It was back on its wheels at last. After days spent up in the air while I messed around with bits of suspension, the Fondeo was finally ready to roll. All I needed was to tighten the last few fittings under load.
And that’s when the very last top-mount bolt decided to snap. Anyone would think this car has a sense of humour…
So, under went the jack, and off came the front strut yet again. Fortunately, the 13mm bolt had sheared cleanly above the surface, which meant removal with Mole grips was easy. But it did mean my desire to test out the new goodies was forced to wait a while longer.
First and foremost, I’d decided to replace the springs. Even in ST spec the Mk3 Focus sits alarmingly high, giving a dumpy-looking appearance. But many lowering kits on the market offer an unbalanced drop, bringing the rear down more than the front. To my eyes, that’s plain wrong: fast Fords traditionally feature a slightly nose-down stance, and the Fondeo should be no exception.
And that’s where the H&R lowering spring kit comes in, giving an all-round ride-height reduction of 25mm, which is the ideal amount for a practical everyday estate. H&R are also at the top of the tree when it comes to aftermarket springs (just look at that lovely blue powder-coating; it didn’t flinch when spring compressors were attached), which is absolutely essential for a daily driver.
It’s also handy that H&R are stocked by Euro Car Parts, so they’re available off-the-shelf for click-and-collect from your local branch or ultra-fast delivery. They’re not the cheapest, but after 20-odd years of modifying cars, I can safely say you get what you pay for.
The ST’s stance is now nothing short of perfect, and the ride quality has suffered minimally (it’s slightly more jiggly at low speeds) in exchange for a noticeably more planted feel when pressing on.
Of course, while the car was in the air it made sense to start fitting a Powerflex handling kit and rear trailing arm bushes. Well, it seemed to make sense – other than the fact that every single nut and bolt wants to fight me for removal. By the time you read this, the work will be complete. With a bit of luck…
Euro Car Parts
020 3820 5191