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    Upgrading suspension without changing ride height

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    I live in Thailand, where the roads are worse than terrible. I'm keen to tighten up the suspension, to reduce body roll and acceleration and braking related pitching/dipping. The large, poorly formed speed humps, numerous potholes and unlevel pavement all mean that lowering is not really an option.
    I was reading about the ST200 suspension modifications: how Ford engineers increased the sway bar diameter and rate so that they could soften the spring/damper rates. Is that feasible on a stock suspension? For example, is upgrading to the Eibach or Cobb front/rear sway bars (also with uprated links and bushes) likely to tighten the suspension up the way I want, without having to lower roll centre and/or increase spring rates? (I've also not seen uprated standard height springs available).
    Cheers

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    Member 29 Rep Points Kazz's Avatar
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    I think you may be looking for quality coilovers that can retain the stock height. Sway bar upgrades will only help roll, not ride. You might contact MeisterR about their ZetaCRD+ coilovers for your application. Otherwise, there is a strut folks talk about that will help ride and handling. If I remember correctly, it's a Koni "Gold" something. I'm sure someone else will chime in here shortly.

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    Member 112 Rep Points Waterfan's Avatar
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    I understand the Bilstein PSS/B14 coilovers for the "regular" Fiesta also fit the FiST and allow the ride height to be very close to stock. Only what I have read from informal resources.

    +1 on Kazz's idea to contact MeisterR.
    2014 Fiesta ST, Oxford White, Recaros, Navigation, Symposer Delete ($4 Expansion Plug), FSWerks Short Shift (25% setting), COBB AP3 (OTS 91 v220), Fiesta Aluminum Spare Tire (-16.6 lbs), 205/45-16 BFG Sport Comp 2 on 16x7 ET40 Maxxim Winner (-16.4 lbs), K&N Air Filter

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    I'd start with uprated dampers - check out Koni's. Stiffening either the spring rate or the anti-sway bar stiffness is going to hurt the ride (unless you're bottoming out on the stock string).

    Lightening unsprung weight will have a huge affect on ride quality - a Wilwood BBK will save 5kg/corner which will make a very noticeable improvement. If you stay with the stock brakes then you can use a set of 15x7 Braids which are almost indestructible, save you 2kg a corner, and allow you to run a higher profile tire as well.

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    Swaybars may be a good option, but keep in mind with that, when you stiffen the bars, you're still transferring that motion to the other side when the car is not in transition or the body set in roll....
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    This. Koni sport dampers on stock springs are a great upgrade. I had them on both my basic Fiesta hatchback and moved them right over to my new Fiesta ST. They are wonderful.

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    I found going to 205/45/16 tires on the lightest wheels I could afford produced a significant improvement in ride with stock suspension. No change in body roll.

    I more recentldy mounted Meister coils to play with on track, but even with 5/3 springs, soft settings are more comfortable on street than OEM was.

    Taming body roll and making it more predictable during quick weight tansfers is main role of stiffer springs.

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    Thanks to those that have replied.
    I'm running 205/45 R16s and am going to change to poly bushes on the front sway bar. I'll then look at sports dampers. Failing all that as an improvement I may lash out for a set of dampers.
    The experimentation is fun, less the impact on the wallet. ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaiFiesta View Post
    Thanks to those that have replied.
    I'm running 205/45 R16s and am going to change to poly bushes on the front sway bar. I'll then look at sports dampers. Failing all that as an improvement I may lash out for a set of dampers.
    The experimentation is fun, less the impact on the wallet. ??
    I'd save changing the chassis. Many have said that the chassis is fine as is for the most part...especially if your primary concern is the potholes, etc.

    Having driven in areas with really terrible roads (places I would prefer not to drive my FiST, i.e. Mexico, but did anyway by accident - a story for another time), you might want to increase to a 205/50 if at stock height. Maybe even more if you can squeeze it without rubbing. High aspect tires in those areas are your best friend. Might even go for a 15" wheel but something tells me looks are of some concern to you and that's why you are using 16" wheels? A lighter wheel improves performance all around. A 15" will allow you to add higher aspect tires for more protection and a smoother ride.

    I have only used the koni str t (you might prefer the yellows) so far and they do the job, but I'm looking to hopefully get the Bilstein B8s soon. I suspect that these will be an upgrade to the konis, so we'll see there...

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by neeqness View Post
    I'd save changing the chassis. Many have said that the chassis is fine as is for the most part...especially if your primary concern is the potholes, etc.

    Having driven in areas with really terrible roads (places I would prefer not to drive my FiST, i.e. Mexico, but did anyway by accident - a story for another time), you might want to increase to a 205/50 if at stock height. Maybe even more if you can squeeze it without rubbing. High aspect tires in those areas are your best friend. Might even go for a 15" wheel but something tells me looks are of some concern to you and that's why you are using 16" wheels? A lighter wheel improves performance all around. A 15" will allow you to add higher aspect tires for more protection and a smoother ride.

    I have only used the koni str t (you might prefer the yellows) so far and they do the job, but I'm looking to hopefully get the Bilstein B8s soon. I suspect that these will be an upgrade to the konis, so we'll see there...

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
    I'll be watching.


 
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