Ford Zetec engine
Ford Motor Company used the Zetec name on a variety of Inline-4 cylinder automobile engines. It was coined to replace "Zeta" on a range of 1.6 L to 2.0 L multi-valve engines introduced in 1991. The company used the name widely in European advertising and later introduced it to the North American market with the Contour.
The Zetec name was so recognized that Ford decided to apply it to other high-tech four-cylinder engines. It is used across many engine types in Europe today even though the original Zeta design ended production in 2004. Ford also confusingly used the "Zetec" name for a trim level designation in certain markets.
A Formula One engine produced for Ford by Cosworth was also badged as a Ford Zetec, although this was technologically unrelated. This engine (a 3.5 litre V8) was used by the Benetton team in 1994, and powered Michael Schumacher to his first World Championship title.
The Zetec name has been used on many different engines:
|Zetec/Zetec-E||Zeta||1.6 L (1597 cc)
1.8 L (1796 cc)
2.0 L (1988 cc)
|Zetec-R||Zeta||1.6 L (1597 cc)
1.8 L (1796 cc)
2.0 L (1988 cc)
|Zetec-SE||Sigma||1.25 L (1242 cc)
1.4 L (1388 cc)
1.6 L (1596 cc)
1.7 L (1679 cc)
|Zetec-Rocam||Kent||1.0 L (999 cc)
1.3 L (1297 cc)
1.6 L (1597 cc)
|Zetec TDCi||Duratorq||1.4 L (1399 cc)
1.6 L (1560 cc)
1.8 L (1753 cc)
2.0 L (1998 cc)
2.2 L (2198 cc)
2.4 L (2402 cc)
The first Zetec-branded engine was the Zeta family, introduced for the 1992 model year powering the fifth generation of the European Ford Escort, the third generation Orion and the Mk.3 Fiesta. The engine was originally available in 1.6 and 1.8 litre versions with a 2.0 litre version appearing in 1993 in the all-new Mondeo. The "Zeta" name was dropped in favour of "Zetec" when Italian car maker Lancia threatened to sue Ford for trademark infringement.
Early versions of the engine had a problem with sticking valves - far more evident in the UK (and in cold climates), where a driving style with earlier gear changes is more common than on the Continent - unless a special Ford formulation of oil was used. After small changes in 1995 to fix this problem the engine was known as the Zetec-E. This engine received a plastic inlet manifold and EGR derived from the Mondeo.
The Zetec had another redesign in 1998. This version, the Zetec-R, had a two-piece crankcase which helped damp out noise and vibration, conventional tappets with shims rather than hydraulic ones, and longer connecting rods with a lower piston compression height. This engine was used in turbocharged form in the Focus RS and had 212 bhp (dubbed Duratec RS). It was also used in the Focus ST170 with a cylinder head modified by Cosworth with Variable Valve Timing on the inlet cam and had 170 bhp.
The Zetec can be identified by having a silver cam cover with DOHC16v on the bottom left, the Zetec-E has ZETEC16v on the bottom left, and the Zetec-R has a black plastic cam cover.
Production of the Zeta family lasted from September 1991 through December 2004. Displacement ranged from 1.6 L to 2.0 L. It was replaced in most applications by the Mazda MZR-based Duratec 20, though some Zetec-SE engines were used as replacements on the lower end. Ford Power Products sells the Zeta in 1.8 L and 2.0 L versions as the MVH.
The engine has seen some issues. Though the block and cylinder head are stable on the 2.0L variety; the coolant outlet is not. The coolant outlet used in the 2000-2004 model year Ford Focus and 2001-2004 model year Ford Escape with 16-Valve DOHC engine use a Black thermal plastic thermostat housing (located on the right side of the engine). This black molded plastic housing is bolted to the cylinder head with three bolts and seals to the side of the cylinder head with a rubber o-ring style gasket. The gasket is held in place by a plastic lip on the housing. This lip has been prone to cracking. The immediate inner portion of the housing will exhibit pitting and bubbling. Over time, the gasket lip will break off sending plastic fragment through the cooling system. These fragments have not been known to cause any severe damage but the damaged gasket lip will cause the gasket seal to rupture allowing coolant to trail down the upper transmission bell housing.
A 2.0 L Crate Zetec has a shipping weight of 370 lb (168 kg).
The advanced Zetec-SE was developed in collaboration of Yamaha and Mazda, under the Sigma codename. It ranges in size from 1.25 L (1249 cc) to 1.7 L (1679 cc). It is very different from the Zeta engine - the intake and exhaust are even on opposite sides.
This engine is sold under the Sigma name in some regions, while Mazda uses the MZI name. It is also sold as a crate engine by Ford Power Products as the ZSG. Rather confusingly, this engine has been renamed "Duratec" for use in the Mk II Ford Focus for Europe, being available in 1.4 L and 1.6 L versions. This incarnation also spawned a 1.6 L derivative with variable valve timing, known by Ford as Ti-VCT (Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing).
This engine is now under the name 'Duratec' in the new Focus, Fiesta etc.
In 2000, Ford of Brazil developed an improved version of the Endura-E engine, to compete with the classic Volkswagen AP engines. Basically, the Endura-E received a completely new aluminum head, with much less restrictive intake and exhaust, SOHC and peripheral improvements. Its camshaft is driven by a chain. As a result, this engine exhibits rougher behaviour, producing more vibration and noise. On the other hand, it has a superb torque output thanks to the addition of the Rocam (rollerfinger camshaft) feature.
In 2003, the Zetec-Rocam engine was introduced in Europe, but labeled as Duratec 8v, for the SportKa and StreetKa models. Later a 1.3 L version was also released as an option for the standard model, but the European versions of the engine are produced in the South Africa plant.
In October/2004 a newer bi-fuel version was introduced labeled "1.6 L Flex", capable of running on both petrol and ethanol, even mixed at any proportion. This version also featured "Compound High Turbulence" chambers, as used on the CHT engine.
Versions of this engine in Brazil: 1.0L 65 PS (48 kW) , 1.0L supercharged 95 PS (70 kW) , 1.6L 96 PS (71 kW) , 1.6L flexfuel 105 PS (77 kW) . It's used in/was used in many models, including Ka, Fiesta MK V, South American Fiesta Mk VI, Focus, EcoSport, Ford Courier.
Versions of this engine in Europe: 1.3L 70 PS (51 kW) , 1.6L 95 PS (70 kW)
In Mexico the 1.6L is used in the Ikon, named Fiesta for this market. In South Africa the 1.3L & 1.6L versions are/were used in Fiesta Mk V, Ikon, Bantam. In India the 1.3L & 1.6L versions are/were used in the Ikon. In Russia, the 1.6L version was used in the original Ford Focus.
Zetec name as a trim level
In 1998, Ford of Britain applied the Zetec name to a trim level in the Fiesta range, replacing the Si. Petrol variants of the Fiesta LX were also renamed 'Zetec LX,' although this ceased within months.
Since then, the Zetec name has become a key staple of the Ford trim level hierarchy, serving as the sports-styled variant in most ranges. In October 1998, the then-newly launched Focus also used the name; and the Mondeo and Galaxy ranges also adopted the name before the decade was out.
Nowadays, the Zetec name is used exclusively in a trim level capacity, with no engines called as such. Zetec models are often seen as the staple of Ford's ranges, with Ford often creating 'spin-offs' of Zetec models and running promotions on Zetec models in the range. Every passenger vehicle in the Ford of Britain range - bar the Ford Focus Coupé-Cabriolet - now includes a Zetec badged model; the same cannot be said of any other Ford trim level.
Such aforementioned 'spin-offs' of the core Zetec model include the Zetec S (Fiesta, Focus and the 2000-2007 Mondeo), Zetec S 30th Anniversary Edition (2005-2008 Fiesta), Zetec S Celebration Edition (2005-2008 Fiesta), Zetec S Red (2005-2008 Fiesta), Zetec Nav (2000-2007 Mondeo), Zetec LX (1995-1999 Fiesta), Zetec Blue (Fiesta) and a key version, the Zetec Climate (1996-2009 Ka, 2002-2008 Fiesta, Fusion and the 2005-2008 Focus).
- Howard, Geoffry P. "Ford launches Zeta engine family in Europe," Ward's Auto World December 1991.