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Old 04-30-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
fiddlesticks
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Which ZX3?

Probably beating a dead horse but.....

I think it's possible I've researched all I can and now I'm just looking for opinions.

We are looking for a ZX3 and I'm not sure if there is a "best/worst" model year? Auto/5 spd? SVT or stay with ZX3?

Any guidance is appreciated.


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Old 04-30-2013, 08:37 AM   #2
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depends what you are looking for...

newer, more reliable and still a zx3; 2005-2007 2.0l duratec 5 speeds
better looking, more power, sportier: 2002-2004 SVT
lower cost but still pretty solid: 2001-2004 2.0l zetec zx3
rare but powerful: 2003-2004 2.3L duratec zx3

They all have their benefits, whether its; cost, efficiency, fun... I will always prefer a manual, they will get you more performance and better mpg. They all have the same practicality and similar characteristics. I'd pcik a low mileage SVT or 2.3L as the top choices for me but they will have a cost premium. If I couldnt find one of those then I'd be looking at a 2006 or 2007 zx3 just because they are newer, should be in better shape.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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I say SVT, but I am biased. They have the best stock power, looks, handling, and stopping, interior, and available options. But, mileage is only ok, takes premium, maintenance/insurance can be a tad higher, and even though it doesn't respond all that well to NA mods, it infects you with the mod bug very easily!

SVT option breakdown:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=153504

Options on the 2002 SVT:
-moonroof
-winter package
-audiophile package

Options on 2003 & 2004 SVT:
-5-door
-moonroof
-winter package
-audiophile package
-HID headlamps
-European Appearance package (aka EAP)


Option descriptions:
moonroof: power roof window with rear vent and full open modes using an overhead switch. The overhead light surround is extended to accomodate the switch.

winter package: heated seats, traction control, engine block heater. The switches for the heated seats and traction control are located on the shifter bezel in the center console.

audiophile package: 6-disc headunit, 8" sub and amp in the trunk, uprated front door speakers (uprated rear speakers only on the 5-door)

HID headlamps: chrome headlight housings that contained 4 lights: HID mains, halogen highs, blinkers, and "city lights." Since the blinkers were relocated to the headlight housings, the lights in the upper grille became single-filament driving lights.

European appearance package*:
dark argent 15-spoke wheels, black leather Recaro seats, perforated black leather door and seat inserts, two unique color options: "Screaming Yellow" and "Competition Orange"**, and all other options


*not available on 5-doors until 2004; the 5-door EAP came with dark gray door panel inserts instead of perforated black leather

**this means that you could get the EAP in any other color as well (EXCEPT Sonic Blue in 2003).

this means that the EAP cars all came with HIDs, moonroof, winter, and audiophile standard. The 5-door remained optional.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
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I'd look for the 2005-2007 years to get the Duratec. It's low drama compared to the other engine options.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replica81 View Post
I'd look for the 2005-2007 years to get the Duratec. It's low drama compared to the other engine options.
and easier to get junkyard parts

Biggest turnoff to a SVT is parts availability
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsolo View Post
and easier to get junkyard parts

Biggest turnoff to a SVT is parts availability
Best thing for parts availability for the SVT (and other Focuses) is this forum . There are lots of part-outs going at any given time!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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Yes, but it's just a numbers game.
So few SVT's, so many plain jane duratec cars.
SVT's are cooler, but like most cool things they take more effort / money.

Need a transmission, or a new front seat: one is going to be a whole lot easier to find.
Then there are all the discontinued SVT parts that are starting to get harder to find: little stupid stuff like brake booster check valves, caliper brackets, VVT cam pulley, etc.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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SVT's are awesome, but the main thing that makes them great, their exclusivity, is what makes them a poor choice. I remember when I had to get my timing belt replaced, they somehow damaged the intake cam. Only one dealership in the entire country had one. Cost me another week of downtime.

Also, the Getrag transmissions are hard to find, and will be expensive. They have clutch issues as well, and the specific parts cost more than the regular MTX75. The shorter geared MTX75 in the 2005+'s work damn well against the 6 speed Getrag. As cool as the SVT motor is, it isn't terribly faster than a 2.0 Duratec. The Zetec/SVT motor is also heavier than the Duratecs.

SVT's are cool. I really liked mine. But that exclusivity and complexity is its downfall as well. I'm enjoying my 2005 Focus ST, which is most of an SVT, but without the drama. I would think most 2005 Focuses, be it 2.0 or 2.3, will be easier to live with.

When shopping against an SVT, remember to add the cost of a timing belt replacement IMMEDIATELY to the price of the car. So whatever you pay, plus about $700 for parts/labor to get it done. A Duratec model will not have these concerns.

If I were on an extreme budget, I'd look for a 2005 manual base model and just buy the SVT suspension.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Thanks all! Very helpful info. I called about a SVT today just to be able to see the differences, drove out there and the place was closed. (suppose to be there until 7) So glad to have some much info here instead - appreciated. We may be actually looking for two.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:37 PM   #10
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I love my 2.3 Duratec in my 2004!!
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