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New owner in the SF Bay Area


UlfarE
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I finally made the jump and got a Caterham after a long string of other light-weight sports cars.  Mine is a 2003 1.8L Zetec 2.3L Duratec/Mazda in Prisoner garb, as seen in the pic.

 

The car has been in the SF Bay Area for a while with a previous owner, but he was moving out of country and it's getting a good new home with me.  I drove up to Alice's Restaurant last weekend, and it was a blast. 

 

I'm looking forward to being part of this community, and would love to get in touch with other Caterham owners in the SF Bay Area.  In particular, if somebody can recommend a good shop to give the Ford Zetec engine a going over, this would be great.  It's running rough and I need to use starter spray on the intakes to get it running when the engine is cold. 

Screen Shot 2021-11-16 at 1.50.06 PM.png

Edited by UlfarE
Forum let me discover the right engine!
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Hey @UlfarE I was just briefly at Alice's both Saturday and Sunday, sorry I missed you.

 

I agree that the intake suggests that is not a Zetec.  Is it possible you have a Sigma or Duratec engine? 

 

I'll be out of town for a bit but would be happy to try and schedule a meetup sometime once I get back.  You might consider either TrackSpec in Fremont or Kampena Motors in Sonoma.  Kampena is our local Caterham dealer and is a pleasure to work with, although I have not had a need to bring my car in to him yet.  My understanding is TrackSpec does a lot of Lotus Elise/Exige/Evora work.

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It looks like this car was sold through Hillbank?  If it's the same one I'm looking at you look to have an ITG aluminum backplate similar to this one https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productdetails.asp?RecID=12936 and spare air filters should be readily available.  Weird that the listing does not show an air filter.

 

It looks like this may be the Zetec SE / Sigma engine.  I know Josh at Rocky Mountain Caterham in Colorado had a Sigma engined car up for sale recently, he may have good guidance.  Burton Power has a relatively minimal section on this engine but it is often a great resource https://www.burtonpower.com/tuning-guides/tuning-guide-pages/ford-zetec-se-tuning-guide.html?p=1

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Thanks for the quick response, @Vovchandr and @sltous !

 

The engine is indeed a 2.3L Ford Duratec!  More specifically a 2003 1G271AA, which seems associated with the Ford Ranger.  After you suggested I take a closer look, I managed to get a view of the side of the block and the stamping made it unambiguous.  Thanks for the help!  :)

 

Yes, the car was originally sold via Hillbank (this is the ad https://www.hillbankusa.com/vehicles/329/2003-caterham-seven-clubsport).  That ad says 1.8L Zetec, and that's what the previous owner had told me.  I just started using the car last week, so hadn't thought to second-guess that.

 

The previous owner was not much of a car guy, and he had a habit of driving without any filters on the ITBs.  I am presuming there are lots of carbonized bugs and vegetation in the cylinders and that's one of the reasons it's running rough.  However, I must admit that I didn't put the air filter on when going up to Alice's this weekend... I figured that one more trip wouldn't do much damage, since I'll have to have work done anyway.

 

 

Thanks also for the pointers to TrackSpec and Kampena.  I had found TrackSpec already, but Kampena hadn't come up in my Googling.

 

 

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UlfarE,

Where are you located? I'm in Oakland and have an '03 SV with a 2.3L Duratec. I know a bit about 'em, at least enough to be dangerous :classic_smile:.

 

I'm in agreement that I hope the car was not run too often w/o filters, but what's done is done. I suspect it uses the same filter as mine. If you post a photo I should be able to tell.

 

Get in touch if you're over in the East Bay and I'd be happy to look the car over with you.

 

Andy

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Thanks Andy! 

 

I'm on the peninsula by Mountain View, but I'd be happy to make the trip to compare the setup.  For example, I haven't been figure out where the ECU is, or whether it's the stock one or not.  

 

This car has seen over 20K miles without filters on the ITBs, so I'm assuming that worst case I'll have to have the engine torn apart and rebuilt.  But I'm OK with that.  Just want to make the car as nice as I can, and fiddling is most of the fun anyway, imho. 

 

FWIW: The air filter that I have looks pretty much like the one in the picture below.

1_cf8fd267-5d79-49ee-b14c-0cd564667fb7_580x.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, ashyers said:

I know a bit about 'em, at least enough to be dangerous :classic_smile:.

 

I can vouch for that :918766748_biggrinjester(1):

 

That looks like a Pipercross air filter.  The ITG is similar, but the bottom of the air filter attaches differently and doesn't have the two tabs that go through slots in the backing plate.

 

Do you know what the car is running for an ECU?  What about Throttle Bodies, or does that picture above mean you have the Webcon Alpha engine setup?

 

-John  

 

 

 

 

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Ulfar,

Looks like the setup is nearly identical to mine from the Hillbank photos. It's an ITG filter. Hopefully the same knuckleheads that built the original motor in my car had nothing to do with yours. Lots of expensive parts and crap attention to detail. Runs good now, but not without a bit of work! The Duratecs are pretty easy to deal with.

 

Andy

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Ah, I missed the gallery on the Hillbank site.  Definitely ITG filter (no slots).  Those ITBs look very similar to the SBD units from that era.  If so, that's a good sign.  It might have been done right.

 

-John  

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The SBD unit is an ITG, guess how I know :).

 

I suspect the orig. filter material deteriorated like mine did. The foam doesn't like UV much and eventually falls apart. You can buy replacement foam, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort of installation compared to a new unit.

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8 minutes ago, ashyers said:

The SBD unit is an ITG, guess how I know :).

 

Um...because you know just enough about Duratecs to be dangerous? :918766748_biggrinjester(1):

 

@UlfarE I'm curious about the car's history.  You mention above the engine has covered over 20k miles, and the Hillbank ad states the car had just under 500 miles.  When did Hillbank sell the car and was it to the person from whom you purchased it?  Any indication of the original owner's name in the paperwork?  

 

-John

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@johnch yes, the ITBs are stamped SBD.

 

The last owner is a colleague who daily drove the car to work for the last five years. I don't know the ownership before him. The car has about 33k miles right now.

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SBD has very good setup and rebuild instructions for their ITBs here.  Might be a good thing to look over given the rough running.  Obviously a lot of other reasons could be responsible for that behavior, but always good to start with the basics like balancing the intakes, setting correct fuel pressure and initial throttle plate angle, and ensuring no air leaks.

 

-John

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@UlfarE Congrats! looks like a nice one. A compression would indicate if there is particle induced wear in the valves, rings, and cylinders from running without air filters. Keep an eye on oil consumption and oil pressure as well. Fingers crossed! Paul Hasselgren in Berkely built a Killer 2.45 Duratec/MZR/Cosworth for my '03 SV. If push comes to shove, that's a great option. 

 

My son moved out to the Bay area two years ago and goes to Alice's just about every Saturday, usually in his orange Elise or a Ducati motorcycle though. He's a total car guy and has been badly bitten by the Caterham bug. He's experiencing severe Caterham withdrawal though and would always be game for a drive or ride along. Drop him a line cburke996@gmail.com 

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@UlfarE I have most of a stock 2.3 duratec head on hand, feel free to shoot me a private message if you find out you need any of it before trying to order parts, or if you want to look at the internals to familiarize yourself

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As noted earlier, this Cat had a fairly ambitious engine swap somewhere along the line. The 2.3 Duratec is a huge step up in power from the 1.8 Zetec it came with. New intake/exhaust/ engine mounts/ECU/ wiring, probably significant fuel system modifications, etc. It is surprising that such an ambitious and $$$ effort didn’t include intake filters. I am willing to believe that was of minor consequence though, so keep us posted on how the engine fares.

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