Ford Zetec - Fitment

As mentioned in my introduction to the Zetec, it is designed to be mounted transversely across the car. When it is being installed to a kit car, its typical orientation is longitudinally. This requires a few modifications to be made. In some instances, these can be done yourself, and in others, products are available off the shelf.

If you pick up an engine from a scrap yard, it is likely to come complete with many ancillaries which aren't required such as the air conditioning compressor and power steering pump. These can be discarded, though I recommend you keep any pulley wheels if possible as they may come in useful for yourself or others.

The Sump and Oil Pick-Up Pipe

In most kits, you will want to keep the engine below the bonnet line but also allow some ground clearance. The solution to this is to shorten the sump so the bottom of the sump is level or slightly above the bottom of the bell housing. By shortening the sump, the oil pick-up pipe will also need shortening appropriately. As usual, there are various methods of achieving the same solution and your choice may depend upon which variant of the engine you have.

Phase 1 and 2 engines have a single piece cast alloy sump and a separate windage tray. To shorten the sump, the bottom will need cutting off the standard sump and additional pieces of aluminium will need TIG welding on. Baffles will also need to be added, either to the aluminium sump or the steel windage tray. Due to the porosity of the alloy and the fact that TIG welding kit is required, an already modified sump or Raceline cast sump are far easier solutions than doing it yourself.

On my original Phase 2 engine, I had three Tiger shortened sumps, all of which leaked to some extent despite having the final one TIG welded round the inside as well as the outside, and using JB Weld round the areas the welder couldn't get to. Many people have also had similar issues with the Westfield shortened item, though the Dunnell shortened sump seems to suffer less. The Raceline cast sump has no reported issues, but does cost more than double that of any shortened item.

Offside View of Series 1/2 Shortened Sump
Offside View of Series 1/2 Shortened Sump

Nearside View of Series 1/2 Shortened Sump
Nearside View of Series 1/2 Shortened Sump

Series 1/2 Windage Tray with Baffles
Series 1/2 Windage Tray with Baffles

The Phase 3 engines have a two piece sump, the upper part being cast alloy and the lower part being steel. Only the lower steel part and pick-up pipe require modification via welding and this can be done reasonable easily with any MIG welder. The only thing to be aware of is that the engine may have a plastic oil pick-up pipe. In this case, a steel one can be bought for the Mondeo Phase 3 engine and a slight modification made to the cast aluminium section to allow it to fit. Please see my Phase 3 Zetec Sump Chop page for more details on the Phase 3 sump modifications.

Series 3 Shortened Tin Sump
Series 3 Shortened Tin Sump

The Gearbox, Flywheel and Clutch

In order to mount the engine longitudinally, the engine will need attaching to a gearbox from a rear wheel drive car. Thankfully, the gearbox bolt holes on the Zetec match those used on previous Ford engines from the X-Flow, Pinto and CVH. This means that any of the gearboxes from those cars will just bolt straight to the engine.

On the Tiger, the only 5 speed gearbox option is the Type-9 due to the larger space required for the reverse housing on an MT75. Hence, this section will only cover the Type-9.

The Zetec creates more power and torque than any of the engines the Type-9 gearbox was originally attached to and consequently the gearbox will wear quicker and need rebuilding more often. There are solutions to this such as the BGH heavy duty gearbox.

Before fitting the gearbox to the engine, a spigot bearing will be required. This is a small roller bearing around 20mm in diameter which is inserted into the end of the crank using a drift. The nose of the gearbox input shaft is then supported by the bearing which prevents unnecessary wear on the end of the crank or input shaft. The Ford part number is FINIS code 1554973.

Spigot Bearing
Spigot Bearing

To transfer the power from the engine to the gearbox, a flywheel and clutch arrangement is required. Once again, there are many options, including using the standard flywheel, lightening the standard 2.0 flywheel or purchasing a lightened steel flywheel. Another thing to bear in mind is that if your donor engine was connected to an automatic gearbox, the crank position sensor housing will need replacing by one from a manual Zetec. This is available cheaply from Ford and has a FINIS code of 1663863.

The standard 2.0 litre Zetec flywheel is quite heavy (approx 9.9kg excluding clutch - 10.5kg including clutch) therefore I would recommend sourcing a flywheel from a 1.8 or 1.6 Zetec as they are just over 1kg lighter (approx 8.8kg including clutch). If opting for a 2.0 Zetec flywheel, you will require a standard 2.0 Zetec clutch and a clutch release bearing from a 1971-88 Ford Transit 2.4/2.5 diesel (Quinton Hazell part CCT303).

The 1.6 and 1.8 litre Zetec flywheel can also be used and, as stated above, these are around 1kg lighter than the one from the 2.0 litre engine. This will require a standard Mondeo 1.6/1.8 Zetec clutch plate and cover, along with a clutch release bearing from a 1972-1984 Ford Capri 1.6 OHC or 1970-1982 Ford Cortina 1.6 OHC (Quinton Hazell part CCT133)

Changing the weight of the flywheel doesn't make any difference to the power output of the engine, but it does mean there is less mass to spin up and down. When moments of inertia are taken into account, a small difference in flywheel weight can provide the same difference in acceleration that a significant reduction in the cars overall weight would achieve.

Lightening a standard cast iron flywheel can have disastrous consequences if the flywheel becomes damaged or unbalanced in any way, so should only be undertaken by people competent in the area. They should also be able to advise what clutch, release bearing and starter motor will be required. Companies who provide this service include Dunnell and Minister.

The final option is to purchase a lighter steel flywheel. These are available from many companies including Raceline, Burton Power and Tiger. The manufacturer should be able to supply details of the clutch, release bearing and starter motor required.

Personally, I wouldn't take the risk of having a standard cast iron flywheel lightened and would either stick with a standard flywheel, or spend the small extra amount of money on a lighter steel flywheel.

The Tiger lightweight steel flywheel is actually manufactured by Burtons to Tigers specification and weighs approximately 6kg without the clutch assembly. This uses a standard 2.0 Pinto clutch and release bearing.

There are some problems with the Tiger cast flywheel. Firstly, there is a chamfer from the main flywheel down towards the mounting flange. This stops too close to the bolt holes and consequently the bolt heads don't sit flat, so this ideally needs machining.

Machined Flywheel
Machine Flywheel

Secondly, the mounting flange is slightly thinner than the standard Ford flywheel and consequently the mounting bolts are too long, causing the crank to lock solid when they are torqued up. The Tiger solution is to cut the flywheel bolts down around 1 millimetre which I wasn't too enthusiastic about. My solution was to use thin washers under the bolt heads to retain the integrity of the flywheel bolts. These are more than capable of handling the clamping forces involved and, more importantly, don't compromise the integrity of the flywheel bolts.

I have since found out that the flywheel bolts from an automatic Zetec are around 2mm shorter than the ones from the manual engine, so these can be used safely whilst not causing problems with them locking the crank.

Starter Motor

If using the Tiger lightened flywheel, or any of the standard Zetec flywheels, you will need the starter motor from any OHC Pinto based Sierra from 1982-1989 or any CVH based Sierra from 1987-1993. This is a Lucas LRS543 or equivalent.

Please be aware that this is available in two variants with different diameter motor housings, one around 3½" in diameter and the other around 5" in diameter. The one with the larger diameter motor housing will not fit and will foul on the sump. Therefore, you will need to specify the smaller diameter model.

Oil Filter

If you have a Phase 1 or 2 engine, the standard Mondeo oil filter will probably foul on something within the engine bay due to its dimensions. If this is the case, a suitable replacement filter is the Champion C104. This was originally installed on, amongst others, Fords with the 1.6 litre CVH engine such as the Fiesta and Escort and is around half the length of the standard filter.

With the modifications made to the Phase 3 engine, we have found that the standard filter fits fine, though the C104 will still fit to this engine if required.

The only thing to be aware with fitting a smaller filter is that it will need changing more frequently. However, due to the generally low annual mileages our cars tend to do, it is advisable to change them at least every twelve months rather than the usual 6, 8 or 12 thousand miles.

Engine Mounts

This is one area where the Zetec differs significantly from the transverse engines in the Ford range. As mentioned previously, the Zetec was designed to be mounted transversely, consequently in their original home, there was one mount on the gearbox and one on the engine block. The Phase 3 engine took this further by having the block mount attaching to a cast aluminium alloy cam belt cover. Due to the large number of ancillary items normally attached to the Zetec there are plenty of potential mounting points on the block for engine mounts. These are in the same place regardless of the variant of the Zetec.

At the inlet side, just to the cam belt side of the oil pressure switch are three holes in a triangular arrangement. These are in the same relative position as the Pinto exhaust engine mount.

At the exhaust side, there are four holes in a rectangular arrangement just below the water pump outlet. Unfortunately, these are around 4" further forward than the respective Pinto mounting points and consequently miss the plate welded to the chassis. Tiger now supply a modification to the chassis with a suitable sized plate already welded in place.

When I bought my Cat, nobody else had fit the Zetec to the Cat before. I was therefore finding out all these problems for myself. The solution to the mounting plate was to either bolt an extension plate over the existing mounting plate, or weld an additional plate in and under-brace it with some box section tube. Ideally, this needs to be done before fitting the brake pipes, particularly if you are welding in the area.

With no welding equipment, nor easy access to any, I chose to bolt a plate over the existing plate. I chose 6mm steel and cut it to sit over the side chassis rail for extra support. This was then bolted on using four M10 bolts.

The next issue I came up against was that of engine mounts. At the time, there were no specific mounts available for the Cat, so I was supplied with those for the Super Six. In the Six, they are fine, but on the Cat, they gave me around 35mm of clearance between the front of the sump and the floor. I wasn't happy with the lack of clearance, so fabricated my own from steel tube and plate. I made up a jig for them and got Dads next door neighbour to weld them up for me. Dimensions are available here.

Engine Mounts
Engine Mounts

Alternator and Drive Belt

The original Zetec alternator is designed to power all the electrical systems within the car such as heated windscreen, rear screen, electric windows, seats etc. and is far over-rated for use on the Tiger.

Tiger specify you fit the Lucas LRA100 or LRA101. The only difference being the physical casings where the front and rear housing sections are rotated round 120 degrees with respect to each other. They are both rated the same with a maximum current output of 36 Amps which should be more than enough for the Tiger.

To determine whether the front and rear housing sections are aligned appropriately, undertake the following instructions.

Looking at the alternator from the pulley end, the two lower mounting holes want to be on the bottom right and corner and the single mounting hole on the front section wants to be at the top. If they aren't, remove the three long bolts holding the front and rear sections together. Carefully split the front and rear sections apart by a couple of mm and slowly rotate them round until they are in the correct orientation, then re-fit the long bolts.

Tiger supply a grooved aluminium pulley suitable for use with the Zetec Poly-V drive belt. The original Tiger alternator pulley was 54mm in diameter and, at higher engine revs, actually runs the alternator beyond its specifications, resulting in a broken alternator. Tiger have since introduced a replacement pulley which is 68mm in diameter solving this problem. After two failed alternator regulators and a couple of other alternator repairs, I swapped from the 54mm pulley to a 68mm pulley, and haven't had any alternator problems since.

The Tiger supplied alternator pulley, either version, introduces a couple of minor problems.

Firstly, the alternator spindle has a woodruff key to ensure the pulley cannot spin round on the spindle, but the pulley doesn't have a cut-out to fit over this. Tigers solution is to remove the woodruff key, thus meaning the only thing stopping the pulley spinning on the spindle is the clamping force of the nut on the end of the spindle. My solution is to carefully file out a notch on the inside of the pulley to fit over the woodruff key. This then prevents the possibility of the pulley slipping on the spindle.

The second problem concerns the fitment of the alternator fan blades. These need to fit over the woodruff key before the pulley is attached so they too cannot slip. As supplied by Tiger, the fan blades will miss the woodruff key, going too far down the spindle. They will also foul on the alternator body. Again, the solution is simple and consisted of fitting an M16 heavy washer around 2mm thick onto the alternator spindle before the fan blades. This then ensures the fan blades key with the woodruff key and don't foul on the alternator casing.

Tiger also supply mounts for the alternator. However, these are only suitable for use on the Phase 1 or 2 engines and won't fit the Phase 3 engine unless modifications are made. Mounting the alternator with the supplied mounts caused another problem. Firstly, the holes in the block for the lower mount bolts were M10 and the holes in the lower mount were 8mm. These then weren't centred over the holes in the block so needed making oversized. The back of the top mount also needed a slight modification with an angle grinder to fit over the edge of the cam belt cover. There have been numerous failures of the Tiger supplied alternator mounts and I would recommend binning them and making some decent ones in the first place! Companies such as Raceline can supply suitable mounts, but you do pay a large price premium for the privilege.

For the lower mount, a simple block of aluminium will do the job. You will need two holes to mount it to the block, a single hole from front to rear to put some threaded rod through and then make a cut out for the rear mounting point of the alternator to fit in.

Alternator and Bracket
Alternator and Bracket


The Zetec has two engine breathers, one in the crank and one in the cylinder head above the cam shafts. The crank breather has a 'box' attached to it. This is an oil/air separator and ensures that any oil that splashes up by the breather is returned to the crank and only air is expelled.

Some systems, such as the Webcon Alpha injection system, recommend recirculating these gasses via the inlet system. This does help reduce emissions, but has a consequence of depositing a fine mist of oil all over the inlet system. A far easier solution is to take both breather outputs into a catch tank which then has its own filter to the air. The filter ensures any air drawn into the crank or cam shaft area doesn't contain any damaging particles.

I originally used the Webcon recirculation system for the engine breathing, but have now changed to a bottle based breathing setup. This can be done with a plastic drinks bottle. However, I have gone for an anodised aluminium drinks bottle from an outdoor leisure shop. This cost around £8 and looks a lot better than a plastic drinks bottle.

Anodised Breather Bottle
Anodised Breather Bottle

Breather Bottle With Fittings
Breather Bottle With Fittings

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