Taming the ride quality on the ST...

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chassis Upgrades' started by Joe Schmoe, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Joe Schmoe

    Joe Schmoe Member

    As my wife's daily driver, the ride quality is the only sore spot (pun) in our experience with the car. Sure, it's an ST, but the whole point of modding is to make the car what YOU want it to be.

    I've seen mention that the FRPP suspension, which is an awesome value for what you get, has a similar ride height and better ride quality. True? Any other combinations of the FRPP struts/shocks and maybe Eibach springs any better without raising the car too much?

    Not looking to go to 16s just yet. Maybe later.
     
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  3. Cesso

    Cesso Member

    Getting a set of adjustable dampers like Konis and dialing them in full soft would do wonders to making the car ride much more comfortably without sacrificing too much body control.
     
  4. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    As mentioned a set of adjustable damper is your best bet as they seem to be the weak sauce on this car.. I changed mine out at less then 1k mile and the bouncing ride went away ...
     
  5. reddog99

    reddog99 Active Member

    I believe that most aftermarket suspension kits are aimed at people who take their cars to the track (or who drive on the street as if they're on the track) and expect better handling, not a better ride. Based on that assumption, I don't think I would expect the FRPP suspension to ride better, but admittedly, I have no experience with it.
     
  6. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    I think Stundoogie updated his suspention to a BC coilover and loves the comfy ride on his cratered NY streets at least that the last I recall if you get the adjustable dampening you can taylor it your needs ride wise.. Though not exactly cheap . What about a set of Blistiens with factory springs
     
  7. Joe Schmoe

    Joe Schmoe Member

    I thought Koni didn't make adjustable dampers for the Fiesta? Not really looking to swap in coilovers.
     
  8. Cligedy

    Cligedy Active Member

    Rumor has it that Koni sports will be available late summer
     
  9. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The FRPP non-adjustable suspension kit for the 2011+ Fiesta is much softer than the ST. It was a great improvement over the stock Fiesta suspension, but I would list it is a downgrade for the ST. I would guess any adjustable performance shock/strut will be as stiff or stiffer than stock at the soft setting. I have not used any adjustable dampers on a ST, but my use of them on my ZX3 suggests that full soft has way more damping than stock. Shock tuning is an art, and getting the right balance of damping with the springs is not easy. When people typically change suspension components on a performance car, it is to get more performance. Stiffer springs, lowered ride height, and damping matched to the springs.
     
  10. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    Ok so I have some good personal experience here. The ST is my four season daily driver. The county roads I drive most often aren't pool table smooth. The ride with the factory suspension was jittery and annoying. I put on BC coilovers from 2J Racing with 6k/4k rates which are almost 2x stiffer than stock. With the shocks set on 8 out of 30 clicks the ride was transformed ... smooth and controlled. Even with the much stiffer springs it felt much softer than stock. The install is very easy and the build quality is excellent. That upgrade in my opinion makes the perfect street FiST. Since then I have gone to stiffer springs in search of better autox performance, but the street ride is still better than stock.

    I think the main takeaway here is that the factory setup is soft on spring rate, but way over-stiff on shock compression. I think most aftermarket shocks can help improve the ride quality even if they are performance-oriented units like mine.
     
  11. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    All very good bits of info.

    I agree that the springs seem too soft for the dampers. For a budget fix (which I am considering) would be to go with the Mountune springs and the stock dampers. That fixes the wheel gap issue, stiffens the ride, and sounds to be a better match for the factory dampers. The pricer option is the adjustable coil-overs. The 2J Racing ones seem like a really great solution, and they are not overly expensive. I typically never suggest changing springs and leaving the dampers, but the ST seems to be over damped and under springed.
     
  12. reddog99

    reddog99 Active Member

    About 30,000 miles on the shocks ought to soften them up a bit... :)
     
  13. EcoBeast

    EcoBeast Member

    Spangenb,

    That is great info, thanks. Couple of quick questions:

    1) Did you need to install any camber kits?
    2) And, how many hours labor for an experienced mechanic to install a set? I am trying to get an idea of total installed cost.
     
  14. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    No Camber kit needed as the BC front struts have a upper adjustable bolt from +1 to - 1 or 2 deg camber the rears are just different springs with new adjustable dampening Shocks.
    For a Good Mechanic is should take no more that 1 or 2 hrs to install and set ride hieght very easy install. You will need a alignment after the install just to be spot on ..
     
  15. eRic

    eRic Active Member

    I ran my Fiesta ST last winter on 16" SVT Contour wheels with 195/45-16 Pirelli winter tires. That took the edge off the bumps. Also I ran the Ford Racing Fiesta handling pack M-FR3-FA on my 2011 Fiesta and it was softer than my 2014 Fiesta ST suspension. Swapping 17" wheels with 205/40-17 tires for 16" wheels with 195/45-16 or 195/50-16 tires would soften the ride. Keep in mind that tires act like springs.
     
  16. Sil3nt611

    Sil3nt611 Active Member

    I was gonna say why hasn't anyone mentioned going to a smaller wheel size until I got to the bottom and saw this.

    More tire and less wheel will definitely make the ride quality a bit better. A larger wheel with very little actual sidewall tends to make the ride more bumpy.
     
  17. BRGT350

    BRGT350 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The 205/40 17 tires are a little short on the sidewalls, so going down a wheel size or up on sidewall would surely help. Tires are springs, so a softer side wall is the same as a softer spring.
     
  18. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    What he said. I got -2.5 degrees of camber in the front.
     
  19. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    I have to say that the stock wheels/tires are much less harsh with the BC coilovers and the difference between the stockers and my 16" Direzzas is less noticeable with them too. I think the short sidewall of the stock tires combined with the high compression valving of the stock dampers is a recipe for harshness.
     
    EcoBeast and RodMoe like this.
  20. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Agreed and you won't get rid of that nasty little tendency of the car to seem to "HOP" over every little frost heave in the road it was like riding in a small boat on the big lake with a good wind bounce bounce bounce no tire alone going to fix that as my 15 inch winters proved . a good set of dampers is the quick fix..
     
  21. spangenb

    spangenb Active Member

    Yep the stiff compression of the factory dampers makes the "tire spring" a larger component of the overall spring rate especially over quick choppy bumps.
     

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