Ford Focus Forum banner

21 - 24 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Hey, this is the first time I've been on here in some time, fancy that! I actually haven't ended up getting either the suspension or close ratio gears yet. This year has been one of realizing how important seat time is. Not to mention we added another car to our team (my codriver built one as well); same colour and same spec. for the most part which left me having to find a codriver. Also financials have been interesting but I have so far done the only gravel event on the schedule up here with another coming July 13,14.

Even more now than ever when I hit something hard or see something that I know will throw the car I think JVAB. Also when I shift into 3rd sometimes and definitely 4th or 5th I think MFactory lol. Then I bring myself back and remind myself that suspension is more important than power/gearing, though gearing is definitely next after suspension!

Currently I'm cooking up the same sort of trailing arm that JVAB has made except heims in the back instead of the things he used. I had a stronger arm made up over the winter but it was the stock one with additional struture added to it. Turns out at the last rally it was making a heck of a noise so something must not be moving properly.

Also I bought an SCT programmer and added all of the goodies onto the car. Currently though I'm replacing a few parts that failed at the last event, namely PS pump and line and I ovaled one of the front control arms bushing slots so yay new control arms, bushings and balljoints!

We're also ordering alignment stuff from longacre to save a few $$.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
I've read through this thread a few times, and thought that I should offer a contrarian view, especially since I have a picture to back it up... At Seed 9 this year, I had a fairly nasty encounter with some rocks next to the road (see the video in the rally tires thread). The suspension in the rear was bent, and the damper was running into the subframe, so I DNF.

Now, one might say that if I had a more robust suspension, that I might have finished. However, if you look carefully at that picture, you might wonder what would have happened if that particular piece of metal was stronger. The answer is that it would have torn a massive hole in the floor of the car as it separated the suspension mounting point from the bodyshell. I am not 100% sure that wouldn't have happened anyway if it wasn't seam welded. So, if you are going to consider strengthening the rear suspension, I would suggest that you have at least one "mechanical fuse" in the setup that you can replace easily. However, since you probably don't have access to Ford's Finite Element models of the Focus chassis, you are basically shooting in the dark when you do this. The bolt at the bottom the the shock is a good example. The Ford Rallysport kit had a homologated control blade with a bracket that put the bolt in double shear. When I first built my car, the suspension was a little late in arriving, so I didn't have a chance to put something like that in. Given that the bolt is in shear across the threads, and I have a coilover, it's always made me nervous. However, I did actually manage to slightly bend it in the incident mentioned above, which is the first time ever. Even if it was in double shear, I'd be more worried about a stress crack at the thread root than a failure of the bolt, which is a more complicated fix.

--
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
682 Posts
Excellent point John-about the fuse.....

I believe Juggernaut above has been running custom arms in back for awhile now.

Hope he hasn't hit anything or crashed,but if so hopefully he'll let us know how that setup holds up....

Of course it all depends on the direction of the hit or hits(and severity),but at least maybe we can compare to the wimpy looking stock stamped stuff.

I cringe every time I look at the suspension arms on the rear of my car,and I'm only squishing cones at this point-but if it's holding up on stage rally for most people,than it's holding up for most people on stage rally,and it's certainly cheap and easy to replace parts!

We need to keep this rally section going-it really stagnates,and I feel the Focus is a VERY viable dirt car,and used Foci are dirt cheap at this point.

I'll post up on my recent rallyx's(where there was some significant pwnage of expensive awd machinery by my almost bone stock 2.3 ZX3) as soon as I have time....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Hey guys,

So to answer the last post; yes I have made the custom toe and control arms with heims out of tubular steel some years ago. I also had the stock trailing arms strengthened with notched tube welded to the top and bottom plus a bunch of other plates and seam welding.

I've been running this setup this way for over a year and have only good things to report. It creaks and groans but works very well. Last year at an event I went into a water splash so hard that the pass. rear tire flatted and the rim split in half lengthwise which left half still bolted to the hub; spokes in tact and the other half wrapped around the hub etc. I finished the stage (over 10km) on the flat and lost only 30 seconds. Just to let you know we run the stock 5 spoke/10 spoke alum. Focus rims. Maybe it's time for an upgrade lol.

No I haven't spent on JVAB yet but I saw them in person on a new competitors car and they looked very nice. For now I have made the hotbits work with softer front springs.
 
21 - 24 of 24 Posts
Top