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Old 08-22-2019, 08:22 AM   #1
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Question how good is the older focus (2005 and lower)

I see a 2002 for sale but I see them all the time in my area, mostly up to model year 2005. Is this a cheap reliable commuter? I'm looking for as close to a corolla as possible without the ricetax. slwo and boring is fine for me


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Old 08-22-2019, 08:39 AM   #2
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I have a 2000 with the dohc zetec. Runs great. I think the sohc had heat issues and could blow up. But not 100% on that. Most of them are dohc though I believe

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Old 08-22-2019, 09:05 AM   #3
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They are great little cars. Like any used car, it all depends how it has been maintained over the years.
They are easy to work on and parts are still readily available.
I drive an 06 with Duratec engine

The 02 will have either a Zetec or an SPI engine
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:07 AM   #4
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Check the engine and you should be ok.

05-07 are duratec (04 ST are as well) which use a timing chain and not a timing belt.

00-04 are either SPI (unreliable and drop valves into the engine, avoid unless it's documented to have the new head installed), Ztec (black valve cover, fairly reliable, make sure timing belt was serviced roughly at 80,000, 160,000, etc miles, do water pump while you're in there and tensioners)
There's also SVT motors which are somewhat uncommon and usually demand a premium due to the limited run of SVT cars.

Ztec and duratec are non-interference, which means should timing go weird, it won't break anything. Not sure if the SPI is, but svt is interference with a timing belt which can be problematic since a bad belt = at least a top end rebuild

The passenger side engine mount is probably bad. eBay ones might work for a while and they're cheap. Ford ones supposedly are good for 50,000+ miles, but they all fail. My 1aauto one is starting to fail at around 15,000 miles but it has a lifetime warranty

Other than that, they seem like fairly solid cars. Mine has 176,000 miles on it (bought it at 155,000 in March of this year) and besides some basic maintenance it's not needed anything crazy



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Old 08-22-2019, 09:18 AM   #5
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Main thing is to look for a Zetec or D-tec......For sure pass on the spi.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pizzaboy192 View Post
Check the engine and you should be ok.

05-07 are duratec (04 ST are as well) which use a timing chain and not a timing belt.

00-04 are either SPI (unreliable and drop valves into the engine, avoid unless it's documented to have the new head installed), Ztec (black valve cover, fairly reliable, make sure timing belt was serviced roughly at 80,000, 160,000, etc miles, do water pump while you're in there and tensioners)
There's also SVT motors which are somewhat uncommon and usually demand a premium due to the limited run of SVT cars.
2003 + up to some year had the 2.3L Duratec also... but if a 2002 then it is SPI or Zetec.

Zetec can have belt replaced every 100-125k miles. If it brakes all it will do is leave you on the side of the road needing a tow and new belt and pullies.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:09 PM   #7
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Reliability

Bigmansmallcar,

I have owned two Foci with the 2.0L Zetec DOHC and the engine is very reliable. My son owned a 2003 with the SPI engine and it dropped a valve and ate itself. Stay very far away from the SOHC 2.0L engine. Nothing other than normal maintenance and these cars will run and run. Keep up with oil and transmission fluid and change the coolant every four years and they will turn over 200,000 and probably closer to 300,000. Good luck with your search for a commuter.

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Old 08-22-2019, 02:28 PM   #8
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thank you all for the helpful advice, i just saw a vid about the problem with the spi engines. avoid at all costs and get duratec over zetec if possible
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmansmallcar View Post
thank you all for the helpful advice, i just saw a vid about the problem with the spi engines. avoid at all costs and get duratec over zetec if possible
Yep,
Also to broaden your search, the ZX3 went up to 2007 if the hatchbacks are what you like.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:47 PM   #10
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Any hatch (zx3 zx5 or wagon) inspect the hatch wiring. At this age it will probably be cracked. Easy fix but can cause problems.

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