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.
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.