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Discussion Starter #1
I'm definitely upgrading the suspension on my 2002 ZTS focus. I'm at 61,000 miles which means my shocks and struts already need replaced.

I already know I want the SVT suspension kit. I also have access to a four wheel alignment machine at my school so I wont have to pay to get it aligned and I will be able to make sure everything is in spec. I have access to a lift, many air tools, a hydraulic spring compressor, etc... so that wont be a problem.

I went through six pages of threads using the search but didn't find a whole lot that really pertained to my question.

I need as much information as possible regarding the alignment of my car, I know that lowering it is going to mess the alignment up. I know I'm probably going to have to get the kit to adjust the camber, but what other information am I going to need?

What should my settings be when I align the car? Should I pick the settings for the SVT focus when I align it?

Any information, experiences, tips regarding the SVT suspension swap would be more than helpful!!!
 

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Alignment

This works for me:
1/16" toe out on the front.
0" toe on the rear.
-1/2 deg camber on the front if you can get it.
0 camber on the rear.
This will give you a good turn in on the corners without making the car twitchy in a straight line. This set up should take the mushy turn feeling out of your car.
I have used this setting all year around and like the way it works. This year I am going a little more agressive for the autocross season. If you try this setting I hope it works for you.


Cheers,
Warren
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update:

I received my suspension kit yesterday and attempted to install it today. I haven't even touched the front yet, but have one rear side completed.

I ran into some MAJOR problems.

I taking off the drivers side pinch bolt on the lower control arm only to find the bolt was seized to the bushing and I spun the bushing only to destroy it (damn air tools).
I ended up having to cut the bolt out of the control arm. I went to the local ford dealership and the earliest they could get me a new control arm is Friday!!

I'm going to attempt the front suspension tomorrow, hopefully if nothing else goes wrong I can have my car for the weekend.
 

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That happened to me on my install. Those control arm bushings are notorious for getting shredded. I ended up having to replace one of my control arms too.

The fronts will go much, easier and you shouldn't have any problems with them. Just be careful when you tighten up the bolt that goes on the front sway bar to strut link as they shear off *very* easily. I overtightened mine just a bit and the bolt cracked right off. Luckily it was an inexpensive and easy fix. I think I paid $10 for a new link from the auto parts store.

Oh, and make sure that you put the little bumpers that go on the struts the right way... unless you think it's fun taking the struts out again ;)

Enjoy the suspension! I did the same thing you did... replaced my stock when my suspension hit 60K miles with the SVT, and I love it!!! It's much funner taking the twisties on 17 inch low profiles and SVT suspension setup.

Oh, and I did mine with hand tools... talk about a pita ;)
 

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Insaniac said:
Update:

I received my suspension kit yesterday and attempted to install it today. I haven't even touched the front yet, but have one rear side completed.

I ran into some MAJOR problems.

I taking off the drivers side pinch bolt on the lower control arm only to find the bolt was seized to the bushing and I spun the bushing only to destroy it (damn air tools).
I ended up having to cut the bolt out of the control arm. I went to the local ford dealership and the earliest they could get me a new control arm is Friday!!

I'm going to attempt the front suspension tomorrow, hopefully if nothing else goes wrong I can have my car for the weekend.
Hope you enjoy the salt!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Black&Tan[/i] [b]Oh said:
Hope you enjoy the salt!!!
Would you believe me if I said it was welcome visitor?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is a pic of the bolt I had to cut off and the bushing around the bolt that got deystroyed. I know I have to replace the whole LCA but I thought I read somewhere thats the bolt for adjusting toe or is it just a standard bolt?

 

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I just did this last weekend with the assistance of my friend who's a diesel mechanic and has access to a shop with a lift. Out of curiosity, why did you try to remove that bolt? We were able to do the rear springs and dampers without taking the control arms off...all you need is a coil spring compressor (the variety with two hooks that can be fished through the spring) to get the spring in and out and the rest is easy. The front is the hard part, just don't forget to loosen the strut tower bolts before getting started.
 

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I got mine done in 2 hours and that was without a lift. then again I had Troy (Zetecpower) and jefe helping me.
 

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You don't even need a spring compressor on the rear at all, just lower the arm ALL the way down, I use my foot, and you can yank the spring right out. You will need a compressor for the front springs, to get them off the strut body, but the strut comes off in 5 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was just doing what the instruction that came with the suspension said. On the passenger side it worked really well but the drivers side was a different story.

Either way I don't think I could have gotten our spring compressor in there, its a decently sized hydraulic spring compressor.

Does anyone know what grade of bolt that is? I think I read somewhere that all suspension bolts are grade 10.9. I just wanted to check and make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On top of the problems Ive already encountered, I have just been handed another set.

I did my front struts today, front drivers side went fine but the front passenger was another story.

I got the strut assembled no problem, but when it was in the car and I was tightening down the nut on the top of the strut ... it snapped (at 35ft-lbs!?!?). The spring uncompressed itself in the wheel well, but didn't break or damage anything like the sway bar link, etc ...

Does anyone have the part number for the Right side strut for the SVT suspension? I get to buy a new strut on top of the control arm I just got ...

I think every possible thing that could go wrong has happened or is going to happen. This has been quite the experience.

I wont get to work on my car again until Monday because I have prom tomorrow and cant work on it over the weekend (being in my schools auto shop and all ...)
 

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^
Its not hard...I get the feeling that if his strut top stud snapped off it was a defect. My install went smoothly, it took us maybe three hours total (not counting the time my friend had to spend helping his boss work on a small front-end loader and backhoe) and most of our problems were the result of our own stupidity, such as not loosening the strut tower nuts before taking the pinch bolts off and pulling the stuts out of the spindles. If you have access to a shop and airtools this is a breeze, even with hand tools its not that hard.
 

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Wow, sounds like you had some major problems! What was the verdict on the alignment kit? Because I plan on buying the svt susp. kit monday, and I really only want to do the install once :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Installing the alignment kits was a breeze. I don't know, yet, if I needed them because I don't have my suspension fully installed to get it aligned.

I got my replacement parts yesterday:
New SVT Strut - $43.00
New Control Arm - $64.00
New Control Arm to Knuckle Bolt - $7.00

I didn't plan on it being this expensive so I hope its worth it.

The best advice I can give so far is to take your time with everything, make sure you fully examine a situation before acting. As SkaAddict stated, the most time consuming parts are when you hurry along and mess stuff up that can be easily avoided. A can of PB Blaster works miracles too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good news!! I got my LCA installed and everything torqued down today. It still needs aligned VERY badly, but everything is finally installed.

All I can say is WOW! I liked how my car handled before, but with this new suspension it's amazing. Body roll has been GREATLY reduced. The biggest difference I can feel in my *short* road test was in 90 degree turns, it feels so tight. Large sweeping turns can be taken much faster and it still feels better than before the SVT kit.

My car feels so much more "sure-footed" and stable than ever before. I LOVE IT!! I don't know if it was worth all the work I put into it, but if I hadn't ran into so many problems I would probably feel different.

Once I get it aligned I will give a much more thorough evaluation.
 

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I actually didn't touch that bolt. The bushing jammed up and the bolt wouldn't move. We actually took the Toe Adjustment Bolt out and swung the suspension to the outside of the car.



The bolt that has a blue/green dash on it as well as the crossmember there is what i used to get mine off. Gotta love Salt [?|]
 
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