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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Howdy,
I've done a fair amount of searching and didn't really find much comparing the two Ford offerings as daily drivers and could use your help.

I realize that what's an acceptable DD suspension for some would be unacceptable for others, so here's a little background.

The car is a totally stock ZX3 with 60K on the odometer and after driving it a bit I've decided to freshen the suspension. The car is primarily my kid's DD but I drive it occaisonally. The other cars I drive are an Audi A4 Avant w the factory sport suspension (pretty mild and totally DD'able) and a '99 911 with H&R Sport springs and stock shocks (too low and too harsh sometimes, awesome mostly though). I'm a big believer in active accident avoidance so I'd like to improve the ability of my kid to change direction promptly. The car will see occaisonal track day use, but not frequently enough to put up with signifcant DD issues (too low for driveway/street transitions, harsh on rough surfaces, etc.).

Sooo....
I'm inclined to do the SVT kit (3000-zx3), but I prefer the best performing suspension I can get. So is the Multimatic too low and too harsh for DD?

TIA
 

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Yeah. PM me or call me at 800-849-0233 and ask for Mike in parts. You can reach me at 704-933-3131 also because my phone has died and thats a direct line to parts.
 

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Yeah. PM me or call me at 800-849-0233 and ask for Mike in parts. You can reach me at 704-933-3131 also because my phone has died and thats a direct line to parts.

+1! FRPP is a great kit and a great buy from this guy ^
 

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I appreciate good handling cars as well. I raced SCCA pro rally for several years in a car that I and my sons built ground up (an 82 RX7...only the cage was done by a pro). I also have a Miata that I improved with Bilsteins and several other goodies thats my current daily driver. Every car I buy (even the wifes) has to have good handling and performance traits).

We currently have the Eibach Pro System on our ZX3. I say ours because I bought it for one my sons and now the other is using it (both college age). They have provided the labor and share in the expences, but all improvements are done under my guidance and approval. Nothing gets done to the car unless it improves performance ( I did cave on the Ford rally wheels which are nice looking but a little heavy). The car is excellent in the handling department and very civil. The 1.5" drop is about as low as I would go. However, its my opinion that the SVT kit is definitely the best bang for the buck available. You get an excellent well thought out matched spring and shock set along with a little larger rear sway bar all for around 260.00 (see Northcoast). While the ford racing springs may be a little lower I doubt their spring rate is much different that the SVT ones. My Eibach springs are only a little bit stiffer than SVT's as well (<10%). So from a spring standpoint it basically comes down to a visual decision of how low do you want to go since are are pretty much equal based on spring rates. My best guess is that all the shocks would be pretty much the same as well. The bigger difference is the cost and where the SVT kit shines.

After suspension improvements there are four things I would recommend you consider. One is to freshen the brakes. Early foci are a mixed bag in the brake dept. All you need are new rotors up front (Centric or Brembos 40.00 each or less) some good pads (I have Mintex AF's because you can get a matching compound rear shoe). New rear drums (they can't be turned because of the stupid hub design) are advisable (about 60.00 each with new bearing) as well as the mentioned shoes. These parts will give you sustantially better braking for far less cost than aftermarket kits will. We added a Magna Flo cat back exhaust. I was hesitant on this one as I didn't want it to sound like a Honda but it's anything but. Nice growl without being obnoxious. I'm getting old and can no longer stand excess (unneeded noise for the sake of noise). It also easily passes the mom test. The last improvement is something a lot of folks have mixed feelings about or aren't aware/familiar with. The focus engine mounts are really soft and there's quite a bit of torque movement. This can be eliminated by replacing the lower rear mount with one that has performance (stiffer) bushings. The resulting impact is very noticeable. There is a little downside that some (not much though) engine vibration can be felt in the steering column at idle. It quickly disappears one underway. Had the SVT suspension been available at the time we did our suspension improvements, that would have been my first choice (although I'm very happy with the Eibach stuff). And last but not least are a set of good tires. All the suspension and braking improvements in the world don't mean squat unless you can apply them to the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your replies.


I'm curious as to the actual spring rate differences, since I heard both that the Multimatic is firmer/harsher and that it's to so different than the SVT. If the springs are indeed similar in rate then the SVT is the no-brainer.

Thanks for the brake and miscelaneous tips. We've got discs(that are looking a little weathered) all round currently. I was contemplating either the Ford Racing (Borla?) stainless exhuast but concerned it'd be too loud. I too won't do loud for louds sake. [cheers] Does your Magnaflow have additional silencers aside from a primary muffler?
 

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Thanks for your replies.


I'm curious as to the actual spring rate differences, since I heard both that the Multimatic is firmer/harsher and that it's to so different than the SVT. If the springs are indeed similar in rate then the SVT is the no-brainer.

Thanks for the brake and miscelaneous tips. We've got discs(that are looking a little weathered) all round currently. I was contemplating either the Ford Racing (Borla?) stainless exhuast but concerned it'd be too loud. I too won't do loud for louds sake. [cheers] Does your Magnaflow have additional silencers aside from a primary muffler?
No one has ever posted or provided links for the multimatics spring rates. Stock SVT rates are 129 lbs/in front and 157 rear. Eibach Pros are 137 front and 171 rear (stock ZX3's are 110 front and 126 rear). The Eibach's are firm but not overly so. If the multimatic's are significantly stiffer, ride quality is likely compromised and no one has really complained about them being overly firm. That's why I'm guessing they are not much different than the Eibach's but I could be wrong.

I don't know what kind of baffles are used in the Magna flow. It is, however a nice stainless high flow unit that appears well made and sounds really nice. Its deep and throaty but not load or droney and was less expensive than the Borla at the time we got it. It sounds a heck of a lot better than 99% of the aftermarket mufflers on most Hondas. At least the focus sounds like it has some balls. Borla's are nice but a little overpriced in my opinion.
 
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