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Old 08-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #11
Geezer
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I respectfully disagree with zero toe all around. The only time zero toe is warranted is if you have polyurethane bushings up front. If you have stock rubber bushings you want a smidgen (.01" or so) of "toe-OUT" but no more than that. The torque of a front wheel drive car pulls the tires minutely inward (resulting in zero toe or very close to it). A little toe out compensates for this.

In the rear some toe-in helps the car track a little better especially on crowed roads. I agree that it doesn't need to be much. 0.04" works well for much foci including the SVT.

Also, the front end tolerates chamber far better than the rear. Too much camber with even modest amounts of toe is a recipe for inside edge tire wear.

And please replace those shocks/struts. They are toast at 95K miles and not helping things.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #12
jmoryl
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Thanks for everyone's input. I've been convinced to order the strut/shock kit, even though I'm not sure that is the issue causing the tire wear. I have an appointment with the guy who did the alignment and he is going to give it a look over. I suspect it will be off (What are the alignment specs for a non-SVT Focus anyway?).

Originally I thought ball joints, but my local mechanic could find no play.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:03 AM   #13
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Here's some specs that myself and several FF members (they were SVT owners and avid autocrossers and track people) developed after a lot of trial and error. They will minimize inside edge tire wear and will not create any adverse handling issues (actually improves it). Lots of FF members have used these with success.

Front toe: 0.01 to 0.02 inches of toe-out (but no more than that)
Rear toe: 0.04 inches of toe-in

Front Camber: anything amount of negative camber that's within spec...it's non-adjustable anyway.
Rear Camber: -1.0 to -1.5 degrees but no more than that (you will need an aftermarket camber adjustment devise if it exceeds that amount. Camber bolts work fine as do adjustable upper control arm or lower control arms. The bolts are the cheapest).

Caster: non adjustable and rarely is an issue on a Focus
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:06 AM   #14
jmoryl
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Thanks Geezer. As things stand, I'm going to get the full damper and spring package from Tousley and have it set up with the alignment specs that you post (although a lot of people say zero toe in the rear?). At first I wasn't going to go for the springs, but my ride height appears to be at least 1/2" too low in the front, so it seems there is some sag.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:48 PM   #15
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Again, thanks to everyone for their input. New shocks/struts/springs installed as well as a passenger side inside tie-rod end. Handling is back to where it should be. Oh, and the guy who did the tires and alignment threw in a free alingment since he felt sorry for me blowing through some tires in 5000 mi.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:49 PM   #16
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And to add to the above, the ride height is about 1/2" higher, front and rear. So it appears the springs had sagged in 95k.
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