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Monkhacks

MK1 Focus Steering Issue

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Morning all,

New to the forum so apologies if this thread is in the wrong place!

I brought my old 2004 MK1 Focus Ghia back from my brother last week, he had changed the 15" standard for some 17" racing alloys with low profiles. I now have an issue with the steering on the car around low speeds between 10-15mph. The steering when turning left feels like it has some sort of resistance to it. Have to turn the wheel sometimes with quite some force to actually get it to want to turn. Wasn't sure if it would have anything to do with the wheels due to it not doing it before with the 15" it had. 

It passed an MOT last week with no advisories on steering, just slight play in anti roll bar link which I am due to replace and a couple low tread tyres. Fluid seems okay but then surely low fluid wouldn't just effect steering in one direction?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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I'd wait and see how the steering is after you've done the anti roll bars as that could be the related issue but myself i'd be sitting the front of the Focus on axle stands and checking all the suspension related units for play and stiffness and any notching at the top of the strut  although the usual  old mk1  failing is the front coil springs which can cause similar issues if they are slowly failing before they snap which is what happened to me a few months back on the front offside ..

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If this problem has only occurred after fitting the larger wheels then this is the problem.  The bigger wheels will make the steering heavier as the wheels cover more service area than the standard wheels.   I would expect the power steering to compensate for the extra load however if there is some wear in the system this might not happen.  I think you will need put up with the heavy steering or swap back to 15s.  Personally I would have the 15s over the 17s everyday of the week.  Bigger lower profile wheels just make the ride uncomfortable and crashy.

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I'd be quite happy with something as simple as a broken spring lol! Rather that then a steering rack job!

Wouldn't know if it was a spring until it actually snapped though would I?

Had a MK4 Astra and the rear springs on them snapped at least 4 times a year! xD

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Also the power steering racks on the old mk 1.5 focus can wear this will cause a notchy feeling in the steering especially when turning left or right from the straight ahead position.  You could try changing the power steering fluid think these use a green fluid rather than the standard atf red fluid in some other fords.  Front strut mounts can also cause this issue.

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2 minutes ago, JONATHAN_11_80 said:

If this problem has only occurred after fitting the larger wheels then this is the problem.  The bigger wheels will make the steering heavier as the wheels cover more service area than the standard wheels.   I would expect the power steering to compensate for the extra load however if there is some wear in the system this might not happen.  I think you will need put up with the heavy steering or swap back to 15s.  Personally I would have the 15s over the 17s everyday of the week.  Bigger lower profile wheels just make the ride uncomfortable and crashy.

I have to admit it drove perfect with the 15s before.

I was curious as to if it was the wheels but thought the problem would be on both sides?

He sold the original 15s so trying to source some for a decent price! The ones on now look awful!

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40 minutes ago, Monkhacks said:

I have to admit it drove perfect with the 15s before.

I was curious as to if it was the wheels but thought the problem would be on both sides?

 

15s or 16s are the sizes that the  mk1 Focus was designed to allow for where as anything bigger would create a bigger turning area .

Your quite right as if the issue was caused by both  wheels then it would affect the steering left and right .

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Very strange that its only one side, unless its just not as noticeable on the other side? :S

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I have 17 inch ST 170 wheels on mine and they perform well.The steering is slightly stiffer but then I fitted new trackrod ends as well.

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Just been out on my lunch break and I noticed specifically its when I slowly turn left at around 30mph.

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The only thing I can think of is if the 17 inch wheels are wider and are fouling on part of the inside of the wheel arch or something.

I know if you fit anything wider than 7" on the mk3 you ought to have steering rack limiters to prevent the wheels turning too far and rubbing...

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

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Hi,

Funnily enough, just been researching this very same issue on my car.

Mines completely standard with the 15", 5 spoke alloys so I doubt it's the bigger wheels.

Hoping to do some trouble shooting over the next few days so will report back any findings.

Go well

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