Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm posting this as a service to Focus teams. I am drumming up interest in a "group buy" to purchase aftermarket, unbreakable front hubs.

 

It seems that more Foci are joining the series. One of the Focus' weak links is it's front hubs, which are prone to breaking when subjected to high loading. I've got a whole picture folder called "Focus Hubs" that has multiple pictures of other folks' broken hubs.

Just as the tags above say, when this happens, you can lose a wheel, the axle shaft breaks off at the spline, and sometimes caliper and caliper bracket damage occurs. In severe cases, I've talked to guys that have had crashes due to hub breakage.

 

There are a lot of different theories on the cause (which I won't get into here), but I decided that I was going to solve the issue before it happened to us. I did some extensive searching, made a lot of Foci contacts through various forums and at the tracks, and consider myself well educated on this issue. 

There are 2 companies that have built 4340 billet hubs that have corrected the inherent problem with the factory hubs. To date, 1 company has sold approximately 18 sets of these, and the other company has sold 10 sets. No failures have been reported on any of these hubs.

I showed pictures of the hubs (each company's are unique) to head tech Phil McKinney in Spring 2017, and got a value of 10 pts/side for a non OE suspension part. There are several teams I know of in Champ that are running these hubs, (and hopefully claiming them!), as I pointed them in the direction to obtain them. Each team balked when I gave them the price - until they broke enough hubs, axles, etc, and lost valuable track time - then the price made sense, and they antied up for them.

Neither company advertises these hubs, they were only made up because the owner needed them for his and his friends' cars, or someone contracted the 2nd shop to do a special run of these. I've tried the "start from scratch" approach and asked several machine shops what it would cost to duplicate them. Each response was much more expensive to create these than the 2 firms that have done so already.

 

As I said, I'm doing this as a service to other Focus teams, as I already have a few sets of these hubs that I'm keeping for myself. If you are interested in a set of these hubs, please PM me for more info. Each place will only do a minimum run of 10-12 parts, so you won't be able to get them on your own unless you plan to order that many.

 

Edited by mcoppola
forgot the e in breaking!
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These hubs are very similar to the  "Super Hubs" trigun referred to.

Although, the hubs I have had built are from another supplier, and IMO are a step above the Super Hubs.

I forwarded pictures of them to the Super Hub builder, and he even agreed.

They will fit all Foci with the 4 bolt pattern, (2000-2011 I think...)

 

What type of car are you running now @trigun7469?

I've meant to ask before...

Edited by mcoppola

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ford Focus, 2000-2011, have the same Front Hub setup. You might be able to reach out to the Spec Focus folks that run 2nd gen chassis. Let me know what pricing might be.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bumping this up.

I'm getting ready to place an order to have 10 hubs built, which are all spoken for right now.

If you are racing a Focus YOU WILL break your stock front hubs! Even the guys that were replacing hubs every race weekend have experienced failures with brand new parts, whether factory, Timken, Moog, Autozone, etc. There is an inherent flaw in the original design that has been corrected with the hubs I've had built. (Also, they're built from 4340 chromoly, much better than any stock replacement.)

If you need a set, speak up now, as the manufacturer will only make these in runs of 10 pieces (5 pair) minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are at the 10 piece minimum count to kick off this group buy.
If you don't get in now, you won't be able to buy these hubs until enough people step up for another group buy down the road, which may be year(s).
As I said, (and others have attested to) if you track your mk1 or mk2 car, or have grippy street tires - when pushed hard, you WILL eventually break the stock front hubs.
I've had 4 different race teams that turned their nose at these pieces, come back to me later asking if they could obtain some.
Speak now, or be stuck replacing broken hubs, cv axles, brake pads/calipers/rotors, fenders, etc. and losing valuable track time.

I'll be contacting the folks that have spoken up so far, to start collecting funds to get this batch started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had some new requests for hubs since my last post. I'm contacting those folks, rounding up funds, and will be kicking off the builder soon.

One last chance, and a bit more info is included in this post.

The hubs I've had built are NOT the "Super Hubs" that are popular in the Focaljet and Focus Fanatics forums. The 'Super Hub' is a direct duplicate of a stock hub, built using 4340 chromoly billet material with a revision in the fillet radius between the hub flange and the area where the outboard bearing sits. 

 

Our builder also makes these hubs from 4340 billets, but has significantly increased the amount of material in the aforementioned area. 

Here are a couple pics of a stock broken piece, and the aftermarket parts being built. You can see the difference in the backside of the hub flange.

Price is $600 for a pair of these front hubs I'm having built (compared to $700/pair for the Super Hubs), and includes the black anodized finish and long, bull nose ARP studs.

 

I've had requests to build the Focus hubs with a different bolt pattern (PCD) than the stock 4x108mm PCD.

I'm happy to report that the builder WILL make the hubs in a 5x114.3 pattern as requested by one buyer. And I myself have researched wheels extensively due to limited choice in the stock 4x108 PCD. WE can have the new hubs built with a dual drilled pattern of 4x108, AND in the 4x100mm  Mazda Miata and BMW E30 PCD, to take advantage of the many wheel choices and offsets available in 4x100.

There is NO ADDITIONAL charge for the special request bolt patterns, however, for the dual drilled 4 bolt hubs, the 'scalloping' operation would have to be eliminated. The dual drilled hubs will have a full circle hub face flange with 8 bolt holes. 

 

Speak up now, I'm contacting folks who have expressed interest so far...

IMG_0524.JPG.257ebc8dac34fb623bae29b8bcd90b33.JPGIMG_0525.thumb.JPG.413d34b7f54f9bc80ba438235adc4f0e.JPGIMG_0523.JPG.f02211cee8c385bfebc1925a88c1141c.JPGIMG_0516.thumb.JPG.87d95bd819bfc66a24f30d35c5dd717d.JPG

11.JPG

Edited by mcoppola
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LAST CALL before this group buy gets kicked off next Monday 7/9/18.
We are up to 10 pairs of hubs now. (20 pieces)
As stated in the post above, we can have these hubs made in 5x114.3 bolt pattern, and will also make a few sets that are double drilled to accept the stock 4x108 pattern AND the 4x100 bolt pattern, to be able to broaden the choice of wheels that can be used.

 

Special bolt pattern requests will be done WITHOUT any additional charge! Still just $600 a pair.
PM me your email address, so I can send pictures, material specs, and/or additional info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, DKitt said:

I will take a set, let me know what you need to proceed

 

David Kittleson

dbkittw8@gmail.com

Email sent yesterday evening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a focus owner, but curious, what hardness is that 4340 going to be at? I would guess about 40 rc would be a ballpark. 

 

If not a quench and temper might help.

Edited by Black Magic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The important difference in these aftermarket hubs is broadening the radius where the hub face meets the bearing area. All of the Ford, and parts store hubs that copy the Ford design all fail at that same point. These were the specs the builder sent me when we had a batch made up in 2016:

 

"the material is 4140HT chromoly quenched and tempered - it's about RC26-30 hardness and 110-140KSI tensile strength.  a very good strength without being brittle and can be plated without worrying about hydrogen embrittlement.  a bit tricky to machine on our equipment but doable."
 

These are the specs provided by the shop that built the aftermarket "Super Hubs" (as they've been called on the Focaljet forum):

Some pertinent specs:
Ford Stock Hubs
Rockwell C 23 to 29
Brinnel Hardness 241 to 277
Tensile Strength 118,000 to 137,000 psi

Super Hubs 
Rockwell C 40 to 42 
Brinnel Hardness 371 to 390 
Tensile Strength 182,000 to 191,000 psi 

 

Neither builder has ever had a reported failure of their hubs.

Edited by mcoppola

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m a little late but maybe you can still help me. We picked up a Focus in the spring and I’ve had it out to Gingerman and Grattan several times now, getting ready for Lemons in October. I’m very happy with the car. We bought it with a Roush turbo running 7psi and it’s flawless on pump gas. The previous owner mentioned a broken hub and I didn’t think much about it. Well... it happened to me after a full day at Grattan. Managed my best time of the day in the last session and then a few turns later the right front hub snapped off. Thankfully I was on a slow turn and just pulled off. Asside from a scuffed rotor nothing was damaged. After reading all of these posts I realize it’s only a matter of time before it happens again. The worst part is that I’ve been driving on street tires, 200 wear. I can’t imagine how these stock hubs will last with stickier tires. Anyway, we hope to be running in Champ Car soon so maybe you can help us get there and keep our car intact. Thanks!

 

Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Will,

You might be in luck. I could possibly have a new set, or a slightly used set available. I will be replacing my 4x108 hubs with the dual drilled 4x108 + 4x100 sets so that I can eventually change over to 4x100 Miata wheels at some point in the future. However, both sets of hubs I currently have are mounted up in knuckles already. One set is brand new, the other has about 28 hours on them. To remove them would mean cutting the inner race off the hubs after the bearings are pressed out of the knuckles. I didn't plan on doing that until I got a few race weekends on the bearings, at which time I would replace them as preventative maintenance.

 

Is your car an SVT? If so, perhaps we could swap entire knuckle/hub assemblies. I'll PM you with my contact info so we can discuss it further.

 

Edited by mcoppola

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, I’ll respond to your PM as well. It’s a 2000 Focus ZX3, 2.0 zetec, 5spd manual, standard diff and trans (not sure I can justify LS), 7psi with intercooler. Raybestos ST43’s and AC Delco rotors front and back. No fade, stops consistently, pedal feel is consistent as well. Car does really well on track, easy to drive, stable, and very predictable and forgiving. We bought the car race ready, just had to swap bearings, ball joints, motor mounts, bushings and some other minor maint items. The knuckles are from a 2007 so I have the larger ball joints. I’m not sure how that compares to the SVT. I’d be interested in either set but if I’m buying the old hubs I’d prefer that you leave the bearing race on. In the past I’ve done the same, used a dremel to carefully cut the race. The problem is that it is really easy to graze the hub and potentially create a weak spot for cracks to form. I never worried about such a thing until I got this car. The safest bet may be to use a bearing splitter and a press to separate the race from the hub. My partner lives in Howell, not too far from you if you’re still in South Lyon. Maybe we could work something out. We could swap knuckles but I’d like to start with a fresh set of bearings anyway so it may not be worth the effort. Thanks!

 

Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank for posting this and organizing.  I'd like a set whenever the next batch is put together, or if someone is selling from a previous batch.  We're not running again until lemons ridge 2019 so I can be patient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, z0r said:

Thank for posting this and organizing.  I'd like a set whenever the next batch is put together, or if someone is selling from a previous batch.  We're not running again until lemons ridge 2019 so I can be patient.

Hello @z0r, and welcome the the Champcar forum.

Unfortunately, we only ordered 1 extra set of hubs that wasn't prepaid for in this batch of 12 pairs (yes 12!) being made up. I committed 1 set of hubs that I currently have to Lemonade (above) earlier this week, and am replacing them for myself with a pair of the new double drilled pattern hubs. I'll update my posts in a few other forums, and expand into some other markets in an effort to help you out. I had planned on about 5-6 pair for this order, but the response (12) was much more than I thought. So, we kicked off the builder as soon as I could on 7/9, due to some guys needing them asap.

I'll send you a Private Message with my contact info so that we can keep in touch over the next few months as I try to drum up more interest. The minimum batch size is 5 pairs. Do youknow anyone else that might be interested in a set?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!  I don't know any other focus racers but I'll watch here, if you're willing to do another batch someday.  This was already making me nervous in our first race even though we drove it like a street car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I still owe you a private message with my info. Been a busy week. But I'll update the other forums and check with some other teams as soon as I can. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mcoppola Are you guys also torquing the axle nuts to a much greater torque?

 

This is a major issue with 1st gen Honda CR-X, and years ago- the same thing was done with larger radius custom chromoly hubs.

 

I was told to go from the stock 134ft lbs of torque to now 250ft lbs on the new hubs.

 

So far, no issues with the new hubs or torque settings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@djsteviec Glad to hear you guys have solved your hub issue.

The standard torque setting is 233 ft lbs. That's what I've always torqued the stock hubs and these hubs to. We've got over 28 hours on my set, and have not touched them. I've heard of people that torque their hubs at every pit top, or have gone to cotter keying the nuts. But my theory is I think the problems they were seeing with loss of torque was due to the stock pieces starting to fail and deform before breaking fully.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the stock and aftermarket break on me. I originally thought it was a problem with the axle or bearing as the stub broke off and bearing was wasted. Came to find out the same as you, the issue was the hubs. But I guess, without the extra torque on the bearing, it gave enough to start creating play and then the play allowed the pressure on the flanhe and then the axle.

 

But glad you guys have it sorted too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The batch of hubs we ordered on July 9th is almost finished. It took a bit longer than anticipated due to the large batch size. The previous largest order placed was for 5-6 pairs of front hubs.
We ordered 13 pairs this time around!

I've had a few inquiries about when more might be available. If you are interested in a set of these hubs, either reply here, or PM me.

In the meantime, here are some photos of our latest run of parts.
(6 pair) 4x108 with scallops
(5 pair) 4x108 / 4x100 dual drilled
(2 pair) 5x114.3

Here they are.... Cad plating and press in the bull nose studs and they'll be ready to ship!

large.image.jpeg.566bd1d317b8574975b43293d4444ca9.jpeglarge.image.jpeg.14838f5d0efedffc8022462f485cc3b2.jpeglarge.image.jpeg.50028536f2c8a6332949896b2ccf205e.jpeg

Edited by mcoppola

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...