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Discussion Starter #1
I'm coming from VW MK4 and we are aware that lowering too much affects handling. I don't know how to get techincal about it but read here. I'm just wondering if its same with the Focus. Thanks.
 

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I don't think any reasonable amount of lowering will hurt your handling. SVT produced a wonderful OE performance suspension that's 0.75" lower than a stock ZX3. The H&R Race springs are a 2" drop, and they're considered some of the best performance-oriented springs you can get for a Focus. Foci don't seem to have nearly as many problems with lowering as VWs do, if you get decent components.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok I will try to explain, when you lower your car to the point where the control arms are no longer parallel to the ground, you get more body roll. Some people use bigger sway bars to offset the added roll but it will make the suspension less independent.
 

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I've heard of the problem before, but I've never heard anyone complain about it on a Focus. Of course, H&R Race springs are very stiff. They may mask any increase in body roll.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Very stiff springs may mask the added roll but it is not what you want if you want the best suspension setup.


The best suspension setup is to make sure the control arms are parallel to the ground with the stiffest springs you could possibly get.
 

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Forgive me if I don't take the time to read what's on your link to t3h Vortex. I'll get to it later.


Random thoughts:

Lowering a car will lower it's center of gravity. That's good. But there's a point where if it's too low and too stiff, there'll be hardly any weight transfer. That's not very good.

A stock ZX3 is a decent handling car, but with soft turn-in and some understeer.

An SVT Focus is raved about by automotive critics for it's handling balance and fun-to-drive factor. It's not that low. Plus, the SVT suspension on an SVT Focus has been one of the quickest cars in the Focus Challenge. There's a lot of body roll with this set up; especially with sticky tires.

Get a car too low, and you risk having the ride height produce suspension arm angles that may be just outside of it's design 'sweet spot' and things don't work as well as they should, compromising grip.

That said, something like the H&R Cup Kit, which lowers the Focus almost 2.5 inches can produce very fast lap times; something on the order of up to 5 secs quicker than a stock SVT (dunno which circuit) according to ZXMurph. Wish he was here to put in his 2 cents...
 

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Here's the skinny...
Lowering lowers the CG.
Lowering ALSO Lowers the Roll Center.
UNLESS Suspension Mounting points are relocated in a corresponding fashion, lowering ride height too far will result in a Roll Center that is well below ground level, resulting in a Suspension that is essentially trying to balance on top of an egg instead of a tabletop.
The effects of this can be Minimized/Eliminated with sufficiently heavy Spring Rates.
Another point....
When you lower the car, you reduce Suspension Travel.
If you have an insufficient Spring Rate for a lowered setup, you will bottom out the loaded corner when turning aggressively. When this happens, the suspension will ultimately rest on the bumpstops, which would give the car a nearly Infinite spring rate on that corner.
Surely it's obvious that going from too soft a spring to Infinite Spring Rate in the middle of a corner could be at least unpredictable, and at worst disastrous.
Once again, the solution is STIFF Spring rates with proper damping to limit the travel so as to not achieve 100% travel while simply cornering aggressively.
Will Lowering hrt the handling?
Yes.... IF the spring rates are not adequately raised to Compensate.
IF The Spring Rates are upped accordingly, (shy of relocating suspension parts$$$), lowering is not problematic at all.
This is why you will often see racers complaining that a given setup such as the Eibach Sportline Springs are too soft.
They are stiffer than stock, but at their level of drop, they are not strong enough to avoid the problems that I named.
If you want Lowered AND Performance, it's GOING TO BE Stiff, otherwise you have a fine cruising suspension, but not one that does well under heavy cornering.
 

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The current issue of Sport Compact Car has a great article on this, explaining suspension geometry, and the adverse effects of lowering too much, as well as some of the aboved mentioned items. Definitely worth the read if you haven't already done so.
 

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The current issue of Sport Compact Car has a great article on this, explaining suspension geometry, and the adverse effects of lowering too much, as well as some of the aboved mentioned items. Definitely worth the read if you haven't already done so.
ya i have been reading that and it was the past 3 months they have been doing a article that explains how to make your car hold the road better with small differnt ways to do the same thing.
 

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SCC's new editor seems to be taking it toward respectability. I backed out of reading the newest article because it was just too technical for me.
 

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SCC's new editor seems to be taking it toward respectability. I backed out of reading the newest article because it was just too technical for me.
I skimmed it because it seemed too vague!
 

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to answer your question boomboy, there is quite a bit of lowering that can be done on a focus before the CAs get into a bad position, prolly 3" or more. much more than your average VW. that being said, we only have MacP struts on the front.
 

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Can you lower a Focus 3"? Wouldn't you be tucking the fronts by that point?
 

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We only have 4" of travel, so I don't know about that "or more" part.
The main thing to remember is that the lower you go, the stiffer your springs and dampers must be to compensate for the inherent problems.
 

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you might be tucking depending on the size of the wheels etc. correct me if i'm wrong but the setup on the Air Force SPEED Touring car is around 3" without any customization. it's damn flad in the CA department though
 
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