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02 ZX5 zetec
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Discussion Starter #1
pls call BS or truth - dealership is claiming subframe is rotted out on my 02 ZX5. going to go see it now. Is this common ? Will update. 7 yrs of winter driving, then garaged the last 8 winters.
 

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Thats What She Said
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I can believe it. but is this the cross member or the bottom of the unibody? I just spent 6 months cleaning the underside of my 04 SVT and replaced front and rear cross members and descaled the underside unibody and put multiple coatings.

My 01 ZX3 I have also had to clean the front cross member and the rear looks like it needs some work.

I have powder coated the cross members when every I have taken them off or replaced them to have a better coating then the thin factory coating.

Regardless the Focus is now 16 year old. 7 years of driving in the north east with the salt roads. What do you mean by garaged the last 8 winters? as in when fall hits you do a full detail wash, put it in the garage and don't take it out till spring? Or you just park the car in the garage? or drive when there is no snow but when roads are "dry"?
 

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Focus Hoarder
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i had one go on my blue wagon the front Kframe rotted out and it was a slow processes what i noticed was my tires would squeal around corners then a few weeks later the car didnt feel like it wanted to roll easy then a few days later after that the steering wheel wasn't staying straight one minute it would need to be held slightly left, then another slightly right.. basically my front wheels where starting to do the splits. the subframe was $460 brand new and took me about 3 hours to replace. and remember that subframe was what nearly 14 years old so again canadian winters are harsh. it happens.

and no offence i would never buy a car from the south either.. between being baked to death, or being turned into a submarine in a flood and then sold as a good car.. yeah no ill stay with what i have plus it keeps me and my mind sharp repairing the rust issues.

and remember i don't buy new cars i don't see the point as my old mid 2000's are about as reliable as most 2013 and newer ones and all my personal cars are unwanted and abandoned cars that i put work into.. i love how i can buy a $450 2006 Ford Focus SAP put a few weekends in and about $500 into it in parts and have it properly road worthy with absolutely NO issues whatsoever and even get a note written on it how most of these cars have x issues and this one didn't.

i would rather buy a car that was abandoned behind a mechanics garage then buy cars off craigslist and end up buying a total wreck or one badly repaired that's a safety hazard for 6-10 times what i paid for the abandoned one

early 2000 windstars have a subframe recall aswel where the rear end will either split in half or seperate
 

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Old Phart
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Which one is the larger question - front or back?

Front isn't very common, the few I remember having that happen were used off road/on dirt roads to clog up the drain holes with mud.
 

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Focus Hoarder
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Which one is the larger question - front or back?

Front isn't very common, the few I remember having that happen were used off road/on dirt roads to clog up the drain holes with mud.
fronts the bigger pain in the ass... it holds your engine and entire front suspension/steering together.

as for size. i wouldn't know ive never replaced a rear ever
 

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Thats What She Said
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See I would argue the rear is more work.

Having done both the rear is hard to do to figure where to put jack stands. Getting the bolts off and the way the arms are under tension make it more to man handle.

The rear gets all the road spray on it from the front tires so think the rear can rust out more.
 

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See I would argue the rear is more work.

Having done both the rear is hard to do to figure where to put jack stands. Getting the bolts off and the way the arms are under tension make it more to man handle.

The rear gets all the road spray on it from the front tires so think the rear can rust out more.
theres a reason i have an I beam across the walls in my garage i just strap the body up and hang it

again ive done a few fronts ive never had to do the rears the fronts get it the worst because its the lowest part of te vehicle and its the part that bottoms out the most. yes my 2002 K that went was bottomed out at one part of its live causing the paint to crack which exposed the bare metal enhancing the the corrosion in and outside.
plus that front is also under alot more flex due to supporting the lower rear part of the engine, your steering rack and your lower control arms.. when turning a corner your fronts are under alot more strain then the rears the rears just follow
 

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02 ZX5 zetec
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
front subframe for $1200

it's the front subframe, 1" max oblong rust whole in front face left of transmission mount. dealer says fails inspection.

so $1200 is more than I can get for the car. I have some months before it becomes an issue.

the part is quoted new $650. That seems high. Is a used part worth pursuing ?

the car is in clean shape otherwise, 174k miles, silver, all stock except for a new radio. original owner, dealer maintained.

the deal about garaged the last 8 winters is exactly that, cleaned up, fuel stabilizer and stored in a heated garage (more prep that that, I researched it).

so, I've been looking for the sweet spot where to pass it to a loving second owner (some focus head ?) and have probably missed it.

wondering if: if I can drop the repair price well below $1200 then I can sell a drivable (inspectable) car to someone. otherwise seems like I have to dispose of it for parts.

thanks all for your thoughts !

pics forthcoming
 

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Old Phart
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Get it welded up if not rusted thin beyond the small hole.
Otherwise a J/Y assy. would be the easiest repair.

Prob. NOT actually an Inspection Failure here in NYS, for example you can't be failed for bad ball joints, it has to be written up as unsafe alignment as a result.
But how's the rest of the car for rust? Rockers still solid?
 

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Thats What She Said
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Cross member is under $100 likely from the junk yard. You can drop one in less than an hour at the yard. And theb not to hard to install (if things go well) and then you just need an alignment.

Remove Sway bar to links
Remove front control arms
Remove the rear engine mount
Remove the 6 bolts holding the cross member
It wl drop and the you can remove the steering rack bolts and Sway bar.

Done.

Reverse order to install.

I have been able to swap two out of two different foci in my garage with just jack stands and a jack.
 
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Focus Hoarder
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Ontario Canada and New York cars are the worst ive seen for body rot..

welcome to the strong ice melters that splat on the roads you drive on

for the others realise ones geographical location first before saying this and that. as mentioned my 2002 rotted out in 2012 in 2017 when i finally gutted the car i didnt bother salvaging it because it looked just as bad from rot..

heres the said 2002 underside the day i parted it out and why i never salvaged alot of the parts, holes in the cabin floor due to rot was the reason i parted it
 

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02 ZX5 zetec
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Discussion Starter #17
pictures

pictures, it was on a lift so I took advantage. Looks like a semicircle crack is spreading through the crossmember around where the transmission ("torque") mount attaches.

Is this part salvageable by welding or is a replacement the only option ?
 

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The problem with trying to weld or patch it is finding good metal to weld to. The metal all around the area is compromised and any patch will just start a new crack next to the welds.
 

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Thats What She Said
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It's toast. Easy to find and relatively easy to pull. Get a " new one" from a junk yard.
 

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