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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone...

I'm new to this board (just got accepted over the weekend), and I have some really basic questions. Please don't flame me for my ignorance. I just bought a new 2003 ZX3 (still under 1000 miles), and I'm really looking forward to doing some nice modifications that can add a little horsepower, and make the car look better. I have zero experience in the automotive trade, but I'm a pretty quick learner. I do compete in the car audio world so anything with cars that revolves around that aspect I have experience in.

So, here are my questions:

1.) When you buy a body kit, what kind of difficulty is there with the installation? When you remove the front bumper, does the new front part of the kit just use the same hardware for installing it?

2.) As far as performace modifications, where is the best place to start? I've heard that adding an air intake is the best place, but I don't trust the source. Just wanted to get some input here about that.

That's about it for now. I'm thinking of taking some courses at the local college for some basic automotive knowledge. I have "some" knowledge, but it's so scattered and so basic that I still don't feel comfortable doing things myself. Since I'm a DIY kind of guy, I really want to learn about this stuff.

Thanks everyone,

Mike
 

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Welcome n00b! Props for disclaiming the newbie question!

My advice... is just take a while reading everything and anything you can here in all the forums of interest... Exterior Mods and Zetec Tuning seem to be yours for now.

But as a guy whos done a little tuning, and wants to do so much more... start with an Under Drive Pulley and an Intake. I might recommend you check out FocusSport (http://www.focussport.com) as they've got great stuff for reasonable prices... and the most knowledgable people ever! (unless you got a 2.3L Duratec... and in that case... I'm jealous!)
 

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Originally posted by Bechman 2000:
Hey everyone...

I'm new to this board (just got accepted over the weekend), and I have some really basic questions. Please don't flame me for my ignorance. I just bought a new 2003 ZX3 (still under 1000 miles), and I'm really looking forward to doing some nice modifications that can add a little horsepower, and make the car look better. I have zero experience in the automotive trade, but I'm a pretty quick learner. I do compete in the car audio world so anything with cars that revolves around that aspect I have experience in.

So, here are my questions:

1.) When you buy a body kit, what kind of difficulty is there with the installation? When you remove the front bumper, does the new front part of the kit just use the same hardware for installing it?

2.) As far as performace modifications, where is the best place to start? I've heard that adding an air intake is the best place, but I don't trust the source. Just wanted to get some input here about that.

That's about it for now. I'm thinking of taking some courses at the local college for some basic automotive knowledge. I have "some" knowledge, but it's so scattered and so basic that I still don't feel comfortable doing things myself. Since I'm a DIY kind of guy, I really want to learn about this stuff.

Thanks everyone,

Mike
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Mike: Welcome to the Jet. Kick back and have some fun surfing the jet.

1. Body Kits: This will depend on what type of kit that you are looking for. Most of them are just bolt on kits, then there are the ones that require some work to attach them. So, like I said, it will depend on what type of kit suits your taste.

2. First start off in the engine department w/ Air intake: My choice Volant, next go w/ cat-bakc exhaust system. By doing this, it will allow the car to breath better, better response. After that it's up to you on what you want to add next. Here are some other things I would recommend: Under drive pullies, cam gears, camshafts, New TB(throttle body),header, flex pipe and if you can get away w/ it, replace the cat converter w/ one from Radom Tech, great cat's. Other than that post a thread one in Zetec Tuning and the other in Exterior Mods and go from there.
 

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There are a few top-dollar body kit brands you should look towards for optimum quality. All others fall below, well 99% of all others. These have warrantees for their products' fit and finish.

Kaminari
Wings West


Andrew
 

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Welcome to the jet Mike!!!!

Kick back relax and enjoy
 

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I was in the exact same situation as you about a year ago!

Just read as much as you can here on the Jet.
If you think you have read a lot.... read some more.

I had no idea what I was doing when I first got here. I learned to install my first stereo, my Volant, all sorts of finacially friendly mods and tips and tricks about making my car just that little bit more unique than the next guy.

It's amazing how many sweet cars their are on here!!!

It's amazing how great these guys are on the Jet. You will find that any question you may have will be answered quick and accurate.

In my oponion, the Jet is the best place to learn about YOUR car, as well as others!

Welcome n00b!
 

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Welcome to the Jet!
Glad to have you along!

You may get better responses if you break your questions up and post them in the appropriate topic -- sometimes the people most with the most experience post only in their own areas of expertise...

Good luck with your hatch!

SDrodge
 

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What up man, welcome to the 'jet!

My advice is to spend as much time as possible at shops, watching kit installs, talking with all types of car owners. In the tuner scene, knowledge defines the direction the car goes, and ultimatly, the level of staisfaction you get from modifing.

1) The majority of Focus body kits don't require additonal work to fit on the car; they bolt onto the factory bumper spots. When you find a kit you like, call the company selling it and find out if there is any additional work to make it fit. Most paint shops can also install the parts for you.

2) Where you begin depends on your final power goals. Some types of racing limit the mods you can do, and if you want to hit 14s there are some mods you won't need. If you are just looking for basic street application, with limited track use, you'll appreciate intake, underdrive pulley, header, and exhaust. Cam gears are a great mod for squeezing out those last drops of power, and if you are highly interested in the best times you should do those too.

Good luck and use the search button a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the warm welcome guys!!!

I agree that reading goes a long way. When I first started in the car audio world I knew nothing. It's two years later and I'm competing as well as the Vice President of Team Speed of Sound, of whom I've been member with for about a year.

Do you recommend any kind of magazines that are more geared towards rookies like me? Something that I can learn from? Maybe something dedicated to street mods for a Focus ZX3?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My main goal is to have a good time. I really just want to have fun with this, and learn a bunch of stuff in the process. I'm not planning on racing, or anything like that... just looking forward to working in the garage.

Basically I just want to learn the automotive trade and have something to show for it down the road. I'm not likely to jump into anything until I'm absolutly sure I know what I'm doing. And there's nothing better than seeing a job well done, eh? I think Focuses look great all jazzed up, but I don't want to be someone that just dresses the outside of the car with a bunch junk while the engine isn't up to snuff.
 
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Welcome new jetter


1. Body Kit ? Pretty much what everyone has said. Make sure you like it and find what is available for your car. Type of material is important as well.

fiber glass = easier to prep and paint as well as to crack.

Polyutrethane = harder to prep and paint (cost more) but it's more impact resistance

If it is lip kit, it's easy to install. But some bumpers may require some mods, but it's not hard at all.

2. As far as mods, depending on how you want it to be. If you want to stay normal aspirated, turbo, supercharged, etc. Just make sure you buy the parts which will be in line towards your goal. Intake is good, but if you go for supercharger/turbo you may have to get rid of your intake or modify it to make it work for the forced induction.

3. As far as magazine, sometimes Sport Compact Car or Super Street has Focus articles, not as often as Honda so make sure you flip afew pages before you buy. Or just subcribe..it's interesting to see how other cars are tweaked IMO.


I talk too much and better stop right here


=dRe=
 

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First, get a plan. Decide what your ultimate goals for your car are.

Second, Focaljet has 90% of the info you'll ever need for modding your car. The other 10% can be found from talking with Focus owner's at GTGs, meets, the track, in the shop, etc.

Third, there are some companies that make great products for our cars, and thier websites can be accessed through the banner ads on the top of a forum page. Find out your goal, and look up the product.
 
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