News October 2012. Anglia 105e Lotus Zetec

After the North Wales Classic Ford 2012 Snowdonia Tour, we started looking out for another Project, it had to be something small & quick and boy-o-boy, were those Anglia 105e's fast 'round the bends and on the straights !

Naturally, it was going to be Zetec powered with 'Bike carbs and a 5 speed gearbox and eventually a nice car came up, running on Lotus steel's, with a good paint job and with the front end already converted with Escort struts, brakes and steering rack and the back end with coil -overs.

The interior was good as well; dash, glove box & instrument binnacle all original, good headlining but needing reglueing over the rear window, leather 2 tone Recaros, an extra set of 4 dials and a good rear seat. The door panels were made of vinyl covered aluminium and would need need refitting, but the engine bay was immaculate and running a 1600 cc 711 block Crossflow on a single carb with a stainless steel exhaust system and with the original heater removed.

We went to see the car, struck a deal and travelled down by train & then drove it home.

Not too many issues on the way back, no heater but we knew this already, but fumes coming into the car thro' the open handbrake slot in the tunnel, then the engine started to use some oil & we had to pay Motorway Service Station prices for the only grade they had, 10W/40, after that the starter motor began playing up & we had to park on a slope at the last fuel stop, and to cap it all, Duncan left his mobile on the petrol pump but an honest lorry driver handed it in, thanks mate !

The conventional route to fitting a Zetec engine is to start by replacing the Anglia cross member with a Milton one, followed by a steering rack conversion and other parts from this well respected specialist.

However, as the Escort parts were already in place & in good condition and the car drove & handle well with this set up, after the crossflow engine & 'box were craned out, a dummy Zetec engine block was mated to the Type 9 'box, a swept inlet manifold & set of 'bike carbs bolted to the head and a Retroford front bowl sump screwed into position, to check the feasibility of a custom installation.

With the crossmember left in position but trimmed down slightly, there were no changes needed to the front suspension & steering and Retroford supplied a kit to fabricate engine mountings, bracing out onto the chassis rails with World Cup style polyurethane bushes; these gave a very rigid engine installation but surprisingly, with very little transmitted body shell vibration.

A final check for sump to steering rack clearance & under bonnet space and the brace tubes were profiled & welded to the Zetec engine side plates & bush tubes. The gearbox was moved forward about 2 inches and the propshaft extended with new universal joints; the rear springs had already been fitted with lowering blocks and the axle & diff were in good condition.

Having trial fitted the engine & sump, a "proper" installation was commenced.

The engine spec reads as follows - 2 ltr Mondeo silver top engine, stripped & rebuilt with new oil & water pumps, new main & big end shells, new cam belt, reconditioned & skimmed cylinder head, 1.8 Zetec flywheel, and Pinto heavy duty clutch. The clutch cable was relocated to clear the 'bike carbs, a new brake master cylinder with remote reservoir was fitted, the engine cooling taken care of with a VW Polo radiator with 10 inch electric cooling fan and for in-car comfort a "Finlandia" 3 speed heater was fitted with adjustable nozzles & ducted air to the windscreen.

All hoses were replaced with Silicon ones and a bit of ingenious pipe bending & welding resulted in a very neat and compact installation; the cam cover & strut brace were powder coated white and the installation topped off with some carbon sheet ducting the incoming ram air through the front nose and over the alloy radiator.
( Photo 038 & 041)

A 105 speed stainless steel exhaust manifold was chosen to help boost torque, this was coupled to the existing 2 inch stainless steel pipe & silencer, run close to the floor pan to give plenty of ground clearance. The electric fuel pump went under the rear floor with the pressure regulator in the engine bay, the alloy swept inlet manifold & Mikuni 'bike carbs, topped off with a Pipercross air filter followed next and the Ignition control ECU proudly took centre stage on the scuttle above the coil pack & thermostat housing.

Some features of this installation and cost savings made versus a "conventional" Escort style Zetec Installation are:

  • No water rail needed, original thermostat housing is retained.
  • Coil pack, plug leads & support bracket remain in original position.
  • Engine and gearbox are moved forward approx 2 inches, giving better weight distribution.
  • Gear lever is moved forward away from handbrake - good for 2 nd gear h'brake turns !
  • Polo radiator and Fiesta header tank installation give perfect cooling and quick engine warm up.
  • The engine being supported & braced from the chassis rails gives a very strong installation.
  • Since the engine is no longer supported on the crossmember, the loads on this are considerably reduced.
  • The existing cable clutch and pedal were retained, a new cable exit hole being made in the bulkhead slightly below the original.
  • The new cabinet heater is quiet and very effective; removing the original (usually rusty) heater gives a neat engine bay and avoids rain water collecting in the heater through the open bonnet grille.

Only a few issues since completion -

  • Differential was changed, 4.44 way too low.
  • Speedo only reads to 90 mph and is 20 mph fast at that !
  • Door panels replaced with classic Anglia ones.
  • Tachometer added sited on centre tunnel.
  • Seat belts fitted.

Chester Sportscars Ltd
Unit 30, Garden City Industrial Estate,
Sealand Avenue,
Queensferry, Deeside CH5 2HW
Tel. 01244 822244
Mobile Duncan 07554 319432

Chester Sportscars. Tel. 01244 822244

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