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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'm getting pretty pumped now. Just ordered a fully loaded one and should be able to pick it up tomorrow after work, at the earliest or on Friday afternoon.

I am quite psyched!! I'll try not to be totally off the wall with excitement nor obnoxious with idiotic questions and quips. If I do, please dope slap me hard.

Any recommendations regarding future first-step modifications would be appreciated. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to afford though. Might have to wait until next spring before I could begin doing after market add-on's.


Eric
<font color="blue">Soon to own... </font>
<font color="red">Pitch black clearcoat/ winter/ audiophile/ HID </font>
 

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Well, I'll be honest for you:

Good mods so far are ORP/Borla.

BUT ...

I hope you did your homework and test drove other cars in the price range. The SVTF is NOT all it's cracked up to be.
Lots of little annoyances happen often, and trips to the dealer are frequent for many owners.

Good luck to you.
 

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good deal man. Enjoy it. I would have to agree, the borla and ORP(Off Road Pipe) are going to give you the best hp gains besides the supercharger or turbo.

But to keep your cost down initially, I would go with the rear motor mount($100), shifter ($80) and maybe some springs like the progress tech ($180). maybe go with the ORP, but it might sound a bit ricey with just that. Depends on your taste.
 

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Sounds great Eric!!!


First off enjoy your new SVTF then when you are ready after the initial break-in period you can start to mod it based on your budget.There are a lot of threads discussing mods done to the SVTF so feel free to look over them and pick which will work best for you.If you have any questions just post a comment in the thread and someone will be happy to respond or recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm pretty confident I did the homework, the due diligence. Between reviews over the last few years, forum discussions, test drives, and negotiating between 2 dealers, I'm feeling pretty good about it all.

I do understand it can be a 'needy car' from time to time. But I'm pretty sure the joy of driving it will be reason enough to put up with it.

The only thing I do worry about is my wife saying "What? Not again!!".
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the encouragement. I do feel I'll get great support from this forum and some of the others as well.

I really appreciate the good wishes and recommendations.

And talking about recommendations, I went to tirerack.com to research winter tires and rims. I've had experience with Blizzaks and was very pleased with them. If any of you know Blizzaks but prefer a different 16" tire, please let me know.

Oh, yeah - I do have 1 question here:
When swapping out the performance tires, I've heard from dealers that you should swap out all 4 tires. I think it makes sense just to keep the warm weather performance Conti's in matched condition. Am I correct on this?

Thanks!
 

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Congrats, Eric! These are fun little cars.

You are correct on your tire theory. Change them only in sets of four. Never, never mix a winter tire with a performance tire on the car at the same time!

As to the mods, I would suggest you first spend some time with the car. The SVTF has wonderful dynamics right from the box. I'm not sure of your level of drivers training, but I would also suggest a hp driving school, so that you can fully appreciate what a stock SVTF can do.

After some good seat time, and any warranty trends your car may/may not display, then you can choose any mods you wish to make wisely.

Good luck, & enjoy!
~Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you Dave. Much appreciated. You mentioned 'hp drivin school'. Which school(s) would you or can you, or anyone out there for that matter, recommend?

I would love to do this "thing" right... from the get-go.

Thanks.

Eric
 

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Eric, a lot of that depends on your location. There are fine driving schools all over the country, it's more a matter of where you wish to go. You can do a search on the 'net, or look through some car mag's.

I have been certified in 2 levels of advanced driver training, now holding my 4R, and C class license. I received my training here in Ohio at TRC(transportation research center) as part of my job. Yeah, lucky me! I always thought I was a pretty good driver before, as I drag raced and autox'd on occassion. But what I learned in this advanced training was invaluable. The instructor got everyones attention by catching one of us "novices" in a BMW 328, he in a 120K mile, bone stock '92 Civic 4 door! It was a short autox-type course, and the BMW was spotted a 5 sec. head start. By the end of the course, he was on the BMW's A$$!! It proved his point about driver skill in a BIG way!

Anyway, driving school is loads of fun, and a great experience for anyone who enjoys driving. I would talk to others in your area to see who runs a good school.

Good luck!
~Dave
 

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I picked up my 03 SVTF on the 23rd of August and I must say I love this car!! I have owned a 01 ZX3 for over 2.5 years and loved it. But this car blows it away. I have been browsing these forums since before buying the ZX3, but this is my 1st post ever. I love this SVT.
 

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I picked up my 03 SVTF on the 23rd of August and I must say I love this car!! I have owned a 01 ZX3 for over 2.5 years and loved it. But this car blows it away. I have been browsing these forums since before buying the ZX3, but this is my 1st post ever. I love this SVT.
Congrats on getting your new 2003 SVTF and welcome to the Jet Mac!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Dave,

Great story about your instructor driving the Civic against the BMW! Very impressive.

I found the Dodge/Skip Barber Racing school offers 1 & 2 day courses. Some of them are at Lime Rock Park, CT. That's close enough for me. I'm pretty sure my brother, a fanatic Mini Cooper S owner (with the new John Cooper Works engine) got some training from this school. Well, I s'pose I should contact him about it.

OH! YEAH! Btw, I got the car!!!


I didn't know there were 2 levels of the Audiophile system. The top-shelf one can play CD's burned with MP3's. It also has a s#&t-load of exotic features including "angling" the display of the readout.

I wasn't expecting to land a fully packaged SVTF. Originally, I was just hoping for a black-clearcoat with the winter and moonroof options. I'm a happy little kid now!

Eric
 

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I was not aware that there were two audiophile systems - I just got the one with 290 watts, the sub and 6-CD in-dash changer. I had heard about the MP3 one, but didn't see that it was an option on SVTs - do you have any more info about that one?

Getting the HIDs is the way to go, too - by now you have seen the performance at night - I would not be without them. I am thinking of beating on my insurance broker to find me a company that will give a discount for having them, as I feel they improve night vision greatly. They did cost a good buck, but you can look at it another way - how many out-the-door-for-$18,000 cars can you even get HID headlights on?

Overall, the few extras available on these cars are so cheap that it's not worth it to save a couple of bucks looking for one without them. I know some folks on these boards don't like the fact that traction control can step in when you don't want it to, but let's face it - this is not a smoky-burnout car. If you insist on drag-racing with this car, a couple of things are going to happen - you're going to lose a lot, and with the long first gear and modest torque, you're going to ruin a lot of clutches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Audiophile system does come in two flavors. They're detailed on pages 59 and 62 of the 2003 owner's guide. I have the system on page 59. I'd like the one on page 62 if only for it's ability to play CD's burned with MP3's.

One thing that's puzzling about the detail on page 62 is that there doesn't seem to be an anti-theft panel that can be released by a push of a button as is detailed on the page 59 system.

The anti-theft protection panel is a clever idea. But I think a thief who doesn't know any better, is going to do some serious damage anyway. And if he does get the unit out of the dashboard, he won't know it won't work without the protection panel until he try's it after re-installing it in some other car. Right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks like the reviewers at the Tire Rack gave the Blizzak LM-22's quite shining overall review. I'm thinking about these tires because I did once have a pair of them on a van I once had. They were really impressive.

One thing that kind of concerned me was the fact that you shouldn't drive on them if the temperature goes above 55 deg. F. I think that's what I remember being told. I do remember worrying during those brief drives that the tires must be melting under those warm conditions.
 
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