Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can someone please tell me a solution. Ive changed both control arms/ball joints. Ive put brand new tie rods, but when driving rough roads my steering seems to pull and or I guess get sloppy. I believe I have an leaking power steering seal but is that the problem? The suspension is stock an worn. But can someone please tell me a solution thanks
 

·
Registered
2006 ZX5 2.0, 2004 ZX3 SVT EE. 2004 ZX3 SVT
Joined
·
1,403 Posts
Can someone please tell me a solution. Ive changed both control arms/ball joints. Ive put brand new tie rods, but when driving rough roads my steering seems to pull and or I guess get sloppy. I believe I have an leaking power steering seal but is that the problem? The suspension is stock an worn. But can someone please tell me a solution thanks
If you replaced those parts and did not get an alignment then that will happen. Worn front struts will do that too
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It doesn't pull to either side like signs of needing an alignment. I know my drivers side strut is pretty bad the pass side ive replace. Thanks for responding I plan on replacing all bushings and suspension in the spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
You should always replace your struts and shocks in pairs.

People have the misconception that a car only needs an alignment when it pulls and that's not true. A alignment can drastically change how a car feels.
You should definitely put new struts on the front after you do that, and any other suspension work you plan on doing get a alignment.

Question after you replaced your tire rods did you get a alignment?

Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Ive put brand new tie rods, but when driving rough roads my steering seems to pull and or I guess get sloppy.
Did you replace inner and outer tie rods on both sides? Have you tried moving the tires at the 3 and 9 oclock and checking for movement in the steering linkage/rack?

I agree with those that asked if you had the vehicle aligned after the parts replacements.

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I just did outer. But please tell me what are the exactly doing when they do an alignment ? What are they changing from ive already done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Anytime you change tie rods you must get an alignment.
The only thing that's adjustable in the front from the factory is the toe the toe is adjusted at the tie rods.
A alignment is not about replacing things it's about making adjustments.
The rear of the car is also adjustable which is why you want to get a 4 wheel alignment.
I don't think you understand how important this is I suggest watching some YouTube videos on how alignments are done.

This is not only a performance issue it's a safety issue for yourself and other people on the road please take this seriously. I've been working on cars since I was 14, I spent years in school for this I don't know everything but I know enough.




Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
I just did outer. But please tell me what are the exactly doing when they do an alignment ? What are they changing from ive already done.
What year/model is your Focus and how many miles? Do you see rapid and/or uneven tire wear?

You need to check the inner tie rods and steering rack with the method I described or google 'how to check for worn tie rods'. I agree about 4 wheel alignment but chances are your rear alinment adjusting cams are seized. At a minimum have the front aligned (toe) and rear checked.

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,336 Posts
'People have the misconception that a car only needs an alignment when it pulls and that's not true.'

Absolutely true (the statement given there), I can correct pulling in under 5 minutes after driving the car to determine needs but the parts must all be tight. I never align after correcting for the pull either but how you fix that pulling IS technically part of aligning one, so there.

I typically change to new tires before aligning a car, that puts the previous align much closer to correct (saves a lot of work), and all I literally ever do is a quick adjust for slight pulling while keeping toe in mind and the car is then driving perfect with centered wheel and no drifting around at all. I am not happy with the work until the car can go at least 750 ft. with no drifting out of lane more than maybe a foot. The tires wear forever.

Most aligning is due to tires and other parts getting out of whack, renew the tires and then most of time there is no need for a major align. And I have a significant other that has a love affair with driving up and over curbs on a regular basis.

I have now gone years without laying out the rear to see how it fits the front (true 4 wheel alignment), it just hasn't been necessary even though I can do that as well.

If you get on very rough road surface with a rack that has backed off on the pinion preload, then the steering can wobble under conflicting forces all over the place. Typically that is a new rack replace to fix but finding the correct thickness in shim can have that fixed for pennies and a little bit of time. BTDT. Like said the ties must all 4 be good and tight too.

Lifetime alignments? Just throwing money away, and likely making the next alignment needed that much faster as you did it on worn parts, the tires alone will kill you there. As you chase the part wear, the alignments get off further and further from true square on good tires until the car is undriveable. The 'true square' may BE there, but no alignment machine on earth can make up for tire wear differences that make the tires fight. You can have two wheels with correct camber and caster and toe, yet if they are worn at tire say one with a lot of one corner missing then it's silly to think the two tires will track the same, the corners have much to do with how the tread bites on the pavement and the tire will track funny thus negating some of your alignment.

Just proved the ideas out again on the Nissan. It's been getting flighty on the front and especially when windy. Then some ass stole one of the front STEEL wheels (WTF does THAT???). Went to scrapyard and found a tire with wheel ($50) that looked very close to new, only the tire size was a 195 instead of a 185, but I was wanting to increase the size anyway. Yanked other front which proved to be worn out (50K miles) and bought another 195 valued at the same tire tread height the junkyard tire had, hoping to make them both wear out close to the same. Turned out to be a Walmart $38 tire and balanced it by simple guessing myself. Put it on car and back to handling beautifully, no wander at all and car goes easily 85+ mph with zero shake. No alignment needed at all, around here they cannot get them that close at all.

I don't hesitate to align when it is needed but most of it is self created bullsh-t in my view. I haven't paid for it now in well over 40 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
I'm going to say agree to disagree.
If that works for you and you're happy with that's great.
Personally I prefer road force tire balancers, and Hunter Hawkeye alignments.




Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,336 Posts
You DO realize that modern tires and wheels are usually much better in balance than the ones of old right? Look at the wheel weight layouts, it gives you a clue. The TPMS sensors will each give an indicator of the offset weight for them and average and record it for future use. The tire mileages and type of wear will talk too. Part of the issue will be getting the tire tech to align the tire by the weight mark, they commonly refuse to do it and I make them do it over if they do. At repeat balances take note of if they have to use any heavier weights, if not you can get away with it, the tire will then tell you in shake amount how far off it is, you may want to balance one. So far I haven't even done that. And get them balanced to see how little weight goes on most of them now. I drive a gravel drive, tires are off balance the first time I do it and what made me sit up and take notice. That was years ago, and so far I haven't had to go back to balance a tire yet or get any align either. The cars drive perfectly and no issues with tire mileage either, at some point somebody may want to think there is more there than agree or disagree especially when it holds up for years.

People can disagree all they want but when it involves money and the choice to keep it or let loose of it, there has to be a solid reason for such. How I built up my 401K. Work done just for the sake of it is bullsh-t, there should be a solid reason beyond saying I feel better about it, that is fixing the driver, NOT the car. And boy there are enough of that to last forever!

Yes, I am the most out-of the-box person you will likely run across. I never stop looking for easy dependable ways of more cash directly into my own pocket rather than those who have name brand this or that. The various printing companies I used to work for thought of me as the odd duck too until I began to save them hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary charges they thought were called for until I showed them otherwise. Why I went up pretty quick everywhere I went.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
I prefer my tires to be high speed road force balanced and yes I can tell the difference. I've used some very nice tire balancers.
I drive a class 5 truck all day long and our shop does not balance the front tires once they replace them for the first time, and I can tell one hell of a difference it sucks. They also don't do alignments which also sucks once they start to get some miles on them they don't handle so well on the highway. When I get to drive a newer truck same model it's much more pleasant but I know once the tires are changed over for the first time it's downhill from there.


Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,336 Posts
Once one understands how simple tire and frame aligning is, it becomes stupid easy to get a good reliable result using only stout cord, a construction angle finder at maybe $10, and a nice level. A bit more thinking brings 4 wheel align into clarity and it is easy too. I even made up a nice cheap toe checker for two wheels, yet did the job well enough I never really needed it other than as another checking level for the finished work.

It worked fine on the 200+ mph drag cars and where I first learned it. The cars ran like on rails.

I can tell the difference in machine balanced and not but the two are so close anybody else in the car can't tell it. And I lose it pretty quick going through the gravel drive. The main difference shows at like 80 mph or so, you won't feel it, more like a light 'sssss' tire noise being a bit stronger 'shhhhhh'. When it comes to aligning I see no difference at all other than some cars that were aligned do not drive as well as mine. The Nissan when I first got it had an issue that messing with the toe a little bit took care of and it was new.

One of the Focus got wrecked and the strut tower on one side went backwards about 3/4", throwing the caster off side to side, I faked the numbers to bring them closer together and some other odds and ends and car drives like new like that. The steering still pulls back to dead center and with equal force on both ways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,336 Posts
At Dad's garage we tended to shy away from big 4X4s as they were difficult to work on plus the owners tended to not want to pay for what was needed there. I do remember back before I ever knew anything about front end geometry and such that the scariest vehicles I ever drove were 4X4s with both ends pulling and both suspensions needing SERIOUS work. They were so terrifying even at 25 mph I would refuse to drive them, you didn't know whether you were coming or going. I often wondered why guys would drive something like that. I would list them in the 'crazier motherf-ckers than you' folder for sure.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top