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SVT Performance (2002-2004) The place to chat about any 2.0L SVT DOHC Zetec engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.

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Old 07-24-2012, 12:54 AM   #11
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I got my SVT in March, it had a lot of issues already waiting to be fixed, but I knew if I didn't get it then some 'non focus guy' would, and he'd just drive it to it's sad end at junkyard, I took decision to take the car as it is and save it from misery.

Now, few months later I need to admit that I love this car, even tho it costs me a lot of time and money to get it restored, or maybe that's because of it :) and don't forget great handling and a pure pleasure to drive.

In my case it is a money pit, but I already see that in most cases of SVTs they become money pits due to lack of maintenance, and/or because their owners do drive em much harder than regular Focus. If you put SVT and regular ZX3 side by side, and drive them same way, they will be equally reliable.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:15 PM   #12
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I bought my svt like 6 months ago and it wasent taken care of till I got it. It needed some work right off the bat but I got it all fixed up and haven't had any problems with mine. Been very reliable car and realy fun to drive.
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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Ever since buying mine, it's never broken down on me. I even drove it from Portland, OR to Santa Barbara, CA when I first got it. runs strong and gets 28 mpgs to and from work including warm up
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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I bought mine when it was 2yrs old with about 13k mi on it. Since then there has been plenty of stuff that has required fixing or replacing, but it has never left me on the side of the road, and that's the kind of reliability that matters.

Like others have mentioned, be absolutely certain that you know the condition of the timing belt. These are interference engines, so if that breaks then it will cause very serious damage to the motor.
If the car was driven 'spiritedly', then you may have to replace things like the wheel bearings, tie rods, O2 sensors, and possibly the clutch, if it hasn't already been done.

Other performance / service notes would include:

-The rear brake pads on these cars are small...really small...really really freakin' small. expect to have to change them. At least it's an easy process.

-The Intake Manifold Runner Cable (IMRC) Control Module is prone to needing service or replacement due to cheap nickel plating on the contact points. there's a DIY repair tutorial on this site though. Easy enough to perform if you're careful.

-The OEM Clutch and Flywheel design was substandard and subsequently the design was changed post-production. If the clutch has not already been replaced, you will also have to buy a flywheel when you do replace it. Even still, this is an excellent opportunity for performance upgrades.

-The OEM motor mounts (3) were made from old grape jello that was left in the fridge for too long in the Ford engineering facility and feel like crap when you really get on it. poly replacements suggested.

-The OEM tune on the engine is notorious for creating 'surges' when maintaining speed and bogging a bit on take off. this is a combination of issues (largely F/A, VVT and IMRC related from what I can gather) that are easily taken care of with a tune. Most people on this site will suggest getting one from Tom from Focus-Power (1turbofocus on this forum) which will cost you about $400 ($300 for the flash hardware, + $100 for the tune itself), which comes with free updates as you modify your engine for as long as it remains NA.

Other than that, it's the usual service items that tend to be either regular maintenance, or car-specific wear and tear.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:48 PM   #15
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Wow, great reply.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:33 PM   #16
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i bought the exact same car but red interior and trust me i love the car mine had 125k on it and it needed some engine work because the timing belt snapped but i would make sure it was changed too idk if he ever had his changed but it broke at 124,900.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:51 PM   #17
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New SVT owner here! I purchased the car with 120k on it which means I will be dumping money into it soon. Hopefully I can reach 200K or get close it it.

The seats are great compared to the Escort I was driving before. The car is relativity slow but it brakes and handles well.

I would never pay more than 5 thousand for one unless it's been really taken care of and you don't need to do anything.

Timing belt and the clutch are the big PITA repair items on these cars. Try revving it up and dropping the clutch before you buy it. If does not lock the wheels up then they better take $700 off the sales price.

Good luck.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:07 PM   #18
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just bought my SVT 1 month ago. had a few minor problems. fixed the simple issues myself ($110 - ish) no big deal. and just slapped on a supercharger. not cheap. but not needed either lol just a fun addition. its a fun car. and mines a tad faster now! i would recommended it. and that black svt focus you listed looks like it was taken care of very well. awesome condition for the age. and low miles. got mine with 80,000. looks like a good deal to me.

i would try my best to haggle the deal down though. always room to play with the price!
- Michael Price

2003 SVT Focus
205+ HP
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #19
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do. it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #20
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Any luck on the purchase? Love to hear how it turned out for ya.
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