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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I just picked up an SVTF track car for Champ/Lemons. I just did a track day with it yesterday and was really impressed with the fundamental platform...direct steering, great ergonomics, zippy engine, and a fairly responsive chassis...despite more understeer than I'd like.

I wanted to reach out to see if you have any advice for a new-to-focus racer and could answer a few lingering questions.
1. Are the CFM arms the only other solution that is available other than the upper plates? I have the plates available already and I'm murdering the outside edges of my front tires.
2. Do you think I can get away with camber bolts only on the rear, or would I need to upgrade to the adjustable arms?
2. How often to you blow out hubs? I'm wondering if I need to have another set available to avoid DNFs.
3. Are there any other commonly blown parts I should have around as a precaution for endurance racing? Thermostat perhaps?
4. I'm getting really inconsistent brake feel, which seemed like the booster was increasing/decreasing its assistance based on RPM/throttle. Is this normal? I'm thinking maybe it's related to the throttle hang issue folks have complained about - the system isn't providing vacum immediately. If so, has anybody played with converting the system to depowered?

Thanks in advance for your help! Looking forward to joining in with the community!
 

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Thats What She Said
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1. 5 Acre Focus has come out with some front control arms for camber adjustment. Not as good as C-F-M but look to get the job done. and due to low volume C-F-M needs gorup buys to get the orders moving,

2. What kind of camver are you looking for? there are aftermarket camber arms but get to about $100 for the cheaper ones. Chump car has some sort of limit on price right?

2. Hubs... I blew through 2 (one each side) before going to super hubs. I had some HPDE days think the HPDE2 day 1 one side broke, then then next weekend it the other side broke. I stoped HPDE until I got super hubs. I was on only UTQG 200 street tires of 225/45R17. I am moving up to 255/45R17 on a 9" wheel so will have even more stress on them.

3. The cross over pipe is known to have problems. good to have an extra one on hand. Thermostat housing there is a aluminum replacement that Massive sells or there is a upgrade kit you can get from TASCA parts. Check your oil levels. I have seen some pressure drops on the long sweeping high speed turns but also was batteling excessive oil in a catch can at the same time so oil levels were dropping at the same time. Bearings should be swaped out on a yearly basis IIRC.

4. not sure on the power. perhaps more brake fade or temps getting hotter? I have stainless steel lines with Hawk HPS pads and dont have any issues I have seen.
 
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CFM said their last group buy on the arms was their LAST run of them.

I've heard guys mention 5 Acre Focus before but never could find any info on them. Kinda hard to see what they got
 

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Thats What She Said
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CFM said their last group buy on the arms was their LAST run of them.

I've heard guys mention 5 Acre Focus before but never could find any info on them. Kinda hard to see what they got
They are mostly on Facebook. He sells stuff on Ebay also. Google "5 acre focus" and its the first post that comes up to a link to his Facebook page.

I am sure if another 15-20 people got together and asked for another run they would run it again... money always will always be a factor, can they turn a profit and not have any excess inventory for years taking up space?
 

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They are mostly on Facebook. He sells stuff on Ebay also. Google "5 acre focus" and its the first post that comes up to a link to his Facebook page.

I am sure if another 15-20 people got together and asked for another run they would run it again... money always will always be a factor, can they turn a profit and not have any excess inventory for years taking up space?
Ok, I can't get on facebook from work, so I can look them up after I get home.

CFM had a hard time getting the spots filled on the last order of arms. Dwindling market for sure
 

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Custom Tune to keep the Engine safe , wideband air fuel gauge , both of these will make the engine safer and make more performance

180 deg thermostat
3 inch Exh from header back
keep your stock intake with a drop in filter and snorkel

I can help you with the Tuning

Tom
 

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Thats What She Said
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Custom Tune to keep the Engine safe , wideband air fuel gauge , both of these will make the engine safer and make more performance

180 deg thermostat
3 inch Exh from header back
keep your stock intake with a drop in filter and snorkel

I can help you with the Tuning

Tom
Tom I need to talk to you about your Vband conversion for the flanges... At some point during the off season of track racing for me I want to remove the cat, and upgrade to 3" Exhaust.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback all!

I just found the front arms on the 5 acre Focus page from June. I'll PM them to see if they're still selling them and report back. They use slotted bolt holes around the lower ball joint to allow for camber adjustment, I wonder if they'll slide around and readjust themselves under load/vibration/etc. If I were creating new arms, I'd relocate the ball joint upward to correct for the geometry change on lowered cars. I'm surprised C-F-M and others haven't done this.

I'd have trouble estimating what kind of camber I need at this point, although if I swapped arms I'd probably start at 2.5 and go from there. Once I have some additional adjustment I can start measuring tire temps across the tires to figure out the optimal setup. Chump classes cars based on a point system for modifications. The car is fairly stock, so I'll have some leeway here.

Thanks for the advice on replacement parts, mods, and master cylinder, I'll continue to play with them.
 

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I know though you dont get points assessed if its safty.... so there are a number of things you can claim for safty.

I was runing around -2 up front but after I got new set up and full rear and dedicated track I am around -4 up front and -2 in the back.

I dont think there will be to much issue with the sliding of the ball joint. use a strong class 10 bolt torqued down and using a blue or even Red threadlocker.

The advantage of the C-F-M is its a heim joint. Going much more than -3 in just the arm I would be worried about the amount of threads. for 5 acre it will be limited by the slot length. not sure what he has measured.
 

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Thanks for the feedback all!

I just found the front arms on the 5 acre Focus page from June. I'll PM them to see if they're still selling them and report back. They use slotted bolt holes around the lower ball joint to allow for camber adjustment, I wonder if they'll slide around and readjust themselves under load/vibration/etc. If I were creating new arms, I'd relocate the ball joint upward to correct for the geometry change on lowered cars. I'm surprised C-F-M and others haven't done this.

I'd have trouble estimating what kind of camber I need at this point, although if I swapped arms I'd probably start at 2.5 and go from there. Once I have some additional adjustment I can start measuring tire temps across the tires to figure out the optimal setup. Chump classes cars based on a point system for modifications. The car is fairly stock, so I'll have some leeway here.

Thanks for the advice on replacement parts, mods, and master cylinder, I'll continue to play with them.
Hi! It's great to hear of another Focus joining the ChampCar Endurance Series, which is a great organization to race with! I don't get on here often, but I'm on the CC Technical Advisory Committee, which is group of CC racers that reviews and vets rule proposals to the board of directors for approval, modification, or clarification. I would be glad to assist you with any rules questions.
I also run my own Focus SVT, and sometimes drive my friends' BMW E36 at CC events. (We just WON and placed 2nd at the ChampCar race weekend at Gingerman this past weekend in the BMW!)
I have a lot of experience with the Focus, but don't profess to know everything. That's why I come on here, because there's a wealth of knowledge here. I am also willing to help with any questions you have about the cars in particular. Magus2727 and Turbo Tom already provided you with some very good input.
For my car, I have a suspension setup that works, and is very effective for using the least amount of points via the CC points system.
If you have time to do some research, I am extremely active on the ChampCar forum, using this same screen name. I've posted dozens of pictures of suspension bits, fuel cell installation, etc.

As far as camber control, and lower ball joint/control arm setup, you made some very good points about restoring the geometry due to lowering the car. I have solutions to those issues which are effective and will cost you the least amount of points to do. Big hint -> moving the ball joint on the LCA will not do a thing, the pivot (BJ) is still in the same place on the knuckle. The only way to restore the camber curve is to move the LBJ DOWN by extending the knuckle on the bottom to lower the pivot point. The CFM control arms will NOT do this, but the solution is simple to achieve this. You can use the CFM arms (which are very expensive) or modify stock arms to accept a Heim joint. The key item is that the stub shaft that CFM supplies must be 1-2" longer to move the ball joint down on the knuckle. I've done it on my car, and will either show you how, or I can duplicate the setup - something I will probably begin selling soon.

I've also organized group buys and have sold 27 sets of front hubs thus far over the past 2-3 years. I have some folks interested, but not quite enough to kick off another group buy. So if you're interested in those, let me know, as there are some guys begging for another group buy. I've posted on this forum about the hubs in the Suspension section, and the For Sale area. Look for those posts for more info. In my mind, as you'll see in those posts, aftermarket beefed up hubs are a MUST HAVE item for these cars. Any other hub other than the Super Hubs, or the ones that my vendor builds will fail!!

Again, I hate to sound like a know it all, but I'm just a guy who had to learn all this for himself by conferring with others, doing a lot of research, or experiencing failures that I hope to help others avoid.
We Focus racers need to stick together, and I keep in contact with all the teams that have bought hubs, or that I've built rollcages for, and we all network together well to try to help each other.
 
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P.S. If you're not quite ready for the LCA conversion/modification, the best and most points effective way to get to -2.5 to -2.75 degrees of front camber is to redrill the top mounting holes on the strut towers. We redrilled ours to move the holes 3/4" inboard AND 3/4' rearward, which also changes the Caster, which will give you more negative camber when turning. We run -2.5 degrees camber and the tire wear is perfect on 245/40/15's on 9" wide rims. (Yes, we have found 15x9" rims that fit over the SVT brake package.) The smaller diameter will lower the car, and reduce rotating, unsprung mass.
I have pictures of how we did the strut tower modification, and it costs zero CC points vs using camber plates.
I also don't go for any of the aftermarket spring packages available for the focus, because none of them IMO are what I wanted. I can show you how to modify the front struts to accept the common 2.5" ID racecar type springs (10 pts/side per CC rules), and then your choices of spring rates are infinite. (We run Bilstein B8's all around.)

For the rear, for zero points CC will allow any spring that is within 1/4" of the stock diameter. I have researched the MOOG replacement spring catalog, and found several that will increase the rear rate, and set the car at the lowered ride height after cutting them down to the length needed. It's an inexpensive way to get by with the least amount of points assessed, and as I said, you can get various rates both front and rear by doing things this way vs buying some aftermarket kit that is expensive, and often don't achieve what you're looking for in a true road race car. After cutting the springs, I put them in my arbor press with a load cell on them to check rates and ride height, and cut a little off at a time until I get the desired rate/height. Put them on the car, and the ride height is just where I want it. I've done this with 3 different sets of rear springs, and then by changing fronts to match which set of rear springs I'm using, I have 3 different setups I can use on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Mike,

Nice to e-meet you and thanks for the high quality advice - really impressive all ofthe work you've done. I'm looking forward to hopefully reciprocating along the way.

I've run Champ previously with a CRX and enjoyed the organization. It has a good mix of casual racing without all of the bonehead driving (granted, occasionally fun) that goes along with Lemons. Congrats on the win, it's great to see that the cars can be competitive.

Good point on the LCA geometry; I'm embarrassed! Based on your mention I saw your solution on the Champ forums and it's sharp.

I thought about re-drilling the stock towers to work with my minimally adjustable strut mounts as well, that's encouraging to hear! I'll stick with that for the time being while I sort out the car. I'll PM you my contact info; I'd love to see some photos of your approach.

I'm interested in the hub upgrade and I'll stay posted for updates.

Thanks again,

Scott
 
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