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Old 03-28-2007, 11:25 PM   #1
ineedtafocus
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best svt model year

hey, i have an 00 zx3 and i have decided to trade in my zx3 for an svt, now my question is this: what is the difference if any between the svt model years? and in your opinions what is the best year?


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Old 03-29-2007, 12:27 AM   #2
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The '02's are most infamous for problems and oversights. New models take time to get the bugs ironed out. Stay away from '02s at this point, look for low miles and EAP. I have an '03 thats managed to stay out of the shop mostly (so far). '04's have some newer bits and pieces, stuff like shift linkages that wont pop off. Of course the newest model is your best bet. Look for a SVT with EAP (03+) with reasonably low milage (<40k) and you should be on your way.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:28 AM   #3
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^^ of course that is a very generalized answer. Finding a damn SVT in the first place can be hard at times depending one your location.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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While their prices aren't always the greatest, if you're anywhere near a Carmax then it shouldn't be too hard to find an SVT. I tracked carmax for about 3 months before I bought my SVT in January, and while I never saw an EAP there were always at least 5 SVTs and sometimes as many as 15 on a lot somewhere. As long as you can find one reasonably nearby, the transfer fee is pretty negligible (mine was in North Carolina--farther than I was willing to drive to buy a car, but they shipped it to Maryland for 200 bucks).

They're more expensive that a private seller, of course, but they were in line with the prices of the few dealerships I found in this area that actually had an SVTF.

Edit: Ha! Just noticed you're from Elkton. My roomate in college was from up there. So, yeah, the White Marsh Carmax isn't too far at all. Just a thought...

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Old 03-29-2007, 09:29 AM   #5
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There were a few changes that I know of during the run. Sometime in 2003 (I think) they changed the throttle cable to a shorter one; dunno why.

For most (all?) of the 2004 run, the rear lower control arms had reinforcing plates welded onto them. I've never heard of catastrophic failure in the rear suspension without it, but there it is.

It was actually news to me that the shift linkages changed designs, but maybe that's why mine have never popped off on me...

I wonder about the DSI clip, because you used to hear about DSI clip failure ALL the time on here, and its never happened on my '04.

The 2004 rims must be stronger than the 2002-2003 style. I've HAMMERED on mine (not at fault, damn Mass. roads) and have only a minor bent on one lip.

And of course the ECU tuning changed, what, 4 times? There were one or 2 RLA-series programs, YRF0 thru the TSB, ZED0 exclusively as the OEM 2004 program, and now a new TSB tune thru Ford, though I dont know what the code is. I get great mileage and few problems with ZED0, so that's a bonus.

The best SVT to get, in terms of feature-content and suspected reliability, would be a 2004 EAP-trim. Recaros, HIDs, glass moonroof, and the most recent revision of all the changed out components.

Good hunting.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:27 AM   #6
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I must be in the minority then.

I love my 02 and have not experienced any problems short of a transmission replacement after 300 miles under warranty. Everything else has been routine maintenance or annoying little issues that were easily corrected. No running problems, no suspension problems. Pretty bullet proof all around. I've never even had the ECM reflashed.

However, I defer to the experience of the group as I appear to be the exception rather than the rule.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:33 AM   #7
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you wanna get a 2004. while there may or may not be problems with all the model years, the 04's seem to have the least problems. it seems that some of the issues that came up with the 02 and 03's were fixed or made a little better with the 04's. plus it's a newer year and might have less miles on it...
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:38 AM   #8
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I love my 02 as well.... coolant leak and alternator replaced under warranty when I bought it....nothing else...
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:00 AM   #9
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I've owned an '02 and an '03...

Basically, you want an '03 or an '04, but you have to do a bit of research on whatever car you find. An '04 with the winter package has traction control that can't be defeated with an aftermarket tune, and '04 models may have missing parts. If you can find an '03 with the European Appearance Package, I would go with that, since you can defeat the TC and the majority of issues seen in '02 are not present. Otherwise, I would go with an '04 without the winter package (the EAP always has the winter package included).
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:12 AM   #10
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^ '04 models may have missing parts? That throws me a little, I hadn't heard this rumor. Can you elaborate?

Being an 04 owner, I have a vested interest
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