No announcement yet.

Zetec vs. Duratec

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Zetec vs. Duratec

    Just curious as to what the differences are between the two. If you were to build a decent track car that also loved a roadtrip now and then, which would you chose and why?

  • #2
    When faced with this same decision, I chose the Duratec. It's lighter, has a better head design with larger valves (35/32mm vs. 30/28mm), makes more power in a similar configuration, and have I mentioned it's lighter? :)

    On the flipside, the Zetec has a lot more development behind it, its reliability/durability is a known quantity, and the engine is more readily available than the Duratec. But did I mention it's also heavier?

    There is some additional Duratec info located on mywebsite.

    Westfield SEiW
    2.0L Duratec
    Throttle Steer


    • #3
      I have a very good zetec of about 210 HP, I reckon. It sounds great and goes fast. Would I trade it for a similar powered Duratec? YES, in a NewYork minute :!: The duratec is an oversquare design, allowing bigger valves/better breathing than the zetec: which equates to more HP/Torque!
      And if that's not enough incentive, according to Ford it weighs about 40 pounds less with its' aluminum block (would you like to reduce the weight of your car by 3% :?:). The one negative is that the intake and exhaust are reversed from those on the zetec. Alledgedly Cosworth is designing a new head which will make the intake and exhaust flow in the same direction as the zetec. For a guy starting from scratch I think that the Duratec would be the only way to go :!: 8)


      • #4
        Another option is the Zetec SVT which has right around 180 HP stock as ready to fit to a Caterham. It can be tweeked up to around 250 HP, is available now from Caterham USA with a 5 speed for $8950. This is a new, not rebuilt, engine. BGH tall first gear adds $750 and light flywheel another $300. Sent my SVT engine order in a few weeks ago. The head on the SVT engine I think is a Cosworth design. The engine is not a direct bolt-in swap for a regular Zetec but the differences are very minor.

        I was asking around about the Duratec but wanted an engine that drops right into a car without any fabrication or other problems or costs associated with a new conversion. There must be some good reason why Caterham USA is still using the Zetec and not the Duratec which will probably become the engine of choice in a year or two I would think. Give John Nelson a ring at Caterham USA and he'll tell you why he thinks the Zetec is the best way to go for present.

        I think one reason is that a Zetec SVT will come in a lot cheaper than a Duratec and still give all the HP you need or can probably use. But the Duratec is available in a 2.3 liter version. Why not then just go for the new V8 that is being designed for use in the Cat? That's going to be one expensive engine but I can't wait to see and hear one.


        • #5
          Is that the dual R1 V8?


          • #6
            There seem to be two or three out there from what I've read on Blatchat.

            See here:

            Search Blatchat for "V8" and you will come up with some interesting reading in addition to posts on other engines. Or just search for Zetec and Duratec. There's been a lot posted on Blatchat.



            • #7
              duratec and V8

              One huge plus for the duratec is that the exhaust is on the passenger side. These things tend to be loud, and having the exhaust opposite the driver is quite nice (for the driver, not for the passenger!). It's quieter, and you don't have to step over the exhaust when you get out. Although I have gotten in the habit of warning my passengers so they don't burn themselves. I like to think that this layout is more like the experience I would get in the UK with their RHD cars.

              It is "easier" to use a SVT, but I feel the duratec has more "legs" than the zetec. So when I get upgradeitus (which is inevitable), the duratec gives more headroom. Caterham USA has a lot of $$ invested in the Zetec and have done a wonderful job of making these cars legal in 48(?) states and I suspect they need to stick with the Zetec for a while. You can now get a chassis setup for the Duratec directly from Caterham and they offer bits like motor mounts which should make it less painful than what I experienced. :D

              If money is not an option, the V8's look really interesting (350hp from a 2L mill). If I was serious about it, I'd hop on a plane and go to the UK to test them out before I plunked my money down (money was not an issue remember...and what is $1000 trip to the UK compared to the cost of a complete car with one of these motors?) The motors are horrendously expensive (~15K is what I remember) and that 's just the motor. Anyway I've been rambling on...there are some pics of a V8 in a SV on the sevens workshop site


              Tom "ELV15" Jones


              • #8
                I vote for a crossflow! :D


                • #9
                  Just an observation from months of browsing through Blatchat and here, but it seems to me that if someone has a Duratec, they love it; particularly those who had a Zetec, Crossflow, etc. previously. I've also noticed a good number of those on Blatchat chomping at the bit to convert to Duratec. I have yet to hear of anyone with a Duratec wanting to convert to Zetec or Crossflow. My opinion: go Duratec (for reference, that's less than one six-billionth of world opinion).
                  - Sean


                  • #10
                    In the here and now the Duratec is still in the realm of pricey tinkering, notwithstanding the availability of motor mounts from Caterham. There's nothing wrong with tinkering if its what you want to do of course, but the SVT looks like the best overall US option today. For relatively little money one gets a brand new race-proven hot rod engine, built by Ford to go 100K miles under warranty in a car that weighs more than twice as much. What's not to like?

                    I suspect that one could go SVT now, enjoy it, and then switch to Duratec in a few years if it becomes a "must have", when all of the bugs are worked out and the costs brought down (making the now customary, but nonetheless heroic, assumption that Caterham actually switches to Duratec in the near future), for the same or less total money than going Duratec right now.

                    And I don't have any interest in promoting SVT, though I do own an SVT Focus.


                    • #11
                      The bugs are worked out. It's really only a matter of cutting a hole on the other side of the car now as all the other bits are done and readily for sale.

                      20+ kilos is a huge amount of weight to take off of a 7, particularly that far forward.

                      And if you've really got the dough, the equation is: 270 hp + 210 lb ft of torque - 20+ kilos = Merry Frickin Christmas.

                      Duratec is the current way and the way forward.
                      A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted


                      • #12
                        I like your math, but unfortunately the dough part is the key to that particular type of Merry F. Christmas (though it's not that much more than a Zetec if you can be happy with ~200bhp, and deal with the inevitable upgaditus later).
                        - Sean