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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know if camber can be adjusted on the Fiesta ST without installing a camber kit? I wouldn't mind lowering the car slightly but I don't want camber issues. The Mazdaspeed3 I just sold had no camber adjustment, so even lowering the car 1" with springs meant having to spend another $300.00-$400.00 on front and rear camber kits. Actually, I would love to just lower the front 1/2 an inch to match the rears. The front is about .5" more gap than in the back.
 

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There are camber bolts that adjust the front camber. Not sure on the rears. I'd prefer to use plates and I'm hoping that we see camber plates come out in not too long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are camber bolts that adjust the front camber. Not sure on the rears. I'd prefer to use plates and I'm hoping that we see camber plates come out in not too long.
Thanks for the reply. At least there is some adjustment to the front. I don't plan on lowering the car much at all, purely to take some gap away.
 

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This car at its stock stance already causes some minor inner tire wear by looking at my oem tires I swapped for all seasons, so dropping the car another inch will definitely cause some more inner tire wear. This car was setup with some negative camber already thats one of the reasons it handles so well on corners.
 

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I had the camber specs somewhere. Actually there is not that much negative camber front or rear. The front is only around -1 and the rear is less than that. One could easily dial in a more aggressive alignment specs.

Not sure why anyone would lower a Fiesta ST. I think they sit pretty low and even.
 

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I had the camber specs somewhere. Actually there is not that much negative camber front or rear. The front is only around -1 and the rear is less than that. One could easily dial in a more aggressive alignment specs.

Not sure why anyone would lower a Fiesta ST. I think they sit pretty low and even.
I tend to agree that it doesn't really need a drop. It sits nicely. But I tend to prefer go over show so I wouldn't fiddle with the suspension just for the sake of fender gap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I dont like fender gaps on any car lol

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
Yeah, me neither. There is definitely more fender gap on the fronts than the rears (about a half inch). It looks silly (like my '99 WRX did). I would almost be happy with a .5" drop just in the front. lol I don't like the slammed look (or the ride that goes with it). Even with the rears would be nice.
 

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Yeah, me neither. There is definitely more fender gap on the fronts than the rears (about a half inch). It looks silly (like my '99 WRX did). I would almost be happy with a .5" drop just in the front. lol I don't like the slammed look (or the ride that goes with it). Even with the rears would be nice.
Ford and the SVT engineers had megabuck backing, and tons of time to design the car as it is. And designed all the systems to work together, at their specs. Dropping just to remove a gap, without doing as much research as they did, may cause issues. I've had my years of fun modding cars to race in SCCA ST classes, and those became a bottomless pit for money, and I think I did worse at events. This time around, it is staying stock except for better tires (and perhaps wheels) and an exhaust - not only for some performance gains, but more for I want to hear the car "sing" to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ford and the SVT engineers had megabuck backing, and tons of time to design the car as it is. And designed all the systems to work together, at their specs. Dropping just to remove a gap, without doing as much research as they did, may cause issues. I've had my years of fun modding cars to race in SCCA ST classes, and those became a bottomless pit for money, and I think I did worse at events. This time around, it is staying stock except for better tires (and perhaps wheels) and an exhaust - not only for some performance gains, but more for I want to hear the car "sing" to me.
Yeah, I have no plans to track my car. Looks are subjective. Keep in mind though that the engineers that designed the car were undoubtedly trying to target a certain price point for the end result. I think they did pretty well for a low to mid $20,000 car. Most fender gap (or chassis height) on a mass production built and sold vehicle usually has more to do with road clearance, road humps, speed bumps ect. A prime example of this was evident on C5 Corvettes. Ride height from the factory was pretty high but they built in some lowering bolts for customers who wanted to get rid of the fender gap in less than 10 minutes. The suspension was designed for a range of adjustment, v.s. the set and forget that cheaper cars utilize. I don't think half an inch of a drop would upset the handling of a vehicle *IF* (and that's a big if) the spring rates and weights stay the same. The biggest problem I have experienced with aftermarket suspension parts (especially springs) is that the aftermarket almost always go for higher rate (i.e. stiffer) spring rates, which when everything else remains the same, upsets the intended design "balance" and handling. When I say I want to lower the FiST, it would be more of an aesthetic change rather than one for performance. I don't want that .5" of lowered stance to effect the ride or handling.
 

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That old "it was engineered the way it was for a reason" argument gets old.

the fact is, it was made like it was to be sports and still be able to be driven by the pickiest of people. It's a big compromise between sport and civility, you could get plenty more handling out of it if you care to.
 

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Yeah, I have no plans to track my car. Looks are subjective. Keep in mind though that the engineers that designed the car were undoubtedly trying to target a certain price point for the end result. I think they did pretty well for a low to mid $20,000 car. Most fender gap (or chassis height) on a mass production built and sold vehicle usually has more to do with road clearance, road humps, speed bumps ect. A prime example of this was evident on C5 Corvettes. Ride height from the factory was pretty high but they built in some lowering bolts for customers who wanted to get rid of the fender gap in less than 10 minutes. The suspension was designed for a range of adjustment, v.s. the set and forget that cheaper cars utilize. I don't think half an inch of a drop would upset the handling of a vehicle *IF* (and that's a big if) the spring rates and weights stay the same. The biggest problem I have experienced with aftermarket suspension parts (especially springs) is that the aftermarket almost always go for higher rate (i.e. stiffer) spring rates, which when everything else remains the same, upsets the intended design "balance" and handling. When I say I want to lower the FiST, it would be more of an aesthetic change rather than one for performance. I don't want that .5" of lowered stance to effect the ride or handling.
Well, since we got hit with a bad ice/sleet storm, and my current job required we HAD to come in to work yesterday, that extra ride height sure saved the entire bottom of the car from being ripped to shreds by the center mound of rock solid ice between the tread paths. Even still, I heard so much noise going on underneath, was expecting the worst when I got to work. Thought for sure, the rubber under the front lip was gone, perhaps the lip itself scrapped to chunks of fiberglass - but it was all intact. Still, soon I want to get the car up on a lift to see what had been done to it.

Now as to your thoughts on spring rates. I think you will like the KW coilovers. As I mentioned before, the JDM junk uses poor valving and overcompensate for that by using harsh spring rates. What sets KW from most, is that they are all about proper valving, and use the springs to just assist with that. Valving is their whole focus, to always keep all 4 wheels planted on the ground.

If Tom Edge is still the top guy at KW USA, give him a call, and let him tell you. He was the guy who posted years ago on the Subaru NASIOC forum that made me a believer. He is a great guy, and knows his suspensions. Tell him Rocky sent ya :)
 

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That old "it was engineered the way it was for a reason" argument gets old.

the fact is, it was made like it was to be sports and still be able to be driven by the pickiest of people. It's a big compromise between sport and civility, you could get plenty more handling out of it if you care to.
Your argument is correct for most cars, yes. But as this uses electronic torque vectoring in lieu of a mechanical LSD, and relies on sensors that detects yaw, pitch, and who knows what other sensors, I would say changing the suspension geometry, heck, even the brakes, could have unknown effects. Perhaps now, we might need a new "flash" for that brainbox as well, if there is one? Just a thought. And if that is true, could open up a whole new ECU programming industry as well, to program your suspension system. As Audi (S Line) and others do have programmable suspensions from their head unit, this might already be in progress.

I am not saying not to make mods, nor am I against it. But I am saying, with these new performance cars, having electronics, ECU's perhaps, and tons of sensors, we have to rethink HOW we mod the cars now. Today, it might no longer be as simple as replacing one part, or a system. It might need a complete "kit" of related parts to make the changes you want, so they work together properly.
 

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I'm well aware of the "E-diff", it's also unproven technology. I'll probably end up removing it in the long run in favor of a conventional Quaife LSD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, since we got hit with a bad ice/sleet storm, and my current job required we HAD to come in to work yesterday, that extra ride height sure saved the entire bottom of the car from being ripped to shreds by the center mound of rock solid ice between the tread paths. Even still, I heard so much noise going on underneath, was expecting the worst when I got to work. Thought for sure, the rubber under the front lip was gone, perhaps the lip itself scrapped to chunks of fiberglass - but it was all intact. Still, soon I want to get the car up on a lift to see what had been done to it.

Now as to your thoughts on spring rates. I think you will like the KW coilovers. As I mentioned before, the JDM junk uses poor valving and overcompensate for that by using harsh spring rates. What sets KW from most, is that they are all about proper valving, and use the springs to just assist with that. Valving is their whole focus, to always keep all 4 wheels planted on the ground.

If Tom Edge is still the top guy at KW USA, give him a call, and let him tell you. He was the guy who posted years ago on the Subaru NASIOC forum that made me a believer. He is a great guy, and knows his suspensions. Tell him Rocky sent ya :)
If coil overs are my only option, I will just leave the suspension alone. Coil overs are too expensive just to lower the car 1/2 an inch. I'd rather use the money for other mods (like Cobb Ap, some wheels and tires, ect).
 

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Well, since we got hit with a bad ice/sleet storm, and my current job required we HAD to come in to work yesterday, that extra ride height sure saved the entire bottom of the car from being ripped to shreds by the center mound of rock solid ice between the tread paths. Even still, I heard so much noise going on underneath, was expecting the worst when I got to work. Thought for sure, the rubber under the front lip was gone, perhaps the lip itself scrapped to chunks of fiberglass - but it was all intact. Still, soon I want to get the car up on a lift to see what had been done to it.

Now as to your thoughts on spring rates. I think you will like the KW coilovers. As I mentioned before, the JDM junk uses poor valving and overcompensate for that by using harsh spring rates. What sets KW from most, is that they are all about proper valving, and use the springs to just assist with that. Valving is their whole focus, to always keep all 4 wheels planted on the ground.

If Tom Edge is still the top guy at KW USA, give him a call, and let him tell you. He was the guy who posted years ago on the Subaru NASIOC forum that made me a believer. He is a great guy, and knows his suspensions. Tell him Rocky sent ya :)
Same thing here... Lots of snow last week and a bunch of fun scraping noises but the bumpers/fenders appear okay. Let me know how yours looks once yo get under it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Same thing here... Lots of snow last week and a bunch of fun scraping noises but the bumpers/fenders appear okay. Let me know how yours looks once yo get under it.
I've been avoiding all that ice stuff like the plague. I'm sure the summer tires just make the handling worse in these conditions.
 

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There are several ways to lower this car, some harder than others and 1/2" up front is not likley to make enough difference in geometry to matter though it will transfer a bit more weight forward which is not usually a good thing in a front heavy car but then again, probably not enough to matter.

A little background: I have been modding cars for 46 years, Datsun 510's, AWD, FWD, RWD, BMW, Vettes, etc......so fairly well experienced in this and in all out competition alignments, etc......though just for me I have a well equipped shop including digital alignment gear, scales, lift, tubing bender for cages, etc........

1) Modify the struts and keep the springs stock.

A) Spring perch lowering, most difficult as shocks have to be either kept in ice water or taken apart for rewelding
B) Top hat modification, depends on design as to how complex or if possible
C) Modify mount location to knuckle, on the strut itself, from a quick look this would be rather simple, for me at least.

2) Modify the springs.

A) Cut just enough from the top or bottom to reach desired height. This is dependent on the design of the spring top or bottom and where it fits the perch or top hats. Looks like the bottom might work though a smaller diameter coil at the end which could require modifying the perch so the wider coil fits properly. I would have to take the struts off to see what could be done at the top hat location. This will stiffen the spring a bit, how much is hard to determine.
B) Heat springs until desired drop is achieved then have them retempered.
C) Have custom springs wound.

3) Modify the knuckles.
A) See if any other knuckle would fit and accomplish the goal, not likely but never know until you look into it.
B) Modify the knuckles, not recommended unless the absolute last resort and it must be done then it better be done by a very competent person.

I have done most of the above with complete success starting back in 1972 or so and won many autocrosses, some ralleys, etc....

Hope this helps:)
Rick
 
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