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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I am still a very new focus owner, but I am really starting to get into it. I bought my 2001 Focus ZX3 with 2.0L Zetec and 5 speed manual trans here locally about a month ago. It has 94k miles on it and I paid $1900 for it (I think it was a great deal.. it runs like a top!)

Anyway- back to the point of the post. I have around $1500 or so to put into my car, and for the life of me cannot decide what to do. I will begine by giving a list of what it needs fixed/replaced:

-very light dent repair and a paint job
-Rear wiper arm
-Hazard switch
-turn signal can
-3rd gear synchro (not immediately, just starting to grind in hard shifts)
-possibly some tires in next 5k miles or so
-dipstick
-battery cover


So it does not need much at all, IMO. SO i was thinking i would go ahead and get the small items it needs, and then do as much of the bigger things that I can before money runs out. Tires I am not worried about because I already talked to my father, and he is planning on buying me a new set for Xmas. Anyhoo, here is what i am thinking about doing.

Since I have a somewhat higher mileage engine, I am thinking about buying another one to drop in, and building the one in there now.

I know of a couple of local places, one of which will sell me a used engine with a one year warranty for $377 plus tax. The second one will sell me a brand spankin new engine for $1000 plus tax, and it comes with a 3 year warranty.

So what i would like to know, is in your opinions, should I buy the used engine and be good for at least a year, or go for the larger investment now, but go for more of a sure thing?

I think $1000 for a brand new engine is a STEAL, so that is why I am starting to lean towards that choice.. and its a limited time promotion, so I need to act ASAP...


However, on the other hand, I would be totally bummed if I spent almost all my money on a new engine, just to start having transmission problems..

Either way, I was planning on getting a $500 body work/paint touch up job done here locally (I will pay $500 OTD, and keep factory color but it will be like new), so that $500 is somewhat spoken for.

Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated. Oh and one other choice, is to do a SVT 6-speed upgrade, I found one for $500 recently ready to install with clutch and flywheel.. so thats another choice.. I am just not sure what kind of undertaking that is.

Let me know what you think. Thank you!
 

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First off, the paint job alone will take plus a more of the money ypou have to spend. I got a deal on my paint and it still cost 2g's.

The new engine, they'll probably void your warrenty if you mod it... Buy used and build the other. That's just what I'd do. I. Acctually looking to get another motor to build also. It'll just be easier out of the car! So think hard bout what your gonna do so you don't regret your desicions later
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wel, i really appreciate your input but my plan was to buy the new engine and install it, and work on the current motor that is in it when i can.. That way I have a very reliable DD but also have a good project engine to work on while in school.. Then when I am out of school, I can drop in the newly built project motor, and have some fun with it..

Oh and after reading some threads, i decided to stick with the MTX-75 trans rather than the 6 sp. Its more practical, and there is aparently there are a bunch of other things i would have to do. However, I did find someone with a new MTX-75 for $500 I may consider buying..


Oh and as far as the paint job, I have a family friend that owns a shop that is giving me a huge discount on everything, practically just making me pay for materials.. He does awesome work as well.
 

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I cannot find a thread on advice about whether to purchase a vehicle so I am posting it here. I have an op to buy an '01 ZX3, Silver, 5-speed. The car has 175K miles. All accesories work; A/C, OEM radio, heater, etc. The interior is on remarkable condition. 8" dent in left front fender and a spot on the rear bumper cap has paint peel going on. These folks are friends (COWORKERS) and would not sell me a crap car. It is a texas car; bought and raised; I hear that high miles in the great state is not unusual. Long way from A to B. What I am curious about is should I keep looking? They want $3200 for it - which is absolutely too much for this mileage and condition. What's the price point guys? Or should I walk away from it and look further. This will be a project car (my first since a 69 SS Chevelle). I have a daily driver...What's the Foci community think?
Thanks,
Fred
 

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FF SHO thank you for the reply...I didn't want to start a new thread cause I figured I just have my head up my ... for the moment cause I am so new to this forum. (I am used to the F T E [truck enthus] site; but not this one; yet.)
What I envision, and only because all acc's are working, a trusted seller, and the interior is in really great shape, single driver car (no kids, driver only), was shooting for $1500. But I don't want to offend. Your thoughts???
Again, the 'new guy' appreciates the input.
Fred
 

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Orlando, if your seller is asking 3200 for that car, they are crazy and are trusting that the fuel efficiency of that vehicle will push people in their direction. 3200 is plain greedy, and offering them much less than 2500 will probably get your butt kicked. Granted, if the car has run up 200K, with regular routine maintenance and no racing, the engine is probably pretty solid still, given the reliability of the Zetec, but it's the other things that you have to be more concerned about, things like ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends, sway bar end links, and all of that. You could buy a car with a solid driveline, only to find that the chassis part of the equation is completely shot and needing a lot of work to get it in tip top shape.
 

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Back to the original post.

90k mi. is NOTHING for one of these cars assuming decent maintenance (regular oil changes). Mine has 157,000 mi on it and the motor runs flawless. Smooth, no noises, no issues and uses ZERO oil. If you're wanting to build a motor that's cool but I would either buy a used one and start w/ it (leave the one in the car alone) or buy a FRPP short block (assuming they still sell them) and go from there. www.focus-power.com has some pretty beefy shortblocks if you wanted to go that way too.

IMHO though. If I were doing a buildup I would'nt bother w/ the stock Zetec. Their gutless and it take GOBS of money to get even mediocre hp from them N/A or GOBS of money to get pretty good power out of them F/I. These motors are reliable but power production is an expensive exercise in futility.
For the same amount that it would take to build a 200hp n/a Zetec I could easily build an 11-12 sec Fox body and that includes buying the car. Then I have a play car and an economy car and I didn't spend a fortune on one (the focus) trying to make it the other (fast/fun).
 

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My ZX5 had 202,000 on its Zetec when I got rid of it, and it was running like brand new, using no oil, and just as powerful as day one. 90,000 on a modern engine is nothing, as long as it wasn't abused.
 
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