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Ford Focus Hatchback ZX3 - Part VIII

mznmzn Posts: 727
edited March 2014 in Ford
We're still on the list for club status and I'll
keep everyone posted on progress as I know it. In
the meantime, let the adventure continue!

For folks just joining us, you can catch up by
reading Part VII here. In the first post in VII
you'll find a link to VI, and so on. Earlier Parts
are still available in Archives and you will be
taken there automatically by using the link. We
don't want you to miss anything!



  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Anyone had a problem with their hatch being difficult to open or jamming, or the "hatch ajar" lamp staying lit after shutting the lid?
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    I recall some people with the wagon having some of those problems.
  • IVD will be available in the 2001 Focus models. It is a stabilty control system that works to keep the vehicle from rolling over. There will be a small YAW sensor under the passeneger seat (like in an airplane) that detects when the vehicle approaches enough side motion to roll the vehicle over on its side. The IVD system works with the anti-lock brakes (thus ABS is required) and applies individual brakes necessary to keep all 4 wheel on the ground. This is a big selling point in Europe after the Mercedes Benz roll over problems with the a-class vehicle.
  • tognetertogneter Posts: 245
    I've done a little informal survey around the Seattle area. Over the last week, I've counted 34 Foci, 8 of which are ZX3s. That's around 23%. I asked my dealer when I took delivery, and he guesstimated that they sell about 5 sedans/wagons for every hatch. And hatches seem to be more well accepted here than most places (at least there are a TON of Golf/GTIs, but this town is V-Dub crazy).

    Anyway, that's my informal survey. I'll count to a hundred, maybe, and let you know what the final percentage is.

    Anybody else?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Sometimes I think my fiancee and I own the only two ZX3s in Houston - I never see them on the roads, although the sedans are getting to be more commonplace. However, if I had $1 for every chrome-laden SUV or monster 4WD pickup, I'd be shopping for a new Ferrari now! :)
  • tuner1tuner1 Posts: 44
    Ive seen mostly sedans and wagons but just one ZX3 in sandgria red.
  • imsoyboyimsoyboy Posts: 34
    I've only seen of which is mine...Another was a much older man in the same sangria red as me and a white one in the gas station...oh yeah about the fuel indicator...does anyone know how come it takes sooo long for it to show a full tank when filling up. The other day I filled up (was on 1/4 of a tank) and it took about 1/2 hour to show full...
  • gabegarwickgabegarwick Posts: 127
    I think the hatch is holding it's own here in Des
    Moines, Iowa.
    I'd say the numbers are pretty equal.
    7 hatches
    5 sedans
    1 wagon
    (Of course, these are just the ones I've seen or had reported to me be friends.)
    Saw an Autumn Orange Sedan yesterday. I really
    like that color. There is a Dodge Neon parked here
    at work that is almost the same color.

    thanks silver_bullet for the info on 'backlight',
  • tuner1tuner1 Posts: 44
    Check out the june issue of automobile magazine.I felt the comparison should of been made against the:civic ex,golf 2.0,and the neon with 132hp.Either way our hatchling held it's own!
  • goochzx3goochzx3 Posts: 8
    I go to Rutgers, so my numbers are a little weird.However, in town there are at least three other ZX3s. College students like hatchbacks.

    Also, when I went car shopping, the dealer was low on hatchlings, 'cause parents are buying them as "gifts" to their graduating high schoolers. Look around college towns in Sep, ther'll be ZX3s a plenty!
  • rubberbanrubberban Posts: 37
    the june issue of sport compact car has an article on the interactive vehicle dynamics system on euro ford focus. seems like a next generation traction control system. i'm no expert but it's purpose is to keep the car from slipping. it works with both the abs and the traction control system.
  • Hey guys, I've got a limited budget this year so whaddya think I should upgrade first? I'm deciding between 17'' rims and sticky tires ($1200) a quaife limited-slip diff ($1250) or an H&R coil-over kit ($1500). I'm kinda leaning towards the differential, as I'd probably get the best performance gain from that. But then again, the wheels just look so dang good, its hard to resist them. And as for the coil-overs- *drool. They sound like they'd help a bunch with body roll and stability but I'm still hesitant to fool with the suspension. Any comments/suggestions/ideas?
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Posts: 516
    In a two county area, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, of NYS, I think there is only one other ZX3 (rainforest green). It could be a rental (of dealer employee's) as I also see it at a dealership quite often. Lot of sedans, and a few wagens. Someone told me that there is also a white Z running around, but I haven't seen it. Anyway, I'm way outnumbered by sedans and wagens. But, I like the attention!
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Posts: 516
    Keep it simple. Catback exaust and the chip and air intake! You'll blow their minds.
  • tuner1tuner1 Posts: 44
    Go with the 17''rims,I would avoid the diff on a new car.As for the coil-overs they are sweet but consider what you could get for $1500.For ex.[lowering springs,euro shocks,airintake,cat-back exaust and even a superchip]the last 3 mods. can net you 25-30hp and elimanate that 106mph speed gov.!
  • tuner1tuner1 Posts: 44
    exhaust,eliminate.OOPPPPPPPPPPS!I also wanted to add thicker swaybars and adjustable cam.gears.
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
  • Thanks for the advice guys! This is always the first place I look for info! But I still have a few questions- why should i avoid a limited-slip on a new car? I'd love to get all that power down to the road. And wouldnt an all-in-one suspension kit be better than a pieced together setup? (How would I know all the parts would work together?) I am willing to pay a bit more for long-term reliability and quality. As to the engine mods, I'm not as experienced as all of you guys, so I'm not sure I'd want to fool with that. (But if I did, I'd probably grab some adjustable cam gears and a cat-back, as you guys suggested.) For now, I'll probably just concentrate on handling and save the power issues for next year. I think I'll start with the rims........ then the suspension, then the diff...(uh-oh, I'm getting carried away again!) There goes all my money!
  • hmmmm an extra 25-30hp sounds tasty- dont think I'll be goin 106mph though. lol. thanks again tuner1!
  • jwkessler1jwkessler1 Posts: 99
    I took the plunge and ordered my ZX3 today. I expect delevery in early to mid July. At least I'm hoping... I went with a third dealer - A big Ford place in Binghamton NY. They matched the $100 over invoice price of the previous dealer, but are much more convienent to get to.

    I skipped the lower price offer because I don't have a lot of confidence in that dealer's service department. I figured it was best to support the dealer that's more likely to give me better support.

    I stuck with the yellow. I set the retouched photo as my work PC's desktop picture and stared at it all morning. It quickly grew on me.

    Even in that form the Z attracted a number of comments from coworkers. What's the real thing going to do?

    I went for a drive this afternoon, passed a different dealer, and spotted a white ZX3 on the lot. I immediately stopped and shot some pix with the digicam. I think lighter colors are quite effective on this car.

    I was able to modify the color of the white pix a lot better then I could on the silver. I posted three views ofthe car in yellow on a simple web page if anyone wishes to give them a peek. The full size versions look a lot better then the down sampled and compressed versions on the web page. If anyone is interested, I can send out, or post, the bigger versions.

    Note that the old link I gave yesterday is now dead. I'll keep this one alive until we see some pictures of the real thing.
  • hatchqueenhatchqueen Posts: 27
    Man-200 posts later I catch up...
    I've read several posts saying that Koni's upcoming shocks will be designed to work with the stock springs. Will that be a problem on shorter springs?
    Rubberban-any new thoughts on your chip upgrade?
    Re: comercial with focus. Someone commented on the recent commercial featuring the focus. I believe they are hatchbacks. Its a commercial for Honey Bunches of Oats.
    Jwkessler1-the yellow in your pic looks exactly like the zinc yellow zx3 featured in Super Ford.
    Gas cover: I was pouring over Pa's airplane supply catalog(he's building a plane). The tank covers seem to match more closely the one installed on the Focus R, but they seemed to be the direct connecting type you see on motorcycles. I didn't see how they could be used, bummer. Keep in mind I don't really know how these are set up.
    Mods: I know you're all sick of this topic. I personally love the slammed japanese look. It's nice if someone does something outrageous, even if it is a little silly sometimes. I hope we didn't scare off the mighty projectzx3, I love his posts.
    I wanted to hear more about the borla cat back he was installing.
    I reached 1400 mil., this car is smoothing out beautifully. But it feels less "broken-in" in the 5000 rpm area, where I haven't gone is much. Hope this passes.
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    jwkessler1- congrats. i really like the look of
    that zinc yellow. way to go with your gut instinct.
    i dont think it looks silly at all,actually a great
    match for such a radically-designed car.personally,
    i dont think anyone could pick a wrong color for the z-they all look good.enjoy!
    silver bullet- i had a bad hatch lock,it kept getting was replaced. striker post cushion + assembly is now being replaced under warranty of course.
  • qualequale Posts: 5
    Anyone know how the "FOCUS" and "ZX3" emblems are attached on the hatch? Was thinking of removing them but didn't want to be stuck with little visible holes.
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Posts: 516
    Stuck on, but be careful. Dental floss helps with removal. Theres a post on this on one of the other websites. "", think that was were I saw details on removal.
  • rubberbanrubberban Posts: 37
    so far i have the chip and focus sport cool flo intake installed and i think it's a great combination. throttle response is greatly improved as with passing power. the car goes from 60-80 in a flash with plenty of low end torque. basically this combination almost forces you to drive more aggressively and that's fine by me. i'm still waiting on my borla cat back

    as for power mod's, i know we all went through this before but i'll reiterate the argument and say that i think it's highly unlikely that the simple mods of exhaust, intake and chip will produce 25-30 more horsepower. somewhere between 10-20 seems more realistic.

    as for wheels, i was really tempted to get 17 inch wheels but the idea of adding unsprung weight to the car is a major negative. especially after investing my hard earned money and time into making my car a little more athletic. i didn't want to negate this increased power by carrying heavier wheels. it was still tempting so instead i opted to put on better tires on the car (potenza re730) obliging me to get good use from both sets of tires before i get those wheels. hopefully by then there will be a larger selection of wheels and i can find something that's close to the stock wheels weight (16.75 lbs each).
  • segacidesegacide Posts: 15
    After doing a TON of research about aftermarket upgrades, both online and in shops I have come to these conclusions:

    1: KurtZ Kustomz intake is a sham. It may increase throttle response but all the other claims of functionality on their website are unfounded. Go for the Focus Sport intake or another brand with a heat shield. I know Focus Sport extensively tests all of their products before selling them. That's where I'm going to buy a majority of my upgrades. KKM also sells another haphazard upgrade: The super chip. Another untested item not worth voiding part of your warranty over, I'm waiting for Focus Sport to bring out theirs.

    2: Never lower your focus without upgrading your stock shocks at the same time. The stock shocks are too weak and won't be able to bounce back, eventually they are rendered useless.

    3: Don't add decals and banners to your car without actually adding upgrades. You are viewed as loser by everyone when you can't walk the walk. This is THE #1 pet peeve of all the aftermarket parts dealers online and in shops. When your car says KKM or Focus Sport, there better be an item under the hood to justify the sticker. Aftermarket parts stores actually sell more decals and stickers than they have parts for, so legit customers like me have to be put on back order for a window banner when all the posers have them without the parts.

    4: Overall: the focus is still too new in the US to risk many untested upgrades. I wouldn't want anybody here to go without their ride. I'm still waiting for my Focus to get here in Germany. I'll be the first one on base with a 3 door. Maybe even the first one in this section of Germany, all I see is the 5-door models around here.
  • tuner1tuner1 Posts: 44
    I just wanted to say that 25hp is possibly with just the exhaust,intake,superchip.Think about it 5hp from the exhaust,5hp-intake for a total of 140hp.The superchip will up that by 10%-15%,now your talking 24hp-31hp.I understand that only a dyno run can prove these numbers.In response to post #28,the ford ZX2 sold here in the states uses the 2.0zetec engine with only minor differences.If you check out a few ZX2 sites you will see favorable responses to the superchip upgrade.
  • zx3guyzx3guy Posts: 9
    Well, I went to the local Ford showroom to have one last look at the Zinc Yellow ZX3. After walking around it a few times, I asked the dealer to go ahead and change my colour from twilight blue to the yellow.

    jwkessler1's doctored pic of a yellow Z is very good, but I wouldn't base my decision on it. The actual colour, IMO, is more intense, for lack of a better word....

    My only concern is looking silly in such a brightly coloured car. I decided that if I regret my choice, I can always get it repainted. (My cousin owns an autobody shop....he'll repaint it at cost)

    So, has anyone else seen a *real* yellow hatchling yet? Any thoughts?
  • tuner1tuner1 Posts: 44
    Remember guys and gals our stock alloys are made using the casting process which makes them cheaper to make and heavier.I plan on purchasing a good set of forged alloy wheels which cost more but are lighter.Best of both worlds I'll have 17in wheels and they'll be lighter than my stock 15inchers.
  • zx3zx3 Posts: 167
    I was informed the ZincYellow of the Z hatchling is "identical to VW New Beetle yellow".
    If true, it means you're going to be one happy dude. I've seen a yellow New Beetle --- the color's so intense it knocks yer socks off.
This discussion has been closed.