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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings. I am here looking for some assistance on getting the best handling out of a first generation Focus that we possibly can. If you have not heard of Chumpcar I will give you a brief run down on how things work. If you have, you can skip the next paragraph.

Chumpcar is a nationwide, endurance, road racing organization. They allow you to compete on tracks from Watkins Glen and Daytona in the east to Laguna Seca and COTA out west. Our shortest race this year is 7 hours in length. The longest one we have competed in was 14 hours in length. In Chumpcar each car entered is given a base value. Each performance adding piece is also given a value. The total of your base value and the additional points from parts cannot eclipse 500 points or you incur a penalty lap for every 10 points over 500. 501-510 is 1 lap in a 7 hour event, 511-520 is 2 laps, etc.

We recently got a gift from the sky. We had been a 325 point vehicle, on Monday we were told that through a new way of coming up with values, we are now a 200 point car. That means we have 125 more points to use, and I have no idea what to do with them. We are in the process of adding power through the addition of cams and the SVT header. After those two things however, there is not a whole lot we can add power wise that is either A. doable in real dollars or B. worth the points we would incur for them.

That leaves stopping and turning. Stopping is already pretty good. Besides that, the upgrades we have planned for this winter are a zero point add to our bottom line. That leaves turning.

Couple things to keep in mind:

We are limited to a 200TW summer tire. No slicks.​
We are a low budget operation. A $4,000 solution is not really going to fly.​
Two of our drivers are in their mid-50’s. They are decent but they will lose confidence and time in anything that is too skiddish.​

Our current add-ons are a follows.
Stage 2 Crane cams. We need good power at a lower RPM with area under the power curve. Peaky power up in the band is just asking for us to oil down the track at some point in a 7 hour event.
Moog Front Camber Plates. Paperwork says they are for adding camber so I switched what side of the car they are on and have -2.2ish on the front end.
15x6.5 rims. They have 205/50 rubber wrapped around them. They are 8% shorter than stock, means we have a bit more dig out of the corner than we did with a stock diameter.
Interior is striped. Roll cage, FIA certified seat, 6 point harness, on-board extinguishing unit added back.
Battery moved to spare tire well.
Stock header with 2.5” exhaust from where the cat used to be back.
Put in a piece of plywood to close off the cavern of space behind the front bumper underneath the radiator.

Add-on Planned.
SVT header to 2.5” exhaust.
Wilwood replacing stock calipers front and back. Will be keeping stock rotor size so we can continue to use our 15” wheels.

All of that takes our 200 point car to 380. That leaves us with 120 points for changes and I am out of ideas. So instead of blindly making changes and hoping what I do works, I am here asking you guys. If you could do almost anything utilizing the stock attachment points, what would you recommend?

Just as an FYI here are the point values on anything suspension related.

• Purchased camber plates: 20 pts
• Homemade camber plates: 5 pts
• Shock\Strut reinforcement bar: 10 pts
• Wheel spacers: 5 pts for set of 4. Max 1.25” wide. 1/wheel
• Front sway bar: 50 pts
• Rear sway bar: 30 pts
• Super expensive shock\strut: 25 pts each
• Adjustable shock\strut: 75 pts each
• Spring that does NOT match original ID/OD (+/- 0.25”): 10 pts per corner

Any ideas\thoughts\crazy musings would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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So it's a zetec motor with a mtx75 gearbox. What is your final drive and what is your points for that. That is instant off corner help. Shocks and springs are a must and u are so limited if you stay with factory springs. Make a decision if you can afford the points when you consider suspension. If you have cams you better have a tune to grasp all that they offer. Front wheel drive cars set for performance run rear bars with no front bar, but that is also when a complete suspension is designed around going fast. So springs and struts are a must, even better off the shelf stuff would be better than stock, not much but better. If you look at a focus design see how far back the strut towers are, closer than most fwd platforms, with that in mind don't even consider a strut brace, now a lower brace tying the control arms together that is a worth while investment. Rear bar, big, you have options, 24,28, 32. But you mentioned handling and not bringing it near the limit, so middle ground here. Forget wheel spacers but a must have is the harden hubs, cause when you break a few and don't know how to correct the issue, harden hubs. I have been racing a mk I platform since 2011 and have listed most of my success and failures here. Everyone on this forum has been super helpful. Just ask.m oh and why spend on the calipers, you can't out brake your factory system and if you are using points here that's a waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So it's a zetec motor with a mtx75 gearbox. What is your final drive and what is your points for that. That is instant off corner help.
Yes and yes. Final drive is the stock 3.82. Changing just the final drive is 25 points. Problem is the only one I can find available is the 4.75 autox one. That drops things more than a gear which defeats the purpose. Gear ratio changes are also 25 points but again, the ones that are available are not really suitable for the speeds we are capable of turning.

Shocks and springs are a must and u are so limited if you stay with factory springs. Make a decision if you can afford the points when you consider suspension.
We have upgraded the shocks to the STR.T units from Koni. I would love to be able to upgrade further. We have the points to either do a set of super expensive, non-adjustable shocks and a rear bar, or front and rear bar. By super expensive I mean that each unit costs more than double the OE replacement unit. We typically use the Bilstien B6 unit for the value. It is listed as OE replacement while being or superior quality and therefore, price.

If you have cams you better have a tune to grasp all that they offer.
I cannot comment on whether we have or have not tuned the chip as that would be a 75 point hit. I do agree that it would be silly, if the sanctioning body cannot check for a flashed ODB2, to not make use of what gains there would be there.

Front wheel drive cars set for performance run rear bars with no front bar, but that is also when a complete suspension is designed around going fast. So springs and struts are a must, even better off the shelf stuff would be better than stock, not much but better. If you look at a focus design see how far back the strut towers are, closer than most fwd platforms, with that in mind don't even consider a strut brace, now a lower brace tying the control arms together that is a worthwhile investment. Rear bar, big, you have options, 24,28, 32. But you mentioned handling and not bringing it near the limit, so middle ground here.
If you have any pointers as to what dampers do or do not fit within the stock packaging, that would make my year. I have looked, and short of fitting off the shelf replacements, I have found nothing. Again, the only limit I have is they cannot by externally adjustable. I have been eyeing a bigger rear bar since we have found out about this point change on Monday. Problem I have run into is the rear bars are typically sold with their front counterparts. Not ideal from a real world dollar point of view. We have a practice day to ourselves before our next weekend of racing at the end of the month. I am really tempted to disconnect the front bar and see what it does just on the rear bar.

Forget wheel spacers but a must have is the harden hubs, cause when you break a few and don't know how to correct the issue, harden hubs. I have been racing a mk I platform since 2011 and have listed most of my success and failures here. Everyone on this forum has been super helpful. Just ask.m oh and why spend on the calipers, you can't out brake your factory system and if you are using points here that's a waste.
Oh yeah, we know all about the hub issue. Our first two events we lasted 6 hours before the hub broke and took the end of the halfshaft with it. Wheel never left the car but it got our attention. We traced it down to the heat being applied to the bearing from the brake system. Melted the seal in the bearing, grease left, efforts sky rocketed, hub snapped at the weak spot. Since we have changed to DBA rotors with the kangaroo paw cooling vanes and bolted a Porsche 996 brake cooling vane to the LCA, we have not had a single issue. They are still the first thing we check every time we come off the track though. The brake caliper change is more of a cost savings move than it is anything else. It would cost us zero points and after 3-4 pad purchases will pay for itself.

youll be interested in this for camber plates
Those look nice. Any idea if he has any measurements to recreate them?
 

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SVT header is great for the mid range torque.
camber is good. i think the plates you have are only -1 degree. aftermarket (or those homemade) could get you some good camber.
i would also get a rear bar. 24mm would be a decent upgrade.
there are ok stiffer springs that match the OD. HR race is the stiffest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is what I am hoping for from the SVT header. We are pairing it up with the Crane stage 2’s which have advertised a good power jump in the 3000-6000 range. That is our sweet spot based on some of the softer internals we have. The oil pump in particular. We are not going to out power a Civic or 6 cylinder BMW at the end of a straight. Just is not going to happen. If we can gain the lost time out of a corner though, we might be able to carry enough down the straight to make up for the top end power deficit.

Using an app on my phone, with the wheels on the ground we are sitting at about -2.25° of camber on the front with the commercial plates. I believe that is pretty good for what we are doing. We are not autocrossing. There are times when we are going from 100+ down to 55-60. It is my understanding that braking starts to suffer if we go much more than -2.5° static when you are setup to gain with the LCA in compression.

I am torn between keeping the front bar attached and going with a bigger rear bar and just disconnecting the front bar. My worry with pulling the front bar with an open diff is getting the inside tire light enough and we get no drive corner off.

I found some springs from Moog that meet the letter of the law while getting us 158 lbs/in up front and 197 in the rear. Should stiffen everything up and let us maintain that camber. From putting a zip tie on the shock rod, we were compressing to the bump stop with the SVT springs. That is enough start to lose camber from the LCA flattening out.

The good thing is we have an open track day essentially just for the series, Friday before our event at Gingerman. We should have plenty of time to figure out what combination of items works best among what we have now.
 

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As for shocks that are off the shelf, running the light weight springs you are speaking about then I think the premium units mentioned before, like the Koni, spax bilstien will have to be what you run. Or sit down and see how much in the points a better suspension will cost you. Autocross winners are not the fastest in a straight line they are the most efficient thru the corners, if you can't overpower them get them thru the slow stuff. The rear bars I speak of are sold individually by steeda, and James barone racing, who also supplies the Mazda program parts. I have used both suppliers and both have been very well designed parts. As for driving without the front bar and no limited slip I can't speak to that, you limit yourself by staying so stock but can't work around a known solution. Not trying to be dismissive as I think it's great you are doing what it takes to race. I just hate your rules set handicap you so much.
 

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It looks like any stock type replacements spring is zero points (Id/Od less the 0.25" change) so that's pretty open for you short of going to track type 2.5" ID springs/coil overs.

The change to only a rear bar with stiff springs should be good for front wheel traction in corners, the front bar tends to lift the inner wheel when cornering.
 
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