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Alignment & Suspension Specs: Ford Focus

June 11, 2010

Front Suspension
The front suspension has no major problems or design flaws. 2000-2001 models were recalled for the a problem with the ball joint stud pinch bolt. Also, Ford issued two TSBs on inspecting the front suspension and re-torquing of the components. It has been reported  that the bushings in the control arms are starting to degrade to the point where they are causing alignment and noise problems.

Also check the SAI and other diagnostic angles. It has been reported that the steering arm on the knuckle can bend causing  shuddering and excessive tire squeal at parking speeds.

In 2000, the Focus set the aftermarket buzzing with the lack of factory adjustment built-in to the front suspension (see chart). Some adjustment kits work better than others depending on the amount in increment of camber or caster required.

If you are replacing the front struts, it might be the right time to recommend a set of upper strut mounts that can adjust camber and caster.
But, also keep in mind that the front cradle can be shifted to alter and optimize camber and caster.

Rear Suspension

The rear independent multi-link rear suspension, marketed as Control Blade suspension, combines the packaging of a trailing arm, with the geometry of a double wishbone suspension at considerably lower cost. Control Blade uses a wide pressed steel trailing arm with hub carrier that takes the place of two longitudinal locating rods. The long rear lateral arm controls toe, a pair of shorter front lateral arms, vertically above each other, control the camber, and the Control Blade reacts to brake and traction loads.

Ford advises that final torquing of the rear suspension components should be carried out with the suspension loaded.  This eliminates an expensive cast knuckle while lowering production costs. But, one of the first recalls was for the bolts that secure the wheel bearing hub unit to the control arm.

TSB 07-4-2: Pull Drift Corrected with Cradle Shift
Models: 2000-2007 Focus

Some Focus vehicles may exhibit a light drift/pull concern due to front subframe misalignment. Previous vehicle repairs that required front subframe removal may require the subframe to be realigned to correct light vehicle drift/pull conditions. Aligning the front subframe to correct misalignment can optimize camber and caster alignment angles.

TSB03-13-5
Suspension- Rear Inner Edge Wear
Models: 2000-2004

Some vehicles may exhibit rear tire inner edge wear. 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 arms. Editor Note: Aftermarket adjustable upper control arms, cam bolts and shims will work just as well as the revised upper control arms.

 
About the Author
Andrew Markel
Editor, Brake & Front End Magazine
amarkel@babcox.com

Andrew Markel is an ASE Certified Technician and former service writer, and he brings this practical knowledge to the Brake & Front End team as editor.
 

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