Jose here, and I have been very excited for this post! I am happy to have been able to work in conjunction with Rebel Devil Customs and V-Maxx suspensions to become a tester for one of the new parts from V-Maxx. Their new coilovers for the MK3 Focus! I contacted Mike from RDC to get some new shocks and struts for my car, as the stock ones were blown. I was looking at a pretty hefty price tag, and Mike offered these coilovers at an awesome price to test. So, as a car guy, my first thought was,”Well, I do need to replace the suspension. I might as well upgrade it.” A few weeks later, the suspension arrived via FedEx 4 days after my purchase all the way from the Netherlands where V-Maxx manufactures their products.
The box was very beat up. I noticed the spanner wrench to adjust the coilovers was falling out. Upon opening the box, I saw that there was only one wrench, and was worried. Normally, coilovers come with two. So, I called up Mike, and he suggested I look at the instructions. It said these systems come with one spanner wrench. Relief. I opened up the box, and everything else was neatly packed. They also sent me stiffer springs along with the soft ones in case my ride was too bouncy. These were only to test, and won’t come with the mass-produced ones.
I must say, the instructions were basically useless. They were super vague and not of any help. Thankfully, I had gone through this type of install before and even made a write up for it. The write-up is for the tear-down and installation for the stock suspension. You can see it here: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/mk3-focus/557122-eibach-sportline-springs-write-up-how.html
This install would be somewhat similar with a few exceptions. I started pulling the parts out, and immediately noticed that these coilovers were definitely different than the coilovers they used to list as MK3 coilovers. The old ones ended up being relabeled MK2 Focus coilovers. Dyn085 on the forums made a great install and thoughts thread about the old ones, which you can see here: http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/brakes-suspension-body-chassis/320882-v-maxx-coils-install-thoughts.html
Since I knew that the strut bearing and strut mounts were going to be reused, I went ahead and ordered new strut bearings for $7 a piece. I began the install 2 days later. There were two, maybe three, issues I found with the install. The first one was the fact that the top spring seats were very (insanely) hard to insert into the strut bearing. The strut bearings have some notches for the stock shock sleeves to slide over. These notches also hold the top spring seats from the coilovers into place. What I resorted to doing was putting them on the ground, and stomping them into place. I’m a fairly big guy at 190 and 6’2″. So, that was a lot of force to get the spring seat to be inserted correctly. Luckily, nothing was harmed, and I could continue.
This picture shows a big addition to the coilovers that wasn’t on the old ones. The brake line bracket was non-existent on the old coilovers. These coilovers thankfully had them and I this gave me a piece of mind knowing that my brake lines wouldn’t be flopping everywhere.
The next issue that arose was the fact that the bracket for the ABS wire made it so that the coilovers couldn’t go all the way down. I can’t say this is a huge issue, rather it is an annoyance for those looking for max low. You can solve the issue by getting some metal cutters and chopping off a bit of the bracket.
The next thing that I noticed was the fact that the coilovers with the helper springs installed, and at maximum drop were only a bit lower than stock. They were 3/4 inches lower. Maybe a bit lower, if the bracket wasn’t in the way, but it wouldn’t be a massive difference. I was a bit confused honestly, as I thought it should have been lower. So to solve this, I removed the helper spring, and reinstalled them. I finally got the low I wanted!
I did notice that the spring isn’t exactly tight when the car is jacked up. It’s not seated in the top spring seat until everything is brought back down and compressed. Don’t be alarmed, as this is actually normal. The helper spring is there to eliminate this gap, but with the way these coilovers are setup, the helper spring won’t help achieve the type of drops people normally look for unless it is absent. (Note: This is called adjusting the spring preload. Unfortunately, at max low without the helpers, preload cannot be adjusted.)
I never did bring the car all the way up, as I was in a hurry to get this done to get it to the alignment shop in time. The measurements from fender to ground go as follows:
Max Low on Helper Springs: 25 and 3/4 inches
Max low (without the bracket cut): 24 inches
Max high: Estimated 27 Inches
The drop is a massive drop over stock of 2.5 inches at full low without cutting that bracket (Stock fender to ground was at 26.5 inches). Cutting that bracket should allow another half inch of drop.
On to the rear. The rear was a pretty quick install. Two bolts, and the spring is out. I personally wanted the rear adjusters in.
I didn’t get to take more pictures of the rear, as I was busy making a video. Mike let me know that more threads mean more low. The more the spring compresses, the higher the car goes. Same for the front. The rear was very straight forward in terms of installation and I had no issues. If you see in Dyn085’s thread, he could only adjust the rear about .5 inches. These new ones give you an inch of adjustment. The fender to ground measurements went as follows:
Unfortunately, I was involved in a very low speed collision the day after the install. So, the Focus will be away for a few weeks. I must say, Geico really treated me well. The collision happened at 11:30 PM and the Focus was dropped off at the shop at 3:00 PM the very next day!
I am working on editing a video for the install. It will be added to this blog post once it’s done. I will be concluding the year with part 2 of the San Francisco Auto Show, and begin the new year with a fresh rear and a coilover ride review. I am excited for the new year, as opportunities are opening for me. Thanks so much for everyone’s support and thanks for checking in! Merry Christmas from us here at FiveThirty and GodSpeed!