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Revise suspension for a smoother ride?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Doug22

Doug22

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  • My C-MAX's Year:2015
  • Current Vehicle:2015 Ford C-Max

Posted 04 January 2017 - 04:06 PM

Hello C-Max fans,

I own a 2015 C-Max SE and have found the ride to be rather stiff. It's definitely better than the 2013 Escape that I used to own, but it's nowhere near the smooth ride that I was hoping for in a family car.

I realize now that modern cars prioritize handling over the smooth ride that all but the sportiest cars used to tune towards. Ostensibly, this is what people want, at least, this is what car reviewers want.

I can feel every little "jiggly" bump in the road. Driving over speed bumps is jarring. Head tossing is something I endure nearly every time I drive. Why is this necessary?

I live in the city. I drive over bumpy roads with broken pavement. I rarely take drives through the country along "the twisties". Having tight handling is fine, but not if it comes at the expense of any ride quality, which it clearly does.

I want to drive a car with a smooth ride, that will keep bumps on the ground. I really don't need to know about them. Is that too much to ask? They perfected the smooth riding automobile decades ago. Even small cars weighing almost 1000 pounds less (k-car) had a smoother ride than my C-Max. Why have we regressed so far? This car weighs over 3500 lbs!

I removed the OEM 17" wheels and replaced them with 15" steel wheels. The tires went from 235/55 R17 to 215/65R15, if remember correctly. This definitely helped, but I realize now just how important suspension tuning is, because taller tires were not enough to make much of a difference in the ride.

My question to you is, do you know of any way to decrease the suspension spring rates for a smoother ride? Is there enough space in the wheelwell for increased wheel travel? Would it be possible to decrease the effect of the anti-sway bar? I looked on the internet for this, but could only find performance mods doing exactly the opposite. I'd love to keep the C-Max, but don't know how much longer I can endure the uncomfortable ride.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this?

Thanks!
Doug







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#2 OFFLINE   scottwood2

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 11:07 AM

I have replaced springs to give a softer ride.   That was on my Scion xB.  The aftermarket for the xB was large and there was many choices for springs.   The ones I had dropped the car about an inch but gave it a better ride.   Still way stiffer than the C-Max.  Not much aftermarket for the C-Max though I think.   Not sure if a spring shop could do something for you? 

 

Ride is a very personal thing.   I think the C-Max is way too soft for my taste.   I miss whipping the xB around corners.   I have many friends though that would very much like the ride you are asking for.  

 

Let us know what you end up with. 



#3 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 08:24 PM

... I removed the OEM 17" wheels and replaced them with 15" steel wheels. The tires went from 235/55 R17 to 215/65R15, if remember correctly. This definitely helped, but I realize now just how important suspension tuning is, because taller tires were not enough to make much of a difference in the ride. ...

What is the load rating for the new tires?

 

OEM tires are 93V, 1433 lb @ 5i psi. If the replacement tires are rated for higher load, you can reduce pressure a little to improve ride, without safety issues. Several 215/65-15s I find are rated higher, thus the suggestion. I hope this helps.

 

HAve fun,

Frank



#4 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 07:04 AM

C-max and Focus are supposed to share basic infrastructure so maybe some Focus suspension parts fit. 

Also Europe's C-max market is much bigger - might check there for aftermarket.

 

The springs need to support the weight of the car and prevent it from bottoming over bumps.  I would look to changing shocks.

Shocks / struts can be firm or soft, and can differ in firmness in compression and extension. 

Looks like it is much easier to replace rear shocks than front struts.


Edited by djc, 08 January 2017 - 07:05 AM.


#5 ONLINE   ptjones

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:57 AM

Just fill it up to gross vehicle weight, that will soften the ride. :)

 

Paul



#6 ONLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 07:12 AM

Sounds like the OP needs a Bose ride suspension system. I wonder what ever happened to this system since the reviews in the video show 2004.

 


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 10 January 2017 - 07:16 AM.

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#7 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:11 AM

Sounds like the OP needs a Bose ride suspension system. I wonder what ever happened to this system since the reviews in the video show 2004.

 

 

http://www.bose.com/.../the_system.jsp

 

http://www.bose.com/...he_solution.jsp

 

I really think this is a great idea.  Smart shocks.  Programmable bump control and I can see how it is similar to noise cancellation.

 

Here is Bose's truck seat product.

 


Edited by obob, 10 January 2017 - 10:42 AM.

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