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'00-'04 Focus Rear Tire Wear

FYI
17 October 03
Robert Lane



Ford Motor Company told dealers that they may need to replace the rear upper control arms on Ford Focus models. The models include: 2000 through 2004 Focus Sedan, Wagon, ZX3 and ZX5 series.

According to Ford, consumers have been experiencing more than normal wear to the inside of the rear tire(s). Should owners experience such a condition, then they should bring their vehicle in to a Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealership for a possible adjustment. Ford will check the rear camber and, if possible, make an adjustment. If an adjustment to the vehicle's rear camber is necessary beyond the negative end of specification, then the dealership will need to source replacement rear upper control arm(s)."

The Ford Motor Company parts service kit required for this replacement is 3S4Z-1A154-AA. Ford will perform the replacement of parts under provisions of the bumper to bumper warranty under TSB T31305.

This is considered a "silent recall" where upon Ford may NOT notify owners of this condition. Owners should contact Pat Hoye (313) 248-8336 at Ford World Headquarters or click here for a Ford executive assigned to your area.

Owners are advised to have their vehicles inspected before the warranty period expires.

It's your money - demand a better product and Ford will listen.

Updates at BlueOvalNews.com
 

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OMGVTAK!
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Thanks for the info. I remember reading this on here somewhere. I'm gonna bring to the dealers attention when I go and get my oil changed next time.
 

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OMGVTAK!
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Yep that's the one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry for the repeat. Maybe others, like myself, missed the first posting.

I don't think this TSB/ silent recall is the end of the world. In fact, we are probably getting better rear end treaction becase of it(-thats a guess-so tech heads, don't go nuts.)

I'm certainly going to have my dealer take a look at the rear alignment. Like the guy says,
"demand a better product and Ford will listen."

(well it can't hurt anyway)
 

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This makes me wonder. I follow the book and rotate tires every 5000 miles. Wonder if I'll even see it...
 

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probly won't see it.. and the dealer won't do a thing about it unless there is obvious wear. They probly won't even put it on the alignment machine
 

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[paranoid] Back brought the dead thread on accident I ment to post here [?|]
But I checked mine and theres not any abnormal wear.. Then again I have like 2700miles [thumb]

-Shawn
 

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I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with my rear end and this could be it. I'm wondering if anyone might have an idea if I'm right or not.

I've got a 2000 ford focus LX with some really horrid looking Rear Camber. I took it in to have a four wheel alignment performed, and the rear end came back as in tolerance (actualy it came back as perfect), but judging by the tire wear and just visualy looking at the rear end, the camber has to be off. It's a 2000, I've had it for 6 years now, I've never replaced a tire before hand based upon tread wear (Meaning I ran something over before the tires wore out... I'm competent like that.)

The car has been rear ended before. No huge damage there, a little fender bender in bumper to bumper traffic.... except I did have to drive off of the hood of the person who rearended me. But that was around 2002.

The biggest recent changes are new rims from a ZTX (I think) installed when I needed to get new rims due to some big damage from a large pothole (on the front end [four new rims though, but only the front hit the pothole]) They were installed about a year ago, my (now x-)girlfriend had been driving it for the last year and a half and noticed a clicking noise in the rear when you hit a bump. I can duplicate it through sharp, short changes in direction, and the rear end "floats" when going around a turn that is not completly flat (there's one turn if I hold the stearing wheel perfectly still, the rear end will sway left and right a little bit in the turn)

I'm trying to figure out what this is and what caused it, and so far my last hope after here is the dealership, where they charge me 90 bucks to look at it, and through previous repairs with them, I know they're not the most competint of folks... or cheap.

Anyone have any idea if this could be my problem, or if something else has happened to my car's rear end?

If pictures would help, I can get them, I just didn't think to.

Thanks!
 

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I had a some noise in my rear suspension before I switched to the aftermarket setup. It was from some small stones lodged in the lower coil spring seat in the lower control arm. Yours may be a similar situation....
 

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I doubt it. You can feel the rear end's weight swing when driving. Something is wrong in how the suspension travels, it's not just the noise.

Besides the awful camber is evident on both wheels, not just on one side... although I guess there could be two pebbles, but still...
 

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TSB:

FORD: 2000-2004 FOCUS


ISSUE:
Some vehicles may exhibit rear tire inner edge wear.

ACTION:
If a vehicle exhibits rear inner edge tire wear, and the rear camber reading is beyond the negative end of the specification (max. -2.2 Wagon, -2.3 Sedan & ZX3/5), then install revised +1.0 degree rear Upper Control Arm(s). Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.

SERVICE PROCEDURE

Removal

Remove the rear wheel and tire. For additional information, refer to Workshop Manual Section 204-04.
Remove the outboard upper control arm bolt, and detach the upper control arm from the wheel knuckle.
NOTE: MAKE A NOTE OF THE POSITION OF THE UPPER CONTROL ARM TO AID IN INSTALLATION.



For Wagons only. Remove the lower shock bolt and position the shock aside.
Remove the inboard upper control arm bolt, and remove the arm.
Installation

NOTE: FINAL TORQUING OF THE REAR SUSPENSION COMPONENTS SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT AT OR NEAR THE CURB HEIGHT SETTING. TO ACHIEVE THIS LOAD THE SUSPENSION.



Install upper control arm and a new inboard upper control arm bolt.
For Wagons only. Reposition shock and reinstall the lower shock bolt.
Position the upper control arm in the wheel knuckle and install a new outboard upper control arm bolt.
Reinstall rear wheel and tire.
Recheck alignment to verify camber change, and set toe if necessary.

LABOR OPERATION CLAIMING CHART
Operation Labor Description Vehicle Time
031305A Check Alignment, Replace One Rear Upper Control Arm, And Recheck Alignment (Includes Time To Set Toe If Necessary) Sedan, ZX3/5 1.1 Hrs.
Wagon 1.1 Hrs.

031305B Check Alignment, Replace Both Rear Upper Control Arms, And Recheck Alignment (Includes Time To Set Toe If Necessary) Sedan, ZX3/5 1.4 Hrs.
Wagon 1.5 Hrs.




PART NUMBER PART NAME
3S4Z-1A154-AA Kit - Rear Suspension Upper Arm - Contains Arm And 2 Bolts
 

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b16sir1991 said:
... and the rear camber reading is beyond the negative end of the specification (max. -2.2 Wagon, -2.3 Sedan & ZX3/5), then install revised +1.0 degree rear Upper Control Arm(s). Refer to the following Service Procedure for details.
What's weird to me is I took in my Focus for a four wheel alignment at Sear's and the rear end came back as within tolerance (actualy it came back perfect) Is there any alignment machine that could get that wrong because components were bent? It's strange to me that the rear camber is so obviously bad as to be visualy evident, but the machine says it's fine. I was thinking that if the part was faulty, maybe the readings would be too, but if this particular failure reads on a rear alignment machine, maybe it's not?

What does an alignment machine base it's readings off of? How could it get a perfect reading for something so obviously fubared?
 

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The Librarian
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^^^Because a "perfect" reading shop-wise is a reading within spec.
As you can plainly see, that spec is allowed to go a long ways towards the negative side.
And, -2.3° is a boatload of camber out back, yet is "perfect" because it's within spec.

Did they give you a print out after the alignment so you can tell where you're at?
Really, unless you're racing, -1° in the back is as much as you'll ever need, and will certainly help with the inner tire wear problems.
 

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WD40 is right on. Even if ford could get the camber as low as -1.8* you will still experience inside tread wear. Ford's alignments specs are the problem! They're far too generous (+0.3 to -2.3 for the rear for example....that's a 2.6 degree window!). We got ours down to -1.6*and wear has pretty much been even. Our camber was at -1.9* and we experienced significant treadwear (inside edge). We are currently using Eibach camber bolts which is a MUCH cheaper solution than the control arms and you get some adjustment to boot.

It's not hard to get the rear within factory camber specs, Ford knows that, and you're still s.o.l. I doubt anyone has received the new control arms for free. Word of warning...being within spec means NOTHING especially with regards to the rear camber recommendations. Do not accept anything more than -1.5 (even lower if possible). If it can't be adjusted to get down to that spec get camber bolts and take it to someone who has worked with them and knows how to adjust them.
 

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I own a 2005 Focus. Is this still an ongoing problem? I just put new tires and a 4 wheel alignment and my back tires are bald 1/3 of the way in. The dealer says it must have been ramped and damaged somehow.
Please help with any known issues so I can shove this paper up &&%$$##. THANK YOU. Second focus owner.
 

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The number one complaint on this site for both modified and unmodified foci is inside edge tirewear (alignment) issues. It's not tied to any particular year of focus either. I have to believe Ford is aware of this issue by now. They introduced a new rear upper control arm to reduce rear camber. The catch is that to get them you had to show that the rear camber could not be set within spec. The rear factory spec simply allows for too much camber to begin with so its not hard to get it within spec! Combine that with any toe over the allowed minimum and lots of tread wear can occur. My current advise is to get front and rear toe as close to the minimums as possible. Then get rear camber down to -1.5 degrees or less. This may require camber bolts if the car has been lowered.
 

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Alignment issues

Update on the alignment problem I was having. Make sure you get a service tech that knows what they are doing. I went to 3 alignment shops including the dealer and none of them could see that the toe in was not set to spec. It didnt seem like rocket science after showing me what it should be.
We will see if this solves the problems of wearing out tires in 2000 miles.

[scratch]
 

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Replaced my Rear Upper Control Arms

I have recently purchased a 2002 ZX5.
My car rear wheels had noticeable negative camber. After reading hear about either the aftermarket bolts, or the Ford replacement kit, I opted for the more expensive kit. I am replacing the factory 16 in wheels for some older Focus 15's as I'm trying to improve the ride quality. Picked up four new wheels for $200, and now I'm shopping for some nice Michelin Harmony's to quiet the ride.
This weekend I jacked it up, and removed the two bolts on each side, (using some heat from a regular propane torch helped immensely) and replaced the rear upper control arms. I noticed a remarkable difference already in how the car rolls and even after these new parts the car still displays some negative camber, but the ride quality has already improved.

One of the contributors to this upgrade, was based on my trip to my Fedex store shortly after buying the car. I felt the rear tires after the short trip, and found noticible heating on the rear tires on the inner 2 inches that engage the road. This was after a 6 mile round trip. I know the Eibach bolts would have been cheaper, but I feel better about having the factory replacement control arms.
I compared the two arms, old to new, and noticed about an 1/8 to 3/16 inch difference between the lengths from bolt hole to bolt hole. I torqued the bolts with weight on them (holding the weight of the car with the floor jack on the rear sway bar by the brake drum. Not having a spec I torqued them to 100 ft lbs.

I did not notice a place to adjust tow in on the rears, is there such a thing?

I'll update after the tires/wheels are replace and I get a 4 wheel alignment.

Thanks to all who contribute here.
 

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I just had a severe front tire blow out on my 2000 focus (ripped the side panel off!). after getting towed to the station for a replacement they discovered severe wear on my rear passenger tire only. it was worn THROUGH the metal on the very inside edge only. this was a new tire with less than 8 months of road time. I had quickly checked my tires the day before and failed to detect it. judging by the tire alone, i would have assumed that it had been riding on a 45 degree negative camber - it was that extreme.
this is not the first time i've had to prematurely replace tires on this car due to excessive wear, but by far the worst instance.
 
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