With only conventional jack stands, I wasn't able to get the rear end high enough to leverage the seized cam bolts off of my old, corroded LCA's, so I pawned the project (new springs & LCA's) off on my mechanic buddy. As we all know being do-it-yourself'ers, other people never do a job that meets our perfectionist standards.
When I got the car back, I noticed a couple of things that raised my eyebrows:
- He used a grinder to remove the cam bolt heads, and wound-up grinding several of the metal cam-alignment tabs off of the crossmember (crossmember has a pair of alignment tabs bookending each cam). I'm assuming that those aren't mission-critical, but rather just an aid for the alignment shop? Ie., I would think that the sheer torque of the bolts, rather than any bookend resistance offered by the tabs, is what prevents the cams from rotating over time. An alignment shop was able to align the suspension perfectly to the revised Focus specs (they nailed it, actually), but my concern is that without the crossmember tabs, the cams might have less of an incentive to remain on-target and will wander over time??
- The right-side LCA is not bent, but is somehow mounted such that it is rotated slightly clockwise (from the crossmember's perspective). The result is that the LCA coil seat is not parallel to the ground - the rear of the seat is lower than its front, so as you might imagine, the coil spring bulges a bit towards the rear of the car. The car was up on an alignment rack at two different places, and no one mentioned it. The car has never been in an accident, and there is no obvious warping on the crossmember nor wheel hub. In the photos below, the difference is visible comparing the left/right coil seats.
Crooked mounting of right-rear LCA from perpective of vehicle centerline:
Crooked mounting of right-rear LCA from perpective of sitting directly behind coil spring: