Sailor26- I've had this car 4-wheel aligned several times, and the only thing they found was that the rear camber was out of spec, but couldn't be adjusted. I've had the tires balanced at each repair and rotated every 5k miles.
hEaT- When I had the last set of tires put on (at a Ford dealership), I also had a 4-wheel alignment with the paperwork simply stating that it was done. No problems found. These last tires are Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring, 195/R60/15, 32 PSI. The car came with BFG Radial T/A's, rated at 40,000 miles, but at less than 20,000 had cords showing.
I'm looking at a new 2015 Focus now, and don't want to go through these same problems. I've been assured that they have fixed the problems, but that's coming from the salesman. I am keeping the '07, and would like to get this problem fixed on it, even if it requires new adjustable control arms.
Thanks for your help.
Std. specs for alignment allow too much leeway to be "in spec", resulting in excessive wear, even when there are no problems with worn components as hEaT mentioned.
Front needs to be at "zero" to minimal toe out, toe in results from bushing flex under drive and starting with any makes that excessive.
Rear allowances are up to 0.30* toe in, when wear starts to become excessive after 0.20*. 0.10* to a mid range between that and 0.20* is good, closer to the bottom end the better.
When rear adjusters are frozen, and replacement arms/adjusters are the only std. solution, there IS an option for aftermarket front lower arms that are much easier to adjust.
Up to 2.0* of camber in the rear is OK, with most quite close to that (1.7, 1.9). Slightly over isn't a worry (like 2.1) but more could use adjustment. Camber adjustment bolts are avail. inexpensively (0.5* from them), for a LARGE adjustment as when lowered quite far adjustable upper arms are avail..
I had the entire running gear checked out yesterday, and found that indeed, when we replaced the right rear tire with the spare 'donut' tire, the majority of 'bounce' went away, so it appears that if I replace both rear tires, do a 4-wheel alignment and if anything is way out of spec, use the replacement bolts and/or control arms to get it right. I will also add 3 50lb sandbags in the trunk at the same time. I might be able to at least get reasonable life out of my tires and hopefully delay the new car purchase by at least a few months.
Thanks for hearing me out and giving me some additional info to work with.
If the tires that 'bounce' are on the rear it is from tire oscillation that slowly wears the tire out of round. Jack tire up and spin it in the air, the out of round is immediately evident to eyesight. Someone following you in another car can see tire jumping when it gets bad enough. You should hear the tires with the characteristic 'WOO WOO WOO WOO' sound that gets louder as tire gets further out of round. It's because there is no rear axle weight back there to damp that out and virtually every FWD car has the problem. Same with the rear camber issue, it is inherent in the design, the car weight relaxes the bushing rubber to then make the bushings sag and the tires then whack out on camber. Look at every older Corvette or Beemer with IRS, they do the exact same thing. The salesmen saying it's fixed???........................LOL. Hell will freeze first.
The front tires don't do it because the powertrain weight damps the tire oscillation out.
Rotating tires can stave it off some, but secretly, all you are doing is messing up the other pair of tires to do the same and it affects the front driving then as well later in tire life. Over the last 20 years I have learned to change tires in pairs only, the new ones go up front and the backs get the old ones to then let them go out of round until they need replacing. Zero rotation, the tires go almost or to the warranted distance. 9 times out of 10 the tires (rear only mostly) get replaced for sun cracking in the rubber. It makes for a far higher percentage of time with excellent car driving characteristics in my view, most car driving on FWD if you are not bouncing the car off corners comes from the greatly improved tracking feel of new tires on the front at all times.............
I'm probably now just on my 5th set and a '00 wagon @ 200+K. And never aligned, I do it myself.
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