CHINESE MADE 1.6L CVH with a twist? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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CHINESE MADE 1.6L CVH with a twist?

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by RustyNutzRacing, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    Here is one maybe some of you have never seen before. I bought a Joyner sand rail made in China and converted it to an off road car. I now race it in a off road racing series. The sand rail came with a 1600 cc MPI engine made by a company called Chery. When I started looking around for performance parts for this engine….NOTHING. Couldn’t find a single parts store or anyone online who even heard of this engine. Team Joyner USA who sells the cars here in Phoenix stated they don’t make performance parts for that engine expect for a header. They did they me I could put a performance clutch in the car and to order a racing clutch for a 1997 VW Jetta. Well that got the wheels turning in my little brain and I figured that if a V dub clutch would work in my car it must be a VW motor. Well after 100’s of hours of searching V dub motors and researching every 4 cylinder V dub motor I could find and 20 + phone calls to the Chinese manufacture I finally found a person in China at Chery that spoke broken English. Just so happens he was an engine engineer. PERFECT…. JACKPOT! So I ask the gentlemen what year V dub motor is your 1600 cc motor copied after? He said VW,,,,,no no no, we went to the Ford CVH engine production plant in Britain and that is how our engines are made, same way CVH engines are made. (Took me 30 minutes of this Chinese gentlemen repeating himself for me to get all that) WOW!!! I couldn’t believe it was a dup of a Ford CVH engine. Of course I had never heard of these engines from Ford so here we go again. 100’s of hours of searching & researching the CVH engine. Found a lot of info.
    I found a lot of info on this site. Lots of knowledge here about the Ford CVH.


    So I tore the Chery engine down to see if it really did model a CVH engine. Here is what I found: (I’m going off of photos I found on line of the CVH, SPI)

    I’m confused on the heads, combustion chamber look just like late SPI cylinder heads but the intake side of the head don’t look nothing like the SPI head. I was kinda hoping for the hemi head.

    One difference I noticed is all the 2.0 SPI I’ve seen photos of, the valve cover bolts in the middle and this one bolts on from the sides. Are all 2.0 SPI valve covers like that?

    The intake valves are 44.45 mm and exhaust valves are 38.1 mm

    It’s not a roller cam, lifters are 1 7/8” long and 7/8” wide

    Bore is 79.94 mm Stroke is 79.52 mm, the pistons also look like SPI pistons. Engine block looks some what close to a CVH block with a few differences. It is stamped 1999 on the intake side of the block so I assume it was made in 1999..

    So my plan is to go buy a gasket set for a 2.0 and see if everything will line up with my head.

    I can't post any photos, they are all on my computer and not a public site. If you PM me I can send them to you or if someone can explain to me how to post them here I will.

    Any thoughts or suggestions????????
  2. 1lowscort

    1lowscort FEOA Member

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    You can e-mail me the pictures if you would like and I can post them up
    [email protected]
  3. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    Perfect......Thank You!
  4. 1lowscort

    1lowscort FEOA Member

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  5. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    If that's not a CVH clone, I don't know what would qualify as one. It's not a direct clone..more like the ugly stepchild. The pistons are not the same at all on top. They remind me of the pop top ones for the hemi heads or SPI, but not quite either. The chambers are closest to the SPI, they probably came from the late model British lean-burn design.

    I actually like the round intake ports. The valves are large size for the head. The exhaust ports, however, are a bit different, as the CVH has D shaped ports, and the Chery's are almost square. All in all it looks like some weird mish-mash of the 1.6, 1.9 HO and 2.0 SPI heads. I kind of like the combustion chamber design...they reworked the squish areas to keep the valves unshrouded

    The interesting part is the block. The UK version had the oil filter right by the pump, like the late 1.9 SEFI and 2.0 engines. However, the pictured engine has the filter in the 1st gen location, further down the line basically. It also looks like it's using the late model 1.9 oil pump. The intake manifold is entirely its own design. The 1st gen US CVH heads bolt on the edges, '91 and later use the center bolt design. I'm not familiar enough with the valve covers on the UK engines, but I thought they also used the perimeter bolts as the US 1.6 was identical aside from the oil filter location and having harder valve seats for unleaded gas. Even the head gasket looks like a Fel-Pro piece.

    If someone wasn't super familiar with the engine then it would likely pass for a CVH. How does the engine run? I've been very wary of Chinese engines before, but in this case they did choose a pretty solid design to copy. Were you able to find any info on engine specs, power, weight, compression ratio, or anything like that? If it ever burns out, just slap a real CVH in there, and go have fun.

    Don't use a 2.0 head gasket, the bore is too large for use on a 1.9 engine, which has a larger bore than your 1.6. Just go for a regular 1.6 gasket, it'll keep the quench area tighter and should give better power.
  6. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    Were you able to find any info on engine specs, power, weight, compression ratio, or anything like that? If it ever burns out, just slap a real CVH in there, and go have fun.

    Don't use a 2.0 head gasket, the bore is too large for use on a 1.9 engine, which has a larger bore than your 1.6. Just go for a regular 1.6 gasket, it'll keep the quench area tighter and should give better power.[/quote]

    Here is what I know about the engine:

    Bore & Stroke - 3.147 - 3.130

    1596 cc

    Compression Ratio - 9:75:1

    Claims 95 hp @ 5500 rpm

    Torque - 105 @ 4000 rpm

    Ignition is C.D.I

    Claimed weight is 285 lbs

    I have two of these motors, I'm currently running one of them in my off road car. It's not to bad, I run it behind a 4 speed tranny. I've had it up to 105 per my GPS. I'd like more torque and mid range power. It's kinda sluggish out of the hole.

    What my plan is.....I want to get the head ported and polished, get all I can out of the head on a flow bench. Pick up a 2.0 and build it up to 10.1 compression and slap the chery head back on.

    I don't know if it's possible but I'd like to try and get about 170 hp out of it when all said and down. Without a turbo.
  7. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    The Brits have gotten about 180 out of a 1.6L CVH. It takes a good amount of porting, a larger intake valve (the exhaust is fine imo), blueprinted bottom end, and solid lifters since the stock ones supposedly top out at 6500 rpm, and overpump after that.

    Since I'm skiddish about Chinese stuff, I'd just find an SPI and build the sucker up, especially since there's more info on it. With the Chery you're almost on your own, and the metallurgy is completely unknown. We don't know if they used good iron in the block, or recycled coat hangers. Same goes for the head..could be old coke cans. I know what they copied, and I'm glad they're making a serious attempt, but I'm not sold on their stuff yet.

    As for their power claims, those are a little optimistic. The 1.6 CVH with EFI had a 9:1 compression ratio, and made 84 hp @ 5200 rpm, and 90 lb ft. @ 2800 rpm. Earlier years made all of 70 hp and 89 lb. ft. The extra compression won't hurt, and they probably did some cam work. I'd need to see the specs to know what kind of cam they're running.

    Here are some 1.6 specs for you:

    Bore and stroke:
    3.15" x 3.13

    Main and rod journal diameters:
    2.2834" mains and 1.886"

    Oil clearance:
    .0008" mains and .0002" rods (not a typo on the rods...they are tight)
  8. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    Yeah....I'm not sure on there HP & TQ ratings either. Don't feel those numbers in the drivers seat.

    I don't know....several guys in my class run this same motor and have been for years. It seems to hold up pretty good. I just would like to one up them and let them think I running the same engine (apperance wish) and blow by them during the race. Just alittle advantage.
  9. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    If you want that, then snag a 1.9 HO engine. It'll look close enough. If you get high compression pistons for it, and better rods you'll have a pretty good setup. The late HO engines were rated for 110 hp and 116 torque, and had much more down low than the 1.6. Everything should bolt up. I think it's worth looking into, anyway.
  10. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    Are the 1.9 HO hard to find? What vehicle did they come in?
  11. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    They came in '86 to '90 Escort GTs (very few LXs have them), EXPs, Lynx XR3s, and LN7s. Not all EXPs have the HO engine..some have the base one. They're not that difficult to find. Really it's the head you're after. I suggest the late model 88.5-90 years with the roller cam. If you wind up finding a 1.6 head that's in good shape, get it. All US 1.6 heads have the hemi chamber, huge exhaust ports, and the same size valves as the 1.9 HO head. The intake ports are slightly smaller, but can be ported a lot. The HO intake and exhaust manifolds fit the 1.6 head, too. Plus, you have cam options with the 1.6 head since there are aftermarket ones in the UK. But for simplicity, go with the 1.9. If you have enough money you could get a custom grind roller cam. The blocks won't really make a difference. As far as I know all the 1.9 blocks will work, with maybe a mount modification or two. But the heads are completely swappable.
  12. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    I'm all new to this small motor thing. So if some of my questions sound like I'm a dumba$$ it's just because I've never messed with them. There is so much conflicting information on the web it's hard to know what to trust. Back in the day I built nothing but Chevy small blocks so I do have some engine experience. So that brings me to ask a question. Why would you suggest the 1.9 over the 2.0 block. My old big block buddies use to always say "There's no replacement for displacement" Larger displacment USE to mean you could get more HP. Is that not the case in these smaller engines?

    If I go with the 1.9 and stay with the 1.6 head, what cam should I run, what size injectors?

    Can I run a 1.9 cam in the 1.6 head?

    I was looking around on the web and I can get forged rods & pistons to beef up the bottom end on the 1.9. Also seen a roller cam for the 1.9 and 1.6.

    I'm wide open for suggestions........
  13. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    It's such a small amount of displacement difference between the 1.9 and 2.0 that it won't matter. And the 2.0 block itself is a little different than the 1.9 or 1.6. The cams are different between the 1.9 and 1.6 heads. If you want more info, take a look at the sticky titled "The Guide to US 1st gen heads." It's located at the top of the 1st gen section and will give more info about the differences.

    The 1.6 has staggered cam journals, but there are more options, all of which are flat-bottom lifters. Late model 1.9 engines use a roller cam, which I prefer, but there are no cam options aside from custom made. The same goes for piston and rod combos for all the CVH family...there's little to no support outside of one-off parts. It took a while, but the people on this forum finally got a set of roller rockers made, and that is a first for the CVH (not just in the US).

    It is possible to bore a 1.9 1mm over, which makes it 1905 cc if I'm remembering things correctly. Doing that and milling the head will up the compression cheaply. The stock pistons and rods will deal just fine with 10:1 compression, maybe up to 11:1, but I can't confirm it. My engine is around 10.3:1 due to boring and a heavily milled head.

    If you find a GT with a bad body, but an engine in good shape, go for it. The 1.6 heads are fairly hard to find here, but I think are worth it. The best of the 1.6 heads are the '83 years as they have the largest intake ports. The HO heads have a little larger, and smaller exhaust ports. It's really up to what you find and what you want to do with it, as well as how much you want to spend. A proper rebuild will run about $1000. The stock crank is fine until about 8k rpm, after which it's reported to fall apart. The rods themselves are middle of the road in strength for a mild hop up. The pistons are pretty weak, even replacement OEM are heavier duty. Like I said...custom stuff if you really want to play.

    If you're looking for 200 hp naturally aspirated, it'll require better pistons, rods (for high revs), and a well-ported head/intake, and possibly the SPI's intake valve. You could use the SPI head, but it's not a hemi...it's very close to the Chery engine in design.
    You'd also need a better cam setup, and if you go roller, you'll have to find someone who's grinding blank stock, or have the HO roller cam's base circle ground down...both are viable options, although the blank grind is better. If you went with the HO header, if it fits your buggy, then use it since it's a 4-2-1 design. The HO manifold is the best bet for flow, although porting would be required for higher hp, as well as a larger throttle body. The stock injectors would have to be replaced, probably with a set of dark greens (just a rough guess). The stock oil and water pumps are very good. Run an FL-1A oil filter (yes it fits) and you will have no oil issues. And, if you're going that far, blueprint the engine, CC the head chambers as well as intake and exhaust ports, and the intake manifold. That'll keep things as balanced as possible. Depending on your ignition setup you could either go with the distributor, or the EDIS. It's a lot of work, but the power is definitely possible. And, if you're not happy with that, these engines respond very well to turbocharging. I've seen 1.6 engines dynoing over 300 hp. That's pretty good considering the small displacement and 2 valves.
  14. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    WOW....thanks for the info....that helps alot.

    I know 200 hp is pushing it a bit but I'd be happy with 100 to 120 at the wheels. I've owned hot rods most my life and just by guessing I'd say I was lucky if I was getting 75 hp to the wheels right now.

    From that most anything I do will be an improvement. I will keep you posted of which way I end up going and the out come.

    Might need some advice though........

    Oh....and the series I race in don't allow turbo or nitrous. NA or EFI only. Which is a good thing, we have other classes running 900+ hp out of an LS 7. Put a turbo on that and you'd be 1000 to 1100 hp. These guys run 130+ mph through the desert now. Couldn't imagine one turboed!
  15. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    Do you know what transaxle you're using? Just ask if you're unsure about something. 120 at the wheels is definitely doable without forced induction. Another thought is that you could slap on a very small supercharger, maybe from the Toyota 4AGZE engine (1.6L DOHC engine that was a clone of the Ford BDA). That would be easy to hide, and would give a noticeable boost.
  16. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    Transaxle is 1/2 Ford and 1/2 1997 VW Jetta....the bell housing is a ford and gear case is VW.

    I'm gonna stay away from turbos and superchargers. My buggy is a rear engine and is completely exposed. Not really any place to hide a supercharger.

    Gonna try getting the hp's the old fashion way. Displacement, cam, intake, header, head porting. See where that get me anyway.
  17. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    If it's a Ford bellhousing, would the regular Escort flywheel fit? If it does, look into an aluminum flywheel for the 2.3 Lima engine, as it's the same size and bolt pattern as the CVH..it does require a little machining on the back to make it fit if I remember what other people have said. You can also find some strong clutches for the Escort itself, unless it's using a VW design. Who knows, they might be the same thing. Do you know the clutch diameter, and input shaft diameter/spline count? That'll help determine what they did.

    Don't forget the cheap mod of bore the cylinders, and either deck the block, or head mating surfaces...just beware of it being a real pain to time just right. An adjustable gear is a must if you deck a whole lot.
  18. WJC

    WJC Guest

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    Out of curiosity, how do they get away with doing this? Isn't it some kind of copyright infringement? I know corporate IP piracy is a huge problem with China, but it seems like Ford would have better sense than to let them walk through the factory taking tons of pictures.

    Or maybe Ford leased them the rights, I dunno.
  19. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    If Ford leased the rights, it would be a CVH. It's a dead engine design these days, so it really doesn't matter who sees it I guess. At least, that's my idea. And yes, the Chinese are known for bootlegging and ignoring many copyright laws. I doubt this would be an exception, especially since it's not identical to the CVH...only the ugly clone.
  20. RustyNutzRacing

    RustyNutzRacing New Member

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    We the local seach through the Junk Yards I found the following:

    1982 EXP 1.6L (Vin-2) complete engine
    1989 & 1990 1.9L complete engine (escort)
    1991 thru 1996 1.9L complete engine (escort & tracer) (Vin J)
    1995 1.9L SOHC (Vin-J) Mexican
    1997 2.0L SOHC (Vin-P) complete engine

    1982 & 1984 1.6L block only
    1994, 95 & 96 1.9L block only
    x3 - 1997 2.0L block only
    1998 2.0L block only

    1993 & 1994 1.9L Complete head


    The pickens are pretty slim around here. I'm going to do some more research, I thought I read somewhere that the Mexican engines where built for racing with a hemi head.

    So out of my limited choices above, I'm open for suggestions. Which set-up should I go with.

    Anyone know anything about the 1.9L Mexican engine?

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