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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-21-2012 11:35 PM
sleepyboy The SVT was not the first one with traction control there were some early models with the Advance Trac system that had traction control and rear disc brakes. These are actually pretty rare and I've only seen one in person.
11-21-2012 11:32 PM
Chris_HT Yeah, for reliable better look for Focus with Duratec engine. But generally consider that most parts are shared between SVT and regular Focus, and the SVT needs more maintenance simply because it's driven more aggressive by the owner.

What I love about my SVT is fun factor. It's not made for drag racing, or to compete with GTs on the highway, but as a daily driver it's extremely fun. Aaaaand I like how everyone underestimates it on the road, thinking it's just another slowboat Focus... and then comes the surprise :P

@ Snow performance - SVT is the only first generation model with Traction Control.
11-21-2012 11:25 PM
sleepyboy If you have kids I highly recommend a 4dr sedan (05-07 ST would be the desirable model) or a ZX5. I have both a ZX3 and ZX5 and right now I'm missing having the extra doors (I need a clutch for the SVT and it's pricey so I have to wait for that). It's a pain getting the kids in and out the back with the 2dr. I have 3 kids 2 in booster seats and one in a rear facing car seat. So much easier getting them in and buckled with the extra rear doors.
11-21-2012 11:18 PM
smokeeater172 Good points.. I should have figured parts would be but forgot about the insurance aspect... like I mentioned, I drive like a slug anyway and have 2 kids, maybe Svt isnt the way to go, really like the styling though. Had someone tell me they are horrible in the snow, any experience there? Oh sorry to be a pain but also any specific things I should check for when i'm looking at the car or Qatar to ask. Thanks again for those who replied.
11-21-2012 10:51 PM
sleepyboy A t-belt kit is roughly 70 bucks if ordered from Rockauto. It should be less than 300 for any mechanic to change it, for 600-800 they better be changing the clutch out for that price. I suggest if your broke to not get the SVT. While it is a very fun and entertaining car to drive they can give you a headache once in a while. A normal focus with the zetec or duratec (preferably the 2.3L) are the work mules of the model. You can puts lots of miles on them without much care where's as a SVT needs some attention from time to time. I have both and while I do enjoy driving the SVT a lot the other focus has been my DD for years. SVT parts tend to be more expensive, and if you get one that hasn't been taken care of be prepared to do some maintenance. If you doing everything your self it's really not that much money but if you have to pay someone then it can rack up quickly, of course this is with any car though.
11-21-2012 10:32 PM
mainest My '05 ST has the 2.3 Duratec, which I have read is very reliable, and it certainly has lots of very useable torque. Perhaps a ZX3 or ZX5 with the 2.3 and a 5 speed would be similarly quick and responsive, without the onus of higher maintenance (and insurance) costs. Another thing to consider is that Ford no longer fully supports the SVT with replacement parts, so you may be reduced to haunting salvage yards, or worse, or, when Tousley can no longer get spares.
There is always the issue of the prior owner(s), and how well they maintained the car, and even if they scrupulously adhered to the factory maintenance schedule, they may have had their oil changes done, as I did once, by a shop that didn't realize the difference between an SVT, and a regular Ztec, and used the wrong weight oil!
Remember too, that two kids can require lots of time, and money. I speak from experience on that score.
All of this is simply to give you information on which to make your own, informed choices, not to discourage you from getting yourself a fun daily driver.
BTW, that $200 figure for the t-belt replacement is DIY, which, as you may have read, is a very finicky procedure. I would budget $600 to $800 to have a competent mechanic do the job.
Good luck.
11-21-2012 07:41 PM
smokeeater172 Thanks for the input... any opinions whether to go svt? Defined. Would be more fun.. but higher risk it was abused. On the other hand I read that the motor is better material?
11-21-2012 05:22 PM
mainest Read these two threads.
IMO, if you never drive an SVT, you probably won't regret not buying one, BUT I highly recommend that you do drive one, you will love it. I bought an '04 after seeing it in the BST on FJ. I love it.
There isn't much about the SVT, or Foci in general, that you can't find here, or on FJ. For instance, there is a fix for the leaky SVT thermostat housing (I just ordered one for my '04. $115. shipped from Tousley Ford in MN., an FJ sponsor)
As was said above, the timing belt and attendant pulleys are priority one for these cars, and there will be a constant need for attention to something or other, so if you are going to be short of cash, this could become an issue with your wife. On the other hand, you deserve to enjoy your drive to and from work, so if you can find some twisties on Cape Ann, between home and work, you will usually have a smile on your face when you arrive. Good luck.
11-21-2012 04:58 PM
Chris_HT Let me just say that even tho my car was mechanically in terrible shape already, it never left me stranded. And I pushed my luck on that driving it for 6 months this way. Now it's in my garage and I hope to have it back on the road by new year. If you run into a trouble with SVT it will 95% of a time be cooling system or accessory belt, never heard about stock SVT engine just breaking on the road. I did hear tho about people with modified camshafts or cases where timing belt snapped and sent engine to hell, cause SVT is an interference engine, so better don't mess with timing and change belt every 80k miles and you will be allright.
11-21-2012 04:43 PM
smokeeater172 haha okay, funny you say that because I carry certain emergency stuff in my truck.. certain tools, extra oil, ect.

I dont mind small jobs, I am pretty handy, have air tools, and enjoy to work on my vehicles... but I commute a long way and really do not want to get stranded... and I def. keep up with maintenance, you just never know about previous owners though.
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