How to give your 105E 16-valve power.
Words Jon Hill
Photo Chris Wallbank
Swapping a Zetec into an Anglia doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there’s now an almost set formula worked out by the various specialists and forums for the model — plus a few specific parts that will make the swap a bolt-in job amongst others aimed to make your life a lot easier — especially if you want a five speed gearbox behind it.
But the big question is whether to retain the steering box or not — if it’s the latter then there’s a mass of kits to virtually bolt-in a rack and pinion conversion without altering the shell. But it’s not the cheapest option – retaining the original set up is far more cost effective — even with a five speed! Plus if we’re talking budget, you don’t strictly need to swap the fuelling system to twin sidedraught carbs or throttle bodies either — do this and it’ll mean moving the master cylinders. We’ll cover the bases but there really is an easy, low-budget way to 16-valve power...
1. Engine choice
If DIY’s your thing, you can make mounts off the original crossmember. The more sorted route is to use a chassis mounting kit. But for an easy life and a better result, swap the original front crossmember for a Milton World Cup converted unit. Couple this with mounts from Retro Ford Ltd — the engine will be pushed a touch forward but it’s the simplest way.
The original Pre-Crossflow uses a front-bowl sump in conjunction with the original front crossmember. So if you retain the steering box, you’ll need to replicate this layout, even with Milton’s World Cup crossmember. A Mk5 Escort alloy sump’s an option but it’s not ideal as it still needs modifying. Cash spent in the right place is the solution, and Retro Ford Ltd’s fabricated front-bowl steel sump is meant for the job.
3. Water rail
Zetec’s were front-wheel-drive so they need turning round to fit the Anglia, which also means the standard thermostat housing will clout the bulkhead. There are two solutions: Retro Ford Ltd’s water rail, which needs a small pocket fabricated below the bulkhead lip, or Raceline’s which doesn’t. Ideally, the Zetec plumbing should be replicated as far as possible — it’s quite complex but it works!
There are several options here depending how much you want to spend — there are bespoke units available from the various specialists, but the most common budget route is to use a VW Polo radiator. However, it’s best to relocate the battery to the boot — most will do this anyway but it saves altering the battery tray. Don’t forget that you will need an expansion tank and pay attention to that plumbing!
Since the engine was originally front-drive, most of the standard exhausts are totally unsuitable and will need a purpose-made manifold and system to fit in the confines of the engine bay. Anglia specialist 105Speed has virtually all bases covered in this respect, its parts work well and are a good looking option — again money spent in the right areas and your Zetec Anglia life will be sorted.
Twin sidedraughts are the popular route to unlocking power but you will need to move the master cylinders, dictating a Milton pedal box. A cheaper alternative is a twin-choke downdraught plus an aftermarket inlet manifold. There are several, both cast alloy and fabricated steel, and these are suitable for around 135 bhp. Options for spark are an ECS unit or an ignition-only system such as MegaJolt or Omex 200.
Standard alternators are massive and often interact with the ECU — which you’ll probably lose! Plenty of conversion kits to retro-fit an ACR-type unit exist and are dead simple. If you’re using the later Black Top Zetec then you’ll also need to swap the water pump for a more conventional rotating assembly. The coil pack will also need relocating — once again, kits for this task are easily sourced.
8. Brakes and suspension
Anglias used drum brakes, so the best route to discs involves adapted Mk2 Cortina front struts coupled with modified TCAs — the lot can be sourced through Milton although the struts are shortened Gaz units with smaller ID coil-over conversions. Disc brakes can now be fitted using virtually any strut-based Ford strut of this type; including 2.8 Capri vented discs.
Clutch and flywheel
Use a 2-litre engine and the big flywheel and clutch assembly is really only suited to a standard bellhousing set up. The best production flywheel option (with the pick-up for the crank trigger cast into the back) is that from an 1800. Commonly, these are re-drilled to accept a corresponding clutch/release according to the ’box you’ve used — there are ‘standard’ set ups including Pinto clutch with a Type-9.
A four speed’s the easiest solution — the Zetec bellhousing pattern matches. A Type-9 five-speed fits — either use a Retro Ford Ltd bellhousing, shifting the starter motor so it doesn’t clout the steering linkage, or a Milton adapter parts, plus a 997cc bellhousing allowing steering idler and Pinto clutch clearance. The gearbox tunnel will also need enlarging and a custom prop made...