1.9l CFI performance | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

1.9l CFI performance

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by austin86, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    This thread is a mess right now so stay tuned for an updated version.

    I know we have a performance thread all ready but its more for the HO. I'm hopping I can get all the info for the CFI's in one place.
    This thread will be updated and cleaned up when I have time. Photos will be added and so will PN#'s.
    I'm hoping to put of photos and mini guide to some of what is posted here later on.


    Fuel system.
    Changing the fuel pressure. Not many know this but the fuel pressure regulator has a screw that can be used to adjust the fuel pressure. If you open the fuel pressure regulator diaphragm housing that is on top of the CFI unit you can adjust the screw to lower or rise the fuel pressure. I have not done this myself and I can't see it doing much but its worth a try.

    Tempo injector, I have read that the injector off a CFI Tempo has a better spray pattern and using one makes the motor run happier.

    2.3l CFI swap. Its been talked about in the past, you will need to make an adapter plate and do a little bit a wiring. The 2.3l CFI unit has a bigger bore and better for fuel atomizing .

    Ignition
    Master Coil upgrade. MSD 8227 TFI coil. Weights less and is a tick better then stock. Bolts right in.

    Plugs. I tried every plug under the sun. I found that the motorcraft iridium spark plugs seem to do the best on a CFI motor.

    Changing ignition tinning. I found that taking 2-4 degrees out of base timing to around 10BTDC makes the car a tick punchier off the line.
    Indexing plugs. Something you can do on just about any car. Is not going to add any power. Just make the car run happier.

    Cooling
    Late/AC radiator swap. The radiator used in AC cars and latter CFI cars is longer than a earlier/non AC car. It would useful for those down south that had over heating problems.

    Exhaust
    Manifold to HO header swap. The header off a HO GT can be used on a CFI car. However using it will require making a longer O2 wire and a EGR delete or making custom EGR plumbing.

    Muffler. I don't really see any need to replace stock muffler, but if you feel the need to the tempo muffler is a direct fit and is less restrictive.

    Engine Internals and misc. bolt on's
    HO cam and roller lifters. The cam out of an HO GT can be used in a CFI car, PN for the HO roller cam is E7FZ-6250-B.
    If you have a early 88 or older CFI head its likely a flat lifter cam, getting a latter GT cam and roller lifters is a good mod, wile not a hot cam, it does make a good difference.

    5w-20 oil. Now this one might not go over all to well, but I run 5w-20 oil in my CFI. I was amazed on how well the car picked up off the line by just using a thinner oil. I don't recommend this for daily driving, your likely to ware the engine out fast with 5w-20 vs 5w-30.

    1.6l head gasket. If you have a stock boar its likely you have a 1.9l/2.0l gasket swapping to a 1.6l gasket will have less quench area and seal better. But be warned, most listings online for the 1.6l gasket is a one size fits all part for the 1.6l and 1.9l

    Porting the head. The CFI head is know for having rather small intake and exhaust ports. Porting them is worth a try so long as you don't go to crazy. The intake on stock CFI should be around 36mmX28mm vs the 37mmX33mm of the HO head. Can't recall the the exhaust port sizes but I know they are small. Note that I never done this and you do this at your own risk.

    Ford racing adjustable cam pulley. Ford racing made an adjustable cam pulley for the 1.9l motors. PN for the cam pulley is m-6256-a111 It allows 2 degree jumps both adding and taking cam timing out of the cam.
    20F3D0C5-F31B-4B16-8EC4-0AF7B383AC0E.jpeg 8846CEC6-1D18-40EE-9501-C0CE0E219562.jpeg D455DDDC-28D3-449C-9BB8-EF0601DB7E30.jpeg

    Shaving Weight.
    AC delete: about 50-60lb.
    PS delete, 5-10lb depowered, about 15lb swapping to a manual rack, note the manual rack has a different interment shaft and mounts.
    Interior delete, about 40lb
    Swapping to 81-83 or EXP seat rails about 7lb. Note EXP seat rails are lower profile, the seat will sit lower in the car with them.
    Tempo muffler swap. About 2lb
    HO header swap. About 10lb
    Tempo starter and front swaybar brackets and body mounts swap. About 10lb
    Motorized seat belt delete. About 20lb
    Stock to MSD coil swap. About 1/2lb.
    Stock to slim rad fan swap. About 8lb.
    Power mirror to non power mirror swap. About 3lb.
    Removing hood underside ribbing and latch using hood pins. About 5lb more if you take the rear hinges out too.
    Spoiler delete on late EXP. 40lb. Its waited. I been told a MR2 spoiler fits and latter EXP too.
    81-83 SS/GT motor mount swap. Not sure if it would work, but the early SS/gt models had aluminum motor mounts that are said to be lighter. About 2-5lb saved likely.
    Power brake to manual swap. I have not done this but I can see it saving around 5-10lb. I'm told you need a different brake pedal you do the swap.
    Cruise control delete. About 2-3lb.
    Steel to GT alloy wheel swap. How much you save with GT alloy wheel swap depends the tires used and what size steel wheel you had. Anywhere form 10-20lb likely.
    Light wight battery. About 10lb.
    Fog light delete. About 5-10lb, oddly I seen a lot of escort's and EXPs without the fog lights that sill have the bracket for them. Removing the brackets would save about 3lb
    Splash grad delete. 2lb.


    Suspension
    Will add later. I know of sway bars, coil overs and drop spring kits. Will be posting PN#

    Crazy stuff
    Roll bars and cages. PN's 550-943701K, 550-943703K, 550-943704K, 550-943705K
    Chassis, PN 550-943705K1.
    Note that both the roll bar/cage and chassis kit are for the EXP. They may fit a two door escort with mods but I can't be sure.

    Part numbers
    Jegs Chassis for EXP 550-943705K1.
    Jegs roll bars and cages, 550-943701K, 550-943703K, 550-943704K, 550-943705K
    Ford motor sport adjustable cam sprocket. m-6256-a111
    HO GT roller cam. E7FZ-6250-B.
    MSD TFI coil. 8227
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  2. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    looking good
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  3. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    Thanks. I still have alot to add too. Over time the OP will be cleaned up and more information and stuff will be added.I added some info on the adjustable cam pulley and the PN for the HO roller cam.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  4. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Good point about the correct head gasket. I have stocked up on smaller bore gaskets when they are cheap, from Rockauto.
    The earlier heads may not have the modest amount of machining required to fit the roller lifter retaining
    36+a9889*****************nb (cat trouble*-o

    [12000Okay, I drove the cat away]

    ...roller lifter retaining hardware.

    I am very familiar only with the second generation cars, but deleting the serpentine belt system, and retaining only the alternator with underdrive pulley was something I did on my second generation wagon:

    [​IMG]

    I wrote about it in this thread:

    https://www.feoa.net/threads/stripping-accessories-and-underdriving-alternator.104249/#post-980585
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  5. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    Good point. I have seen that too. But never ran into that problem. I was able to drop in the roller lifters in my early flat lifter 88 head. But older heads might be different.
    I'll look and see if I have any older heads and see if they have fitment problems with roller lifters.

    I added roll bars,cages and chassis and some part numbers.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  6. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    You could also try to find the rare SVO "M-6049-B111" cylinder head, which is referred to as "the European Head". But I think it was intended to be used with a carburetor, not CFI.

    Some argument about it in this thread:

    https://www.feoa.net/threads/svo-m-6049-b111-cylinder-head.113052/

    The book I got my information from is "1986 Ford High Performance", which should be fairly easy to find on line.
    The other book featured in that thread, "High Performance Escorts 1985-90" sounds like a good one as well, but I haven't seen a copy.

    Very interesting discussion of first generation cylinder heads here:

    https://www.feoa.net/threads/the-guide-to-u-s-1st-gen-cylinder-heads.8773/
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  7. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    That head if I recall is for the 1.6l.
    Carbed heads and 1.6l heads will not work with cfi intake. There is port miss match and the coolant passages are in a completely different spot.
    Also if I recall the High Performance Escorts 1985-90 book is for UK escorts. Still I would like to get my hands on a copy. I always wanted to build up a 1.6l seeing that the UK has alot of aftermarket parts for them.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  8. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    Some of this info sounds awfully familiar :)
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  9. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    woah... cow bro. have u been here the whole time? havent seen u post in a while
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  10. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    Indeed. I gained alot of knowledge going over some of your old posts.
  11. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    I get notifications in my email now and then, so I'll stop by and browse, or post. Mostly doing the dad thing, playing/recording music, and working in computers these days, with automotives and other hobbies on the side. I probably should be here more often...as an elder, or "ancient" as you so eloquently put it :)


    I had access to a small yard full of parts from my dad's days of specializing in Escorts (he worked on countless ones in Detroit), and had no budget. Back in the days I worked on the car, I barely ate, and was borderline homeless. I don't miss that part, but working on my old Escort was cathartic, and I was able to experiment with various mods, or compare/measure parts to see if they'd work. Necessity is often the mother of invention, and I had no 1st gen parts in WV, where I lived at the time, so I really had to hunt things down, or pick from other cars. Later on, I found a decent job, got some more parts strung together, and then bought a Mustang for performance...and the Escort was rear-ended and totaled. I still sold it off to someone who banged out the dents, and drove it around. No clue what happened to it after that, but it was featured on Craigslist at one point, and a member here found it.

    Anyway, yeah, I'm around, feel free to message with whatever questions. I still have all the old books and tools, but my spare parts are long gone. As I get older, I appreciate the simplicity of the 80s and older cars, and will probably get another Escort in the coming years, or maybe a Sierra, if I can find one.
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  12. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    good to see u man. im in the process of a spit build right now..
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  13. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    I'm glad you're still around, too. Somewhere, I may still have the marclar intake picture...maybe. I lost some stuff in a hard drive crash a while back. The newbies don't know!

    I'm chasing down harmonic issues in my 'stang, partly from the spherical bearing suspension points, or possibly a dying pinion bearing. I may just stuff a 9" rear in the thing and call it a day. Tired of dealing with 8.8 and taking the whole thing down just to fix a gearset issue.
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  14. 83wagon

    83wagon FEOA Member

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    Looking forward to this
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  15. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    A couple things to note about the main post in this:

    The DIY spiral core spark plug wires work well on the CFIs. Yes, they're inherently noisier and some cars don't do well with it, but these work.

    Spark plugs: Indexing seems to help, and I used Bosch platinum plugs quite a bit, too. Didn't notice much of a performance difference between them.

    Base timing should be 8-10 BTDC. Just remember to remove the SPOUT connector when adjusting, and that there is a small bump on the forward distributor mounting ear that will correspond to ~10BTDC timing when flush with the top of the cylinder head surface.

    Also, these cars are still very sensitive to mechanical timing, and more accurate timing marks really are necessary in my opinion. Manuals can use a Tempo flywheel and trans shim, with either an inspection window cut in the top of the trans case, or swapping to a Tempo transaxle.

    For the autos, they could probably swap to the Tempo flex plate and shim. I've never done it, but it would make sense.

    If either of these options seems like a bad idea, an accurate timing wheel and pointer would need to be used. I partially think the reason why the CVH was known to "run rough" is because they were always slightly out of mechanical time. The stock cover can easily give a +-4 degrees difference.

    Oh, and the fuel pressure increase will change how the injector sprays, with a bit more atomization than normal. Don't go crazy, but 1-2 PSI seems to help.
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  16. 1982 EXPert

    1982 EXPert FEOA Member

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    I'd say the 1.6 is more fun to build up, with them all being completely interchangeable (unlike the CFI vs Carb vs EFI HO vs SEFI vs 2.0 compatibility struggle between the tall blocks) it's easier to make more power, there's more support thanks to the UK, and more likely to start with good power from the start.
    The fun is every 1.6 is a hemi with domed pistons all between 8.0:1 - 9.5:1 for compression (the lowest one is the Turbo) granting them good naturally aspirated potential when paired with high octane fuel and advanced timing. The high compression 1.6s even already have headers, and a slightly larger carb or EFI. Next step up is bike carbs (if not EFI already), ported head, roller rockers, dual springs, and hotter camshaft from Burton/Newton/Kent Cams/Elgin.
    The only issue with going further to shave the head and fully utilize a better cam is getting a vernier cam sprocket, no one makes the square tooth style so you'd have to convert to round tooth which means sourcing a different water pump and making that work with your coolant system around your motor's accessories: A/C, alternator, etc.

    1.9/2.0s have more potential for power (swapping any 1.6 with a 1.9 block grants 20hp right there) but it is some work as we all know no matter which stage you want to be at. With EFI you can do custom tunes with a shaved head, vernier cam, and header to be sitting pretty good or turbocharge with more tuning and stronger internals for double power.
    But no matter what there isn't really anything out there for performance camshafts or high comp pistons to really rock naturally aspirated unless you have an EFI HO and are willing to switch to a ported 1.6 head so you can have better cam options then add either a larger throttle body or 4 individual throttle bodies like a bike carb setup. But again shaving the head and a hot cam will require the same vernier cam conundrum I mentioned earlier...... Maybe I can have a machine shop make me a 1-piece sprocket like the Ford one posted above.

    Bad crank sprocket.jpg
    I think Cow is right again, probably the reason why some 1st gen CVHs run kind of rough is because the mechanical timing can be pretty far off - if we can find/make vernier cam sprockets it would really help a ton. In the EXP group a friend's 1.6 was found with a flawed crank sprocket, the key hole in it was cock-eyed. We can only imagine how bad the timing was.
    My 1.6 carb runs pretty smooth, no louder or shakier than a 2.3/2.5 Duratec and it was that nice even before I rebuilt it - now has a intake port job, 1.9 intake manifold, header, and HO cam. I've learned that it's really struggling for colder air so a HO air box will be in its near future......

    Oh, and I wanted to mention the 1.6 head swap for the 1.9 EFI HO, recently it was found out that the 1.6 combustion chamber volume isn't any smaller than the 1.9 hemi. The diameter is 0.08" larger on the 1.9 but the volume is still the same, I'm still trying to find out if this is from the shape of the hemi head and/or the valve head shape.......
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