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Discussion Starter #1
Ok well i've been wanting to lower my car for a long time now and i've finally decided i want to have it done over the winter and have it for next spring, but i have a couple of questions. Well for one since im a newbie to suspension i need to know if the smartest way to do it is to buy the full kit or maybe just the anti roll kit and then just a kit of dampers and springs? Next, for all the pro suspension focus ppl out there i really need your help. I'm looking for a kit that would work best with 16" rims and somewhat low profile tires. I mean is 1 or 1.5 alot in person or is that what would be best. I dont mind if the ride gets a little stiffer but i want to hit corners and turns way better. Thats a paragraph but im looking for some good info on things before i decide on anything. Also, whats a good kit and decently priced that isnt an arm and leg? I know an i need an alignment once done but for right now i just the kit and then work on the rest. So if anyone can give me some info in my terms i can understand..remember newbie...ill greatly apperciate it. If theres anything else im missing just let me know cuz im willing to learn. Thanks again. -Josh
 

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I would go with the saleen suspension kit that Massive has. I don't know if they still have it but it will meet all your needs and for $499 you can't beat it.
 

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I just took the plunge on a spring/damper kit (Ford Racing) and an anti-sway bar kit (also Ford Racing) all from Mike at Hilbish Ford (800-849-0233, ask for Mike in Parts). Cost me more than I really wanted to spend, but these are kits with components meant to go together in combination with each other and done by people who really know how to make your car handle better. The drop is 1.5". MIke will even assemble the front springs for you. I haven't received mine yet, so I cannot yet attest to its performance.

That's just one solution, and you can spend less (probably) on other kits and components like the SVT kit with a 0.5" drop ... I came close to going that route.
 

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The SVT Suspension, Roush, Saleen and Ford Racing are all great products to look into! I personally own a set of H & R race springs which dop the car 2 inches and kyb agx dampers. They are a bit extreme but there werent too bad in price. I bought the race springs for 200 bucks and the dampers for another 200 or so bucks on ebay. The eibach pro kit is another great kit and lots of people recomend them here.
 

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I think I understand what your asking. As follows.
I have the FR springs/struts I got from Mike. This is what it feels like. My Focus is the 2007 ZX5 SES (Sport Euro Suspension). So, I have the factory sway bars, 16" cast wheels and the Pirrelli P6 205/50/16 tires. The ride on the Ford racing springs/struts is very similar to the stock springs/struts. That is, yes its a tad more harsh on road rash and 'sudden' bumps, but its not unpleasantly so (My Wife agrees so its not just me). Personally, I like the overall feel and tightness. Corners can be taken with much more confidence. Note, much of the cornering may be attributable to having a good alignment, and I also replaced the rear sway bar linkage with poly bushings and end links (MOOG). In addition to the springs and struts, I also opted for the SPF upper rear adjustable arms. These provide a good solution for rear camber control. Do NOT purchase the SPF front camber/caster upper strut bearing units. It is advisable not to drop more than 1.5" else the front end geometry gets edgy. I recommend this setup for appearance and overall driving fun without having to compromise ride quality to any large degree. Note: The rear upper shock mounts may be a problem as the stock mounts are fairly soft. I have found a cheap solution so no worries. will talk about that when the time comes. Oh! I also learned just this evening that the Pirrelli P6 is considered a soft compound tire ( even though its rated 'all weather'). Tires have a huge impact on handling, so you have to consider what I have said with that in mind.
Kits are generally better than buying separate as you get parts that are made to work together. The FR kit from Mike at Hillbish is not considered to be expensive, maybe more middle of the road so to speak. Overall, I spent ~ $1000 for Everything (deducting $200 for a onetime newbie mistake myself). $200 of that was for those upper arms I mentioned. Pricey but there very nice. I had shop(s) do it so alot of that cost is labor.
Hope that gets to what your asking about.
 

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Hint: rear stress bar

I don't know about other models, but after installing H&R coilovers on my 08's sedan the ride was a little harsh. Much to my surprise, after installing a FocusSport rear stress bar, the harshness was gone. The rear stress bar really made a significant ride quality difference for me.

Oh, and S0C0nFused - it's time to spill the beans. Tell us what you found as the solution for the soft rear shock mounts. I had to add three large steel washers to the top of mine and crank down the nut to the point of stripping it to get rid of "most" of the rattle back there.
 

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Oh, and S0C0nFused - it's time to spill the beans. Tell us what you found as the solution for the soft rear shock mounts. I had to add three large steel washers to the top of mine and crank down the nut to the point of stripping it to get rid of "most" of the rattle back there.
Ack! OK! I have to take the back stuff out again to take a picture then if necessary. But, in the meantime. IF you have a "True Value" hardware store (or similiar).
They should have rubber sheets 3/32 thick. Get a couple of them. Make doughnuts, 1 1/4" inside, 2 1/2" outside. 3 per side. So you will need 6 total.
Remove the OEM mount and stack 3 of the doughnuts, minding to keep them somewhat aligned with each other (you may want to put a dab of something between them to help keep them aligned but I did not). Install the OEM washer (Its not a flat washer, so it should be oriented to go 'up' not 'down' if that makes sense?). Tighten to 20 ft-lbs. 'run in' time is ~ week depending on how much you drive. The rubber should 'seat'. You get a semi-solid mount with just a tad bit of compliance. My 'shock' noise is gone. Add more rubber doughnuts if you want something softer. Note: Brad >> I am assuming that the 08-09's have the same mount.
Also note: I found this by accident. I originally just put them in to give me something while a farted around with the OEM mount. We sorta noticed after that week went by that the noise was gone (well, except for the swaybar squeaks, I used the wrong kinda grease). Also got rid of the (spring sounds like it wants to fall out) noise. But that maybe was the alignment.
small note: Maybe I did put 4 doughnuts back there? Sheesh! I cannot remember. [dunno]
another note: I don't know if this is important or not. The rubber I bought is colored rusty red. Do they color rubber to indicate is softness? Anyway, you could make gaskets with this stuff.
 

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S0C0nFused - thank you !!! I will definitely give that a shot. Sounds like an effective and practical solution.

For those that don't know, after lowering it is very common to come up with a rattle from the rear shocks. Just Google "coilover rattle" or "lowered car rattle" and see how many hits you get.
 

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Just Google "coilover rattle" or "lowered car rattle" and see how many hits you get.
OMG! "Results 1 - 10 of about 1,330,000 for lowered car rattle."

Otay! Full disclosure time. (I was not withholding info, I just did not think it was that big of an issue). Soooo! ALSO >> When I was installing the MOOG sway bar endlink kit, I thought maybe I could get a better angle on the bushing to bar ends. Long story short, I removed the bar and discovered that one of the frame bushings had been installed 'backwards' from the factory. The frame bushings have a 'bump' (evident only on one side of the bushing). This bump is supposed to face left as viewed from the back of the car. The purpose of the bump is a visual aid to insure that the sway bar frame bushing is oriented properly to the other bushing. Also note that the factory sway bar has 'flats' where the frame bushing contacts it. This 'flated' section holds the bar (preload?), but, it also make it so the bar itself does not 'move around' causing a possible rattle. Maybe Ford discovered that if you put one of the bushings in 'upside down', with the soft rubber endlink bushings, that the preload is increased and it does not rattle? Idaknow. I removed the backward bushing and reinstalled it with the correct orientation. Now technically, Ford manual says the bushings have to be replaced if there installed wrong (cause the 'flat' part gets chewed up I assume). So you might have to take yours off and inspect them (not hard, have a rubber mallet handy). Also, do not grease the frame bushing. The bar is supposed to be tight and dry in the bushing.
Maybe that is the cause of some folks mystery rattle?
Oh! Because it read it somewhere on FF, If you have an aftermarket bar, and it does not have the 'flats' and the bar tends to move laterally (or you suspect it does). This is easily remedied with a 'shaft collar'. You can see them at "http://www.mcmaster.com/" and search "shaft collar". Just thougt I would toss that in.
 

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Yeah, my rattle appeared with the coilovers and it was definitely coming from the upper rear shock mounts. And I mean rattle, it sounded like I had a dozen empty tin cans and no carpet in my trunk. My current setup with the extra washers on top of the shock mount got rid of 95% of the rattle and it's barely noticeable now. I still hear it a little when the road conditions are just right. I'll be trying your trick to see if that shuts it up completely.
 

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Well, so is any of this helping Josh with his original question? Probably not and I hope we're not scaring you with all this "rattling" on. [:)]

Bottom line for me, I love my H&R coilovers. With the rattle gone and the rear stress bar installed they give me a great ride (it is my daily driver).

The car is dropped 2 1/4" front and rear and looks so much nicer. I'm currently running 16" rims but plan on going up one step to 17s.

You want improved corning, you've got it with these. There's also zero front end dive under hard braking.

I've raced it on an Auto-X course and there's still a "little" too much body roll under those conditions (new sway bars should be here next week) but for normal street driving you'll have a hard time not smiling every time you take a corner faster than you should, or could before.

Only one problem, they are not cheap.
 

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I just took the plunge on a spring/damper kit (Ford Racing) and an anti-sway bar kit (also Ford Racing) all from Mike at Hilbish Ford (800-849-0233, ask for Mike in Parts). Cost me more than I really wanted to spend, but these are kits with components meant to go together in combination with each other and done by people who really know how to make your car handle better. The drop is 1.5". MIke will even assemble the front springs for you. I haven't received mine yet, so I cannot yet attest to its performance.

I just did the same thing yesterday evening , I just hope I'm not gonna end up having to get new tires or rims since I have 18's on my FOFO .[driving]
 

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17 inchers here. Let's stay in touch and compare notes on the install. [thumb]
You got it , I did talk to Mike about it he said that the back wouldn't be an issue but wasn't real sure about the front . He did mention that if I have rubbing issues I should be able to hang onto the 18"s and just go with a smaller tire than what I already have on it which is a 40 series just drop to a 35 .[thumb]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, i like all the info. Pretty much get a decent rear sway bar kit in the end. SoConFused...im liking the way the ford racing kit sounds. It's like the stock suspension but lowers the car around 1.5" which i felt was around what i was looking for. Id rather like to turn fully then rubbing. I know BradWhite said he dropped his around 2 1/4" and really have no problems but id rather be safe then sorry. Like i said before i think im going to highly look into buying just the kit(coilovers and springs) and then maybe look into the rear sway bar of choice and then i was looking into a strut tower bar for extra stiffness. Now the only thing SoCon that you said that threw me was you said you "opted for the SPF upper rear adjustable arms". Can you possibly clue me on on what that does for you. Now, lets say i just bought the lowering kit and had it installed, does it come with all the components that i need to get done or are there small extras that i need. Also, if i did that is the rear sway bar and strut tower bar necessary right away? Then i guess if i was interested into the Ford Racing kit how do i get ahold of Mike and Hillbish? Off the top of your head, do you remember how much your kit ran for from Mike? Thanks BradWhite for great info and everyone else too!
 

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Looks like a plan. I'd trade the front tower brace for a rear stress bar though. I have both and I can tell you it was the rear bar that made a significant difference in the ride quality for my car.
 

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Now the only thing SoCon that you said that threw me was you said you "opted for the SPF upper rear adjustable arms". Can you possibly clue me on on what that does for you.
I am not a fan of the 'camber bolts'. Its a geometry thing for me. The SPF rear upper arms allow you a greater degree of camber adjustment than the bolts, but there also just a better way to go IMHO.


Now, lets say i just bought the lowering kit and had it installed, does it come with all the components that i need to get done or are there small extras that i need.
Mike at Hillbish will assemble the front struts for you at no charge if you purchase the spring/strut kit from him. I will repeat myself add-naseum here. DO use the front Ford OEM upper strut mounts. This means that your going to have to purchase new Ford OEM upper strut mounts from Mike as he needs them to assemble your struts. Maybe he has a 'core exchange' thing going like the lower dogbone mounts. You will have to check with him on that. You will also have to purchase the SPF rear upper arms yourself. I got mine from Massive. ~$170 for a set.
https://ssl.perfora.net/www.massive...nid=1547868062674ae/shopdata/index.shopscript

SPC Rear Adjustable Camber Rear Control Blades
For Focus 00-06

So your budget is going to be approximatley (includes shipping)
~$400 for the FR springs/struts
~$190 for the SPC Rear Adjustable Camber Rear Control Blades
~$400 for installation (with alignment) if you have a shop do the install
~$100 for a follow-up alignment (approx 3-4 weeks, after the new parts get themselves sorted out)

Also, if i did that is the rear sway bar and strut tower bar necessary right away?
No!

Then i guess if i was interested into the Ford Racing kit how do i get ahold of Mike and Hillbish?
You send him a PM.
Go to this link, which is the Hillbish Ford thread. Send a PM to b16sir1991
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=94
Tell him what you want. Include your car year,make, and also include your full name,email.

Think you will be happy with it. [cheers]

Small edit. I will throw the next thread in for you and brad regarding ride quality and noise. Its sorta related.
 

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Following is for StreetFocusZX3 & BradWhite mainly, as it describes there 'areas of interest' in this thread.
Fall! Time to take the wife out to see the colors. For this roadtrip, I selected the "Illinois Monroe County Bridge Tour" A driving tour that takes you all over Monroe County to see 18th century bridges, many still in use.
Why is this pertinent to this thread? Because if your suspension is not 'up to snuff' your gonna die![xx(]
The roads (cough!) are typical rural paved. They look inviting yes? Max speed was mostly about 30mph, 50mph if your daring (See the hill? there was a large farm tractor just over the ridge). There were no potholes. But years of farm tractors, weather etc made for some very frisky 'rolling' types of bumps. Through this the FR springs/struts never complained and were never 'noisy'! Even though they got the heebee jeebies worked outa them. Here are some pics the wife took. Note: she got very few. You would expect a 'tour' would have some roadside pulloffs? Not this one. The tour was mostly 1 lane, with some serious S curves and elevation changes. Surprisingly, very few washouts. Recommended if your in the area. Takes ~2-3 hours to do the whole thing. [woot]
Pic of the car... why am I sitting it it? TICS! Lots of lots of TICS (Eeech!)[eek]
Note: Skip this tour if its flooding on Ol'e Miss.
Nuther note: Cellphone bars? Hahahahahaaa.Ha! No! none.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
SoCon i owe you big. Thanks a million for all the info and the best part is that price breakdown. That helps alot to see how much we are talking including shipping. Nice pics too btw very nice..i myself am a spring and summer person..windows down, tunes up!
 
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