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Discussion Starter #1
I've been researching purchasing a 04 SVTF and as such I've been reading up on these great threads here. You guys know a tremendous amount about the car and Ford, etc. It's been a great help.

I live just west of Boston and was relieved to read how many of you have dealt with driving in serious inclement conditions. I read about mounting 16" rims and different types of winter-capable tires. Not sure I want to go this way until I get a true understanding how the car performs and of course how my driving reacts under those conditions. But it seems a lot of you guys went with "winter rims" and tires.

A lot of buzz words to get caught-up on.

I'm just about 95% sure I'm gonna get it. I believe I can deal with the nuisance issues I've read about and seems Ford has improved on reliability issues over 2003.

Did I read somewhere they're soon to be releasing a "chip" update?

Also- any words of advice, encouragement, insights, etc. would be very much appreciated.

I look forward to the learning curve!

Thanks.

Eric
 

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welcome to the jet. I am sure if you decide on the svtf it will be well worth the time you have spent researching and allow you to enjoy it more.

As far as the "chip" update, it is actually a computer update. Not an actual chip. It is a software update for the "brain" of the car so to speak.
 

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Welcome to the jet eawells!
The only complaints I really have with my SVTF is lack of low-end torque, and maybe just a slightly higher first gear than it needs considering torque. Other than that, it's a great car. It's the nicest car I've ever owned. It just needs to be revved up to perform. The FC t/b and FS Cool-Flo make that easier to do, and the SVTF more fun to drive. There are others here as you've seen that have done many more mods, turning their cars into monsters, so enjoy the read! Focaljet is the place to be when owning or thinking of owning one. Good luck on your decision.
 

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Welcome to the jet from the left coast!
 

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eawells, remember, not everyone experiences problems with their SVTF. Ford has probably sold 5000+ to date, and how many different people post problems? These message boards tend to be the fringe owners, more "intense" than most. The SVTF is a great car, I feel the best overall sub $20K new car available. My '02 still has RLA2, and has been flawless in 9 months of driving. Please do recognize, however, it's a front wheel drive, 2L 4cyl. economy car. Some are dissappointed when they realize it's not some Fast and Furious drag racer. It IS a great, all around, everyday car that's very fun to drive.
Enjoy!
~Dave
 

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Welcome! I'm glad to hear you are thinking to aquire an SVT Focus. I love mine. There certainly some issues that many people have had including myself, but they were minor. Anytime you get a 1st year run, especialy on a limmited editions, you are bound to have some issues. I have had quite a few muscle cars(Bullitt Mustang and ZO6 Vette to name a few) and while they were faster, they cost a bundle more. I think it's a great car for what it was designed for...Fun driving and decent power. With the rebates, you can get about 2k off the price which makes for quite a bargian. Ford has stood behind it's products in the past and I have seen there intention to stand behind this one. Enjoy your new ride!
 

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Welcome to the Jet Eric!!!

I will agree with the above posts that the SVTF is a great value for the money and even better with the rebate and financing offers from Ford.Anyway good luck with whatever you decide on and keep us posted.
P.S. if you ever have a question feel free to post it and someone will be happy to respond.
 

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If you go to the Tire Rack and plug 2003 SVT Focus into their winter tire configurator thing, they show 16" wheels and 205/50-16s, so I guess that 16s will fit around the rotors and calipers used on the SVTF.

Tire Rack tire/wheel packages show no steel take-off wheels offered, which is not surprising since Ford never made any 16" Focus wheels except in aluminum alloy, so you have to either get new 16" aftermarket alloys for your winter tires or find a source for the 16" Ford wheels - like a salvage yard, ebay or message boards like these here on Focaljet.

I'm thinking that with 4 Blizzaks, FWD, traction control and ABS, the SVT should be a good winter car - whether I like subjecting it to winter is another question!
 

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Hi,
I'd buy the Neon SRT or Mini. They have sooo much more aftermarket to choose from. Why buy a 2.0 that Ford is upgrading?
I did last year only because the Mini had a 5k premium attached and the SRT was not out.
This is my opionion if it differs from someone else's it doesn't make it wrong, so no flames please.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks very much. I'm leaning towards a 4-door hatchback with the winter package and sun roof. I think I'll do up the audio system with after-market hardware. I don't care much about the HID headlamps, but they do look cool.

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks much. Uh, just one question though: What do you mean by "FC t/b and FS Cool-Flo". Is there a list somewhere detailing what these acronymns means? Only slightly confused - I'm just gettin' started I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Your point about it being an economy car is exactly what I keep reminding myself about. Well, actually more like a economy car on steroids perhaps? In any case, I do recognize this forum as being the center of the SVTF universe!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks very much. You guys seem to be a tight group. Looking forward to the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Geeze! You have had some expensive and well-muscled wheels, haven't you? Someone as yourself who has had that kind of ownership experience and yet derives satisfaction from owning/driving an SVTF - well, that's a great testimonial. I'm very encouraged.

Thanks very much!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You guys are too cool. Thanks, I greatly appreciate the encouragement.

Eric
 

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FC t/b is the Focus Central throttle body (Focus Central is a company that has aftermarket parts for our car)

FS cool flo is the Focus Sport Cool Flo Intake (same as above)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, being that you're in Western NY- I bet you should know what you're talking about when it comes to subjecting your SVTF to winter driving.

I used to own a Dodge Caravan ES, loaded and top of the Caravan heap - so to speak. I put Blizzaks on the front drive wheels and it immediately drove many times better than the all-weathers they replaced.

I was told that all 4 tires should be replaced with the winter tires. Would you agree with that and does anyone else out there have an opinion?

Thanks.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My brother is practically anal retentive about his Mini. He was something like 47th on some original orders list in the state of CT. I think he ordered his back in the summer of 2001.

Now, he's having this new high-end John Cooper engine put in for about $5K. I have to give him credit, he really does know cars. When I asked him his opinion about me possibly going for the SVTF, he was quite encouraging and not once told me to go for a Mini. Actually, he also told me to seek out a forum to get a sense of what SVTF owners are feeling and saying about their owner's experience.

So, if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here late at night writing this - when I should be in bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Excellent! Thanks very much. This is great!
 
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