Question about 2001 Ford Focus

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The left hand curve on you'll see.

When going around a left hand curve in the road at normal speeds I get a back and forth wiggle, along with a pulsing kind of sound when going straight. Now alot of people will say 'tires' but I've just bought new steel rims and put on some very lightly used Goodyear 'Integrity' balanced and at 34psi-x4. My unknowing guess might be wheel bearing or something CV jointish, am I even close..? And the left hand curve wiggle means... which side would I want to check..?

Thank you ahead of time ..for your time.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • jamesjob1 Jul 19, 2009

    Hey.. God of thunder, you helped me before thank you.

    How could I check the I put a hand on top and bottom of the tire while it's jacked up and try to see if there is play..?

  • jamesjob1 Jul 19, 2009

    That is an uncomfortable question, 'did it solve my problem?' I said no because I haven't gone out and done the suggestion yet..!

    Thundergod is good!

  • jamesjob1 Aug 06, 2009

    Thank you.
    The driver side front wheel bearing has been changed eliminating the pulsing / grinding noises. After the repair was done I noticed I now have a slight pulsing in the brake pedal when I apply it.

  • jamesjob1 Aug 11, 2009

    I,m not clear on the meaning of 'wheels torqued correctly', do you mean the four nuts holding the wheel on.

    I will switch the tires around first since that's the easiest, I am using a regular 'nut bar'(no not my friend Steve,) to tighten the nuts.... without over tightening of course.

    I haven't received the invaluable torque wrench for Christmas yet(this shows the actual depth of my mechanical ability doesn't it.)

    Oh great God of Thunder what size torque wrench should I have for work on my beloved focus?

    Thank You.

  • jamesjob1 Aug 11, 2009

    You da' man!!

    I do somehow know what you're talking about and I will get my own torque wrench one day soon.( I once snapped a valve cover screw due to over tightening..lesson learned.) I can also check the rotors like you suggested.

    Funny how you mentioned not lubing the studs, I have used jigaloo inside my nuts...OK...but anyway, because the rust and seizing factor up here in the great white north( which is kinda hot and sticky right now).

    I have basic toolbox tools and no real place or time (or $$) to do all these things , but what I am gaining from mostly you ( ThunderGod,) is knowledge that i can take to the garage instead of not knowing anything and getting lets say 'ripped off' for lack of better words. I am going to look into what you suggested...and again, thank you.



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First just take a quick look at the c/v joint boots. If one is torn or otherwise compromised, likely there is a problem there. It also does not hurt to check that the tires are running true, and are properly fastened to the hubs. Just jack each front wheel off the ground and while looking past the side and bottom of the tire at a a fixed object, turn the wheel and see if at any point part of the tire suddenly obstructs your view. If both tires and joints are OK, I'd suspect the bearing on the left side, but check both.

Posted on Jul 19, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Richard Scordino Jul 19, 2009

    If the bearing is really bad, sometimes shaking the wheel will show that. However, hub bearings are really well constructed and in being so, don't show the "classic" shake that the old single bearings did. Generally, you need to remove the caliper and rotor and turn the wheel flange by hand. Since you can't possibly duplicate the pressure exerted by the weight of the car, any "hitch" or slight roughness when turning should not be ignored. I have a hub from a pontiac lying on my workbench right now that actually feels like there is nothing wrong with it. BUT, in the car, it has the same problem as you reported. I checked everything I told you to check, and came up with nothing. changed the bearing and it's fine now. Ive given up "overthinking" this stuff. It usually wastes a lot of time and ends up being what I thought in the first place! Good Luck!

  • Richard Scordino Aug 06, 2009

    Slight pulsation usually is either warpage of a rotor or you don't have the wheels torqued correctly. If that does not correct the problem, move front wheels to the rear and see if it helps any.

  • Richard Scordino Aug 11, 2009

    I'd pay more attention to runnout on the rotor. You can make a simple device for checking this by anchoring something (any piece of metal etc) to a fixed point on the suspension so that it extends down (without moving) next to the rotor, and inserting a bolt through it so it nearly touches the rotor face. You then turn the rotor watching carefully to see how much variation there is in the space between the bolt and the rotor. If the bolt touches anywhere, back it out till it is just barely touching again. Total runnout is the largest distance the bolt is from the rotor while it still will touch in another spot. If it's more than a 1/16 of an inch I'd be concerned. Do this on both sides of the keep the rotor from "flopping" put at least two lugs on to secure it to the hub flange. If you find that there is a lot of runnout, change the rotors. As far as the torque wrench goes, many parts houses will rent you one cheap. I don't have a chart for specs but I think your settings should be between 65 and 70 foot pounds. (check that) Torque to 40, doing lugs opposite each other, not in a circle, Then do again at correct setting. Don't put lube on will cause the readings to show lower than they really are and result in overtightening.

  • Richard Scordino Aug 11, 2009

    OK...if you need to put anything on studs to prevent rust (I do that but am in the edge of the great white north...I think they spray the roads with acid in the winter!!! When using lube, adjust and take 5lbs off torque rating ...if specs are 65, use 60 on wrench etc) Wouldn't want to do your wash after using that stuff on your nuts!!! can use the same method to check runnout of wheels as well.



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