Celebrating 21 years

Tuning the Zetec - Page 2

Last Updated on March 28 2017

Physical dimensions

Exacty how big is the Zetec engine? Well, you'd probably be surprised that it's not a great deal bigger than the X-flow. It is slightly taller, and longer, but not that much bigger. The two pictures below are marked up showing the dimensions of the engine.
Alternator mounting bracket End view, showing width
These pictures show the rebuilt 2.0 Zetec engine, ready to go back in to the Fiesta (September 2000).
Alternator mounting bracket Alternator mounting bracket Alternator mounting bracket Alternator mounting bracket Alternator mounting bracket

Water pump warning !!

You need to be aware that the water pump on the Mondeo 2.0 Zetec engine is driven by a serpentine belt, and as such, rotates in a different direction to the Fiesta/Escort pump. The pumps look identical on the outside, however, inside, the impeller is a mirror image between models. This means that the water is still pumped through the engine in the same direction on the Mondeo and the Escort/Fiesta, despite the pumps turning in opposite directions. Therefore, you must make sure that the pump you use is designed for your installation. If you're using the serpentine belt drive, then use the Mondeo pump. If you're using the triangulated drive system (ie crank, water pump, alternator) then you must use the Escort/Fiesta pump. The outlet pipe on the Mondeo water pump, exits the front of the block at an angle, but the Fiesta/Escort pump outlet pipe exits in a straight line.

For the later black top, or series 3 Zetec from the Focus, the solution is a reversed impellor from a place called Quicksilver Race Engines in the States, or an idler pulley made up to run the pulley in the same way as stock.

The two pictures below show the two different arrangements for driving the water pump. The serpentine system, as used on the Mondeo, and the triangulated system, as used on the Fiesta.

Key to pulleys: A = Alternator, W =Water Pump, C = Crankshaft

Serpentine drive belt arrangement The Serpentine system
Triangulated drive belt arrangement  The Triangulated system

Use the correct grade of engine oil

Theres three different series of Zetec engines used in the UK. Series 1 was on the earliest Mondeo's, up to about the beginning of 1995. The S1 Zetec can be identified by "DOHC 16V" cast in to the rocker cover. These early engines are prone to sticking valves, especially at startup when the engine is cold. Later Series 2 engines have "16V Zetec" cast in to the rocker cover, and this engine does not suffer from the same problem.

I had loads of problems with my Mondeo when I serviced her in June 1999. After spending two days at the Ford dealer in town, they diagnosed that the engine was running on the wrong grade of engine oil. I'd followed the guidelines in the handbook, and checked in the Haynes manual, and they both say to use 10W40 synthetic oil, which is what I used.

It transpires that the oil should be 5W30, which is thinner at low and high temperatures. My engine had been misfiring at startup, and stalling. This was due to sticking valves in the cylinder head, caused by the oil being too thick when cold. Top marks to my garage in spotting this. Black mark for the Ford and Haynes manuals.

Stranger still is that the pinking (pre-ignition) also seems to have been cured!
Have you checked which grade your engine is running?

Change the rod bolts

A particular weak point on the Zetec engines are the con-rod bolts. A lot of Zetec engines have lunched themselves because the rod-bolts have sheared under high load, and changing them is not a difficult or long job. You just need to buy a set of ARP rod bolts from Raceline or Burtons, and a new rubber sump gasket. Drain the oil from the sump, drop the sump off the engine, and replace the bolts, making sure to torque them up to the required level. Then replace the sump gasket, refit the sump, and refill the engine with oil.

Drain the oil, and move the engine on to its side CAMS locked in place, and timing belt removed Crankshaft windage tray fitted as standard on the Zetec ARP rod bolts ready to be fitted Old and new (black) rod bolts. Note difference in length! Bearing cap removed Crank bearings look good considering the mileage Shell bearing also in good condition. Just a few minor pits