2000-'07 Ford Focus |  Buying Guide |  Article

2000-’07 Ford Focus | Buying Guide | Article

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Ford’s popularity for making inexpensive automobiles dates again to the early 1900s. At a time when automobiles have been reserved for the wealthy and the prosperous, Ford’s meeting line manufacturing helped cut back the prices of the Mannequin T from round $1,000 to $360 in about 7 years. Ford turned well-known for its potential to virtually launch automobiles from its factories at unprecedented pace, and the corporate shortly turned synonymous with versatility, practicality and accessibility.

Ford’s potential to construct automobiles for all kinds of individuals and functions has not waned within the years that adopted, and subsequent success tales embody the F-Collection pickup vans and the ever-present Mustang. Ford’s newest achievement has been the worldwide C-platform automobile, recognized right here as the unique Ford Focus.

Ford launched the Focus to the North American marketplace for the 2000 mannequin yr, changing the arguably profitable however visibly getting old Escort mannequin line. The Focus was supposed to be a crucial aspect of Ford’s New Edge structure, and its broad mannequin vary included a hatchback, four-door sedan and five-door wagon.

Focus changed the mushy, informal model of the Escort with sharper edges, upturned headlights and plenty of angular strains. It’s noteworthy that incarnations of the automobile within the North American and European market additionally share the identical traits. DNAdiffers primarily within the present drivetrain.

Europe purchased the Focus two years earlier than we did, and whereas it acquired numerous variations of the brand new twin-cam Zetec engine, patrons on this facet of the pool had the choice of a 2.0-liter, single-cam engine; LX And SE four-door sedans and a couple of.0-liter DOHC Zetec. Zetec, ZX3 hatchback and best-in-class ZTS sedan, whereas optionally available SE trim it. Each engines are paired with a five-speed handbook transmission or an optionally available four-speed computerized transmission.

A variant of the one discovered on the 1997 Escort and Mercury Tracer, the single-cam engine supplied 110 horsepower and was characterised by a cut up port injection setup. It obtained little or no after-sales assist. However Zetec has been warmly welcomed by the aftermarket and fans. Regardless of this, each engines pulled the roughly 2500-pound Focus our bodies nicely, and the auto press heralded the agile, balanced dealing with and total high quality of the package deal; it was destined to be a successful components.

Variations on a Theme

Not solely has the Focus been lauded as a fantastic road automobile, it additionally has a revered racing historical past, most notably within the FIA ​​World Rally competitors. These six-figure machines have been despatched into battle with 300-horsepower engines with all-wheel drive and turbocharging and only a small contact of actual Focus DNA.

The Focus WRC racer made his debut within the 1999 season. The automobile shortly turned a staple of the sequence, due to the successes of prime drivers corresponding to Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Markko Märtin and later Marcus Grönholm. The Focus is at the moment one in every of solely two factory-supported automobiles within the lineup, outstripping older class stalwarts just like the Subaru Impreza WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.

The Focus was out there in lots of variants, from sedans and family-friendly wagons to sporty three-door hatchbacks. Their versatility extends into the world of motorsport, the place Focuss excel in rally, autocross and highway racing. The sportiest US mannequin, the SVT was out there with a two-tone inside (crimson or blue accents) and a strong 170 horsepower, 2.0-liter Zetec inline-four engine. Picture Credit score: Courtesy of Ford

This Focus rally automobile would change into the template for the final word road embodiment of Ford of Europe’s turbocharged Focus RS, the primary era automobile. Whereas the RS was by no means imported into america, from mannequin yr 2002 the North American Focus acquired its personal injection of adrenaline, and sports-compact fans greeted it with a smile.

Ford’s Particular Automobile Workforce felt their little ZX3 Focus deserved to hitch the ranks of the manufacturing facility scorching rods, in order that they set about engaged on an SVT mannequin. To handle the usual Focus’s shortcomings within the engine bay, SVT engineers fabricated a therapeutic massage model of the Zetec engine. It featured a rigged consumption manifold, hotter cams with variable consumption timing, revised interiors with an elevated compression ratio, and a tuned exhaust manifold that was clearly designed for efficiency.

This extra highly effective engine is paired with a Getrag six-speed gearbox. The transvestite obtained a dual-mass flywheel aimed toward lowering residual noise. Together with a stiffer suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the automobile was blessed with an expensive leather-based inside and upgraded instrumentation. Greater than 14,000 SVT fashions have been produced, and finally a five-door variant joined the unique three-door model.

Mild Refreshment

To higher combine the mannequin with the remainder of the Ford vary, the Focus obtained a restyling for 2005. Each inside and exterior have been utterly renovated.

The engine lineup has additionally been modified, as horsepower has elevated from 130 to 136 in the usual 2-liter fashions; The bottom mannequin was decreased to a single cam engine. The optionally available 2.3-liter engine reached 151 with a 6-horsepower enhance, and this bigger Duratec engine was customary on the ST sedan, which changed the SVT.

The Focus ST additionally got here customary with versatile disc brakes, ABS, 16-inch wheels, traction management and a five-speed handbook transmission. The revised, extra cell gear made it virtually as quick because the SVT.

The Focus remained largely unchanged from 2005 till the second era car emerged for the 2008 mannequin yr. Different nations obtained an all-new Focus primarily based on the corporate’s C1 structure, which it shares with its company cousins ​​the Volvo S40 and Mazda3. Nevertheless, the second-generation US automobile nonetheless makes use of the first-generation Focus platform.

The unique Focus loved a protracted, high-volume manufacturing spell. And like a lot of its predecessors, the Focus is gentle, easy and straightforward on the pockets; A superb start line for a efficiency machine.

Issues to know

One of many Focus’s greatest benefits is its huge American gross sales figures of round 300,000 for the 2000 mannequin yr alone. Because of this pre-owned examples are very fairly priced, though the restricted version SVT Focus is fetching greater costs due to elevated demand.

powertrain

The five-speed transmission is fairly stable, however not with out flaws when confronted with elevated horsepower. Steeda’s Gus Irizarry warns that the shift linkages can change into worn and want changing.

Inventory clutches cannot deal with greater than 230 horsepower on the wheels. Exedy clutches present good efficiency shifts, and each Richard Holdener and Steeda, creator of “Excessive Efficiency Ford Focus Builder’s Handbook” vouch for items in high-power purposes.

The manufacturing facility peg-leg open differential is hardly ample for efficiency obligation and may be changed with higher parts like Ford Racing’s T-2 unit or a Torsen.

Suspension

The manufacturing facility Focus suspension is without doubt one of the automobile’s strongest options. The automobile grips nicely and turns nicely, however as everybody is aware of, physique roll follows it. Oscillation turns into an enormous subject, however good, thicker anti-roll bars can clear up the issue.

Additional enhancements in suspension may be achieved with new struts and comes. Socks could also be a bit of mushy.

The inventory brakes discovered on base fashions lack the power to face up to tough dealing with, however SVT parts can repair that.

The rear hub/sub axle assemblies on the bottom mannequin can flex below load and trigger wheel bearing issues. Steeda recommends changing it with Focus RS elements.

Engine

Most patrons keep away from SPI engines for something aside from pedestrian purposes. Valve issues have been reported and these may cause catastrophic engine failure round 100,000 miles.

The 16-valve Zetec is a dependable development machine. Regardless of dangerous rumors, do not all the time consider what you hear. Preliminary makes an attempt at compelled induction did not go too nicely, however right this moment’s Focus tuners proclaimed the Zetec to be stable with a reliable tune.

The Zetec responds nicely to plain bolts like intakes, headers, exhausts, head work and the occasional 75 shot nitro. FSWerks, Steeda and Ford Racing all inventory efficiency elements.

FSWerks gives a variety of bolt-on elements for the Focus, together with turbo kits for each the two.0 and a couple of.3 liter Duratec. With the two.3-liter engine turbo package, they promise a rise in efficiency by over 75 %; The output of the two.0-liter engine will increase by at the very least 70 %.

Pay specific consideration to the timing belt on the 2000 and 2001 fashions. O-ring leaks can happen in each the thermostat and the water pump.

Steeda tuned a naturally aspirated Duratec to 204 horsepower on the wheels. They used Cosworth’s cylinder head, camshafts and consumption manifold.

Need extra torque? Kugel Komponents gives a package that places a small-block Ford V8 and eight.8-inch rear finish within the Focus chassis. Actual hitter: It is a bolt-on package.

Physique and Inside

The Focus exteriors are pretty wear-resistant, however do not be stunned to see some chipped paint and clear coat put on on the nostril, particularly the entrance fascia, due to the mixture of robust commute work and sloping hood.

Lose some weight. Steeda gives a 15-pound carbon fiber hood for the 2000-’04 Focus

Each the leather-based and cloth interiors resist tears properly, however cloth upholstery house owners swear it has an unmatched potential to soak up stains that may by no means be eliminated. In the meantime, the internal plastics adhere nicely and present above-average scratch resistance.


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