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Ford revised dampers improve handling and ride.

This is a discussion on Ford revised dampers improve handling and ride. within the Focus RS Suspension forums, part of the Focus RS Garage category; Ford upgraded/revised the dampers for the RS and released new pns: Original Front Struts: G1FZ-18124-A (Right) G1FZ-18124-B (Left) Rev 1: after 4-28-17 G1FZ-18124-C (Right) G1FZ-18124-D ...

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Thread: Ford revised dampers improve handling and ride.

  1. #1
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    Ford revised dampers improve handling and ride.

    Ford upgraded/revised the dampers for the RS and released new pns:

    Original Front Struts:
    G1FZ-18124-A (Right)
    G1FZ-18124-B (Left)

    Rev 1: after 4-28-17
    G1FZ-18124-C (Right)
    G1FZ-18124-D (Left)

    Rev 2: after 11-08-17 <----------- $218 ea
    G1FZ-18124-E (Right)
    G1FZ-18124-F (Left)


    Original rear shocks: (same L/R)
    G1FZ 18125-A

    Rev 1: after 4-28-17 <------------ $210 ea
    G1FZ-18125-B


    Quick overview:

    Ford released revised front and rear dampers for the RS as running changes in 2017. The fronts actually had 2 revisions (1 after 4-28-17, and another after 11-08-17), but bc they were released so late in 2017 I suspect very few 2017's actually had both rev-1 front and rear suspension changes. It looks like only the late 2018 builds (after 11-08-18) had the rev 2 front suspension.

    Replaced my rear original shocks (2016 RS - 10k miles, MPSS) with the rev 1 rear shocks to see if I could improve the ride, and found that not only did they make a significant improvement in ride but the cornering grip is better too in the normal suspension setting. For the "sport" suspension setting, they were very similar or marginally better.

    If you have a 2016-2017 RS I'd highly recommend spending the $200/per side and swap out the rear shocks....it wiill make a significant improvement in compliance, especially in a DD, and will actually improve cornering grip. The tradeoff is that there is slightly more rear body roll under very hard cornering...but I believe that it actually aids grip and settles the car.......especially if there any bumps. Hwy, Interstate, urban and virtually any road surface feels better...smoother and less harsh. They are a bolt in product and take about 1.5 hours to install. All you need are the shocks, the replacement lower shock bolts (1 ea side) and upper nuts (2 ea side), torque wrench, and a couple of jacks.

    *****see update below*****

    Full review:

    I have been working to optimize my 2016 RS stock suspension for improved ride and "tweak " the handling to my particular likes ever since I bought it. The car is on MPSS tires and has about 10k mi. It is a weekend car and used primarily for aggressive street driving in the mountains and backroads in Tennessee, with occasional general driving. I wanted to retain the stock dual mode suspension concept and didn't want to go to coil-overs, but willing to make minor aftmkt suspension and handling upgrades.

    Like almost everyone, I quickly determined that the RS was over damped in both Normal and Sport suspension settings, which resulted in pogoing, bouncing and an unnecessarily stiff/uncomfortable ride. It felt wonderful when cornering at speed on relatively smooth roads...flat cornering, great turn-in feel and responsiveness, nice rear rotation with the rear dif vectoring....just too stiff for almost anything short of 8/10ths.

    My suspension upgrades currently include: Mountune black springs, WL rear swaybar (set on stiff), and front WL adjustable endlinks. I tested the original DSC controller and felt it compromised handling (push) for a modest improvement in ride, and at $1200 it wasn't a good value. I also tested 2 other sets of rear swaybars (Neuspeed, Steeda) before settling on the WL 22mm rear bar. Otherwise the car was on original struts/shocks and front swaybar. With this setup, the car drove well and I had virtually eliminated the pogoing and most of the bouncing in "normal" and only used "sport" suspension setting on high speed corners and very fast straight road sections.... 90% of my driving was in "normal". After this work the front of the car felt slightly smoother than the rear. The rear had noticeably stiffer damping on high frequency bumps and road surfaces in Normal setting ...but front and rear damping was equally harsh in "Sport" setting. I also felt that I'd like just a little stiffer front sway bar (WL 26mm) to further aid turn-in roll, but didn't want to go through the hassle to put one in (dropping sub-frame)....so I hadn't tried.

    After reading about owners of the 2018 LE, and their comments about the ride being much better than they thought and then a few owners that had owned 2016/2017 RS models and traded for 2018 saying that indeed they rode better, I decided to do some research. What I found was that the suspension had been revised and new revisions were now available. It also appeared that few, if any, 2017 had either of the rev 1 struts/shocks and even some of the 2018 production didn't get the latest revisions (after 11-08-18). @markboris and I had been discussing this and speculating that the only thing Ford would have been doing was either fixing a quality issue or changing the design/damping. We both decided to try a set of the rears since the circumstancial evidence suggested that damping had been improved....at least in the "normal" setting.

    Mark got his done first and was elated with the improved ride quality in "normal" but felt "sport" setting was basically unchanged. I just recently installed my rear shocks and was not only pleased but captivated by the enhanced ride and even more surprising, the improved cornering in "normal" setting. Like Mark, I felt that the "sport" setting was very similar to stock but I felt it might be a smidgeon softer/better....but a minor if any change. Once I felt the improved ride "normal" setting on virtually all road conditions I was hoping that I hadn't traded off handling for a less firm ride....boy was I surprised. Attacking a corner at moderate speeds the car slightly settled into the curve and felt "more European like" with the body slightly rolling then setting. I upped the speed (8/10ths) and aggressively challenged some corners...as before, a little more rear body roll and slightly less urgent turn-in feel but the tires just gripped and there wasn't any fidgeting or nervousness ....just smooth and tenacious grip. Wow!

    As I put some additional miles on during the test drive I would take corners faster and faster and nary a slip, push nor squeak from the tires....just improved ride and cornering grip....all in "normal" setting! Slight improvement in Sport...but still very firm and bouncy on anything but smooth surface.

    The more I drove it I could feel the improved compliance in the rear, the way it handled irregular surfaces, sharp bumps and oscillations was all much better in "normal". IT IS STILL A SHORT WHEEL BASE SPORT HATCH WITH A FIRM RIDE, BUT NOW IT IS DD COMPATIBLE and you don't have to trade off handling!

    One other thing I noted, where as before I switched the rear shocks, the front seemed less "harsh" than the rear and particularly over higher frequency road surface irregularities, but now the rear feels less harsh....maybe those rev 2 front struts would balance out the front and rear?

    Since I already have Mountune springs and I only use my car for aggressive weekend backroad drives I'm not planning on doing the front struts....but for anyone that uses their car as a DD, I'd strongly suggest doing both the front and rear dampers latest revisions to upgrade the ride on your RS. Total cost, DIY, is around $900 with shipping. You could do it using stock springs or add the Mountune springs...both will work.

    The one additional change I'd suggest for someone doing this upgrade are swaybars. With the improved (less aggressive) damping in the "normal" setting you will add some body roll. I'm on the WL rear bar and it is well suited....but now the chassis could stand a slightly stiffer rear bar setup. Something in the +60-90% stiffness range (~ 3mm over stock dia) would be appropriate. If you are going to change the front struts, then I'd suggest a WL adj front sway bar with the 3 positions to dial in the ideal stiffness.

    If I was starting from scratch I'd do the following setup to improve both handling and ride:

    a) Front struts - Rev 2 + either stock springs or Mountune springs ($460 + springs $260 = $720)
    b) Rear struts - Rev 1 + either stock or Mountune springs ($440)

    optional
    c) Rear sway bar - WL 22mm 2 position or Super Pro 22mm 3 position which are approx +45% stiffness....or I think Neuspeed has a rear bar that is around 70-90% stiffer. ($200- 250)

    option #2
    d) Front sway bar - WL 26mm 3 position ($250)



    ****************UPDATE: Modified recommendation************ 9-2-18

    I had some time to take the car on a 150 mi drive to evaluate the rear suspension shock upgrade on a wider set of roads and conditions and under varying driving speeds. Here is what I found:

    1) The rear is more compliant, and has less NVH it virtually all conditions in the "normal" suspension setting, "sport seems nearly the same as before swap. The rear takes large impacts much better and handles road surface changes better. I like the feel. The handling is good with very good grip but a little less aggressive turn-in feel with what seems to be softer rear damping in "normal".

    2) As I mentioned in the initial observations, the rear now feels more compliant, and the front now seems relatively stiff by comparison. When I started the drive temps were around 60 degrees and of course the car and suspension was cold. It was in this situation that I noticed that the front was having more "bounce" as I went over surface bumps...sort of like the original feel of the car before I added my springs and swaybars. As I drove the car over different roads I felt the front having a more pronounced vertical movement to a given bump than the rear. As I pushed the car harder and drove aggressively for a number of miles on twisty demanding backroads, the "bounciness" tapered off and was almost gone. I suspect that the combination of speed and warmth from the struts being up to normal operating temps reduce the effects.


    This suggests that the compression damping in the front struts, which I felt was stiff after the swap of the rears, is affecting the return of "bounce" in certain conditions. It makes sense since when rear damping is softened wo/changing the front, the car can have a tendency for the front to have more exaggerated vertical reaction to an impact, and "rock" or transfer weight to the rear because the rear compression damping is now softer (relative to the front) it doesn't resist the front to rear weight transfer (pitch) as well.......allowing for the front to have more vertical motion. It is common with 2 way adjustable coil-overs to simply dial in additional rear compression (but we just reduced it to improve ride) ...or soften the front compression to address frt/rr pitching. This leads me to think that the front and rear dampers should be replaced as a set of 4 (Rev 2 fronts, Rev 1 rears) in-order to balance the damping. Caution; I have not tried the Rev 2 front struts so I don't have any hands-on experience as to how they affect the car....but I'd suspect they are also more softly damped and could address the cause of the bounce.

    Based on these observations. I'm modifying my original suggestion for switching to just the rev 1 rear shocks and recommend the entire front/rear sets be replaced to optimize ride. While just doing the rear does improve the rear suspension, it also appears to re-introduce bounce...at least on my setup.
    Last edited by lflouie; 10-18-2018 at 06:47 PM.

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    Supporting Member cornerexit's Avatar
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    One of the best posts on here with REAL driver/user data. Thank you.
    @markboris continues to be a wealth of information on the forum and one of our best members. Thanks again to you both.

    And just to be crystal....the rears whether left or right, same part number so you’d just order two of the same part numbers?
    And do you think Mountune yellow springs or blacks would be preferable?
    Last edited by cornerexit; 08-30-2018 at 03:29 PM.
    lflouie likes this.
    Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cornerexit View Post
    One of the best posts on here with REAL driver/user data. Thank you.
    @markboris continues to be a wealth of information on the forum and one of our best members. Thanks again to you both.

    And just to be crystal....the rears whether left or right, same part number so you’d just order two of the same part numbers?
    And do you think Mountune yellow springs or blacks would be preferable?
    I believe yellows and blacks are the same spring rates, just different lengths. If I went with yellows I'd go with both sway bars.

    Yes, rears are the same left/right.
    Last edited by lflouie; 08-30-2018 at 06:13 PM.

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    If only we could get a set of these to DSC to add to their shock dyno and give us quantifiable data on the comp/rebound changes. I would love to get rid of the harshness, but it's REALLY hard to notice the differences after the suspension has changed without back to back to back to back testing. I went to coils and didn't think it softened the ride much until I put the stock suspension back on and only then truly realized how much effect they actually had.

    To clarify, I'm not doubting you noticed changes, it would just be nice to see the actual data to determine if it's worth the putting the money down on the new OEM struts or saving for a better solution.
    2017 NB RS1
    Engine: Radium CC's & Plate, Boomba BPV, Mountune SSC & Filter, SteamSpeed IC & Piping
    Suspension: Mountune springs, Massive Rear Camber/Toe Arms, Whiteline Rear SB & EL, Powerflex Front LCA Bushings, FA 500's (Raised 40mm by FA)
    Brakes: Rotora 2pc Rotors (15lbs), Mountune Street Pads, RBF 600
    Shoes: Volk CE28n 18x9 +38 (16lbs), 4S 265x35r18's
    Body: Xpel front Wrap, Satin black Roof / Mirrors, Boomba SS Lever, SS Arm, solid bushings
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biznatch View Post
    If only we could get a set of these to DSC to add to their shock dyno and give us quantifiable data on the comp/rebound changes. I would love to get rid of the harshness, but it's REALLY hard to notice the differences after the suspension has changed without back to back to back to back testing. I went to coils and didn't think it softened the ride much until I put the stock suspension back on and only then truly realized how much effect they actually had.

    To clarify, I'm not doubting you noticed changes, it would just be nice to see the actual data to determine if it's worth the putting the money down on the new OEM struts or saving for a better solution.
    Absolutely agree, having shock graphs would be ideal.

    I believe that for someone that is not tracking their car and wants to improve suspension compliance for DD while retaining the aggressive sport suspension setting and their warranty this is a very noticeable improvement. The rears improve the car, but since I haven't tried the rev-2 front struts I can only speculate they well also help.

    If someone is a "serious" and competitive driver that wants/needs adjustability and frequently needs to "dial-in" their suspension for various conditions, this is not the right answer. But if you want both improved/usable suspension characteristics in "normal" suspension setting, this is an inexpensive factory solution, IMO.

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    Interesting results. I thought about trying this after the rumors of a better ride, but at $1000 I had thought it was better to just put that money aside for when I can afford to splurge on the active KW setups. If those weren't in the long term plan for the car, I'd definitely consider the upgraded struts.

    Truthfully the bouncy ride didn't bother me at all until I recently test drove some other vehicles and now every bump feels like I'm being ejected out of my seat.

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    Threads like this one helped me in picking up the exact RS I was looking for. I ended up with a late build RS because of the revised suspension, only Rev 1 all around though. Thank you for the research and information, when he time comes the fronts will be replaced with Rev 2.

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    Lots of great research and info here but it leaves me in 2 minds.
    I fail to see how changing rear shocks can result in more body roll, it cant. Shocks can effect the rate of roll but not the amount, thats what springs and sway bars do.
    The other thing is I'm always a little sceptical of anything less than a double blind test especially whan youre spending your own money.
    Sorry if this seems a little harsh, I do think you've contributed a lot and thank you for the time and effort put in.
    Not really sure what the answer here is unless a third party does a back to back test without being told what has been changed and gives feedback.

    Ciao
    Last edited by lucky phil; 08-31-2018 at 04:07 AM.
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    Ideally blind testing is the best, or independent/non-owner testing.

    You are correct that dampers only control "rate or speed" of weight transfer (roll/pitch) not the actual total distance ..however, the effect on handling and body control is very significant. A soft damper will be slower to transfer weight but allows more distance of suspension travel for a given load than a stiff damper, thus corner entry and corner exit handling (when weight transfer is occuring) will be affected. In addition, mid corner bumps can transfer more energy into the car, and can decrease tire contact and tire loading. The softened damping allows the car to roll more per "G" load over a specific time...so slightly more roll distance for identical cornering situations....and the weights transferred slower....this makes the car's turn-in feel/responsiveness to be less urgent and slower. Conversely, on corner exit it actually improves grip and reduces oversteer. When running 2 or 3 way adustable coilovers, damping is used for body roll control, front to rear weight transfer rates as well as corner entry, and corner exit grip.

    Sway bars are basically temporary/cornering springs and also affect weight transfer and body roll. That is why they need to be balanced with the damping valving....they are co-dependant. General rule of thumb: springs support the car, dampers control unsprung weight and body motion, and sway bars are used to balance the system adding or decreasing spring/damping effects during cornering.

    As an example, if a car is pushing at power on corner exit there are a few corrective actions that can be done with the suspension; 1) to improve "push" reduce the front rebound damping to allow the front wheel to extend faster for better grip and/or 2) reduce the front swaybar stiffness..or increase the rear swaybar stiffness. If the car is oversteering at power on corner exit; 1) soften the rear compression damping and/or 2) soften the rear swaybar or stiffen the front swaybar.

    Both the damping and swaybars play a significant roll in controlling body motion and work as a system....changing one alters the balance.
    Last edited by lflouie; 08-31-2018 at 07:56 AM.

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    Thanks for including the part #'s. Any recommendation on where to source these?

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