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Modifications >> Zetec Performance

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Origin & History of The Zetec
#1039228 - 08/31/05 10:06 PM

I recommend this as a sticky (even though its not really performance related).

Ford Zetec Engine
The Ford Zetec is a name used on many inline 4 cylinder automobile engines. All are multi-valve DOHC engines, but they are based on three distinctly different designs.

It is used in cars such as Ford Mondeo, 1995-2000 Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique, 1999-2002 Mercury Cougar, 2000-2003 Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, 2000-2003 Ford Focus and 1998-2003 Ford Escort ZX2. It has been made in 1.25L, 1.4L, 1.6L, 1.7L, 1.8L, 2.0L and 2.3L capacities.

The Zetec is also the basis for the Formula Ford 2000 series from 2003 where it replaces the older Ford Pinto and Ford Kent.

Zetecs for Europe are built in the Bridgend, Wales and Valencia, Spain plants. American engines are built in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. Asian Zetecs are built in Chung Li, Taiwan. South American Zetecs come from São Paulo, Brazil, and more are built in Inonu, Turkey.

See Ford Zeta Engine for more information.
Production of the larger Zeta family of Zetec engines lasted from September, 1991 through December, 2004. Displacement ranged from 1.6 L to 2.0 L. It was replaced in most applications by the Mazda MZR-based Duratec 20, though some Zetec-SE engines were used as replacements on the lower end. Ford Power Products sells the Zeta in 1.8 L and 2.0 L versions as the MVH.

The first Zetec engine appeared in 1992, powering the fourth generation of the European Ford Escort and Orion. It was codenamed as the "Zeta" engine before Italian car maker Lancia threatened to sue Ford for trademark infringement as it already owned the name. Ford hurriedly renamed the engine "Zetec".

Early versions of the engine (prior to mid 1998) came complete with self-adjusting hydraulic valves. This helped prevent the notorious valve tapping (on the CVH) but caused other issues. The biggest problem was that a special Ford formulation of oil was required otherwise the valves tended to stick. Similarly, failure to regularly rev the engine above 4000 rpm also led to valve sticking. For these reasons, conventional tappets with shims were introduced in 1998.

The 2.0 L Zetec shared its 84.8 mm (3.339 in) bore and 88 mm (3.465 in) stroke with its predecessor, the 2.0 L 2-valve CVH.

A high 10.2:1 compression ratio and larger valves contributed to the SVT version's much-higher output.

1999 Ford Escort, 130 hp (97 kW) and 127 ft.lbf (172 Nm)
2000 Ford Focus, 130 hp (97 kW) and 135 ft.lbf (183 Nm)
2002 SVT Focus, 170 hp (127 kW) and 145 ft.lbf (197 Nm)

Later versions of the engine are known as the Zetec-E. The main difference is a two-piece crankcase which helps damp out noise and vibration.

See Ford Sigma Engine for more information.
The advanced Zetec-SE was developed in collaboration of Yamaha under the Sigma codename. It ranges in size from 1.25 L (1249 cc) to 1.7 L (1700 cc). It is extremely different from the Zeta engine - the intake and exhaust are even on opposite sides. It is also sold as a crate engine by Ford Power Products as the ZSG.

This is the primary Sigma engine. It is sold under the Sigma name in some regions, while Mazda uses the MZI name.

1.25 L
Ford Fiesta
1.7 L
Ford Puma

In 2000, Ford of Brazil developed a cheaper version of the Zetec-SE engine, to compete with the classic VW AP engines. It is 8v SOHC instead of 16v DOHC and its body is made of iron instead of aluminum. Also, its camshaft is driven by a chain instead of a belt. As a result this engine exhibits rougher behaviour, producing more vibration and noise.

On the other hand, it has a superb torque output thanks to the addition of the Rocam (Rollerfinger Camshaft) feature. It's also a much smaller engine than the SE version, which allowed it to be installed on the Ford Ka, replacing the Endura-E engine which by that time was considered underpowered and outdated.

The engine also featured a new patented process for the aluminum head production, which resulted in a better alloy than those produced in Spain and UK, and at a lower production cost.

In 2002 a supercharged 1.0 litre (95hp) version was released for the Ford Fiesta, to compete with the 1.0 turbo 16v (110hp) version of the VW Golf.

In 2003 the Zetec-Rocam engine was introduced in Europe, but labeled as Duratec 8v, for the SportKa and StreetKa models. Later a 1.3 litre version was also released as an option for the standard model, but the European versions of the engine are produced in the South Africa plant.

In October/2004 a newer bi-fuel version was introduced labeled "1.6L Flex", capable of running on both petrol and alcohol, even mixed at any proportion. This version also featured "Compound High Turbulence" chambers, as used on the CHT engine.

Currently, this engine powers nearly all Brazilian Ford models - except those with 2.0 litre engines - in many different variants:
65hp 1.0L (Ford Ka)
95hp 1.6L (Ka Action, Ka XR)
69hp 1.0L (Ford Fiesta, Ford Ecosport)
95hp 1.0L Supercharger (Ford Fiesta, Ford Ecosport)
99hp 1.6L (Ford Fiesta, Ford Ecosport)
110hp 1.6L Flex (Ford Fiesta Sedan)

RoFlow Zetec
The Zetec was superseded by the Duratec series of engines, originally called RoFlow Zetec. These are based on the Mazda MZR engines.

See Ford Duratec Engine for more information.

Two things you should learn from this;
1) Pre 1998 Zetecs came with self-adjusting hydraulic valves.
2) Zetec (an engine code name) is nothing like Vtec (a variable cam timing technlogy).

Frank McCoy aka Mod-deth aka Mid Life Crisis aka SVT Doood aka mcgainer is a SCAM ARTIST

Pre98 Zetec - Some Mods

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