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Discussion Starter #1
I've autocrossed off and on for years. But it has been a couple of years since my last autocross. I would like to try it with my new ST. I know there are all kinds of ways to try to get some kind of an edge in the vehicle itself. But none of that is a replacement for the ability of the nut behind the wheel. The conflict is that I would like to have all the performance I can have on the street without compromising driving comfort as I did in my previous two cars. LOL So what are my self-imposed limits and what are the HS limits as far as car setup is concerned is the question.

I'm going to start with stock wheels and tires as well as stock brakes and suspension. I don't plan on purchasing a cat-back or front sway during the coming year. I know the RMM is illegal, so I won't unless I finally decide to change class or to no longer autocross this car. I intend to have a drop-in, panel air filter shortly.

Alignment:

My old, go-to alignment starts with -2 camber front and -1.5 camber rear. It suits my driving on the streets and serves well enough on the autocross. Does anyone have a starting alignment that is street-friendly they would recommend over this for OEM wheels and tires? I would like to get that done ASAP to get used to it on the street.

Recommended starting inflation pressures? I've used something around 38/29 for fwd before.

Now the sticky part. I know modifying boost is illegal. But are there things the AccessPort V3 can do that are NOT illegal that will help daily as well as autocross driving?

And since I know the AP is so commonplace in these cars, what are the signs to look for in the competition who are in HS but are tuned?

There was a product for securing the seatbelt called a G-Clip or something? Is that still the go-to for non-race-harness solution in keeping the driver in place?

And I need to see if my helmet's still legal. LOL

Any other tips?

I'm sure I've missed something. But I just got the car and can't resist planning already. Thanks!
 

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AccessPort doesn't really modify anything by itself - whoever tuner you choose to get a reprogrammed map from can try to tweak it (but I've heard our tiny kp39 stock turbo limit is not that far from 21 psi). I know a tuner can turn off overboost function so you're hitting 21 psi of boost all the time, not sure if that will make a huge difference compare to stock 19 psi.
 

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And I've assumed you have a FiST, my bad, I'm sure very similar principles apply to a FoST:p
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm a noob. But thought the AP came with stage one if purchased that way even if you didn't use it that way? Disappointing if it doesn't unlock things for owner tweaks. I guess that may be about their warranties though, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I know tweaking the boost is a no-no. I'm looking for driveability things that won't kick me out of HS. If not, I'll just do without. But man, it's tempting!
 

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When you say prepping for HS, I assume you mean with the SCCA? If that's the case, you can't use the Cobb AP. Stock computer programming only, period. And your alignment sounds fine, except that you won't get close to that with stock allowances. The best you can do is loosen all the bolts and retighten them after pushing to get as much camber as you can. It's not much.

The first things you should do are tires, alignment, and shocks, in that order. The FiST has great power and brakes for HS, so focus on the things it needs help with, like handling. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No AP use at all. Got it. Was afraid of that. But it sure saves me some money! LOL

I've used "crash" bolts or camber bolts in the past for increased camber. Aren't those available for the FiST?

Do you have a short list of shocks you would recommend? I'm thinking they will be further down the road, definitely.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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Well that depends how you buy it. If you just buy an AccessPort, it most likely comes as an empty device. But if you buy from say Mountune or COBB as a package with OTS Stage 1, then yes it'll come with a preloaded generic stage one mapping.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the clarification!
 

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If you're staying in a stock ("Street") class, you can't use any crash bolts. The Fiesta service manual doesn't have an allowance for them, so you can't use them. You can buy aftermarket ones, and I'm sure they help substantially, but it will immediately bump you out of stock class.

Short list of shocks? Easy, since there is really only one good choice for stock replacements. Get a set of Koni yellows. How serious do you want to be? For autocross, you'll want a lot of rear rebound; unfortunately, that makes for a jarring ride on the street, and the adjustment isn't quick. If you don't want to deal with that and are willing to compromise a little, you can leave the yellows turned down or buy Koni STR shocks instead. Even those will be better AND less jarring than stock. Ford put a ton of compression valving in the stock shocks to give a sporty ride, but it's not the best for performance and quite frankly rides like crap.

Happy to help if I can!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have crash bolts been illegal for long? I seem to think it's what a whole lot of folks used to do (all pre-street tire classes). Perhaps they were doing it illegally? We have an alignment tech in town that knows how to eek out all he can for autocrossers. I'll just take it to him once I get the OEMs back on come spring.

I appreciate the information. If anything, I want to improve the street manners of the ride. I destroyed the streetability of two cars with coilovers and that's one of the reasons I purchased the ST. The maintenance of the roads is beyond lousy and the crashing of the coilover suspensions gets really, really old. IF the STRs actually feel better to passengers in the car I might consider them sooner rather than later! LOL
 

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Crash bolts are only illegal if the manufacturer doesn't offer them. Ford is one that doesn't with the Fiesta. Many cars have had them available through the years, so what you've seen was likely legal. I even remember back in the day when Neons were popular in D Stock that the factory authorized method was to bore out the lower strut mounting hole a certain amount to get the camber. If you loosen all the mounting bolts on the Fiesta, you should be able to find another .2-.3 degrees. It's not much, but everything helps.

A good set of aftermarket shocks actually improves the ride of these cars. My dad is in his early 60s and has one of these, and one of the first things we did was swap to the orange STR shocks. All of the harshness of the stock ride is gone, and it handles better too since the shock isn't resisting working so much. Huge improvement all the way around.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Fabulous information - I greatly appreciate the information! I'm not quite the age of your father but I'm very close. LOL

My first autocross car was a 1987 Dodge Shelby CSX. Someone stole my race wheels and tires and I didn't have the cash to get another set. So it was years before I autocrossed again - in a 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S (I still own a different one, modified, going up for sale ASAP, replaced by the FiST). My most recent autocross car is a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8, fairly heavily modified and running in SM. Due to some local legends-in-their-classes I got only one first place out of those first two vehicles. But the Evo fairly dominated. Once I upgraded the suspension in the Evo I slowly became less and less interested to make the 4 hour round trip to events. LOL Currently, I'd like to autocross the FiST. We'll see where I am come spring.

Again, thanks for all the information and good luck!
 
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