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Frequently Asked Questions - Duratec
 
Can I use the WT-DURA-4K without an electric water pump?
Duratec cylinder head on a Mazda block
Duratec dry sump tanks
Duratec cylinder heads
Secondhand Duratec cylinder heads
Cooling issues on Duratec powered Escort
2.3L Duratec engine
Developing the 1600cc Duratec engine
Oversized Duratec pistons
SBD Throttle Body kit on Fiesta ST150
Engine upgrades to Caterham R500
Barrel throttle set up
 
Barrel throttle set up
Question: Last year I purchased a 2003 Caterham SV with a SBD 2.3L Duratec. I was told it's a 235hp engine and although it runs great and is very powerful and tractable, I would like some more power. I'm considering swapping to a Cosworth barrel throttle setup and was told by other Caterham owners I should seek your advice. I would expect to see perhaps a 8-12 hp increase, does this sound about right?

Answer:The throttle specification you have there is our earlier design but still extremely good, they give good driveability, maximum achievable performance through this design of throttle body would be in the region of 280bhp.  Our latest design of throttle body is a completely revised design, the injector is much further out and interacts with the butterfly to allow the engine to produce more performance as the engine is tuned further.  Our latest 2.4L version we are just under 330bhp at the moment. 

The roller throttle design was an idea taken from F1 engines, when a particular rpm range required meant that the engine pulse would actually hit the butterfly and this disrupted the air flow, so a barrel throttle was designed so that there was nothing in the way of the pulse when the throttle was wide open.  This is fine for a Formula 1 engine because of the conditions it is driven under, but when this design of throttle is used on a normal road based engine is creates various issues.  At light throttle during either low speed running or whilst the throttle is being opened rapidly, the air has to travel through the open slot on one side of the barrel then traverse across the barrel to the slot on the other side, which are diagonal to one another.  This disturbs the air flow considerably making for poor driveability and poor throttle response.  The other misconception is that when the barrel is fully open, because there is no restriction of any kind the engine will therefore produce more power.  What a butterfly actually does for you is two things; it directs the air because it is not fully open, it also creates tumble which gives a better mix.  The only time a butterfly would create a loss of performance is if the amount of air flow the engine requires is insufficient due to the overall area of the throttle body being too small, but this would also apply to the barrel throttle.

At the level of performance you are currently at, I would be looking at the exhaust manifold design to ensure you have the best design possible as this is as critical as any other part of your engine or intake system and the level of tune of your engine itself.  So in short even if you fit the most efficient intake system or the most efficient exhaust or the highest tuned engine, if one of the three components does not allow the engine to perform, you would not gain performance.  So at the moment I would say, the throttle bodies are not the issue.

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Secondhand Duratec cylinder heads
Question: Do you ever have any secondhand later spec Duratec cylinder heads?

Answer: We do not normally deal with secondhand cylinder heads, particularly for the Duratec for 2 main reasons; first of all the cylinder head could be soft if overheated and this is difficult to determine without proper hardness checking.  Secondly the valve seat height has to be very accurate as the valves can only be installed within a specific range, this is due to the fact that the cam follower is also the shim and is only available within a limited range and if the valves are fitted at the wrong height, it would be impossible to shim the engine.  So if the head was sourced that had been for example refurbished, it may look ok but be completely useless.  The cost of refurbishing a cylinder head properly is very expensive nowadays due to labour costs and the accuracy required.

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Can I use the WT-DURA-4K without an electric water pump?
Question: I would like some more information on the WT-Dura-4K unit you sell, your website mentions it is designed for an electronic water pump but just wanted to double check is it still suitable to run with a standard water pump? Maybe you are aware of others running this way. I don’t think there is room in the rules for me to use an electronic water pump.

Answer: The reason we recommend its use with electronic water pump only, is because the standard water pump and thermostat requires a recirculation pipe to take hot water from the back of the cylinder head into the back of the thermostat housing.  This water then recirculates around the engine keeping an even temperature, this water passing over the thermostat causes it to open at the appropriate temperature.  If this pipe is removed, then the thermostat cannot operate correctly causing erratic engine temperature changes as the thermostat then relies on radiated heat.  Once it begins to open, then would then be a sudden rush which would instantly cause the thermostat to close again and the cycle begins again. 

So you could use our water outlet and there are various options, which are plugged.  You would then need to fit a tube to allow water to flow to the thermostat but this is not a straight forward task and should only be undertaken if you have the appropriate skills. 

When using the electric water pump, the thermostat is not fitted and coolant flow is controlled by the electronics.

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Duratec cylinder head on a Mazda block
Question: I am looking to put together a 2.3L Duratec engine for my stockcar (currently running a 2.0l Zetec engine), but the Ford 2.3L blocks seem to command a good price second hand as there aren’t many over in the UK, but there a quite a few of the Mazda 2.3L Duratec engines about coming from the Mazda 6.

I’ve done a little research and now know that the Mazda uses variable cam/valve time as the Ford doesn’t, also I seem to understand that the head on a Ford 2.0L and 2.3L are the same?  But my question is that can a Ford head be bolted straight onto a Mazda block or does some machining have to done or is it not worth the hassle and just get a complete Ford 2.3L engine? The reason I am looking at the 2.3L is for the extra torque that would be gained over the 2.0L as once we have completed the rolling lap, the race is carried out in the same gear, so the engine needs to have the most torque possible as it is exiting the corner, in order to get the jump on the car in front if you will; therefore I am not looking for maximum power but lots of mid-range torque.

Also I want it to be as reliable as possible all season, approx 18-19 meeting a year, so I was going to change to ARP bolts for the rods and head, but is it necessary to change to forged rods and pistons at that state of tune (SBD TP214bhp kit)?  The type of racing it is, the RMPs that are being reached, are only being briefly reached since at the end of the straight, it's hard on the brakes, so high revs aren’t being maintained for long periods.,

Answer: Although the Mazda and Ford engine are fairly similar, Mazda do change quite a few components and it is difficult to get an idea of what they do and don't change on various models.  The cylinder head itself should bolt straight on but you would want the chain guides, sprockets and drive gears from the Ford engine.  At the same time, you can fit the keyed components as listed on our website for reliability.  I do know that on the 2.0L version, that the Ford crankshaft was much stronger than the Mazda one and Mazda had to change their crankshaft to a much higher specification for reliability.  I do not know what has been done on the 2.3L version through. 

The 2.3L engine is very torquey but due to its long stroke, the rev need to be keep down when using standard components, so I suggest a maximum of 7250rpm.  If you wish to rev any higher than this, I would suggest the use of steel rods and uprated pistons (once you have confirmed crankshaft strength of the Mazda).  You should then be able to rev over 8000rpm and obtain improved reliability. 

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Duratec dry sump tanks
Question: Can you confirm that 5L dry sump tank is big enough, as I have heard that I need a 9L tank? I would prefer a rectangular tank, why should I use a circular tank?

Answer: The Duratec requires a slightly bigger oil capacity in the tank than engines which have cam belts. The reason for this is that the area where the chain runs allows oil to accumulate in this area and under certain conditions you could actually accumulate as much as 1.5 litres in this area. Because the system we have developed with Titan is a twin scavenge with an extremely efficient pump both on pressure and scavenge, the oil is less able to accumulate in any sections of the engine, either when the engine is under braking or acceleration as the oil is then evacuated at the front or rear scavenge depending on conditions. If you were running a single scavenge system, the oil can only be extracted from either the front or rear of the engine. Normally the scavenge fitting is placed at the rear of the sump, which is fine when the engine is accelerating but not under braking and certain cornering conditions. This may be the reason why some people are recommending a huge capacity for oil. Steve can only assume that some systems are so bad, that vast amounts of oil are accumulating in the engine itself and not able to reach the single scavenge (or a low quality twin scavenge system). This way the tank slowly empties to the point where air can be drawn in to the oil system causing damage, so their solution is to fit a huge capacity tank. This creates many issues, the most important is that your engine under these conditions is effectively wading through a huge amount of oil, which could not only damage it, but is losing performance.

As far as using a circular tank is concerned, it is far more efficient for the returning air and oil mix to be spun around the wall of the round tank so the air separates out and only oil can then reach the bottom of the tank. A rectangular tank cannot work in the same way and the oil would simply bounce off the walls, carrying the air which is trapped in it to the bottom of the tank. So a 5 litre tank capacity we have found is sufficient even on our high specification engines. This does not mean that your oil system will not contain more oil, as this will depend on the length of your oil pipes, oil coolers, oil filter and any other components in the system. It simply means the tank itself will hold 5 litres and the oil should be checked on our tank with the engine running or immediately after stopping that the oil level is just below or level with the top baffle (and not above).

Duratec dry sump systems

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Duratec cylinder heads
Question: Is there any difference in the basic 2.3L to 2.0L cylinder heads? The RF3S4G and RF6S4E heads mentioned on your website, do they  flow better than the 2.3L heads?

Answer: The 2 cylinder part numbers that we recommend were fitted to the later 2.3L engines before they were fitted to the 2.0L engines.  If your engine does not currently have a cylinder head with these numbers, then it could be assumed that you have the earlier version of cylinder head which does not flow as well.  This becomes more important when cylinder head port work is carried out due to the fact that the shape of the port is quite different to the later version.  It cannot be modified to match the later cylinder head design and therefore when tuned, the earlier cylinder head will always produce about 10 - 15bhp less than the later version. 

Duratec Cylinder Heads

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Cooling issues on Duratec powered Escort
Question: Hi I'm having trouble with Duratec cooling system. The car is RWD Mk6 Escort and the rad is mounted low hence the rad top hose has to dip down. The water rail has no rear outlet to run heater or bypass hoses just has a switch to operate rad fan. The Mk 6 has a header tank with a air bleed to top of rad. Runs and cools perfect until sitting at idle when it starts to heat up. Do I require a extra bleed pipe from top of rail engine or bypass and heater pipes refitted. Or do I put on a David Craig pump, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: All our vehicles are equipped with an electric water pump controlled by our ECUs.  We do not use the mechanical water pump due to shortcomings in the Ford design.  If you are using a mechanical water pump, great care must be taken and bleeds are always essential to prevent air locks.  We have no diagrams for the mechanical system as this is not something we recommend.  The diagram on our website is only for the electric water pump design.

Duratec Cooling System Components

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2.3L Duratec engine
Question: I am building a Birkin 7 wide body, which is very similar to the wide body Caterham 7 and are considering the 2.3L Duratec, what are my options for this engine?

Answer:The 2.3L engine has now been discontinued by Ford and there are no longer any tuner engines available and the spare components to build a complete engine are virtually non existent. The 2.0L engine is still produced and the 2.5L is also effectively the replacement for the 2.3L. The 2.3 and 2.5 as you have said are taller than the 2.0L but identical in height. There are various changes that need to be done to the 2.3L and 2.5L engines before they can be installed. The 2.5L engine has been evolved again and requires a different intake, due to its enlarged ports. In our opinion the 2.5L requires a lot of work to produce good performance, since it is designed as an engine to go into a truck or similar and simply rely on torque and not bhp. So even if you were to take the standard engine and simply remove the unnecessary components and fit throttle bodies, it would still produce less performance than a 2.0L which is a higher state of tune.

We are currently developing components for the 2.5L engine coming from two directions. One developing a highly tuned version where we will be reducing the stroke, due to the fact the stroke on the 2.5L is so large that it limits the peak rpm. The other direction is to allow the 2.5L to produce some sensible bhp and are developing some upgraded rods and pistons which will increase the compression which is much needed in the standard engine and then some upgraded camshafts so the engine can truly produce the performance that you would expect from a 2.5L engine. But even on the standard engine with the components we are developing to make it surpass that of the 2.0L engine, will add quite a cost to the base engine.

My personal choice would be to use the 2.0L engine, as this requires no additional modifications and you can simply bolt components on and with a correct exhaust produce just over 200bhp. In a light car such a Birkin, it will make a very tractable smooth car and since the engine is in standard form unstressed.

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Developing the 1600cc Duratec engine
Question: I'm planning to build a de stroked Dtec HE 1600 engine. I'm told you are the leading developer of Duratec engines so when it comes to cylinder heads I thought I'd turn to you.

Have you done any of these 1600cc HE's? What kind of head should I go for? I think the top of the line 305 bhp head would not be necessary in a smaller CC engine yes?  I'm aiming for 230 + bhp. I've heard rumours there are 260bhp 1.6's out there but as of now.

I'm not aiming that high. I'm thinking the STD valves can be retained but the head will most probably need some port work done. If you have time please drop me a line on what you think we can work out and what's the cost.

Answer: We are currently designing a 1800cc version based on the 2.0L Duratec engine.  The difficulty with doing this is that the volume of each cylinder is obviously reduced, this dramatically affects the compression ratio and the further you reduce the capacity (e.g. 1600cc), the worse the problem becomes.  We have been able to just about achieve the compression ratio we require in order to make an efficient engine using our existing 2.0L slipper pistons. 

In order to develop a 1600cc engine, a custom piston would be required as well as a special con-rod and crankshaft.  The advantage of running the 2.0L engine block and bore size gives you the ability to run as large a valve size as possible, you then end up with a very short stroke which means your engine will need to rev.  Basically this means, the engine will rev much higher than the 2.0L engine, the stock valve is not strong enough to rev high enough and will fail, you will need a very special valve train assembly (as used on our high spec 2.0L Duratec engines) to cope with these revs, even if different cams are used.  I would have to consider the valve size to decide which would be optimal, but there would be no point in just putting any piston in the engine to achieve a result, a proper slipper piston, which is careful designed along with matching con-rod and crankshaft to suit.  If you do not design the rotating parts as a complete package, the engine simply will not work. 

The budget required to do what you are looking to achieve would effectively be the same whether you are looking for 230bhp or 260bhp, even 230bhp would be difficult to achieve.  If you do a simple equation based on the capacity of the 2.0L engine and its peak bhp, a 290bhp 2.0L is not a cheaper engine to begin with, so divide 290 by 2 and then multiply by 1.6, this gives you a very crude estimation of the bhp you can expect.  There are other factors that come into play, but it will give you a good idea, so consider very carefully your budget before you start such a project as all the components we sell are producing in quantities to reduce costs and although some components are interchangeable, many parts will need to be custom made.  Some items such as crankshafts and con-rods will potentially double in cost, where pistons would have to be made in batches of 3 engine sets.

Just one final point, we spend a vast amount of time designing, testing and developing all our products, we occasionally try new manufacturers who promise reduced costs and quantities and so far the results have always been disappointing, particularly on piston design and therefore at this level of performance we only use one manufacturer as we have seen performance losses of more than 30bhp just in the piston design.

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Oversized Duratec pistons
Question: Do you have a piston for that with a Duratec 89mm bore?

Answer: We only manufacture two piston sizes for the 2.0/2.3L Duratec. We produce either 87.50mm to replace the standard piston in a standard bore or 88.00mm piston so the bore can be cleaned + 0.50mm oversize. The reason we do this is because the standard liner, which is cast into the Duratec block has been specially developed by Mazda/Ford. We have looked quite closely at replacing this liner because we get regular requests for bigger bore sizes, there are several problems;

1. The liner is very thin, which allows it to expand and contract with the aluminium that is cast around it.

2. The modern Duratec engine has not been designed to be rebored at any time in it's life, therefore the thickness of this liner is calculated to be correct at the 87.50mm bore.

3. We made a decision due to the design of the liner to allow only the smallest of rebore sizes to rectify a small amount of damage to the liner itself, this was the reason why we picked 88.00mm.

4. If we were to increase the bore size greater than 88mm, the liner thickness would become too thin, in our opinion, and over time would begin to distort.

5. Many of our competitors have not, in our opinion, taken this into account and although your engine may run successfully for a short period of time depending on use, eventually problems will occur creating premature engine wear and eventually failure.

6. Several companies have been replacing the liners, when the original liner is replaced there are several issues; the thin construct and ridged shape means that a lot of material has to be machined out to remove the original liner. This then means the aluminium left, particularly between the liners is very thin. The liner that is then used has to be off a completely different construction as it needs to be more self supporting, which is fine as far as the liner is concerned but the issue that arises is the thin layers of aluminium that expand and contract around the new more rigid liner are too thin and expand at a different rate to the now more rigid liner so again initially the engine will run ok, but the feedback we get from customers who have tried this option find failure seems to always occur in the short term in high performance engines but this takes a little longer on a road based engine.

Although there may be a way of overcome the issues with replacing the liners, I believe the only way to do this successfully is to redesign the interior of the block completely, but this would be a very costly exercise and therefore should only be undertaken on turbo engines over 500bhp. It would actually be cheaper to replace the complete engine than it would be to carry this kind of work even when once developed properly.

So my suggestion would be to go with either the stock or +0.50mm version and if you are engine has more damage than that, that the block is replaced.

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SBD Throttle Body kit on Fiesta ST150
Question: I am researching ITB's for the Fiesta ST150, but had a question which I wondered if you could help with. I've been looking at your TP203bhp kit, and also saw that a chap called Dyrr Ardash has a kit fitted to his Fiesta ST here. My question, how would you go about the fly-by-wire throttle on the Fiesta ST? Does it need replacing with a cable? If so, is this all included in the kit?

Answer: All of our systems are now motorsport based due to the costs involved of interacting with the standard management systems, I did look at the kit that was produced by DRM and think that it was an extremely well designed product and couldn't imagine how much money they had spent developing the kit to interact with the standard management system. The reason we don't do anything like that on road based cars is that you can spend many of thousands of pounds if not tens of thousands of pounds for something that only has a short life before Ford stop producing it or change the design. This means that you have little if any chance in re-cooping your development costs, which has to be spread across the number of kits you sell. This is the reason why we stick to motorsport, since we can replace the standard management system where we can control every part of the system and not be hampered by what the road based and evermore complex systems which are continually monitoring to see if the car in every aspect is performing correctly. If anything is picked up by the standard ECU and not operating as it should, as a minimum it will turn an engine warning light on and normally put the engine into 'limp' mode. Finding all the information that the stock ECU requires is a massively complex job, taking many thousands of hours to decypher with possibility that the next time your car is serviced Ford update software and maps completely changing everything you have already deciphered.

When fitting a motorsport management system none of this becomes a problem, the only problem as far as you are concerned being the end user is that the standard management system not only controls the engine, but a mass of other accessories fitted to the car, which again is expensive to be developed for a road car.

The car you have been looking at on our website belonging to Dyrr is a pure race car and therefore none of the problems mentioned above apply. Obviously if you are using a totally stripped out car for fast road and track use only, then this kind of conversion would be the route to go.

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Engine upgrades to Caterham R500
Question: I want to do some modifications to my Caterham R500 during the winter. Can you give me some advise about your power upgrade kit? Are they suitable for the r500 Duratec? It will be 90% for track use (only track day no competition) and 10% road use.

Answer: Before I could quote you, I would need to know the following;
1.  The amount of time between engine rebuilds e.g. the amount of track use, hours on track, kilometres/miles in use.
2.  Do you want to upgrade your own engine or will you be sending it to the UK to be built.  It is possible to build your own engine no matter what the specification but the higher the level, the greater skills you will need.
3.  Potential performance you are looking for.
4.  Budget.

The higher the specification of the engine, the greater the cost will be, effectively the price rises exponentially due to the grade of the components and the time required to build the engines.  Also the higher the specification normally the time between rebuilds becomes closer, for example a 270bhp engine has far more affordable components than a 290bhp spec engine, the 290bhp spec engine requires more work and therefore the price of the components increases.  The 307bhp spec engine has significantly increased stress due to much higher lift and rpm being used, so therefore the quality of the component has to be of an even higher quality.  This also induces the potential for increased maintenance of the engine due to the increase in revs and load on associated components, therefore rebuilds need to be more regular.

What some of our customers chose to do is to have some of the components from the highest specification engine kit, which are there for increased reliability fitted to the lower grade kits.  This helps to give further increased reliability and in some cases as increased performance, so this is an option for you.

The final part of the information I will give you is that the associated external components such as exhaust system and throttle bodies are also crucial to increases in performance, over the past year many customers using similar cars to yours have gone for full or partial upgrades and if they do not upgrade and replace the original throttle bodies and exhaust at the same time, this has a negative overall effect and will reduce the potential maximum performance.

Replacing the induction system would be relatively easy, whereas replacing the exhaust would be much harder due to the fact that these normally have to be custom built for the car.  We would provide exhaust dimensions on ordering a kit or engine, you could then either have it made locally or it may be necessary for the car to be shipped to the UK so all these things must be considered prior to ordering.

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Please check our customer cars section which may help answer your questions
 
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