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2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To

Posted by Robert Culbertson 
Robert Culbertson
Robert Culbertson
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2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 03:59PM
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I'm going to try and keep this short and to the point. There will be many different cars this swap will fit into, and each of those will have their own unique issues. I will add a few specifics when it comes to the Merkur XR4TI, as that is what I was working on.

The swap to a modern powertrain in The New and Improved Merkur came about after a simple cost/benefit analysis. The stock 2.3 motors are cheap, but this particular car had 3 engine failures (and resulting DNFs) in one season. There was a hole in a piston, a blown head gasket, and a blown turbo. All of the issues happened at lower than stock boost.

The cost to build up a better performing 2.3 engine started to get a little spendy with new pistons, aluminum head with a proper camshaft, and an aftermarket ECU that was properly tuned for the engine and power levels desired. This was in the range of $7-8K with all new parts including the ECU.

The Ford Duratec/Mazda L engine is used in a wide range of vehicles from Ford, Mazda, and Volvo. The displacement in the US ranges from 2.0L to 2.5L with forced induction varieties at 2.0 and 2.3L. From what I can tell, the bell housing bolt patterns are all the same. There are slight variations in motor mount locations.

RWD transmissions for the Duratec/Mazda L (available in NA) are mainly the Ranger 5spd, and the NC Miata 5/6spd transmissions. The NC/duratec Miata places it on the left hand side, where the NB miata places the starter on the right side of the engine (which will not work on a Duratec engine).

A quick break down of the costs associated with the 2.0 Ecoboost swap;
-2.0 Ecoboost $1000-$6600. This engine is used in the Focus ST, Edge, Escape, etc. Car-part.com lists prices from $1000-3000 for a used engine with varying amounts of mileage. I was able to find a VERY low miles engine, complete with the full intake system, wiring harness, ECU, exhaust down pipe, and catalytic converter.
- 5 or 6spd transmission from a NC Miata ($300-$1300, car-part). This is the part that makes the swap easy.
-NC Miata clutch kit $850. Steel flywheel, 6-puck ceramic sprung disk, heavier pressure plate, and slave cylinder. This was all sourced from Goodwin Racing.
-Mazda trans to 7260 slip yolk, $51. Fort Wayne Clutch
-NC Miata starter $50 from Ebay.
-Ford Ecoboost Controls pack $1500-$1650 from various sources.
-Gauges are done with a 7in Samsung tablet and a OBD2Link Bluetooth adapter
-Custom Oil Pan $400. The stock NC Miata pan may work, but it's cast aluminum and that scared us. Luckily, there was/is a guy over on the turboranger forums making rear sump turbo duratec oil pans. The sump has to be modified slightly to clear the XR cross member. You could also move the engine back another 1-4 inches as well. I had a few of the welds weep a bit of oil, which will someday get fixed.

XR Specific changes:
The firewall has to be modified to clear the water outlet on the rear of the engine, and to allow for the sump to sit behind the cross member. After some measuring, I was able to place the output of the transmission in the same spot as the T5 that was in there. This allowed me to use a conversion u-joint and retain a stock driveline.
By adding some clearance room, the heater needed to be relocated. Which is good, because the blower bearings fail more than an old Volvo, and they are impossible to find rebuilt. A universal Summit Racing heater box was used. They are ~$150, and are amazing.

Motor mounts were fabricated. Typical motorsports-style tube mounts. The mounting ears are low on the frame horns which make servicing the engine much easier over the mounts that were originally in the car. Note to others: the kit from retro-ford.uk will mostly fit. The tubes are too short and the right side engine plate will not fit. Nice kit otherwise though.

Air intake tract is straight forward. There are 2 ( I can't stress this enough!) air temp sensors that must be used. I was able to scavenge these from the intake system that came with the engine. One sensor is just post the airfilter, the other is post intercooler. I did have to lengthen one of the sensor leads to reach to the front right corner of the car. There are weld in bungs available for this sensor ($20), but I machined some. The ECU uses a MAP based tuning strategy, which works pretty good when you blow your intercooler plumbing apart or if you have an old leaking Volvo intercooler smiling smiley

One hurdle is the coolant lines. This was remedied by a quick trip down to the local autoparts store. I'll grab the hose numbers off the car when I get a chance.

Wiring up the controls pack is pretty straight forward. The manual from Ford is not finished yet, but if you bug them they'll send you a pre-release version. One note on that: the starter relay is powered through the electric fan lead. This was the source of a few hours of confusion until I was able to get a full pinout for the ECU and the Controls Pack from Ford.

Hydraulic power steering is retained by using a Ford Ranger power steering pump on a custom bracket to allow belt tensioning. A stock ranger high-pressure hose with a #6 JIC fitting TIG welded to the hard line. The mounting bracket is not the best solution, but it does work. I tried to find a decent spring loaded tensioner, but I just could find much that would work. Also, there is a engine mounting boss on the front of the timing cover that interferes with the stock Ranger pulley. So the timing cover would also need to be swapped out, or spacers used for the pump.
If anyone figures out a decent electro-assist column, I think that would be a good solution.

Hopefully this helps those that are looking at doing a swap in the future. If you have any questions, ask away and I will try and answer them as best I can.
I also added a dyno graph of the stock ST ecoboost and what they are tuned for with the Ecoboost controls pack. 350 ft-lbs -> mmmmmmmmm... torque.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2015 06:46PM by Robert Culbertson.
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RALLYRS
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 06:20PM
Thanks for that Robert!

I think we are going to start seeing more of these(and especially the regular old duratecs)getting
Installed in alot of vehicles.....

One of these ecoboost or a NA 2.5 duratec would be sweet in a BMW compact as well..
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tdrrally
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 06:23PM
check out project ugly horse
http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/features/a8020/project-ugly-horse-miata-transmission/



I would rather drive a slow car fast as a fast car slow!
first rule of cars: get what makes you happy, your the one paying for it!
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Robert Culbertson
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 06:48PM
Quote
RALLYRS
Thanks for that Robert!

I think we are going to start seeing more of these(and especially the regular old duratecs)getting
Installed in alot of vehicles.....

One of these ecoboost or a NA 2.5 duratec would be sweet in a BMW compact as well..

It's already huge in Europe. Check out retro-ford for Duratec and Zetec swaps. They have a drop-in kit for older Escorts and Cortinas. They know what's up!

I'm shameless in saying that I stole the Miata trans idea from Ugly Horse.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/05/2015 06:49PM by Robert Culbertson.
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ChrisKobi
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 07:40PM
Is this Daves car?
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Robert Culbertson
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 08:04PM
It is indeed smiling smiley
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 09:13PM
sweet! will it be ready fir Olympus?
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slidewayswrx
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 09:45PM
It ran OTR with this setup. Were there any teething issue?



Zap zap my ass...
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Robert Culbertson
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 10:20PM
Quote
slidewayswrx
It ran OTR with this setup. Were there any teething issue?

None that were major, which is a little scary if I'm honest. The car got pretty hot once, and the return line from the fuel pressure regulator makes a rattling sound (which is just REALLY annoying).

The heat issue is hopefully fixed with a larger and fully shrouded fan from a Volvo 850. We will be watching temps at Olympus. The Cosworth front end is probably not the best for cooling at lower speeds.

The fuel pressure regulator (aeromotive 13301) and/or fuel pump are creating a pulsation in the return line. You can feel it in the hard line, and it makes a really annoying rattle that comes and goes. The rattle started after the swap.
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aj_johnson
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 10:48PM
That rattle is one of the oddest things. I use the same Fuel Regulator.
Is there any chance your vacuum line is picking up pulses from the boost solenoid or something goofy?
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ALS FTW
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 05, 2015 11:33PM
What I'm seeing is more than needed HP and Tq with OEM reliability. Seems like a deal.
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Robert Culbertson
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 06, 2015 01:01AM
Quote
aj_johnson
That rattle is one of the oddest things. I use the same Fuel Regulator.
Is there any chance your vacuum line is picking up pulses from the boost solenoid or something goofy?

No vacuum line/boost reference apparently, it just sends 55psi to the high pressure pump. The high pressure pump may be causing the pulsations, maybe it needs a damper somewhere in the system.
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john vanlandingham
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 06, 2015 09:57AM
Quote
ALS FTW
What I'm seeing is more than needed HP and Tq with OEM reliability. Seems like a deal.


Derp derp as thay say..
But things aren't ---for all of us poor folk--- just that simple.

Money isn't always the simple answer---that's why people are curious what the problems werer, what the advice was given to the owner, did the owner take the advice, what was actually done etc to lead to the "3 DNFs from engine failure" which Culbertson as mentioned ---numerous times--- but for which there is zero info..

Of course anybody can cough up 3 thousand for an engine---12oo for a trans---frieght, some custom fab--that ain't free---and spend who knows what...

No problem--just money---in this case somebody else's money..

But if that is a viable idea for MOST people depends a lot on the 'reasoning' behind the move...

In other words there is a undercurrent assertion that there is an inherent problem with turbo Lima motors... and that this idea is a big solution.

The idea is fine----nice to see young pups like Culbertson, Gobright and Clark finally catch on only 12-13 years after we Xrattistas we already doing test fits---and at the time shrugging due to then total cost---of the bellhousing---and the appallingly useless info from EVERY US shop all claiming to be heroes and ex-spurts......but the idea was obvious and indeed I have said to every guy asking about Xratties since---DON'T SPEND MONEY BUILDING LIMA----put it aside for a Duratec conversion.....

But the some actual dialog about the course of events leading to the axing of the Lima would be more informative than a simple

"Wow isn't this cool? Look at the shiny stuff I built--for somebody else...isn't this kewl!"

Details..



John Vanlandingham
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Andrew_Frick
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 06, 2015 10:32AM
Great thread and awesome swap! How much lighter is the new setup vs the old Iron block 2.3L.
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Pete
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Re: 2.0 Ecoboost to RWD, A Brief How-To
May 06, 2015 12:55PM
This thread has my attention...

It looks expensive, but if you're starting with having to spend nearly that much money anyway, if it's better and easier to find parts for, why not?



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