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Frequently Asked Questions - Vauxhall
 
Are the C20xe and C20ex the same motor?
What is the 1.6L Ecotec engine weight?
Coscast Cylinder Head
Can I mate the 20XEJ cylinder head to 2.2L Ecotec block?
Are the Distributor & Distributorless C20XE cylinder heads interchangeable?
Use of CMFL-1 Cam followers 2.0LXE engines
Noisy Hydraulic lifters
 
Disintegrated standard idlers
C20XE Bottom pulley slipping
 
 
Oil pressure on Standard C20XE
Will the 2.0L 16v XE/LN wet sump fit on a Z20LEH engine?
Oil pressure problems after fitting oil relief valve
Space Issues in SSC Stylus with Dry sumped 2.0L XE
 
 
Noisy Hydraulic lifters

Question: Do you have a cure for noisy hydraulic lifters apart from replacing them with new ones?

Answer: Quite often when the hydraulic tappets get a bit older, you will usually find they rattle on cold start up. This should disappear after a few minutes of running. If the noise continues on after this, it usually means the followers are worn and I would suggest replacing the whole lot. The main reasons for this, is that they are considerably cheaper than they used to be and if you replace them one at a time, if you are lucky enough to find the ones that are rattling, I am sure the others won't be far behind. We do two versions of the hydraulic follower, the genuine version which is the INA and the pattern Eton version. The prices are available from our downloadable price list.

Links: 1.4L & 1.6L Vauxhall Valve Train Components | 2.0L Vauxhall Valve Train Components

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Disintegrated standard idlers

Question: The cam guide roller wheels disintegrated at idle following some fast driving, engine stopped instantly. The crank & cams still turn. Is it worth replacing just the guide wheels and belt and try to start the engine or do you recommend I take the valves out and have a look. I didn't really want to disturb the head unless I really had to. Can I change the rollers to the metal ones?

Answer: The best thing to do would be to fit the new metal idlers onto new bearings & re fit the cambelt. Do a compression check to see if any of the valves are bent. If they are ok, then just fit a new cambelt If not, then i’m afraid you have to remove the head & go from there.

Links: 2.0L Metal Idlers & Cambelts | 1.6L Metal Idlers & Cambelts

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C20XE Bottom pulley slipping
Question: I have just seen a C20XE Standard engine that is used in an Astra for racing. Have you ever seen the bottom cam belt pulley slipping? In other words the key for the pulley has slipped around the crankshaft therefore destroying all 16 Valves. As I have a couple of these engines, I wondered is this a common problem and if so what can be done to prevent it?

Answer: We do know of the problem. It isn't very common and usually only occurs in competition engines where the driver uses the gearbox instead of the brakes. What can happen under these conditions is that you get a shock loading through the flywheel. Sometimes the flywheel bolts will come loose, when this happens the shock continues on through the crankshaft. This will occasionally loosen the front crank bolt. On the 2.0L XE engine, the key way is only there for location, it has no strength. The gear itself is prevented from slipping by the extremely high torque setting of the crank bolt. The only other time we have seen the crank gears move, is if the correct torque procedure has not been used. Some people have even used loctite on this bolt and that is definitely wrong and is more likely to cause the crank gear to come loose because the loctite will usually prevent the bolt from clamping sufficiently on the crank gear. The thread of the bolt should always be lubricated and graphite grease should be placed on the underside of the head of the bolt. Then follow the torque sequence, which is laid down, on our web site (under set ups).
We have personally never experienced a crank gear coming lose on any engines we have put together, but on our 2.0L steel crankshaft we put in a second key. This means that the crank gear can then be modified to accept a stronger wood rough key. The same modification can be carried out to a standard crankshaft and we would normally mount the key 180 degrees away from the original.

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Coscast Cylinder Head
Question: I’m building a rally Nova for tarmac events my engine needs a rebuild and i plan to add your TP208's. I was wondering what your advice would be for the rebuild I need a new head, is it worth getting a coscast head?

Answer: We would normally advise the use of a Cosworth head casting. Simply because we know they don't have a problem with porosity. There are actually only a few cylinder head casting of the normal Carl Schmidt version that have become porous. The only problem is that many of these are dumped onto the second hand market and the same head castings get recirculated, so it looks like there are more than there actually are. Although you can have the cylinder head tubed and many companies are now claiming to be very successful, its the aggravation of getting it done and if it ever does become porous again, you have got to take the whole head apart again.

Links: Coscast head information

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Oil pressure problems after fitting oil relief valve.
Question: I am having problems with the oil pressure on my 2.0L XE. I have new SBD inner ring and outer ring and relief valve kit. I have 5 bar pressure at idle, cold oil and 3,1 - 3,5 bar maximum at 4000 rpm and above.

Answer: The oil pressures we recommend are for hot oil with an oil temperature between 80 - 120 deg C. This is using a 10W60 oil, fully synthetic. Possible causes for reduction in oil pressure:

1. When fitting new gears, you must be sure a genuine GM oil pump housing is used and that it is either new or in perfect condition. If the housing is worn, then a reduction in oil pressure will occur.

2. The bore where the oil pressure relief valve runs must be checked to ensure that it is smooth and has no particles or distortion. Check that the relief valve runs freely within it. if not again the oil pump housing should be replaced as this shows signs of the condition of the rest of the pump body.

3. You must ensure that the journals and bearings on rods and crankshaft are in good condition and within tolerance. Also that the whole engine is in a good working condition.

4. If you are using a thinner oil, the oil pressure will drop lower as the oil temperature rises. The oil pressure can be varied on the engine by adding addition washers to trim the oil pressure.

5. All of the above points should be checked before attempting re-shimming as you may be disguising engine wear by carrying out this modification.

Links: Oil relief valve information & instructions

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Space Issues in SSC Stylus with Dry sumped 2.0L XE
Question: I have a SSC Stylus with 2.0L VX XE with a dry sump p/p on exhaust side. Have machined front 'V' from standard pulley cluster, to fit toothed p/p drive pulley. Standard alternator belt is now blocking oil inlet port on front of engine. Assume a change to one of your multi-vee pulleys will cure this problem? Can the standard alternator be retained and fitted with a matching pulley? Will retention of standard alternator in anyway cause a problem with fitting of fuel injection throttle bodies?

Answer: The smaller pulley we produce with the 4 grooves will certainly give you more space. We also offer a small 4 groove pulley which will replace your single pulley on your alternator. It will then be a simple process of going to your local motor factor, since the 4 groove belts are now readily available and choosing the best that most suits your installation.

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Use of CMFL-1 Cam followers 2.0LXE engines

Question: Hi, I've got 2 C20XE engines built in different years, one has 26,00 mm high lifters, the other one 26,50 mm high ones, they look a little bit different inside. Can I use your hydraulic lifters CMFL-1 on both engines with no trouble?

Answer: Our CMFL-1 follower is a genuine GM supplied component, there were variations on some GM parts but they are all designed to run on all the XE engines and this the follower is the one we have used for many years.  It is the lightest version and should run successfully in any GM engine of this type.

We never use re-ground cam profiles as the base circle of the camshaft has to get smaller to do this.  One of the problems associated with re-ground cam profiles is that the follower can sit too high in the cylinder head potentially causing 2 problems; the first being the cam follower runs out of travel and the second is that the oil supply does not reach the follower correctly and therefore does not fill adequately.  These problems are normally discovered after installation of the cam profile and when fitting new cam followers, the owner believes it is a problem with the follower when in fact it is the cam re-grind itself. 

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Will the 2.0L 16v XE/LN wet sump fit on a Z20LEH engine?
Question: Will the 2L 16V wet sump XE\LN also fit on a z20LEH engine. I’m building a Lotus Seven kitcar and will use a z20LEH and would love to have some more ground clearance.

Answer: Although we do not specialise in the z20LEH engine, this engine normally has, as far as I am aware, an extra ladder frame fixed to the underside of the block.  We have removed this from earlier models of engine using the same type with no issues.  This frame is normally added in order to help reduce vibration on the standard road engine near tickover due to emissions.  We have always run the 2.0L XE block at very high rpm, sometimes over 9000rpm with no issues.  You may be able to then get the XE sump to fit, but you will have several problems when doing so; the oil pump on the z20LEH has an oval pick up pipe, the bolt holes in the sump are 6mm diameter where on the later engine they are 8mm diameter, but the biggest problem even if you overcome all the other issues is that a wet sump engine is not ideally suited for use in a Seven type kitcar.  These type of cars are able to pull quite high G forces, particularly with modern tyre technology and the wet sump would not be suitable in its standard form.   

Provided your car is only for road use and driven conservatively, then the wet sump we produce for this type of  car has an amount of oil control (you will be still required modifications as mentioned above).  If the car is to be used for any kind of track use, we would only recommend dry sump.

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Oil pressure on Standard C20XE
Question: I purchased one of your nylon relief valves for the C20XE engine (standard) a while back and now have the engine up and running with the nylon relief valve fitted but I'm a little concerned about how high the oil pressure is at idle (warm). It says on the directions that should be 65-75psi at 4000rpm, which it seems to be but sits at 50psi at idle when warm but sometimes a bit higher. The mechanic at my local garage pointed this out to me saying that it seems to be very high for a engine at idle.
 
I know the relief valve came with washers to adjust the pressure and I think I may have 3 washers in at the moment. So I was wondering if you could you tell me roughly what the oil pressure should be at idle on a standard engine when warm.

Answer: Provided your oil pressure is ok at higher rpm, oil pressure at tickover being higher than expect is not a problem.  The oil pressure at tickover is controlled by several things; the condition of the oil pump itself, the condition of the engine and how thick the oil is.  From the information you have given, this would indicate that everything appears to be in good condition.  Oil pressure is very much dependant on clearances within the engine and the oil pump itself, the larger the clearances, the lower the oil pressure would be at tickover.  Also the oil temperature would have a major effect on the oil pressure, for example to give a better indication you would need to monitor the oil temperature at tickover against oil pressure at this will give you the true indication.  Also the oil grade has an effect as well, for example if your oil temperature is only say 60-deg C, I would expect approximately 50psi, at 80-deg C I would expect approximately 40psi and at 100-deg C, I would expect approximately 25psi.

These are only to give you a guide and you cannot use water temperature as this will be different to oil temperature.  Even if you were achieving 50psi at tickover with 100-deg C and the oil pressure was stable at higher rpm, I would still be happy.

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1.6L Ecotec engine weight
Question: Can you tell me how much a 1.6L 16v Ecotec engine weighs without manifolds & how high it is?

Answer: The weight varies quite a bit according flywheel modifications. For example, our engine with dry sump system fitted, lightweight flywheel, clutch & fuel injection is 90kg. Height again varies, but if I give you the height excluding the sump pan, it is approx 440mm high. The dry sump pan we do is a minimum of 65mm at its smallest (wet sump pan likely to be closer to 100mm deep).

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Are the C20xe and C20ex the same motor
Question: Are the C20xe and C20ex the same motor?

Answer: There is a 20XE and a C20XE, effectively they are the same engine and the C denotes a catalyst. Any other number and letter combinations would represent a different model of engine.

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20XEJ cylinder head to 2.2L Ecotec block
Question: Can the 20XEJ cylinder head be mated to the block of a 2.2 litre Ecotec engine (X22XE i think), If so what modifications would be required and could this be done by yourselves?

Answer: The block dimensions as far as the head stud pattern, are identical on both blocks. The block as far as I am aware, is taller on the 2.2L engine because it has a longer stroke. I cannot be sure as to whether the rods are longer on the 2.2L engine. If they are this could present a problem, as having custom rods made to mount the XE pistons could be quite expensive, as a one off, possibly in the region of £200 each. If you are intending on using the engine as a turbo charged version, this is quite a sensible way of gaining torque, but due to the large stroke of the 2.2L engine, if you intend on running it normally aspirated and making other improvements, such as making the engine rev higher through cam changes, induction changes etc. it would not be a good idea to use the 2.2 bottom end as the stroke is so large, that the engine would try and shake it self to bits. If you are trying to gain capacity I would do it by increasing the bore size to 88mm rather than trying to achieve it in stroke. 88mm bore will give you approx. 2.1 litres. This is also a cheaper way of carrying out an increase in capacity, since the modification you are originally considering may have other unforeseen problems, such as the exhaust manifold may not fit under the sump due to its extra height, cam belts may be too short etc.

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Distributor & Distributorless C20XE cylinder head interchange
Question: Are the cylinder heads interchangeable between distributor fitted and distributorless C20 XE engines? i.e. Can I remove the distributor from an early Coscast head and simply bolt on the cam phase sensor from a distributorless head?

Answer: Yes they are interchangeable, the only problems you will have though is if you intend on mounting the coil pack in the original place the head will have to be modified. Two lugs will have to be fitted to the casting to support the coil-mounting bracket. You will also need to either fit the exhaust cam shaft from the Distributorless head, this has the correct drilling to except the wiper which is required to trigger the phase sensor. Or you will have to modify the end of the distributor type cam shaft to except the phase sensor wiper.

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