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· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy an ST220 at the moment and have a few questions:

Exactly what changes were made in 2003 and 2005?
When is the cam belt & tensioner normally replaced?
Is the ECU programmed to take either super or standard unleaded or should it only ever get super?
Are there any model specific issues I should look out for?

I'm looking to buy a 2003-2005 ST220 with about £5-7k to spend.

Many thanks,


· Founder (Retired)
356 Posts
Hi Alan,

General differences are as follows:

Post Mid 2004 Models:

Chrome exterior styling
6 speed gearbox
slight improved brakes
Sony CD player
Improved interior plastics

I'm sure there are some other things but they are the main things.

If you're not a fan like me of the chrome exterior, then if you look round you can pick up a part facelift, it will need to be a mid 2004 model, like mine, you'll find it has all of the facelift features apart from the chrome and better brakes.

The ST220 Duratec Engine is chain driven.

It will run just fine on standard unleaded and I should think Ford would have done most of their testing on standard, super etc is just a bonus if your wallet can hack it!

There are some various problems I've heard of, such as sagging rear bumper which happens to post 2004 facelift models... ford updates the rear bumper slightly and it has foam supports which eventually give a little leaving a visible gap between the boot/rear light clusters and the actual bumper (there is a fix for this in the tech forums). The only thing the Mondeo is prone to is the rear bushes going, but to be honest I'm not aware of anything else major with them.

Just be aware from my experience, whilst xenons are nice to have, if they go worng its hits your wallet hard... £90 per bulb from ford (can get them online for £45) and about £250 for the module attached to the rear of the headlight unit... one of mine went which is basically a chunk of metal with electronic gubbings to control the xenons, there's one on each headlight.

My only other bit of advice is be prepared to spend some money upgrading the brakes... they're awful as standard (dont know what Ford were thinking putting them on such a heavy and powerful car).

I'd definately go for a mid 2004 onwards model and with upwards of £7k you'll bag yourself a great deal, hopefully low miles on the clock.

All the best with your search... any more questions do ask.


· Registered
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jim. I know where you're coming from with the Xenons. Been there done that unfortunately. A faulty HID lamp on my Accord Type R had to be replaced at a cost of £704 last year. Can't begin to tell you how annoying that was! And it was an MOT failure so had to be done there & then.

Did the 6 speed box only come in in 2004? I thought the major change was summer 2003? It seems most likely I'll be looking at a 2004 model ... hopefully with under 60k on the clock.

Will be interesting to see with the brakes. I have an ATR right now and it has pretty good brakes ... but I've used it's discs up in just over a couple of years and many pads! It's not as heavy as the ST220 so I might be in for larger bills if I don't learn a bit more subtlety! Set a new record for tyres last year with 6000 miles for the front set (no, no track days). Yay! Not.

Out of interest, what kind of "upgrades" tend to need declaring to your insurance company? Would brakes count? Might be worth doing when they run out, but I hate not being able to get a standard insurance quote!

I take it petrol wise it is actually tuned to take super normally? My ATR is and has a big 98 RON warning on the fuel flap - the ECU can sense standard unleaded and apparently remap for it, but in practice, I've noticed some pinking and a lack of high up power when forced to use it.

· Registered
1 Posts
I've got a 2002 ST220, and the only difference I can see in putting super fuels in it, is it costs me more at the pump! By all means try out putting RON 98 into your new purchase, but it runs perfectly well on standard unleaded.
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