Engine - SOHC 2.0 SPI --> DOHC 2.0 VCT Sw | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
  1. Wash your hands and do not touch your face, keep it safe and clean. Long live Feoa!

Engine SOHC 2.0 SPI --> DOHC 2.0 VCT Sw

Discussion in 'Engine Swaps' started by Rectilinear, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Well after much thought since my SPI dropped both #4 valve seats, I am going forward with a DOHC swap from a ZX2.

    The car to be fixed:
    1999 Escort Wagon SOHC 2.0 SPI / manual transmission

    [​IMG]

    The donor car:
    2001 Escort ZX2 DOHC 2.0 SPI / automatic transmission

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The wagon will remain a manual trans car since I can't stand automatics.

    First, I tore down the engine to see how bad the damage was. Though the valve seats dropped in the #4 cylinder, the compression upon failure distributed pieces of shattered valve seat material into the other cylinders. 3 out of 4 pistons were destroyed. When I pulled the head off, two of the head bolts (in the water jackets) were seized and snapped off in the block. I was very disappointed in all of the dmage to the short block since otherwise your could clearly see the crosshatching as it had been a well cared for engine. But this brought me to the point where the block would have to come out and be rebuilt or replaced. Time to tear down!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So I got my hands on a 2001 ZX2 that had been wrecked in front and rear in the recent ice storm. I checked out the engine and it sounded great. No rattles or knocks, good idle, just a slight stumble off idle from what I think was the vacuum leak on the firewall. I tore into the ZX2 gently to learn as much as I could about the swap. All in all, it went pretty well. I pulled both engine and trans out together. As it hung on the hoist, I marvelled at the packaging of the engine and trans. I am very used to working on RWD cars, but the FWD is a different beast for me. I appreciate the thought that went into packaging the accessories and vital components to fit the engine compartment. Although the intake manifold is plastic, the flange is absolutely massive at just over an inch thick.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I pulled the timing components off of the DOHC first. My intent was to replace the timing belt, water pump, tensioners, any leaky seals and bolt it all up to the manual trans out of my car. Upon getting the accessories and timing components out fo the way, I notice an older coolant seep at the corner of the head. This discovery was a bit disheartening as I was hoping to do minimal work on this donor but now is the time. I want to do this and do it right the first time around, so here we go....

    I got it all stripped down of the accessories, sensors, brackets, intake and exhaust and started pulling off the valve cover. I pulled off the cover to find a very clean engine, seemingly taken care of pretty well, too after 141K miles. This brought me to the point where I needed to pull the camshaft bearing caps which use a bolt I had never encountered before. These are External Torx or E-sockets. No big deal as Sears, some auto parts stores and places like Harbor Freight and Northern Tools keeps them in stock. For the camshaft bearing cap bolts, you will need an E10 socket. But before pulling the caps, you will need to remove the VCT pulley off of the exhaust side camshaft. There is a cap on the VCT pulley that needs to be removed by using a torx socket, this will expose the much larger external torx bolt underneath. I believe that it takes an E20, but I was unable to confirm this since an E20 is apparently very difficult to get a hold of in this area. Northern Tools is supposed to carry a set of them, but my location was out and I decided not to drive 17 miles to get them. I confirmed that a 12 point 16m socket is all that needed to remove this bolt. Keep all the caps and bolts organized when they come off, you will need to replace them in the same manner as they came out. After the cams come out, you can acces the T55 Torx head bolts underneath. I stripped the head of all of the cam followers and anything else tht could fall out and get lost or damaged at a machine shop. A breaker bar is needed to get the head bolts out as they are under a lot of torque. After the bolts are out, remove the head and inspect it and the head gasket. I have gotten myself to this point now. The head looks really good but I am going to take it to the machine shop to have it cleaned and surfaced for the new gasket.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After I got this far, I found that while the engine seems to be in pretty good shape, the cylinders show some signs of wear. If they showed the fresh crosshatching like my SPI did, I would leave it be but this is not the case, so I will drop it off with the head so it can be checked out, cleaned and propbably bored .010 over if not more. I found a master rebuild kit that includes pistons, gaskets, bearings, oil pump and seals. As soon as I know what sizes I need in everything, I will get it on order.

    In the meantime, I will continue to work on the wagon, to get it ready to accept the swap. I still need to pull out the shortblock and trans, clean the compartment out and start switching over the various wires and brackets, hoses and such that I need for the DOHC. I'll continue to get pics and document the swap as I go along. I hope to wrap this up in the next week or two.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  2. copcarguy

    copcarguy FEOA Member

    Messages:
    1,989
    Likes Received:
    851
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    Good Luck on this project! I'm rootin' for you...
  3. Escort LXR

    Escort LXR Customizer

    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Location:
    COLORADO
    Oh man this looks like this is gonna be a good project! Keep us posted on the Swap!:D
  4. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Thanks guys! Worked on it a bit more tonight after posting this thread. I got the SPI out of the wagon along with the trans. The driver side half shafts would not come out of the trans but it all came out with the motor so I can pop it out while it's on the floor I guess. I remember having the same issue when I took the engine out if the Festiva a few years back. Anyway, so far everything is looking good for the swap. I am dropping off the short block and head at the machine shop tomorrow. I know I had one shredded motor mount on the wagon that I found tonight so I'll be looking into mounts while I'm at it. Looks as though the stock wagon a/c components will work with the dohc unless the lines interfere with the doc catalytic converter, more on that later when I get to that point. I also confirmed that the heater hoses are different on the dohc. Also appears so far that I will have to use the zx2 radiator but I'm not 100% sure of that yet.
    Any parts differences I come across I will post here. I want this to be as complete as possible for who ever wants to do this swap in the future.
    Escort LXR likes this.
  5. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Got the head back today so I can get it cleaned up, reinstall the followers and cams and get it ready to go back on the bottom end when I get it back. I should know the condition of the block in the morning. The crank will need to be turned .010 under. As soon as I know about the block, I can order my kit and hope to get it here asap. I'm seriously considering taking a week off of work just so I can get this thing wrapped up without having to stay up late every night of the week. Makes for long days sitting in front of a computer.
    Escort LXR likes this.
  6. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Not too much to update right now....

    I did get the chance to clean up the head last night and get all the cam followers reinstalled. I threw the cams in without torquing them as I know they have to come back out to bolt the head back onto the block. At least this way I know all the parts are where they are supposed to be and they are safe until I get to that point.

    [​IMG]

    Just got off the phone with the machine shop and I may be able to pick up the block today. It is at the honing machine right now so they aren't going to have to go above standard on it. While this is great news, I might end up ordering the master rebuild kit anyway and not use the pistons because the kit is cheaper than buying the individual components.

    Might be able to work on this thing this weekend after all!!
    Escort LXR likes this.
  7. schwinnman67

    schwinnman67 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Location:
    Colorado
    Did you put the cam followers back in the exact bores they came out of ? They are shim and bucket and will effect your valve clearance...

    Looking forward to seeing finished pics..
  8. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Absolutely! I kept them in order the way I removed them on the bench until the head came back.

    I got the block back and it turned out to be standard bore, it was in great shape. The crank was turned .010 under on maim asks rod journals. I'm cleaning parts now and have a few things painted already such as the oil pan and the water pump adapter. The windage pan is next and that's where the first color will start going on.
  9. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Well, I had hoped to make a lot more progress today but the shop sold me the wrong rod bearings. Made a pretty startling discovery today, speaking of the rods. I was shocked to see how they were produced. Cast as a single piece and snapped to form a road and cap!

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I got the first bit of color on the block, got the valve cover cleaned, stripped and painted and some other odds and ends done but after having the wrong bearings AND wrong gasket set, I kind of had the wind taken out of my sails. I'm hoping to have better luck tomorrow when I pick up the new gaskets and bearings as well as a new oil pump.

    So tonight in an effort to finish something, I finally got my vintage Mongoose project rideable again. It's a 1980 chrome moly frame with a RockShox Reba suspension fork, disc brake and single BMX crank. For now I'm running it with no derailer and just set up on one gear until I can build a rear wheel, but I was excited to ride it finally after tearing it down a few months ago!
    Tnashua and Escort LXR like this.
  10. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Update:

    At a standstill as of now. Engine is built and ready to bolt up to the GM5 trans that came out of the SPI outfitted wagon. I cannot find confirmation anywhere that my SPI flywheel will work with the crank trigger on the Zetec. It will physically bolt up to the crankshaft but is the drill pattern correct to send the signal to the ecu?
    also, I am trying to track down the correct flywheel bolts to use on this. I have much research to do tomorrow when Ford opens up.

    I'll post current pics of the assembled engine as soon as I can get them uploaded to photobucket.
  11. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,514
    Likes Received:
    593
    Trophy Points:
    263
  12. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Got a new flywheel and bolts for the manual zx2. Good to go. Problem is, the crank sensor and mount is different from the manual and automatic. Got the mount on order from Ford and the sensor is coming from O'Reilly auto today. I have pics to post but much work to do yet....
  13. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    At last it runs. The Zetec sounds throaty through the Flowmaster exhaust. I have a lot of details to cover and some more pics to post but I have been absolutely 100% consumed with this swap this week. Sunday I built the longblock and tonight I got to hear it run. With any luck I can have the zx2 shell picked up and hauled off tomorrow.
    Before I can drive it, I have to figure out why the cooling fan will not come on but I suspect an added relay in the harness that I got out of a donor manual teams zx2 at the jy.

    Anyway, more details to follow.....
    novanutcase and dchawk81 like this.
  14. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    After a bit of sleep, I can finally think straight about this and fill in a few details.

    First thing I have to say is the same as what has already been said about this swap. HAVE A PARTS CAR AVAILABLE.
    As you may remember, my parts car was an automatic as opposed to the manual I intended to use. Because of this I had to go get a main engine/PCM harness and PCM out of a junkyard car to complete the swap.
    From my parts car, I had to utilize:
    Radiator
    Coolant line (bolted to the unibody on the passenger side)
    A/C receiver drier and all underhood lines
    Coolant recovery tank
    Windshield washer tank
    Power steering cooler
    Cruise control module
    Throttle cable
    Exhaust downpipe and catalytic converter
    Power steering lines from pump to rack

    After I scavenged all of these parts from the zx2, that car's engine bay looks completely bare. My underhood now looks exactly like the zx2 did when I got it, except now it's clean.

    [​IMG]

    This is the ZX2:
    [​IMG]

    And the wagon: (in these pictures you can also see the difference in the fuel filter brackets. You must use the bracket from the ZX2)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The only other notable difference between the two cars is the heater core. The zx2 has about a 40 degree upturn to the outlet hoses where the wagon was straight. I did not change out the heater core and just hooked the zx2 heater hoses to the core which poses no issues at all. All engine accessories from the zx2 were utilized. It is necessary to change the power steering lines all the way to the rack because the switch will interfere with the alternator pulley. In the same area, the main harness connectors from the wagon will interfere with the alternator body thus making it necessary to get a different harness.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  15. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,514
    Likes Received:
    593
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Had you had an MTX parts car do you think it would have been easier?

    John
  16. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Absolutely. If you intend on running an MTX in the end, hold out if possible and find a manual car to part out. Same goes for an ATX. It will make your life much easier. Fortunately for me, I have a great jy that I can go to that had 7 ZX2's and 5 of them were MTX cars. But I still had to buy the flywheel and crank sensor "bushing" separately. More to come on that one....
  17. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Okay, so I hope to shed a bit more light on this project now so bear with me.

    I had to buy a new flywheel for the car since I parted out a ZX2 ATX. Along with the new flywheel, I had to buy a new crank sensor and "bushing" as Ford calls it. The automatic equipped cars have a longer one that loactes the sensor outboard to the edge of the flywheel whereas the manual equipped cars are configured so the sensor sits deeper on toward the flwheel and inboard about a half an inch.

    This must be changed out before the flywheel goes on! Even though the sensor is accessible from the engine side, the mounting bracket bolts on under the flywheel!

    While the engine is out, strip the firewall of all the "stuff" associated with the a/c, evap and vacuum systems, cruise control and coolant and washer tanks. The coolant and washer tanks now will mount to the firewall where the a/c drier used to be. The evap/vacuum system is much cleaner now with the Zetec. The a/c lines will have to be changed all the way from the evaporator (at the firewall) to the condenser on the low side of the system. The drier is now located outboard of the power steering reservoir and the lines are specific to this configuration. The low side switch will have to be rerouted to this location and although I have not done it yet, I believe the wires are long enough to do this without splicing them. The wiring harness is fairly easy to change out as well, even when the engine is already in place. It is secured to the firewall in only a few places with 10mm nuts and the rest are snap-in studs on the harness itself. Inside the car, the front half of the console and inner kick panels have to be removed for PCM access. There is a 10mm bolt that holds the plug to the PCM and then it can slide out easily (not as easily on an ATX car though due to the shifter). There are two large connectors (white and gray) behind the PCM that need to be disconnected. After popping the snap-in fasteners out of the sheetmetal in there, the harness can be fed out into the engine bay through the large grommet. Then you can pop the new harness and
    PCM in the same way the other one came out.

    Motor mounts are all the same. This is a good time to check them all. Chances are, you will find out that the rear/lower transmission mount will be bad. This was likely a contributor to the bad vibrations you had in the car with the SPI.

    There is a coolant hose that is bolted to the unibody on the passenger side that you need to swap over. I connects the heater hose from the aft side of the engine to the radiator. Don't forget this hose! The radiator from the ZX2 has the fitting for this hose on it whereas the wagon/sedan radiator does not, hence the radiator from the ZX2 must be used. It bolts up the same as the wagon/sedan with the same mounts/brackets and fan.

    I had serious issues with removing the axles from my transaxle. The passenger side axle popped out but the driver side would not budge until I got it out of the car and got a prybar to it. Note that using a prybar or similar tool can damage the line cutter on the axle and this can tear the seal in the transaxle. These can be straightened out if you are reusing the axles but in my case, I had to replace the driver side axle anyway due to a torn boot. When the axles pop out, you WILL lose ATF from the trans. When it is all put back together, you will have to remove the speed sensor and refill the trans to the appropriate level.

    After it ia all put back together, and this thing is a monster with all of it's accessories and such, just double check everythign to make sure it is all bolted up, all wiring connectors are connected and then top off all the fluids. My battery is about 4 years old and had gone flat during the last month. The low voltage caused some issues upon the first startup until I got it charged up enough. Whether it was not enough fuel pressure or weak spark, it struggled to start at first, but then with some patience and waiting for the battery to charge, it fired right up and ran like a champ.

    I have still not driven the car yet so I cannot speak to the power increase or driveability just yet. I still need to investigate the wiring/relay to the cooling fan as it will not come on. It actually got pretty warm during the initial engine break in in the garage before I had to stop the break-in short and shut it off. I hope to resolve this in the next day or so.

    I also have one single connector on the transmission that I cannot find a home for. I believe it to be the connector for my reverse lights. Having a hard time figuring this one out as that connector should be on any and all harnesses fro any 3rd Gen Escort.

    Pictures to be added to this post soon. Feel free to ask questions or let me know if I left anything important out. I kind of flew through this and it was a big job to remember all the details off the top of my head!
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  18. novanutcase

    novanutcase FEOA Member

    Messages:
    2,514
    Likes Received:
    593
    Trophy Points:
    263
    I have an MTX zx2 that someone is selling for $600 that has front end damage. He says it runs fine and tranny is in good condition. I might offer him $400 for it depending on what condition it's in when I see it. I just need a place to park it so that I can part out the engine bay and get rid of the shell as I plan on doing this swap just not right now or would you suggest that I hold onto the entire car until I'm ready to do the swap?

    John
  19. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    3,450
    Likes Received:
    940
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Hold onto the entire car. Don't disassemble anything. It'll stay better protected. Like having a car shaped tarp over the parts.
  20. Rectilinear

    Rectilinear FEOA Member

    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    128
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    $400 is not a bad price if he will take it. I paid $400 for mine delivered and I am getting $50 offers for the remains now since I plan to keep the wheels off of it. Sold the auto trans for $125 and a door mirror for $15 so I'm not doing too bad on it...
    Honestly, I would say it would be best to keep the car if you can, this way all of the hoses and parts stay in order and don't get pushed around, misplaced or damaged before you can start the swap. But if you have a good place to store everything in the meantime, I can walk you through what you absolutely need to take off of it.
    Shoot me a pm and I'll get you my contact info. I would be happy to answer any questions that I can to help you through it.

    BTW I still have more pics to post but computer issues are making it a pita to load them right now. Hopefully I will have that resolved soon as well.

Share This Page