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Old 11-21-2006, 08:29 AM   #1
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Possible New SVTF Owner....need help deciding

Hey everyone! I have been lurking here on the Focus boards for a few weeks as I am currently trying to decide on a change in vehicles. I guess I need some solid and unbiased input from some Focus SVT owners as to if this is a good move and if I will be happy with my decision.

I currently own a 2002 Dodge Stratus R/T coupe. This car is my mechanical baby, every mod done has been done by my own two hands, I have put my blood, sweat and tears into this car. She is still a great car, no major problems in 25,000 miles, I am just ready for a change.




Now, the car I have been looking at just seems like a great deal, a great price and I have always had a thing for the SVTF.

This particular SVT is a one owner, non-smoker, 27k miles, 2003, asking $10,995, which from looking around, seems like a great price. The car is absolutely perfect, as you can see from the pictures.






So tell me....what type of problems are typical on this car? Will I be happy going from a 200hp/205 lb. ft. of tq. 6 cyl. coupe, to a 170hp 4cyl. hatchback with alot less torque? Does this car handle good stock? I can tell you that I had to do an Eibach Pro-kit and KYB GR-2 shocks and struts along with a Suspension Techniques 22mm rear anti-sway bar for my R/T to even be acceptable in the handling depatment. Also, how is his car in terms of road noise? Is it insulated well? if I ma taking a trip on the highway will I get a shit-ton of wind noise?

If I do decide to get this SVT, I am hoping it is a car that I can enjoy in stock form for at least a year or so before I decide to upgrade anything as I have a wedding coming up in a few months ($$$$ ).

I guess that's all for now. Hope I can get some honest opinions from you guys who have owned this car and know it well. :)


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Old 11-21-2006, 09:11 AM   #2
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The SVTF weighs in between 2500-2800lbs I've smoked my share of Stratus R/Ts in straight line getups . . . as for the handling: "The SVT blasted through our 600-foot slalom at 68.2 mph. Not only was it faster than the Civic and New Beetle, its slalom speed was higher than that of cars like the Chevy Corvette Z06, BMW M3 and Subaru Impreza WRX." (Edmunds 2002 Sport Hatchbacks Comparison) That's stock. Nothing short of a Mini Cooper S is going to outhandle the SVTF.

Now road noise isn't very good, but I have an RT high flow cat which significantly increased the exhaust tone inside. Wind noise isn't bad, it's what I expect from a hatch. It's never caused a problem when talking in the cabin or on the cell phone during highway drives.

Now problems: Ford craptacular build. Get a carfax check, and get the VIN number then send a private message to B16SIR on here to get your Ford OASIS report on the vehicle. (there is a TSB out for all these) You're going to want to keep an eye out for VCT/Cam problems, and make sure they're fixed properly. Next up is the infamous clutch flywheel combo, stock it blows out too easy so youcan get that replaced . . . but most dealerships botch the job and blow out your slave cylinder during the installation of the new stuff. So plan on that going in 2-3 times, and plan on having to fight to get them to fix it since you're not an original owner.

Also, don't plan on having them honor any TSB under warranty with that K&N, they'll lie to your face and blame that for the cat's heat shield (another common problem) rusting away and rattling like crazy before they actually take the 30 seconds to fix it (all they do is tie it down with a metal zip)

Long and the short of it, if you enjoy working on cars, the SVTF is great. If you want a stable daily driver you should probably look elsewhere.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:14 AM   #3
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oh and how could I forget, the stock ECU tune is completely worthless and riddled with problems. Get a Predator from Tom (Focus Power, he's a sponsor here and has his own forum)

It's 350.00 on special right now with a lifetime of tunes customized to your vehicle for its mods. Data logging, reading and clearing CEL codes, etc. It's a great purchase and takes care of the cars low end bogging problem as well some other driveability issues. Most have shown a significant increase in powerbands too with his tune.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:31 AM   #4
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Damn, sounds like a lot of issues that I really don't want to deal with. I love to modify my cars, but I hate to fix problems. Maybe I will stick with the R/T for awhile.

Out of curiousity, what mods did you have when you ran the R/T's you speak of? Oh, and I don't doubt it at all that you beat them, especially if they were autos. Our cars weigh in at a hefty 3150 lbs with usually 170whp stock. I am so happy I have a 5 spd. M/T.
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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Get the damn car. The SVT Is awesome. It has some issues, but they are easily taken care of under warranty. you can have the warranty transfered for 50 bucks.

Go to my cardomain, on the second page there are several articles about the SVT. It ranks high in every sport compact comparo for a reason. Pure driving bliss.

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2483606
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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GET THAT CAR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! is an order!! LOL :-)
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:52 AM   #7
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Such a good price too. Looks like its fully loaded minus the European appearance package! That car would start for 13,999 at a retail location
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004SVTAutoXer View Post
Now problems: Ford craptacular build. Get a carfax check, and get the VIN number then send a private message to B16SIR on here to get your Ford OASIS report on the vehicle. (there is a TSB out for all these) You're going to want to keep an eye out for VCT/Cam problems, and make sure they're fixed properly. Next up is the infamous clutch flywheel combo, stock it blows out too easy so youcan get that replaced . . . but most dealerships botch the job and blow out your slave cylinder during the installation of the new stuff. So plan on that going in 2-3 times, and plan on having to fight to get them to fix it since you're not an original owner.
Clutch/flywheel - blows out too easily because the car gets raced or under normal driving conditions?

Because I have been a Mitsu (R/T is basicially an Eclipse GT in disguise) and GM girl for a number of years, I have no idea what an OASIS report is?

VCT/Cam problems, can you be more specific? or maybe I will just do a search on here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004SVTAutoXer View Post
Also, don't plan on having them honor any TSB under warranty with that K&N, they'll lie to your face and blame that for the cat's heat shield (another common problem) rusting away and rattling like crazy before they actually take the 30 seconds to fix it (all they do is tie it down with a metal zip)
Please explain to me how a SRI causes a cat. converter heat shield to rust away? This is a serious question as I am not familiar with the setup of this car...but usually a cat. converter is under the car....see where I am going?
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:04 AM   #9
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Also, being that this car is an 03, wouldn't the factory warranty be out by now? It is 3/36, correct?
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:06 AM   #10
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When b16sir runs the oasis report, hell find out if there is an extended. I didnt have b16 do that for me till it was too late. i bought an extended aftermarket warranty before my factory warranty was up. I could have saved some money by waiting till my factory warranty was about to end before buying the aftermarket.
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