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Old 04-28-2013, 04:22 PM   #1
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potential newbie owner

Hi Guys,
Put a deposit on a 2004 SVT 4 door with 109,000 miles. Selling price from ford dealer was $6700. I am buying it for my son to learn how to drive a manual. He is not a hot-rodder and is fairly gentle with his car. You can check the car out at www.seabreezeford.com. After i put a deposit down i found this forum group as well as other websites. I am now getting cold feet and considering cancelling the deal. I have no idea if the timing belt was replaced...and no idea if it is the original clutch. I can potentially be looking at a $2000 service charge within 6 months of purchase! As you can see in the pics, the car is very mint and completely stock. I just get very apprehensive considering the car is no longer made and parts can become scarce. The car drove perfectly fine and everything felt tight, but service issues are now making me nervous. I sent a letter to the dealer notifying them of cancelling the purchase unless timing belt service is done. Our second choice was a mint 2004 nissan sentra ser-spec v. Any thoughts or guidance here? Also, my other concern is finding a competent mechanic that would be familiar with the svt focus. I have been reading how everything SVT requires specialized knowledge and unique parts not common to the regular focus.....oh such decisions!

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Old 04-28-2013, 07:53 PM   #2
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I agree it looks clean and stock.

I would make damn certain the timing belt has been done though, that job isn't cheap unless you do it yourself. With the mileage I don't know if this is the best car for your son to learn on, mainly because of the price.

These cars can be really finicky, usually requiring a good deal of maintenance after 100k.
2002 Red 3 Door SVTF #2458
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:20 AM   #3
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I don't know about finicky, but I don't abuse mine. Of course, I don't baby it either! It sees daily trips to the red line, and I'm at 278,000 miles. Did the first change of the timing belt at 150,000 and the 2nd at 255,000. If it's a Ford dealer, he should be able to look in the computer and tell you every bit of maintenance that was done by a Ford shop. If not, take the VIN to a Ford dealer and find out what he can tell you.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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very important timing belt be done otherwise not much else to worry about parts are easy to come buy
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:24 PM   #5
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Any car with a timing belt (OHC engine) needs to have the timing belt replaced no later than 100,000 miles so that is to be expected on the nissan sentra as well. Clutch is dependant on how the car was driven of course. I have an 02 SVT and a friend has a sentra spec-v and I honestly do believe the SVT is the better made car and better driving car.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:01 PM   #6
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Svt looks and handles a lot better the spec v are just thrown together and made with really cheap parts
svt dohc: eibach spring, k&n intake, magna flow 2.5, light weight flywheel and 69mm throttle body

SVT or die!!!!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #7
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Personally, I wouldn't by an SVT for someone's first car. You can get a similar non-svt focus for a third of that price. but maybe that is just because I am a self-proclaimed cheapskate.

But if the choice is only between the SVT and spec-v, get the SVT. I drove the spec-v when I bought my focus new in 03. It did not compare well to my sedan, handling wise....

You can find good mechanics, and there is a ton of great info on this sight. Just get the timing belt taken care of, and the SVT should be a great car.
Defending the reputation of the red-headed step-child of the focus world for far too long.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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I agree, you can get a focus Manual, less mileage, for much less.

At a dealer, I just paid 3200 for a Focus Wagon manual, 03, 86.5k when I bought it. Few weeks ago. That's a wagon, the SE sedan he had was like 3k.

Srsly in the northeast, the amount of rust on this (meaning lack thereof) is amazing to me. I just looked at a diff 04 wagon 90k, they wanted 4.5k, but underneath and other palces was way more rusted. Totally worth the 2.5hr drive to threw 2 other states to get.

But yeah, if it's to get around, first manual, I'd recommend the sedan or w/e. Way cheaper. Also, yeah if it's not the 2.3L dura engine, check the timing belt has been replaced if it's 100k ish. The 2.3L dura has a chain, so previous chains have lasted me the life of the car, 250kish. 00 Focus I replaced belt at 150k.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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SVT if that's the choice, but i'd have to agree about the focus thing too, deffo would be my choice, not just for price but because it's great for entry.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
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If they can throw in the timing belt job with the price, or a heavily discounted rate, it seems like a decent deal.

The Spec-V has its issues as well. Something about parts of the pre-cat in the exhaust manifold will come apart and enter the engine. Meaning, a blown motor.

A car that's nearly indestructible is a 2002-2005 Civic Si. The motor uses a timing chain so no worries there. Everything else is pretty strong. A Mazda3 would be a good choice too, as would a 2005+ Focus.
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