prepping a Ford focus hatchback for stage rally
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Thread: prepping a Ford focus hatchback for stage rally

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    Default prepping a Ford focus hatchback for stage rally

    Hello everyone I am prepping my 2002 ford focus for stage rally and wanted to get any advice anyone has to give on this build. To start i just want to run it in a production 2wd class. Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZBeezy View Post
    Hello everyone I am prepping my 2002 ford focus for stage rally and wanted to get any advice anyone has to give on this build. To start i just want to run it in a production 2wd class. Thanks in advance.

    Look for rust..
    Right now I'm sitting on beautiful suspension I built for a Focus from North of you --its all done but its sitting because the poor guy started stripping the car and once it was empty and started poking at the floor it transpire the floor to sill junction was shot the whole way and the sills themselves were rotted badly and he lost the big boner he had for the project..

    Talked to him today as kinda a de-brief for Ojibwe and now his plan is going in halfsies with a friend whop has a cage Sub-a-rat GC8 2.5 thing..

    Dayum just thought! That means there's a moderately large pile of goodies he was collecting available..
    He's in Fargo..where in Whisk-onsson are you??

    And third..this has been beaten to death: forget the Production thing..Is it even a class anymore? I don't think so cause its pointless..
    Just a quick example: you're front knuckle hub is an annoyingPOS cause the calipers are hung off of what we call "da fawkin moose antlers"

    It looka lika dis:


    That means you are stuck with the entire stock brake set up and there's nothing to do..
    It also means the Lower Control Arm--hereinafta referred to as da LCA ---mounts into the knuckle with the little girly little balljoints which are wimpularly small.
    If you're not in a deadend pointless class like Pea, but instead in the best class, Group 2, then you just grab some of these later ones which looka lika dis sorta:


    Then you get the matching balljoints, which while not really hair-chest manly man things are at least 2mm larger as are the wheel bearings and hubs...
    Also the caliper is mounted to ears so that comes off with two bolts as complete unit--and the discs and junk-n-stuff is bigger-er, and thats good cuase bigger-er stuff LASTS LONGER...But see that's also linked to the struts you'll get..
    See the round big hole at the top where the struts socket in?
    On early stuff thats 45.5mm...Later stuffs thats 50,8mm...
    Point is everybody with the fuckus eventually goes to the later 05? 07? knuckles and hubs cause they are stronger so I suggest may as well in the first place--and get your struts that fit the later stuff.....which luckily for you is what The Fargo Kid was getting...

    next--not going to go into lengthy point by point stuff here when this stuff has been gone over in detail at the real home of amateur builds
    Rallyanarchy.com --where there are tons of photos and talk...
    But again in Pee class you cannot legally strengthen the incredibly lousy rear whatever they call ithe main North South arm the hubs bolt to which with the merest gentle touch instantly become mishapen art-work like this: (you have to imagine the sound effect Dun dun DUUUUN!!!)


    Or look at them cross-eyed and they'll do this:


    There's solutions but you gotta be in the class where all the cool kids are, Group 2

    Over on rallyanarchy you'll find TONS of things for Focus likesuggested improvement:



    Ok OK I'm not a fawkin computer-nerd keyboard hero---but that sketch became this:


    Whicha installed looka like dis:



    Now I'm not for a moment suggesting that you have to do a single thing top your car. You can run it with stock susp[ension, brakes, tires, motor, trans...whatever you want..
    Many here will warn you away in PMs saying I'm the devil incarnate, a madman and evil..

    Fawk them, they're cowards and morally reprehensible people who strive to maintain a teflon exterior...

    But the question is: do you want to rally or just cruise down stages at 35-37mph and get a gold Star for Participating.?
    THAT is the divide....THEY don't give a shit if you just putter along at 37mph... as long as you enter..

    Didya have a chance to go see anything at Ojibwe??

    There IS a phone number there, I put it there cause I hate typing...The words of a total schmuck don't look much different that the words of somebody who has watch so many people come into the sport in 30 years--and so many drop out from disappointment, or exhaustion--of the bank account...I would say call now but I only have 2 ciggies so if you wnat to call wait till i have a pack of smokes...OK
    Anyway get on over to where all the best Focus info is and say hi, and talk about who ya are and skills, and age and budget and above all WHY FOCUS ..(better not be "cause I have it already"--that one thing has been the source of more heartbreak than all others combined)
    Last edited by John Vanlandingham; 09-01-2015 at 06:19 PM.
    John Vanlandingham
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    www.rallyanarchy.com

    Telephone +1 206 431 9696
    Rememeber the time zone difference

    Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

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    Zac just looked at yur profile thing, says you did or was interested in moto-cross.. THAT's the sorta thing I want to know.
    It means we can speak almost the same language, cause that's what I did for 12-15 years before beginning rally---when I "got too old--and retired" and came back to America and went to College in my early 30s "before the brain solidifies, or gets all chalked up like water-pipes"..
    It was where I learned almost everything important which transfers virtually directly to gravel rally..
    Deffo call when I haz ciggies..

    Oh and i have a question for you: presumably you've ridden moto-cross bikes, probably decently modern ones..But whatever, even 30 year old ones are quite good..
    IF you have ridden them--purpose built, tailored bikes for that job..

    Why think about Pee class--ie using a car purpose built for "Good MPG when driving to the store getting groceries"---in a usage it was never intended to be used for?
    John Vanlandingham
    Sleezattle, WA, USA
    www.rallyrace.net/jvab
    www.rallyanarchy.com

    Telephone +1 206 431 9696
    Rememeber the time zone difference

    Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

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    Hey thanks for all the info! What is your phone number so I can call you instead of message! Haha and after reading all you said group 2 seems like the way to go! I raced motocross for a few years up until this last month. I shattered my femur real bad... like 11 pieces bad haha so I figured if that was a good sign to get a cage haha. I still ride I just dont race anymore. Im 22 and ill be 23 in December. The reason I went ford focus is because I love seeing the old wrc videos of guys in focus ripping down stages! I know they had all wheel drive and mine is just 2wd but a guy can imagine its the same haha! I do love subarus but the $ isnt there to race one right now and I have been told 2wd is a great starting point. I also like to represent ford because my great grandpa worked for them so I guess you could say its in the family. I am very passionate about off road and im just trying to make a dream a reality. I wasnt able to make it to the ojibwe forest rally but i am trying to make a local rally cross in October with my car. I am not far from fargo if he wants to sell focus parts. I live 20 minutes from st.paul Minnesota.

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    Also do you have any other car recommendations before I start this focus build. Maybe a newer fiesta what are your opinions? And you asked budget I am not totally sure yet. I was planning on making it a winter project so I can space the parts and stuff out. I was hoping to be somewhere around 8-10 not including I already have the focus. The big problem im running into is getting the car caged. I talked to aomeone and they wanted 3200 for it but when I was living in Arizona I had buddies getting there cars caged for 2000-2500. I dont have a welding background to do my own.

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    Being the owner of two rally Foci, the first of which I built in 2002, I recommend that you think carefully about whether you really want to use that Focus. I happen to be relatively tall, and have a relatively long torso for my height, so I need a car with a lot of headroom, and the Focus definitely fits that bill, and there are only a few other cars that do. However, while it was once well supported with general performance, rally specific, and factory parts, that's no longer the case, and you may run into a lot of frustration trying to find critical bits if you happen to shatter them, which you will at some point. The Focus is kind of the leading edge of when cars really started to be designed to be put together, but not so much to be taken apart. In that regard, an Escort is actually a better choice.

    If you decide you want to stay with the Focus, as JVL pointed out, I'd start with getting a set of 06+ uprights and front control arms. I've written off a car because the pin coming out of the ball joint failed (granted, I ran into a culvert with it, but that's the life of a rally car...), and whatever struts you end up getting will need to be sized for the upper end, so you might as well start with the right pieces. The 05 version, which would be interchangeable with your current struts and the control arms with the bigger pin, is getting a little bit harder to come by. The most important thing that I can suggest is that you will need to add some serious reinforcement to the front strut towers. A 1/8" thick plate across the top that is welded to rail that runs along the side, along with a bar running from the strut tower to the front hoop of the cage are pretty much requirements if you want the car to last over rougher roads. Something like this: .

    Seam welding everything between the front of the front strut towers and the firewall will also help. I wouldn't worry about the rear suspension too much. The only time I've DNF'd because of a rear suspension issue was this: http://www.suosalmirallysport.com/in...Stage5_hit.mov In the beginning of the video, you'll see the double caution sign on the right side. Long story, but I didn't... Don't do that.

    --
    John

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    The Scorpion King John Sundelin's Avatar
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    I can't stress enough that you should start with your budget first. $10k is a reasonable amount for a reliable (but probably not fast) car, so you can aim for an $8k budget, but don't start until you have $10k in the bank, because you'll need that extra $2k for incidentals. Also, you should budget a year for the costs to enter events to see if this is something you really want to do. If it's something you'd like to try, you might want to rent a car for an event and see if you think the fun/$ factor is right.

    --
    John

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    Thank you for the info john that helped alot to! What would be a good budget to set aside for a fast reliable car? And rally is a definite form of racing I want to do. I grew up around all my family dirt track racing but I was the odd ball cause I always loved offroad. And with what you said as far as car choice what else would you recommend? I have had my eye on the ford fiesta but wasnt to sure on that. I got the focus to rally cross with the possibility of stage rally so I can always grab another car in the next few months to build for stage rally. What years of the escort is good by the way? And thank you again fir the information.

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    Also if I did decided to just run more of a stock class just to get started well I acquired oarts for the car for the next class up would 10k get me a competitive if I could drive it?

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    ooops
    Last edited by John Vanlandingham; 09-01-2015 at 09:33 PM.
    John Vanlandingham
    Sleezattle, WA, USA
    www.rallyrace.net/jvab
    www.rallyanarchy.com

    Telephone +1 206 431 9696
    Rememeber the time zone difference

    Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

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