Rear Sway Bar Upgrade: The Single Best Suspension Mod for your Focus RS
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Rear Sway Bar Upgrade: The Single Best Suspension Mod for your Focus RS

This is a discussion on Rear Sway Bar Upgrade: The Single Best Suspension Mod for your Focus RS within the Focus RS Suspension forums, part of the Focus RS Garage category; Hi everyone, My name is Sharif, and I manage Forged Performance in the Atlanta area. I handle all of the tuning duties here at the ...

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Thread: Rear Sway Bar Upgrade: The Single Best Suspension Mod for your Focus RS

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    Supporting Vendor Sharif@Forged's Avatar

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    Rear Sway Bar Upgrade: The Single Best Suspension Mod for your Focus RS

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Sharif, and I manage Forged Performance in the Atlanta area. I handle all of the tuning duties here at the company, new product development, and suspension setups. I also daily drive our Focus RS, putting over 8000 miles on the car in just 4 months. We've been working quietly behind the scenes on testing a few different parts on our Focus RS. Our philosophy has always been about focusing on reliable, balanced setups and we won't recommend parts that we haven't personally tested, installed, and pushed hard. We have a long history of competitive motorsports, with over a dozen podium finishes and various track records in Time Attack with our GT-R. I am also a professional driving coach and teaching others is one my passions. Most of my weekends are spent driving on track, or on some of the best roads in the country. Having been in the business for 10 years now, we are well aware there are plenty of aftermarket parts on the market that are actually worse than the OEM parts they are replacing. Thus, we take our time testing before making any recommendations.

    In bone stock form, the Focus RS is the best handling sub $50K vehicle I've ever driven. From a handling standpoint, nobody else comes close. WRX, STi, Golf R....the RS blows them away. It's a car that has no glaring faults and is a tremendous amount of fun to drive. Gone are the days of having to dump thousands and thousands into a platform on day one. We waited until day two.

    The Focus RS has a perplexing and somewhat frustrating suspension setup from the factory. On one hand, the shock dampening is too firm, while the spring rate is too soft; particularly in the rear. When pushed near the limits, this creates a disconnect between the front of the car and back. The front turns in immediately, followed by a slight delay before the rear end catches up. On hard corner exit, this causes some front end push while the rear end lags behind the front. The car just feels a little lazy as a result. It's a good suspension, but could be much better.

    Enter the Steeda Rear Sway bar which we installed 4 weeks ago and I've been testing it extensively. Installation takes under an hour and can easily be done with simple hand tools. With just the rear bar, the car's handling manners are completely transformed. With a 70% increase in bar stiffness the rear end now behaves as it should. The front and rear track together perfectly. We now have a crisp corner entry, improved confidence in the rear end, and just a hint of full power rear rotation but only with the most aggressive and early throttle inputs prior to corner apex. It's my belief, that OEM's will often run a very soft rear sway bar in order to dumb the car down...forcing it to understeer which is something that is nice for the masses but hurts the handling balance.

    There are no draw backs at all. No noise or harshness, easy install, and very inexpensive.

    Happy to answer any questions that you have. For Atlanta area customers, or anyone that wants to make the drive to Forged Performance, we will also install the bar at no charge. Happy Driving, and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    Sharif Abdelbaset | GM | Calibrator | Driving Instructor
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    RS Master Hank's Avatar
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    Thanks for the rear sway bar post, Sharif. Looks like a MUCH easier install than the front.

    I do have one question. Since you have over 8000 miles on your RS can you check to see if the PTU is leaking? I'm interested to see.

    If your PTU is leaking can you post in this thread please?
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    Supporting Vendor Sharif@Forged's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    Thanks for the rear sway bar post, Sharif. Looks like a MUCH easier install than the front.

    I do have one question. Since you have over 8000 miles on your RS can you check to see if the PTU is leaking? I'm interested to see.

    If your PTU is leaking can you post in this thread please?
    Negative on the PTU...for now at least.
    Hank likes this.

    Sharif Abdelbaset | GM | Calibrator | Driving Instructor
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    You feel as though an upgraded sway bar is better than upgrading the soft rear springs? I've only ever bought full suspension kits so I have no experience in more precise suspension tuning like this.
    "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharif@Forged View Post
    Hi everyone,

    My name is Sharif, and I manage Forged Performance in the Atlanta area. I handle all of the tuning duties here at the company, new product development, and suspension setups. I also daily drive our Focus RS, putting over 8000 miles on the car in just 4 months. We've been working quietly behind the scenes on testing a few different parts on our Focus RS. Our philosophy has always been about focusing on reliable, balanced setups and we won't recommend parts that we haven't personally tested, installed, and pushed hard. We have a long history of competitive motorsports, with over a dozen podium finishes and various track records in Time Attack with our GT-R. I am also a professional driving coach and teaching others is one my passions. Most of my weekends are spent driving on track, or on some of the best roads in the country. Having been in the business for 10 years now, we are well aware there are plenty of aftermarket parts on the market that are actually worse than the OEM parts they are replacing. Thus, we take our time testing before making any recommendations.

    In bone stock form, the Focus RS is the best handling sub $50K vehicle I've ever driven. From a handling standpoint, nobody else comes close. WRX, STi, Golf R....the RS blows them away. It's a car that has no glaring faults and is a tremendous amount of fun to drive. Gone are the days of having to dump thousands and thousands into a platform on day one. We waited until day two.

    The Focus RS has a perplexing and somewhat frustrating suspension setup from the factory. On one hand, the shock dampening is too firm, while the spring rate is too soft; particularly in the rear. When pushed near the limits, this creates a disconnect between the front of the car and back. The front turns in immediately, followed by a slight delay before the rear end catches up. On hard corner exit, this causes some front end push while the rear end lags behind the front. The car just feels a little lazy as a result. It's a good suspension, but could be much better.

    Enter the Steeda Rear Sway bar which we installed 4 weeks ago and I've been testing it extensively. Installation takes under an hour and can easily be done with simple hand tools. With just the rear bar, the car's handling manners are completely transformed. With a 70% increase in bar stiffness the rear end now behaves as it should. The front and rear track together perfectly. We now have a crisp corner entry, improved confidence in the rear end, and just a hint of full power rear rotation but only with the most aggressive and early throttle inputs prior to corner apex. It's my belief, that OEM's will often run a very soft rear sway bar in order to dumb the car down...forcing it to understeer which is something that is nice for the masses but hurts the handling balance.

    There are no draw backs at all. No noise or harshness, easy install, and very inexpensive.

    Happy to answer any questions that you have. For Atlanta area customers, or anyone that wants to make the drive to Forged Performance, we will also install the bar at no charge. Happy Driving, and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    This is very useful...I was wondering what I should do to remove that "push"...looks like a simple effective upgrade.

    Question for you on the suspension....with OE over damping yet springs that are too soft would it it help to stiffen (increase spring rate) on either end of the car to match rates with OE damping? I like the 2 stage damping for aggressive street driving but feel that they are just poorly matched. Since increasing the swaybar stiffness also increases the effective wheel rate does the swaybar help offset the over damping?
    Last edited by lflouie; 12-22-2016 at 08:53 AM.
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    Supporting Vendor Bobby@Forged's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by randman2011 View Post
    You feel as though an upgraded sway bar is better than upgrading the soft rear springs? I've only ever bought full suspension kits so I have no experience in more precise suspension tuning like this.
    We have a set of H&R springs on order, going in early January, so we'll have a better idea come 2017. But yes, this certainly helps to stiffen up the rear end for more balanced handling and less understeer.
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    Are you going to also try the Steeda front bar? If not, why?
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    Looks great Sharif, looking forward to doing this mod soon.
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    funny I was just looking at the steeda sway bar upgrades and wondering why there hasn't been any talk about these. I'm still holding off on more power so this may be worth looking into. Do you think it's worth it for more of a daily driver?
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    ****... front + rear for $340 shipped right now? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
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