Stay away from 00-01 IMO. Those early years were more problematic. 03-04, you might be able to find a PZEV engine, which was the partial zero emissions vehicle Ford sold to people who wanted to keep the permafrost from melting. Well instead of being a weak run down vehicle, it was a 2.3L 150 hp engine as compared to the 2.0L 135 hp in the non-PZEV vehicles. Those early Duratecs are a little peppier to drive, the engine is also lighter because it's all aluminum.
02.5+ Focis have a different manual transmission shifter setup than the earlier ones.
All 00-04 Focis are suspect for having a factory installed ignition lock cylinder that is faulty. If you have a car with the faulty lock cylinder, you are strongly advised to see about changing that ASAP. You'll want to purchase a new lock cylinder from your local Ford dealer, then have it keyed to your existing key at a locksmith, then installation is a breeze as long as your old lock cylinder still turns.
To identify the bad lock cylinder, look at the key hole inside the "coin" which is the metal that surrounds the key hole. If the key hole is in the center of the coin, then you're ok, that's the good lock cylinder. If the key hole is off center of the coin- then you must replace it ASAP. If you wait until the lock cylinder locks up, the old lock cylinder will have to be drilled out and you risk damaging the steering column. As long as the key still turns- installation of a new lock cylinder is a 5 minute job.
That's all I can think of right now.
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