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Old 11-12-2012, 12:36 PM   #1
swagfocuswagon
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Greetings! First time member and focus owner!

Hey guys hows it going?

Okay so I recently purchased a 2000 Focus SE wagon to fix up and sell. Now what I'm dealing with here is the notorious rear camber problem most of these cars tend to have. I replaced the rear shocks and upper arm bushings and its still sagging, not as much but its there. The car was used to tow a small trailer and was loaded to the max and driven from Dayton OH to Texas and did the rear suspension in.

Now I still have more bushings to replace, but it seems to be I have to replace the springs as well (and it looks like it will be a bitch) and maybe my problem will be solved. But as always you guys input would be appreciated! :)

Thanks, and great forum!


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Old 11-12-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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Gotta think where to start here....

Shocks & bushings won't raise the rear of the car for starters I guess is a good place to start, not sure how you replaced upper arm bushings since the only way to do that is to replace the arm unless you press in Poly Bushings....

Camber in the rear isn't generally an issue by itself except for lowered cars, the tire wear issue is generally from the wrong toe in, causing wear on one side of the tires.
The proper specs., and a shade tree method to set the alignment yourself, can be found in the "Wheels, Tires, Brakes" section of the Forum.

Replacing springs if it's sagging is MUCH easier if you detach the shock first to let the arm drop. Old springs can then usually be levered out, but you'll need to compress the new ones a bit for installation (center rod type compressor is easiest, but not a common tool - I used external "cheapo's" from Harbor Freight to do MY upgrade - but they're a bit of a PITA & will wear out in one use)

Lower control arm bolts tend to freeze in the bushing sleeves, making toe adjustment or arm replacement difficult - penetrant & repeated loosening attempts got mine good enough for adjustment, but not for replacement. If you need new arms cutting them out is the general method.

Give more details on the issues you are trying to solve, and we can give more detailed info..

Welcome to the Forum!

P.S. - for better responses, we might move this to a more appropriate area...

btw, if you still have too much camber at normal ride height adjuster bolts for the upper arms are available - cheapest way to get 'em more vertical.

Last edited by sailor; 11-12-2012 at 03:04 PM. Reason: add
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!

You are right about the bushings and shocks, though it did help. Later on some time I am going to tear into the lower arm bushings, and yes I did use the poly ones. They seem to work well.

And that what I have read before I joined this forum, I just want to see if re-doing the bushings will some how magically solve my problem lol. If not (witch im sure will be the case lol) then ill order some springs and get cracking on it.

And Ill see if I cant post some pics of the car and maybe that will help with describing my problem. It doesn't sag as much, but it does a little bit, and the rear camber problem is there, not as extreme, but its there. I may just have to get those adjustable arms (should have done that from the start, anyway) and do the backyard alignment. The more I pay attention to these cars, the more I notice with this camber problem. Hmm...
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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Yep, for whatever reason Ford delivered the Focus with lots of non-adjustable camber at all four corners. And yes again, the bulk of the problem is in the rear end. There's usually enough camber that even when combined with modest amounts of toe it becomes a recipe for eating tires. Camber bolts (along with a good alignment using very precise settings) are the cheapest (30.00 or less) and easiest way of making corrections.

In addition, Ford got hold of a batch of really crappy springs. These were delivered on early (pre 03) Foci. They were subject to sagging and outright failure (coils breaking from rust through). This problem continues to happen even after all these years. While I haven't heard of too many wagons experiencing the problem (they have a different and longer rear spring than sedans and hatchbacks) it could still be a possibility assuming they were sourced from the same place. Besides stock OE replacement springs, Bat Inc. carries several performance spring and shock options for the wagon that may interest you.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply Geezer! And I have read a lot of horror stories involving inner edges on tires being worn prematurely.

I would have also figured the springs were no count. They look rather cheap too. They also have a good amount of cancer especially at the top.

So Ill probably have to get new springs if replacing the other bushings doesn't do the justice.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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2001 zx3

Hello everyone.....I recently found, and joined, this group because you guys have had the best information on trouble shooting and fixing a Focus. I recently purchased a 2001 ZX3 with 46,000 miles on it for my daughter. I have replaced the EGR valve and replaced the plugs and wires. I now am gettinf the p0122 code. I will be fixing that this week, thanks to the knowlege of you guys.

Is there any thing else I should look for with this car? I mean are there any problems these cars are known for? I am an old V8 guy and this is my first Focus.

It's a whole lot slower than my other cars, but, it is fun to drive.......
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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An 01 with 46K miles sounds like a real cream puff and a great find. With 130HP or so, you're not going to win too many drag races but as you have learned, they handle pretty damn nice.

Very early foci do have a couple of notable problems to keep an eye on. One was the brakes. Ford delivered a lot of early cars with some very poor quality front rotors (poor metallurgy that resulting in uneven bedding of the pads). If the front brake rotors haven't already been replaced and you feel some pulsation coming from the front, consider some new rotors in the near future. As mentioned above, Ford also had a batch of crappy springs on the 00-02 cars. They rusted really bad and are prone to snap in half. Keep any eye on those as well. If you do have to replace them I strongly suggest the SVT suspension kit (springs, shocks and bigger rear sway delivered for less than $300.00). It turns a nice handling car into a great handling car without much impact to overall ride quality. The fun quotient goes up at least two fold. The springs will lower the car about 1/2".
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for the heads up on the things to look for Geezer. Can you tell me if I should replace the throttle body when I change the TPS. I have read that some people are saying that I can get away with the TPS only, while otheres are saying I should change the throttle body as well due to a compatability issue between the two.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordsonly View Post
Thanks for the heads up on the things to look for Geezer. Can you tell me if I should replace the throttle body when I change the TPS. I have read that some people are saying that I can get away with the TPS only, while otheres are saying I should change the throttle body as well due to a compatability issue between the two.
IMO if it was me and i was reolacing the TPS its not that much more work or cost to go ahead and replace the throttle body gasket. in the long run you will thank yourself
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagfocuswagon View Post
Hey guys hows it going?

Okay so I recently purchased a 2000 Focus SE wagon to fix up and sell. Now what I'm dealing with here is the notorious rear camber problem most of these cars tend to have. I replaced the rear shocks and upper arm bushings and its still sagging, not as much but its there. The car was used to tow a small trailer and was loaded to the max and driven from Dayton OH to Texas and did the rear suspension in.

Now I still have more bushings to replace, but it seems to be I have to replace the springs as well (and it looks like it will be a bitch) and maybe my problem will be solved. But as always you guys input would be appreciated! :)

Thanks, and great forum!
Welcome to the forum. i also had the same problem with a 2000 focus s i have i found by replacing the control arm was the way to go. i did that and had a 4 piont alignment done and all was fine.

now mine wasnt caused from towing as i was told by a ford mech friend that this was a common problem with this model.
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