I just confirmed one of my worst fears...
The Pre-98 connecting rods are completely different than the 98+ rods. That means that Focus rods and pistons won't work.
I was reading through my Burton Power catalog the other day and noticed this...
Zetec E to 5/98
Length = 5.36" Small end = 20.63mm
Zetec E 5/98 on
Length = 5.545" Small end = 19mm
I confirmed it by looking it up in my Helm Service Manual. I'm going to find my CD-ROM manuals and see if the connecting rod crank bores are the same.
Either way, this is not looking good for anyone that wants to build up a Pre98 Zetec. Burton lists connecting rods at 174.75 pounds each or $1392 for a set of four.