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EcoBoost swap


William Enzweiler

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I have a 1971 S2 that I am restoring. I am looking for info on weather a Ford EcoBoost will fit up to my trans-axle. I know that a Zetec will but what about a EcoBoost. If not what will I need to make it work, any links to web pages or videos you could recommend would be great help.

Thanks

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William,

Highly unlikely in an S2 without major mods.

The Zetec fits OK in a twincam, because it has a wider chassis Y for the extra size of the ford block, and the bell housing of the twincam is unique to Lotus with a ford block bolt pattern to renault box. The Zetec in an S2 fouls the chassis and the bellhousing is standard renault so the bolt pattern is wrong. 

It's always possible to butcher the S2 chassis to get almost any 4 cylinder engine to fit, but restoring the chassis strength is a challenge. Similarly custom bell housings can be made.

People have fitted twincam chassis to S2's to fit twincam or other ford engines but you also need some of the rear suspension from the twin cam such as the box radius arms due to the differing dimensions of the chassis. Not a cheap solution.

If the engine weight is significantly different it also affects the cars handling requiring differing suspension settings. The S2 engine is very light.

Why the ecoboost?

The only 'simple' engine swap into the S2 europa is from the Renault 1.6 family of engines fitted to most Renaults from the 1966 R16 up to the Fuego of 1986 including the turbo. That's because the block is effectively common to all variations of engine and engine weights are all similar.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

great info.... thanks for posting.

I assume from the above that the renault block is incredibly narrow by normal standards?

I was pondering if a nissan QR25 from an Xtrail might fit. A torquey lightweight 4 cylinder thats available for buttons.

I recall reading somewhere that the 4cylinder honda engine fitted to the 1st generation CRV was of particularly small dimensions.

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On 18/02/2022 at 06:35, NG5 said:

William,

Highly unlikely in an S2 without major mods.

The Zetec fits OK in a twincam, because it has a wider chassis Y for the extra size of the ford block, and the bell housing of the twincam is unique to Lotus with a ford block bolt pattern to renault box. The Zetec in an S2 fouls the chassis and the bellhousing is standard renault so the bolt pattern is wrong. 

It's always possible to butcher the S2 chassis to get almost any 4 cylinder engine to fit, but restoring the chassis strength is a challenge. Similarly custom bell housings can be made.

People have fitted twincam chassis to S2's to fit twincam or other ford engines but you also need some of the rear suspension from the twin cam such as the box radius arms due to the differing dimensions of the chassis. Not a cheap solution.

If the engine weight is significantly different it also affects the cars handling requiring differing suspension settings. The S2 engine is very light.

Why the ecoboost?

The only 'simple' engine swap into the S2 europa is from the Renault 1.6 family of engines fitted to most Renaults from the 1966 R16 up to the Fuego of 1986 including the turbo. That's because the block is effectively common to all variations of engine and engine weights are all similar.

 

You ask why an EcoBoost  

High Performance Package provides entry-level Mustang buyers the first EcoBoost engine powered by Ford Performance to deliver a projected 330 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker. 
Basically for more horsepower and torque.

Thank you so much for the response on the Zetec. I learned quite a bit from you. The fact that the bell housing from my S2 will not fit up to a Zetec. 
If I find a bell housing adapter is the transaxle strong enough to hold up to the power of the Zetec. 

 

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On 04/03/2022 at 11:48, Dunc said:

I assume from the above that the renault block is incredibly narrow by normal standards?

Duncan,

Yes, at least in the area of the chassis frame at the timing cover end, it widens out both above and below. The frame was of course designed round the Renault engine.

I've fitted a later X-flow version in mine that had extra lugs on the block for ancillaries which I had to cut off to get clearance! 

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  • 2 months later...
On 04/03/2022 at 17:14, William Enzweiler said:


If I find a bell housing adapter is the transaxle strong enough to hold up to the power of the Zetec. 
 

hi William, the small renault gearbox will not handle soo much torque (I was told by Richard from Banks europa's) ,   maybe the NG3-000 gearbox is a better option for you (renault fuego 2.0) ,  I went for the UN1-013 with halfshafts and bearings but thats because I have a turbo charged engine with a lot of torque AND I wanted a wider rear to fill the body work on my banks 62,  good luck with the rebuild and please keep posting pictures

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William, sorry missed your original question about transaxle strength. Rick is totally correct, the original 336 gearbox fitted to the S1, S2 and early twincams is not very strong and can take a max of only about 120hp. The weak point is the lotus unique 32 tooth crownwheel (mind you the 34 tooth crownwheel fitted to Renaults is even weaker) and the lotus crownwheels are rare as hens teeth so you don't want to break one.

The later 352 (4 speed), 365 (5 speed ) fitted to the TC/Special along with the 395 (5 speed) all originally fitted to Renault 15, 17 & 18 are good for 180 hp. These are all essentially the same basic box with many common parts. The weak point is the input shaft. Mind you if you are putting a lot of power through the 352 or 395 it wears the diff pin and planet wheels fairly quickly as they only have a single pin and 2 planet wheels. The 365 lasts a lot longer as they have a X pin and 4 planet wheels spreading the load, but it's a wear issue rather than breaking. Any of these 3 boxes can be used with the S2 drive shafts simply by swapping the sun wheels/output shafts with the original 336 ones, the sun wheel gears are identical. The S2 drive shafts are certainly good for over 150hp but to do so MUST be used with top quality UJ's. Problems with the drive shafts S2 or TC have far more to do with the quality of the UJ than the size. The S2 bell housing will not work with any of these 3 boxes as the crownwheel fouls the casting. The R15, 17 or 18 bell housing or a custom bell housing needs to be used.

Over 180hp and you need to go to the later UN1 boxes fitted to the later Fuego, these are good for well over 200hp. They do need more mods to fit, particularly if you still want to use the drive shafts as the suspension top link. But it can be done.

Have fun! lots and lots of options.

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also William, you do not have to go too crazy with BHP on a Europa as you want the car to feel save to drive, in the end this will give more fun in driving.  200 bhp in a high revving NA engine is perfect and you do not need anything bigger then an NG3 series gearbox. 

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It's certainly a suitable box, and a 395 is what I have fitted, but not to a Zetec.

As a minimum you will need:

Twin cam bell housing (99% certain the TC bell housing fits the zetec but check before spending any money, they do fit the 395 box)

Custom gearbox mounts. I welded tubes through the chassis rear hoop to match lotus 5 speed metalastic mounts, then custom brackets on to the bolts joining the rear cover to the main case. The 395 is the only 5 speed which clears (just) the S2 rear hoop with 'horns' removed. All the others foul it so need a modified rear hoop. This for me was the most difficult bit as it affects the rear suspension geometry it has to be right. I measured the original box in place over and over again for height, alignment, drive shaft location etc, etc. before modifying anything. The mounts take suspension loads so need to be strong!

Modify the gear selector lever and make/modify the selector linkage. As the selector on the 395 is similar to the original 336 it's not that difficult.

If using the S2 drive shafts as the top link of the suspension, swap the sun wheels/output shafts for the original 336 ones. The suspension bracket from the 336 bolts on fine for the bottom links.

Decide on what to do about a 1st/2nd and reverse selector and then make it. The 395 and I think all the other 5 speed boxes are the same, neutral is 3rd/4th spring loaded to 5th (no problem) and spring loaded to 1st/2nd but the same spring is also used for reverse meaning there is no clear 1st/2nd 'gate'. Renaults use a fence at 1st/2nd and lift up for reverse, I considered this and should be possible with a modified gear lever. Many people use a simple hinged flap next to the gear lever that stops it going into reverse, hinge the flap away to get reverse. Effective and fine for a racer, but not elegant on a road car. I came up with a way of adding an extra spring on the selector x shaft that only operates when selecting reverse so it's light spring 1st/2nd and then heavy spring for reverse. If you get that far and are interested I can give you the details.

I think that's about it. The above is from memory so could easily have forgotten something.

Most of the above you would have to do for any 5 speed box, if not more.

Don't forget the Zetec fouls the standard S2 chassis.

Hope it works out well what ever you go for.

 

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Just remembered the speedo drive gear will also need shortening and slotting so that the lotus right angle 2:1 reduction drive and cable can be used, just copy the 336 one. There are 2 different speedo drive gears on the 395 box, the one fitted to the renault 17 is just about perfect if using 185/70 13 tyres, but if using the one fitted to the renault 18 or using a different diameter tyre the speedo will need recalibrating. 

Clarity on engine power. The common 130ish hp zetec will be fine but the 170hp version from the ST is getting close to the 180ish limit of the 395, particularly as modern din horses are more powerful than the old sae horses which were quoted when renault sport were putting 180hp through these boxes. If you plan on tuning over 170hp, I'd look for a UN3. (btw I suffered brain fade in my earlier post when i mentioned the UN1 box, I meant UN3) 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 05/06/2022 at 13:50, NG5 said:

If you plan on tuning over 170hp, I'd look for a UN3. (btw I suffered brain fade in my earlier post when i mentioned the UN1 box, I meant UN3) 

you did it again lol, the UN3 does not exist, it is called the NG3!  (and NG1, NG2, NG4, NG5)  it is the smaller gearbox of the 2.  the UN1 is the bigger box. (too heavy for the Europa but used in the esprit)

 

 

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Thanks for the correction Rick, yes NG3.

Checked the rest of the post and the rest is OK

Note to self, don't post late at night or when the worse for wear. 😖

 

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