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Old 01-18-2013, 06:23 PM   #11
Russo2
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Road noise and engine vibration, almost like an exhaust drone too, though that was more prevalent in the 03, like Maybe it had a slight leak at the manifold. No ticking though.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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Engine vibration can be mitigated by replacing the offending motor mount(s), it isn't too difficult. Also check out the suspension bushings, they tend to seize after a while and that can make things more clunky. Is the 2003 an SVT? You said it had disk brakes, which only came on the SVT models.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #13
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My bad, I meant factory cd. Which isn't a huge deal, but it has more options than the 00.
I'm assuming a regular focus has drums on the rear then?
And believe me, if it were and svt I'd be selling off truck parts to get it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:54 PM   #14
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As you look around, most of the early sedans had the SPI motor (except ones marked "ZTS"
which had the Zetec & a rear sway bar the others didn't). So looking at hatchbacks will get you the Zetec motor mentioned....

Newer cars got the duratec engine that's another improvement, but too new for dirt cheap unless dinged... (grin)

Hope that helps in your search, and Welcome!
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russo2 View Post
I'm assuming a regular focus has drums on the rear then?
Yeah, Ford was a bit late to the whole "disc brakes all the way around" trend. I think they have Em all the way up til like... 2010?
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:42 PM   #16
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That's pretty lame, even the sploders and stuff from the 90's are rear disc.

Do you guys think I should just buy the cheaper car and risk the spi? There have to be a lot of them out there still.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #17
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There ARE a lot out there, and it was used in the Escort so more of them as well.

It's still supported, there is even a new replacement aftermarket head available now!
The fix isn't prohibitively expensive as long as you catch it B4 major damage & you can R&R the head yourself....

Most just like to warn purchasers of the chance they might have to deal with the issue so it isn't a surprise! AND to check for the issue if it starts running poorly right away instead of driving it 'till it grenades & MAY not be worth fixing...

The GOOD point is that most users find the BEST mileage from the SPI, so it may be what you're looking for as a cheap commuter.

luck!
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:23 PM   #18
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What exactly is it on the valve that fails? The little hold down things on the spring or what? Is it something that could be fixed like now with the head on the car? If not how much is that replacement head? I will take fixing the head over doing gaskets all over a gm engine.. been there done that.
Again thanks guys, you've been a great help.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:09 AM   #19
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The exhaust valve seat itself, which is pressed or molded in the head, comes loose to fall out. Head must yank to fix it...........
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russo2 View Post
What exactly is it on the valve that fails?
The valve itself doesn't fail; the valve seat insert fails. The valve seat insert separates from the cylinder head within the combustion chamber and gets trapped between the moving piston and top of the combustion chamber with disasterous results.

"Soft" aluminum heads have hardened circular valve seat inserts - to withstand the "hammering" of the valve rapidly opening and closing - embedded into the head. They are usually held in place by a simple interference fit; the seat fits tightly into a counterbore machined in the head.

So any valve seat repairs require head removal and complete head dismantling (cam(s) off, valves and springs out) with some machining involved.

edit: amc49 beat me to it.
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