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Fitting a Zetec engine into your Mk2 Ford Fiesta

Mk2 Fiesta Zetec conversion guide

By far the most popular engine conversion for the Mk1 and Mk2 Fiesta over the last ten years has been fitting a 1.8 or 2.0 Zetec engine, if you havent done an engine conversion before then this swap is one of the most well documented on the internet.

Finding a Zetec engine

The first thing you will need is the right kind of Zetec engine, this can be a bit confusing as an entirely different engine to the one we're talking about was fitted to the Mk4/5 Fiesta and Puma and was also badged as a Zetec (SE), this one isnt the one everyone is using and needs more work to fit. Ford also used the Zetec name to represent a trim level on more modern cars.

The engine you are looking for is known as the Zetec E and comes in 1.6 or 1.8 versions from the Mk3 Fiesta or Mk5/6 Ford Escorts. You can also used the 1.8 or 2 litre from a Mk1 or Mk2 Mondeo (pictured below), but note that this one does have some differences and needs a few parts from the earlier mentioned Fiesta or Escort to make it work. There are 3 different series of Zetec engines, you can read about the differences on our Zetec 16 valve engine page, all of them can be fitted into a Fiesta without too much trouble.

Physically getting the engine in a Fiesta

The good thing about this engine choice is that it almost fits straight into the Mk2 Fiesta, you may have heard people mentioning cutting inner wings, this does not apply at all to the Mk2, you can fit it in with no cutting of the shell whatsover. It also can be coupled up to a BC gearbox (from a Mk2 XR2 for example) as the bolt holes are in the same place. You can also use a standard Fiesta CVH engine mount to hold the engine, however it will need a bit of modification as only two of the bolt holes line up. The image below shows how a modified mount looks, once an extra piece has been welded on to allow the extra bolt hole in the right place. The top right round hole and the one to the left of it are the two holes that already line up properly.

A Modified Fiesta CVH engine mount for fitting a Zetec

Wiring the engine up

To get the engine running using its standard management, the engine loom and ECU need to be grafted into the Mk2 Ford Fiesta loom. Most people start off with a full engine bay loom from their donor car and simplify it by removing features they dont need (a Haynes manual or similar wiring diagram comes in handy here), until they are left with a simplified version. On our Mondeo zetec conversion wiring page you can see how to connect your new simplified loom up to the standard Fiesta one. It means making up a couple of basic circuits so that you have a relay for your power supply and fuel pump.

We would also recommend mounting the ECU somewhere inside the car (glovebox is a popular choice) as it's not waterproof. You will need to either make a hole for the wires through the bulkhead or find an existing one. Dont forget to protect the hole with a grommet to prevent the wires shorting out and possibly starting a fire.

Parts checklist - Silvertop Zetec XR2 conversions running OEM management

  1. 2 Litre Zetec silvertop Engine from Mk1 or MK2 Mondeo upto 98 or 1.8 Mk3 Fiesta/Mk5 Escort engine
  2. European Variant 1.4 Injected Mk2 Fiesta Fuel Tank (Pattern part available) or a standard tank with added swirlpot
  3. Escort RS Turbo Fuel Pump and appropriate bracket, or aftermarket pump such as Facet etc
  4. Fuel Cut Off Switch (available from virtually all fuel injected Fords)
  5. Non PATS equipped Mondeo loom from early MK1 Mondeo (93-94)
  6. Suitable ECU from the model listed above.
  7. Ideally an inlet manifold from Mk3 Fiesta RS1800, the correct one has 'HO' cast into the alloy
  8. Ideally a throttle body from the model listed above
  9. Ideally an injector rail from the model listed above
  10. 4 Pin Ford Relay (x2)
  11. Compact alternator (CVH one will fit if you swap the pulley)
  12. Exhaust Manifold which will clear the crossmember (a ST170 works well with some modifications)

Extra parts if converting a none CVH model Fiesta (1.0, 1.1 etc)

  1. CVH Alternator bracket
  2. Mk2 XR2 drivers side (UK) tie bar (to give clearance)
  3. Spacers for gearbox cradle
  4. Suitable BC/IB5 gearbox with non-hydraulic clutch
  5. 5 speed linkage

Please note the section above may not be a complete list

Extra parts needed if using a Mondeo Zetec engine

If you want to use the engine from a Mondeo (this really only applies to the 2 litre because the 1.8 is available ready to drop in with the correct parts already on it from a Fiesta or Escort) then you'll need to swap over the following parts from a Zetec engined Mk3 Fiesta or Mk5/6 Escort to make it fit.

  1. EFI Flywheel (see choices below)
  2. Gearbox spacer plate
  3. Oil Pick up pipe
  4. Sump and oil pickup from a Mk5 Escort Zetec/Mk3 Fiesta XR2i/RS1800
  5. Water Pump from any Zetec equipped Mk5 Escort/Mk3 Fiesta
  6. Dipstick and its tube
  7. Inlet manifold


Zetec flywheels

The 2 litre Mondeo comes with two flywheel choices, either a 240mm dished flywheel on the manual vehicles, or a CD4E drive plate for automatic transmissions. Both of these are unsuitable for use with a BC or IB5 box.
Instead use a 220mm flat flywheel from a 1.6 or 1.8 Zetec equipped Fiesta, Escort or Mondeo. Note that some 1.8 Escort cabriolets have the MTX box fitted, and these flywheels are unsuitable as they are the same as the Mondeo item.
Alternatively one from a Electronically fuel injected CVH engined Escort or Fiesta will fit, and are also lighter, so you're effectively getting a lightened flywheel without the usual price increase. To make a CVH flywheel fit you need to slightly enlarge the bolt holes by 0.5mm. When fitting you will notice that one of the holes is offset so it can only fit one way. Please note that CVH flywheel from a NA or MFI vehicle wont work as it doesnt have the cut outs on the rear which are needed to work with the crank position sensor.

Page Last Updated: Friday 9th of June 2023