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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking of getting a Focus wagon to drive around in. I've seen '06 with 167k for $3500. The Sable is up over 225k, and I'm just waiting for something to rust apart. It willprobably run long after the body has fallen off it. Small hole in the passenger side floorboard as it is.

How is the Focus at serviceability? Alternator, oil filter, etc? Recently replaced the alt on the Duratec, using air hammer, cutoff wheel, etc, and would rather not do that again. Can't heat up the alloy block enough to get the stud out.

How well does a Focus go through snow? I would get a set of snow tires for it, as the county doesn't plow after about 5 pm, and I start work at 6 pm.
 

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I don't own one but we where looking for one back in the summer. I like the way the Focus rides/handles and the room in the wagon. Problem is, we test drove 4 of them and all had some NVH issue in one form or another. From a lot of road noise (almost sounded like bad wheel bearings) to an odd howling from the windshield area. We would have bought one if it didn't have these sounds and if the prices were a little lower. We were looking for 05-07 models with low miles but they were all listing in this area for $15,000 give or take a little. Instead, we bought a new Vibe for $17,300. Doesn't ride as nice or have as much room for cargo but the rest of it is great for a small wagon.
If you get one, stay away from 2000-2001 models as they had plenty of recall issues. A buddy at work has an '02 and he loves the thing. So far he has had no mechanical issues with it. If you want specific serviceability issues you might want to hit up a focus site as they would have a better history.
 

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As a Ford tech, I can tell you the Focus alternator is a nightmare! But other than that the Focus is a great little car. Awesome on gas. Wife had an 04 Focus ZTW wagon. Never see any major problems with them.

Link to our old Focus:
click here
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As a Ford tech, I can tell you the Focus alternator is a nightmare! But other than that the Focus is a great little car. Awesome on gas. Wife had an 04 Focus ZTW wagon. Never see any major problems with them.
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Any worse than a Duratec alt?

I would use it mainly for getting myself back and forth to work. Then again, maybe the wife will use it, on all the chasing around she does. Better mileage than the Windstar, if she likes how she fits in it, ease of ingress/egress, etc...

I guess I will have to try one out...
 

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I like the wagons, I had a 1998 Escort Wagon that I bought brand new. They really do a good job with their limited space.
 

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We have an '03 SPI and a '07 Duratec.

The Duratec in the Focus is real easy to work on. Spark plugs all in a row at the top and the oil filter is right there in front of the engine sticking straight down. And it's pretty peppy for the four cylinder. The only thing I don't like is sometime after '03 they changed the head rest to push your head forward.

The SPI is slow. Even in the sedan it takes some time to get up to speed. It's even worse with people in the car. I would avoid it. On the SPI and Zetec, the oil filter is on the back of the engine and is kind of a pain to get to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think the SPI wasn't used in the Focus wagons. They work just fine in an Escort. I used to have a '88 Escort wagon, until the head cracked, and I crashed it. The frame was bent a bit, or else I might have fixed the head and drove it more.
 

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Here's one with the SPI:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Cars-Trucks...%3A1|240%3A1308

But judging by what's on eBay, most of them came with the Zetec (2000-2003) or Duratec (2004+). The Zetec is pretty peppy. It has some nice low-end torque. Too bad they're known to blow head gaskets. I believe our '07 gets better gas mileage than the '03, but that could be attributed to the drivers too.
 
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