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Discussion Starter #1
Im still torn between getting the SVT and getting the ZX3. I really really like the look of the SVT but I hear its mostly a "buy and drive" car. Is this true just for right now since no parts are really made for it yet? Or is there another reason behind the "buy and drive"?

Please (if any of you can) list ALL the problems that have happend with the SVT. If I get one, it will be a 2003 model. Is most of the problems with it just the ECU?

Has anyone really played with the handling of the car? If so, how would you rate it on a scale of 1 - 10? Also, if any of you know a sweet car to compare it to, please mention them as well. I've been in a hooked up Lancer (major suspension work, sweet ride), S2000, Integra GSR, NSX, SRT-4, 3.2TL, and Caddy STS. Handling is one of my top priorities, so this would be a big help.

Id settle easily and get a ZX3 (payments would be crazy low) and build it from stock, but I love how the SVT comes, its hot. Plus, I may just get the SVT and drive it till the new revamped 2005 SVT Focus comes out. Getting the specs on those soon.

If all else fails, I may look at that new Mazda 3. Thats a wicked lookin new model car with an MSRP of only mid 16's. Any thoughts on those? lol
 

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STock 2003 SVT handles and brakes awesome. Best way to figure that out is the go to a dealer and take a test drive. There are quite a few differences (ie - 6 speed vs 5 speed) etc, different feel to the driving vs the ZX3. It's not completely a buy and drive car, you can upgrade quite a bit, but most of it is already done, so even if you leave it stock you're still driving a bad ass car. As far as the mods go, some of them just aren't out yet (ie - no superchip, diablochip etc), but if you're all about handling you will not be dissapointed with the SVT at all.

< corners like a bmw >
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah, im hearing the SVT handles like a *****in champ and Im thinkin the first upgrade I do will be (gotta save a bit, but worth it) getting the Quaife ATB. That comes stock on the Focus RS and it spanked the Civic Type-R and Subura WRX in the Slalom (spelling?). If any of ya wanna check that out go on Kazaa and see if you can find the BBS Focus RS video. Cool video to watch, makes me wanna import that car [thumb]
 

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Soon2BownerOfSVT-F said:
Oh yeah, plus I hear that the ZX3's governor is set at 108mph (shitty!). Is the SVT set the same?
Hell no. There is debate about the exact top speed of the SVT, but it's somewhere between 134 and 140-something depending on whom you believe.

Oh, and I bought my SVT lightly used, and I'm quite happy with it. There really hasn't been any problems yet, other than the little annoyances, like a rough cold idle and light surging around 2,000 RPM's occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
sweet. Thank god its not set at 108mph lol My friends would rape me on the highway. We normally go everywhere running about 110+

Luckly Im in S. Florida so I dont have to worry about cold starts all that much. Should I request an ECU update before I drive off the lot with it (if I decide to get it of course)?
 

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The zx3 has lower compression in case you plan on supercharging or turbocharging later. If you want all motor, then I'd get the SVT since it's off to a better start in that direction. If you want to leave your car stock, I'd get the new pontiac GTO [:D] (sorry... had to...it's 350hp with a six-speed manual tranny...oh, ya!! that's a 5.7L v-8!!)
and I think you can raise the zx3 top speed to around 130 if you get a new chip.
 

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Well, I live in California so it's not cold here either. What we mean is when the engine is cold, like the car hasn't been used in several hours, or overnight. It doesn't usually last too long, not for me, anyway. Just as the engine is warming, it gets to a point in the "warm-up" process where it starts hiccuping and sputtering a little bit. If you're buying the car brand-spanking new, it will most likely have the latest ECU calibration already.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ohhh, ok... i get what ur sayin. Hmm... that kinda sucks, and has that been confirmed that thats an ECU problem or is the actual cause yet to be determined?
 

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I don't know if the ECU is the problem itself or not. But SVT seems to be using it as a workaround for the issues the car has. They keep tweaking the ECU calibration, and that's why there's a bunch of technical service bulletins about the ECU. Some of the issues, like the rough idle and surging, can be caused by loose clamps on the intake manifold runners. There is a TSB about that, but it doesn't apply to a new SVT as they would have updated the production line for the new cars at the time the TSB was released.
 

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I have an '02 and had the intake runner clamps replaced and it idles much smoother now. Luv the car, I have no regrets. I've read that the svtf can out slalom an M3, I can believe it the svtf's suspension/tires/brakes are excellent. Like mentioned earlier the svtf feels almost like a completely different car than the zx3, you gotta take one on a test drive. I would've liked a little more straight line performance though (is anyone ever satisfied?). I'll probably address this issue with a vortec or jr s/c next year (need $).
 

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Soon2BownerOfSVT-F said:
Oh yeah, plus I hear that the ZX3's governor is set at 108mph (shitty!). Is the SVT set the same?
I have a sister and her 02 ZX3 stops at 110 [:(] I have gotten my SVTF up to 135 and I let off due to upcoming traffic. I have actually seen a picture from another forum of a guys dash cluster showing him at 140 mph under the pic it said "Enough said." [:D] I do not know what the limit is on the SVTF, somebody else out there may. Good luck on buying your car, which ever one you decide to go with.[thumb]
 

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GonFishin said:
I'd get the new pontiac GTO [:D] (sorry... had to...it's 350hp with a six-speed manual tranny...oh, ya!! that's a 5.7L v-8!!)
He said handling is a factor.
I haven't had much experience with Acuras but the SVT will outhandle the SRTs. The closest car in handling on your list would be a Lancer (a stock evo). I believe the SVTs outhandle Audi TTs.
I haven't gotten my car above 120. My last car would go from 100 to 120 in no time but it takes the Focus a long time. Its more of a backroads car than it is a highway car.
 

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Consider this also:
The mazda 3 you were talking about considering,well its the same engine offered in the focus pzev which leaves you with the same predicament as the SVT. Not a lot of parts(not yet anyways!!).I own a SE sedan focus with the zetec and a couple of mods. I am very happy with it, but if you are looking for awesome look and performance without modding to much at the beguining, you cannot go wrong with the SVT!!!.
 

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The package right off the lot is great. No need to turn a wrench to make it faster or handle better unless you like modifying your ride. There's more vendors every week coming out with stuff for the SVTF.
Ford offers owners of new SVT vehicles a nice perk too. Free loaner when it's in for service other than oil changes at SVT dealers. Oh and a free year membership into the SVTOA.
 

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I traded my 00 ZX3 Kona Edition Foucs for a 03 SVTF, I got the ZX3 with all the goodies. Goodies include: HID headlamps, Winter package (heated seats, engine block heater and traction control).
I loved my Kona, but when I saw and drove the SVT the deal was done. The SVT team did a fantastic job with this car, and I plan no mods. I did add a K&N air filter, and the roof rack from my Kona, but thats it. That is the whole idea of a SVT, to have a car already "modified" and covered by factory warranty.

This car's strongest point is the handling, it is truly awesome. The sound system is also top notch, and the added touch of the finger tip controls is a nice feature. Of course this is no race car, but it is plenty fast for me.

The gear box and clutch, well that's another story. (Mine is in the shop right now having the gearbox and flywheel replaced). It has been noisey since day one, I got the car this past June, and have 10K on it alrerady. I had no complaint with the transmission really, it just sounded like it was coming apart.

My only problems with the car are small petty things such as: No light in the glove box, and no lock on it too. No dead pedal for your left foot. The seat back recliner knobs are a pain in the arse. They really skimped on the leather for the seats. The front bumper cover wobbles and shakes while driving. (check it out, grab hold of the bottom and give it a shake, it needs some stiffeners). The cargo area is not flat when you fold down the rear seat backs. You have to remove the rear seat cushion from the car to have a really flat surface. The heat-shield over the exhaust header looks like crap, it looks wicked cheap. You can't turn the fog lights on with out turning on the head lamps. Oh, and one more .... the horn sounds like it comes from a dollar store.

Well that's it, other than those few little items, I love my SVTF!!!!!
 
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