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mjt

Member Since 24 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 08:44 AM
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Topics I've Started

Steering Vibration

09 June 2014 - 09:40 AM

Hi Folks,

 

For some time now our 03-plate Mk1.5 Ghia estate 1.8TDCi has suffered from a bit of steering vibration. It recently had an MOT and came away with a clean bill of health but needed new front tyres. The front wheels have been re-balanced three times since then but the vibration is still there. It happens from about 65 indicated upwards and is not constant, sometimes it's worse, sometimes barely noticeable. I have noticed that on a gradual bend in the road it comes and goes as though the wheels are going in and out of sync.

 

At the last balance I specifically asked the the guy to check that the alloys were undamaged and running true and he confirmed they were ok. Also as far as I know the driveshafts are undamaged.

 

I'm now wondering if the problem is the suspension getting a bit tired and slack - the car's done just over 105K - and therefore less tolerant of any slight imbalance in the wheels and shafts. I just bought a 60-plate Mk2.5 hatch and the handling of that feels so much tighter and more responsive and although I realise the steering geometry is probably different the older car feels distinctly soggy by comparison.

 

In spite of the clean MOT I wonder if I should have the front shocks replaced. If so what brand should I go for? I notice Euro Car parts list three different makes.

 

I should be grateful for any help or suggestions.


Anyone Else Think The Focus Interior Design Has Gone Backwards?

09 April 2014 - 09:37 PM

Note that I'm referring here to the 2010 Focus Mk2.5 (facelift MK2) that I've recently bought. I can't comment on the Mk3 as I haven't seen one. We still have the MK1.5 that we bought six years ago and comparing the two I think the interior design of the Mk2.5 is very much inferior.

 

First the instrument panel looks really tacky. It puts me in mind of a childs toy. Ok, obviously some compromises were necessary to make room for the message panel but the fuel and temperature gauges are pathetically small and the chrome surrounds to the instruments and the silver infill just look cheap and blingy.

 

Next the console. Here again there's too much silver. It just looks cheap. The cover for the power connector sticks up like a sore thumb. The cup holders have got smaller and are pretty much useless.

 

The door pockets have also got smaller and the low position of the door handles prevents them from being used for any tall items, such a road atlas. The window and mirror controls feel a lot less robust and relocating the mirror control to the door handle is in my opinion a backward step : the combined switch/joystick on the inside of the mirror mount is much more practical for adjusting position while in motion as you don't have to look down.

 

In addition to those individual niggles the overall styling of the interior of the older car still looks fresh compared with the rather staid and unimaginative look of the new one.

 

I even find the exterior styling rather bland compared to the older car, which was quite ground-breaking in its time. I would accept the Mk3 looks a lot better although I'm not convinced by the rear lights - too far-eastern in concept for my taste.

 

So you might ask why I bought the Mk2.5 rather than another make and the answer is that I find it fun to drive with precise handling and a good clutch and gearbox. It feels much tauter on the road than the Mk1.5 although that's not really comparing like for like as the old one is an estate and has done 105K so it's running gear is probably getting a bit tired. Also it's a heavy old diesel lump whereas the new one's a petrol hatch with only 24K on it.

 

So have I opened a can of worms with these observations? What do you other people think?


2010 Focus Zetec 1.8 Petrol - Anything To Look Out For?

28 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

As above I'm going to look at one of these this afternoon. I specifically wanted a 1.8 rather than a 1.6 as I thought it might be a bit more torquey and relaxing to drive. Does anyone have any views on this and is there anything I should look out for?


Mk1.5 Door Mirror Glass Loose

26 February 2014 - 10:32 AM

Hi, on our 03-plate facelifted Mk1 I've noticed lately that the drivers door mirror glass is a bit loose and jiggles around with the movement of the car. I'd like to take it out to see what's happened but I've tried using the method in the Haynes manual, which says it should unclip outwards. I've moved it using the control so the outer edge is proud of the frame and tried to push it sideways from the inner edge but can't get it to unclip. I'm reluctant to apply too much pressure as I obviously don't want to break anything. Am I using the right technique? Any advice would be very welcome.


Glow Plug Timing

03 December 2013 - 12:06 PM

With the cold mornings I've started to find the car reluctant to start again. As I'd replaced the glow plugs last year I didn't think that could be the problem. The indicator lamp only comes on for less than a second and I thought maybe there was a fault in the supply to the plugs so I clipped a test bulb across them. I found, to my surprise, that the supply was actually active for 5 seconds. It turns out that if I turn the ignition on and count to 5 before starting it fires up fine. Try sooner or leave it too long and it struggles.

 

So the indicator is totally useless as a guide to operating the starter. How stupid is that? I'm seriously wondering whether to wire in a permanent indicator.