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Discussion Starter #1
Hail!

I am brand new to owning a Ford Focus. I've had one going on two hours now.

Anyway, I have a red 2000 Focus SE with rust damage all along the bottom on both sides of the car. My plan is to get rid of the rust and put rocker panels on the car to cover the damage. I am a complete noob to all of this, so I thought I would ask for help from you more experienced folks finding good, suitable rocker panels.

I would post pictures so you can see the damage, but it is night time here so I'll post some pics tomorrow.

Basically what I need are rocker panels that will cover the entire metal surface from the base of the doorway to the bottom of the car. Can anybody please recommend me what I should buy? Thank you for any help or advice!
 

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You should be able to buy entire rocker panel sections and have them welded in, not sure where you can get them in the states, but they should be out there.
 

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A quick google search is your friend for finding rocker panels. I know KeyParts sells them, I am also sure some place like JC Whitney or similar sells the panels also. If you have no experience welding, I would suggest you have a professional do this to make sure it is done right the first time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, thank you for the tips. I had already searched google and ebay before I posted here so I suppose I should have posted links to what I found.

http://www.keypartsonline.com/servlet/the-FORD-cln-Focus-cln-2000-dsh-2007/Categories

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROCKER-PANEL-FORD-FOCUS-2000-2007-4-DR-SDN-WGN-H-BACK-FACTORY-STYLE-/251170446234?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year:2000|Make:Ford|Model:Focus&hash=item3a7aecdb9a&vxp=mtr

I don't know anything, but these look like what I need. Does anybody see any issues with either of these? Obviously, I will not buy both different parts together and whatever I do buy I'll have to order both left and right side rocker panels.

I plan on cleaning all the rust damage myself and either having a friend weld on the new rocker panels or else paying someone with more experience to do it.

While I'm here, let me see if anybody has any general advice for me. This car has 133,000 miles on it and it's an automatic. I really need it to last me about 2 1/2 years without any major problems til I'm through with college and I can buy something a lot nicer. What tips do you all have for making this car last without having any major problems?

Should I have any maintenance done one it, e.g. new timing belt? Is there any particular additive I should run through the gas or transmission to help them a bit? Anything else? Once again, thank you for any advice!
 

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What engine does it have, that might be the biggest thing to look at, a SOHC may or may not last that long, a zetec engine has a better chance for survival.
 

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Welcome to the gang, bad news is these engines have a bad history of dropping valves. No one knows when they will go, but when it happens the engine is usually toast, some get lucky and just need a head rebuilt or replacement. From what I have read there's really no indication that they fail, they just do. Some claim getting a valve seat replacement works, some say you need to have a slight modification done when you have the seats replaced to help keep them in place. Then some say your best option is to swap out to a zetec engine.

Now that said, I have an 02 focus with a SOHC engine with 223000 kms (138565 miles) on it, and its running fine. But honestly I don't know how much longer it will last. But I keep up with maintenance and hope it will survive.

I do not like posting this info, but its better you know now what you might be facing. You never know the car might last another 10 years. You can look in the SPI thread and read about the issues.
 

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Swap that head out with a new one IMMEDIATELY, not a hard job or to expensive, but let it blow, and its hard and expensive. Ask in the SPI threads as indicated by Tymes, I dont own a SPI, but I have read the stories and they aint pretty.
 

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I have been thinking about this myself, I can get a used head at the local yard for $50, just got to figure out where I can get a kit for replacing the valves and seats.
 
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