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The Problem With Living In The 'Now'

I once had a shop manager who concentrated on the “now.” Every day was a mad dash to complete the jobs at hand. He wanted to know who was working on what, where the parts were and when everything would be done. He was constantly reacting to a customer’s...

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ASE G1: Drive Belt Inspection, Replacement

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Amateurs and Hacks Provide Job Security For Automotive Service Professionals

Two cars pull up in front of my shop. The drivers didn’t come in, but I heard the commotion from my office window. The boyfriend opens the hood of his girlfriend’s car. They both stare at the engine; she tells the boyfriend that she was supposed...

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Acura: Clunk Noise While Turning

Model: Acura RSX 2005-’06 Symptom: The front suspension makes a ­clunking noise while turning. Probable Cause: The front springs are moving on the spring seats. Corrective Action: Replace both front springs and do a four­-wheel alignment. Diagnosis:...

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Inside Import Car Collision Warning, Automatic Braking Systems

Anything that moves under its own power also has to stop, so brakes have been a safety feature on cars since day one. Over the years, technical innovations such as antilock brakes (ABS) have ­improved the ability to stop with minimal skidding on...

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Intermittent Engine Misfire Analysis

Even for an experienced diagnostic technician, ­attempting to diagnose an intermittent misfire ­condition that occurs only under specific driving conditions can be a frustrating exercise. Let’s begin by getting the basics out of the way. As we know,...

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Analyzing the Cylinder Pressure Waveform from a Running Engine, Part 3

By Vasyl Postolovskyi and Olle Gladso Contributing Writers and Instructors at Riverland Technical and Community College in Albert Lea, MN   In Part 1 of this Maximizing Tools series, we discussed an alternative approach to diagnosing an engine...

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Mac Tools Is Wrenching for a Cure

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Mac Tools is featuring a variety of Wrenching For A Cure products available for purchase in the Flyer 11 through Nov. 2. Featured pink products include clothing, accessories, flashlights, pint glasses, and...

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5 Tool Storage Tips

  As a technician, you likely own thousands of dollars worth of tools and equipment, and require tool storage capacity to hold them all, along with carts and accessories to help move those tools around your work area. Here are a few items...

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Battery Service and Diagnosis

A good battery with an adequate charge is absolutely essential for reliable cold starting. A weak battery, or one that is rundown, may not deliver enough amps to crank the engine when temperatures plunge and the oil thickens. Cold weather can be hard...

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Toughest Spark Plug Changes

We have all been there before: scratched arms, busted knuckles and an aching back caused by a difficult spark plug replacement job. If you think they are getting tougher every year, you are right. Every new engine design is putting the plugs deeper...

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Improving the Head Gaskets, Fasteners Relationship

The relationship between head gaskets and head bolts is an intimate one. The clamping load applied by the head bolts is what allows the head gasket to maintain its seal. For this marriage to last, there has to be constant tension – not too much,...

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Home Alignment Spec Alignment & Suspension Specs: Ford Focus

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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.

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Andrew Markel

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.

Latest posts by Andrew Markel (see all)

  • chris

    I need the alignment specs for a 2002 ford focus ztw. Can someone please help? I cant find anything on the net.

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