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Rear spring swap & swaybar adjust completed. Tweaking alignment tomorrow.
I'm assuming you threw the 750 lbs spring in and switched to the softer setting on the rear bar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Dialed in the Konis. Rear are now adjusted 1.5 turns hard from full soft. I don't know how far the front rebound is turned and it probably wouldn't help anyone else since they're a custom build, however they're now 3/4 turn harder from where I had them; the compression is still in the mid-setting.

Unless something obvious comes up this weekend, I'll re-evaluate after a couple weekends. Another PIR event this weekend and then I'm trekking up to Bremerton for the next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 · (Edited)
One of my favorite ways to judge if a suspension is well-tuned is to do autox runs when the surface grip is low. I got that chance this weekend, with a cold (45F) & drying track. I'm pleased to report that Pepper has no bad habits while skating around, so she's well-balanced. My spreadsheet says she's biased about 0.2% towards oversteer and that mainly shows up with a very light throttle-lift oversteer that's quite manageable even in the wet.

Front: 525 lb/in, Eibach swaybar, 0.1 degrees total toe out, -2.3 degrees camber (way too little camber, but that's all the Ground Control camber plates provided)
Rear: 750 lb/in, ST swaybar on soft, 0.15 degrees total toe in, -2.0 degrees camber
Tires: 265/30-18 Bridgestone RE-71R, pressure 34F/30.5R (psi)

Still not there with the shocks. Will be increasing front compression this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Maybe, just maybe, I'm very close to final shock settings. I remembered front struts as having only 5 positions for compression; turns out it has many more, which leaves me wondering why I thought there were only 5? Ah, well, chalk it up to old age.

Will install the lightweight battery in the remainder of this week. Going to a Bremerton, WA, autox this weekend and then the Wilwood front brakes get installed on Monday with a corner balancing session. Next autox after that is one day at PIR (fifth day so far this year) and then another out-of-town autox at Shelton, WA. Can't decide whether to do both days or just one at Shelton. Skip a weekend and then it will be the Las Vegas Championship Tour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
VW GTI builders in STH are starting to wake up and realize their spring rates can be higher. One is at 650F/950R and another is about to install 750F/1000R.
"I've said it before but in my experience, now including this GTI, comfort has way more to do with the damper than the spring. If you can soften up the damper everything is fine. I really think that these "high" rates will not feel the way most on here expect. Just be honest with yourself, I for example am a total baby when it comes to loud exhausts."
-- JackRabbitSLIM
 

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VW GTI builders in STH are starting to wake up and realize their spring rates can be higher. One is at 650F/950R and another is about to install 750F/1000R.
Lugod has said this for years. " Quality performing shocks eat up 85% of ride quality. The rest is covered by ride frequency selection (nF) and flat ride ."
 
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Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
Installed the MeLe battery box with an Odyssey PC680 lead acid battery (17 lbs saving over factory). Seriously was tempted by the lithium battery, but based on how I use Pepper, it sounded like lead acid was the more practical choice. Bought a Schumacher SC1355 fully automatic battery maintainer to keep a charge between-the-weekends and will be carrying a GooLoo jump starter battery as emergency gear. Already used the Schumacher to charge the battery last night and I must say that while the instructions are too dense and not clear as a result of satisfying lawyers, it really is pretty much idiot-proof (red light means you reversed the leads, amber light means there's a recharge cycle underway, green light is fully charged, automatically switches between 6V & 12V, no switches).

Unfortunately I noticed a few shortcomings in the MeLe design:
  • They intended the battery terminals to be the other way around, but the Odyssey PC680 terminals will not work on my 2018 Focus ST because the battery cable does not stretch far enough. Ultimately, I'll probably have to re-wire the main cable & that smaller wire so they will reach as designed so the wire doesn't wear through to the aluminum box.
  • One of the screws preassembled with the mounting plate was a thread short in length.
  • Despite the padding in the box seemingly making a tight fit around the battery, I found it was easy to shift in the box, so shimmed it tighter with a wooden wedge.
  • You'll need to supply your own positive terminal cover. NAPA had me covered for $3.44 and that left me an unused black cover.
  • There's no provision for attaching the sound symposer to the battery box. Now that I'm in Street Touring, looks like I'll be getting a symposer delete kit.
Don't get me wrong about MeLe. I do like the product and they sent along a very nice mask with my order!

Removing the factory battery box from under the Massive brand strut bar was not possible. I resorted to breaking the box's wall to remove it. Everything else about the install went by the book. So far the install has held up to my half hour of test driving and I didn't notice any noise from the loose sound symposer hardware.

388950


388951
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
3rd weekend as an STH car was successful. Codriver was able to join me in Bremerton, so I was able to observe STH Pepper from the outside for the first time.

Saturday practice was the first time I felt like I was able to reach the limits, particularly in a slalom. Inside rear tire appears to stay on the ground as I intended. You can feel the inside rear go light under a decreasing radius turn, but it doesn't try to kill you. The pinched Yokohamas did not turn into black clouds of tire dust, either, like they did before the Quaife install, so they just might be viable after all. Even though it was 61F, the first couple of turns on the first run had some cold rear tire syndrome, but this seems to be a characteristic of Bremerton rather than tires or setup as I've had it happen before. 16 runs between the two of us on Saturday.

Sunday competition was cold (45F) & wet, so I left us on the Michelin PS4S. Surprisingly had trouble with wheelhop if the accelerator was pressed too quickly, even in second gear. She is very nimble in a wet slalom, just can't be abrupt on the brakes, must anticipate slowdowns. Won the non-stock pax superclass with codriver in second. Was 6th pax overall and 7th raw. Probably the only time I'll ever beat Ron Bauer in his new Porsche GT4 due to the rain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Wilwood front brakes installed. This was firstly for reducing unsprung weight, but I'm liking my first impression of the brakes being less grabby, easier modulation. No, these are not "big brakes" as I want to still fit 17" rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Added a quarter turn to the front rebound yesterday and that made it obvious that the front end was too lively, so backed off compression by two clicks today. Don't feel any obvious faults, so I'm done adjusting until something turns up.

Brake pads are bedded in. Stopping is more stable, braking is easier to modulate, though there's still muscle memory to re-train.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
After corner weighting, driver in seat, full tank, total weight 3285 lbs:

LF 1020 lbs ... RF 978 lbs
LR 665 lbs ... RR 622 lbs

Cross weights 1643 lbs & 1642 lbs!

(these were with the street tires & rims, so race weight is actually 12-16 lbs less)
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Pepper has always had a bit of a wheel hop problem, but it is definitely worse now with slick conditions. I sure want to fix that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
Hardest part for me was removing the AGS without destroying it.
Yeah, there was that... I didn't actually remove the AGS and worked around it, but cracked a corner on the passenger side while installing the Vortech. Noticed that in the CJ Pony Parts video they didn't put the intercooler on the lower mount, but bolted it in below. Easier, but weaker install. I chose the harder, but better install like the instructions show.

Next challenge was to pretend I had the fingers of a child while threading those two bolts with washers and nuts on top!

Will doublecheck my work, reassemble, and test tomorrow.
 

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This is absolute gold, and I love the methodical approach to your car, I understand now why you made the comment on my build. Have you had any issues with bump steer after lowering your vehicle? After lowering my vehicle I'm noticing some weird oscillations while going over bumps, fairly certain it's due to the Coilover installation in the rear combined with running soft rebound settings. What are your thoughts on an Anti lift kit like the ones offered by Whiteline and Superpro?
could a similar effect be made by running a stiffer spring rate in the rear(or all together) to counteract torsional rotation?
 

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Yeah, there was that... I didn't actually remove the AGS and worked around it, but cracked a corner on the passenger side while installing the Vortech. Noticed that in the CJ Pony Parts video they didn't put the intercooler on the lower mount, but bolted it in below. Easier, but weaker install. I chose the harder, but better install like the instructions show.

Next challenge was to pretend I had the fingers of a child while threading those two bolts with washers and nuts on top!

Will doublecheck my work, reassemble, and test tomorrow.
Dont forget to spray some hairspray on the intercooler couplers. I had a charge pipe blow during testing when I first installed the Vortech. It's been 2 years since I've installed it and god knows many autox's it been through and it hasnt blown off since then.
 
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