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Old 03-18-2007, 05:25 PM   #1
troublmaker_98
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!SOLVED! rear end feels 'loose' when crossing bumps

i have an '02 focus se, sohc, 4dr, 86k miles. when crossing bumps the rear end feels as if it moves side to side.. it feels 'loose'. (but not like loose bolts). or it could be described as squirmy like it's about to slide (as if on a patch of ice). It's most prevelant on the LH side. The local mechanic said to replace the shocks. I installed new shocks and it seemed to help a bit, but the problem is still present. There is no visable damage or worn items that i can tell when inspected during the shock install.

any ideas how to correct or trouble shoot? thank you.

how do i trouble shoot checking the swar bar, or will a repair shop have to inspect? what could i expect to pay for this inspection?



Last edited by troublmaker_98; 04-16-2007 at 08:31 AM. Reason: update, issue resolved
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:11 PM   #2
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i have the same prob... i started noticing it around 20k (the car was like 2y old)
i took it to the dealer numerous times and they could never figure it out.. they even replaced all 4 shocks with no success...
it's been another 2 years ever since and the car is still swinging from side to side...
i gave up on it long time ago..
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:19 PM   #3
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I recently bought an 02' SVT that had the same problem and it also had newer shocks. One day I hit a speed bump pretty fast and heard a clunk, never heard that before. I went back over it again slower, no clunk, then I went faster and heard the clunk again. When it make the clunk the back end became REALLY loose. I put the car on stands and ruthlessly shook every suspension part on the car. I found that my passenger sway bar end link would make a clunk if you really really shook it hard. I replaced both sway bar end links and bushings just yesterday and now the problem is almost completely gone. I tried driving on bumps and on worn roads with ruts and the rear end of the car is almost as good as my buddies low mileage Focus. I would recommend checking out the sway bars and related hardware.
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:37 PM   #4
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That sounds so familiar. One day about a week and a half ago my '00 ZX3 with 50k miles gave me a dramatic "wooops! was that ice??" sensation in the rear end when going over bridge expansion joints at highway speed. A couple more of those in the next couple of days, every now and then. I eyeballed the situation, pushed on things, etc., and everything looked ok in the back.

Then the other day I hit a small frost heave at 30 mph and CACHUNK! Limp into a nearby parking lot only to find the car hunkered down on the RR corner, wheel canted inward and dragging its lower control arm on the pavement.

Best part was when the tow guy finished loading it on the flatbed he grabbed a flashlight, peeked under the rear and burst out laughing...
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:57 PM   #5
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ohh snap mine is doing the same thing , i have a 00 zx3 with 97k i first dismissed it as there being no wieght in the rear end , and way it sways side to side when you hit a bump , and on ice or snow forget about it feel like a rear wheel drive car... ... i thought mabye now it had to do with the camber not being right on the rear end but you so its the control arms????
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Dragon_01 View Post
ohh snap mine is doing the same thing , i have a 00 zx3 with 97k i first dismissed it as there being no wieght in the rear end , and way it sways side to side when you hit a bump , and on ice or snow forget about it feel like a rear wheel drive car... ... i thought mabye now it had to do with the camber not being right on the rear end but you so its the control arms????
i had that problem with my low-pro's on...but not with my regular steelies...so i am ASSUMING it to be the rear camber...i'd hope someone sheds some light on this problem though...i might like my 17's back on sometime.
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerntatie View Post
That sounds so familiar. One day about a week and a half ago my '00 ZX3 with 50k miles gave me a dramatic "wooops! was that ice??" sensation in the rear end when going over bridge expansion joints at highway speed. A couple more of those in the next couple of days, every now and then. I eyeballed the situation, pushed on things, etc., and everything looked ok in the back.

Then the other day I hit a small frost heave at 30 mph and CACHUNK! Limp into a nearby parking lot only to find the car hunkered down on the RR corner, wheel canted inward and dragging its lower control arm on the pavement.

Best part was when the tow guy finished loading it on the flatbed he grabbed a flashlight, peeked under the rear and burst out laughing...

so what broke?
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:28 PM   #8
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lower control arm?
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:01 PM   #9
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I had that problem shaking and just unstable from the back end, turned out to be my lower control arm bushings where shot. Ford sells only the table and they cost $113 can.
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:26 AM   #10
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** issue solved ** The rear alignment was out. Repair shop said 1 tire was off about .25". The cost was $30 to align and results were immediate. This shop had never heard of such aggressive issues (loose rear and uncontrollable in snow) related to an aligmenet. But nonetheless it solved my issue. All the rear components were tight and not bent or showing any wear, assumption the shop made was it was knocked out due to poor michigan road conditions. Glad its fixed and only $30 is a releif.
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