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Improving handling


massivewangers
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Thought I'd start a little discussion on this as I've seen it come up a little in other threads, and I'm interested in the topic.

 

Now I'm not interested in the 'bang a set of 17s and a -60mm Gmax kit on it' approach here, more a genuine discussion on how to improve the car.

 

Obviously going low is bad. My plans do involve a bit of a drop (around 40mm) purely for cosmetic reasons. It's a compromise I'm going to put up with in this case. I'll also be running wheels that are too big, but that's for the purpose of brakes, so I'm allowing myself that.

 

Anyway, what I'm really interested in is what can be done in other areas. So far I've got poly roll bar bushes, but I'm sure that isn't doing much if anything, but never mind, at least I know they're in good order. I also plan on some adjustable lower arms to allow me to pull the camber in a touch to make up for the effect the drop has.

 

Which rear beam is the best? I'm not interested in the brakes, just pure cornering. Can anything be done to improve it? What about other areas of the car?

 

So, come on, lets see what people think! There's one person's views I'd especially like to hear, but input from anywhere is interesting, as it may spark some useful discussion :)

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rear beam- drums are as good and lighter :)

 

why not coilovers for the drop? stifffen chasis with roll cage and seem welding?

 

Sorry, I should perhaps be a bit more specific for myself.

 

For my needs, it will predominantly be a road car, so things like that are possibly a bit extreme for my needs, as I want to keep the interior and rear seats all easily usable!

 

Though they would all be nice :roll:

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I dont think that making an adjustable lower arm is the best way to correct the camber. By bringing the ball joint in, you are probably putting further stress on the bushes, which already have an increased load on them because of the lowering, and you are reducing the track of the car, which isn't a good way to better the handling (from what I understand anyway). To correct the camber, I would be looking at adjusting the other end of the suspension, the top mounts.

 

When choosing your wheels, think about weight. The wheels are unsprung weight, so if you can save weight here it will improve the car.

 

The rear beam on the later escorts is thicker than the earlier ones, thicker than the RS disc beam too (mk5 one that is). Im going to experiment with using the later beam with an anti-roll bar, to see how that changes things.

 

I think the way to make big changes is in the geometry and experimenting with spring rates to set the car up to suit your driving style, but that isnt particularly cheap.

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I dont think that making an adjustable lower arm is the best way to correct the camber. By bringing the ball joint in, you are probably putting further stress on the bushes, which already have an increased load on them because of the lowering, and you are reducing the track of the car, which isn't a good way to better the handling (from what I understand anyway). To correct the camber, I would be looking at adjusting the other end of the suspension, the top mounts.

 

Oh I agree 100% there, but this is a more convenient way to do it really, as obviously running that standard type struts doesn't lend itself to adjustable top mounts as I can't imagine space is at a premium. My preference would be for adjustable top mounts every time but that is perhaps something to look at later.

 

Are you really going to be going fast enough to improve the "handling" of a Ford Escort ?

 

On the road; probably not 90% of the time. But I certainly wouldn't complain at having a car with better road holding as you never know what's going to happen. And as I'd like to see some circuit time as well, there is definately scope for improvement over the standard car. On top of that, it's just an interesting challenge. I'm not into big body work changes and things, I'd much rather spend time trying to make improvements to the running gear :)

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ive got a x reg scort.. put st170 rear brakes on and that seemed to bring the wheels out a small bit?

.. a little bit too much in my case as my wheels rub with a couple of people in the car and im on gmax 40mm springs and shocks with 17'' compo's

 

But even the rear brakes and just springs an shocks has gave me car a realy good feel.. still magae to keep up with the fiesta zetec's round track so cant be that bad?!

but im sure smaller wheels and a nice sublte drop would do just as good?

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I dont think that making an adjustable lower arm is the best way to correct the camber. By bringing the ball joint in, you are probably putting further stress on the bushes, which already have an increased load on them because of the lowering, and you are reducing the track of the car, which isn't a good way to better the handling (from what I understand anyway). To correct the camber, I would be looking at adjusting the other end of the suspension, the top mounts.

 

Oh I agree 100% there, but this is a more convenient way to do it really, as obviously running that standard type struts doesn't lend itself to adjustable top mounts as I can't imagine space is at a premium. My preference would be for adjustable top mounts every time but that is perhaps something to look at later.

 

I will let you know how I get on when I get mine. I will plug them in using the standard shocks to see how much space there is and whether it is a viable option or not for standard style shocks.

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I dont think that making an adjustable lower arm is the best way to correct the camber. By bringing the ball joint in, you are probably putting further stress on the bushes, which already have an increased load on them because of the lowering, and you are reducing the track of the car, which isn't a good way to better the handling (from what I understand anyway). To correct the camber, I would be looking at adjusting the other end of the suspension, the top mounts.

 

Oh I agree 100% there, but this is a more convenient way to do it really, as obviously running that standard type struts doesn't lend itself to adjustable top mounts as I can't imagine space is at a premium. My preference would be for adjustable top mounts every time but that is perhaps something to look at later.

 

I will let you know how I get on when I get mine. I will plug them in using the standard shocks to see how much space there is and whether it is a viable option or not for standard style shocks.

 

Would be interested to see that Trig, look forward to the result. They're something I could have made up fairly cheaply to be honest, so worth looking into.

Edited by massivewangers
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