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As a newbie to this forum I have noticed the impressive depth of knowledge and experience represented here and I hoping that maybe I can get a little advice on a decision I need to make regarding my new/used Cat that I purchased from a member of the forum (Chris). It’s a lovely car and in really great shape. The car has a ford Zetec VCT which in its original stock state was said to be +/- 130HP if my research is correct.

 

I am planning to use this car as a more or less dedicated track car and am looking to increase the HP to the 200 -210 HP mark, not massively extreme but pretty a decent increase and more than enough to scare myself stupid at the track. My options appear to be as follows:-

 

1.     Take the VCT and have done what’s needed including ITB’s, hotter cams, forged pistons, ported and so on, this might be the easiest option. I’ve spoken to the guys at Quicksilver in MD about this and they are on board for this level of increase.

 

2.     Replace with a SVT, stock at 170HP and modify accordingly.

 

 

3.     Go all out and replace with a Duratec (hmm Cosworth), this would have been my choice until I realized that the induction and exhaust are on opposite sides compared to an SVT or VCT, so at minimum new holes to exit the exhaust and I have no clue about engine mount position, and all the other ancillary issues I’d need to resolve.

 

So these seem to be my “options” that I can think of, I really would like option 3, as it’s a much more tractable motor and has the advantage (if I can do it) of moving the exhaust to the passenger side away from me and less chance of burning myself on the hot exhaust. But I don’t know if its doable, or just plain dumb. Putting the SVT in seems doable unless I missed something and with a base of 170HP not such a big increase on HP to get where I want to be with a newer design of motor. 

 

During the motor work I will also be uprating the front and rear brakes and maybe (just maybe) adding a Sadev sequential.

 

I don’t know what I don’t know, so I am hoping that I can get your words or wisdom or derision about my plans in  general and for the motor specifically.

 

Thanks in advance.

Bart.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi and welcome.

 

You covered all the reasonable options pretty well and seems that you've done your HW.

 

I have pretty much your option 1) with a sequential and it's a very nice setup. I'm very happy with it. (I have Sierra Quaife, not the Sadev. Sadev is much nicer)

 

You could get a VCT to around 200 crank, and about 170 wheel but it will be difficult (not impossible) get it to 200 wheel with a full built. I'd let experts chime in on this bit. I'd be happy if I had 170wheel with ITB's and work, but I don't know what I actually put down. It was sold as a "200hp" build.

 

I'm not familiar with SVT too much or its potential.

 

Duratec is obviously the biggest commitment but also would be the easiest HP from stock block in the end. Yes you'd need new mounts and a new hole etc but it's a more potent motor to begin with and can even be left stock or minor boltons to get to where you want. Plenty of Duratec experts that can chime in on this matter.

 

I personally have a Duratec myself and still not willing to commit to that change. I know how much work this will require in the end but it's nothing that hasn't been done before by people. 

 

If "easy" high HP is your goal, honestly FI will be your best bet. Turbo or SC on Zetec will get you the most HP with relative ease, but it's not done commonly due to people not liking the lag or in general the throttle feel of FI. Lots of people prefer R500 vs the 620R even due to that and the obvious extra weight added as well. 

 


If you're looking for future proof NA build, Duratec is really your answer. Zetec build will get expensive. ITB's alone will be $2000. ITB's and build you're likely into $3000 or even $4000. Not sure what SVT costs but SVT + build + ITB's you'd be looking at what $4000 to $6000? 

Edited by Vovchandr
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There are some folks here with SVT engines that will hopefully weigh in.  I believe some may have made the switch from the standard Zetec. 

 

Given the use you describe, how confident are you that 200-210hp will suffice long term?  The advantage of the Duratec is less weight and a much higher power ceiling, but it's not a straight swap as you note.  If 200-210hp really is all you think you will need for the foreseeable future, I'm not sure I'd make that investment, but I would strongly consider the SVT.  It has a number of upgrades over the standard Zetec and could be a more straightforward project with future upside if you wanted to dig into the internals.  Swapping cams and adding Throttle Bodies should get you pretty close to you initial target and don't require opening the engine, unless of course you wish to rebuild it first. 

 

-John

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Congratulations, you’ve drank the Horsepower Cool Aid...  I feel that if you let the great guys at Quicksilver loose you’ll be happy with the outcome.. enjoy your 7... 

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Hi and wow, thanks for the thoughtful replies. Its an interesting question about is "200 enough" medium term, and honestly one I'd not given thought too, I know I'm not skilled enough to manage spin wheels in 4th type horsepower currently but maybe that will come with practice and patience. So future proofing the re-build is a good point. FI for me is out, I cant give you a good reason just have never liked the feel of it. The plan (which will fail immediately in the face of the enemy - more HP at lowest investment) is to take this to Quicksilver and a local guy who works with them to install etc. and have them really look at what it would cost to swap out for a hotter Duratec versus the VCT upgrade. If you're interested I'll keep you posted on what the plan is and costs look like etc. I do know the Sadev is many  $$$'s though...

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Absolutely keep us posted.  Regardless of which path you choose, there will be people with knowledge or direct experience to share their perspectives.  There generally isn't one right way to do it (although there are often a lot of wrong ways) so its important to really think about what aspects are most important to you now and how that might change in the next few years.  Best not to spend the money twice if it's not necessary.

 

-John

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I recently bought a Zetec->Duratec (CSR 260) swapped Caterham, previous owner replaced the motor mounts and cut a new intake in the hood and exhaust output.  There is a long thread about his experience on the forum here swapping the engine.

 

Power is pushing my skills, I've noticed tire chirp up to 3rd gear but I've been really enjoying learning to manage it.  For me, the passenger exit exhaust is a real plus, I started with a Kent Crossflow powered Locost and didn't enjoy the overrun noises so close to my head so I was really looking for the passenger side for a car I hope to keep long term.

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I have the Quicksilver Zetec you are considering. To get to the power level you would like will require spinning the engine to 7500 RPM. To do that you need good rods and pistons, a ported head, ITB and cams. The SVT engine has a better head, different cams and I think better rods. Your head can be made to flow as well as a ported SVT head. My engine made 188 HP on Qucksilvers dyno. I turn it 7200 and it has smaller cams than you would need to meet your power requirements. It also has a lower compression and will run on pump gas. The tune is rich and the timing isn't optimized to make it last. Quicksilver built the engine about 6 years ago and I had it dynoed over the winter. It makes the same power now as when it was built. Duratec's make more power and you have gotten some good information on the cost and differences. More is always better, but for me my car has plenty of power.  

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Posted (edited)

Honestly if power is your pursuit and you're willing to deal/remedy cutting/replacing hood and side panel than Duratec swap should be a no brainer. 

 

I keep chasing power on my Zetec because I honestly don't want to commit to the swap and cutting holes and new ECU and the downtime. If I didn't already have a peppy Zetec I would go straight to Duratec over winter.

 

Downsides of Duratec are as follows:

Downtime

Cutting hood/sidepanel and/or replacing those parts.

Exhaust away from driver (downside for some, like myself, I love it next to me)

Cannot be supercharged on S3 LHD to be a 620R clone (allegedly doesn't fit with steering shaft, hence no LHD S3 620r's)

Overall cost (considering your alternatives it's a wash).

 

 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if I do go through with my Rotrex setup on the Zetec in the end and still end up going with Duratec myself in the future after not being happy.

 

 

Edited by Vovchandr
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1 hour ago, Vovchandr said:

Honestly if power is your pursuit and you're willing to deal/remedy cutting/replacing hood and side panel than Duratec swap should be a no brainer. 

 

I keep chasing power on my Zetec because I honestly don't want to commit to the swap and cutting holes and new ECU and the downtime. If I didn't already have a peppy Zetec I would go straight to Duratec over winter.

 

Downsides of Duratec are as follows:

Downtime

Cutting hood/sidepanel and/or replacing those parts.

Exhaust away from driver (downside for some, like myself, I love it next to me)

Cannot be supercharged on S3 LHD to be a 620R clone (allegedly doesn't fit with steering shaft, hence no LHD S3 620r's)

Overall cost (considering your alternatives it's a wash).

 

 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if I do go through with my Rotrex setup on the Zetec in the end and still end up going with Duratec myself in the future after not being happy.

 

 

If you want a Duratec, it likely would be easier to sell your Cat and buy one with that engine. You need a new every thing: ECU, wiring harness, engine mounts, exhaust,etc.

 

You can make all the power you need to hang on the track with your Zetec. Quicksilver is  great. 
 

I’d say spend your $ on safety stuff: harness, halo seat, Fuelsafe tank, FIA bar or full cage.

 

if you are going to run super sticky tires, maybe add an Accusump or dry sump.

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23 minutes ago, Kitcat said:

If you want a Duratec, it likely would be easier to sell your Cat and buy one with that engine. You need a new every thing: ECU, wiring harness, engine mounts, exhaust,etc.

 

You can make all the power you need to hang on the track with your Zetec. Quicksilver is  great. 
 

I’d say spend your $ on safety stuff: harness, halo seat, Fuelsafe tank, FIA bar or full cage.

 

if you are going to run super sticky tires, maybe add an Accusump or dry sump.

 

I already have Accusump and if I didn't already have a Duratec I wouldn't consider it either.

 

Right now I'm hedging bets that Rotrex will work for my needs. 

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Thx, Vlad. My comments were actually  meant as a response to the original post....I didn’t realize this new forum was a bit more complex than the old and that I had misdirected my post.

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2 minutes ago, Kitcat said:

Thx, Vlad. My comments were actually  meant as a response to the original post....I didn’t realize this new forum was a bit more complex than the old and that I had misdirected my post.

 

Computer Working GIF

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I didn’t realize you had access to the camera on my computer Vlad!


Back on topic (hopefully), a full rebuild of the Zetec to achieve 200-220 hp can approach $10K. When I approached Quicksilver about doing CarlB’s build for my Zetec SVT engine 2-3 years ago,  they said they were no longer doing them.  They would rebuild to stock spec only. Maybe that is no longer true?

 

I owned a mildly tuned Duratec Birkin for a couple of years. It didn’t feel any faster than my current SVT Caterham, tho the dyno figures said it made about 10 more hp. The Zetec is very tractable, it has a nice fat torque curve and makes great power over 4500 RPM’s. 


FWIW, I have a spare SVT engine core(block/head). The head was reworked to optimize flow. Happy to sell if interested.

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Quicksilver are quoting +/- 9 - 10K to take the Zetec to +/-200 hp so it seems its pretty consistent with what you got a few years ago. I am hoping to get to a clear decision in the next few weeks and if the path is to install an SVT I'd be very interested to chat to you about it. Apart from the reworked head what's the condition like? 

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As far as I know, it’s in great shape. I’d replace the oil pump as that’s a weak link as well as a wear item($250 for an upgraded one), but that’s it.

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I will confirm that Zetec's have good torque. The main advantage of a Duratec is bigger ports for more flow and more power at higher engine speeds. Quicksilver put the Raceline wet sump pan on my car. They also did extensive baffling. I do not have any oil pressure issues or high oil temperatures.   

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