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Old 11-14-2012, 07:10 AM   #21
JonathanGennick
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Never mind.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berndt View Post
anyone have a handy list of what (could) needs to be replaced. or a forum post detailing the procedure(s)? Im just curious. I don't know if Id attempt any of this work, or just let a shop rape me to replace the worn bushings.

I will start with a good alignment. Is there a set of specific settings I can give a shop? I've been searching the forums, and haven't found anything obvious yet.

thanks all for the info.
I can't find an alignment shop that will do exact specs for me, I just told them to use an 03' SVT (I have SVT suspension remember) for reference and my local shop does a good job.

Its really just a matter of using a metal cutting wheel on an angle grinder, cut all the stuck bolts out, replace with new parts, torque to spec. Not fun but it wasn't hard either if you are used to working on cars. If you do order lower rear control arms, Tousley Ford has great prices and service.

I would start with:
-New lower rear control arms, inside camber bolts and outside bolts
-inspect rear-front lower control arm bushings
-inspect upper rear control arm bushings
-inspect sway bar bushings
-inspect wheel bearings
-replace front and rear sway bar end links
-replace shocks, struts, and strut mounts
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:53 PM   #23
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That tire wear pictured there is from camber more than toe................
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:38 PM   #24
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Went to the a trusted tire shop ( according to a friend who's been using this guy / shop for 20+ years).

I didn't get a print out, so let my try to remember what he showed me on the alignment computer screen....
The front axle was pretty well within specs, with only very minor adjustments needed.

The rear axle was a little messed up. I don't remember which was which, but one measurement, I think toe, was .015, or .15. well under 1 anyway, not zero, but close. He said a toe of zero and the car would handle like crap. I think the camber was 1.3 on the passenger side, and 2.3 on the drivers side. 2.3 is Ford's limit on normal within spec. So a shim to bring that one wheel in to at least what the passenger wheel is.

The technician said he recommended a shim for the drivers rear, and then a full alignment, but he'll have to order the part, and we scheduled another appointment for later this week.

The bushings, he said looked fine. He also said he hadn't heard of Focus' wearing out tires real fast, and i mentioned the 2005 and up class action suit. But he has seen Focus SVT's wear out tires, because those have a different camber setting, for handling. Oddly, the SVT's that aren't driven hard seem to wear out faster, that SVT's that _are_ driven hard...

I figure I'll get the alignment, and then keep an eye on them, and rotate often.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #25
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I had a problem similar to this about a year ago. I was headed to a concert in the pouring rain on the highway and I started to fishtail. I knew before then that I needed new tires since my rears were almost bald. My front tires were brand new. Apparently the people that put them on for me didn't know what they were doing because they put the good tires on the front and at the time, I didn't know any better either. If I went over 55mph in that rain I would fishtail. So I had to drive about 50mph on a 70mph highway while trying to make it to a concert on time.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:10 PM   #26
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Nope. If the same bald tires were on the front I guarantee you wouldn't have been able to go 35 mph in same circumstance. The jerking there is much more violent and more likely to lead you into accident.

You need at least some semblance of good tire on front OR back, not having it (running bald) is a driver competence issue. But only the unlearned put the new tires on the back on FWD, if I need back ones, the new go on front and old go to back. That is after experimenting with both end priorities many years ago. The same evidence is supported on 2 Tempos, a Topaz, a Contour and 2 Focus, they ALL like the 2 new tires FAR better on front. If you are sliding out the rear you are going too fast or need FOUR new tires, not just two new on back, handicapping the front on FWD car is a serious mistake showing you know nothing about cars.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berndt View Post
He said a toe of zero and the car would handle like crap.
honestly, he doesn't know the Focus like we know it. we have millions of motoring miles experience in these cars. he doesn't. You NEED to set your rear toe to zero.

also set the front out to to the minimum allowed ( i like 1/16" to 1/8" out)

also "On spec" can still mean a crap alignment. you need to have him align to our custom specs.
Dont waste your money on a generic " on spec" alignment, where you'll need to replace tires again. if he wont do a custom alignment, find another shop.

good luck.
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:01 AM   #28
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You realize of course if you set rear at dead zero static then it will be slightly toe out when car moving from rubber bushing and other part deflection right? A slight toe out like that could easily make the car do what OP complained of. I'd be looking for ever so slight toe in that would neutral out to zero while moving. Even a bit of toe in there acceptable, it makes the rear stay better on a set line.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:50 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx5fanatic View Post
So I had to drive about 50mph on a 70mph highway while trying to make it to a concert on time.
Okay, but is Justin Bieber really worth an accident??

Anyway, here's my fishtail story: as some of you might recall, I had my rear suspension rebuilt a few months ago. Couldn't get an alignment until a few days later, during which time I had the pleasure of driving with rear toe way over a degree on newish Eagle GT's. After a light rain a few blocks from home, I took an EASY corner on good pavement at about 25mph...and wiped out. Did a 180 on a busy 4-lane road and only by the grace of God did not get clobbered (although, I did manage to stop traffic and everyone stared at me). I've done my share of deliberate 180's in FWD & RWD cars (dry, rain, snow, ice), but this one just felt wrong - a complete and total lack of control. It was probably the only 180 I've ever done where I yelled "WTF?!".
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #30
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Berndt - I'll have to see where the specs. are hiding over in the wheels tires & brakes section - Geezer is the member who listed the best reference numbers, and you can find a good write-up on "toe" by him in the general stickies there (including some specs.)

Alignment threads were more current & easier to find when I did mine, but years pass fast!

There's a simple backyard method to check toe - you just need fishing line, a mechanic's ruler, and a couple jack stands or equivalent to tie the line to.

(Mechanic's Ruler is inexpensive, it's just flat metal 6" rule with a slide marker/pocket clip)

Set the fishing line on it's holders next to the center of the wheels vertically, and close to equidistant from the wheels horizontally.

Adjust the distance of the line from the wheel centers so it's 5/32 further out in the rear (I used a 2 5/32" setting on the rule for the rear, and set the front at 2'' so it was easy to see) The reason for this is that the rear wheelbase is SLIGHTLY narrower than the front, and you want the line parallel to the car.

Then measure & record the distance to the front & rear of each wheel to the line. (just measuring the front distance is adequate, both will give you the "big picture" the first time)

Repeat the process on the other side of the car.

THEN you get to compare numbers, and it should be apparent just where the wheels are pointing!

I was never "lucky" enough to stop with the front wheels exactly straight for example, but with one side toed in 1/32", and the other OUT 1/32" - I could be pretty sure they were approx. at 0 in/out if they HAD been straight.

In the rear I found MY issue, the left was 2/32" in while the right was 4/32" in - a bit excessive "in" at that right rear corner.

Fighting with frozen adjuster for a couple weeks (letting the penetrant work for a bit helped) I eventually got the right rear to move to 1/32" IN, and called it a day.

Car tracked right, steering straightened up, and the "feathering" I'd noticed starting on the rear tires didn't reappear (tires got rotated, new rears wore normally)

NOT a perfect job, but certainly adequate as it's held OK for 3 years now.

Just got back to town this aft. & saw your question, so I thought I'd elaborate a bit!

Luck!
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