock exhaust. Not just the exhaust noise but a lot of resonating in the cabin but could be just a combination of exhaust and mounts. I'm thinking about getting the fswerks stealth exhaust just for a little better sound.. though then again, race car and I don't plan on driving this on the street that much.

The car has felt the best it has all season.. but still a little more understeer than I want. I haven't bought that rear sway bar mentioned a few posts ago but will get it for the season next year, that should help with those issues.

Saturday went well, probably my best day of the season. I had some of my fastest times and was consistently putting down faster times than a Prepared 2012 STi (we had some friendly rivalry going on and he was surprised to be getting beat by a Focus). Last run of Saturday I knew I was putting down my best time yet.. but got a bit too cocky and took the final corner too fast and went sideways through the gate. I ended up about 15 seconds slower than my other times due to penalties and having to get moving again. If it weren't for that I would have beaten the STi on overall time. Oh well, learning experience! And I still got first for the Modified FWD class by a healthy margin.

Sunday was surprisingly warm for late November and the gravel was more loose. I was actually really sloppy this day and had a lot of cone penalties... The Modified FWD class also had some issues. Two cars dropped out. One had fuel pump issues and the other had a poly motor mount melt(?!). So it was just me and a Mazda 2.

However, there was a bit of a surprise:





A stage rally Focus and Mazda 323 GTR showed up.

Discovery is apparently filming some new show for the Velocity network. I'm not really sure what the show is about... it's another reality show about a guy who owns a car shop or something in Maryland and it's supposed to air next year.

Anyways, the star of the show apparently built this Focus and the film crew wanted some footage of him playing around in the dirt with the 323. They only did a few runs for the camera and it was all kinda prepped for the show. However, they did put down some lap times so I could try to compare. The Focus was pretty quick but my laps were faster. Though it's really hard to compare since he was in a separate run group and the course can change between groups. Also it's his first time running in a rallycross like this.

I really wanted to talk with the guy about the car since it's the only other Focus I've seen in this area but with the film crews constantly around it was impossible. I did get a peak under the hood and he's running VF mounts up front (couldn't see the dogbone), regular zetec engine, aftermarket intake, maybe aftermarket throttle body. Header might have been aftermarket as well but I don't think it was SVT. I couldn't get a good look with everyone around and forgot to take a picture =/.

Anyways, the film crew did film all of us competing that day so it'll be interesting to see how it's all edited for TV. I'll give a heads up when I know when it will air on Velocity.

So that concludes 2014 season. Now I need to work on the car and get it ready for March 2015... a lot of stuff I want to do over the break just need to get out in that cold garage.

On the list:
-new seats
-new shift bushings
-remove AC completely, I took off the compressor but still need to get that condenser out and other bits
-new rear sway bar and bushings all around the rear end
-maybe new exhaust? and fix the exhaust hangers
 

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Damn, lotta reading. Cool seeing another focus out with you.



How did you finish you 14 season?
 

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S I actually ran out of time on doing the rest... I tried to install the 9mm ones from Amazon but could not get them on. Maybe it was because it was below 30 degrees outside but I tried lubing them up with lithium grease and could not get them on. I also verified they were 9mm. I got on two of the CFM exhaust hangers but by this time it was late and I had to leave for Frostburg for racing the next day. As a temporary fix I used some strong zipties to give the existing exhaust hangers more rigidity.

Once I get around to working on those hangers again maybe I'll try warming them up first or try to find a tool to fit in there. I have channel locks.. but couldn't get them to fit. May have to get creative with some c-clamps or just take the exhaust off (I'm thinking about getting an fswerks stealth exhaust anyways).
put them in a pot of boiling water for a bit. they soften up a bit. then grease.
i did this just last week.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
put them in a pot of boiling water for a bit. they soften up a bit. then grease.
i did this just last week.
Thanks, good idea. I'll give it a shot.

Hows the tune doing , wouldnt hurt to do a check to make sure things are safe for 2015

Tom
Car is running great at the moment. Thanks for the good service! I'll send you a data log after I'm done getting the car ready for the next season. Maybe you can look it over and see if it's good.

Damn, lotta reading. Cool seeing another focus out with you.

How did you finish you 14 season?
Let's see... for the 2014 season there were 8 points events and a 2 day National Challenge event.

I ran Prepared FWD for 5 of the points events and got first place for every event; however, PF doesn't have many competitors in this region so for a couple events I got first by default.

I ran Modified FWD for the 3 other points events and the Northeast National Challenge. I got a DNF for one where I broke the motor mount and first place for the other two. Also got first place for the NE National Challenge and was the fastest 2WD car overall.

I got a trophy for National Challenge and Prepared FWD for the season. I think I ended up 5th or 6th for MF in season points since I only finished two events. Next year I should be able to get that 1st place MF trophy; I probably could have won it if I just ran the car in MF from the start but ah well.
 
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