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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 01-17-2006, 08:58 AM   #1
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Sold my 97 Cobra, bought an SVTF!

I registered on this site a while back and had every intention and plan to sell my 97 Cobra with a built motor and 4.56 gears(mid-low 12 sec daily) for an SVTF! The reason being is I am in college and could no longer afford to drive the thing to school and work and afford the insurance and maintenance. Seriously tires every 15K, clutch every 1.5 years, the a/c ran outta R134A, the heater core was bypassed, etc etc. Super not practical for a daily. Anyway I took a HUGE loss on the car because I had to keep dropping the price due to pressure from my parents. Well about a week ago it finally sold. I kept trying to find SVTFs in Houston for under 15-16 grand!!! Yes the markup on cars in Houston is insane, with dealerships and private parties alike asking 3 grand over KBB and Edmunds and getting pissed when you offer them fair market value....or less when you check out their car and it isn't in perfect condition like the ad stated! Amyway enough about people being idiots... I bought a 2002 Infrared Focus on Saturday at a Dealership with a tick over 41K miles. They were askin 11,995, but of course I paid considerably less. Nevertheless I am extremely happy with it so far. It's got the sunroof and sub in tha trunk! The gas mileage is insane...even with me getting on it more times that I should have already. The only things are the paint...which needs some TLC cause people are focking morons when it comes to car care, and the exhaust rattle which I plan on fixing today.
Anyway I have been hanging out on SVTP and they are having a hard time answering my questions. Does anybody make a low-temp thermostat for these cars? (I live in Houston and will be commuting in rush hour in 100* temps.) Are these cars lower than stock ZX3s? What kind of spark plugs does everyone use? (I used NGK in the Cobra...cheap and effective!) Somebody mentioned when I get a short throw than I needed to change some type of motor mount? Enlighten me on this. Where is the cheapest place to get the Borla catback? Who makes the best SRI and what is the link to their site? Any other info I should be concerned about?
Thanks guys...sorry for the long post and here's what I'm coming out of...



And what I'm diving into.....
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...ce=&cardist=35
The Cobra was extremely fun, but impractical as a daily. My goal with the SVTF is to have a nice, fun, reliable daily. Before you guys start talking about how to make the SVTF "fast" please don't make me laugh. I'm coming from a fast car...so don't kid me. My goal isn't to try and make it the quickest SVTF...but have a more reliable daily with light mods to make it more enjoyable to drive. Thanks again-David


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02 Infrared SVTF-ORP,FR STS, FR wires, 180t-stat,K&N-basically stock!
97 Rio Red Cobra(SOLD!)- 04 Cobra block, Manley I-beams, JE flat top pistons, All the bolt-ons, Pro auburn diff, B&M shifter, 4.56 gears, black bullitts with 315 DRs out back. 300RWHP&295RWTQ.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...VTF/Image5.jpg
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:20 AM   #2
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if your svt really has a 1.6l 2 barrel carb its extremely rare! i didnt understand when you said that cars in houston are like three grand more than books and they get insulted when you try to deal but then you said you paid less 'of course'.....im not really following that? anyways welcome to ff.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:27 AM   #3
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I was describing how hard, and how frusterating it was to find the right car for the right price. I still paid over edmunds dealer retail on that car. Edmunds dealer retail was 10,325. I mean I think I got a fair deal, but not a smokin one. They had a misprint on their site about being carberated. It definitely is not..haha!
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02 Infrared SVTF-ORP,FR STS, FR wires, 180t-stat,K&N-basically stock!
97 Rio Red Cobra(SOLD!)- 04 Cobra block, Manley I-beams, JE flat top pistons, All the bolt-ons, Pro auburn diff, B&M shifter, 4.56 gears, black bullitts with 315 DRs out back. 300RWHP&295RWTQ.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...VTF/Image5.jpg
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:35 AM   #4
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^^^ i was thinking the same thing, the best SRI out there is focussport but your paying out the ass, the K&N drop in will probaly be cheaper and give you improved G/M. Get the short shifter!! , from ford racing its, cheaper than Steeda and exactly the same thing, no need to change the motor mount.
http://focussport.com/coolflo.htm
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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Welcome! I'm sure you will enjoy your new SVT just as much as your old one! Just try to resist the urge to mod it as much. I'll try to throw out some quick answers to your ?'s....

"Does anybody make a low-temp thermostat for these cars? (I live in Houston and will be commuting in rush hour in 100* temps.)" Sorry can't help you there, but I'm sure any auto parts store would carry something

"Are these cars lower than stock ZX3s?" Yes, the SVTF comes 1/2" lower than a ZX3

"What kind of spark plugs does everyone use? (I used NGK in the Cobra...cheap and effective!)" A few guys on here run MotorCraft CopperCore plugs PN#AZFS22C f4 and are quite happy with the results

" Somebody mentioned when I get a short throw than I needed to change some type of motor mount? Enlighten me on this. The lower rear engine mound also refered to transmission mount or dog bone, is a great starter mod made by various companies (Steeda/VF/MAC) and compliments the STS very nicely.

"Where is the cheapest place to get the Borla catback?" I don't know if they are the cheapest, but New Edge Performance has a sale on them right now in the group buy section on here for $385

"Who makes the best SRI and what is the link to their site?" On this you will get a lot of opinions, but the general concensus seems to be Waynes from www.hypillauto.com, you can even get it color matched to your car. The Steeda SRI is also a very good (its what I run in the winter), and K&N also makes 2 quality SRIs for the littlest SVT.

"Any other info I should be concerned about?" Read up on the TSBs that are stickied to the top of the SVT boards. Also you may consider a custom tune for your car. The two best providers of this can found under the Vendor forums. Any other Q's try the search function here....its probably been discussed before.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:37 AM   #6
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Where on earth did you get the "1.6l" from? It doesnt say that anywhere, at least i dont see it, and there is no such thing.lol
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:38 AM   #7
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The motor mount everyone talks about helps to eliminate driveline slop. The stock motor mount is too soft, and it allows way to much play when you are shifting hard. The VF engineering motor mount seems to be the most popular. I put it on my SVT about 3 months ago and I love it. It really makes shifting easier, but you will notice vibrations and engine noise more (not much, but it is noticeable). As far as spark plugs, regular motorcraft work pretty damn good. From everything that I have heard, there is really no reason to switch plug types/brands unless you are going FI or running nitrous. Also, the aftermarket ignition coils for the SVTF are a waste of money. Just buy yourself a decent set of plug wires and re-gap your plugs to .060. It will help your idle smooth out alot. An aftermarket tune will really help you get more out of the SVTF, too. I got one from Wayne at Hypnotic Illusions (he is one of the vendors for this site, and a member), and I love it. The car pulls much harder, and gets better mileage too.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:40 AM   #8
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WELCOME TO FF!! wow sold the cobra for and svtf.... i'd probably wouldnt but anywayz glad to hear ur enjoying the svtf...
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Old 01-17-2006, 12:37 PM   #9
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Welcome man. You'll love your car, and I pretty much support all the advice given thus far. One more thing is that you can get grounding wires, which will eliminate "static" in your sensors and make for a smoother engine and a few more ponies. It's exceptionally cheap as well.

I am much more of a suspension guy than a HP guy, so I'd say the #1 thing you need to get first are some real tires! The ContiSports are junk, and you simply wouldn't believe the increase in grip when you go to some really good tires like Falken Azenis or Kumho Ectsa MXs. It's the most signifigant improvement that you can make to your car short of forced induction. Also, get yourself out to an SCCA event and start racing! You'll really fall in love with your car and it's handling. Just read below...
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:01 PM   #10
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^^^ I agree with Carrera on the suspension. Yeah, there are bolt ons that will improve the overall driveability, but like you said, it wont be "fast" like your cobra. One thing can be said though....you can make it handle BETTER than that cobra, and thats no lie.

The SVTF is an awesome car for Autocrossing. Add some adjustable dampeners, springs, and beefier sways and you will run circles around a mustang in the turns. Certain cars are good for certain things and that is the SVT Focus' specialty. Enjoy! and Welcome!
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