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SVT Performance (2002-2004) The place to chat about any 2.0L SVT DOHC Zetec engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.

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Old 05-01-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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Please help with SVT purchase questions

I really need some help from SVT owners. I am looking at buying a 2004 SVT. Fairly nice car with 112k miles.

I test drove it today and well, I was less than impressed. It seemed weak.. very weak. There were 3 of us in it, so probably 600lbs of passenger weight, but still...

The engine sounded great, ran smooth, no smoke, nothing at all that indicated it was unhealthy.

Several time I let it climb up in RPMS and it still never felt like it was moving very well.

I once bought a Dodge Spirt R/T (which is turbocharged) It was slow as hell until I put premium in it and it woke up and was a different car. Could this be the problem? I hate to buy it on the assumption that premium gas will make a big difference, but I need some input.

I had the pedal 3/4 of the way to the floor in 2nd and had a hard time catching up to a suburban.... I assume 170hp should be faster than that.

This is the first SVT I have driven. I have no experience to compare it with, please help me out...

Thanks, George


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Old 05-01-2008, 07:34 PM   #2
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It should be faster than that. A stock SVT will run mid-low 15's. But the Focus is not ment for straight line, it's more of a Auto X car.
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:46 PM   #3
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yeah don't get me wrong. I don't expect it to be a drag car. My forum name is just a name I've used, I enjoy autocross and road racing as much as the next guy.

Any ideas what would make it feel so slow? There were no lights on, but the inspection was out by a couple of months. It really didn't seem like it was sick or had engine problems, but maybe I overlooked something. I wonder if the timing belt was replaced a tooth off or something..
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:51 PM   #4
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How hard was it to spin a wheel in the car? Mine is really easy to spin even though I have Traction Control. I have had issues with mine to get it to stop spinning at the strip. The car feels very "peppy", it's a blast to drive. It might just be time for a good tune up since the car has 100K miles on it. Maybe the original owner never did?
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Old 05-01-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
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I remember when my dsi "lever" (right CaysE?) broke my car felt like it was dragging a yaht. By any chance did you get to take the car to anything over 5k rpms? If you did did you notice a slight noise change in the engine? If yes...then disregard what i said previously...if no then this could very well be at least 1 reason.

If you didn't notice...lol, then go out for another test drive. I'd say to look under the hood but with the stock airbox in place it's a bit difficult to spot where the whole thing would be.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:03 PM   #6
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hmm sounds suspicious.. Is that "lever" a common thing to break? I did get it above 5k a couple of times and didn't notice any thing changing, Acceleration or sound. I never got the wheels to chirp even, but of course I was driving someone else car so I wasn't dumping the clutch or anything. For the most part I did keep it in the lower RPM range, but on occassion I got it up there and it wasn't anything dramatic.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:22 PM   #7
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Here is a how-to I did on the DSI Lever Clip the pics in there show where the clip is. And yes that is a somewhat common thing to break on the SVTF, that is why CFM makes an after market Billet one. SVTF CFM DSI Billet Clip/Lever Install
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:33 PM   #8
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It is a very common problem with nearly all svt's (some are freaks and the thing never breaks lol) and the change isn't "drastic" but for the most part it is noticeable.

The thing about it breaking is that for the most part it'll never throw a CEL and for the longest time i didn't even realize it was broken. I mean i knew something was wrong...from some odd noises i always heard to horrible fuel economy to just not taking off from a stop which was even worse then it would be normally.

The only thing is that unless you remove the airbox or the car has a SRI or a CAI you really won't be able to spot it easily...there's a couple threads on here about it...

"How To" Broken DSI Clip Fix

SVTF CFM DSI Billet Clip/Lever Install

both talk about the lever/clip and how to fix it with some decent pictures

--Edit--

Darnit...got distracted talking on aim and posted 10 minutes too late :'(
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info guys.

The car is bone stock. I went and read a ton of reviews from when it was new and not one complains about lack of power.. Along with your testaments, I think somethign is definitely not normal on this car. I love the car though and it is a pretty nice example and the price is right. It also has the HIDs and Audiophile. I think I am going to go back tomorrow and take another look and most likely pick it up unless I find something horribly wrong.

I did notice a rattle which sounded like a catalytic conver shield rattling.. made me start thinking I wonder if the cat is clogged... My sister's cougar had a clogged cat and it ran fine, but was damn slow.

oh are the HID healight lenses impossible to find? one has some deep scratches...
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:15 PM   #10
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Honestly, I feel a difference when my 125 pound girlfriend is in the passenger seat. It's not a very powerful car, and it thrives on weight-loss, so three people or ~600 pounds in the car will definitely make a difference, particularly when you're climbing up hills. In stock form the SVT is kind of a dog. Do about 800-1000 in mods and it will feel like a new car. Get a high flow air filter (K&N), high flow cat(RT or CFM), rear motor mount(VF), Diablosport from Tom, and it will feel like a much more powerful car...but it still won't feel FAST so to speak. This will be VERY evident in hot weather with the AC on. A lot of people think the BBK from jackson racing makes the SVTF about as fast as it should have been from the factory--low 14's in the quarter... or much faster from a roll because of the long first gear. It's pretty gutless in stock form though.
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