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ZX3 Member
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to get a Ford Focus just as soon as some paperwork clears for my new job and am wondering which route would be the best way to go?

1) Wait for the SVT to show up
2) Buy a straight ZX3 and wait for the FR200 kits to ship
3) Take the ZX3 to the shop and have someone bolt on a turbo (based on careful research into the subject.

I am trying to keep the initial price of the vehicle under $19k.
 

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ZX3 Member
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I was leaning that way, after reading up on the SVT's price range at www.blueovalnews.com from an unofficial insider article, the SVT should retail around $18,000 plus the cost for 1 of 3 packages - Winter package, Audiofile package, and power sunroof.

I also checked out the fordmotorsports.com website and found new manifolds and other goodies already on sale for the focus. The new headers (FRT200 style, I beleive) aren't on sale yet.

As the factory Focus 2.0 Zetec engine appears to be the same one out of the Mazda Protige' there should be a lot of performance add-ons already out there. The only hard part is fitting the upgrades under the hood.

I haven't seen this myself, but is Ford really planning on introducing the Focus with a V6 in the next couple of years?
 

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Escort GT Member
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42 Posts
The protege dosen't have the zetec engine, it's a mazda engine in the protege.

Oh yeah, I keep hearing that zetec engines aren't good for turbos, it would just be best to scratch that one off yoru list if you have to pay someone to do it(they would probably charge more than it's worth in performance). I think your best bet would be the svt.
 

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ZX3 Member
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I was implying from the data on both engines (displacement, hp,torque, bore, stroke, etc) being the same and that Ford uses a lot of Mazda small displacement engines in their production line and just badges them differently, that they had continued the trend in the Focus. I could be wrong.

If you pick up the latest edition of Motor Trend you can see a 304hp turbo FRT200 Zetec powered Focus. I am guessing the weak link on the Zetec is the heads and/or manifold not being beefy enough to handle the compression of a turbo. It appears that Ford Motorsports will be selling the same heads on the FRT to compensate as the manifold is already available.

How much does new pulleys really do for performance, anyways? I know the new fly wheel isn't street legal due to those nifty emission control laws.
 

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Escort GT Member
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42 Posts
Zetec:
ZX2 HP: 130 @ 5750
ZX3 130 @ 5300
ZX2 Torque: 127 @ 4250
ZX3 135 @ 4500
Bore x Stroke: 3.34 x 3.46
Compression: 9.6
Displacement: 1983

2.0 SPI(Base model Focus and Escort/Tracer engine):
HP : 110 @ 5000
Torque : 125 @ 3750
Compression: 9.4
All the rest is the same as the zetec

Protege 2.0:
HP: 130 @ 6000
Torque: 135 @ 4000
Displacement: 1991
Bore x Stroke: 3.26 x 3.62
Compression: 9.1

Of course I could be wrong, but I think they are different engines.

The zetec engine comes from Fords long line of CVH engines. I know it atleast started in 1981 with the 1.6l cvh in the escort, but it may have started in 1968 with the 1.6l Kent Crossflow engine, but not sure since a lot of people get the two confused as being the same anyway. The zetec is basically a dohc version of the cvh engine.

Outside of the Probe/MX-3 Ford has only used two Mazda engines in their cars to the best of my knowledge, the 1.6l and 1.8l bp. The 1.6l was in the capri and tracer(which was a 323 clone before 91). The 1.8l was in the escort gt/escort lxe/tracer lts/laser line. Their might be some shared parts between them(like the oil pump being the same in the zetec, escort and mazda 1.8's and the civic, but thats nothing new to cars these days. There, more then you every wanted to know :)

Most likely in the future 4cyl engines will be shared between Ford and Mazda as the next generation has been codeveloped between the two.

As for going turbo, Gude also has a kit and possible another company(not sure who). Try asking about it at club-focus.net and zx2.com. It would be my advice to stay away from gude though, someone was just talking about them on the egt list. Aparently they like to sell parts for cars that don't exist(ie 1.6l dohc escort from 91-96) and get very arrogant when people try to tell them it dosen't exist.

Oh, and as for the turbo FRT200, companies can get an engine to do anything they feel like. That dosen't have anything to do with what came out of the factory, you can bet the regular ZX3 isn't going to have a turbo ready engine. It would take a hell of a lot of work to get the power of the FRT200, if thats what your thinking. Everything - Fuel system, fuel injectors, complete engine rebuild most likely, computer, etc. Probably not something you would want to pay a shop to do, with the labor and all. Also, you would want to get a warranty on it, which makes it even more complicated. They screw up and your engine blows up are they going to pay for it, or just say it was you driving it hard? And what about the warranty on your car, big gray area on what Ford will cover if something goes wrong. Adding a turbo can void your warranty, you would want to make sure Ford will still cover it, they might not even if you use their parts.

You can slap on a turbo with a little work as long as you keep the boost low, but then whats the point in the turbo?

Something else to consider is bolting on the parts that make it an svt focus. It might be cheaper espicially if your not interested in the suspension and transmission. From the press release I saw it sounded like Ford was interested in selling the parts, I don't know if they are or not.
 

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ZX3 Member
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yep, my first mistake was trusting my memory : ), and you are right about asking how essential the newer suspension, brakes, and 6-speed are. I am wondering if the Focus will ever get to see the 6th gear especially at 170hp. All around disc brakes and a tuned suspension is something I'd like as I hope to get an SCCA license (for local rally events like salom and time distance type deals) for weekend racing in my eventual destination of MD. The +40hp would be nice on such a light car (1.25 tons?).

The thing that irks me on the SVT option is the choice of red or blue seat back insets and weave. Interior should be among the last thing to complain about for a weekend racer, but let's face it the interior color makes you wonder if some exec's wife made the decision.

You are right on the FRT200 as being a bolt on sales platform. All of it is targeted for sale out of the Motorsports catalog. I am not sure, but I don't thing that the online catalog states the prices for what they do have for sale out of the FRT200 package. I sure hope there are some better engineer front air dams and tail feathers out there as having only the Green Peace Special Edition Save the Whale Spoiler(tm) to choose from would bite.
 

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Escort GT Member
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42 Posts
You know, I just thought of something. I keep reading about how the stock tranny ones in the zx2 are horrible(I'm pretty sure it's the same in the focus), if you want to go racing you'll definately appreciate the better transmission. Gearing is also probably closer in the lower gears since it's a six speed, so it would be a little faster the same power on the stock one.

Also, I think in the press release for the svt it said it came with stronger rods too, you probably won't have to worry about blowing one.

As far as the interior goes, just take out the back seat. Save some weight. :)
 

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ZX2 Member
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8 Posts
bolt-ons

The thing about bolt-ons, even if they're out of the Ford catalog, is that the dealer service reps very quickly mark your car down as modified. Thus unfit for warranty service depending on which part it is.
Several guys on zx2.com have horror stories of their manual and auto transmissions failing on them, way before 36,000 mile/3 yr.

In some cases, the dealer told them that the tranny would NOT be covered under warranty because of 'user abuse'.

So I figure that just for the peace of mind of having Ford dealers not give you any **** when service time rolls around, I'd go with the factory car: SVT Focus. When it comes, that is.
About racing: I'm almost sure the fine print on the factory warranty excludes using the car in organized racing events.

In the meantime, $10K+ will get you a really nice brand new 2001 ZX2 to whet your appetite for performance.
Or about $12K for a ZX3.

Oh yeah, the gurus at zx2.com, zx2.org and zx2list will tell you that the trannies on ZX2s are Mazda, and the ones on Focus are Ford, similar or the same as Contour/Mondeo 2.0L.
 

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Focus ZX3 Member
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35 Posts
The ZX3 has the MTX transmission in it for the 5 speeds. That's the same one they put in the Contour SVT. And can safely hold up to 250 horsepower. And their are already ZX3's running around safely with turbo setups.
 
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