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  1. #61
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    You've gotten odd and wrong advice for rear tire pressure. The way you currently run is best for helping over-steer (pressure biased to 4-6psi higher in fronts), while maintaining good handling characteristics.

    You would have to pump the rears up until they were hard and ineffective to help over-steer by increasing pressure, and then the car would handle poorly and even dangerously in high leverage evasive maneuvers and/or high speed cornering. Who told you that, your competition? I think the people who told you to pump the rears higher than the fronts want to see you do worse than you currently do.

    Running a tiny bit more toe-out up front will help with tire wear on the outside (and help rotation, so test accordingly). Of course, lowering the car with stiffer springs, until the FLCAs are just short of ground-level will increase front negative camber as much as possible for cornering.

    Keep doing what you're doing, it sounds like you are on the right track (pun intended).
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star

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  3. #62
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    I think they were being honest, just talking about totally different fwd cars. I've heard it again and again from different national level drivers who have no motivation to mislead me. The highest so far was 62psi, yes sixty-two, in a Celica. I've also heard that the Focus/Fiesta/Mazda3/C30 just don't have that issue because of their rear suspension design.

    As a beginner and non-engineer, I don't really get the logic. It seems like drastically reducing your grip to help induce rotation would be slower, and tire pressures would best be used as a quick fine tuning tool between runs.

    G-forces, I did go with your alignment recommendation. It does seem sharper on the track, but made the steering much heavier on the street. Is that to be expected?

  4. #63
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    How much toe-out did you add to the front, and how much toe-in do you have in the rear? What are your specs?
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star

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  6. #64
    TEAM Member svtcanuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Hell yes. I've done it in all 3 of mv SVTs. First one I did at least 30 events. 2nd one only got to 3 events. 3rd one is about to do its 3rd event.

    Best result was when I paxed in the top 10 once. I'm hoping to do that again.

  7. #65
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-forces View Post
    How much toe-out did you add to the front, and how much toe-in do you have in the rear? What are your specs?
    I had them set 1/16 out in the front, which i think worked out to like .15 degrees. The rear was set at zero. It feels more planted in corners, but on the street its kind of dead on center now and the steering effort ramps up really quickly.

  8. #66
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by svtcanuck View Post
    Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Hell yes. I've done it in all 3 of mv SVTs. First one I did at least 30 events. 2nd one only got to 3 events. 3rd one is about to do its 3rd event.

    Best result was when I paxed in the top 10 once. I'm hoping to do that again.
    Whats your class and current set up?

  9. #67
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by SVT5D View Post
    I had them set 1/16 out in the front, which i think worked out to like .15 degrees. The rear was set at zero. It feels more planted in corners, but on the street its kind of dead on center now and the steering effort ramps up really quickly.
    Glad you like it! Your at the limit up front for street drivability, anything more and you'd constantly have to correct, while the car "hunts" across the lane... not to mention the extra steering effort under any kind of braking. I'm a bit surprised that the car doesn't twitch a bit right now with no rear toe-in to accompany the front toe-out. To answer, yes that's normal... toe-out increases under braking (front dive), and toe-in increases under acceleration (front lift).

    Stiffer springs and camber adjustment option would allow you to play with toe-out a bit more... maybe you could use less and get similar results. But if you are winning as-is, there is no reason to spend money on experiments.
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star

  10. #68
    TEAM Member svtcanuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by SVT5D View Post
    Whats your class and current set up?
    This car is FSP due to its larger throttle body. All other mods (F&R strut tower bars, H&R sport springs, H&R rear sway bar, cat back exhaust, tune) are STF legal. I run conti dw in the wet and I just did my first event with re71r in the dry.

  11. #69
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-forces View Post
    Glad you like it! Your at the limit up front for street drivability, anything more and you'd constantly have to correct, while the car "hunts" across the lane... not to mention the extra steering effort under any kind of braking. I'm a bit surprised that the car doesn't twitch a bit right now with no rear toe-in to accompany the front toe-out. To answer, yes that's normal... toe-out increases under braking (front dive), and toe-in increases under acceleration (front lift).

    Stiffer springs and camber adjustment option would allow you to play with toe-out a bit more... maybe you could use less and get similar results. But if you are winning as-is, there is no reason to spend money on experiments.
    Its still pretty solid on the highway. It can tramline a little but it did that before. I went to an adjustable Mazda style rear sway bar, and was thinking the slight increase it rear toe out might negate the slight loss of rear steer caused by the stiffer rear sway bar. I'm totally guessing though. I don't want to push it to the point that I make the everyday drive-ability worse. Autocross is only 1% of what I use the car for..

    No camber or spring adjustments for me, I'm staying in HS. Really the only thing left I could do is upgrade shocks, but that is not happening until the new OEM shocks I just put on wear out.

  12. #70
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by svtcanuck View Post
    This car is FSP due to its larger throttle body. All other mods (F&R strut tower bars, H&R sport springs, H&R rear sway bar, cat back exhaust, tune) are STF legal. I run conti dw in the wet and I just did my first event with re71r in the dry.
    Man I would scrap that throttle body so fast. It sucks some of the fun out of the competition when you aren't in the ballpark of the other cars in your class. I bet you wouldn't even notice a difference in changing it.

  13. #71
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by SVT5D View Post
    Its still pretty solid on the highway. It can tramline a little but it did that before. I went to an adjustable Mazda style rear sway bar, and was thinking the slight increase it rear toe out might negate the slight loss of rear steer caused by the stiffer rear sway bar. I'm totally guessing though. I don't want to push it to the point that I make the everyday drive-ability worse. Autocross is only 1% of what I use the car for..

    No camber or spring adjustments for me, I'm staying in HS. Really the only thing left I could do is upgrade shocks, but that is not happening until the new OEM shocks I just put on wear out.
    Not sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying you toed OUT the REAR wheels? I ask because the way the active rear end works is that when the car rolls in a turn, the wheel on the compressed side increases toe-IN and negative camber, it's like planting your outside foot to make a football cut on grass. The wheel on the other side (raised side) decreases toe-in and negative camber. In that way they resist slip and tire roll. That's one reason why a Focus is so planted in turns, and so hard to rotate. If you reduce body roll with a bigger sway, you reduce the active effect and are already helping rotation (lift the outside wheel as well), so you don't need to compensate by toeing-out the rear. The car will handle better with zero rear toe than it will with rear toe out.
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star

  14. #72
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by G-forces View Post
    Not sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying you toed OUT the REAR wheels? I ask because the way the active rear end works is that when the car rolls in a turn, the wheel on the compressed side increases toe-IN and negative camber, it's like planting your outside foot to make a football cut on grass. The wheel on the other side (raised side) decreases toe-in and negative camber. In that way they resist slip and tire roll. That's one reason why a Focus is so planted in turns, and so hard to rotate. If you reduce body roll with a bigger sway, you reduce the active effect and are already helping rotation (lift the outside wheel as well), so you don't need to compensate by toeing-out the rear. The car will handle better with zero rear toe than it will with rear toe out.
    Yeah I guess I don't understand it myself. I have the rear toe set at zero based off of suggestions here. I thought that the rear steer actually toes out on the outside (compressed side) to induce rotation. So setting the toe at zero, instead of slightly negative from the factory, is actually reducing the rear steer effect? Why is that good?

  15. #73
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    At the factory settings the car will induce understeer (plow), and it will understeer heavily if you use the most toe-in, front and rear. The stock rear toe-settings are for stability on the road, and to stop rotation (defend against oversteer) on slippery surfaces (rain/snow), because FWD cars are harder to "catch" when they oversteer than RWD, where you simply turn less and/or lift.

    Reducing toe-in up front allows the car to track corners better (see Ackerman Steering) up to some optimum point, relative to wheel base. For a MK1 Focus that is around minus 1.5 degrees per side (or even a touch more neg), so slightly out on both sides.

    Reducing toe-in for the rear allows the car to go faster (less friction with the road), and also helps to reduce the tendency to understeer, due to the tire angle shift when cornering.

    To answer "why is that good":
    It is NOT good for the average driver on the street. The car will be more sensitive to inputs and require more attention while driving, and it will not have the oversteer safety feature working at a high level on slippery surfaces.
    It IS good, however, for the competition driver on a circuit. You can go faster, both in the straight sections and through corners, when you learn to feel and anticipate side-slip (most drivers, self included, used to call this "4-wheel drift", but the term "drift" has been hijacked by goofs who just want to burn their tires off and drive sideways). The edge of onset for side-slip is GOOD, it means you are at the maximum speed you can be through the apex of a corner. Oversteer is still not best (just fun), and neither is understeer (never fun). Your car is set up correctly when you can travel around a course in the shortest time, and feel confident the whole way... so you want to remove the street-safety features somewhat, and dial-in the car for turns and top speed.
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star

  16. #74
    TEAM Member SVT5D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Ok thanks again for taking the time to reply G-forces.

    So the focus rear steer is actually increasing stability, not performance? I always thought it was cited as the reason the Focus was so easy to rotate and fun to drive. So my solid rear end links and slightly larger rear bar are reducing the amount the rear compresses, and this is reducing toe gain in corners. Setting my rear toe to zero reduced it even more, and these are both good things for lap times I hope? The car feels great in corners and is not any less stable on the highway than it was before. It is hard to compare autocross times since every event is different. I will say that last season I was dominant in HS, and this season I am struggling to keep the lead. I have no idea what changes my competition has made though.

  17. #75
    [FJ] Specialist G-forces's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone still autocross their SVT?

    Glad to help.

    The only reason a stock Mk1 Focus is ever EASY to rotate is due to the crappy tires Ford shod them with, or due to someone making severe changes to the alignment or suspension. My first Focus was a Mk1 SE. I always road test my cars after a modification, so after a few mods to engine, when I had changed the wheels for 16 inch and put better tires on, I went for a drive on a rarely traveled road I hadn't been on in many years. Long story short, I came over a rise at ~75mph and saw a big yellow arrow pointing right, then the 90 deg turn it was warning about (maybe 80-90 feet ahead... I had missed the foliage-hidden, early-warning turn sign). I stomped the brakes to their ABS limit, and cranked the wheel hard enough to induce oversteer (or so I thought), so I could scrub off speed and save the car from exiting the road into a bunch of trees. The stock suspension surprised me. The car tracked perfectly along the abrupt arc I had set, and the trail braking had no effect on rotation. That little Focus tracked perfectly, rear wheels following front through the whole curve... I stopped and checked the road marks, because it was hard to believe.

    I know it's not the same for an SVTF, they start out closer to even, and are easy to tweak into providing oversteer when ever you want it. The SVT suspension I put on my original Mk1 allowed me to let the tail out with a touch of trail-brake, even if I soothed it into a curve at the wheel. That's one reason I never wanted to put a rear sway much bigger than the SVT one, on either car, because I was sure I wouldn't be able to stay with gas up to the same corner closeness, then switch to hard brake carrying into the turn. If I had to release the brake before entering the turn, I'd have to start braking farther from the turn, thus my lap times would be slower than they would if the rear didn't come around so easily.

    It sounds like your competition is forcing you to learn new tricks and techniques to stay up front. That's good. Keep going.
    Last edited by G-forces; Apr 5, 2017 at 2:50 PM.
    Getaway in Stockholm 2: Escort Cosworth vs Supra... adults-only driving on YouTube.
    2002 Gold SE (Ghia) Focus, heavily modified... killed by a terrible driver
    2004 Silver SVTF w/EAP, #800... sold, to become a track star


 
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