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hey everyone,

i just registered to FocusFanatics. it's great. i'm trying to catch up with you guys. I have a few questions. I saved $500 over the winter and want to make some upgrades to my 03 PZEV ZX3. Do you think i should go with the intake or the exhaust first? and does anyone know if the new magnaflow for pzev is legal in NY ? Finally, do you think lowering my ssuspension would cause me a lot of problems in the winter? I live in the snowiest city of ny state, syracuse.

Thanks a lot,
 

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i would get an intake and exhaust if i were you. those are known to be the best first mods. i doubt lowering would hurt you much if at all. but i would still go with exhaust intake if it was me.
good luck and thats my two cents
 

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I'll leave the intake and exhaust questions to the experts, but give you my two cents on the suspension: I, personally, wouldn't lower it. I live near Providence RI and we don't get anywhere near the snow you guys get... but this year we've had a fair amount; at least a couple storms so far that dropped over a foot. I usually drive my truck in the snow, but I was forced to take the Focus out a couple times. My car, ZX3 with bone-stock suspension, dragged the bone-stock front airdam in the snow several times; such as getting into a poorly-plowed parking lot etc etc.

I am all for suspension mods - my one and only complaint about the Focus is the body roll in corners. I will address it at some point with roll bars and shocks, but I don't see any need to lower the ride height.
 

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I wouldn't go any lower than 1.5 inches for sure... if you do plan on it. I hear you can just be driving along and get stuck in that white stuff you call snow... but I live in CA :)

Get an intake first, then you might have money left over for an exhaust. The intake is the bang-for-the-buck mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks a lot for the suggestions guys. i'll probably go with the intake first then to exhaust if i have enough money left. do you have any preference as to which intake gives a better performance? iceman? i don't know a whole lot about these so any help is greatly appreciated
[thumb]
 

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I thought I saw some where that Volant was making it for the PZEV... Hmm Can't find there web page right now. Just wait a few months and I bet things will start to pop up for your motor. Still fairly new. As far as lowering your car. I'm in North Dakota and from my experiance The ZX3 isn't good in the snow at all. Don't know about the ZX5. I don't think it's heavy enough. The wheels spin alot even when I start out in 2nd. It doesn't help that the tires are pretty wide so my car rides on top of the snow and then sinks in when I try to move. Got stuck 4 times this year. Of all the other cars I have had that are some what the same the focus is the worst in the snow at least the ZX3. I had an 2000 SE and it wasn't too bad. But the coil overs would be a good idea. Just don't buy the garbage that they sell on Ebay. You get what you pay for! A buddy that I know bought the ebay sh!t and while going down the high way he hit a dip and the springs were so stiff the car lost control. Good coil overs are going to cost you. I would guess anywhere from $800-$1000 I could be wrong, but I think that's what they were when I looked into getting them. As long as you don't slam it to the ground you should be allright. 1.5 is as low as I would go.
 

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as for the coilovers thing, that is tough to do. good coilovers are going to cost alot of money. now if you want the dropzone coilovers or whatever than youll be bouncin all over the road.
 

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They all give the same performance arguably, though most people tend to rave about the Marcy Motorsports intake and the Focus Sport intake. I like the filter on the Focus Sport, go surfing and do some research since you will be installing this yourself probably.
 

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yellowzx5 said:
get coilovers, you can adjust them for the seasons
Coilovers suck unless you go with a high end tien system or something, otherwise just get good springs, much better ride and quality in the long run, I literally threw my coilovers away because the ride was so crappy
 

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Do this first! Head/Cam and Intake/Exhaust and come back here with your 1/4 time.
You won't believe the power. As the other parts start breaking begin replacing those 1 by 1.
Your car will be a sleeper (a pocket rocket inside/ stocker outside)!

Warning:
If you never picked up a wrench in your life then perhaps you should stay away from street/strip performance along with trouble. Just make it a show car it would be worth alot more that way.
 

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smoknzx3 said:
... I'm in North Dakota and from my experiance The ZX3 isn't good in the snow at all. Don't know about the ZX5. I don't think it's heavy enough. The wheels spin alot even when I start out in 2nd. It doesn't help that the tires are pretty wide so my car rides on top of the snow and then sinks in when I try to move...
Winter traction is primarily about tires. Yeah, weight plays a role of course, but the Focus at 2600-2750lb (depending on model and equipment) is kind of light but nothing extreme. My wife's old '87 Civic Si weighed about 2200lb and it did fine in the snow. Old-school VW Beetles had a great snow reputation and what did they weigh - was it even 2000lb?

So, back to tires. Which tires do you have? My '03 ZX3 came with the Pirelli P6 205/50-16 and I've found them to be pretty good in slippery conditions - meaning, like, 1" of snow covering the road with an icy layer underneath. However, if you're trying to blow through a foot of unplowed snow, that's a different matter entirely. There is NO perfect tire that gives excellent snow performance and excellent summer dry road performance at the same time. You either suffer the compromise, or get yourself a set of Blizzak's on cheap steel wheels for the winter.

(PS: the Beetle did well in snow because the tires were so skinny...)
 
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