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I posted this over on Focus fanatics but i figured id post this here as well because local input might be even more useful in this case, so if someones already gone through and read this, sorry lol Rolleyes :

hey guys i am at a cross roads as to what to do with my cars, I haven't started my build yet but I am planning to this summer. my problem is now i am not sure what vehicle to set as my daily driver, and what to build on (over a few years mind you) as my rally car and am looking for advice/opinions on what to do.

right now i am running my 06 Focus GFX as my daily, and the car sitting is my 02 Focus SVT. the original plan was to run the SVT, but seem to be more expensive to run over several day events. so currently i am thinking of switching gears and putting the SVT on as my daily and taking the GFX off the road to work on.

now that being said, my SVT needs work, there is a bit of surface rust (not of my doing i only bought the car a few weeks ago) and it needs new tie rods, and a shifter cable adjustment as well as a major interior overhaul. the GFX on the other hand is in good shape over all less a good paint job, but there is 0 rust on the body and rockers etc. of course the biggest difference is the power output of each engine 170hp vs 145hp, which i realize is not the most important factor in rallying or rallyX but it helps. the bonus though, ive already done most of the work to the GFX, which means i could begin running it much sooner, but could be disappointing results before boosting or doing engine upgrades in the future. The GFX is already set up with 15s which means i wont have to go through the hassle of changing the brake sizes and finding wheels to fit the 4x108 pattern. also it already looks like more of a rally car lol. being as i work in the parts business I have parts for both, stock and performance, available to me readily for the initial build, but the costs over time seem to be better with the GFX.

they both have their pros and cons and i want a second opinion on this, i am certain that i have other thoughts about this but i am at work and typing this in segments, so if something does not seem to make sense thats why.
Go with the Duratec. The big reason is the SVT is a PITA to tune if you upgrade the engine or go F/I. Not many Tuners will tune it... The Duratec on the other hand has tones of cheaper priced parts and the potential is limited to your wallet.
The SVT has a tranny that is near impossible to get parts for and if it already has rust, then you are only looking at getting rid of it in a the next few years. The rust will only help weaken the body structure plus all the pounding from the Rallying around you will be doing.
The SVT may have more power and bigger brakes but the power is at the top end and the brakes.... yes they are amazing. Just spend the money and upgrade or swap to the 06.
Besides, with all the 2012 ST's the Duratec scene is coming to an end and plenty of people have built motors and boost parts too lol

That's my 5 cents if you care.
thanks Scorcher, so its good to know that i am not being paranoid about the future of SVT parts, and that was one of my main concerns. fingers crossed, the rust is only cosmetic, ill find out more today as i am about to dive into the body work, but ive already done a pretty close inspection. I work at a parts store too so getting parts to boost the duratec is even cheaper. the SVT doesnt seem to have the luxury though as a lot of stuff is dealer only.

it also seems to me that the bigger brakes while in theory are better, would actually be a hinderance, because i would have to change them anyways in order to fit a more important rally feature, gravel tires. the 17s i dont think would be up to the punishment.
Ya no, you'd bend those SVT wheels in a heart beat. But you could always put 16"s on and upgrade the rear brakes. But run the brakes for now and if you can slow down enough then you know what you need to do.
Also you should started a Build thread in the Focus On Performance section and take lots of pictures too!!!
(05-31-2014, 09:43 PM)Mobius Wrote: [ -> ]because i would have to change them anyways in order to fit a more important rally feature, gravel tires. the 17s i dont think would be up to the punishment.

FWIW you can fit 16s over SVT front brakes.
(06-01-2014, 02:44 PM)ZTWsquared Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-31-2014, 09:43 PM)Mobius Wrote: [ -> ]because i would have to change them anyways in order to fit a more important rally feature, gravel tires. the 17s i dont think would be up to the punishment.

FWIW you can fit 16s over SVT front brakes.

but would that not be really tight in the wheel well? i mean obviously it would need to have the struts and springs replaced regardless, but even so most rally gravel tires seem to sit at 15". good to know though for when i put snow tires on though.
Hey so I'm hope I'm not too late to chime in on this being that we run 2 ZX3 rally cars on our team in the Ontario Performance Rally Championship and select Canadian Rally Championship events!

Short answer: Run the one with the 5 speed MTX75 trans. This is because you can get a plated diff. from KAAZ or others which is what we both run. This is because you can get the MFactory 4.75 final drive and close ratio 3-5 gears later down the road and have a very competent box that tops out about 150 km/h; perfect for the car with the power it has (which we also run). Later if you want you can increase power through progressively adding parts or going to full spec by building an 8000-8500rpm redline NA motor or turbo. Remember though that the turbo has to breathe through a 32mm inlet restrictor to satisfy the rules which kills your powerband nearly completely above 5000rpm. If you aren't thinking anti-lag and dogbox etc ($$$$) forget about it in my opinion. I've been competing in rallying for 5 years so take what you will.

The big thing people don't understand is gearbox. Get a good one and the engine doesn't matter because the box always keeps you in powerband. Forget things like "the SVT header is the besssttt". It's not for rally/racing. We're rarely ever below 4000rpm because our gearbox allows us to stay there. 4-1 FTW as they say.

We have bolt ons like 4-1 header, straight through exhaust with high flow cat (as per rules), volant cold air intake, Xcal 3 with off the shelf tune etc. Just small things that way. The big deal for rally in order is: safety stuff (roll cage, seats, helmets, fire suits, harnesses etc), reliable reinforced suspension components/rally specific suspension/brakes/tires. Notice how I didn't include more power in there? That's because I set a top 10 overall stage time (2nd overall in regional ontario class) over many turbo 4wd subarus evos etc. at the Rally of the Tallpines this year on the first stage with just those bolt ons I listed. It's about experience skill and talent, not power. I also did 3-2nd overall Regional finishes this year as well. It's quite fun being on the podium spraying champagne beside two turbo 4wd cars! Time and time again low power 2wd cars driven on the limit can best 4wd turbos driven not as well.

You can of course mate a 5 speed to the SVT engine and end up with that. To be honest though if you were to go that route as the SVT has an awesome head on it, I'd ditch the complicated intake manifold and VCT for a sheet metal style or similar swap the header and non VCT cams and run it that way.

Alternatively the Duratec also has an awesome flowing head, Cosworth or Godspeed (cosworth knockoff) intake manifolds available for it and they've been seen to make near 300whp NA in full 13:1comp spec. Which by the way is far too much for a 2wd rally car. The general consensus is that max. useable whp per wheel for gravel rally is about 100-125 so total of 200ish WHP is quite perfect. Believe me you won't know what to do with 120whp on gravel for the first few years. If you have access to OEM Duratec parts for cheap then I'd be looking this way. You already have a potent engine in stock form, the proper tie rods, the best front callipers, knuckles, balljoint pin size, strut hole opening size and rotors. Hopefully you have rear disc and if you want you can upgrade those to SVT rears though it's not necessary. Remember though that a lot of what you need will be aftermarket stuff but OEM parts are always needed too.

As for wheels/tires; gravel rally tires come in 14" and 15". There used to be 13" but those are gone as are most 14". So you're basically left with 15". That means you can't run the 300mm rotor SVT front brakes. However you can run the 280mmx25mm front rotor 06+ Focus brakes which happen to be the exact brakes that came in the Ford Racing Rally brake kit along with SVT rear brakes which you already have! Those SVT rears are also 280mm which creates a proper bias front to rear. For rims you want the 15"x6" 5/10 spoke 2000-2004 Zetec rims. They're cheap at the wreckers and strong as heck. Spent years on them pushing quite hard.

Now all that being said check out Rally Sport Ontario (RSO) and CARS rally (Canadian Association of Rally Sport) for a lot more details if you haven't already. CARS governs all rally in Canada and the regional clubs like RSO setup and run events in each region.

If you have any other questions PM me or come to an event to see the cars running!