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Hello all,

Back after a few years and now with a different car. Apologies if this post is in the wrong place. 

I recently bought a 2011 Ford Focus (Mk3) Zetec 1.6 125. At the time of purchasing, I thought that the whole car looked to be sitting a bit low, but put it down to the illusion created by the 17 inch wheels and my lack of knowledge of how the mk3 Focus is meant to look. It seems, however, that every other Focus I see, including Zetecs with the 17 inch wheels, seems to be more highly sprung at the rear and some are significantly higher. In fact, I’d say mine sits the same as a Zetec S with the different suspension setup.

I’ve not noticed any particularly strange handling characteristics or any noises, but would say that the car can feel a bit harsh on bumpy roads. It also seems to pass the bounce test. 

Anyway, I took the car to my local garage today, who had a quick look, but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary (including after market springs). Could it just be that the springs have started to sag a little bit at the back? Are the variations between the cars out of the factory?

Does anyone else’s Zetec with the 17 inch wheels sit this way? I’ve attached a photo of mine below. 

Thanks in advance,

JJ

62E3AC40-DD2C-431B-98D3-A29764A6D3F4.thumb.jpeg.66470cd88d8b70ede35890655a1f7ce7.jpeg

 

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Doesn't look too low, may be a little low than mine. . you should be able to get 3 fingers between tyre and body I've just found.

IMG_20180907_074806.jpg

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Thanks for getting back to me. You have one of the many Focuses I’ve seen that seems to sit “normally” from the way it looks  

Have just done the finger test and I can obviously get 3 fingers around the sides, but as I get towards the top of the arch it’s more like 2 - 2.5. Would suggest my car is sitting perhaps half an inch lower than normal. The mystery continues!

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As you're parked in the filling station, do you have a tank full of fuel?  Do you have a full size spare wheel or a boot full of tools etc?

I must admit, it does look more like Zetec S height than Zetec height.  The rear springs are known to snap on the Mk3s so yours might have been replaced with aftermarket 'standard' parts, so they won't look any different to normal, but might be slightly lower or slightly saggier (not sure that's a word! :laugh: ).

Also, what profile tyres are you on?  Someone may have put the wrong ones on? 

Here's my Titanium, should be same height as Zetec, on 16s but same tyre radius.

IMG_20180706_113917467.thumb.jpg.97025ca7eb94d93dabb2a7b2cf2cda0a.jpg

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4 hours ago, iantt said:

Doesn't look too low, may be a little low than mine. . you should be able to get 3 fingers between tyre and body I've just found.

IMG_20180907_074806.jpg

How long has your car been blue?  I could've sworn it was Race Red!? :unsure: 

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Hi TomsFocus,

Thanks for the suggestions and the photo of yours for comparison. 

Think the tyre profile is correct on checking and it was only partially filled up on that occasion. I have a space saver spare in the back, which is actually pretty heavy but you’d think that would have been factored into the design. I’ll try removing it in the morning to see if it makes a difference visually. 

Carried an adult in the back today along with my 1 year old and the car was sitting noticeably lower than even the photo! I have to carry two adults and the 1 year old in the back and a boot full of luggage at the end of this month so hope that doesn’t cause any issues!

Think you could be onto something about the rear springs being substandard after-market. Either that or the original springs are on the way out. 

Is there anything besides just the springs that I should be considering / worrying about? Can’t see anything sinister and the car certainly isn’t handling weirdly. 

 

Cheers,

JJ

 

PS - have added a photo I took underneath the car recently. I’m now wondering whether the springs do look less corroded than everything else so might be newer. 

146AD359-6B8B-4E8E-A661-D170395A73AC.jpeg

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Yeah the spacesaver is fine, the full size alloys are quite a bit heavier so push the rear end down more when people opt for those.  

I agree, that spring does look a bit too good to be original so I reckon it's either a cheap aftermarket one or the Eibach Pro Kit (25mm drop iirc) as they are black as well.  People only tend to notice rear springs snapped when they fail MOT so might be worth checking the MOT history online to see if it ever failed for that.

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Hi TomsFocus,

Think you’re probably right on the money with it being one of those two things. I’m leaning towards cheap after market as the rear springs don’t seem to have any real stiffness (car drops loads more with rear passengers).

Have checked the MOT history and there is nothing relating to any of the suspension components  

Guess I’ll be addressing this issue next year then!

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i carried 4 adults and a 15 yr old with 5 suitcases with up to 23kg in each suitcase without the suspension giving way( forgot we had a larger car the last time we went to the airport) . must admit there was no travel left on the rear .lol luckily most of our journey was motorway to airport. had to take a photo previously so i knew how to load them up when full on the day.

so your suspension will take your 2 adults , 1child and luggage ok even with the lower suspension.

2016-08-10 20.50.52.jpg

2016-08-10 20.53.51.jpg

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Hi Iantt,

Thanks for the response and the reassurance! Hopefully should be fine in that case. I’ll just take it a bit easy. 

Had the car on a ramp this week (rear tyre replacement). Didn’t really give me anymore clues as to the exact reason for the low ride height. What it did do is show me that the subframe isn’t *quite* as rusty as I thought it was (see photo - ground below was painted red).

Asked my local garage for a quote on replacing the rear springs (assuming that’s the issue) and was told it would be about £400, so it won’t be a cheap fix. Think I’ll just have to live with the puzzling ride height for the foreseeable future. 

Thanks all,

JJ

4FD48D42-4CE6-44AB-A652-2BACC1658176.jpeg

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Hello,

Just an update. Got the rear springs replaced for a very reasonable price. Garage thinks the previou owner spent a lot of time with the boot full which finally compressed the springs as there was no obvious damage to them.

The rear now sits properly and doesn’t sink to the floor when I have passengers or when I’m driving in general. It’s also sorted the racing car style negative camber as well.

Cheers,

JJ 

 

 

B1BE81E7-04C5-4CBF-9923-18CB024B1A94.jpeg

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