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mjeff87

any Ford Focus owners here?

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Got it home today.....a good hour run down the interstate.  Burned off all the leaked oil on the block and exhaust manifold, lol.  It's got some electrical gremlins going on in the dash, and it desperately needs new front struts and motor mounts, but she ran strong the whole way.  It's got some aftermarket 16's on it, and the speedo is about 5 mph off (fast) per my GPS.  Spent the afternoon cleaning the interior....it's good enough for now, but I'll pull the seats out on Tuesday and scrub them, along with the carpet.

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Spent pretty much all day Sunday and yesterday working on it.  New:

oil/filter

plugs

coolant

transaxle fluid

cabin air filter (there wasn't one there at all, lol....they came from the factory like that)

serpentine belt

battery box

air box

fixed driver side inside door latch (adjusted)

replaced 3rd brake light

fixed turn signals

washed it

 

I've got new motor mounts showing up today via UPS from 1A auto, I'll put them on tonight or tomorrow.  I also need to order a timing kit and find the camshaft holder/crank pin somewhere to reset the timing.

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they come with a place for a cabin filter... but the factory doesn't include one?  talk about cheap!  does the "high end" Focus at least get one?

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Not sure which of the trim levels came with them...the funny thing is that they leave the factory with the filter box and a plastic mesh "screen" (think hardware cloth, but made of plastic) that snaps into the top.  You have to pop out the screen and throw it away.  

 

 

 

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Oh, and I also installed a new passenger inner fender I pulled from the junkyard.  They're only like $25 new, but the 'yard gave it to me as a freebie.  But they charged me $8 each for the two door latches:laugh:  Win some, lose some....

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Went to install the new motor/trans mounts I got from 1A Auto yesterday.....they sent me a mixture of SOHC and DOHC mounts and at least one of them didn't fit:mad:. Ended up returning them via UPS and picked up a correct kit from my local indy parts place (I shoulda just went there in the first place).  Started it up tonight to back it up the driveway to get the jeep in the garage and heard an immediate "thump" under the hood and lost power steering and the battery light lit up on the dash.  The new damn serpentine belt I put on got thrown off all the accessory drive pulleys:sad2:. Apparently I completely stressed out the probably-still OEM belt tensioner when I put the new belt on and it $#!& the bed.  Picking up a new tensioner in the morning and will replace it when I put the new mounts on.  Also found out that the single key I got with it when I bought it has a chip in it and works with a PATS security system, and a replacement/duplicate key is like $85-100.  The nice little girl at lowes said they are not allowed to just cut a door lock key without programming it due to some kind of lawsuit that got filed against them several years ago related to doing just that.  I didn't ask for details though.  I swung by the local dealership after work today (they're quickly getting to know me there, lol) and the parts guy cut me a gen-u-ine Ford key without a chip in it to use on the driver side door lock for $6.  I'm going to pony up for an additional ignition key that's programmed, but for right now I'm just uber paranoid about locking the one key I have inside the car.

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New belt tensioner and idler pulley installed, all is good with the belt now.  New motor mounts and trans torque mount installed too, that drivetrain is silent now.  Still needs struts, the road noise from the front tires sounds like I'm running swampers:laugh:  Rerouted a bunch of coolant lines and vacuum hoses under the hood....they were all over the place and rubbing themselves raw against everything:crazy:  I also ripped the driver side door apart and PM'd the inside door latch that wasn't opening the door when pulled.  Much, much broken OEM plastic little bits  and it was clear why it wasn't working.  A couple zip ties and a strategically placed sheet metal screw solved that issue:beerchug:

 

I still have an exhaust manifold leak I'm tracing down, and I need to put a new timing belt kit on it.  And the winsheild washer fluid resivoir is leaking, lol.

 

I forgot just how much "fun" it is working on a FWD vehicle....not only are my forearms all boogered up, my darn back is KILLING me bending over to work on it:mad:

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Sooo.....I've determined that the front end "mud tire" noise is actually the front hub bearings and not the struts.  No big deal, right?  Should be just like a unit bearing assembly....axle nut off, a couple bolts and Bob's your uncle.  Newp.  Turns out the whole bearing assembly/hub is pressed into the knuckle and held in by a snap ring.  Have to pull the whole thing apart (balljoint, strut assembly, LCA, sway bar link, etc) and then have a shop press out the old one and press in the new one.  Then put it all back together.  Why, oh why, do engineers have to make things SO complicated????

 

This, however, is a good excuse for me to finally break down and buy an arbor press:beerbang:

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I will never understand the press in bearing design. The complete bolt in hub must have been to good of a design. It truly seems like a step backwards to me. Good reason to buy a press though!

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I think I'm just going to grab a set of knuckles from a junkyard focus and have new bearings/hubs pressed into them (my buddy has a 20T press, so I won't have to take them to a shop).  That way, I can just pull the old knuckles and swap withthe new ones in at the same time.

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that sounds like a smart idea  :L: 

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Wal-Mart around here can do the Pats keys for $35. The pressed in hub on the knuckle is supposedly to make assembly faster. I bought a complete assembly when I did ours as i don't really have access to an automotive machine shop anymore. It was about $200 at the time.

 

Crawl underneath and check where the convertor goes into the down pipe. It is bolted with those spring loaded bolts and donut gasket there. I thought it was a cracked or leaking manifold, I found a big chunk of donut gasket missing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walmart does PATS keys?  Wow.....I'll have to check.  I was just there yesterday, never thought to ask.  I'll check that donut gasket too, but whatever is leaking isn't leaking bad enough for the shop not to pass it for inspection.  I finally got a new sticker on it yesterday:applause:  They were very quick to tell me that my front bearings are shot, and even wrote me up a "courtesy" quote to replace them.  For $600.  LOL.  I politely thanked them for the info and drove away.

 

 

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Pissed around with it today in the garage cause the weather was crappy.  Pulled the dash apart and diagnosed the hatch switch to be inop (I can jumper it with a wire and it works fine), so I need to grab a new switch.  Rear defrost, after ripping out all the hatch trim to get to the wiring:brickwall: is getting a full 12v, so I'm not sure what's up with that.  I also de-programmed the auto door locks so hey don't keep locking, that was really the highlight of my day lol.

 

Off to the junkyard tomorrow if the weather cooperates to grab a set of knuckles/hubs.

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Mods, thanks for moving this.  It didn't start out as a build thread but I guess it turned into one lol.

 

The junkyard gods shed their light on me today, I pulled an almost brand new set of hubs/bearings off (on a set of OEM knuckles) for $39 each side.  I planned to swap both out but the driver side (worst one) fought me the whole way.  Pinch bolt for the LBJ was frozen solid, and the axle shaft was absolutely rusted to the inside hub splines.  I had to use an industrial 3-jaw puller to get it pushed back off the hub, and it took me about an hour and a half can of PB Blaster.  Finally got that side done, cleaned up the garage and came in to cook dinner.  I'll deal with the passenger side sometime later this week.

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I also grabbed a rear hatch switch and swapped it in and can now open it with the dash button.  The OEM knuckle/hub I swapped out is getting a vinegar bath treatment for a few days.  I think I just got myself put on a terrorist watch list by buying 4 gallons of vinegar from the local grocery store LOL.  I'm taking a sick day tomorrow (I really am sick, got whatever sinus/cold thing that is going around right now) and will hopefully get the passenger side knuckle swapped out.  My plan is to clean up the original ones, press new bearings and hubs into them and swap them back in.  That swap ought to be pretty easy since I'm dealing with getting the old ones out right now.  I am just swapping the junkyard ones in so I can run it while I work on rebuilding the stock ones.

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Well, I tried to get the passenger side knuckle/hub off yesterday, but it was a no go.  The damn lower strut pinch bolt was FROZEN into the knuckle.  I ended up rounding off the bolt head with an air impact and it didn't even budge, and I threw in the towel.  Took it down to a local shop for them to get it out.  They worked on it for 2 hours last night and an hour this morning and were successful.  They had to weld on 4 different nuts on top of the bolt head and ended up breaking 3 sockets in the process.  A large castle nut finally did the trick.....the mech was able to fill the slots in with weld for a good hold.  Charged me $50, which I gladly paid them, and slipped the mech a separate $20 on the side.  I never had a chance of getting it out, and it was money well spent IMHO.

 

Here is the offender:

 

 

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On a brighter note, here is day #2 of the driver side knuckle/hub soaking in vinegar.  I did pull it out yesterday and wire brushed it and strained the vinegar.  She's bubbling away quite nicely....ill let it go until Saturday or Sunday.  Once I get the passenger side ones off ill do the same to them.

 

 

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this is why I bought all that KJ suspension stuff from the georgia yards. :D  I have no intention of dealing with little pip squeaks like that when I do my lift.  :mad: 

 

I did some suspension work on an older michigan car (late model Escort?) for a friend and got the trifecta of problems in the 3 bolts for the rear strut.  one snapped bolt, one rounded off head, and one that endlessly spun in its hole.  :furious2: I still won the day, but 'twas a harsh lessen to learn about where the limit is for work I do just to save a friend a few bucks.  some rust is for the pros.  :D 

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What's really funny is my KJ came from Chicago (I'm the third owner per car fax), and the only spot of rust on it is a 1/2" section at the bottom of the passenger side front door on the inside lip.  The rear swing gate latch on the body side is a bit corroded and the trans pan has surface rust on it.  That's it.  This focus came from GA as a single owner vehicle that never left the state all of its life, where you wouldn't think rust would  be an issue but all of the front suspension and steering parts are rusted up pretty good.  You'd think it would be the opposite with both vehicles.

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overall the KJ bodies got some decent rust protection from the factory. :L:  

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Yeah that.  Too bad MJ's didn't back in the day:sad:

 

So here's the knuckle after about 3 days of soak.  There's a couple deeper spots still not clean and I need to pick up a tiny wire brush tomorrow morning to get a couple nooks and crannies, but it's about 95% back to bare metal (which starts to flash rust in about 5 minutes after it dries).  It's back in the bucket now for an overnight sleep, lol.  I'll probably do a separate thread in tech on the whole process, in case anyone else is interested and has never used vinegar as a rust remover before.  It's cheap (I'm into this now for about $6 for the vinegar and $2 for a Wally World 5 gallon bucket/lid).  It just takes time, if you have it to spare like I do on this project, thankfully.

 

 

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That looks awesome. I am definitely interested in this process!

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Lots of picture warning.....I finished up side #1 this morning.  Pulled it out, brushed off the last hard spots, rinsed it and let it all dry.  Flash rusting started almost immediately so I doused it all in WD40 and wiped it down.  Then I generously brushed on some used motor oil and let it sit for an hour or so, rotating every so often so the oil could creep into everywhere.  Finally wiped it all down and wrapped the whole mess in plastic bags to sit while I work on the other side.  Once done, I'll press new hubs/bearings in, paint them and reinstall (hopefully next weekend).

 

 

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