2001 Hatch: Loose rear Uncontrollable swaying over bumps - Rear Alignment issues - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:01 PM   #1
herenow
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2001 Hatch: Loose rear Uncontrollable swaying over bumps - Rear Alignment issues

(I've been researching online. I have not fond the correct resolution)
At speed 45 and any higher, when I hit a bump in the road /highway, the entire back car swigs out of control, 1st leaning towards the Left, then swiging to the right.

So far, i've found that it could be one of the following:

A) Rear alignment might need adjusting --
B) Lower Control arms (up and down movement of rear suspension)
C) Sway bar links /
D) Bushings /

E) Control Blade / controls the Caster of the rear(vertical movement)

Does anyone know if any of these, is the actual issue? Or what should I replace to stop the car from swinging left to right.

I've stopped going on the highway, it seems like the car would lose control over high speeds. (I had my friend follow me on the highway & he noticed the car moving left to right. )

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!



Last edited by herenow; 05-10-2013 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:17 PM   #2
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Moved to "Wheels, Tires, Brakes & Suspension"
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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Well first caster is not the up and down movement. It is the tilting of the SAL ans SAI in the front our car dosent have rear caster most don't but there are always exceptions. "Positive Caster" increases the return ability of the wheels to a true straight ahead, but also increases steering effort. While "Negative Caster" decreases the return ability of the wheels to true straight it increases the ease of steering. Think of a shopping cart the "casters" in the front are EXTREME negative caster which makes it east to turn the cart under a heavy load but when you go fast with it the wheels start shaking due to poor return ability. There you go a brief summery of what I learned in my suspension and alignment class this last semester lol. Sorry for the rant but now on to what you need.

Most likely it could be that 1 or both of the sway bar links broke. drop down under the car and look at the things that are connected to the blue bar. ALSO YOURS WONT BE BLUE. Just so you know it might be black or rust but your looking at the links that connect to the bar to see if either are broke. If you can find a helper have them rock the car a bit {BUT not with your head or body under the car}.



Hope this helps PS a quick google search got me this pic that was in our fourm so thank you Godzukidan and I hope this was okay to use your pic.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #4
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"Loose" feeling in the rear is usually from worn out bushings in the rear suspension.

Rear lower arm seems more common for this than the front one, but BOTH control the "toe" of the rear wheel & I've seen reports of each causing this problem.

Wandering when going straight, turning more or less than desired when cornering 9and even switching between the two with no steering input) is symptomatic of bad lower arm bushes.

Camber changes from worn blade bushings wouldn't have as much of an effect.

Sway bar problems would cause more of a "lean", and poorer handling, but not a 'wander".

We can give more info. once you check it out, otherwise this post could end up a book!

(grin)

Luck!
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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Your description and the pic is VERY helpful, to know where I need to look. I'll look here shortly. Is it still safe to drive under 45, or will something in the rear suspension break, and cause me to crash???

I want this fixed by this saturday.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #6
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The car rear, only swings left to right, when I hit a bump, or and indent in the road. I want to replace the parts tomorrow. I'm worried, it'll cause me to crash. The "swaying" is not minimal, it's very apparent.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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Lets say it i the sway bar if the is the only problem it wont put you immediately danger as long as you dont take it around corners fast take it nice and slow but thats if it is the only problem. Like sailor said it could also be something else which could be bad either way no "spirited driving" okay. Check and see if you can find it if not you will have to take it to someone to check it out and fix it for you.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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See the "arms" in the picture?

Sway bar attaches to the rear arm, you can barely see the front arm behind it in the picture.

Silver colored bolt in the suspension frame is the adjustable inner attachment point for the rear bar (where toe-in is adjusted)

Unless you have a bad wheel bearing, and a wheel is wobbling, the ends of these arms are where you need to look for bad rubber bushes that allow too much movement.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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Nobody has mentioned struts here unless I'm blind. Struts control lean and sway also. One could be broken.

No one here should be telling you if the car is safe to drive, there's liability issues there. Other than that, if you are concerned as much as it seems then quit driving the car.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:28 PM   #10
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No one mentions struts because the Focus doesn't have rear struts.

your bushing are probably worn out and need to be replaced. i would get under the car and grab the drum and start wiggling it around to see if you get any play and where it is from
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