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  • festiva rear beam independent suspension

    It seems to come up a couple times a year, the debate about the rear beam being a dead axle / solid axle or being independent. I made a short video to show how free one side is from the other. In the first part of the video I disconnected one strut. I could move the disconnected side around like a foot and a half without the other side moving. Then with both sides disconnected I could move one about 6 inches without the other side moving. meaning it can articulate 6 inches and only transfer about 30 pounds of force to the other side which the spring easily overcomes. Anyway, enough rambling, here is the video:

    https://youtu.be/A7bc_Br4nhg

    If anyone wants to take a similar video of an aspire rear beam or any car with an 'independent' suspension that includes a sway bar please add it to this thread. I believe any independent suspension with a sway bar transfers more force than this festiva beam does.

    On another note I drew out the rear end of the festiva a while back to think about where the force goes when towing a trailer and braking/accelerating/going over bumps. I found it interesting that it looked like almost no weight/force transfers through the rear axle to body mounts. Saturday with the car on the ground I took the rear axle to body bolts off one side and pulled on it. I can confirm that there is almost no weight there statically. I have a heavy custom tow hitch, tons of sound deadener and 1/4 tank of fuel and I weighed each rear tire on the car. I had 315 pounds on the drivers side and 293 pounds on the passenger side. I would guess 10 or 20 pounds is going to that mount, the rest is all going through the spring. Braking pulls on the mount, but for the rest not much weight goes to it. this would be part of the reason the rear axle stays attached even when rusted beyond belief. The second would be there is actually quite a lot of metal inside the frame rail in that spot. I took an inspection camera and put it up the frame rails and was quite surprised!

    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

  • #2
    Hey, nice video !
    And Thank You!
    No car too fast !

    Comment


    • #3
      Now if we can only get rid of the front sway bar....
      Trees aren't kind to me...

      currently: 2 88Ls (Scrappy and Jersey), 88LX, 90L(Pepe), 91L, 91GL (Skippy) 93 GL Sport (the Mighty Favakk), 94 (Bruce) & 95 Aspire SEs, 97 Aspire (The Joker),
      94 Justy 4WD, 87 Fiero GT, plus 2 parts cars. That's my fleet.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FestYboy View Post
        Now if we can only get rid of the front sway bar....
        A short term test is very simple....
        No car too fast !

        Comment


        • #5
          I never would have believed that the rear beam was such a "noodle"! Thanks for the research and the great video.

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          • #6
            Awesome test Ryan! Thanks for the clear and detailed verification.
            A side note. The natural arc that the wheel axle centerline travels in with a trailing beam is more efficient at bump absorption and more resistant to body roll than an A arm, Macpherson strut (ie Mazda 323, capri or Escort), and most multi link suspension systems. This has been proven for decades by off road buggies and sand rails with trailing arms (a clear favorite for severe off road vehicles.)
            The way the load is transferred to the chassis with a trailing beam makes it possible to reduce the chassis weight and strength when compared to other designs. This allows the Festiva to be light in the rear. If you take the time to drive these cars at speeds that most would consider utterly insane, you'd agree that weight in the rear of the car is a bad thing.
            Last edited by Advancedynamix; 05-01-2017, 08:05 PM.
            Driving for me is neither a right nor a privilege. Driving is my passion, as it was for the people who invented the automobile, the people who paved the first roads and the people who continue to improve the automobile. Please respect this passion.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doug Brown View Post
              I never would have believed that the rear beam was such a "noodle"! Thanks for the research and the great video.
              A noodle, lol.
              But yes, it works quite well. Kind of makes me wonder if they did things like this intentionally or if it was all by accident. Part of me wants to think it was designed to be awesome but then why not make an option to have a b6 engine and bigger rims? Even with stock suspension i think it would have been a lot more popular in its day with the power increase and 13in rims.

              Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                13s were available in Europe... Saw them on eBay.de a few years back.
                Trees aren't kind to me...

                currently: 2 88Ls (Scrappy and Jersey), 88LX, 90L(Pepe), 91L, 91GL (Skippy) 93 GL Sport (the Mighty Favakk), 94 (Bruce) & 95 Aspire SEs, 97 Aspire (The Joker),
                94 Justy 4WD, 87 Fiero GT, plus 2 parts cars. That's my fleet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  13's were available from factory 88-93 in europe?

                  Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    The alloys, yeah. They look just like our 12 alloys.
                    Trees aren't kind to me...

                    currently: 2 88Ls (Scrappy and Jersey), 88LX, 90L(Pepe), 91L, 91GL (Skippy) 93 GL Sport (the Mighty Favakk), 94 (Bruce) & 95 Aspire SEs, 97 Aspire (The Joker),
                    94 Justy 4WD, 87 Fiero GT, plus 2 parts cars. That's my fleet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Imagine that a Festiva came with a nice and smooth, high revving 115hp engine, properly set up suspension (for on road driving). Proper wheel and tire package, power steering/AC as a standard equipment. Ford/Mazda would have had a very practical hot hatch, right at the time the Civic had it's best success. Marketing types have really screwed with the automotive culture and history of North America. If it's not a sports car, it shouldn't be fast. I'm over that.
                      Last edited by Advancedynamix; 05-02-2017, 12:49 PM.
                      Driving for me is neither a right nor a privilege. Driving is my passion, as it was for the people who invented the automobile, the people who paved the first roads and the people who continue to improve the automobile. Please respect this passion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Advancedynamix View Post
                        Imagine that a Festiva came with a nice and smooth, high revving 115hp engine, properly set up suspension (for on road driving). Proper wheel and tire package, power steering/AC as a standard equipment. Ford/Mazda would have had a very practical hot hatch, right at the time the Civic had it's best success. Marketing types have really screwed with the automotive culture and history of North America. If it's not a sports car, it shouldn't be fast. I'm over that.
                        Yes, civic si had 105hp at the time so a 115hp reliabke engine in a fesriva woukd have been quicker.
                        But if what you said happened i think the festiva would have beaten out and become what we know as the civic legacy today. Wouldnt have taken much popularity for mazda to come out with a 5 door and 3 door hatch.
                        Sales could have been in the millions by now even if all this better stuff was another trim package or something like how honda has the civic si and the crx. It still would have been popular.

                        I dont think ac was standard on any econo car at the time, was still optional for my 05 civic... (which didnt have it).

                        Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          But why do we classify small hatchbacks as econo cars in this country? Marketing is the reason. The public's common opinion is that a sub compact FWD car can only play the roll of economic daily transport. At least that's what the marketing VP's seem to want to shove down our throats. However, in some other countries, manufacturers would offer economy based cars with racing pedigree at not so economy prices.
                          My Porsche is very small, barely longer than a Festiva, it's a hatchback 2 door, just like a Festiva. The 987 has a trailing link style of Macpherson strut suspension, much like the front of a Festiva, but it cost the same as 9 brand new Festiva's and it came fully equipped with AC, PS, ABS, Leather, Bose sound from the factory. Now one may argue, "Duh, it's a Porsche, they have pedigree" , but Ford has a pretty damn strong pedigree too, and it has produced some really amazing little race cars. Even Mazda has some bragging rights that Stuttgart can't claim. So, what it comes down to is the price we pay for an image. I mean, sure my Porsche is a finely balanced work of art that is at peace on the edge of traction, but that edge is slower than a sub compact econobox with some ebay suspension and a motor swap. Hmmm. Don't tell the marketing department at Ford that they were selling exotic supercar eating chassis for pennies on the dollar.
                          Last edited by Advancedynamix; 05-02-2017, 09:28 PM.
                          Driving for me is neither a right nor a privilege. Driving is my passion, as it was for the people who invented the automobile, the people who paved the first roads and the people who continue to improve the automobile. Please respect this passion.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Advancedynamix View Post
                            But why do we classify small hatchbacks as econo cars in this country? Marketing is the reason. The public's common opinion is that a sub compact FWD car can only play the roll of economic daily transport. At least that's what the marketing VP's seem to want to shove down our throats. However, in some other countries, manufacturers would offer economy based cars with racing pedigree at not so economy prices.
                            My Porsche is very small, barely longer than a Festiva, it's a hatchback 2 door, just like a Festiva. The 987 has a trailing link style of Macpherson strut suspension, much like the front of a Festiva, but it cost the same as 9 brand new Festiva's and it came fully equipped with AC, PS, ABS, Leather, Bose sound from the factory. Now one may argue, "Duh, it's a Porsche, they have pedigree" , but Ford has a pretty damn strong pedigree too, and it has produced some really amazing little race cars. Even Mazda has some bragging rights that Stuttgart can't claim. So, what it comes down to is the price we pay for an image. I mean, sure my Porsche is a finely balanced work of art that is at peace on the edge of traction, but that edge is slower than a sub compact econobox with some ebay suspension and a motor swap. Hmmm. Don't tell the marketing department at Ford that they were selling exotic supercar eating chassis for pennies on the dollar.
                            Because thats all that got sold here? 'Hot hatches' are very rare in north america because we were sold and bought the lie that:
                            Bigger is safer
                            Bigger is stronger
                            Bigger is faster
                            Bigger is cooler
                            Bigger is required because we live here. (maybe more a Canadian thing that you need a 4x4 to go through an inch of snow).
                            What you mentioned is just the speed side, but anything smaller than an suv is known as a death trap in north america. Not spending your lifes savings on fuel is laughed at and mocked even if said car goes faster than what the mocker has.
                            Tow ratings are way less on vehicles sold here than the same vehicle sold elsewhere. Toyota yaris is allowed to tow 1 ton in europe, 700 pounds in Canada and zero in the us of a.
                            My civic is good for 1800 pounds in australia, nothing here. And on and on.

                            The lie that a big vehicle is safe has been bought big time here too. To the point where people hate you if you put a kid in a festiva.

                            Marketing started a trend and now feeds it.

                            Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              Good point!
                              Driving for me is neither a right nor a privilege. Driving is my passion, as it was for the people who invented the automobile, the people who paved the first roads and the people who continue to improve the automobile. Please respect this passion.

                              Comment

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