Ford I4 DOHC engine

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The Ford I4 DOHC engine was a 4-cylinder inline internal combustion engine with twin overhead camshafts, produced by the Ford Motor Company. First with 2.0 litre 8-valve version, in later models with 2.0/2.3 litre 16-valve version from 1989 to the end of production of the MK2 Ford Galaxy in 2006. It powered various Ford models during this time, but was most well known in the rear wheel drive "Twin Cam" variants of the Ford Sierra, and Ford Scorpio. Despite being built for the company's larger RWD models, Ford unusually employed the engine in the front wheel drive Galaxy and sport version of Escort named RS2000.


The I4 was originally designed to replace the ageing US-designed 2.0L OHC Ford Pinto engine, derivatives of which had powered most of Ford's four cylinder rear-wheel drive cars since the 1960s, and which was now lagging badly behind the competition in terms of power output, efficiency and refinement. Equipped with a newly designed twin-cam cylinder head but still only 8 valves, and a "square" 86x86mm bore and stroke, the new I4 unit was launched in the Ford Sierra and Ford Scorpio, mated to the newly designed all-synchromesh MT-75 5 speed manual transmission, or the existing A4LD four speed automatic. The engine itself received mixed reviews, being seen as an improvement over the Pinto, but not the leap forward one might have expected. However with the Sierra in its twilight years, and the new bigger Mondeo ultimately destined to replace both Sierra and Scorpio, and with the forthcoming Mondeo having been developed around the new Zetec unit, it is conceivable that Ford knew the engine would have a relatively short production life, and chose to keep investment costs low.

Transverse installation

Although front wheel drive, and powered by a separate range of transversely mounted engines, the smaller Escort model was to play host to the next major incarnation of the I4. In 1990, the mkV Escort had been launched to disappointing press reviews, and Ford were looking to boost the image of this critically important range and steal sales from arch rivals Vauxhall and VW who were doing very well with big bore GTE/GTI badged versions of their family hatches.

Ford's strategy was to introduce two high performance versions to steal some of the lucrative hot hatch market, using the well known XR3i and RS2000 badges. The XR3i was to be powered by tweaked versions of the new Zetec 1.8 litre engine from the standard Escort range, but the 2.0 Zetec unit being developed for the new Mondeo was a still a year away. Rather than wait for the new engine to become available, Ford took the unusual decision to take the longitudinally mounted I4, install a highly efficient multivalve cylinder head and tubular exhaust manifold, and mount it transversely in an FWD application. Designated N7A, critics remarked on its similarity in both specification and appearance to the Astra GTE's legendary C20XE "Redtop" unit which itself was widely regarded as the top hot hatch engine of the time. How much of this similarity was intentional is hard to say, but Ford would have to have been aware of the huge success enjoyed by the Astra, and the amount of credit its engine was given for that success. Certainly the RS2000's engine was well regarded, and is still seen as lively and characterful today.

With the disappearance of the Sierra in 1993, and the fading of the RS2000 in the mid 90's, the I4 engine went on to more workaday applications, later appearing the Ford Galaxy MPV, launched in 1995 as the result of a collaboration with Volkswagen/Seat. By this time, a bored out 2.3 litre 16 valve version of the engine was available alongside the original 2.0 which was still available in both 8 valve and 16 valve versions. This 2.3 litre unit also found its way into the Ford Scorpio and the Ford Transit van.

8v engine Specifications


  • Carbureted
  • Power: 107 hp (80 kW) at 5600 rpm.
  • Torque: 174 N·m (128 lb·ft) at 3000 rpm.
  • Redline: 6050 rpm


  • Electronic fuel injection (Batched multi-point)
  • Power: 123 hp (92 kW) at 5500 rpm.
  • Torque: 174 N·m (128 lb·ft) at 2500 rpm.
  • Redline: 5950 rpm


  • Electronic fuel injection (Batched multi-point)
  • Catalytic converter
  • Power: 118 hp (88 kW) at 5500 rpm
  • Torque: 171 N·m (126 lb·ft) at 2500 rpm.
  • Redline: 5950 rpm

16 valve engines


  • Capacity: 1998 cc
  • Bore: 86.0 mm
  • Stroke: 86.0 mm
  • Compression: 9.3:1
  • Valvegear:Belt driven twin OHC. 16 valves. Hydraulic tappets.
  • Fuelling: EEC-IV controlled multi-point fuel injection
  • Power: 162 hp (121 kW) @ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 190 N·m (140 lb·ft) @ 4500 rpm


  • Capacity: 1998 cc
  • Bore: 86.0 mm
  • Stroke: 86.0 mm
  • Compression: 9.8:1
  • Valvegear: Chain driven twin OHC. 16 valves. Hydraulic tappets.
  • Fuelling: EEC-V controlled multi-point fuel injection
  • Power: 136 hp (101 kW) @ 6300 rpm
  • Torque: 175 N·m (129 lb·ft) @ 4200 rpm


  • Capacity: 2295 cc
  • Bore: 89.6 mm
  • Stroke: 91.0 mm
  • Compression: 10:1
  • Valvegear: Chain driven twin OHC. 16 valves. Hydraulic tappets.
  • Fuelling: EEC-V controlled multi-point fuel injection
  • Power: 145 hp (108 kW) @ 5600 rpm
  • Torque: 202 N·m (149 lb·ft) @ 4500 rpm


See also