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budgie smuggler

Original Poster:

1,321 posts

42 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Just had my car aligned on a hunter laser alignment machine by a large national chain.

However the rear camber has come up as being unequal by quite a bit.

Car is a boggo 3 year old Mk2.5 Focus.

Any ideas on the cause/fix? I don't know a decent Ford indie round here (Chelmsford) so I'll be at the mercy of the main dealer's fitters... The 'large chain' said it's down to wear and tear and they can't fix/adjust it.


HustleRussell

6,213 posts

43 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
It can't be adjusted, something is bent I'm afraid. I'd live with it if I were you, It just means your O/S/R tyre might last 40k miles instead of 50k. Enjoy the BTCC style handling (in left-hand corners) tongue out

budgie smuggler

Original Poster:

1,321 posts

42 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Hmmm, that doesn't sound good, I was hoping it could be wear to a bushing or something.

Strange thing about it being bent is that I don't recall hitting anything particularly hard. Must have done though I suppose.

Thanks for the help, I'll be aiming to get a front wheel off the ground next time I go for a drive drivingtongue out

Nick1point9

3,621 posts

63 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Could be something as simple as slightly uneven ride height caused by one of the springs being a bit softer than the other (through wear and tear). Camber changes as the wheel moves though its suspension travel so different relative position between car and wheel side to side will mean different camber even if everything is straight and true.

How big a difference is it?

budgie smuggler

Original Poster:

1,321 posts

42 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Nick1point9 said:
Could be something as simple as slightly uneven ride height caused by one of the springs being a bit softer than the other (through wear and tear). Camber changes as the wheel moves though its suspension travel so different relative position between car and wheel side to side will mean different camber even if everything is straight and true.

How big a difference is it?
cheers Nick. i measured tyre to wheelarch gap on both sides and it was pretty close, certainly not a visible difference.


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Nick1point9

3,621 posts

63 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
Hadn't seen the picture first time (work laptop blocks most images) and that's a pretty big camber difference for no noticeable difference in wheel height.

Have you got a small spirit level you could use to confirm the difference? Needs to be small enough that you are resting it on the wheel and not the tyre. A misplaced gauge will give a bad reading, so one more thing to rule out!

The thing that is puzzling me is how the camber could end up being very negative! If the focus suspension is how I can remember it then any bent components would pull the button of the hub towards the centre of the vehicle, making the camber more positive.

one eyed mick

830 posts

44 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Side ways wack on a kerb will do it nicely

budgie smuggler

Original Poster:

1,321 posts

42 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Nick1point9 said:
Hadn't seen the picture first time (work laptop blocks most images) and that's a pretty big camber difference for no noticeable difference in wheel height.

Have you got a small spirit level you could use to confirm the difference? Needs to be small enough that you are resting it on the wheel and not the tyre. A misplaced gauge will give a bad reading, so one more thing to rule out!

The thing that is puzzling me is how the camber could end up being very negative! If the focus suspension is how I can remember it then any bent components would pull the button of the hub towards the centre of the vehicle, making the camber more positive.
Yes, I will try that again, tried using one of those angle measuring apps on the phone but couldn't get an accurate reading.

Thanks again for the advice.

one eyed mick said:
Side ways wack on a kerb will do it nicely
I had it aligned when I bought it, and both rear wheels were within a deg of each other, so it has happened since I've owned it. Now I've never whacked a wheel or spun it so I don't know how it could have happened (unless a garage or valet parking driver has bumped it).

Anyway wouldn't a sideways hit to a kerb be more likely to bend it outwards (i.e. positive camber)?

Edited by budgie smuggler on Monday 8th October 10:27

one eyed mick

830 posts

44 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
NO hit at the bottom it gives POSITIVE camber to give neg you would need to hit it at the top of the wheel

HustleRussell

6,213 posts

43 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
one eyed mick said:
NO hit at the bottom it gives POSITIVE camber to give neg you would need to hit it at the top of the wheel
As the OP just said:

budgie smuggler said:
Anyway wouldn't a sideways hit to a kerb be more likely to bend it outwards (i.e. positive camber)?

one eyed mick

830 posts

44 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I apologise ,got my pos and negs mixed up [ age is my excuse]

chris7676

2,431 posts

103 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
HustleRussell said:
It can't be adjusted, something is bent I'm afraid.
Are you sure? They do have independent rear suspension so perhaps there would be some adjustment. No way it's within normal 'wear', I would get it checked by a specialist (not a Ford dealer) anyway.

Nick1point9

3,621 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
chris7676 said:
HustleRussell said:
It can't be adjusted, something is bent I'm afraid.
Are you sure? They do have independent rear suspension so perhaps there would be some adjustment. No way it's within normal 'wear', I would get it checked by a specialist (not a Ford dealer) anyway.
They don't have any adjustment outside of the tolerance between the bolt and bolt hole diameters, which won't be a great deal.

shoehorn

415 posts

26 months

[news] 
Saturday 20th October 2012 quote quote all
Have you jacked that wheel up and checked that the bearing is not worn?
Did they check it with the wheels on?

StoatInACoat

803 posts

68 months

[news] 
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 quote quote all
As above, I would suggest a worn wheel bearing, knackered shock/snapped rear spring or a bent lower arm (if it has lower arms on the rear, not familiar with this Focus).

Definitely not normal and definitely not something I would just live with.

budgie smuggler

Original Poster:

1,321 posts

42 months

[news] 
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 quote quote all
Sorry for not keeping the thread up to date, have been waiting for a workmate to bring in some alignment kit so we can double check the numbers but he keeps forgetting (or not bothering) to bring it in.

Yes it was checked with the wheels on.

Wheel bearing is a good shout, they were checked last november and found to be 'like new'. Suppose they could have worn a lot since then, so will check that. No droning noise that I can hear which I would expect if they were that badly worn.

I looked at the spring on that side, it doesn't appear broken from the bits I can see, but that's not to say one of the out of sight bits is not damaged. Not sure how knackered damper would affect camber but I've checked it as far as I know how to (i.e. it doesn't 'bounce' and isn't leaking!)

Alas I have nowhere to work on the car in peace so I guess I need to be finding a decent garage.


HustleRussell

6,213 posts

43 months

[news] 
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 quote quote all
If all you want is confirmation of the reading, just park the car somewhere flat and look at it from the rear. If you've got a reasonable eye for this kind of thing, 3 degrees should certainly be perceptible by eye.
A bearing is very unlikely to permit so much extra camber, especially given a total lack of other symptoms.

PaulKemp

382 posts

28 months

[news] 
Saturday 27th October 2012 quote quote all
It is posible to shim the hub carrier
Remove the hub bolts one at a time and use penny washers to pack out as required
Kit cars with Sierra rear ends often use a plate cut to match the hub carrier face and milled at an angle to suit
Oval racers use the penny washer method to good effect, there cars take a beating and the wheels don't fall off.
Use loctite when reassembling.

Edited by PaulKemp on Saturday 27th October 07:55

SlimJim16v

124 posts

26 months

[news] 
Saturday 27th October 2012 quote quote all
If you can't find the problem, you can use a camber bolt.

PaulKemp

382 posts

28 months

[news] 
Sunday 28th October 2012 quote quote all
What's a camber bolt?
How does it work?
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