Ford Kent engine

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Ford Kent engine
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord pre-crossflow
Ford Crossflow
Ford Valencia
Ford HCS
Endura-E
Lotus-Ford Twin Cam
VSG-411/413
Production1959–2002 (though still in production for industrial use, automotive production was stopped in 2002)
PredecessorFord Sidevalve engine
SuccessorFord Zetec engine
ConfigurationPushrod straight 4
Cylinder block alloyIron
Cylinder head alloyIron
ValvetrainOHV
Fuel systemcarburettor (later (92-on) versions were fuel injected)
Fuel typegasoline
Cooling systemwater-cooled
Power output39–190 bhp[citation needed] (Higher number being the Lotus Twin cam engine)
 
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Ford Kent engine
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Also calledFord pre-crossflow
Ford Crossflow
Ford Valencia
Ford HCS
Endura-E
Lotus-Ford Twin Cam
VSG-411/413
Production1959–2002 (though still in production for industrial use, automotive production was stopped in 2002)
PredecessorFord Sidevalve engine
SuccessorFord Zetec engine
ConfigurationPushrod straight 4
Cylinder block alloyIron
Cylinder head alloyIron
ValvetrainOHV
Fuel systemcarburettor (later (92-on) versions were fuel injected)
Fuel typegasoline
Cooling systemwater-cooled
Power output39–190 bhp[citation needed] (Higher number being the Lotus Twin cam engine)

The Ford Kent is an internal combustion engine from Ford of Europe. Originally developed in 1959 for the Ford Anglia, it is an in-line four-cylinder overhead-valve–type engine with a cast-iron cylinder head and block.

Pre-Crossflow [edit]

The original OHV Kent engine appeared in the 1959 Anglia with a capacity of 996.95 cc developing 39 bhp (29 kW) at 5,000 rpm. With an 80.96 mm (3.1875 in) bore and 48.41 mm (1.906 in) stroke, it was a departure from traditional undersquare English engine design.

The same engine, its bore unchanged, but with a longer stroke and thus larger capacity was subsequently used in the Ford Classic and Consul Capri (1340 cc and 1500 cc), the Mk1 and early Mk2 Cortinas (1200 cc, 1300 cc and 1500 cc), and the early Corsairs.

In addition to its 'over-square' cylinder dimensions, a further unusual feature of the Kent engine at its introduction was an externally mounted combined oil filter/pump unit designed to facilitate efficient low-cost production.[1]

The engine is now referred to as the pre-crossflow Kent, with both the inlet and exhaust being on the same side of the head.

Applications:

The name [edit]

Subsequent to its introduction the engine became known as the Kent engine because Alan Worters, the company's Executive Engineer (Power Units), lived across the river from Ford's Dagenham plant in the English county of Kent.[1]

Lotus [edit]

The Kent was also used in the Ford Classic and Ford Consul Capri at 1340 cc. It was in this form that the Kent was noticed by Colin Chapman of Lotus Cars. Lotus needed a compact engine for the new for 1962 Lotus Elan, and Chapman adopted the Kent block.

Whilst the 1340 engine, which used the original 109E 3-bearing block, may have initiated Lotus' interest, this was never used in production Elans though prototype 1340 twin-cams were built. By the time the car was on the market, the 116E 5-bearing engine destined for the Cortina was available, and this was the one used. The very first Elans – the "Elan 1500" used the 116E block with standard cylinder dimensions, soon changing to the "Elan 1600" when the cylinders were overbored to give 1558 cc. For the first years of production, the Lotus blocks were simply selected for the thickest cylinder walls from the standard production line, and identified with an "A" stamped into the timing cover mating face. Later, the blocks were specially cast with twin-cam production in mind and identified with an "L" cast into the block under the engine mount.[2] By 1966 all major engine parts: block, crank, rods pistons and flywheel were unique to the Lotus engine. By the end of production some 55,000 twin-cam engines had been built.

Harry Mundy, technical editor for Autocar magazine, designed the aluminium DOHC hemi head for the Kent. The first production run of this head was done for Lotus by J.A. Prestwich (J.A.P.). Chapman called his engine the Lotus TwinCam. It was bored to 1558 cc and produced 105 hp (78 kW). Exact dimensions were 3.25 in (82.55 mm) bore by 2.9 in (72.746 mm) stroke. Later versions produced from 115 to 190 hp (140 kW).

The same engine was used in the 1963 Lotus Cortina, and 15 were installed in the last production Lotus Sevens. It was also used in the Type 47 Lotus Europa race car, and Ford Escort Twin Cams.

The naming of twin-cam–engined Cortinas needs care. Only the first production cars were actually "Lotus Cortinas" and these were assembled at Cheshunt. After the first year, the cars became the "Cortina Lotus" and were Ford assembled. The Mk2 version was the "Cortina Twin Cam".

Applications:

Crossflow [edit]

A 1.6 litre Kent Crossflow (711M block) in an Anadol FW11 prototype

A redesign gave it a cross-flow type cylinder head, hence the Kent's alternative name Ford Crossflow. It would go on to power the smaller-engined versions of the Ford Cortina and Ford Capri, the first and second editions of the European Escort as well as the North American Ford Pinto (1971, 1972 and 1973 only). In South Africa it also powered the 1.6 L Mk II, Mk III, Mk IV, & Mk V Ford Cortina and 1.6 L Ford Sierra. It also featured in the Fiesta Mk1 1.3, and the Mk1 XR2, using the US 1600 bottom end and GT spec head and cam.

The Crossflow featured a change in combustion chamber design, using a Heron type combustion chamber in the top of the piston rather than the head. The head itself was flat with each engine capacity (1100, 1300 and 1600) featuring different pistons with different sized bowls.

The Ford Crossflow engine (1300 cc and 1,598 cc) also powered the Reliant Anadol (1968–1984).

TVR used the engine in the Grantura, Vixen, and 1600M. It has been fitted in countless other applications as well, being a favorite of kit-car builders not only in Great Britain.

Valencia [edit]

A new version of the Kent engine was conceived to suit front wheel drive installation in 1976, coinciding with the launch of the Ford Fiesta. The ancillaries were repositioned, the cylinder block shortened slightly with a new transmission flange to suit the BC4/5 transaxle and the cylinder head redesigned using flat-top pistons and the traditional combustion chamber in the head. Although internally named within Ford as "L-Series" it became better known as the Valencia to the wider world, after the new Spanish factory built for its manufacture, but eventually the name was officially adopted by Ford as well - although in sales literature it was always called simply OHV. It was available in 957cc and 1117cc versions, the 1.3 Fiesta having a modified Kent block (Very few minor components were shared between the Valencia and Kent engines.

It would later see service in the third and fourth generation Ford Escort. The cylinder heads and pistons were modified in 1986 for unleaded fuel and the cams changed to meet the new European emissions standards along with the addition of electronic ignition.

Destined for the American market, beginning with the 1977 model year, the Valencia plant began manufacturing a 1.6L, 63BHP, 5 main bearing version that included a low emission bowl-in-pistons combustion chamber design based on the Crossflow head, and was equipped with a Dura-Spark electronic ignition. This version was used in the short-lived 1977-80 USA Mk1 Fiesta. This engine would be later used in the XR2 version of the Mk.1 Fiesta.

HCS [edit]

In 1989 the Valencia derivative of the engine was revised once again to meet with tightening European emissions legislation. The redesign included an all-new cylinder head with reshaped combustion chambers and inlet ports, and a fully electronic distributorless ignition system. The engine was renamed the Ford HCS (standing for High Compression Swirl), although some internal Ford service publications call it the Valencia-HCS in reference to its heritage.

It first appeared in 1118cc and 1297cc guises on the Ford Escort and Orion for the 1989 model year, and on the then new Ford Fiesta Mark III the same year, which also offered a smaller 999cc version to replace the older 957cc Valencia.

The HCS is distinguishable from the original Valencia by its grey rocker cover, the "mirrored" arrangement of the spark plugs (they appear to "point inward" towards each other), and the absence of a distributor drive on the rear face of the cylinder block.

Endura-E [edit]

The final redesign came in 1995, with the launch of the fourth-generation Ford Fiesta. This edition was effectively another redesign of the Valencia/HCS derivative, known as the Endura-E, and featured many revisions to combat noise and harshness. This engine would also feature in the Ford Ka and the 1.3 Ford Escort.

This type of engine still has tappet noise even after adjustment. This noise is said to come from the cams due to incorrect valve setup (when setting valve clearance each cylinder must be set to TDC) or from age and use of incorrect oil grade. The correct oil grade is 5W-30 semi synthetic oil. Despite Ford's engines being well regarded for their ease of service, the Endura-E has a very awkward placing for its oil filter, which is quite high up, at the back of the engine and facing from left to right rather than pointing downwards or out – meaning it is very difficult to access from underneath the car (without a mechanic's ramp), and despite being very short, the can-type oil filter still manages to protrude past the tip of the adjacent starter motor, meaning it is very difficult to remove using chain-type grips.

Zetec RoCam [edit]

In 2000, Ford of Brazil developed a cheaper version of the Zetec-SE engine, to compete with the classic Volkswagen EA827 engine series also known as AP (from "Alta Performance", or "High Performance", in English) engine in Brazil. It is 8v SOHC instead of 16v DOHC and its body is made of iron instead of aluminum. Also, its camshaft is driven by a chain instead of a belt. 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 (Rollifinger Camshaft) feature. It's also a much smaller engine than the SE version, which allowed it to be installed on the Ford Ka, replacing the Endura-E engine which by that time was considered underpowered and outdated.

The engine also featured a new patented process for the aluminum head production, which resulted in a better alloy than those produced in Spain and UK, and at a lower production cost.

In 2002 a supercharged 1.0 litre (94 hp; 95 PS) version was released for the Ford Fiesta, to compete with the 1.0 Turbo 16v (111 hp; 112 PS) version of the VW Gol.

In 2003 the Zetec RoCam engine was introduced in Europe, but labeled as Duratec 8v, for the SportKa, StreetKa and Fiesta. Later a 1.3 litre 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 "1.6L Flex", capable of running on both petrol and ethanol, even mixed at any proportion. This version also featured a high compression ratio (11.8:1) and "Compound High Turbulence" chambers, as used on the CHT engine.

Currently, this engine powers nearly all Brazilian Ford models – except those with 2.0 litre engines – in many different variants:

Applications [edit]

1.3 L Endura(1299 cc/79 cu in) applications:

1.6 L (1596 or 1597 cc/97 cu in) applications:

Future [edit]

The Kent engine and its successors were used as the stock engine in Formula Ford auto racing. In Europe, Formula Ford switched to the Zetec, but American Formula Ford continued to be Kent-powered until 2010; the SCCA having approved the use of the Honda L15A i-VTEC for Formula F.[3]

The Kent engine has also been used by other makes such as Morgan, Caterham, and Lotus.

The arrival of the Duratec-E engine in the fifth generation Fiesta range has finally signalled the end of the engine's use in production vehicles after a 44 year career, although it is still in production as a general use engine by Ford's Power Products division, where it is known as the VSG-411 and VSG-413.

On 16 October 2009, Ford announced that it would be putting the Kent block back into production in order to supply the vintage racing community with spares. According to a Ford press-release, engineering work began at Ford Racing's Performance Parts division in the USA, with sales scheduled to start in 2010.[4] Link to Kent block in Ford Motorsports Parts online catalog

Trivia [edit]

Harry Mundy, who designed the twin-cam development of the engine for Lotus, was offered the choice of payment for his work of £1000 cash or a royalty of £1 per unit. Knowing Colin Chapman's reputation in financial matters and the fact that he'd never made 1000 of anything, he took the cash. The twin cam went on to 55,000 units.

The Ford diesel engines "Endura-DE and Endura DI" bear no similarities to the petrol namesake. However Ford did produce a diesel HCS engine. These engines are notoriously underpowered.

See also [edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ a b "Time Machines: Little belter: Ford Anglia 1959–1967". Drive (Magazine of the British Automobile Association) 116: pages 18–19. date March 1985. 
  2. ^ burtonpower.com Lotus Twin Cam 8v
  3. ^ Abuelsamid, Sam (2009-11-05). "Ford Kent engine being replaced by Honda Fit based engine by SCCA". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  4. ^ "Ford Introduces 1.6L Duratec Race Engine, Restarts Kent Production". Jalopnik.com. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2010-11-05.