Focus SVT Modds

35

Asked by Nov 28, 2008 at 07:11 PM about the 2003 Ford Focus SVT 2 Dr STD Hatchback

Question type: Car Customization

Alright soo i bought a 03 Focus SVT silver with black and red interior,has the 6sp,has cold weather package and a magnaflow cat back on it, i was wonder which would be better,a sleeper w/ cams,cold air intake from aem,pulleys,cam gears and maybe nos, or spend the big bills for a jackson supercharger and maybe the upgrade kit from ford racing....and wondering about simple exterior mods,simple body kits, head/tail lights and maybe neons, hood,wing, and suspension improve ments, and wheels/tires and maybe brakes, thanks for any imput toward this, own right now i have 2000 for the car, i just got rid of my 88 Camaro soo yeah my first 4cyl, my camaro was fun soo i want something economical but fast and fun...

32 Answers

2,040

To start with, don't apologize for buying that car. I am one of the biggest Honda freaks you'll ever find; BUT! That SVT is quite respectable and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It has a decent HP/WT ratio, DOHC and the same HP as an Integra GSR for far less money! It comes factory with a high flow air intake and exhaust system, you shouldn't need to do anything to those components. FIRST you need to determine your budget and remember, if it doesn't make the car faster, leave it til later! Don't worry about body kit, wings or brake upgrades. You can consider more bolt ons but you have to look at results vs. cost. Cams will be very expensive plus the labor involved. It will give you better bottom end and improve the top end marginally. Since the car has a mild factory modification, you could go with a nitrous system up to about 75 HP shot. BUT! If you get caught spraying, your ass will be made an example of! Ford racing is application specific for that car but again pricey. The best initial choice is a computer upgrade. The underdrive pulleys will give a marginal gain. You may want to consider a true header rather than the factory header. I'd go with a high flow cat converter. That's about the only reasonable thing you can do initially. When the clutch goes, you can get a lightened flywheel to gain more bottom end. Jackson Racing is changing all their superchargers from roots type to a turbine type. If you can locate a JR system with the roots blower, it would certainly be your best bet! I'd get the car running strong before I fussed over body modifications. You are gonna get messed with by Honda and anyone that knows nothing about your SVT. I'ds remove the SVT badging, lose the SVT wheels and have a sleeper. If you play it right, you'll win enough money from "wannabes" to modify your car the way you'd like. I did so with my CRX because it was a SOHC VTEC, no one respected it until I took their money. BTW, the SVT burns premium fuel because of the compression requirements. And...you're gonna get a LOT of opinions about your question. I'd CONSIDER everything but only do what's the most bang per buck!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
55

jackson supercharger

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
985

... id probaaly agree but cmon man back it up with something...

35

ik and i forgot to mention the guy i bought it off of had magnaflow cat back put on it, but like i said i did come off of a Camaro, i love that car to death still have things a beast if i could get the svt to the camaro status and still get better mpg than it, the MARO has around 475 hp to the crank and 6 sp gets about 12 city and 24 highway on a decent temp. day but yeah thanks for the help i have been thinking about different wheels and maybe just uncorking the exhaust and intake more and getting as most weight as i can out of the car, i have another question, how will i get the seats out if i want to change them, they have bun warmers....thanks for anything, this is my first 4 cyl, my dad said i can use about the same prinicple for the 4cyl as i did for my v8 in my camaro, which i think is true, and i would to ik u would hate it but beat all the ricer civic in my town with ther big exhaust and wings an shit...

985

lol... really with that car you will be taking a different approach than the V8... that car is breathing pretty much as well as your gonna get it to... you could do a cold air intake system but you wont see much... Id go with a ECU tuner(btw the SCT is very nice for most SVT vehicles as are superships...) then i would look at a set of heads and a cam... If i am not mistaken (and im looking at a older spec car for comparisin) The fuel system is as good as you will need for a long time... the pumps are commonly pulled out of SVT focus for mustangs because they are the same pumps that went into the Ford GT supercar... SWEET STUFF HAHA... the engine will be very hard to get to 475hp without HUGE dollars but with a nice cam/head job i think you will see 220 crank out of it and it will pave the way to look into FI for the car... id build the car with the intent of throwing a turbo setup in it when the time comes... you should be able to see a good 350hp out of it with a good turbo setup... you weigh nothing so it should move pretty good... but i dont know how much better the fuel economy will be... lots of these small displacement cars start to eat fuel like no tomorrow once they start putting out good horsepower... If you are looking for track performance i will always recomend a set of quality rubber and a suspension upgrade... How deep are the rims you have just for fun???

2,975

he probably cant back it up lol he just knows what the brand name is

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
35

yeah umm they are stock svt rims on now, i live in ohio at the moment but moving to arizona for a job soo yeah it has winter tires on the front, but yeah it is a hugh step from a v8 but i still have it see, but yeah i've seen turbo kits but its at my budget of 5k right now...soo yeah thats is out of question for the moment but i do want to take into the super street time attacks in the street fwd class....i think it would be fun... soo yeah thanks for the help

35

ok i would like around 300 fwhp, k? and i would like to make it lighter and get something for the suspension, when i get to my new job i would be able to support im going a tuning shop in arizona soo yeah, they specialize in evos and porsches but with my knowledge it will be a ride and i think i might just get a different wing,carbon fiber hood and rip the interior out of it...

985

If your gonna track it then the best 4 things you can do are suspension, tires, brakes, and lighten it as much as possible... on 5k you can do pretty big brake upgrades, good start on the suspension, and get a decent horsepower bump id think... you also might be suprised at how cheap some turbo kits are... im suprised to hear a xV8 musclecar owner say wings and carbon fiber hood... lol... ur wing wont help your track times no matter how many flames are on it hahahaha... jj gl with the build...

35

yeah, ik alot of ppl of surprized but then again my town is just full of ricers, ill tell something else i prolly know more about hondas then the whole ricer crowd in my town,half of them dont even change their own oil.... but yeah i have 2k right now saved but the 5k is a modest budget right? i thought soo, my camaro cost 12,000 car and build...

35

and im not a xV8 guy i still have it, guy gave it back to me right as gas started going down, and oh i live 45 mins from mid-ohio sports car course,if u heard of it, and like 2 mins from a decent 1/8 mi strip i think i can round out the svt to do both, couldnt i?

985

you could but to get the best of both worlds your gonna need an adjustable suspension and 2 sets of tires... the FWD will be a lot harder to get off the line... and you wont see 12s out of it without a lot of hp... the biggest problem with the track is that too much power to the wheels will make it a tricky little ***** to drive... if i were you i would make the svt into as good a road course car and the cam your quarter car...

35

yeah ik the camaro its good,its ok went 12.67 at 103 on falken street tires, when i was doing my mods to it i thought about making it into a pure drag racer and putting a 540 cu.in big block out my dads old drag car but ....yeah and i could make either of them in a pure racer since i have a truck and trailer... and thanks for the info really helped with my decision...

55

Fine let’s back it up... to really get some hp out of the SVT your going to need to go FI (turbo, SC). Since u cant really run big boost with out further reinforcing the engine internals its best to go supercharged, and with SC you get power off the line. Jackson racing makes a direct app for the SVT so that’s your best bet. To really improve the performance of the car bottom line get an engine tune. Diablo makes a really good tune and if u get the flasher you can upload the tune easy as pie. After the tune you'll wonder how did I drive without this. And with the flasher u can monitor a lot of variables. And it tells you all the check engine codes not a number it actually says what’s wrong i.e. faulty o2 sensor. That alone pays for it self. Next your going to need a lowering kit the SVT is pretty low already so it doesn’t need much. Too low and u will be rubbing the wheel well liners and you'll start realizing how annoying the exhaust manifold is right where the bend by first o2 sensor. As you have probably noticed when you floor the car I the fount end lifts up slightly and the back squats that takes of valuable weight off the front wheels and since the focus is FWD this is bad with the lowering kit all this is solved and looks like a killer with ground effects. But be careful you will have muck more torque steer (when the wheel yanks to one side). All the other stuff cams, CIA, exhaust manifold, big brakes, and rims are all a waste of money except for the CIA only if you go FI. The brakes are good as they are, and the wheels are good just get some performance tires and you'll be ok. Even if you don't go FI since you’re trying to save gas. I think the tune and lowering kit are the best bang for your $ mods.

55

I’m not a mechanic but I do know more that the brand name Fred.

985

i see your point... and i guess it all comes down to how far he really wants to take the car... if he plans to dump more money into it in the future then i wouldnt sc... id turbo once the internals are done... a svt pushing 21lbs of boost will be quick... lowering the car a bit will help with the lift effect... but the SC is big dollars.... he could probabally do the internals/head/cams/and suspension for close to the same price... which i think is better bang for buck... as for his rims and tires the rims should be plenty deep but heel need a wide set for the quarter if he wants to be competitive... a tune is always a good place to start any build especially a 4banger... so really Kyle it comes down to how much are you planning to spend total... i mean im planning on building a 800hp monster mustang... so im starting with the internals, then doing the brakes and suspension and then doing the power... so im in control all the way.... ... so just something to keep in mind... ps nice cam...

2,975

nice i give you respect now im not into fords at all but at least your not like other people and shy away from a good argument much props

35

oh and my svt is daily driven, but yeah the camaro might turn into my drag racer, throw a full BMR suspension under it and a all alum. big block prolly round 460-496 ci and like gutt it out, and then have th svt with turbo and cam and head work and have it not fully gutted but different seats,autopower roll bar, harnesses, and no rear seats, and im gettin a shift light soon, but yeah thanks for everything, i think im gonna boost the svt and then put a big block down the throat of the camaro, thanks to all who replied, thanks really, and thanks alex u were a big help! bye for now, if u want ill keep ya posted on how it all goes for both cars?

35

oh and im changing my plan for HP in the svt round 300 crank hp...do u think i should get lower compression pistions like -4cc or -6cc forged and then port and polish the head and get cams? but thanks for any help to all you guys?

35

well see im not really into them too, my mom and dad both have only had chevy bunches of camaros and nova and chevy trucks, my mom right now is driving a 05 Cobalt SS and my is driving a lifted and modified 01 silverado 2500 with a 6.6 duramax, soo yeah high performance is in my blood, i put the svt becuz 1 only 40,000 mi, ik it was a fun car to begin with and the guy only wanted 3500 for it... so yeah u get what im saying my camaro was the first car my mom actually bought new, and prolly will be her last... soo yeah

35

then throw on a turbo, prolly do all the work my self, piping,turbo header,downpipe, uk everthing and a intercooler, i have right now as we speak 3500 to spend on the car i would like to only go to about 7-8k total...

985

If you are going to turbo then I would look at lower compression. If you can do the work yourself then you should be able to get 300chp out of her on about 5-6k I'd set aside some to have it dyno tuned. The benifits from a good tune will not only benifit the power but the life of your engine. And really 300hp is lots for fwd is a good handful. And weighing nothing will make you plenty fast on the street. But sure if you wanna keep us updated that'd be cool. The svt should be fun going around corners on 3 tires. Gl with the build.

2,975

i hate chevy with a passion especially the cobalt lol the cummins diesel will walk all over that duramax that you speak of lol

15

Dude, great choice. The SVT has to be one of the best driving cars I've ever been in. But on with the mods. Just so you know, I specialize in SVTF's, and the thing that breaks my heart the most is kids that put body kits and neon and shit on them. They look awesome as they come. Second, AEM is by no means a bad company, but the stock air box with a K&N panel filter is good for anything your looking to do N/A, so your fine there. And third, if your going to do an exhaust, go to Focussport.com and get one of those. Not rice, not fart canny, and they're made right since this company specializes in Focus's. Suspension wise, I'd go with no more than a 1" drop or your asking for it. Brands, I would go with anything recognizable, as in no EBAY shit, and make sure you get some good sway's and such, not just springs. If your going to do it, do it right. The stock breaks are the right size, but your going to need to put some quality parts on there. I suggest EBC pads and Powerstop disks all around. For the pads, I'd stick with the Green Stuff, because Blue and Red are too aggressive for every day use and they wouldn't get enough heat for good performance on the street. As for the $2000 bucks, I suggest you start by getting yourself a custom tune. Tom's tune to be specific. Now, I know you've probably never heard of this, but it's a good hidden secret in the Focus community that Tom does the best damn tunes on the planet. Go over to my regular site, Focusfanatics.com and look me up, SPIman2.0 . I'll head you in the right direction for tom. Well, that's my lengthy 2 cents. Happy tuning! Daniel.

35

alright guys heres my update i bought a turbo kit from xios motorsports for 5000 a custom intake from CFM motorsports and ford racing 70 mm throttle body. im getting a 3 inch down pipe made that will be going into a trubenz 3 inch exhaust with magnaflow muffler and i sent the computer out focus sport for a custom tune, and i have a 2 wayl sd and a reworked 1-4 gears installed, im having one dilenma, i cant find any suspension pieces really, here what i have installed, the turbo kit is installed intercooler,the intake and throttle body and wired up, msd wires and denso twin tip plugs,adj. cam gear,the 2 way las and harden gears,the trubenz exhaust, and ebc pads and powerslot brakes and for cool factor i painted the calibers red and a strut bar and im just trying to find suspension pieces like springs,shocks/struts and sway bars if u guys would help that would be awesome thanks for all the support ill keep ya posted...

35

oh i will be running 12.5 psi on 93 octane, xios motorsports made 295 hp on the same kit same psi with bout the same set up cept for the intake and throttle body and running on 91 octane, soo im hoping to have lot more power, but idk if its fwhp or crank either way thats a good number for stock intake manifold and throttle body... soo yeah it'll be fast if i can get to hook,im hoping to have it complete by summer soo we can cruise and hit up some track days with it, oh i am put head/tail lights and carbon fiber hood on for appear and thats it, and ripping as much of the carpet and interior panels as i can...but the stock seats have to stay becuz i dont want to deal with heated seats parts and stuff...

45

man, I just can't understand getting taillights, headlights, a wing, and neons? the factory wings is REALLY about the best down-force option...it is good for about 25-40- lbs of DF at 60mph, and doesn't cause unnecessary drag. The SVTF is obviously FWD, so there really isn't a need for more pressure on the rear than this. If you want a nice set of headlights, hunt yourself a set of the factory HIDS! I have seen them for 150-300 bucks, and they are 11.5K bulbs...a nice blue/white without getting obnoxious. they are easy to adjust, and my bulbs have never needed a change in 5 years... if you want a track car, and you intend to give it SOME hell, the leave the neons to Dodge...you will break em in two weeks max...hell, I am dropped 1.25 in the back and .75 in the front, and even before I dropped it, not a day went by without some sort of scrape. I guess the main thing I am getting at here is, we should take care of our cars...they are definitely future classics: we have a solid, complete package. we have one of the finest factory transmissions around-super positive, and solid...this is the same tranny they use in the Focus RS' (turbo tuned focus, 280 hp) across the pond The Audiophile 9006 (when new) boomed out most of the full stereo replacements I used to do at Best Buy and a factory 8" might not be QUITE enough, but you still get some clean, solid bass. we have an easy to clean and maintain solid black interior with supportive seats that are good and comfortable; though if the int roof had been black, it would have completed the look. the honeycomb grilles are now present of just about all SS/SVT/RT/SRT/MazdaSpeeds and our car brought that pattern into the modern hot-hatch/coupe days. Their about as reliable as any other focus (though pricier to work on) and the fact of the matter is, the overwhelming majority of the SVT Focis produced have already been crashed out (be it total or a repair job). and according to online "For Sales" and Ebay, my car is realistically only worth about 1.5k less than what I paid for it 3 years ago...

35

yeah i decided not to do head/tail lights but i am doing the carbon hood for weight, i hav almost everything installed just waiting for the ecu to come back from focussport

35

i did lower the compress down to bout 9.5:1 still running 94 octane, have everything installede, just waiting for a new spec clutch,rims,street tires and time attack tires, which are both BFGs and wheel spacers for the track. i did all the work cept the porting of the head and the install of the pistons. but everything else i did in my 1 car garage on jack stands, im still wondering bout suspension, i got sway bars for a regular focus but are larger that the stock svt, if u could help me with suspension that would be nice, any1 that would like to help go ahead im up for anything.

35

i did lower the compress down to bout 9.5:1 still running 94 octane, have everything installede, just waiting for a new spec clutch,rims,street tires and time attack tires, which are both BFGs and wheel spacers for the track. i did all the work cept the porting of the head and the install of the pistons. but everything else i did in my 1 car garage on jack stands, im still wondering bout suspension, i got sway bars for a regular focus but are larger that the stock svt, if u could help me with suspension that would be nice, any1 that would like to help go ahead im up for anything.

35

If your really serious about time attacks you should look into a limited slip. With that much power, or even with stock power, you will find it very hard to hook up leaving corners even with decent auto-x slicks

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