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My Orion!

Lawrence Selly

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My 1992 Radiant Red Orion

44000 genuine miles

2 previous owners

1.8i LX I

[Zetec Silvertop] (105ps)

Was at my first Ford Fair last weekend (2014) unfortunately not on show, unless you were mooching around the carpark.

Thinking of an engine swap for more power, Really Really want to go down a turbo route! Thinking Focus RS turbo, or just charging my 1.8 properly using forged pistons and a decent system. But I am young, naive, and in need of some advice from the people who have done it, gone wrong, and done it again! 

I am also interested in going to a few meets, I live in the SY8 area so anyone who is around there give me a shout! 

Nice to meet you all. 



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I've read that doing that (getting the cams from a 130ps 1.8 or a 2.0 and swapping the ECU) only gives more top end power and actually drops the bottom end a bit. I'm going for broke and doing a turbo conversion. I'm a bit reluctant to do an engine swap (only if its the cheaper option) as the engine really hasn't seen that much action. 

I mean if someone had an RS2000 engine, or a ST170 engine and wanted to swap for my 1.8 I would be up for it, but I really want to go down the turbo route. The power is such a good thing, but the turbo whirl noise is where its at! 

Honestly the woman who I bought it off was an old lady that had kept it in the garage for the last 19 years and only used it to go to the "big shops" and church on sundays, oh, and occasionally to the zoo with the grandkids. Its barely been in 5th gear for most of its life! 

The owner before that was the Ford Dealership in Gloustershire as it was the demo car. 

I've been doing it up bit by bit and this is what ive done so far. 

Pepperpots (refurbed) with Dunlop sport tyres
cleaned up some paintwork on the car (door handles, mirrors, ect)
RS2000 front bumper (needs spraying the correct grey, just put black on it for Ford Fair) 
RS2000 bonnet (being painted, actually drying in the shed right now)

I fixed a few things that were broken, sunroof, sun visors.

And I cleaned it... for what seemed like the first time in around 10 years (I actually thought it was a blacktop because of how much filth was under the lid) 

Got a lot of re-spraying and rust treatment to do (arches, under window rubbers, petrol cap) 

but it will be due for some more poke in a month or two. 

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Spent the last 2 hours reading through all the "Should I turbo my zetec 1.8" and the all time family favorite "How do i turbo charge my zetec... cheaply" 

I think its quite obvious that there is no such thing as a cheap way to turbocharge a car, there is the "correct" way that costs £2k - £3k and theres the way that means your engine will melt... so yeah.

I think I will look for some 130ps upgrade stuff and save my cash for later! (if anyone has got anything then give me a shout.)

I might get an RS turbo lump crop up on eBay that I could shoe-horn in, or perhaps look at a 2.3 RS2000 engine.

I mean if someone has an opinion then i'm all ears. 

Also with upgrading to 130ps spec... surely its not just Cams and ECU that made it 130ps, what else did ford do to the engine? 

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Nice clean motor. Any plans for it, visually? Or just a new lump? Would be cool as a sleeper.

I'm going for the sleeper look, nobody expects the Orion!


And as I said in my really long posts, I'm getting it to 130ps spec and then possibly a new lump.


Either Rs2k, focus s1 rs turbo, or st170.


We will see what's knocking around.

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If anyone sees a RS2000 lump or a ST170 / RS Turbo lump knocking around give me a shout! 

Also are there any guides to swapping from a standard zetec to any of those engines, preferably with pictures XD I don't think my trusty haynes manual covers this ^^

I've got a friend whos done the RS2000 swap into his MK5 escort van (Blue-Oval-Rally-Sport) so im sure he would impart with some info and hes always on the lookout for parts for me. 

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There is on eBay at the moment a mk1 focus RS engine which is a standard 2.0 turbo duratec (still a blacktop zetec). All it would need to fit in the hole is a engine mount fabricated for the back and the correct flywheel box combo and standalone ecu :) Instant safe 220 bhp :)
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oh wicked! this has exploaded quite a bit more than I thought! 

Ive got a guy on facebook offering me a RS2000 engine for £350 with only 5000 miles on it,
Ive got Paul Taroni whos one of my dads good friends, breaking an ST170 and I can get the whole car dropped at my house for next to nothing.

And now this, I feel like a kid in a candy shop! 

I guess its going to all come down to money.

Because the RS2k will drop straight in, nothing needed other than time and effort.

A FRS engine will be more money and will require custom driveshafts, and as you say I will need to get a rear engine mount fabricated and a ecu, flywheel and box to suit. (but this would be my engine of choice if money wasnt a deciding factor)

And the ST170, now I can get the engine for next to nothing (it may be nothing if dad has a chat to paul and offers my Zetec 1.8 in exchange) but I will still need custom driveshafts off that too... 

I don't even know where you get custom driveshafts! who makes them? 

anyway I will get a spreadsheet open and try to write this down and work everything out to some degree! The ST170 looks the best option right now as I could take my time and have the whole car to play with for free! but if the custom parts list = £350+ Then the RS2k will be the best route.

If I get my new job at Pitbull studios then the FRS will be my reward ^^ but even then thats a game of long odds. 

I will mull it over and report back!

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Looking like the ST170 will be more of an effort than all the rest, due to the VVT and the fact that the standard ECU will have a major paddy and freak out if you dont plug it all back into a focus. 

So it looks like its RS2k after all. 

Unless some large money comes in then its RS time :) 

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So after mulling it over and looking at my 3 offers of an RS2k engine I've got these:

Engine 1
Location: Doncaster (3 hours away) 
Price: £200
Mileage: 80k
Mods: none
Comes with: Everything needed (ECU, 'box, Loom, airbox, pipework, radiator, hoses)

Shipping cost: £60

Total cost: £260

Engine 2
Location: Blackpool (3 hours away)
Price: £350
Mileage: 5000 (yes, 5 thousand)
Mods: complete re-build
comes with: everything needed
Shipping cost: £60

Total £410

Engine 3
Location: Ross on wye (30 miles down the road) 
Price: £200 (hes negotiating for more)
Mileage 70k
Mods: Stage 1 head, induction kit, Stainless manifold
Comes with: Nothing... 

So iI've got one cheap, one really good one, and one questionable one that looks cheap but will probably end up being expensive... What do you all think? 

I'm thinking of saving and getting a buyer for my engine. Then getting the one down from blackpool on a pallet for £60

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