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Old 09-10-2014, 07:40 PM   #1
valvesr4wimps
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Perhaps in the market for Gen 1 Focus

I am looking for a car both for myself as commute from time to time and to share with my daughter(s) as they learn to drive.

I also am looking for a bit of a project so it would seem a 100k+ mileage running SPI engine may fit the bill. The Price of these cars is pretty reasonable and I think I am good to go for a head swap operation myself with one of my girls helping me.

All that said, are there other heavy hitter items I should watch for when considering a Gen 1 focus besides the valve seats?

I would be lookiing for a 4 door sedan with a 5 speed.

Thanks in advance for your comments.


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Old 09-10-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
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Welcome to FF

I'll move this to Focus & General Car Chat as most of the prospective buyer threads end up there.

Since you've read up on the possible dropped valve seat issue with the SPI, all I can add is that since you're in CA the rust issue is the only remaining major one & you're likely to avoid that to a large extent.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for moving the thread.

Is there a area of specific rust vulnerability I should examine first when looking at these cars?

Thanks!



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Welcome to FF

I'll move this to Focus & General Car Chat as most of the prospective buyer threads end up there.

Since you've read up on the possible dropped valve seat issue with the SPI, all I can add is that since you're in CA the rust issue is the only remaining major one & you're likely to avoid that to a large extent.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:12 PM   #4
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Usual rocker area.

Look at rear suspension, that can actually rot out with severe salt exposure (arms & frame).

Anything with a Zetec engine also has the MTX-75 trans, SPI came with the IB5 that isn't as common (MTX-75 used to current). No particular issues to note with the different trans., just something to remember as many parts associated are different.

SPI is more economical than the Zetec, at the price of being less peppy. With maint., zetecs can go for hundreds of thousands without rebuilding, SPI will need it most likely as your research showed. Seen some get to 200,000, but that seems exceptional.

Driving performance, the SPI sedans don't come with rear sway bars or mounts for them - something often added later.

Best prices for the SPI for sure, just figure in that preventive repair or take the chance it may not be rebuildable if it lets loose.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for the details on Zetec VS SPI.

So a remanufactured SPI head should never had the seat drop or is that still a possiblity?

Are there other mechanical issues on the 1st gen cars that I need to be particularly worried about on the 1st gen beyond any other 100k mile car? Steering? suspension, brakes, transmission, cooling, electronics?
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:00 PM   #6
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Why is SPI in the conversation at all? 2.0L Zetec/duratec motors are superior in every way i can think of. As sailer mentioned, they both use the mtx75 which is way more common. I really doubt the price point is that much different from the same year zetec. Also, you being in California, you could also see the 03-04 2.3l duratec out there. Those are some great motors!
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valvesr4wimps View Post
Thanks for the details on Zetec VS SPI.

So a remanufactured SPI head should never had the seat drop or is that still a possiblity?

Are there other mechanical issues on the 1st gen cars that I need to be particularly worried about on the 1st gen beyond any other 100k mile car? Steering? suspension, brakes, transmission, cooling, electronics?
well at 100k, most of those items will need some attention. Suspension will most likely have blown through its shocks/dampers, brakes should get checked (flush and new pads/rotors). All fluids should be flushed as well fuel filter/spark plugs. Electronics should not be an issue unless you notice water damage somehow (which you'd avoid, im sure.) Steering should be fine as long as it hasnt seen abuse/accidents but you'd notice that in a test drive.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:28 PM   #8
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What is MTX75?

So at what year did the SPI get replaced by the more reliable engines? The units I see listed sell for the $2 - 3.5k range. Manual trans, 4 door.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valvesr4wimps View Post
What is MTX75?

So at what year did the SPI get replaced by the more reliable engines? The units I see listed sell for the $2 - 3.5k range. Manual trans, 4 door.
SPI was available 00-04
Zetec was available 00-04
2.3l Duratec 03-04 in every body style, 05-07 in the ST sedan only
2.0 Duratec 05-07
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:35 PM   #10
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Ok, so how do I tell the difference between SPI and Zetec when I look at the car? SPI has SPI stamped onto the valve cover?

EDIT: Nevermind. pretty darn obvious.
Is Zetec double overhead cam? Was that some sort of option in the early '00s?
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