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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
My ride isn't really bouncy, just stiff (best way I can think of to describe it). It seems bouncy, but that is just because of the road surface, the struts/shocks themselves are not bouncing excessively best I can tell. I've had a car before that was on coilovers (Tein Basics, which had no dampening adjustment, with pillowball upper mounts on a Nissan Sentra) and it feels similar to how I remember those riding.

For the time being, I've left my ride height collars where they were straight out of the box and am going to give it a little time before I drop it to make sure it doesn't settle out any further (showed 0.125" of drop after initial install and then settled another 0.25" in the front after a drive around the block), so I still have to set my final ride height. I checked my spring preload before and after installation and didn't have to make any adjustments as I could not rattle the springs.

Based on what I noticed while installing the rear shocks and springs, the spring will need to come back out in order to raise/lower the height collar, but it should just be a matter of the one bolt at the bottom of the spindle that goes through the control arm, which was fairly easy to get out. The part I had a little difficulty with was getting the control arm back into the spindle and getting everything to line up easily. While the spring is out, the bolt at the bottom of the shock is easy enough to get to so that the shock can be pulled out and the extenders installed.
I should have tried that... Pulling the spring to get at the shock lower mount bolt...
Right now my car is bouncing... Once for the initial impact, and then one more time after the impact...
It only does it if both wheels hit the bump...
I'm hoping that once I get to the adjusters, that will help. Maybe 1 turn in from full soft...
I really need to gain access... Front and rear...

CrashMW
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Further thoughts:
First off, I have to say that YCW was no help whatsoever. I guess they assume that anyone installing their suspension must have installed their suspension in the past. The instructions and or guidelines were a joke.
First off, the literature that comes with the kit says that the suspension was set up from the factory…Not true. Collars were not tight, and my springs in the front were rattling which means the preload was not set. So I set them to where they just eliminate rattling, and then one full turn in further. But that is a guess…it would have been much better to have a setup guideline for our particular application.
The brake line mount is a difficult piece to get into place…as it is at a slightly different height than the stock units…but it was workable. The fact that pre-load was not set correctly from the factory is a big problem, as preload is so important to suspension setup (at least it is for my motorcycles). Then there is this mysterious note in the guidelines from YCW stating NOT to turn the lower collar on the shocks/dampers, but if you don’t at least loosen it, you cannot thread the shock body up or down to adjust ride height? So that is unclear to me. It also would have been nice if they mentioned the right way to set the end links. When I pulled off the end link on the passenger side, it slid out nicely, without any load on the end link. So naturally, when I installed the YCW end link, I adjusted it so that there was no load (so that it slid right into place). Unfortunately, the other side was much further off (even though the stock unit on the driver side slid out without resistance as well…) –It’s the little things when it is your first time.
The red knobs for damping adjustments will not fit with the stock strut tower brace, so I had to not install mine. I will go back and drill the stock brace so that I can get a screwdriver in there for damping adjustments, and later will modify it so that the 3” hole that I cut is fully accessible. I just don’t know if I like the TB designs unit enough to install it since it affects other parts (the lower cowl needs to be cut). Again, this is easy enough to sort out, I just need more time in that area to figure out what I want to do. I do want to keep the car quiet inside…
For the rear, instructions would have been nice. Most coilovers that I have seen (you tube videos) in preparation for this install show the height adjustment being made from the bottom. So imagine my surprise when I realized it was not going in that way. Luckily there is the Focus ST forums that saved me (mainly UnfocusedST). I cannot emphasize enough how much help he (and others) was on Sunday while I was installing. I am lucky that some of my questions were answered quickly, and before I ran out of daylight. I would have never thought to remove the bolt securing the rear subframe to mount the collar for the height adjustment. The instructions should have shown this, as it is kinda important…especially since YCW does not have any install videos on the web (that I could find) pertaining to the Focus. This really is a kit for those experienced with suspension installations. –this coming from a mechanical engineer. I am not saying that the design is lacking, just that there were some curveballs.
Then there is the height setting for the rear. What is the shock body length supposed to be? Is it supposed to be the full extended length of the rear when on jack stands? Or slightly longer (such as when the lower bolt from the lower arm is removed (when removing spring)? I would like to know.
I currently have it set equal to the unloaded height, with the spring installed and the lower arm bolt in place (spring was not under tension just yet). So, once I installed the shock in this position, I removed the slack (rattling) of the spring, and like the front, I went one more full turn in. I measured the length of the exposed threads to the collar, and both sides matched, so I called it a day on that. BUT, this is still misleading as the angle of the lower mount was still pretty severe, so the spring was not able to sit as flush on the lower seat as I would have liked.
Now, after reading on the forums, I am not even sure how to adjust the rear height. Do I have to remove the spring? So much for on-car adjustment. I don’t see why I would need to remove the spring if I unload the suspension. But, then if I do lower it for example, do I need to change the extended length of the damper to match (so that when the suspension is unloaded, the spring is not loose (able to rattle)?
Clearly I have much to learn. It would have been nice to have some sort of guidance from the factory…In fact, I contacted YCWengineering for some setup tips and instructions in anticipation of the install, and they informed me that this was included in the package. I figured that I must have missed something during my first review of the contents…but nope. The response for support was useless. Again, I am grateful for the support of this site…Hopefully with the assistance of this site, I will be able to set up the car the way that I was hoping, or at least as best as it gets before I pull the trigger on a less aggressive setup (maybe the mountune kit). I do not mind the stiffness of the ride as it sits right now. I do however mind the bounciness… that is simply unsafe in my book as it puts the tires under the stress of keeping traction under bumpy conditions, vs the suspension.
 

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Right now my car is bouncing... Once for the initial impact, and then one more time after the impact...
It only does it if both wheels hit the bump...
Yeah, I agree with @UnfocusedST. It sounds like your problem should get better if you change your dampening away from full soft/street. I set mine in the middle and feel pretty happy with them for daily driving (felt great on the interstate, but the other roads that I drive are a little rougher and make for an understandably rougher ride), but can always turn them more towards the track setting for autocross events. I don't remember really having any issues with the brake line - I just lifted it up above the tab on the new strut body and slid it down into the hole.

And I would agree that this install was probably easier as I have done at least one other coilover installation (granted, mine was on a different car, and I have not done as many installs as others on this forum that are more knowledgeable than I). If I can help in any way, feel free to tag me or message me (in case I don't get a chance to log in to the forum to check). I'm not trying to make excuses or speak for YCW/MFactory, but one thing to keep in mind (any maybe I am a little more tolerant of this with working as a Quality Manager in a manufacturing facility myself) is that small things happen, such as preload not being set from the factory. One of my camber plates came installed upside down, so I had to take it to work so that I could use an impact (don't have one at home - yet) to correctly orient it for installation.
 

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Also, I forgot to mention that I was using Edge Autosport's write up on the forum from when they installed KW Variant 3 coilover on their ST as a guide for my install. Not everything was identical, but we similar enough.
 

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I have never had instructions that came with an aftermarket suspension. They have always said to use the factory procedures. Spring preload wouldn't be set by the manufacturer since most people adjust their setups to meet their needs. For on car ride adjustment front are easy. The rear is a PITA due to the seperate spring and dampener setup from the factory. The rear dampener can be remove with the spring in place. I've done it and it's simple.

Sent from another galaxy.
 

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@UnfocusedST, I wanna come hang out in your garage and wrench on my car while you point and laugh (and hopefully teach me a thing or 1000).
 

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To the OP...

I’m sub’ed. I was in the first round of pre-ordered kits. My problem is a matter of knowledge, space, tools, time, and the ST being my DD. I can’t afford to be down a car for more than a couple of days, and I’m petrified at the idea of having something go horribly wrong. When I think of taking it to a shop, I also think about all of the little tricks and just extra tidbits that folks like @UnfocusedST have unlocked. Those guys might not have that kind of insight. (I have thought about printing his install out for a shop, though. With permission, or course.)

Unfortunately, and I guess this is a confession of sorts, this is the case with a list of parts that I have sitting in the shed, waiting to be installed.

I appreciate you sharing your grievances with the install. It helps me to know that even if a guy has a degree in mechanical engineering, a decent garage to work in, I assume a nice array of tools at hand, AND experience wrenching on things (you mentioned bikes), doesn’t mean it’ll be easy or straight forward.

I guess it wasn’t super straight forward for UnfocusedSt, but he sure made it look easy-ish (for him). I think he might be a magician.
 

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Yeah, my ST is also my daily driver so I knew I had to get the install done over the weekend. Luckily, my parents came to visit for the weekend and dad wanted to install these while he was here. I will recommend reading through the Edge Autosport thread where they installed their KW coilovers. I used that as my guide for the installation of these coilovers and feel like they did a good job of stepping through the installation, but your mileage may vary.

Edge Autosport KW Variant 3 Install Thread

And speaking of worrying about things going horribly wrong, I had one thing go wrong on me during this install. When I went to reinstall the strut on the front driver side, I screwed up the bolt and threading in the knuckle because I had opened the knuckle too far (in order to get the old strut and spring out). Luckily, we were able to source a replacement bolt and were able to re-tap the threads (I now own a tap and die kit) on the knuckle in order to get everything back together.
 

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Trust my I'm no magician. Just experience. This is my third car that I've modified the suspension on, my second Focus and my second set of coilovers on this car. I've watched plenty of YouTube video and ready plenty of threads. In fact when I installed these I was confused about how the rears went together. Another member here helped me. He had the original prototype coilovers and I have the second version. So there has been lots of learning on my part. I do help were I can but trust me I'm no expert.

Sent from another galaxy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Trust my I'm no magician. Just experience. This is my third car that I've modified the suspension on, my second Focus and my second set of coilovers on this car. I've watched plenty of YouTube video and ready plenty of threads. In fact when I installed these I was confused about how the rears went together. Another member here helped me. He had the original prototype coilovers and I have the second version. So there has been lots of learning on my part. I do help were I can but trust me I'm no expert.

Sent from another galaxy.
Yeah, but you are very helpful, and if it's important to acknowledge that fact..
So let me day thank you once again.
Now I am chasing a noise in my right front... I drove over a drop down in the road, maybe a few inches, that I drive over every day, and it made an awful noise. Actually sounded like my windshield.
I assume it was from the strut extending or the wheel dropping down suddenly... But it was not right. So then I started hunting for bumps... And it sounds like something is not quite right at the passenger front.
Already checked the top side. So tonight I will pull the wheels and check end link, lower strut mount bolt, as well as the locking collars on the strut itself.
Anything else I might be missing?
Oh I did try to remove the other bolt on the lower arm, cause I could not get the arm to drop far enough for the original strut to come out, so I will check that as well.
I ended up having to use the floor jack and piece of wood to compress the spring about a 1/4" to get it out (both sides).

CrashMW
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
If you removed that LCA bolt you will need to torque it back down properly. This required weight being on the suspension. I cheated this a little when attempting to do a lower stress bar. I used my jack to load up one side at a time so I have clearance under my car for a torque wrench.

Sent from another galaxy.
So... With my car on ramps, I should be able crawl under the car and tighten?

CrashMW
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
Correction, i removed the nut from the steering arm, but not the bolt. I was thinking that I might be able to free up the lower arm a little bit more so that I could get the stock strut out of the lower socket. Anyway, after I removed the nut, and before I tried to separate the ball joint, I decided that I might try to compress the spring using a floor jack and a length of wood under the ABS bracket on the strut (as I only needed another 1/4" to get the strut clear, and it worked. Anyway, I checked it, and it is tight, so that was not the noise.
I think that I might have found the source of the noise...and that is the stock strut bar made contact with the upper strut adjuster...Fortunately, no damage to the adjuster beyond what can be seen in the photo below
Tire Auto part Automotive tire Automotive wheel system Coil spring

But that was on the driver side, and I could have sworn the noise came from the passenger front. No signs of contact there.
But, I checked the springs on both sides, and they were rattling...So, I guess that they settled a bit, so I had to increase preload by 4 full rotations to stop the rattling, actually 2 rotations, but I decided to go 2 more. I left ride height alone, although the proper preload would probably increase right height by a fraction.
I also checked all bolts and fasteners, and nothing obviously loose was found.

So, I took the time to address the stock strut bar interference with the strut adjusters, and fortunately, the bottom of the stock strut bar has a flat plate with a 3" hole, so I got out the hole saw and went to town...I now have clearance for the top of the strut, PLUS I can now keep the adjuster knobs on the car. I also kept the fresh air sealed from engine air, so no increased interior noise...and now I will sell the TB strut tower brace and pick up a Mountune unit, and still have access for camber adjustment (sorta).
Auto part Disc brake Engine Clutch Wheel
Auto part Suspension Suspension part Tire Automotive wheel system

I have a few more images of the fronts...still need to come up with a game plan for the rear adjusters, but might wait until I am motivated to pull the rear shocks back out...or more images from others who have done the same as I want the interior to stay new looking.
I may start pulling the interior pieces to see if I can access the rear dampers that way. At least to get an idea of what I will have to work with.

I leave tonight with images of both left and right side front coilovers as I am about to bolt the car back up.
Left Side:
Auto part Disc brake Vehicle brake Brake Rotor
Right side
Auto part Disc brake Vehicle brake Suspension Brake

Oh, and evidence of cooked brakes after my first track event...yeah, not related to suspension,
Wheel Auto part Tire Automotive tire Automotive wheel system
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Correction, i removed the nut from the steering arm, but not the bolt. I was thinking that I might be able to free up the lower arm a little bit more so that I could get the stock strut out of the lower socket. Anyway, after I removed the nut, and before I tried to separate the ball joint, I decided that I might try to compress the spring using a floor jack and a length of wood under the ABS bracket on the strut (as I only needed another 1/4" to get the strut clear, and it worked. Anyway, I checked it, and it is tight, so that was not the noise.
I think that I might have found the source of the noise...and that is the stock strut bar made contact with the upper strut adjuster...Fortunately, no damage to the adjuster beyond what can be seen in the photo below
View attachment 284218

But that was on the driver side, and I could have sworn the noise came from the passenger front. No signs of contact there.
But, I checked the springs on both sides, and they were rattling...So, I guess that they settled a bit, so I had to increase preload by 4 full rotations to stop the rattling, actually 2 rotations, but I decided to go 2 more. I left ride height alone, although the proper preload would probably increase right height by a fraction.
I also checked all bolts and fasteners, and nothing obviously loose was found.

So, I took the time to address the stock strut bar interference with the strut adjusters, and fortunately, the bottom of the stock strut bar has a flat plate with a 3" hole, so I got out the hole saw and went to town...I now have clearance for the top of the strut, PLUS I can now keep the adjuster knobs on the car. I also kept the fresh air sealed from engine air, so no increased interior noise...and now I will sell the TB strut tower brace and pick up a Mountune unit, and still have access for camber adjustment (sorta).
View attachment 284226
View attachment 284234

I have a few more images of the fronts...still need to come up with a game plan for the rear adjusters, but might wait until I am motivated to pull the rear shocks back out...or more images from others who have done the same as I want the interior to stay new looking.
I may start pulling the interior pieces to see if I can access the rear dampers that way. At least to get an idea of what I will have to work with.

I leave tonight with images of both left and right side front coilovers as I am about to bolt the car back up.
Left Side:
View attachment 284242
Right side
View attachment 284250

Oh, and evidence of cooked brakes after my first track event...yeah, not related to suspension,
View attachment 284258
Another shout out to unfocussedST as I adjusted my front dampers one click in from full soft, and did nothing to the rear yet, and sure enough, the ride is MUCH better. Now I just gotta do the rear and I'm pretty sure I will be a happy camper.
Is truly amazing the difference One click makes!
Reading Reds build thread, I was sure that full soft was the way to go.... But apparently the pre-production units are different in their valving as well.
At least now I am no longer thinking about how I may need to offload my coilovers . Just my TB designs strut bar.

CrashMW
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Red has V1 prep production where I have V2. Mine are like the production coilovers. I sit 2 clicks up on mine.

Sent from another galaxy.
Do you have any advice on how to install the adjusters on the rear? I may have missed it in your thread, but I did see how you shortened the extension... Just not clear how you determined how or where to put the holes in the carpetted panels.
How much clearance is there under the panels to the top of the strut?
Do I need to remove the dampers, install the extension (minus one knob) and try to fish it through the hole in the carpet, or what?
Having done it already, perhaps you have some advice?

Thanks

CrashMW
 

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Do you have any advice on how to install the adjusters on the rear? I may have missed it in your thread, but I did see how you shortened the extension... Just not clear how you determined how or where to put the holes in the carpetted panels.
How much clearance is there under the panels to the top of the strut?
Do I need to remove the dampers, install the extension (minus one knob) and try to fish it through the hole in the carpet, or what?
Having done it already, perhaps you have some advice?

Thanks

CrashMW
I did not remove the shock. I did remove a couple panels and pulled the carpet back. I did some guessing work for making my holes to run the adjuster through. As for height I just measured it. There isn't much room.
 

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I did not remove the shock. I did remove a couple panels and pulled the carpet back. I did some guessing work for making my holes to run the adjuster through. As for height I just measured it. There isn't much room.
Do you have any pics or measurements of where you drilled? I got my YCWs and am going to install them soon, might as well go all out with it.
 
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