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Old 04-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
zxr250cc
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10th Anniversary updates on my SVT

I own a 2004 SVT EAP 5-door Focus in Screaming Yellow. I bought it new and have used it as fun driver car and used my Taurus for work. I kept it 'box stock' on purpose. It now has ~ 86,000 miles on it and I have done all the routine scheduled work and oil changes on it myself since new.

Recently I have been using it as a daily driver and thinking about making upgrades or general preventive maintenance changes in the car since it had all the original parts still. I have not been happy with the way the vehicle acts when going over small sharp bumps and have been reading the Focus sites for changes made by others and upgrades that have been successful or not. It makes a 'squirk' sort of noise on these bumps and irritates me greatly when it happens. The modification that fixes this noise seems to be to change the links in the front suspension from the stock Ford parts, which are age worn, and I have bought Moog links to install to replace them.

So far I have changed out the following parts or have them purchased and plan to change them in the next week or two:

The passenger side 3085 motor mount was replaced with a new hydraulic mount of the same type. This feels slightly better but not much change overall since the original was still working. I considered a polyurethane mount here but after reading in forums decided to stay with the stock style motor mount for this location. I have not bought one yet but intend to change the upper transmission mount with the same OEM type again. Suggestions on the best brand after market part for this position would be welcomed. (Not polyurethane in this location...)

The lower dog bone motor mount was removed, the insides were pressed out with a hydraulic press and polyurethane inserts used to upgrade the mount. This made a very pronounced change in the feel of the car over small sharp bumps and it feels more 'solid' after this change. I feel the motor vibrate a bit when idling now but otherwise it has been a very positive change to the car. I am convinced that a lot of the negative way this car acted on sharp bumps was related to the softness of this part as a stock rubber insert design. Every Focus owner should change this to polyurethane inserts if they are unhappy with the way the car reacts to sharp bumps. Even if the other motor mounts are still OEM style.

I replaced the rear shocks with a new set of Ford Racing shocks, like the original equipment. I bought the close out Ford Racing full shock/strut set and have the front struts and mount pieces to install in the next week or so. I wanted Bilstein or Koni struts/shocks but my current budget made the decision for me to buy the SVT strut/shock set again. I am planning to add a strut bar to reinforce the front strut towers as well in the next month or so as my budget permits.

I changed the rear sway bar bushings to polyurethane and that was an easy and positive change. The rear is not finished yet as I am trying to decide between polyurethane bushings or just change out the upper and lower link with new OEM style parts.

I have the polyurethane bushings for the front sway bar but I will need to get the car up in the air on a lift to work with that. I am doing this work with ramps/jack stands and a 2 ton jack at present.

One nice thing about using the ramps to raise the car is that the car is up and still on its' wheels and I have no issue with adjusting ride height while it is in the air. It made torquing the lower bolt on the rear shock as easy as can be since I only had to make the torque setting on the wrench and twist away until it clicked to do the work.

I have bought Moog adjustable bolts for the rear upper link so I can change the camber and need to borrow or buy a Dremel tool to cut the old tack welded bolt off so I can install them. This is to do before or at the same time as I mount the front struts and links since I will of course need to do a full alignment after installing those parts.

I bought the Gates T294RB timing belt and water pump kit for the motor as well as a new serpentine belt. I am needing to get the tensioner pulleys and the idler pulleys for this project before I take on the job of changing both belts. The car has the original timing belt in it and it worries me that it is 10 years old so it is due for change in the next two weeks as well. The 10th Anniversary for the car is 4/21 so I am enjoying renewing parts and making the car feel new again in the process.

I bought this car because it handles very well in curves and twisty roads and will go fast while also being cheap to run for gas mileage and overall service needs.

I really like the HID lights and the fog/driving lights which I have changed to 5000 degree bulbs to match the light color of the halogen bulbs to the plasma bulbs in the HID main projector beams. If you have not driven a car with HID lights and driving lights at the same time it is a radical improvement over normal high beam halogen bulbs. My car had them from new so I am spoiled by them.

I am wondering if there is anyone who does their own work with an SVT in the Tulsa area that has experience with the timing belt change? The basic mechanical work does not bother me but the VCT variable timing aspect of the changeover makes me wonder since I have never seen one done before. As we all know, an interference fit engine does not tolerate inaccurate set up... I will add updates as I finish the work if anyone is interested.


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Old 04-06-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
SlickWilly
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Pretty cool that your doing some work on the car. Doing some suspension work on mine yesterday reminded me its time to start doing to maitnance. My dad always said "Never buy an aftermarket part unless your replacing a worn part" he might be cheap but it makes good sense. I need to replace my dog bone and side motor mount. Were they easy to do, our cars are similar in that nature. Anyways man, keep up the work, it feels good to ride in a car with new parts, takes your mind off getting newer car.
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:53 PM   #3
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I replaced the timing belt idler pully and tensioner on my 04 svt and it was very easy u will need the cam alignment tool and the crank pin so this way u will not loose top dead center and cam alignment. U will need a odd size inverted torx to loosen the cam gear for the intake cam due to the vct. Also I recomend following fords way with loosening bolth cam gears when installing the timing belt because when u set tension on the belt this will move the cam gears but not the cams so this way u maintain the timing on cams. I NVR removed the cam alignment plate until cam gears were tight. After belt was installed and cam gears tight I then checked for cam timing and I was spot on. It sounds harder then it is my first time ever doing the job I was done beginning to end in 2.5 hours. If u lived near ct I would deff help u do the job.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:52 PM   #4
zxr250cc
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The dog bone is not so bad to do IF you have a press to get the inside out of it to make the place for the inserts. I had a mechanic friend put the car up in the air on a lift and we used a jack to lever the motor around a bit to make the mount fit back into place. It is easier if you remove the bracket that attaches to the little end of the mount and put the mount in place and then mount the bracket when it is in place. That worked for us, anyway. It was 20 minutes start to finish with the press doing the hard part.

I have the cam tool bar and plug kit and also an E-18 socket and will be buying the Torx socket as well. I believe it is T-50 size. Other sizes needed?? Other little tools needed like a strap wrench for the cam to make it rotate?
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:08 PM   #5
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U Don't want the cams to rotate at all once u set the timing in placewith the alignment tools and I had me and a Freind help I used a big wrench on the cam I think the size was like a 1 1\8" I had my freind hold the wrench on the can wile I loosened the torx on the gear I also left the plate in while doing this step. But you want to hold the cams in place with a wrench there's a spot on the cam itself u will see it when the valve cover is off. I've seen people try and use the alignment plat to hold the cam while loosening the cam gear and break the tool and the can end.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:10 PM   #6
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The passenger side motor mount was a quick and easy job with one minor hitch. The large bolt holding the mount to the bracket you must remove to change the mount is really on there and I don't have a vice so I had to stand on the bracket on a rug to get the bolt loose and then tightened back up. 60 or more ft lbs. A vice would have been really useful... Oh, loosely tighten the motor side bolts, then the body bolts. Torque the motor side bolts then the body bolts in that order. I read that in a forum and it worked great for me.

All of the work so far has been easy to do. I think the cam belt will be much more of a challenge.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:22 PM   #7
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The timing belt will b more of a challenge but it also isn't that hard of a job u just have to follow all steps with out cutting any corners. If u want I can get a print out of step by step and post in on this page it will b off all data and I will add anything I find the instructions are missing
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:31 PM   #8
zxr250cc
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I have been reading many different posts about the timing belt job and also seen a lot of photos from several different forums, in here and at SVT Performance and others... It would be great to see a copy of the original Ford tech manual for their take on this job. User hints are always welcome... It looks like I will be doing this alone. I asked a local dealer with SVT trained mechanics about the cost of changing the belt. They wanted $774 for the labor and the belt only, no other parts quoted. That is clearly a crazy estimate for this work.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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I know I've seen it up here before but can't find it. Here is a link to the "other" focus site, second post down has the links for downloading the actual ford procedure. It's in pdf format.

http://forums.focaljet.com/ford-svt-...-pdf-file.html
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:16 PM   #10
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I got my timing belt/and asc belt/tensioner/idler, water pump. Car feels alot better, my belt too was 10 years old.(could be placebo) Also while your at it refill your a/c after 10 years it slowly leaks out. Now my a/c doesn't keep making that clunk sound.
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