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Supertuner 07-28-2012 09:35 AM

Pround new owner of 03 SVT. Need suggestions(long)
Hello FF's,

I'm so stoked about my new to me car. First, my username is an old nickname garnered from other things than tuning street cars. Sort of a misnomer for this site. But, It's my most common nick name on the net.

So I needed to find a supplement to my Expedition with 300,000 miles. Since I'm a die hard Ford guy I was thinking Focus. After doing research I realized I had to have a SVT. Found one about two hours from my Northern Indianapolis home.

Silver with 135,000 miles. Paid 3950. Thought that was pretty good considering in my area they are between 5 and 6 k. But, it needs a few things that's why the price.

First the good.

1.) It's an SVT [ffrocks] lol
2.) Engine is solid
3.) Clutch/tranny feels just fine.
4.) Has full accessories package including cold weather.
5.) All stock.
6.) Interior well above average for age and miles.
7.) unused spare still in proper location along with owners manual.
8.) Drives really well considering shape of tires. (not round lol)
9.) Can tell variable intake is opening.
The bad

1.) Front bumper cover has been ripped half away on a parking block. Inspected suspension, there's no under side damage so convinced a block tore it away.
2.) Front tires are shagged.
Couple typical SVt issues(learned from thanks)
3.) Cat Heat shield rattles
4.) TC and ABS light are on. And the only thing inside that doesn't work is cruise control. I'm making a leap and since the lights are a wheel speed issue that the cruise is also affected.
5.) Looks as if the oil pan has a better than seeping leak of oil. Looks easy enough to replace gasket.
6.) One slight creaseless dent above right front tire. And one decent scratch on the right side.
7.) Some of the red thread in the drivers seat has worn away making look as if it's stained. No floor mats.
8.) Also the cool SVT sticker on the cam cover is gone. [bigcry]
9.) Window tinting is crinkling.

Other than that I plan all the regular maintenance and more. Timing belt/belts and pulleys along with water pump. I recieved a car fax but, this car was traded to a truck dealer and no know records. All fluids and filters. And new discs were installed but pads are not new. Causing a strange feeling since I can tell the pads are not seated to the new discs. Plugs and wires. Fixing the few dents and scratches.

The only upgrades I plan are.
1.) A tune. Probably go with Tom. In my short drive time I can feel all the typical drivabilty issues I've read about.
2.) Off road pipe and some type of exhaust.
3.) Bespoke CAI of my own making. I have a very slight idea that I haven't seen yet. When it happens I'll get some pics.
4.) MAybe try removing the shifter weight since I can return it easily enough if it doesn't suit me.
5.) And a rear engine mount. The engine wraps up so hard even under light acceleration it makes 1st to 2nd shift nasty.
6.) I'd really love a lighter flywheel. But, based on economics of what needs done first and the fact the clutch feels completely fine it will have to wait. I may add a ss clutch line to avoid what seems to be a common problem on SVTs as they age.
7.) Some head headlights. Stock lens are fairly fogged.

So here's a good chance to help fix up an SVT on someone elses money. lol I'm open to all suggestions on things I've mentioned and maybe one's I've over looked. Most importantly is a bumper. I've admittingly only done little research on a bumper cover. Mostly hoping for some good ideas here. But, the standard Focus cover seems to fit but lacks the Fog lamps. And covers for the standard focus seem way cheaper. Not sure what they would look like though. Not familiar enough to know if they are really the same besides fog lamps. Not a huge deal since I'm forced into a smallish budget to get whole again. I've seen some custom style bumpers but, I'm trying to stick to mostly stock appreaing. Mostly I'm an older fellow trying to not grow up so I'm not into to much garish crap. But, open to ideas based on slightly subdued looks.

I plan on some Kumho AST's . Which I'm not real excited about. But, with all the other things I need I don't want to blow my entire budget on tires. I can upgrade later once completely sorted. I'm a person of the mind set that a great car is crap with out good rubber. But, it's more important to start making the mileage this car can get me paying off. Any ideas in the approximate 100 per area? I know tires is a hashed subject sorry.

Luckily, I'm a very well experienced Mechanic/ fabricator with access to paint booth and full machine shop at work. Even have a vinyl shop. So I can handle pretty much anything that needs done. Even rebuilt many engines of varying types. I live in Indy(the Motor Racing Capital of the World) so maybe you can imagine what my day (and weekend) job might be.[8)]

Now that I;ve broken the ice I can wait to start inputting my (likely mostly unwanted ) opinion some some subjects. Thanks.

RedSVTrocket 07-28-2012 09:55 AM

Welcome to the forum! From one new member to another! As you probably already know there is lots of great info to be had here![welcome]

SVTF 03 07-28-2012 10:32 AM

Welcome :)

Oil pan is sealed with gasket maker. Headlights can be restored....yours look pretty bad but worth attempting.

Supertuner 07-28-2012 10:42 AM

Yeah I was thinking about restoring. But, since i've seen they can be replaced for about 100 with something decent looking.

However, after being under it a little more this morning. I'm noticing that the bumper fix is a little more invovled. As far as little ducts and inner wheel liners are missing or broke. Looks to be quite a bit more than just the cover. So may need to attempt restore to redirect the budget.

kwg2371 07-28-2012 10:56 AM

funny i was actually looking at that car online last week lol

you can grab fender liners of any focus in a junk yard, replacing the front bumper can be very costly since they're so sought after

Supertuner 07-28-2012 12:52 PM

I noticed he hadn't taken down the ad even though it was sitting in my driveway. [confused] I've had it a few weeks. But after buying it it's been sitting waiting for the budget ro re load. Plus, I haven't had time to work on it.
There is another for sale locally but, it's over priced. Honestly, having now worked on this one a little. Most are over priced. Unless some one can virtually document all service. Even then with the age these are they still have things that need attention. Such as ball joints, Cv axles and a myriad of items that wear out even if standard services are completed.Often these things seem just fine and you can drive one without noticing. But in short order you're going to have issues. And KBb is under 5000 for the best possible examples.

For example. With the first tire I've removed I found a cv boot thats torn. Which bugs me since I did look. But now I see that it's likely so old that the grease has accumulated road dirt and just looked as if it was standard grime. I was looking for fresh grease. But it's not making noise so I may just fill with grease and add new boots. My fault. Also the drop link from the strut to the roll bar has disconnected itself. I'm sure that will be fun re attaching on the car. And the lower ball joint on the right side looks in sad shape. Bonus is that I think I found the speed sensor issue. It popped out of the grommet holder and appears to have rubbed on the tire. And I disconnected the plug for cleaning. A dump truck load of dirt came out. Plus the dirt made it hard to operate the release clip. I'll externally seal this plus di electric grease should make it go further than original. Standard used car stuff I expected.

I expect to have about 5500 hundred total in this car when done. But, it should be good to go to 200,000 and drive proper and have proper reliability. So I felt good about getting it under 4000 since cars that people are asking 5500 or more are likely to still have all these same issues. But, that's also why I got the SVT. Once completely sorted it's a car worth owning. i would hacve worked the guy down a little but, I as trading him a motorcyle on the deal and he was taking it for what I wanted.

And looking at new car prices you can't complain. I hope to get 60 70 k more out of this one and looking at what that costs to get from a new car. It's a decent deal.

Yeah I know the bumper is going to suck. I may commit sacriledge and put a standard bumper w/o fog lights. It looks like so much ass without it. I drive to work over 40 miles round trip daily and I need to get this into service to cut my gas bill in half. Plus, I can dump my Expedition and re up with a ranger 4 x 4.

pasta 07-28-2012 02:41 PM

welcome nice ride good luck

Boiler 07-28-2012 11:45 PM

Your SVT
I test drove your SVT a few weeks back, and the beat up standard ZX3 they had. I was surprised that the ZX3 seemed to handle at least as well or better than the SVT, now I know why. The young guy seemed honest but his Dad (owner) claimed it would get 40 mpg. Good luck with your new car. I think there was a front bumper for sale on craigslist Chicago or somewhere near there.

Boiler 07-28-2012 11:54 PM

Your SVT
I test drove your SVT a few weeks back, and the beat up standard ZX3 they had. I was surprised that the ZX3 seemed to handle at least as well or better than the SVT, now I know why. The young guy seemed honest but his Dad (owner) claimed it would get 40 mpg. Good luck with your new car. I think there was a front bumper for sale on craigslist Chicago or somewhere near there.

Supertuner 07-29-2012 08:45 AM

Small world. Ft wayne is a lot closer than I had to go. lol What did you think of it?

Yeah the tires are extrememly screwed up. It's killing the ride. I saw the other Focus. All focus's handle well so it's not surprising that if the ZX3 had anything close to proper tires it would feel worlds better than this SVT. But, I plan to change that in short order. [wrenchin]

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