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Old 04-09-2007, 10:05 AM   #1
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Focus New Boy (VW Convert in the making?!)

Hello!

Last week I bought a 2001 (Y) Focus 1.8 Zetec Hatch for the wife (although I have enjoyed driving it myself!)

I must say I am very impressed. Usually I am a "VW Man", owning Polo's, Golf's and currently a Passat. I would say the Focus definately gives the Golf a run for it's money, and I have not yet decided which is best!

Anyway..........

I have a couple of questions that I would like to put the "experts"...

Wind noise - Does the Focus suffer from wind noise around the near-side windscreen..? It seems to be quite evident above 50mph. Anyone else noticed this..?

Rumbling noise - About 60mph and above there appears to be a noticeable noise from the front near-side wheel. Don't get me wrong, it's not deafening, but it does sound like more than road noise. Could this be a dodgy wheel bearing..? Are wheel bearings prone to going faulty on Focii?

Your help, advice and opinions much appreciated..!

Cheers
MustangM

PS - Think I've decided which is best, the Focus as it puts a smile on my face when I go round corners!


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Old 04-09-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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those probs arent too common on the foci, I've burnt out rear wheel bearings but only from sustained high speed on the autobahn...
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:40 AM   #3
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to FF

Really I have no idea how the European Focus is, but I wish I had an idea how the ST225 was!!! Unfortunately, in the states a high power Focus might distract people from purchasing Mustangs, and therefore will NEVER be seen. Heck, we don't even drive cars built on the same chassis.

Q1) My focus tends to have some wind noise, however I'm very sensitive to these things, and was impressed by the rental Focus I drove that seemed as quiet as a BMW. I didn't know at the time, but it had been coated with Ford's undercoating reserved for northern climates and fleet cars- and mine was not. If it's a really annoying sound it might be worth checking the insulation around the mirrors by removing the mirrors. There's also (if there's any similarities at all between our construction) a foam windblocker inside the right side (driver's) fender that might have been either removed, or pushed aside. Chasing down wind noise is annoyingly difficult, I tried to chase down mine and the came to the conclusion that the windscreen was not installed with the proper glues- but until someone cracks mine there's no sense in replacing it or having it removed for the sake of wind noise. I just turn up the radio.

Q2) Rumbling sound. No Focis to my knowledge don't have worse wheel bearings than anyone else on the planet. That doesn't mean that one can't be bad on your car. To test for a bad wheel bearing, jack the side of the car where you hear the noise (you can do this with the emergency jack if it is properly positioned on a level surface), grab both sides of the wheel in question, and push pull on the wheel tilting it on the center. You will have to do this violently and for a few seconds before sounds will become evident. If you feel movement and hear a LOUD thunking coming from the center of the wheel, then the bearing is suspect and should be inspected or replaced. It could be that the bearing is loose and in need of grease, but I doubt it, usually by the time you can hear them- replacement is needed.

There could also be other causes (diagnosis over the internet is difficult), like have you checked to see if all the tires are of the same manufacturer or style? One different tire could be a very loud tread design as compared to the other tires. It could also be that the tire itself is low on air pressure from a bad fill stem or something.

Best of luck, and I hope you figure it out! I wish we had the exact same Focus.... chassis wise, I'll keep my larger standard 2.0 motor though, but I wish they would bring over the turbo diesel Focus!! (see below)
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the prompt reply.

Sorry to hear you are unable to share the "european delights" that Ford appears to be keeping away from the American market...!

You would think that the state Ford is in at the moment that they would sell cars to every market, if only to keep out the Jap\Chinese\Korean cr@p out... God I hate Jap\Chinese\Korean cars with a passion.... CopyKatStyling..!!

Anyway, we digress!!!

I'll have a look at the foam windblocker. To be honest the noise sounds as if its coming from underneath the airbag cover on this dash. Wonder if the air is making its way into the airbag compartment somehow..?

All 4 tyres (english spelling!) are the same. Firestones. I have convinced myself the bearing is shot as if I travel at speed and gently "swerve" from side to side the rumbling noise changes "tone", so the change in load on the wheel seems to effect the noise? Does this make sense?!!!! (I am an engineer by trade, but play with computer software these days for a living!)

Cheers
MM
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Cheers

Well while you're looking, check the sway bar (I think you call them torsion bars) end links for cracks in the bushings. Those have been the cause of many strange sounds- usually thumping though, although a worn bushing could transfer vibration from the A-arm to the body more than one that is properly separated.

Yeah, I'm leaning towards the wheel bearing also. Just covering all the bases as per internet diagnosis rules. BTW Ford does sell cars in every market and just last year completed building a Focus factory in China for it's Asian sales division. I don't think any other manufacturer is as global in manufacturing as Ford. Ford Australia really gets the good cars with powerful sedans that make American's drool and Europeans swoon.

FIRESTONE!! Not my favorite tires by any means, but depending on the type they should be quiet. I prefer Dunlop, although they wear faster than other tires- you get the traction safety that other tires can't compete with.

Yes air can come in from inside the dash. Inspect your firewall, the part of the body between the engine and passenger compartment, for any penetration that might be lacking a grommet or seal. Also look for looseness in the inner plastic fenderwell. If your Focus is anything like mine then air which gets under the inner fenderwell could make lots of noise in the dash area as tries to exit in the cowl. Also check the cowl cover to be sure it is completely secure. There were also some foam blocks positioned on my Focus near where the hood hinge folds down that were put there to block wind noise after the last body change here. Those just sit in place and could have been accidentally removed. A junkyard would be a good place to find replacement.
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Old 04-09-2007, 03:11 PM   #6
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Funny you mention tyres - I need 2 for the rear. I was going to go for Goodyear NCT5 Eagles.... Any comments anyone?
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:43 PM   #7
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We have a Wheel and Tire forum that would be more up on tyres.

I'd say Dunlop SP4 myself.
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