Recently I replaced the rear shocks on my Focus Wagon. And prior to that, I also replaced the swaybar end links (one was broken, one looked like it was about to break).
And the overall purpose of this was to alleviate side to side wiggle in the rear when on curves to the left, when hitting bumps and improve the ride.
Well after doing these things, it made things better in some ways, and WORSE in others.
The back end now rides more firmly... I feel more small bumps. But on larger bumps, there’s no more rebound-bouncing aftershocks.
Before I would only get side to side wiggle on curves to the left. NOW I get the wiggle on curves to the left AND right... BUT... the new shocks control the severity of the wiggle better.
On top of that, the front suspension/shocks definitely feel ‘softer’ than the rear.
So I did more research... and it looks like the reason for the wiggle is that the Focus has ‘passive rear steering’... which works great when the car is new. But as it ages and parts wear, it turns into rear-end-wiggle on curves.
It looks like the next step is to replace the rear control arms. The control arms in the rear are not actually one piece but three pieces on each side.
The first piece is the part that supports the spring. Since there are no bushings associated with this part, I don’t think it needs replacing. But the other two parts (the curved part is the rear upper control arm, straight part is the Rear Lower Forward control arm) do have bushings on each end. And the rear lower forward control arm is what is used to adjust the alignment.
So it’s these bushing-equipped parts that are next on my replacement list... and the parts should only cost about $160 plus shipping and tax. Will probably order them when I have to order spark plugs which are due to be replaced in about 7000km.
And then after this, maybe the next step is to look at getting an alignment done... maybe. But I might decide to replace my front tie rods first (already have the parts) and then do the alignment.