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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 12-30-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
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The journey so far.

Hello everyone, I just picked up my first SVTF about a month ago. I needed a car that was more reliable and cheaper to run than my PoS Cobalt.

Found the car on Kijiji in London, ON. The guy was asking $4000 for it. When I called he knocked $1000 off right away. I drove to London (approx 4 hours from me) and had a look. Now the guy claimed that the original motor had been destroyed by a 10min oil change place and that he insisted a brand new crate motor be dropped in. Also he worked for a scrap yard so he had a shedload of spare parts. Unfortunately he was also an idiot and most of the parts wont fit this car. Regardless I bought the car for $2800. There are 200,000km on the clock and an unknown amount on the 'new' motor. Drove it back home with no problems whatsoever. The car came with a Borla catback and a 'claimed' Centerforce stage 3 clutch.

The focus passed the e-test and safety inspection with flying colors, the only thing I had to do to it was replace the O2 sensors for a CEL. Later I found out that the idiot that owned it had jammed a GM micro fuse into place of a normal fuse for the O2 Heater circuit and it was blown.

I did start to notice a few problems once I started using it as my daily driver. If it was cold overnight I would have to floor the gas pedal to get it to start. Also if I was being a bit energetic in my driving the power delivery was not smooth, it was lumpy. I was getting brief dead spots at various RPMs. Also when I parked on a hill the car would not hold itself in position if I just left it in gear. Great now I'm thinking I have low compression, head gasket most likely. I had hoped that the head gasket would hold out until the summer and I would do it and the timing belt all at once.

I didn't get my wish, about 2 weeks ago I started it up to go home from work and it was misfiring on every cylinder. F#$%. Had it towed to my buddies place and we started tearing it apart. Found out that, yep, the steel head gasket had separated. New motor my @$$. I changed it, the timing belt, tensioner and idler. Got it almost all done last night. We noticed that the #4 (where the head gasket was pooched) spark plug had tracking up the side of it from repeated misfires. Also discovered that the #4 plug wire would not snap onto the new plugs, probably the cause of the misfires. That's where we left off last night, it was about 10pm and probably -15C outside, we had enough.

So today I am going to pick up a new set of plug wires, probably motorcraft, and change the oil and coolant. And if I have any luck left at all, hopefully get it running and back on the road. All in all I think I am into it about $450 in parts, which isn't too bad really.

In the summer I hope to have a bit more money and will be able to do a few things to it. The stripes are looking a little worn out, rear bumper is broken, and there are a couple rust spots starting. I would like freshen the car up basically and if the funds are available add a pro-charger kit. For now I will just fix the little things that come up and hope I don't blow it up further. When it isn't so disgusting outside I will try and get a few pictures of it. It really is a great looking little car. I love driving it, way more than my cobalt. It feels more energetic and has way better handling. After it broke and I jumped back in the cobalt, all the controls now felt dead in that car. Like the clutch and shifter were not connected to anything at all. I cant wait to start tearing around in my focus again. I think I am converted, no GM ever again.


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Old 12-30-2011, 03:45 PM   #2
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Keep your chin up man, you'll get it right!
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:57 PM   #3
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Got everything done today and got some good results. It runs! Seems to run well, haven't noticed anything leaking yet. Has posted a code twice P1381 - Camshaft timing advanced bank 1. I think I remember reading somewhere on here to expect that code after having the cams out. Time to do a bit of research.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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