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1st gen ford focus #5113949 05/23/19 08:21 PM
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WhyMe Offline OP
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looking for a smaller get around car to putt around town instead of my CRV. looking at some 1st gen ford focus seem to be in my price range $2-3 k . never driven one . anyone have expereince with them ?

Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5113953 05/23/19 08:25 PM
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Eric Smith Offline
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Go with the DOHC, the SOHC drops valve seats. The ride and drivability of our 02 is the best in our fleet is the only reason I fixed it.


05 Chevy 3500 (Class C RV) 66k
04 Escape 166k
02 Focus 145k
00 Dakota 93k
91 Festiva 257k .. Rust bucket
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: Eric Smith] #5114018 05/23/19 09:34 PM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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They are not good cars. And definitely DO NOT get one older than 2002.

Frequent electrical issues such as the wiring in the hatchback, and the third brake light assembly likes to melt (also, the bulbs inside turn black and burst!). You can repair the wiring, and Dorman makes a good aftermarket brake light assembly.

Most of them have drum brakes in the rear, and the hub and wheel bearing is built into the drum. Wheel bearing issues are frequent, and only the OE bearings are worth using. And Ford stopped supplying the OE drum and bearing assembly! Bad bearings are so loud even turning up the stereo doesn't drown it out hide
The funny thing is that Ford still supplies the rear hub and bearing assembly for the cars with rear discs, even though they are much less common crzy

The Mk1 Focus didn't come with a cabin filter from the factory, but the tray is there where the cabin filter goes (under the hood). It's kind of difficult to do with the slot under the windshield covers the filter halfway. And you'll probably break the cowl trim piece.

A lot of the switchgear likes to fall out as well. The hood release cable and a couple other things can fall on where the driver's feet go.

The transmission is shared with Mazda, but Ford left out the drain plug. You can get a pan with one from the Mazda dealer, or an aftermarket pan.

Also, both engines use a timing belt.

Coming from a CRV, or any Honda or Toyota, you will be disappointed. Ford is just not up to the level of Honda and Toyota. Get a Civic Si hatchback. The EP3 should be in your price range by now. Or any Civic or Corolla smile

Originally Posted by Eric Smith
Go with the DOHC, the SOHC drops valve seats. The ride and drivability of our 02 is the best in our fleet is the only reason I fixed it.


no-no

The Zetec has many problems of its own mad

Properly-made oil filters for the Zetec use an anti-siphon valve (does the same thing an ADBV does, but facing backwards). Fram, Wix, and Hastings make correct Zetec-spec filters.

The thermostat housing likes to explode every couple years, and coolant loss is quite common, too. And that's on top of the Zetec running hotter than most cars, and the fan kicks in later than you might be used to.

Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5114047 05/23/19 10:06 PM
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E150GT Offline
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I wouldnt pay that kind of money for a first gen. I owned a 2000 for a short while. Had 180k. Sold it and a few weeks later the engine grenaded. Dodge a bullet.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
1995 F150 XL 4.9 reg cab 5MT - 251k 5w30
2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 68k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 40k 5w30
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5114194 05/24/19 05:56 AM
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pbm Offline
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In the NY area you can get a 2005-to 2007 in that price range....they have the Duratech engine which is really a Mazda design and very good.
The 2005 to 2011 Focus were good little simple cars...the 2012 to present used the very problematic Dual Clutch AT (Powershift)....I avoided it when I bought my 2014 new by getting a 5 speed M/T which has been totally trouble free.



'Journalism is Dead'
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5114211 05/24/19 06:34 AM
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Linctex Offline
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2002-2007 are the ones I am familiar with - and all went over 250,000 without any major repairs or problems


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5114222 05/24/19 06:50 AM
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Corollaman Offline
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Bought a 2000 in 2001, base model sohc 5 speed, manual locks and windows. It had no power, I'm sure the auto was worse. I had a lot of issues for a car with 30,000 miles. The gas gauge never worked right from the start, always a quarter off. Headlight filled with water, driver seat never stayed locked on track it would loosen itself. I'm sure there was more that was a long time ago. It got great mpg, was gutless. Those cars drove more sporty than other small cars at the time.

Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: slacktide_bitog] #5114308 05/24/19 08:25 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
They are not good cars. A ...

Properly-made oil filters for the Zetec use an anti-siphon valve (does the same thing an ADBV does, but facing backwards). Fram, Wix, and Hastings make correct Zetec-spec filters.


This is a new one on me. Educate me on this. how could this work.?

-Ken


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#1 5885mi-Castrol Edge Prof? VW508+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#7 52665mi-Castrol GTX Magnatec 5W20 + SOA Filter
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: ARCOgraphite] #5114505 05/24/19 11:48 AM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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Originally Posted by ARCOgraphite
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
They are not good cars. A ...

Properly-made oil filters for the Zetec use an anti-siphon valve (does the same thing an ADBV does, but facing backwards). Fram, Wix, and Hastings make correct Zetec-spec filters.


This is a new one on me. Educate me on this. how could this work.?

-Ken


See this thread smile

The anti-siphon valve keeps some of the oil in the engine so it isn't grumpy on a cold start. It is the bell thing between the media and the red ADBV in this pic:
[Linked Image]

The filter is mounted sideways

Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5114768 05/24/19 05:55 PM
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fdcg27 Offline
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See the one in my sig, which I should get rid of as it's ready for the scrappy at about 140K.
When everything is right, this Focus drives and rides far better than the Japanese, Korean and American badged competitors of the time.
In the roughly six years and 53K that we used the car, it needed an alternator as well as a master cylinder and engine mounts. It also needed the usual brakes and timing belt. It has a serious PSF leak as it sits and I can't really see from where. Someone above noted unfindable coolant leaks and this car has this as well. Heater output is also limited although backflushing the heater core does help and I did drive the car personally through one very cold winter which included a number of well below 0F mornings.
The ztec makes ample power and is pretty smooth, but don't expect Civic, Sentra or Corolla fuel economy.
Overall, a very good design in actual use let down by a number of detail engineering lapses.


18 Accord Hybrid 20K HGMO 0W-20
17 Forester 30K VME 0W-20
12 Accord LX 115K SSO 0W-20
09 Forester 95K M1HM 10W-30
96 Accord LX 104K T5 10W-30
95 318i
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5115806 05/25/19 08:38 PM
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ClutchDisc Offline
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You definitely want to go with the newer Duratech engine as previously mentioned. I had an 05 hatch with a 5 speed manual before my current Fusion... loved it until it got totalled last year. It was a fun little car with the manual trans.


2008 Ford Fusion 5-spd manual 141k
1992 Ford Mustang 5.0 5-spd manual 151k
2005 Ford Focus 5-speed manual 86k - Killed

The box said: "Requires Windows XP or better."
So I installed Linux.
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5115826 05/25/19 08:53 PM
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KrisZ Offline
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Good cars, durable and reliable. Best combos are either the 2.0 Zetec or the newer 2.0 or 2.3 Duratech engines with the 5 spd manual transmission.
They are pretty loud and buzzy with little insulation, especially by today's standards, but all compacts from back then were like that. On the other hand, they are pretty light, nimble and direct feeling, especially when compared to today's compact cars.

I had an 03 ZX5 with 2.0 zetec and 5 spd tranny and that was a pretty sweet car for what it was. Heated seats, power everything made it even nicer.

I recently had an 07 zx3 with the 2.0 Duratec and 5 spd tranny, this is a face lifted model and while on the outside I liked it, I preferred the interior of the 00-05 models. It was a base trim, with only AC as an option and I didn't really like it. I preferred the 03 ZX5.


2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5115968 05/26/19 02:31 AM
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A_A_G Offline
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My mom bought one brand new back in 2003 and it was the biggest POS ever. Everything broke on that car and for some reason it got terrible gas mileage.

Last edited by A_A_G; 05/26/19 02:31 AM.
Re: 1st gen ford focus [Re: WhyMe] #5117669 05/27/19 09:48 PM
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Wagonmaster261 Offline
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2002 Focus ZTW wagon here. I've put 60k miles on it.

Motor mounts can be an issue. Get a Motorcraft for the passenger side mount. The aftermarket ones do not last. There is a lot going on in the mount, and the aftermarket ones just can't handle it.

Cooling fan resistor is also an issue, On mine, turning on the AC got the fans to function, so I had a plan until I got the fan issue fixed. Works as intended now.

Wiring into the hatch. Poor materials selected, seemed to be Euro influenced biodegradable wires. Wires were not very flexible in an area of flexing, and the insulation cracked in multiple places. I knew I was in trouble when I closed the hatch and the tail lights blinked. Rewired, and took some wires out of the cramped passage supplied, ran them a different way.

The rear end adds toe-in when compressed. Makes it handle better, but can chew up tires quickly if springs and shocks are weak.

Zetec engines have some issues with plastic thermostat housing that end up leaving, and PCV valves need attention. Much better than the SOHC engines that drop valve seats.

For a compact car, it does have a decent amount of interior room, and the rear hatch opening on a the wagon is about 31 inches tall. I was able to slide a sewing cabinet into it, which shocked me a bit.
The HVAC controls are simple cable actuation, no vacuum motors or electric blend doors to strip out.

I'm getting roughly 30 mpg in spring/summer, mostly highway with AC on recirculate. The Duratec engines usually do better.

It has been a decent car. Good visibility. Wagon ended in 2007.


02 Focus ZTW Zetec M1 0w30
03 Windstar 3.8 M1 0w30
96 Windstar 3.8 M1 0w30
94 F150 300 Whatever doesn't leak out too fast...
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