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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 02-05-2009, 01:09 AM   #1
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Now that it's gone, a retrospective

Tonight I was thinking about my '02 Sonic Blue SVT, and going through old posts that I made regarding that car. I figured I'd write an all encompassing review of the car:
I picked up the Sonic Blue SVT #62 25OCT06. She had 35,600 miles on her and only two scratches that I could discern. Modifications at the time I picked the car up were an AEM SRI, Ford Racing wire set, KYB AGX adjustable shocks and struts, and Eibach Sportline springs. In addition she was rolling on Enkei RS7 rims and had the windows tinted 35% front 20% rear.
Within a day or two of getting her, I felt my foot slipping off the clutch pedal, and got the flickering brake light...yep you guessed it, the clutch master cylinder needed replacement. Luckily it was covered by the dealer I purchased it from. After that, a few weeks went by and I began smelling exhaust fumes in the car while idling with the blower vent on. I complained to the dealer but they said they could not replicate. A day or two later, the MIL came on for the 1st time. This was due to a problem with the emissions evap. thingy. That was also covered under warranty.
My next issue was the plugs going bad on me. Didn't expect that to happen with 37,500 miles on the car. Brought it to the dealer again to get that checked out because at the time wasn't sure why it was running so poorly. So, first few months of ownership...too many trips to the dealer!
All the while, I had begun to develop a love affair for the handling prowess and sportiness of the SVT. I loved the way the 6 speed Getrag tranny shifted, especially after a fluid swap to Amsoil fluid. The only regret I had was that I had "settled" for a non-Euro package SVT, I had bigtime Recaro envy!
In Jan '07 my first modification was the Predator tune from Tom. I had hated the factory ECU programming and had read the tune would solve all the nagging issues. Well it did and then some. I still say that a tune from a good tuner is probably the BEST mod you can do for an SVT. Around this time, I developed the infamous thermostat housing coolant leak. It never really got bad, but did contribute to setting off a MIL P0125 which I am gald to say was the last that I ever got with this vehicle.
The mods slowed down for a while as I was strapped for cash, but finally I got a chance to add a couple of items I had coveted to my SVT. Rockthezx3 was trading his SVT in for a WRX, so I was lucky enough to get an amazing deal on his aftermarket stuff. I picked up his ORP and Borla for a song. The ORP was the best power mod that I did hands down...without the restriction of the cat, the car was just so much more eager to pull upwards of 7,000rpm. Also around this time, I did my largest and really only aesthetic upgrade, I bought and wired in the Mach HIDs. I had never undertaken a semi complicated wiring project before, and my inexperience led me to not secure the connectors quite well enough the first couple tries (the crimp connectors I used stunk) but eventually I got them working 100% and was extremely satisfied.
The next thing that needed addressed was the sound system. I had been listening to a crappy aftermarket el cheapo system for WAY too long. Infinity Kappas all around, a JL in the trunk and 2 amps fixed that up. All along, I had plans of forced induction for this vehicle, but alas, things happened and it was never to be.
Around this time, I moved from RI to CT, but was still working in Providence. This caused the miles to accumulate rapidly, as 110 miles round trip certainly adds up. Throughout this period, the SVT was a great daily driver and always got me to and from work with no issues. During this time I was not as active on the forums, I think I drove so much just to get to work, I lost sight of how much FUN the car could be just to drive for the sake of driving. I also smoked a rotor during this time and decided to replace all the brakes. The car got EBC slotted and dimpled rotors all around, and EBC redstuff pads. I didn't notice a huge performace difference with this combo, but then again, I didn't track it, so maybe had I used them more aggressively, I would have noticed. Also during this time, I needed to replace a rear wheel bearing, which cost me a pretty penny, but overall, I think I was pretty lucky with the service history of the vehicle.
My commute to RI ended, and the mileage had increased to nearly 70,000 and I got a job that paid me a bit more money, enough money that I could consider more upmarket cars. If I had been wwilling to take on a car payment, I could have had anything under 30k I had figure out. I didn't really want to get deeply in debt though, so I was looking for vehicles around 15k. I wanted an upgrade in luxury....sunroof and leather and heated seats were on my list of things I coveted. I was leaning towards Bimmer when I found my dream SVT. It was an '04, with 36k miles, Euro package, and the PowerWorks SC, and the best part of all, I could pay cash...yup, no car payment. It was then that I decided I'd be parting with my Sonic Blue SVT and moving on
I truly enjoyed owning my SVT #62. I had her for nearly 35,000 miles over two years and all I paid for out of pocket maintenence was oil/ fluid changes, $30 for a new foglight, and $300 for a wheel bearing and $350 for brakes that a friend helped install. The non repair non performance costs were just $150 for a bent rim and $400 for 4 new tires
Having said all that, I'll rate MY PARTICULAR SVT the way the car magazines sometimes do:

Highs: Willing, free revving powertrain, dialed-in handling, decent fuel economy, good looks

Lows: No status, low-end torque, foglights are fragile

Performance ====7 out of 10
Reliability ======8 out of 10
Styling ========7 out of 10
Economy =======6 out of 10
Fun to drive =====9 out of 10

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Old 02-05-2009, 03:18 AM   #2
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wow that had to have taken you a while. good right up man. if there is anyone out there looking for and SVTF here would be a good little review for them.
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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I love your new one.
#3788 InfraRed SVT
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