Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I am trying to get my car prepped for a somewhat good season next year (assuming finances work out). I am tired of having parts brake on me.

My mod list is extensive, the most recent is going to be the Super Hubs which I am going to be getting in the next few weeks. I will go 1 step further and Cryo treat the hubs before putting in the ARP studs.

Hub failure was the last things I was seeing on the Focus last year (broke Driver side and passenger side. Separate weekends but $400 per side in added costs to repair and missed sessions. I was lucky not to have a wheel fly off on me.

So now that I have the hubs I am looking to see if there is experience on anything else braking. I broke the other hubs on just a UTQG tire of 200 (BFG Rivals). After these tires are gone I plan to go to more aggressive compound.

Is there anything else I need to look at replacing or strengthen?

some of the "reliability" mods I have are:
Upgraded '05 inner and outer tie rod ends
C-F-M Front Tubular Control Arms
Timken Front and rear Bearings (not really a mod but suppose to be the best quality you can get?)

Soon to be Cryo treated Super Hubs w/ ARP hardware and better lug nuts.

Brakes are good with Power Slot Rotors with Hawk HPS pads (front and back, I need to get more aggressive pads when these run out), SS brake lines, and flushed yearly with TYP200 brake fluid. I do plan on running some ducting to cool while I have down time in the winter to work on Fiberglass inlet ducts.

Soon I will likely need to look at coolant as I think track rules prevent you from running a Glycol based coolant. People just use water and something like water weter or purple ice? Or run Alcohol mixture?

My temps have not been an issue but will likely build a air dam as my aftermarket bumper does not have good shrouding on the bottom or sides as it removed the stock features.

Rear lower control arms are stock with the "SVT" upgraded ones though with the welded tab on the sway bar point. I am running the Eibach rear swaybar at the moment. with Koni shocks and springs. I do plan on upgrading to the very large Steeda one as some point when I don't have anything else to work on... Haha. Need to worry then about braking the control arm? have already done that once but was on SVT shocks and springs so with the upgraded shocks and springs should see less flex.

Whole rear suspension parts other than shocks, springs, and swaybar are OEM stock parts. Bushings are likely needing replacement as they have seen 16 years and 200k miles on them. but that should not brake anything right?

SO I guess I am asking, is there anything that is likely to brake next time out or next season due to still using stock or non "upgraded" parts? Perhaps there should be a sticky on what parts brake and options for better replacements.

Thanks!
 

·
w/ my magic bag
Joined
·
29,455 Posts
I'd use jam nuts in place of the nylock & 3.5 turns out vs 2 for the cfm arms. Are you running the svt spindles or the '05 ones? I'd add rear toe-links & a 22mm front bar w/ the Steeda fatman bar.......
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Running SVT front spindles. I think I am still running the Nylon Lock ones that come with the car. Was unable to find sufficient sized nuts for the proper sized nut and jam nut. Want a thicker nut and then a thin jam nut but the stack up does not provide what I think I enough thread past the jam nut.

3.5 turns vs 2? I am running LCR Race top camber plates and have camber adjust at the top. I am about 3 degrees on both sides. I need to balance it out but the Heim joint appears to be quite seized in the threads and have not been able to adjust the threads again so I can put the camber all in the arms and zero out the top camber plates so I can "more easily" adjust camber.

I have the Eibach front and rear swaybars. Do they brake? I have no rust on the sway bars.

Do the OEM rear toes links brake? Or bend excessively to take alignment completely out?

The hope of this is to better list parts that brake under heavy use for road coarse racing.

Parts work fine for Auto-X (60 seconds of run time) will fail for 20+ min or even endurance racing of multi hours of sustained higher speed abuse.
 

·
w/ my magic bag
Joined
·
29,455 Posts
Before I installed the cfm a-arms, I used a couple of jam nuts vs the nylock, I figured it'd be easier to tear down if I ever had too. Never had too thou. When assembling the heim joint to the arms, the instructions mentioned to have 2 turns of thread showing, thats when I went w/ 3.5 turns= more camber. I don't care for camber plates on a foci. You mentioned about installing Steeda's fatman bar, so best to get a 22mm front bar, but since you have one, great. No issues w/ Eibach's 22mm front bar. The adjustable toe-links make it super easy to adjust rear toe vs the oem essentric's, a quick twist w/ a wrist + they'll add a little more rear end response.
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yea I read your reviews and information when I was getting them and got the 3.5 turns but it appears one was not quite on and is about 0.5 degrees less than the other side.

My camber plates are the LCR Race ones (supposed to be the better ones) and have not had problems other than reduced travel which is only a problem with road use on large bumps that I hit my bump stops.

Getting rear toe and camber arms are on the list to be able to dial in the rear suspension but I will work that as I can and get funding. Fairly easy to do, so as long as its not a weak point to cause me to crash and burn so to speak. Also have the camber bolts to install so again I have coarse adjustment with the rotation of the joints but then I have some adjustment with wheels off the ground work. Just like the front camber plates.

I have a bunch of nuts for the Heim joint but used the nylon and have not used them more than 3 times since install. (IIRC nylon lock are good for about 3 uses). My problem is now getting the Heim joint to rotate in the threads of the arm.
 

·
w/ my magic bag
Joined
·
29,455 Posts
Got you... I would think you would, NOT want to run a lot of rear camber more than stock, as that makes the rear end rotate better then w/ camber. Say how about a diff?
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
With stock output power and Torque have their been issued with the differential braking? I want to get a KAZZ with the full racing clutch pack eventually. I will also need to likely get a new clutch in the next year or two so when I have that out I would like to do the Diff. Likely get a stage 4 as I plan on getting my built motor back together and getting the Turbo in it.

I am trying to stay focused on things that brake with current power levels at the moment as it will be a few more years before I get the motor and turbo build in the track car.

If I was running more power then could it cause damage to the stock diff? or with it being open that helps protect it as it will just spin the wheels if there is more power than the wheels can handle. Any Diff should be stronger than the open OEM one. I think there is one or two accounts of the Torsen failing but cant directly relate failure due to installation or application. Drag racing is harder on the clutch and Diff due to launching right? Since a road coarse is a Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast kind mentality the Diff "should" see the same or minimal more stress on a road coarse then under daily driving right?

With the car rotation, I would want it to be more oversteer conditions than understeer but want to maintain good tire patch contact in the rear under heavy cornering so a bit more camber than what the non adjustable arms and the camber bolts can provide may be wanted. I have seen that with the stiff rear sway bars and high spring rates and low weight in the back the Foci is able to easily cock a wheel up in the air. Or do I have my alignment dynamics all backwards?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I agree with Felix regarding the diff. I tracked my car hard, and with sticky 225 Hoosiers I often picked the inside front wheel (and inside rear) off the ground cornering. Even with the Torsen, which acts pretty much like an open diff. when one wheel is unloaded, I would really "chatter" the tires coming off the corners trying to get power to the ground. Sometimes it even felt like I had my foot on the clutch and red-lines were inevitable. Lucky I didn't break something (axle shaft, CV joint, etc.). I'm replacing the Torsen with a Kaaz. The only real "breakage" was the front wheel bearings - wore out a set every 5-6 track days. They (SVT hubs) would just get loose and I would replace the bearings. If I were to make one mod for the track, I would investigate a longer lower ball joint stud to raise the front roll center, especially if you lower the car much.


Pappy
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input.

The hope is not to make mods that will make the car handle better. Those are always welcomed though. The hope it that I will be able to drive my car to the track, do 3 days or racing and be able to drive it home with not having to do repairs other than the needed maintenance items.

Bearings I do plan to swap out on a regular basis. Hope that those are fairly easy to tell when they are starting to go bad so I will inspect them after every session. Have my eyes on a 20 tone press from Harbor Freight so I can do my own pressing and save shop labor. Might just do a replace after every 3-day weekend kind of thing?

For the ball joint, with having the CFM control arms I would think it would be some what easy to put a longer stud on? Have a rod that is a little longer and flairs out to make good contact to the knuckle and the top of the Heim joint? I am not that lowered though. The Koni Springs are about 1.0" lower than stock. I have though of pairing them with the H&R Race springs which is 1.5" lower than stock.

Do you have full poly bushings on the front? With the C-F-M Control Arms and all Poly bushings and motor mounts I have not notices much of any issues like you mention. But again I am still running a street tire compound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I have Howe metal monoballs in the front of the LCAs and poly bushings in the rear to give a little compliance. I also run Koni shocks and H&R race springs. I mentioned the LSD because if you get sticky enough tires and really press the car in corners, you will unload the inside tire, cause tire spin, and then get a lot of jerking and chattering when the tire comes back in full contact with the pavement. You are interested in not breaking stuff, and that violent chattering can definitely put strain on the drive line. Using a longer ball joint stud to raise the roll center of the suspension will cut down on some of the excessive body roll and help keep the tires in contact with the ground. It sure helps you get power to the ground on corner exit. There is an old thread showing how to extend the lower ball joint - I'll see if I can find it.

Pappy
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, The Ball Joint is since I am running the C-F-M Control Arms I don't use a traditional ball joint so the approach to extend may not work or have to be tweaked. But understanding the idea and how its accomplished would still be good as I can figure out how to do that with the Heim end joint.

a LSD is very much on the list of things to get. I will keep that in mind and watch and feel out how things go.

The jerking could brake CV joints on the shafts and the diff if done repetitive and violently enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Sounds like you are on your way in regards to the suspension set up. I'm more comfortable running a big rear bar and no front bar. Yea I lift the inside rear and never feel it, get lots of comments from those following. And when I tell them it's an independent rear then they really look shocked. I run big spring rates rear, 32mm barone bar adjustable. I have poly bushings all around. The failures I have experienced were axles, simple fix and easy to carry a spare. Alternator has become an item to keep watch on as we turn up the rpms. Seems they overheat as the air flow where mounted causes a tremendous heat soak. Actually carry a spare belt, we run that silly number nobody carries if you have gone ac delete. Electric items seem to be playing an issue now, map sensor recently failed, coil connections can fail, carry a repair kit. Axle nuts, check after every session, and if you remove for any reason I never reuse them if they have been off the car three times. We have turned off the computer operating signal for fan engagement. We run a switch for both fans. We run the factory twin setup. Tried an aftermarket and went back, factory did a great job. Oh and the most unbelievable one. The inertia switch. Yes they go bad and it's a bitch to diagnose. If it's a race car just remove it.
 

·
w/ my magic bag
Joined
·
29,455 Posts
Thanks, The Ball Joint is since I am running the C-F-M Control Arms I don't use a traditional ball joint so the approach to extend may not work or have to be tweaked. But understanding the idea and how its accomplished would still be good as I can figure out how to do that with the Heim end joint.

a LSD is very much on the list of things to get. I will keep that in mind and watch and feel out how things go.

The jerking could brake CV joints on the shafts and the diff if done repetitive and violently enough.
Figure out the stud length after its thru the heim joint, then use a spacer between the spindle & arm & having enough thread for the nut or 2 jam nuts.
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the info. Before I do any of that I need to get the joint unstuck in the tube body. I think I just need to get a good length of pipe and rotate it around in the joint. This is Off Topic but would that damage the Heim joint at all? There is no where else to really grip on the body of the joint.
 

·
Thats What She Said
Joined
·
10,704 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like you are on your way in regards to the suspension set up. I'm more comfortable running a big rear bar and no front bar. Yea I lift the inside rear and never feel it, get lots of comments from those following. And when I tell them it's an independent rear then they really look shocked. I run big spring rates rear, 32mm barone bar adjustable. I have poly bushings all around. The failures I have experienced were axles, simple fix and easy to carry a spare. Alternator has become an item to keep watch on as we turn up the rpms. Seems they overheat as the air flow where mounted causes a tremendous heat soak. Actually carry a spare belt, we run that silly number nobody carries if you have gone ac delete. Electric items seem to be playing an issue now, map sensor recently failed, coil connections can fail, carry a repair kit. Axle nuts, check after every session, and if you remove for any reason I never reuse them if they have been off the car three times. We have turned off the computer operating signal for fan engagement. We run a switch for both fans. We run the factory twin setup. Tried an aftermarket and went back, factory did a great job. Oh and the most unbelievable one. The inertia switch. Yes they go bad and it's a bitch to diagnose. If it's a race car just remove it.
Like to have you expound on the following:

Axles - How did they fail? CV joints just go bad? race bearing on the passenger side go out? Axle nut pop off? CV boot got torn? Do you now service them now on a regular basis of replace every 2 seasons or do you just carry a spare for each side?

Alternator - How many have you had fail? Any high rpm alternators out there for the Focus? If allowed in your class would hood vents or ducting likely help?

Belt - I am running a AC compressor at the current moment but that will likely be gone at some point in the next year or two once I am 100% sure my SVT which will be my DD will not need week + long repairs. Do you inspect belt just every weekend and replace as needed? Part of a standard routine or replace of every season?

Axle Nuts - I wish Ford still made their nice axle nuts. I found some at the junk yard on a vehicle that appeared to have all stock parts still (no replacements) so have been used once. I like the stacked design. Seems a lot stronger and less prone to rounding the nut. DO you TQ to stock spec still? or higher? What TQ bar do you use that works to the 190'ish ft-lbs?

Cooling - Do you run a glycol based coolant? I believe my track rules say no glycol due to clean up and damage to the racing surface. For the Fans do you run with both on full speed at all times or do you then now monitor your temps and as racing switch on fans? I can see how the switches allow for using the fans at full speed when you have no AC now, when parked and turned off and want to keep airflow, and to force high speed instead of low speed. Did you do this to lower engine temps on average? find you were having "spikes" in your temp with the ECU controlling?

Electronics - Those are the hard gremlins to always work out. with the inertia switch removed (need to look at the schematic) that also means airbags don't work right (one in the same switch?) right now I still have the factory steering wheel and have driver and passenger front airbags. at some point the dash will likely be removed and a new steering wheel will be used and will no have that. Wanting to make sure I know the operational state if the inertia switch is unplugged. That just works the fuel cut off?

Thanks for all the help and feedback!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Ok let's see, first notes on every repair and every failure is in a book that stays in the tool box. The axles, two had boots fail, two due to hub failure which sheared the axle stub. We remove both axles and repack both ends with syn grease, redline or what's around. We then reclamp the boot or replace. We start with empi axles. Have had great success, not everyone does but we repack a brand new axle before its installed. And we carry spares for both sides. Alternator seem to be time related for us like every year we go thru one. Then we had a rash of bad units every other race. So which one, napa, nope, autozone, nope, advance nope. We have gone thru almost everyone's, motorcraft has been better than most then we went thru two in one month. So the failures, one shattered the case which was pretty amazing. Two had voltage regulators fail, and one caught fire when tire snot got caught around it and boy that was a pretty sight. Preventive maintance include, make sure no debri is ever on it. Always check belt tension, which then says look at the tensioner and its mounts. Get a gauge, first clue it's failing. It's the info u must have, oh I always carry a spare. The mount on the Duratec for the alt is done with two studs and one bolt. We replace the bolt with another stud, we shorten all three and put on the nuts. Allows for easier removal and service. The belt we carry a spare and check before every event. Axle nuts I have a stash and I just use the guide that we toss after three on/off events. We started that before the super hub and stayed with it. I have a snap on torque wrench, 250 is what we go for. Water, actually distilled water, water wetter that's what we have been using. We run the fans in the pits, and not until temp hits 190, when racing not until 210. One important feature which tom preaches is seal off the radiator as well as u can. It make a significant difference. Also look at where your air intake is. The Duratec we run the cold air intake down to the left of the radiator, and we isolate the intake filter away from the radiator. No air bags, race car, our inertia switch was removed after spending a fortune chasing ghosts of problems. It doesn't belong on a race car, a dual use car I understand but strictly race car, it's outta there. The switch just works the fuel pump. It sense motion and which end is up :). I speak from experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
For what it is worth, I wouldn't run aftermarket front control arms. I picked up a set from Dominic (Dominant Engineering) that failed on their second session at the track. As in the left front arm became a two piece arm, letting the wheel flop about in the wheel well.
They weren't dominant and they definitely weren't engineered.
Still waiting for the refund check that was promised 8 years ago.

I've had failures of the CFM SVT cat pipe, as has the maker of the SuperHubs. It cracked in two after the cat and I found the the convertor substrate missing as well, in under a year of use.
The Ford one went back on and 40k miles later, 100k miles total, it is still intact and working.
One of CFM's fancy aluminum idler pulleys made it six months before failing on my daily driver. The other one I had bought for the track car went straight into the recycling bin.
CFM's adjustable shifter, no matter how tight the set screws were, or the amount of Loctite applied, it would drop to the lowest setting when it felt like it.
That's three for three on the the failure front for CFM made products.
Now how do you feel about trusting a loaded suspension piece from them?

Now off the soapbox and on to track spares.

The following is based on running three different SVT's on track from 2004 till the present.
A PWSC SVT running Nitto NT01's, the dedicated track car. (Probably 10k to 12k in track miles, 30k in street miles to and from the track.)
A stock SVT running NT01's, the daily driver seeing three or four days a year on track.
A JRSC SVT running NT01's, the predecessor to the PWSC track car.

On the dedicated PWSC track car, front bearings lasted about eighteen months before failing.
Probably 15 to 20 track days, plus mileage to the track.
I believe brake heat cooks the grease, as each failed bearing had grease that looked like dried black paste. I could never come up with proper brake ducting that would last, so bearing replacement became the norm.

Note: Do not let the bearing completely fail, as once the bearing starts wobbling, it will ruin a SuperHub.
"I'll just torque that nut and drive it 400 miles home, then replace the bearing. What could it hurt?"

Check the torque when cold before each track day. The torque wrench should click and not move. If the torque wrench moves then clicks, replace the bearings.
Each time my bearings failed, the nut was actually loose after checking the torque that morning before going on track.
I usually discovered the issue when prepping the car before the next event and never noticed anything unusual when driving the car home with a failing front bearing.
Look for any grease stains radiating from the hub nut, a sure sign the grease is done and the bearings are soon to follow or already done.

I always carried spare loaded front knuckles, so if a bearing went bad on a trip, it could be swapped out in a half an hour or so at the track.
Once I got back to the shop, a new bearing was pressed in and the old knuckle went back into the spares bin.

Rear bearings seemed to burn up quicker and I began to replace them before each season. I’ve had them fail at AMP, Road America and NJMP.
The bearing that failed at Road America let go after the Kink and by the time I got back to the paddock, it had ruined the spindle, spindle nut, ABS sensor and caliper mounting bracket.
I had it all replaced before the next session along with the other sides rear hub for insurance.

My track spares consisted of:


Loaded front knuckles with nuts (Wasted sessions at Mosport purchasing a front hub, bearing and labor to press at a local Ford dealer 25 miles away $$$, when a new Motorcraft hub sheared off in turn one. Cue the creation of the SuperHub.)

Both half shafts (Wasted a half a day at the track, tracking down a SVT right half shaft at an AMP event after a new half shaft from EMPI, melted down the outer CV joint.)

Rear spindles, hub, caliper bracket, ABS sensor and nuts (See Road America issue above.)

All four brake calipers (Never had to use one.)

Brake pads front and rear (Have to get every last bit of Cobalt Friction pads, they are not cheap.)

Rotors front and rear (Heat checks turned to cracks on the front rotors at Road Atlanta.)

Serpentine idler pulley (One went bad on a JRSC SVT I had, missed sessions at Watkins Glen getting a replacement at the local Carquest or NAPA.)

Serpentine belt tensioner (You never know when they decide to fail.)

Serpentine belt (Powerworks cars have an odd length belt not commonly stocked at parts stores.)

Supercharger heat exchanger pump (Replaced at Mid Ohio after five years of track duty. It is not an off the shelf part.)

Front and rear Motorcraft O2 sensors (Sensors fail at the most inopportune times.)

Spark plugs pre gapped for the Powerworks

Assorted fuses and relays pulled from SVTs at the Pick-N-Pull

Specialty Track Tools consisted of:

Dust cap removal tool (Vim Tools V216 Hub and Dust Cap Plier) Have you priced a new Focus dust cap?

32mm and 30mm sockets for the front and rear spindle/axle nuts

Ball Joint Separator (Harbor Freight #99849 or equivalent)

Tie Rod Puller (Harbor Freight #62708 or equivalent)

3 Jaw Puller to push the half shaft from the front hub (Harbor Freight #69224 or equivalent)
Note that no hammers are needed in removing the front knuckle when using the three tools listed above. So no possibility of damaged threads or CV joints. The exception being separating the knuckle from the strut body, they often need a little persuasion.

Rear disc brake service tool (Harbor Freight #63264 or equivalent)

Front disc brake piston spreader (Harbor Freight #68973 or equivalent)

QuickJack BL5000SLX (5000lb only because all my track friends have late model Mustangs at or above 3500lbs)
This is one of the most useful tools at the track. Especially when you have to swap street and track tires at each event. Set it up at the beginning of the event, takes about ~ 5 minutes and you can get the car 2 feet in the air in ~1 minute afterwards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Ok just arrived home after two days at Charlotte motor speedway, the Rovol which the NASCAR boys will be using next sept. So now we had two cars that had two new for us failures. Power steering on both cars. The STL car we have never screwed with the ps pump, the ITA car had a new pump put in one month ago. So both cars puked all the fluid out. Weird, both could be the track, naw I don't believe it. Oh we entered 4 races and one enduro under the lights at cms. So 3 second places and one 4 th. And 1st in the enduro. All in all dam good weekend with one day left for honey do's.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top