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I have a problem. My 2001 Ford Focus Wagon (which now has 275,000 miles on it) is going through back tires in less than 15,000 miles. They are only wearing on the most inner tread that is closest to the brake drums. When you stand behind the car, the bottom of the back tires are out a lot farther than the tops of the back tires. I've checked out the rear suspension (as well as I can), and the only parts that seem to have some play in it is the bushings in the lower arms (front). Any suggestions as to how I can repair this myself? I really do not want to take it into a shop and drop a small fortune into this car at this time. Thanks!!!
 

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What you are referring to is known as camber. It is the vertical alignment of the tire with relationship to the direction of travel. When the top of the tire points toward the center of the car its negative camber. When the top of the tire points away from the center of the car it is positive camber. The majority of cars have some negative camber as it can help significantly under cornering loads. The Focus was delivered from Ford with ample amounts of negative camber. In some cases too much. You are not alone with this problem as a majority of Focus Fanatics members have experienced the same problems as you.

The fix is as follows: with 275K miles you need to first check the condition of all your suspension components especially the rear shocks and all bushings especially those in the lower and upper control arms. Check your rear wheel bearings as well.

Next get the car on an alignment rack. You don't want more than 1.5 degrees of negative camber. The problem is that rear camber is not adjustable from the factory. To do so you need aftermarket devises. Camber bolts are the cheapest and work just fine. Adjustable upper control arms are more precise but more expensive.

You also need to be concerned by the amount of rear toe. Most Ford specs allow too much toe-in. This combined with excess negative camber is a recipe for inside edge tire wear. You want your rear toe to be around .04 inches of toe-in (close to zero toe but no more than .06"). These numbers have proven to work for the majority of foci owners. And usually reduce tire wear quite a bit. There is an alignment sticky at the top of this page as well as ones in the New Members Read First section that talks about this issue.
 
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