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i'm kind of a newb in need of help. i've never really messed with suspension, so ima have a shop replace my struts, springs, and anything else that would help my suspension with 90k miles. i've read a few "read firsts" on the forums in regards to suspension, but have a few questions. I drive 2004 Focus SVT 5 door. only upgrade so far is hawk hps brake pads. other than that, stock. I like driving fast through the missouri back hills, so i guess i'm looking for a suspension that's a little more tense. don't really care too much about comfort, but it is my daily driver.

1.) wut's the main benefit of getting coil-overs as opposed to regular spring & strut/shock setup? also, is there a major cost difference?

2.) do i want to replace bushings, anti-sway bar, (anything else)?

i am on a budget, but kinda want the best ride for my money. any advice, links, etc are appreciated. thanks, -Matt


PS. the other day i went head to head wit my bro n his v8 gen3 SHO. neck n neck all the way!
 

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I think that coil overs are only worth it if you are really into road racing or auto cross, plus you would have to get them corner weight to get everything out of them, which makes them pretty expensive probably wont get it done under $2000 with parts and corner weighing. That doesn't include sway bars, which I think did more for my handling then springs and dampers. I have the saleen racecraft suspension and can only recommend it, to bad they don't make them anymore it was a steal for $500 including sway bars, poly sway bar bushings, struts and springs. The saleen kit is basically a renamed eibach pro kit with slightly harder springs, so I would recommend that. Gives a nice drop handels great and comes with everything you will need.

If you want the most out of your suspension and don't mind the extra vibration get the full poly bushing kit. I installed mine a couple of month back and love it so far its about 30% stiffer compared to just the suspension kit, does squeak and vibrate quite a bit more. It is a pain to install though and would cost you a lot of money in labor if you let a shop do it.

What I would recommend you do first though is get a rear tranny mount like THIS made a HUGE difference in drive feel and handling too. If you wanna go all out like me go all three motor mounts, best mod I did on my car so far.
 

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A car with 90K miles needs a number of things freshened and replaced. SVT's are pretty damn good right out of the box so messing with them doesn't always acheive a good bang for the buck ratio. In other words you have to spend quite a bit to do it. Cheap coil overs will gain you nothing but headaches as not that much improvement is gained and their adjustability is minimal. That said, and as you expected, the shocks must be replaced. Even new SVT shocks (a steal at under 200.00 for a full replacement set) is a great place to start. You'll be surprised at what just replacing the stock shocks (with stock SVT shocks) will do for handling. As mentioned inspecting and replacing worn tired out bushings can tighten up the suspension as well. Note: this can be very labor intensive to do them all. Also check all tie rod ends and ball joints as they loosen (and get sloppy) considerably with mileage. Finally, always have "good" fresh tires. There is NO BETTER handling improvement than tires.... bar none!
 
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