Suspension and Handling
We often get asked "What should I do to my suspension to make
my car handle better?". Well we've tried, tested and fitted many different
components over the years, and have come to find that for road use simple
upgrades work best and complicated systems, such as 4 - links and panhards and
other track type devices simply ruin a car, making things harsh and unpleasant
on the street. Here's what really works for a nice tight handling car that won't
shake your fillings out or make you want to throw your car in the bin !!!
1:) Shock absorbers - get a good matching set of gas
pressured shock absorbers all round. Currently we believe Spax adjustable units
give the best all round value for money, are high quality and also let you
tailor how firm things are, very simply, to suit your own comfort level.
2:) Springs - uprate these by 25 - 50% in stiffness - no more
than that - it will simply make things too hard. Also lower these by 1" - again
no more than that, or you'll be wacking your exhaust on every speed bump out
3:) Change all the bushes for urethane. This will take all
the slop and lack of response away. Superflex are by far and away the best
4:) Check all the ball joints are good and the steering rack
too. Replace anything worn
5:) Get the tracking set up after fitting all these.
These procedures work on all Fords, but to get specific lets
look at the Capri. A complete package of new springs, new gas adjustable shock
absorbers and new urethane bushes throughout will transform your car WITHOUT
ruining it. I can't stress this enough, do not put flash race parts on cars used
on the street. Many people do, just because the parts exist and just because
other people have used them. All these cars feel truly awful to drive. Many
owners don't like the results and some are too embarrassed to admit it.
Here's what we don't like and why:
Anti-dive kits - do not use these on lowered cars - lowering
does it's own anti-dive thing, and too much anti-dive can make the front skid
under heavy braking. It also reduces the steering's ability to self centre.
Roller top mounts, especially adjustable camber, caster ones.
They either introduce a steering shake or a vibration, depending on make, and do
very little to lighten steering. Total waste of money on any car with power
X-frame and A-frame axle location kits. Designed to stop leaf
spring twist and thus sideways axle movement. Well a good set of urethane bushes
does this too! The axle kit clamps to your leaf spring and stops it absorbing
bumps properly! It makes the back harsh, and eventually damages your springs.
4 links, 5 links, panhards and the like. Strictly track
stuff, only work when set to extremely rigid settings. Fine on ultra smooth
surfaces, anything else forget it. Rough as hell, vibrate like hell, total aggro
to fit, and lose your back seat too - bargain !
Coilovers with adjustable spring height. Nice idea, but
you'll only adjust them once before they seize anyway, so might as well just get
the right height springs to start off. Also for the front they make the strut
fatter, right where the tyre goes and will cause fouling on some wheels and
Adjustable TCA's and rollbars. If you stick to the 1"
lowering job all the original Ford settings for camber and caster stay in spec,
there's simply no need for them - unless of course you are trying to dial out
the effects of another unnecessary component!
The upshot is keep it simple, keep it sensible, and keep you,
your car and your wallet much happier.
Buy a complete set of bushes, shock absorbers and springs
for a Capri and we'll take 10% off the listed individual price cost. Complete
Capri kit (depending on model) of 4 shock absorbers, 4 springs, full car set of
urethane bushes from: £630.00+vat.
Wheel Bearing Leaks
Suspension and handling