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Discussion Starter #1
My 02' Focus with 70k had a few problems. So I took it to the Ford dealership to determine the following:

1) Creaky front suspension
2) ABS not working
3) Verify springs and valve cover ok

Dealership was not sure if the valve cover (leaks oil) is under warranty. It has Fords extended 5-year 100k powertrain warranty which includes engine and transmission etc. Because the car still has the extended warranty, will Ford pay to replace the valve cover?

They said the creaky front suspension was the end links (forum had right answer). They want $108 to replace end-links. Is this reasonable?

They said an ABS sensor on the left rear wheel caused the ABS to stop working (again, someone had right answer). They want $115 to replace the ABS sensor. Is this also reasonable?

Finally they said the springs were still in excellent shape.

Diagnosis for all this came to $80, which is about right I guess.

big thanks for help!!
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The valve cover gasket should be covered under warranty.

I assume they mean the anti-roll bar end links. If so, you could do those yourself for less than 20 bucks and about an hour of time (for first timers)

I have never replaced an ABS sensor, but I just did the brakes on my wife's Expedition and I can see where it mounts etc, so it looks pretty easy.

I think $115 for the part and installation is probably worth it IMHO, but do the endlinks yourself.

Mike
 

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All of those are easy to fix on your own.

Valve cover, just remove the spark plug wires, pop off the crank case vent tube, and remove all the bolts. Replace gasket, and re-install everything. Should be about 20 minutes of work taking your time.

Endlinks are a little trickier. Depends on how corroded things are. Remove a wheel, unbolt it from the sway bar, and from the strut. Reinstall new one, and replace wheel. Same on other side. They can be hard to remove. You need to get a 17mm or 18mm wrench in the back to hold the piece from twisting as you use a socket on the front to remove the nut.

ABS sensor is easy. You can probably shimmy under the car without jacking it up. Carefully disconnect the connector from the sensor. There is one bolt that holds it in place in the back of the wheel hub, around a 8mm or 10mm in size. Remove that bolt, and the sensor pulls straight out. Insert the new one, and carefully tighten the bolt down, being careful not to break anything since those bolts can get a little rusted. Then connect the sensor to the connector, and you are done.

Parts: (Prices from www.fordparts.com )

Valve cover gasket is about $25 online.
Endlinks are about $15 each online.
Rear brake sensor is about $33 online.
 

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If you're paying someone to do it, those are fair prices. When you compare the cost of doing the work yourself- you can really save a lot of money. The ABS sensor, for example, is basically a magnet that bolts into it's place. As with all repairs, clean everything with a rag as much as possible. For example, there might be some metal shavings (doubtful, but possible) that have covered the magnet on the ABS sensor causing it to fail- and if you don't clean the hole well you could end up with the same CEL in a few months. Have some rags, something to scrape with, an old toothbrush, or small wire brush handy.

The valve cover is a bit trickier, but nothing that a novice couldn't figure out. It would be a good idea to change the oil after doing a valve cover job. It would be advisable to have a manual before trying this project because there are torque specs and tightening sequences to follow. The basic idea of the tightening sequence is to make sure the part fits like it is supposed to, and as a general rule you tighten from the center working your way out to the edge. Some casting designs might require a different sequence based on the design- I've never done a Zetec valve cover so I'm not entirely sure if this one is differs from the general rule or not. If they will cover that under the warranty- then go for it! They should've been able to tell you from the start, and are probably only delaying in order to see if you're just going to pay the $80 and go on your way. If you decide to do this one yourself, clean everything on the valve cover itself with a rag, and the surface on the engine wherever it makes contact. Do not use steel wool or scrapers to to remove any build up on the gasket mating surface. Scratches cause oil leaks. It is ok to use a medium/fine Scotchbrite pad so long as the pad is new and won't disintegrate during use. Also be sure to clean the mating surface of the spark plug tubes inside the valve cover.

A hacksaw with a good blade is handy for end link replacement. The end links are basically a threaded rod with a sleeve and cups in the center, and a bolt and cups on the outside. Between the cups are the bushings. If you can't loosen the bolts due to road or time damage, then you can use a hacksaw (not easy) to cut the end link somewhere in the middle and it will fall off. If you have no choice but this route, then use pliers to hold the sleeve still while you get a groove started with the hacksaw.
 

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BTW - You owe me $80 for my diagnositics. ;) j/k
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I looked through the forum and found some excellent guides. Mucho thanks for the help.

Instead of spending another $108 at the dealership to fix the endlinks, I did them myself in about 45 minutes for a cost of $24 in parts. The stock endlinks were flimsy lightweights compared to the aftermarket ones. I think the car gained five pounds:) Easiest $80 I ever saved.

The ABS light wasn't actually the ABS sensor, but a wire connecting the ABS sensor to the computer. It appears that a mechanic in the past must have cut the wire, maybe when changing brakes, and then spliced the wires back together. One wire was still crimped but the other was dangling in free air. I wasn't too happy with Ford's $50 diagnosis. I crimped the wires back together and put some silicone around them. I am hoping this will last a while. Saved all $115 there (so far). In total, saved $200 in about 2 hours of work.

Valve cover gasket next....

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Awesome! Its amazing how much money you can save when you do these little things yourself. [thumb]
 

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If the ABS wires come loose again, then see if you can find someone who will let you borrow a solder gun. In the same area where the crimp connectors are you will notice similar connectors without plastic on them. These are made to be crimped AND soldered. Also, most of the problem with these types of connectors not working permanently is because very few people actually use the correct tool. I wouldn't suggest you purchasing the correct Stay-Con tool because it would be a waste of $20 for one project.

You can also used to insulated plastic connectors with solder if you cut the plastic off the metal part. Then you will notice a dimple in the center where you can drip solder through.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Big thanks for the valve cover gasket How-To. After struggling with rusted bolts, I managed to get the valve cover off. I changed the gasket and put everything back together again. I did a thorough inspection and I don't see any leaks after. I also changed the spark plugs at the same time. Took me about 1 1/2 hours for both, but well worth the time. Compared to Ford's rates, I saved about $300 so far!
 

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Experience = priceless

Dang.. I can't believe we actually conned someone into working on their own engine who had never done it before. You're like one in a million Jsven. Most people are either already going to work on it, or are too scared. Like one guy I used to work with who said "I want someone who knows what they are doing to work on my brakes." That's exactly the same thing I was thinking when I do it myself.
 

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Sounds like the mechanic did a quicky, dia on your car.

The wire solder is best. Any way you go though put the shrink tube on it. It will help keep water out.
 

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So where did you find/brand---end links?

Ive had my endlinks replaced 2 times now:
First time-- I could hear a rattle, so I had my tire guys check it out at my tire change---they replaced them, sound gone.
Second time---6 Mo later, same rattle on driver side only---replaced at the same time as my alignment.

Now, the sound is back and I just want to find a good fix to this, or Im may just weld something between everything.

You said you found some better ones than stock---what brand were they and where did you find them.

Anyone else replacing these things regularly?
 

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Front sway bar link looseness is a pattern failure on essentially all Ford Foci. A permanent solution is NOT to be found at your Ford dealer.

See:

http://www.moogproblemsolver.com/downloads/
PSL200527021PrematureSwayBarLinkWearOnFordFocus[/url](EngSpnFr).pdf

Replacement is an easy job. Get out and get under.
 
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