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dipole
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I've got about 500 quid to spend.  I want a Focus Mk1.  At that age condition is most important but of all the various Focus models that are available would it be fair to say that a MK 1 facelift model with a 1.6 litre petrol and manual transmission would most likely be the most reliable of all the Mk1 cars to buy?

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On the mk 2 I've heard that the 1.6 petrol standard non vct is fairly solid and the 1.8tdci.  Not sure if these engines carried over from the mk 1 though.....you'd need to do some research on that.

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I had a April 2001 mk1 1.6 petrol. it was a good car, the body seemed to last very well rust wise and mechanically excellent. what was not so good was the front suspension cross member / subframe got a rust hole on the underneath of it that needed welding.  also the rear suspension cross member and all of the rear suspension arms were very rusty but never failed the mot when i had it. It was 15 years old when i sold it.  remember if you get a 1.6 pre 01 march 2001 it will cost more in road tax than 1.6 01 march 2001 onwards (pre 01/03/2001 done on cc not emission level). I had the car from 7yrs old to 15 years old (mostly driven by my wife) and the only parts replaced in that time were tyres and the front brake pads (once). I was very pleased with it. only sold it as my wife said she wanted a newer smaller car in a different colour! .

I am not sure if there is anything better about getting the facelift.  Both are quite old and there is unlikely to be much difference in condition between the 2 as they are both old enough for there to be some quite bad ones for sale.

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If you do test drive it, on any old car try to listen for a faulty wheel bearing. If you get a mark 2 watch out for the cluster problem on certain models though there is a cheap fix. Also the timing belt and water pump may need changing I did mine at 118 000 miles. If you do look under the car, check the condition of the bushes at the rear and rust. Rust may be fixed with a little autosol and a metal brush. You may also need to flush the power steering fluid £30 as it would probably be black. Though even the focus mk 3 has problems called the steering assist though there was a recall, so you can check the car on this site https://www.etis.ford.com/vehicleRegSelector.do;jsessionid=oxq9q1Uep775lpWMDK5zjhewu1svQe2lUihYSQcI.eccvas1900n

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9 hours ago, Gavin01 said:

My MKII facelift is rock solid.

1.6 standard petrol?  Out of curiosity what's the mileage?

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10 hours ago, Gavin01 said:

My MKII facelift is rock solid.

Snap! My 2008 mk2 as well and only on 56,000 now :)

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if you were thinking of doing the timing belt yourself on a 1.6 petrol ford - it is not easy as the pulleys are not keyed on to the shafts (the cranskshaft and the two cam shafts) so you need certain special alignment tools etc

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3 hours ago, Albert27 said:

1.6 standard petrol?  Out of curiosity what's the mileage?

Yup Petrol. Mileage is kicking on towards 80K. I've replaced parts such as rear hubs and control arms, and i reckon I will be replacing a few more bushes soon. But the car is nearing 10 years old now.

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My MK2 saloon (1.8 TDCI) is still going strong 134K miles on the clock, all the expensive bits are still original.  Just had wear and tear items such as a couple of coil springs, bushes, discs/pads, battery, alternator etc.

It seems the MK2 can be a reliable workhorse if looked after.

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I took a mk2 06 1.6 vct (vct fixed at 100,000) to 225,000 miles.

Stuff I had to fix in 3 years and 125,000 miles.

clutch

handbrake; new shoes, cables, drums, adjusters.

coolant leak at the join as it enters the cabin.

binding brake calliper.

wheel bearing.

new pads and discs.

3x power steering leak; union nut etc twice. Once it was leaking at the reservoir.

aircon leak, never fixed it.

bonnet lock!

leaking from vent flap and spoiler bolts into the boot.

boot button.

rust was starting to bubble on the rear arches when we parted. 

Soon learnt how to persevere and fix things myself.

Just check out the basics and hopefully you'll be lucky and find on that'll last you as long as needed. Good luck.

 

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