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Old 04-09-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
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Need some help...

So over the last month or so the steering in my car seems to have gotten very sloppy. Isn't nice and crisp like the Focus should be.. Some of the symptoms include:

-Car likes to grab ruts in the road and follow them. Tramlining.

-Steering wheel doesn't return all that well to center after a turn. Especially a soft turn. As in not too sharp.

-Steering is just plain sloppy. Needs a lot of correction on the road.

I wish I could explain it better... Last week I had it aligned and everything went into spec real well. Front toe was off a bit but that always happens in these cars. I also recently had the struts out of the car to replace the strut mounts. (i broke a stud...) The struts, springs, and knuckle look fine. Ball joints appreared fine as well as the tie rods and swaybar endlinks (moogs). I am stumped. It really started happening around a month ago. I installed my FS header around a month ago and I was thinking perhaps with its close proximity to the steering rack it is messin with the steering fluids or something else. But I haven't heard of anyone else with a Duratec and header having these problems...

One other thing is when I rotated the tires they had awful inside shoulder wear on both fronts. This was probably due to the toe issue but definately both were worn the same which puzzles me because toe was out more on one side than the other. I dunno. Help me out with this one.


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Old 04-10-2009, 07:58 AM   #2
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the most common i hear about cars grabbing ruts and following them is the tires.

maybe because your front tires were worn they were just sliding and giving the appearance of crisp steering when they were just floating over things, but now that you have tread they are going back to their original ways. if that makes sense.

may not be true, but im just throwing that one out there.

if you feal that may be true along those lines, when you go to purchase tires, check for reviews on the internet and look for people that say certain tires chase the ruts or what not.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:03 PM   #3
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True. One other thing I was thinking is the control arm bolts, the front ones, are apparently torque to yeild and should be replaced each time they are taken out. Well 4 months ago I put in the FS lower tie bar for which you have to remove these. I am going to get two new bolts and see if anything improves.

One other thing is the rack. I was under the car yesterday checking everything out. All the suspension parts are tight and clean as a whistle. The rack however makes a ton of noise when moving the wheels side to side with the car off. Now I don't know much about steering racks (yet) but it seems a bit excessive. I might try and find a rack from a junkyard and swap em. Not sure yet. All i know is this problem is quite annoying.

Oh and the real symptom of the problem is the steering wheel not returning well.
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