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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This post is intended to give an overview of the Pedders eXtreme XA coilovers for the Focus RS. It's not intended to be an install how-to -- there are a few how-to posts (like this one) and videos that are already more detailed than I could do.





The coilover kit includes fully-threaded-body coilover shock units for the front of the car, with pillow-ball billet aluminum upper mounts with camber adjustment slots.



In the rear you get threaded-body shocks (again with billet upper mounts) and separate threaded adjustable spring perches. Note the damping adjustment knob near the top of the shock.

Installation was drama-free. Here's the fronts being installed:





Rear installation:





One note about the installation on the rear is that although the ride height was setup pretty close to what we wanted right out of the box, the shock height was pretty far off, and we needed to adjust the shock position a good bit to get it centered in the range of the suspension's travel once everything was on the car.

The final detail was the electronics. Since the factory electronically-controlled shocks are no longer on the car, if you try to change modes and the car doesn't detect the presence of the electronics, it'll throw an error and your Drive Mode switch will be disabled. (Well, you can quickly press the shock button so that won't happen, but I just wanted it to be idiot-proof.) To prevent the errors that we installed some resistor packs at each corner of the car.



Whiteline sells a package to accomplish this for something like $400. That seemed like a lot, so I acquired some resistors and other bits based partly on information from a thread from this forum, although I can't find it right now.

The ride height out of the box was about where I wanted it. I did NOT want the car slammed to the ground. I did want it to have a little bit of rake, since I do sometimes have passengers in the back. Note that the rear wheel arch on the Focus is much smaller than the front, so there's the APPEARANCE (from the different wheel arch heights) that the car is uneven, when it's actually level with the ground.

You can get about 3 degrees of negative camber in the front with the slotted upper mounts. Our car is mostly used on the street, so we set it to more like 1.5 degrees. If you wanted more front tire clearance and/or track the car, I'd run them all the way in to 3 degrees up front. Note that like any camber-adjustable top hat on this car, you are NOT going to be able to adjust the camber with the strut on the car, because the hole in the strut tower top is too small to access the full top hat.

(Continued next post.)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Ride impressions

My biggest reason for swapping the stock suspension out was I just hated the stock damping. It's TOO. FIRM. Are you hearing me, Ford engineers? You had the chance to make a cool suspension with different modes, and you blew it by making the modes "Too stiff" and "OMG WAY TOO STIFF." Even on normal shock mode the car is just bouncing all the time. Talking to a friend in the car was a joke because our speech was constantly distorted from the bouncing.

The good news is that the Pedders suspension solved that. We ended up with the dampers at the middle of their adjustment range, and although it's still firm -- spring rates are 7K kg/mm front/rear, which is about 392 lb/in -- it's far less busy, and the suspension feels smooth. You can talk without sounding like you're in the Eye in the Sky traffic chopper.

The lowered ride height reduces the center of gravity, and the already solid feel of the suspension now feels like it is sucked down into corners. It's really confidence-inspiring, and the car feels even faster in corners.

There are always some compromises to be made with coilovers, but in this case I find the setup surprisingly easy to live with. Maybe it's that the stock parts are already so stiff, but I don't hear or feel any significant penalty in noise or harshness from the pillow ball upper mounts. The suspension is quiet and I haven't had any clunking or spring clanging.

I'm not saying I deliberately seek out potholes to drive through -- the 19" wheels alone are reason to still be vigilant about avoiding potholes and other road hazards. But the constant motion I found so annoying on the original suspension setup is gone.

Perhaps the only real drawback is a reduction in compression travel. The car is a good bit lower -- maybe 1", although I haven't taken exact measurements -- and we've obviously reduced the bump travel by that amount, so there are times when you hit a really big bump and the suspension bottoms out. That's pretty rare, so for the most part it's like driving a stock car, but lower and smoother. (Note that the ride height shown here is about as high as you could get the car, although it could go another inch or more lower if you wanted.)

Here are some photos of the car after coilover installation:







With some different wheels...





Overall, I'm really happy with the Pedders setup. I worried the coilovers would not be suitable for daily use, but I find them perfectly usable, and the overly-bumpy bobblehead stock ride is gone. They have been quiet and trouble-free. Thumbs up.

--Dan
Mach V
 

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Thanks for this review, Dan! These are on my short list since my car sees mixed use of track and daily driving, so while I could really use more camber, I don't need something track-dedicated.

I can't quite tell in the damper pictures; are the adjustment knobs on the very top of the shaft? Or, maybe a better question is how much of a pain in the ass is it to adjust damper settings if I wanted to stiffen the dampers for track use, then dial them back down on the way home? I'll be installing a new strut tower bar that has cutouts for damper adjustment, but I didn't see the knob on top of the front damper, and you mentioned the rear damper was "near the top" of that shock.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't quite tell in the damper pictures; are the adjustment knobs on the very top of the shaft? Or, maybe a better question is how much of a pain in the ass is it to adjust damper settings if I wanted to stiffen the dampers for track use, then dial them back down on the way home? I'll be installing a new strut tower bar that has cutouts for damper adjustment, but I didn't see the knob on top of the front damper, and you mentioned the rear damper was "near the top" of that shock.
[/QUOTE]
The front adjusts using a little hex key knob. You'd trim a small hole in the cowl to reach it.



The rear knob is reachable from under the car, in the wheel well. I can't reach it with the car on the ground, but on ramps or a lift it's easily accessible. The view below is from outside the car, looking between the top of the tire into the wheel well.




so... @Mach V Dan could you engineer a solution for us at less than the $400 price tag?
I bet there would be lots of people interested in this plug and play resistor kit.
It's certainly not going to be plug-and-play. The shock connectors are unusual and I don't know where I'd find them. Even the $400 kit is only 50% plug-and-play. We cut and crimped and attached the resistors using butt connectors.

--Dan
Mach V
 

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@Mach V Dan, did you end up cutting a hole in the OEM tower brace? I mentioned that to Will when I was there.

I'd like to meet up and compare KW to Pedders. I think it would be a great way to help folks decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Mach V Dan, did you end up cutting a hole in the OEM tower brace?
No, we just left the cowl disassembled until all the adjustment was done, then put it all back together.

I'd like to meet up and compare KW to Pedders. I think it would be a great way to help folks decide.
Sure. The car and I are here at the shop most business days. Just give me a call before you come by.

--Dan
Mach V
 

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Ride impressionsBut the constant motion I found so annoying on the original suspension setup is gone.
thanks for the review and also for what you say I noticed while wearing a rain jacket that I heard the fabric of my right arm rub against my body it was doing "scrtch-scrtch" and did for 30 miles on a less than 1 year old highway...really ?
holding the steering hand with only one hand is also telling..just watch it you will be constantly adjusting where you're going now I'm not asking for slack in the steering but this is ridiculous
normal is track mode, track mode is idiotic I would never use it even on a track
 

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@Mach V Dan You mentioned, "One note about the installation on the rear is that although the ride height was setup pretty close to what we wanted right out of the box, the shock height was pretty far off, and we needed to adjust the shock position a good bit to get it centered in the range of the suspension's travel once everything was on the car."

How did you adjust/detemine the rear shock height to get it center?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How did you adjust/detemine the rear shock height to get it center?
It's got a threaded adjustment at the bottom mount. We adjusted the length so the shock travel was in the middle of the range at normal ride height. That gives it enough freedom to move in both compression and droop directions.

--Dan
Mach V
 

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It's got a threaded adjustment at the bottom mount. We adjusted the length so the shock travel was in the middle of the range at normal ride height. That gives it enough freedom to move in both compression and droop directions.

--Dan
Mach V
How did you accomplish that? I'll be installing a similar set tomorrow. Is max length of the shock set to wherever the rear arm sits after installed the springs to the desired height?
 

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@Mach V Dan , did you end up cutting a hole in the OEM tower brace? I mentioned that to Will when I was there.

I'd like to meet up and compare KW to Pedders. I think it would be a great way to help folks decide.
Maybe we can get a meet up. I have the ST XDA coil overs installed. I also have the TB Performance brace installed. It make it very easy to adjust the camber and the shocks.
I will be in your area on Wednesday afternoon.
 
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This post is intended to give an overview of the Pedders eXtreme XA coilovers for the Focus RS. It's not intended to be an install how-to -- there are a few how-to posts (like this one) and videos that are already more detailed than I could do.





The coilover kit includes fully-threaded-body coilover shock units for the front of the car, with pillow-ball billet aluminum upper mounts with camber adjustment slots.



In the rear you get threaded-body shocks (again with billet upper mounts) and separate threaded adjustable spring perches. Note the damping adjustment knob near the top of the shock.

Installation was drama-free. Here's the fronts being installed:





Rear installation:





One note about the installation on the rear is that although the ride height was setup pretty close to what we wanted right out of the box, the shock height was pretty far off, and we needed to adjust the shock position a good bit to get it centered in the range of the suspension's travel once everything was on the car.

The final detail was the electronics. Since the factory electronically-controlled shocks are no longer on the car, if you try to change modes and the car doesn't detect the presence of the electronics, it'll throw an error and your Drive Mode switch will be disabled. (Well, you can quickly press the shock button so that won't happen, but I just wanted it to be idiot-proof.) To prevent the errors that we installed some resistor packs at each corner of the car.



Whiteline sells a package to accomplish this for something like $400. That seemed like a lot, so I acquired some resistors and other bits based partly on information from a thread from this forum, although I can't find it right now.

The ride height out of the box was about where I wanted it. I did NOT want the car slammed to the ground. I did want it to have a little bit of rake, since I do sometimes have passengers in the back. Note that the rear wheel arch on the Focus is much smaller than the front, so there's the APPEARANCE (from the different wheel arch heights) that the car is uneven, when it's actually level with the ground.

You can get about 3 degrees of negative camber in the front with the slotted upper mounts. Our car is mostly used on the street, so we set it to more like 1.5 degrees. If you wanted more front tire clearance and/or track the car, I'd run them all the way in to 3 degrees up front. Note that like any camber-adjustable top hat on this car, you are NOT going to be able to adjust the camber with the strut on the car, because the hole in the strut tower top is too small to access the full top hat.

(Continued next post.)
I might be missing something here but in the last shot of the rear suspension, is this how the rear spring and perch looks when you finalise the adjustment on the shock with the weight off the suspension? Just looking at the relationship between the spring and its perch....doesnt look good.

Ciao
 

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I might be missing something here but in the last shot of the rear suspension, is this how the rear spring and perch looks when you finalise the adjustment on the shock with the weight off the suspension? Just looking at the relationship between the spring and its perch....doesnt look good.

Ciao
I had the same issue installing FA's, even though the perch mounts at the bottom. It looks like he still has the stock strut in though, which is much longer than the new strut. Once he mounts/adjusts the 'coilover', it will pull up the arm and remove the slack from the spring.
 

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I had the same issue installing FA's, even though the perch mounts at the bottom. It looks like he still has the stock strut in though, which is much longer than the new strut. Once he mounts/adjusts the 'coilover', it will pull up the arm and remove the slack from the spring.
Yes I believe yoú're right. Didnt notice the stock shock in there. Thanks.

Ciao
 

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Soft and bottoms out easily.... sounds like Scott Pedder. next part is........
Pedders No Bull..............just $#*!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Once he mounts/adjusts the 'coilover', it will pull up the arm and remove the slack from the spring.
Correct.

Soft and bottoms out easily.... sounds like Scott Pedder. next part is........
Pedders No Bull..............just $#*!
I'm not sure if I should even reply to this, but I have not had any problems with bottoming out.

--Dan
Mach V
 

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Correct.


I'm not sure if I should even reply to this, but I have not had any problems with bottoming out.

--Dan
Mach V
Probable best not to, was referring to Scott Pedder the son of the founder of Pedders, if you knew the story behind them you wouldn't use their products, also they source based of price not quality.
 
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