FAQ – Fitting a Zetec into a MK1 or MK2 Escort with a Type 9 Gearbox

Q: What is a Zetec?
A: Zetec is the name given to the family of engines fitted to later model Fords 1991> Early, Silver Top engines (Zetec – E with an aluminium rocker cover) were fitted to Escorts from 1991 onwards, late Fiesta Mk3s and then the Mondeo MK1. The unit evolved into the Black Top unit (Zetec – R, with a black, more rounded rocker cover) with the Escort phased out and Focus introduced. The name Zetec is a little confusing because it is now used by Ford as a trim level. On top of this, there is a smaller capacity Zetec -S, or Sigma. Plus, late Zetecs and the ST170 were branded ‘Duratecs’, which are the newer Mazda derived Ford engine.

Q: Do I need to modify the bulkhead on my escort when fitting a Zetec?
A: No

Q: The back of the engine is hitting the bulkhead, why?
A: In almost all cases the tail of the gearbox needs raising by approximately 15mm from original height. We have designed a ‘Gearbox tunnel raiser plate (DRT004) to give clearance.

Q: Do I need to modify the gearbox tunnel?
A: Yes, the original mount and stiffener must be removed, and the gearstick hole moved further back.

Q: What gearbox mount do I need to use?
A: We have designed a ‘Universal Gearbox Crossmember (DRT007) complete with mount for Type 9 application.

Q: I have a 2.0l silver top Zetec, do I need to change the water pump?
A: Yes, the direction of rotation is incorrect. We can supply one with the correct rotation (Z013)

Q: Can I use a standard Zetec sump?
A: No, all variations of Zetec sumps will hit on the engine cross member; we have designed a cast aluminium sump to solve this problem (Z007)

Q: Can I use a standard Zetec clutch and flywheel when converting to RWD?
A: No as the standard Zetec clutch is designed for a different ratio release arm to a Type 9 gearbox, meaning you have very little pedal travel, and problems with the cable jumping out. We supply a re-machined flywheel (Z015) to take a 215mm Pinto clutch, and use a standard Pinto/Sierra release bearing.

Q: What is an ST170 engine? Is it a Duratec or Zetec?
A: It was fitted to the Focus ST170 and is an evolution of the black top Zetec. The main difference is that is has variable valve timing, higher quality rods and pistons and a better flowing cylinder head. Note, although it states ‘Duratec’ on the rocker cover, it most definitely is not. Duratec engines have chain driven cams.

Q: Do I need to use a water expansion tank?
A: Yes, Zetec engines run at a much higher temperature than original X-flows and pintos. The fan cuts in at 105C. An expansion tank has a volume of air to allow the coolant to expand. If you don’t use an expansion tank, excessive pressure will be put on all the radiator, gaskets, seals and hoses.

Q: Can I use a standard Zetec alternator?
A: No, in most cases there is no voltage regulator due to being regulated by the original ECU. We have designed an alternator fitting kit that mounts an ACR type alternator.

Q: Can I use a standard Zetec starter motor?
A: No, it has a different bolt configuration to a RWD setup.

Q: Black top or Silver top?
A: In a standard format, there isn’t a lot in it. Condition is generally more important when buying a second-hand engine. The installation components cost about the same. The only thing differing between the two when installing RWD, is the water pump and alternator kit.

Q: What horsepower will my Zetec make?
A: A standard Zetec on after market throttle bodies/carburettors that has been mapped/rolling road will make between 155-165 horsepower.

Q: Do I need a spigot bearing?
A: Yes, this supports the input shaft of the gearbox all Zetec crankshafts are counter bored to take this bearing (DRT006)

Q: Do I need to cut the front cross member to fit my new radiator in?
A: No, there is enough room to bolt the new radiator to the original mounts

Q: What bellhousing do I need?
A: Either a cast iron bellhousing from a sierra type 9 gearbox, or a RS2000 (with rs2000 clutch arm). Both are a bolt on affair. But you will need a clutch cable adapter plate (Z019) with a RS2000 bellhousing

Q: Can I use the original clutch release arm and bearing from my type 9 gearbox?
A: Yes, but only with a cast iron sierra bell housing.

Q: Cable clutch of hydraulic clutch?
A: Cable is fine for most installations but if you are running an uprated clutch (higher lbs cover plate), a hydraulic set up will improve the pedal effort.