Junk Yard Zetec Project: Background

One of the fascinating philosophical aspects of the early formula ford (and the later f2000 variant) was that an enthusiast could go out to a junk yard, acquire the basic powerplant, take it home and build it up into a legal competition motor.  You’d never be as quick as the professional engine builders, but you could get going.  And, as one gained experience and when, hopefully, funding improved, then additional performance modifications and improvements could be made as well.

When the Sports Car Club of America allowed the Zetec motor into the F2000/Formula Continental Class I began to wonder whether or not the original junk yard option was viable.  So, eventually, I began the Junk Yard Zetec Project.

First, a caveat:  I’m not a gifted mechanic.  Some would say that I’m barely a capable mechanic.  Fortunately, the SCCA has taken away much of the black arts by requiring that most of the parts remain stock.  The General Competition Rules, Section 16, entitled Ford Zetec Engine (in the Formula Car Category Specifications section) covers the Zetec modification rules.

The Haynes manual for the Ford Focus was my primary source of mechanical information for the rebuild project.  The 4-Cylinder Engine Short Block High-Performance Manual (written by Des Hammill), was also very useful.  Torque settings were obtained from both the Haynes manual and the formulafordzetec.co.uk website.

In putting this project report together there was some thought of taking my hand drawn wiring diagrams to a graphics artist for more professional renderings until a friend pointed out there was no need to try and convince anyone that this was something other than a homegrown project.  So homegrown and hand drawn it stayed.

There is also no need to pretend that this is the final and definitive route to building a zetec motor.  It is simply who I consulted, what I read, what I did, how it worked out and what it cost.

Many gifted human beings provided advice and counsel.  An alphabetical listing appears at the end of this report.  Specific tools, tasks and costs will be listed as the project report progresses but I’ll summarize those at the end of the report as well.


Next Chapter: Powerplant Acquisition