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Tell us the story behind your ride. What made you pick this particular one? Where did you find it? My wife's '04' Volvo V70R was in the shop for over a month and we were sharing my '10' Focus SES. That got old fast so in the meantime, I went shopping for a cheap beater focus to commute to work. I found the '04' Focus locally on craigslist, checked it out and made a $500 offer. The kid took it (I should have offered less). It ran pretty decent, little did I realize how extensive the scope of work was going to be. All of the wheels were bent to some extent (the worst one was in the trunk flat), all of the tires were worn down to the steel belts, one of the rear stabilizer arm bushings was wasted so when you drove over 45mph the thing wavered back and forth like a dog waiting for a peanut butter snack, the door handles were both broke etc., etc......but it ran decent and I needed a cheap ride. The manual trans was cool, and the 2dr hatch was kind of sporty. All in all, kind of neat. Parts shouldn't be outrageous either. Describe the modifications you've made. Where did you start, what’s the most recent mod and what motivated it? I probably started with putting some used rubber to the ground, every tire was worn to the steel belts when I bought it. Next was probably repairing and replacing the door handles and linkage. When I bought it, you had to open the drivers door from entering the passenger side and reaching across. If the doors were locked, you could only get in through the hatch with the key fob. I only had one key and one fob, so this needed to be addressed soon. Then I think it was alternator, coil pack, vacuum leaks, floor model JVC stereo with Polk Audio speakers I had, home made cold air induction with an old K&N cone filter, another set of used SVT wheels from craigslist to replace the bent ones that came with it, used SVT door and side panels along with the SVT back seat from craigslist, tie rod ends, used steering knuckle with correct ABS sensor casting from salvage yard (was replaced by previous owner with non-ABS knuckle), front and rear suspension with Energy Suspensions poly bushings, poly dog bone bushings, Koni STRT shocks & struts with Eibach sport springs, Energy Suspensions front and rear sway bar bushings, used front SVT seats from craigslist, new in box Magnaflow 2-1/4 catback exhaust from craigslist, Steeda short shifter, new rear brake lines and brake fluid flush (local shop), clutch safety switch. Of all the mods you’ve made, which do you think offers the biggest bang for the buck? Not sure, it definitely needed major suspension and exhaust work....although it was nice to finally be able to open and lock the doors normally. How did you go about selecting the specific parts for this build? Any installation tips to share? Upgraded as the parts needed to be replaced. It's more or less a budget build as you go project. If I find parts on Craigslist that I'm interested in and if they're in the price range I want to spend, they get added to the build. Remember, this is a daily driver/work beater, so I can't get too crazy. What are you planning next? Clutch master cylinder replacement. Next would probably be a header install and custom tune. I may purchase a knockoff Cosworth intake, clean it up and port match it install at the same time. Maybe a new windshield to replace the cracked one and fix the sunroof drive gears. The list is endless when you think about it. The previous owner was a smoker, so the headliner is really nasty. I was thinking of recovering it with a blue tartan plaid, ala Magnus! Something cool and different. Maybe flares and wider wheel tire package. It can't be too time consuming, I like the idea of always having it on the road for work the next morning. What’s been the biggest challenge with this build? The Weather!!! No garage!!
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