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Zetec conversion

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:46 pm
by pauljones
Having just got a 2.0ltr Blacktop zetec of Ebay, and a Retro Ford alternator mounting system and RWD sump too. I was wondering what else I would need to convert to RWD for my plus 2. I will use the Emerald EFI I have on my twink and I know I will need an exhaust to fit.but what else is required ?


Re: Zetec conversion

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 5:57 am
by ElanSeries2
Its not all 100% required, but a reasonable list might be:

Front bowl sump
Modified water manifold for rear of engine (although others may have approached this differently). You could pair this with an electric water pump.
Engine mounts
RWD flywheel & ring gear (I don't know how this differs - see Retro-Ford site?)
Standard Pinto clutch
Spigot bearing
Starter motor
Dirt shield engine/bellhousing
You have to do something creative as far as the belts are concerned; you may want a smaller diameter pulley (to aid clearance, eg the one from Dunnell)
I think you have to machine down the dowels from the engine to the bellhousing
Water system header tank
Engine breather catch tank
Obviously, you have inlet and exhaust to worry about, but you know that.
To be honest, most of this is just lifted from the Retro-Ford site.

It looks to me like the only real modifications (ie you can't just buy off the shelf) are:
1) engine mounts
2) how you approach the front pulley/chassis clearance issue
3) exhaust routing to keep ride height acceptable

Re: Zetec conversion

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 8:27 am
by pauljones
Thanks for the input.
Forgot to mention but for now im going to use the lotus 4 speed gearbox. This is because one, I have one.And two as much as id like a 5 or even 6 speed box I do not have time to source a suitable replacement. So I think I need a 1.8 zetec flywheel thats been fitted with the standard lotus clutch. Im open to opinions from the guys that have done this before.
Cooling seems to be another BIG debate point in the archives. As I have Clives full width radiator with twin fans id like to continue to use it. So this will need to be addressed. Again id take on all relevant opinions.

As and when time and funds allow ill post updates.

All advice greatly received.


Re: Zetec conversion

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:37 am
by Spyder fan
Clive's full width rad will provide more than enough cooling but you will need to move or alter the inlet outlet to suit what you are doing with the water rail or get creative with the silicone hoses. I use a Tony Thompson 26r style full width rad on my +2 Zetec suitably altered as mentioned above. Works fine all day long on the hottest day of the year stuck in traffic on the M25 or whatever, never goes above 85c.

Send a PM to John Pelly ( GrumpyBodger ) he pioneered fitting a Zetec before Spyder thought about it and has the standard 4 speed Lotus box as well as all the standard running gear, he devised his own solution to the water rail as well as making a bespoke sump. He's a little unwell at the moment so be gentle and perhaps he won't bite your head off for being an upstart youngster :mrgreen:

Re: Zetec conversion

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 4:56 pm
by PeterK
I've fitted a 2l silvertop with Emerald ECU into my Plus 2, but most of the following will apply to the blacktop. This is from memory, but please ask if you need specifics.

Engine mounts - I used Spyder mount brackets (bolt to engine) and standard Plus 2 mounts connecting these to the chassis. Engine seemed too far forward, so I mounted the engine behind the engine mounts, rather than the normal in front. I also slightly relieved the bulkhead flange.

Clutch - Escort 1.8l flywheel (lighter than2l), drilled and tapped to take Pinto pressure plate and standard Lotus friction plate.
Using 2000e box - Neil McCarthy at 105speed provided a lengthened release bearing spigot. Standard release bearing used. On Neil's advice I also used the larger diameter clutch slave cylinder (Mexico?). As mentioned, also need a spigot bearing for the end of the crank.
Pre-engaged starter This has the solenoid on it, so I chose to remove the original starter solenoid and fit a cut-out switch. Alternatively, just wire the solenoid to the output on the starter's integral solenoid.
As mentioned, the dowels between engine and gearbox needed machining down in diameter. I only used the top part of the engine/box dirt plate. A combination of Metric (at the top) and original bolts (elsewhere) attach engine to box.

Water rail (I used Raceline), with sensors for ECU temp input (needed to drill larger diameter and tap). I use the ECU to trigger the rad fan, with the original sensor to feed the internal temp gauge (needed adapter). I have also wired a temp switch into the rad, as a back up in case the ECU temp sensor fails.

The water pump runs the 'wrong' way, because of the original serpentine belt arrangement. On the Silvertop you can use the Escort 1.8 water pump as this runs the opposite way, but for the blacktop, I think that you need to get a different impeller. It also helps (only for the blacktop) to modify the outlet of the standard pump so that it comes off at 90' to the engine rather than the original angle. Cam belt has to come off to change water pump, so while I was there, I replaced the cam belt.

As well as a sump, you need the dipstick - I used 1.8l Escort. I've an early space frame Spyder chassis, which needed a cut out to clear the front pulley. I used the 1.8 Escort sump, and there's a mounting lug at the front left side that needed removing. Anti-roll bar drop links needed extending to clear the sump.

Oil pressure is a switch on the Zetec, so I fitted a tee-piece to give a take off the the oil pressure gauge. The Zetec runs at 90-100psi, so the gauge is always on the maximum stop - somewhat binary really.
The oil filter fouls on the steering column, so I used a filter intended for the Westfield. It's about half the standard depth, so I'll change twice as often as normal.

I gave up trying to fabricate an exhaust manifold (things are really tight) and waved the plastic at SpyderCars again.

Fuelling is Jenvey throttle bodies, with Zetec manifold. The inlet gasket is the paper one from a 1.8, as it doesn't have the unnecessary extra holes from a 2l. Injectors are 320cc/min. For those without EFi, you need a swirl pot and both flow and return pipes (8mm cu). I used gravity flow into the swirl pot, via allow pressure filter to a 5bar pump and high pressure filter. Pressure regulator is in the engine bay. I raised my fuel tank so that all pipework is in the boot, necessitating a shortening of the fuel filler pipe. I tee-d the swirl pot overflow into the left side tank vent pipe.

Cooling-I used a rad from 1l VW Polo, with hi-flow electric fan and pipes are a combination of silicon bends and straights, aluminium tubes and tee-piece, and some 15mm Cu pipework to link to the heater and the expansion tank.

Ignition is standard coil pack, mounted on the bulkhead, so I had to make my own plug leads.

Alternator (75A) and bracket - different mountings between Silvertop and Blacktop. Fuses and relays for the ECU. I also used a battery suitable for a Mondeo.

Re: Zetec conversion

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:56 pm
by pauljones
Hi all,

Well after a long time of delays, the enevatable flee bay dodgy blokes, oh and work commitments, I have got my engine. A few things have changed,Its now a 1.8ltr Silvertop with MT75 box,this has had the gear position moved forward already (both came from a lotus elan so was moded to come out at normal position) It runs on an EFI system formaly sold by YKC/Trust electrial and uses an Omex V3 500 ECU. It came with a very nice looking 4-2-1 manifold with an O2 sensor built it (narrow band). The alternator has been changed to the ACR style too. It also has a nifty raceline coolant rail with loads of sensors all over the place, in fact its a pretty full system.

So all i need is the time to fit it ???????

I think first ill strip it all down and give things a good check over as well as clean up head castings and do a bit of port matching and a mild polish,nothing too over the top. Im understanding its a 115bhp base engine so a set of uprated cams will find their way in too. Ill keep the 1.8 as its the same stroke as a 2.0 so with much smaller pistons and less weight reasearch sugests its a much rev happier engine. It will end up being fueled and sparked by my Emerald currently being employed to look after the twink,so the 40mm TBs should be ample.

Things to do (read more to spend on)

The coolant rail didnt have a thermostat or cover so ill need to source,
Radiator, I have a Clive boy rad with twin fans that may need to be profesionally modified,or source a new one.
Modify standard Elan chassis to fit,or modify my early Spyder version again to fit.
Source engine mounts.Probably a good chat with Sean is in order.

So, Any opinions from the floor on what else i should be considering?

Rear end will be 3.54 lotus diff with solid driveshafts and im really after a torquey enging so cams will be 2.0,gives a good increase for not alot of outlay or if funds allow a set of Kent/Piper/equivelent.