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Frustrated by engine oil leaks and the expense of doing a TC engine I made the decision to go with a newer engine. I was right in thinking a new engine would be leak free. On the expense side, though, well, a good engine builder could have built a powerful TC engine and dyno'd it for less. But then I would have learned so much less along the way :-)
The obvious choices have been discussed on the Europa mailing list. I'll recap some of the choices here (perhaps not representing the choices very accurately, but... oh well). In the end I chose Zetec 2.0L on the basis that I had someone nearby who knew how to handle the engine end of things, and because Zetec bolts up to a stock bell housing just fine . The bolt holes and even the transmission locating dowels fit perfectly.
A stock 4AGE black top makes very good power. One person reported 170HP at the rear wheels of a Europa. Jon Pels kit lets you minimize the engineering of the rest (not eliminate, just minimize).
A stock Zetec 2.0L makes 140 HP and is trouble-free. If you start with the stock exhaust manifold the exhaust is easy. If you want a custom exhaust you won't find a 'plate' as the basis for the Zetec exhaust in the USA.
However (New information June 2015), Dunnell Engines has exhaust plates in the UK. Look on the web site for part number RMP1801. They have other Zetec goodies too. Paul Dunnell responds quickly to email, is very easy to talk to on the phone, ships quickly, and knows Zetec (and Duratec) very well. If I had to build a new Zetec I would just buy a 238+ hp zetec from Dunnell (comes dyno tested and fully broken in).
A Zetec bolts directly to a stock TwinCam bell housing and the input shaft of a Renault gearbox aligns perfectly.
A stock 2.3L Duratec (from a Ford Ranger pickup) is very very good power (cubic inches!), but needs a special plate to adapt the engine to a bell housing. The exhaust plate is readily available in the US (Dunnell Engines has them too).
An SVT Zetec (the Zetec with the variable cams, called VVT) is more powerful than the 2.0L stock Zetec E. I know a Morgan owner who went this route.
A modified Zetec 2.0L (head milled) with cams and aftermarket EFI is more trouble (one has to build it) but it is pretty good. This is the route I took.
What is completely missing in the above sketchy analysis is all the time and effort in making the package work. For those using 4AGE Jon Pels has a great kit that takes care of many decisions, but even then one is left on one's own to design many things. It's a case of with care one can buy 50% and the other 98% you still have to do yourself.
I thought (given Jon Pels backlog in March 2007) I could do it faster than wait for Jon. I was so wrong. So very wrong.
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