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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a couple questions;

I just bought a PZEV Focus ZX3, It's quite a nice car, especially for the price, but I take issue with a few things that may be specific to the car I purchased or universal problems, which is what I'm trying to discern.

Has anyone noticed uneven acceleration in the lower gears? Specifically 1st.

Another thing would be that one of my friends owns an '03 Lancer OZ Rally, which isn't exactly well-known for it's suspension/chassis and it has a much firmer ride, while also being smoother. What the hell?

Also, road noise. Wow. It's a damned good thing the car looks so nice, or the noise in the cabin would drive me insane. (coming from the rear, obviously)

Last thing, clutch usage. And lots of it. Is it just me or do the rest of you with MT's
also have to spend more time with the clutch than you do with your friends and family? Sarcasm aside, it takes alot of precise clutchwork to get that Ford transmission to act civilized.

Anyway, this is not a rant, I'd definitely like to know anyone and everyone's opinion. If for no other reason than to put my mind at ease concerning the possibility that I got 'lemoned'.

Thanks.
 

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As for the ride being firmer and smoother, dont get it if it firmer should be more bounce, personally my car feels great not as smooth as my previous car but that was an oldsmobile so shouldnt touch it in smoothness, but in firmness I'd like if I had an S2 (with the euro suspension a little firmer) but the car handles awesome.

Road noise ? Not much over here, maybe roll the windows up LOL j/k , my car has the 16's and the tires are a bit loud, but windows up no noise at all pretty good for a 11 grand car.


Cant help you with the tranny questions or the acceleration cause i have an auto, even if it was wierd would be different type of wierd for me.
 

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Uneven acceleration: I have felt a bit of a stumble in 1st, but only a couple times, and only when the engine is cold. Not sure if that is what you mean by "uneven". Also, I think I might be feeling the valves in the intake runners popping open somewhere around 4K - it really seems to wake up rather suddenly. Is that what you mean?

I can't figure out your question with the Lancer. But I must say my stock ZX3 has a very supple ride, almost too smooth. I'd like a bit less body roll in corners and I'd be willing to put up with a firmer ride to get it. If and when I start to mod this car, some thicker anti-roll bars will be high on my list.

Road noise: yup. I have the 205/60-16 Pirelli P6 tires, and on some road surfaces, wow, they roar. Other road surfaces, smooth and quiet. I dealt with it by learning how to use the Automatic Volume Control on the radio, so it turns itself up with the road noise. The two things that make road noise are tire tread pattern (some tires are WAY worse than others) and lack of sound-deadening material in the body. I've got to believe Ford left the sound-deadening out for cost reasons, and also chose a tire that is somewhat prone to road noise on certain surfaces. I can justify the lack of sound-deadening material because that stuff is heavy (it is made of mostly tar) and I like a car that is as light as possible.

Clutch: I am still having a bit of trouble getting smooth on the 1-2 upshift. The other gears are no problem. I don't want to admit "it's just me" because I have been driving manual transmissions for literally 25 years (yeah, I'm 41) including cars and motorcycles and I have never had a single problem.
 

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A thing I noticed with my clutch is, the clutch safety switch is at the bottom of the throw, but for shifting, it only has to go half way.
 

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Focus dBa Sound Levels

Dear Spapadillion,

Road & Track magazine tested a 2000 Focus ZTS and measured a 68 dBa reading at 70 mph.

Car & Driver tested a 2003 Focus SVT and measured a 68 dBa reading at 70 mph.

For comparison Car & Driver tested a $53,000.00 2004 Infiniti FX45. It also read 68 dBa at 70.

C&D also tested a $76,000.00 Mercedes E55 AMG, and it also rated 68 dBa.

My conclusion is that the Focus ZTS is a quiet car.

Regards,
 

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You could also sound insulate all of your interior door paneling and your floor. I have dynomat throughout my whole rear hatch. Can lower your db's 2-3 on average.
 

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The tranny will get smoother, mine did quite a bit, my zetec has slightly stagey ( theres a term) acceleration but your pzev may be dif. remember that baby is really lean stock, but youy can fix that a little!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Careful not to anger the chiuahuas...

Thanks for all the replies, thus far. Special thanks to Soffiler, you seem to be exactly on the same page as myself. (which makes me feel a little less like an overly-picky psycho) As for your troubles with the clutch application, driving stick prior to driving the Focus didn't help me in the slightest, either. This little Focus is a whole new beast to be tamed. Anyway, ta for now.

Thanks again.
 

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I'm convinced the uneven acceleration can come from the recirculated exhaust in the PZEV. You can reproduce it with some less than stellar throttle manipulation between gears AND when you are starting in first.

1st to 2nd is a little tricky but I love how it grabs when you time it right, if you are shifting slower a little extra gas might be needed to take some of the work off the tranny to sync.

New Focus owner here too, this engine is awesome.
 
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