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Old 01-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
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What are the recommended brands for the Focus?

Right off the bat:
'04 Focus ZX5 2.0L w/ ~179k. (auto)

About me:
This is my first Ford and it was purchased about 6 months ago after my '94 Saturn SL decided to throw one of the shocks north through the wheel well. ('caused by swerving around a semi tire in the middle of the freeway.) I purchased the Focus because the price was good, it was owned by an anal retentive doctor, and fully maintained by Briarwood Ford in Saline, MI.

(As of right now I am talking w/ them to see if they will release the car's full service records to me as all of that information is under the original owners name.)

The point of the post:
Now, I know Saturn SLs and Nissan Zs like the back of my hand, but being my first Ford I thought I'd ask folks opinions regarding default brands/parts to either buy or plain out stay away from.

As of now my plan is to do the brakes, then the plugs, and then finally suspension. All in all, what are the default "go-to" good brands for the Focus? Any brands to stay away from 'cause they suck? (Example: Almost everyone always suggested nothing, but NGKs for the plugs.)

In addition, are there any little mods that absolutely have to be done?

The car is just a daily driver, so I am not worried about things like lowering kits, but think of it like I was a close friend, I had the money and told you to pick everything out for my stock car, what would you do?

Thank you in advance.

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #2
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Pull the air box resonator. put in a K&N drop in filter (and or upgrade to a Stock SVT air intake box with a K&N drop in filter.

Suspension go with a Ford Racing Performance Package... basically is the SVT suspension.

Their are lots of stickies that talk about what all you can do to mod and how to do it. Their are also lots of build threads to see what people have done and are doing.

What are you looking at trying to do for the car? want it to be fast in a straight line? want it to be a zippy little car that jumps in and out of traffic? How much are you wanting to put into the car?

Any product that the sponsors of this site sell are good brands.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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In this case NGKs suck lol. Go with autolite copper plugs
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Do the copper Autolites really make that much of a difference? Especially on a semi stock N/A car?

K&N intake for sure.

The FS Werks Stealth exhaust system is a wonderful little daily driver/slight sporty setup. It has a nice purr, but isn't a blaring little Cherrybomb at highway speeds.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PRSman25 View Post
Do the copper Autolites really make that much of a difference? Especially on a semi stock
most likely no...especially if you don't want to check or replace them more often
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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Bosch plugs also suck, and a Napa DPFE sensor was also junk. Other than that I havent had any issues with aftermarket parts.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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For standard street brakes, I prefer Autozone duralast branded lifetime brakes, but I found Advance Auto Wearever to be good too. The lifetime warranty for wearout is impressive and saved me a lot over 20 yrs. Their better line of rotors at both places are good. Just don't get the cheapest ones because the metallurgy is inferior. The cheapest one's rust terribly and get hot sports from hard braking heat. The hot spots soon lead to surface cracks or warpage that requires replacement. I've had rotors crack in half. The semi-metallic premuims are probably a little better for hard braking than the ceramics, but they will wear rotors more and produce more dust. Believe me, I have some experience with brakes after going thru hundreds of sets of various brands on street and track.

For plugs on normally aspirated, I prefer Autolite or Motorcraft iridium or full platinums because they last 100k mi. However they drop electrodes quick in racing apps, even N/A. The Denso iridium is good too. I surely wouldn't be running short-lived copper plugs on a daily driver that does not see much severe duty use. Copper plugs belong in lawn mowers, race cars and forced induction apps.

For suspension, I would stick with Ford Motorsport for factory lifecycle and bang for buck. You can pay a lot more for equivalent lifespan in another brand. I haven't researched other good brands specific to the Focus, but bilstein and koni are good if they cover your application. I like Koni's lifetime warranty for street racing apps....they honor it!!

For calibration-sensitive parts like O2 sensors, EGR and such, stick with Ford OEM to avoid issues. The aftermarket is a potshoot except for specific instances where the community of experts knows otherwise and provides consistent recommendation for a particular part#. The OEM easily specifies a dozen diferent part#'s with tiny differences where the aftermarket offers just one with a "compromise" calibration that can lead to issues that are tough to troubleshoot like surging, bad gas mileage, hard start, rough idle etc.
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