I have a Ford Focus Mk1 (2004) stationcar edition. I've been fixing it up myself as a (very rewarding) learning project (my first), and I've recently changed the clutch after fighting the bell-housing on the clutch for a month or two. :)
I have one final problem with that car now.
It is pulling noticeably to the left and I constantly have to correct the steering wheel. When I brake, it get's slightly worse and spins the steering wheel a little if I let go while braking.
This problem wasn't there before changing the clutch. Note the car has been in a carport for a month on jack-stands so standing still it definitely has...
The weird thing is that it seems to fix itself almost completely when:
- The car has driven for a long period of time (100 km trip e.g.)
- If I accelerate, especially uphill and in a lower gear and high RPM (for max torque).
A quick Google reveals it's probably a stuck piston on the left hand side, and sure enough the pads were worn quite a bit on the inside vs. the outside. I reassembled the piston after compressing the piston (it was a little hard, but it was my first, so I have no reference), and re-lubricating everything to spec.
The problem got a little better but didn't go away. It has now come back somewhat over a week or two.
The thing is I'm running a little low on funds (all them tools for a starting DIY mechanic) and I would like to nail this problem first-try.
Google also tells me it could be everything from a bad balljoint (it fought me a little when re-assembling but has now play in the wheel now), a bad bearing (all wheels seems without clicking and play, very very slight on passenger-front), to the alignment itself being off (I find that plausible after the amount of violence required for the clutch job) and even the engine mounts themselves being damaged as the car straightens itself during pull.
The car has also been bought with 4 different tires and the threads are worn unevenly leading me to believe it had previous problems related to alignment or sticking calipers / dragging. I'm currently waiting for a tire machine to fix these. All tires are inflated equally in pairs to 2.4 front and 2.8 bar rear. I've matched the tires in pairs in relation to thread and rotation, and changing them around doesn't change the problem.
One of the basic checks for sticking calipers however, feeling for excessive heat doesn't really seem to hold true. I find that my calipers / wheel hubs in the front are either equally hot or cold. I hear no substantial noise or smell any weird smells around the car while off or driving.
The symptoms I'm having seem to indicate multiple problems or maybe just the one. I'm vouching for the left-hand caliper myself, but what are your well-educated and experienced opinions?