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Discussion Starter #1
Now you all have me worried about this flash thing and poor running situation with the SVT.

Now don't get me wrong but I would wager I am way older than most of you. ( Im 40) and I have been there done that with finiky cars, I just do not have the patience for a car that has a constant design flaw that will make it run poorly.

My standards have become quite high over the years and while I am sure I would love the SVT for what it is , I wonder if I would be better off with a regular 5 door ZX5 with a 2.3L

or perhaps a Subaru WRX?

I appreciate all that you have been telling me about the car.. I just don't want to make a mistake since I need to keep this car for many years. I have had cars with finiky systems and it drove me crazy. I don't want it nor do I need it.

Sorry for the downer of a post, just looking for reassurance I guess.


Thanks for your time.

Pete[bath]
 

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Titular Wit Here
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Here's my two cents - I'm still running on the factory RLA6 tune and life is fine. I'm sure spending a few hundred bucks on a tuner and upgrading would net me some more fun, and better "behavior" at cold idle... but bottom line is I still enjoy driving my car and it hasn't been any kind of safety risk. I recall some people used to report their car stalling on the factory tunes, but I have never once had that happen.
 

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I had my SVT for two and a half years before installing a new tune. During that entire time, my car only shut off 3 times. All three times ocurred when I was traveling less than 15 miles an hour.
 

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Im 42. I have an SVT. Bought it new. Have kept the mileage down, under 7k at the moment. I was experiencing the "chugging" thing but just thought it was normal as it occured at 25mph +/- and it just seemed the car was begging to go faster. I read different things here and took the car to Ford and had the flash thing done (under warranty). It improved things...even my wife says so.

I've thought about selling the car but I really really like it. I am convinced there is no more bang for the buck to be had. PERIOD. This is my weekend toy and all I can afford for a non-daily driver. I keep dreaming about getting an old Falcon (my 1st car) or a Mustang. To have one of those in good shape would cost me more than I have into the Focus. With my Focus I have 30 more years of technology than those cars (ABS, air bags, best stereo I've ever had in a car, sunroof, reasonable fuel economy....etc. etc. etc.). Don't know if the SVT will ever be worth as much as I paid for it (it is too me but maybe not to anyone else?).

The SVT is way more than the regular ZX5 and IMO way more than the Roush, Saleen & Steeda stuff...some of those are only cosmetic body kit and the SVT handles like it's on rails and goes like stink.

If I could afford more (like the WRX) would I buy something else? For $5k I could put the Powerworks SC on the car and still have less money into it than the WRX. But truly, from a 40+ viewpoint, the car has enough performance for me. If I was trying to race everybody and wanted everyone to "look at me" I might want something that was faster/quicker. But I'm mostly beyond that. I enjoy "spirited" driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I wanted a Cooper S REAL bad when I bought the car. But honestly (IMO) the SVT is a better performer and about $7k less. Plus there are 3 local Ford dealers and the closest MINI dealer is 2+ hours away.

About the 1st time I had mine out I think it might have shut off on a twisty road. I had the clutch in, going around a curve. And when I let the clutch out it seemed to refire. Again, it all happened so fast that I wasn't even sure it shut off. This was before I heard about the issues. Now that I'm aware of some of these things I'm a little more sensitive to stuff.

I'd probably sell mine if I got the right offer ($15k would take it along with the extended warranty through 6/2009). But that's unrealistic so I'm not even trying. And even if I did sell it I'd probably regret it because I can't replace it for that. So again, not serious about selling it.

So all that being said some SVTs seem problematic, some don't. If you get a good one you won't regret it and you'll get years of fun out of the car. If you get a bad one you'll probably never buy a Ford anything ever again. If you get serious about one, get a VIN and tap the resources available here to check the service records. Flip a coin and let fate decide.

No regrets here.
 

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The Focus is certainly more of a gamble than some of its competition. I've personally had excellent luck with my SVT, and so far I havent found anything to match it for a driver's car - that includes the 2006 WRX TR I drove a couple weeks ago.

However, I havent had the problems with mine that some people report. If I had, I might be singing a different tune. Also, the car is quirky. I've learned to work around it, but the deep deep gearing and soft low-end response can be a pain, the cold performance is hit or miss (sometimes fine, sometimes terrible... havent figured that one out yet). And, not that everybody considers this going into it, but resale promises to be terrible in a very short time after purchase.

That said, the only car in the same time period that I think has a shot at being a better driver is the Cooper S. The Honda offerings are brilliantly engineered vehicles, but come up short on soul. The Sentra SE-R has a great engine, but its geared funny and the interior is a step or 2 down. The WRX taught me that boost isnt as much fun as I thought it'd be; I'd much rather have an older 2.5RS than a newer WRX. Seriously, if your priorities in a driver's car line up with mine at all, you may find yourself disappointed in what $24,000 gets you in a Subaru...

You may have a point on the 2.3l engined Focus. I've wondered myself what that drivetrain feels like in comparison. I love the way power builds in the SVT, I dont think I'd like going back to a car that starts to run out of breath near the top, but its a valid choice and a cheap one. If you can handle the 2005+ sedan styling that is...
 

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If you've got another car to drive when your SVT is broken, and you're not spending every penny you've got just to make the payments and insurance, the SVTF could be a very rewarding car.

If you want a car that you can treat like your refrigerator, with about as much personality as a refrigerator, the SVT ain't it.

I've got one of the worse SVTs, it's had most of the issues in the TSBs and I really don't trust it. I find myself parking where a tow truck could easily be able to pick up my car. It's only been towed once but my faith in the dependability of the car is shaken.

That said, the car has the following features that set it apart.

1. Super comfy supportive heated seats (I've got a euro with the Recaros)
2. Wicked bright headlights (I've got the HIDs)
3. Amazing handling.
4. Fun and somewhat challenging power band. Launching requires finess.
5. Great stereo.
6. Better than expected mileage.
7. Surprising cargo carrying capability.
8. Good visibility.
9. It's awfully fun to drive.

I've never owned a Japanese, I've only driven domestics. I'm hoping my SVTF will settle down like all my previous fords but I still don't trust it.

If it's your only car, don't do it. If you've got an old truck or something to drive when the SVT is down, it can be a rewarding experience. A true love/hate relationship.
 

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Focused Focus
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Heres one thing to consider, the svt engine was built as a high performance engine. The cams are bigger than even the Ford Racing stgIII's. You really should be more amazed that this engine runs as smooth as it does. Thanks to the biggest part that the fuel injection works as good as it does. If these engines were running a carb or like Weber carbs, they would run alot rougher.
 

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Well, I was in the same boat as you a while back. . .

I had my Focus that I did some mods to. But I could just never get it running right. And when it did run right, I had too much power for something and broke something. ie My ATX. lol.

But after that, I just decided to part out the car and take my losses.

After that, I was driving around my 01 Sport Trac, and I hated it because it was not fun and exciting like my Focus.

But then I got over it and started looking for a new car, in which, I found my 04 STi. [wiggle]

So I can understand where you are coming from, in wanting something new that doesn't have any little hidden bugs.

So I say, if you want something else and you pocket agrees, go for it. You only live once, so why live it being frustrated


-Cody
 
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