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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Focus owners, I'm Jake. It's my first post. I may have overlooked this information, but I don't have very much time to browse the forums. Please take the time to read this and help me out. I would really appreciate it.

I am supposed to pick up a 2003 Focus SVT 3 door in the next few days.

There is a problem with the car, and quite honestly, I'm not a mechanic, and I'm nervous about getting in over my head.

The car has 45,xxx miles, and the problem is with the transmission. It will not go into fourth gear. The seller told me that he's been reading online (on this forum) and that people have a lot of trouble with the linkage in the shifters. He linked me to the thread about removing the counterweight, possibly suggesting that this may be the problem.

The history on the car is that it was wrecked in the front. Enough to the total the car, but not enough to even break either of the headlights. He says that at one point, he had the car going into fourth gear, and after a few hundred miles, it just kept getting more and more difficult to get in gear, until eventually it just "scratches" and will not pop into gear.

He says that the previous owner had the transmission "gone through" and the clutch was replaced.

It shifts into all of the other gears smoothly. Could this just be a linkage problem? if so...what is the fix? Or am I getting myself into position to be replacing a transmission? also...Is it a bad idea to drive the car right now? Will I be doing more damage to the transmission?

What do you guys think? The car is a good deal, but not if I'd be having to put a few thousand into the transmission (I don't have a few thousand).

Hopefully I can be a part of the Focus enthusiast team very soon! Thanks for your help!

-Jake
 

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Its not the counterweight.

I am no expert on the getrag trans but it does not sound like linkage to me. You said the owner said that 4th gear scratches. He probably is trying to not make it sound as bad as it is. It probably grinds, and could be the actual synchro. I have never heard of any 4th gear synchros going bad but it is common for the 3rd gear synchro to go bad. It could possibly be the linkage but I doubt it with the grinding thats happening.

Someone will chime in who has a lot more knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Slow03- thanks for the reply.

I did drive the car. let me clarify. 4th gear does GRIND! It will not go into 4th gear at this time.

If it is a synchro...how much (ballpark me) would a tranny shop charge to fix something like that? 1000? 1500?

for what it's worth. The seller seems like a trustworthy guy. he was upfront about everything. He says he just doesn't know what's wrong with it.
 

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im with Slow03... that sounds like a synchro problem... and i dont think that it could be fix, not sure about this... but it not a bad idea to star looking for tranny prices...
 

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There is a small chance and I mean small, but if you were to buy the car you could put some new trans fluid in there. Either Royal Purple or GM Synchromesh is the best. From the way it sounds though it is prety far gone so that most likely will not help it.

My frinds ZX3 has the 3rd gear synchro problem so one day I called a local ford dealership and got a qoute from them. We were just trying to get a ballpark. It might be a little less if you know a good place.

They said the synchro itself was like $150 and the labor was about $850-$950. I called a long time ago so I dont really remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
so if it is a bad synchro, would driving the car be detrimental? Will it sustain any further damage? I guess I could deal without a 4th gear for a while (until i found a cheaper, used tranny).
 

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With the gearing the way it is and the fact that you have 6 gears, you could skip 4th all together and still get around quite well.
 

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whats the price on the car??? lets see if is worth the problem...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
He's asking 6,000 for the car.
If a new transmission will run me 4k....then it's a terrible deal.
If it's a 1,000 dollar fix, then it's a decent deal.
If I can adjust the linkage and everything is functional, then it's a great deal!

That is what I think. What do YOU think?
 

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well, you could look around and get a used tranny for around 800 bucks and then labor... do the math... but if i was you i will look around for the money that you are going to spend you could get something close to that with less problems... but you have the last word...
 

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honestly with that its not worth the trouble ofhaving to fix it. For that money and what it sounds like it being a salvage title I would look on here for an svt focus or even you local craigslist.

The market on these inst very good so you should be able to pick one up cheap
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I guess I'd be giving him more like 5,000 for the deal, though.
I am trading him my 2003 Kawasaki ZX6R. I could sell the bike for around 5,000 in a few months.

I see quite a fluctuation in prices on this website for SVT's. Some with higher miles are being sold for 5500, (asking price), and then some with lower miles are being listed for around 7-8 thousand.

So I guess here is the question that could help me.
Would YOU (focus fanatics and enthusiasts) be willing to pay $5,000 for this focus? A 2003 SVT 6-speed, 3 door, 45,xxx miles, sonic blue, with the audiophile package, and heated/leather seats?
Oh yeah, the most important contingency is that the transmission needs work.

(I've called a 4 shops and they all say that they would guess it's the synchro and I'm looking at around $1,000 to fix it)
 

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With the transmission I'd pe willing to pay $4-4500 tops. The transmission in this car is VERY expensive and so are the parts so to take the risk and buy a car with that problem it would take me a huge deal to buy that car.
 

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With the transmission I'd pe willing to pay $4-4500 tops. The transmission in this car is VERY expensive and so are the parts so to take the risk and buy a car with that problem it would take me a huge deal to buy that car.
very very expensive
 

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I know that you probably don't want to hear this but you should move on, one thing will lead to another and your going to end up spending like $7000 on the car (after tranny, licensing, tax). If you wait you will be able to find an SVT for about the same price. I agree with jgustafson, I wouldn't pay more that 4,500 for the car. Save a little money, sell your bike and then offer him 4,500 and use the rest of the money on the tranny. That is what i would so at least, the worst he could do is say no.
 

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How does 2nd gear feel?

Here's how I see the value of the car: buy it for $4500, fix the transmission problem, and flip it for $7500. Then buy yourself an '04 SVT with European Appearance Package if you're attached to the Sonic Blue color. Otherwise, find an '03 with the EAP with similar miles in the other colors (you can't get an EAP in blue in '03).

When all is said and done, you will love that car. The Recaro seats are an absolute must-have, and a true EAP is worth more.
 

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If you could get him to drop the price a lil bit due to the trans problem then I would say go for it, and the money you save from the asking price can go towards the trans.
 

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me personally...i wouldnt be buying a car thats already broken. ur gonna hafta spend UR money on it to get it fixed. if the dealer wants to sell the car, tell him to get it fixed for u and then ull buy it. that makes no sense to buy an already broken car...to me.
 
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