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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:58 am 
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Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 6:26 pm
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Location: South West
How to... Fit a Mk1 XR2 engine to a mk1 fiesta..

Here's a basic guide on how to fit a mk1 xr2 engine to a standard mk1 fiesta, this is intended as a guide only, based on my own experience.

Parts I used:
Base Car - 950cc 1982 spec fiesta.
Mk1 XR2 Engine
Mk1 XR2 Cradle [both parts] & bolts
Mk1 XR2 box & shafts
Gearbox top mount [both parts]
Mk2 XR2 Magnex Exhaust
Mk3 Fiesta exhaust fire ring
Ashley mk1 XR2 4-2-1 manifold
Mk2 1.1 1986 distributor & coil
Assortment of pipes, fuel, breathers & coolant.

Removing old engine is straight forward enough, undo all pipes, wires, exhaust, remove the bottom ball joints to allow removal of driveshaft's, the way I do this is undo the the two nuts & bolts holding it to the bottom arm as the pinch bolt often shears. From here, I secured the engine to a crane and removed all engine mounting bolts. Then I lowered the whole lot onto the floor taking care not to jam the driveshaft's.

Now I fitted the XR2 gearbox to the engine & engine mounts with intentions of fitting the new lot how the old lot came out, only it's worth noting removal was a tight squeeze and the XR2 lump is about 10mm longer so it's even tighter, but possible!

Once the engine is in place tighten the bolts for the cradle and nut on the top mount. Fitting the driveshaft's is nice and easy with ford using the VW idea of Allen keys holding the shafts to the box. The cooling system does require some thinking, at first nothing lines up, but you should have additional holes in your rad and/or front panel to allow you to move the rad across about a inch. This then allows you to use the 1.1 top hose. On mine I didn't have the XR2 steel front coolant pipe so I used the 1.1 item and made a longer connecting piece between the steel pipe and the water pump. The 1.1 bottom rad hose and the heater matrix-steel coolant pipe can still be used. The pipe between the heater matrix and inlet manifold on the XR2 is different, I didn't know this and as the 1.1 one couldn't be used I made one of these as well. You can use the 1.1 rad as well as it is the same as the xr2 one, however, you can get a double thickness one which is the one I'm using.

The dizzy I'm using is a 1986 mk2 1.1 item as this eliminates the need for the complex installation of the mk1 setup. The 1.1 dizzy doesn't use points so you will need the ignition coil and a small amount of wiring as well. There's only three wires to connect, brown is the earth, black to the black wires on the coil, green to the green wires on the coil. Remember to get the crank on the timing mark and setup the dizzy to suit. 1.1 leads also fit fine.

Fuel system, well, as the car didn't have a fuel return as standard I've just blocked this off on the carb. The throttle cable is the old one but because I didn't have the xr2 bracket I had to adapt the 1.1 item to suit. The auto-choke on my carb doesn't work so I don't run it, it doesn't really get cold enough where I live so not a problem. I'm also using a Piper cross filter.

Breather system, as standard you'll have a pipe from the inlet to the oil cap, block to oil cap and oil cap to the air box-this gets replaced by a K&N breather filter if using a K&N on the carb. Mine on the other hand has a alloy rocker cover with only one pipe connection, this caused loads of trouble with excess crankcase pressure, sooooo after some careful thought I've had another connection fitted to the cover, so now I have a pipe from the crank to the cover and a pipe from the cover to a catch tank which has the K&N breather fitted to it.

Exhaust system, the mk2 xr2 magnex does fit, but I've made a bracket for the third mount and had to modify the floor pan slightly [rubber hammer] to allow enough clearance below the centre console area. I also welded a spare XR2 Mk2 exhaust flange to the Ashley manifold and using a fire-ring between the 2 halves which meant it bolted together nicely.


the 1.1 gear linkage can be used as well.

Problems encountered since installation:
Under hard acceleration the gearbox will smack the tie bar, this is overcome on the xr2 as it has the tie bars in a different position and an additional gearbox mount on the top of the box. Also on further inspection the engine is too high on the drivers side forcing the gearbox even closer to the tie bar, reason for this is due to the 1.6 block being 10mm taller, they add a 10mm spacers to the lower cradle, which means they also need to add 10mm to the top mount. Only because the 1.6 top mounts are no longer available I used a 1.3 mount from the local motor factors which meant this mount was in effect pulling the engine up too high, to remedy this I made a 10mm spacer with a hole in the centre, I also cut a groove in this to allow me to slide the spacer into position which means I don't have to remove the mount to fit it. You can also just use the original nut & washer on the top with the spacer in place, there is approx 1mm of protruding thread through the nut but that's fine. This allows more clearance between the gearbox and tie bar, but still not enough.


I then got hold of a top gearbox mount, one part bolts to the gearbox, the other to the inner wing with a rubber mount in between similar to the top engine mount. The mount I bought from the local motor factors for a Mk1 XR2 didn't fit and needed approx 3mm removed from the thread face of the mount. I also made a re-enforcing plate to go inside the wheel arch where the bolts come through to give it some additional strength.

I think that's everything covered!

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