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Discuss A question about Traction Control at the Focus ST General Discussion within the Ford ST Nation; Originally Posted by kyleb350 I ...
  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyleb350 View Post
    I don't think liability is a concern for aftermarket tuners. They provide tunes removing the top speed limiter all the time.
    Yes but that isn't directly affecting your safety. You are taking personal liability when you decide to go anywhere near the speed limiter of the car. You are putting yourself into danger. If you crash, you are liable because you chose to exceed the speed limit, so no one will fight for you.

    Making it so that ESP does not switch on can affect you at 10mph and 100mph. If you are on your drive to work and it is cold out, you go around a corner and the rear end gets away from you and you crash, you should have been saved by the ESP system but a company made it possible for you to crash.

    Splitting hairs I know, but still...that is why they do not offer it

  2. #12
    ST Nation Staff Sergeant trip9's Avatar
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    With that mindset wouldn't Ford be held accountable as well since they allow us to disable TC? The option to start in Sport Mode or full off would be exactly that, an option.

  3. #13
    Sergeant of ST Nation Scrming's Avatar
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    Ok... In the Mustang world it was not uncommon to ask your tuner to turn off the Traction Control on start up. I imagine the ST is no different. Also I can't see there any kind of liability issue at all... Tuners remove the speed limiter all the time as someone else pointed out... Finally ALL tuners, i believe, are labeled for OFF ROAD USE ONLY, due to emissions law...

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  5. #14
    ST Nation Staff Sergeant otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoraNezumi View Post
    I have had multiple instances on the street where a non-issue event was turned into a close call BECAUSE of the traction control system... The system is a hindrance and hazard (as is ABS) to someone who knows the limits of their vehicle and can drive to them. No offence intended to anyone.
    I generally wouldn't recommend running on the street without ABS simple because it can save your ass in a panic situation. That said, when I lived in a winter climate I would frequently pull my ABS fuse when there was snow because I found I could stop more predictably on snow/ice when I didn't have to worry about the ABS kicking in and taking over with the slightest bit of slipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by betterthansx661 View Post
    I don't doubt your driving ability what so ever. It is there as a safety net for those who decide to dabble in asshatterie and ruin it for the rest of us.

    I know that weather conditions can change in the matter of minutes, and if you are in October with those Eagle F1 tires and it all of the sudden snows, your butt will be puckered. It will keep you in a straight line and give you the ability to concentrate on not hitting the Corollas and Civics that decide to go 100 when you can hardly stay straight at 30.

    I know that my daily commute is terrible, and having that safety net in place is just a nice thing to have. Plus, I am not inconvenienced by pushing a button for a few seconds if I want to drive like Colin McRae...or at least try
    I'm in Texas - I run summer tires year round. When I lived in MI I planned ahead when it came to tire swapping and never used TC. Sadly, the people around me weren't as smart.

    Quote Originally Posted by XRJoe View Post
    I think you're a bit different than most of the street drivers and weekend warriors out there who my comment was directed to. My apologies for assuming.

    Attachment 5205
    No worries, I'm not even remotely offended, just making the case that I feel the option is a valid one for those who want it. I have no disagreement that there are plenty of people who need TC to keep themselves out of trouble; that's why it exists.
    Performance Blue ST3 - Ordered 10/20; Confirmed 10/23; Built 11/26; Arrived at dealer 12/6; Picked up 12/7

  6. #15
    ST Nation Officer Enlist blackbird's Avatar
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    Eric H.
    I'd need to double-check the system version, but I was pretty sure the ST is using the ABS (anti-lock brake system) for electronic brake force distribution (EBD, also known as electronic variable brake proportioning (EVBP)) where the brake system doesn't have a conventional mechanical proportioning valve and the ABS HCU (hydraulic control unit) provides brake force proportioning front to rear. If you disable the system by removing power to the ABS you'll lose brake proportioning. The workaround for track days in some cars is to disconnect a wheel speed sensor which disables the anti-lock braking functionality but leaves the EBD active. This might be problematic on the ST due to the torque vectoring (i.e. brake-lock or brake-based electronic limited slip differential). If you disable the stability control via the switch on the dash the torque vectoring is still active but disabling the ABS by disconnecting a wheel speed sensor may also kill the software/electronic differential functionality (I've been meaning to try this just to see how the baseline handling is on the car without the electronics but haven't had time yet).

    For those wanting to completely disable stability control or have it start up in the off position I'd suggest against this due to how the system works. If you're a great driver and know how to control the vehicle, counter-steer, load and unload the suspension and are great in threshold braking you might be able to outdrive the electronics, but no matter how good a driver you are you can't individually brake each wheel to change the yaw or rotation of the vehicle under braking or in certain conditions outside your control. There's a reason why it was mandated by the NHTSA as they found in research that cars where it was optional the difference between models that didn't have electronic stability control (ESC) and those that did, the number of single vehicle collisions went down fairly dramatically on those equipped with ESC.

    I can see how at a track day you might push the car outside the normal driving limits programmed into some systems and it would be useful to disable ESC and luckily Ford gave us that option. The sport mode also seems fairly unobtrusive and is there if things get out of control. Out on the street you could still turn the system off but if you're driving smoothly and within the limits of the vehicle and conditions it should never come on. And in an emergency situation you can still control the vehicle with proper driving skills and also have the benefit of the system backing you up and doing what you might not always be able to do in order to control the directional stability of the car. Just as an example, at high speeds in certain vehicles no matter how fast you counter-steer it might not be fast enough to prevent a spin while the electronics work much faster and might very well save you from losing control.

    That's my line of thinking and everyone will have his or her own thoughts and opinions. Back to the technical side of it for those wanting to change how the stock system works or who want to disable it there may be some roadblocks and challenges due to the nature of how the stability control is integrated into the vehicle. In a lot of the newer cars a majority of the stability and traction control functionality is performed in the ABS ICU (integrated control unit) computer. The ABS ICU computer rides on the same in-car network bus (e.g. the CANbus in the Focus) as the powertrain control computer for the engine and over this bus they can share data. That way if the ABS system needs to activate traction control it not only can apply the brakes to slow a spinning wheel but also can have the engine controller close the throttle blade, reduce boost or ignition timing, etc. to reduce engine torque output.

    Since most of this programming resides in the ABS computer you can't always disable it in all cars using the aftermarket tuning solutions (i.e. SCT, Cobb, DiabloSport, etc.) that only support the powertrain controller computer. For previous Focus owners who had an SVT Focus with the optional winter package and full-range traction control you'd be all too familiar with this. While the SCT and Diablo software can disable the engine power reduction features in the engine controller for speeds over 25 mph, for speeds under that the ABS unit would still use the braking system to limit wheelspin. To get around this on a track day you could disconnect a wheel speed sensor for the ABS (leaving the electronic brake proportioning active) but the only true way to completely disable the traction control would be to swap out the ABS ICU from a car without traction control and also disable the engine torque control portion as well.

    Not all vehicles behave in this same fashion but many of the newer cars do since stability control is now mandated in the United States which means all vehicles now have ABS in order to perform the individual wheel braking (they also have traction control for "free" since it's just a matter of software at that point). If the Focus ST is still using an ATE (formerly Continental-Treves) ABS unit then the aftermarket tuning software companies would need to reverse engineer the ABS controller in addition to the interfaces and control measures built into the engine controller programming.

    While this should technically be possible it's not likely a priority for any tuning company that is trying to improve their tuning solutions for the Ford implementation of the Bosch MeD17 powertrain controller. Being a realist and having been around the aftermarket tuning companies and knowing what limited resources many have and how they operate their business divisions when selecting development work I doubt we'll see anything for ABS reprogramming any time soon, but if there is a way on the ST to disable or change some aspects via the powertrain controller we could see that down the road.
    Eric H.
    '13 ST (Tux Black) - '04 SVTF (Screaming Yellow/EAP ZX3) - '02 SVTF (CD Silver - Vortech)
    '92 Dodge Daytona IROC R/T - '81 & '85 Chevy Citation X-11 - '93 Olds Achieva SCX W41 (x2)
    plus a Cobalt, a Neon, and some other stuff...

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