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What temp do your Zetecs run at?

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  • What temp do your Zetecs run at?

    Hey Guys, I posted in June about having long-standing issues w/ my Zetec Birkin running on 3 cyl when cold. Roll a 7 suggested John @ New Tickford in the Miramar area. Thanks, Rollie, John was awesome. Nice bloke. He did a boatload of good work on the car including adding an 02 sensor to the system.
    Then it was off to a new place, CCC Motorsports in Santee, for dyno tuning. Not going back to the place called "The Dyno Shop."

    Holy crap! This thing's now putting down 208 HP to the wheels! (up from 182.9) It's the scary rocket from hell now! It's frightening & I love it. Power curve is not curved at all. It's a linear, straight upward ramp. F/A ratio is consistant. The car is very happy.

    Also, The crummy-when-cold problem went away like yesterday's rain.

    But the temp climbs really quickly now when stuck at stoplights. It's not just the weather affecting it. The needle races quickly up past 90 Celcius, clearly on it's way to 100 & beyond before I get a green & take off. Once moving it's fine. Fan is operating, coolant full. I think I have a 180 thermostat.

    I am considering running straight water with some Wetter added.

    So I ask, when stuck in traffic on a day hotter than Jupiter, where do your Zetecs run? & at what temp does my engine go Fukashima?


  • #2
    My Zetec engine runs around 80-85 when moving and cycling between 87 and 95 with the fan when standing. Outside temperature does not matter much. If you have funny temperature excursions check the cooling circuit. You might have e.g. a Raceline water rail or similar with the thermostat up front that needs a bypass. Just an example but one that happened frequently to other Seven owners.

    Now, if your dyno guy measured 208 hp at the wheels you need to tell us the secret. The best I have ever seen from a 2l zetec on an honest dyno with ITB and moderate (stage 2, non-race, 91 octane compatible) tuning was about 170-180 hp.


    • #3
      slomove--- Yes, I do have a Raceline water rail w/ front thermostat. I'll look into the bypass. Thanks.

      As for the dyno, I agree it seems unlikely. I would doubt the accuracy of the machine except that the car is obviously FAR more powerful now than it was when dyno'd at 182.9 ------John said my cams were 8 degrees off!

      It's not just the placebo effect from my seeing big numbers on the printout, because I drove it TO the dyno from New Tickford. The car ran badly, stalling, wouldn't idle, lurching, a total mess. BUT when hard on the throttle it was faster than before by a HUGE margin. "OMG I'm gonna" die fast.

      So of course I have no idea the accuracy of any of these readings, post or prior. But it sure the heck FEELS like 208. Heck, it feels like a sidewinder missle.

      I just have to keep the missle cool now.


      • #4
        Originally posted by perry View Post
        .........I do have a Raceline water rail w/ front thermostat. I'll look into the bypass............
        Just drill two 1/8" holes into the flange of the thermostat (of course inside the gasket area). That allows for a minimal flow at all time so the hot coolant can reach the thermostat to open. Before I did that, the temperature swung wildly.

        The dyno may have measured the power at the rear wheels but added the estimated transmission losses. I heard this is very common in the UK.


        • #5
          Hi Perry, I have exactly the same temperature issue you describe. Often seem to get to 100 and the fan still doesn't seem to have kicked in. We tested the fan last dyno day and it does seem to be working but in stop and go traffic the gauge creeps up to 100 pretty quickly and makes me very nervous. Once I'm rolling at a decent speed it drops back to 80 something quite fast. Someone also mentioned a fan shroud might help. I don't know if I have the bypass hole. I think I have the raceline water rail too.
          Paul. Birkin S3 /Dunnel zetec/emerald ECU


          • #6

            You should be able to see the bypass holes by looking under the coolant cap in the thermostat housing.


            The actual dyno numbers aren't as important as the fact it came off the dyno much better than it went on.

            If you have thime and money, come to the dyno day in a few weeks. He uses a Hub dyno so no tire slippage. It will give you a reasonable comparison to other Zetecs and it should not cost much for one or two pulls.
            Last edited by Doug Liedblad; September 7, 2013, 07:57 AM.


            • #7
              Dyno Day sounds great. Where is it going to be?

              I've dealt with thermos in other cars that came with a bypass hole pre-drilled. I'll change the part & makes holes either way.

              My alledged 208 HP is supposed to be at the wheels, no driveline losses figured in. Crazy.

              Fan shroud: The electric fan is behind the radiator, back-spaced a inch or so. There may be room for a small hand-fabbed shroud there. Maybe I could source a fan that blows more CFM as well. But I'll start with the 'stat. ---- I'm all about trying the cheap n' easy first!

              The fan comes on at about 90 degrees C. It used to activate very seldomly. Now it's often. The exhaust runs hotter too. It cools down with much more ticking & contracting now. (I'm considering header wrap) The fan remains running after the car is shut off. I may wire it to the ignition so that it doesn't. My little Oddessy battery may be flat when I return to the car. That happened in Julian on The Blatt a few years back.


              • #8

                Dyno day is next Sunday (Sep 15). See for details. If you are planning on putting your car on the dyno, I need to know which ECU you have.

                208 HP is, indeed, a respectable number from a Zetec.

                What radiator do you use? If the car is older, you may simply need a radiator flush. Also. You probably want to measure the temperature using an IR thermometer where at the point where the coolant temp sensor is. The sensors are not known to be totally accurate.

                If your fan is running all the time, and it is operated by a switch in the radiator (not the ECU), then you probably have an overheating issue. Although I've heard from tuners that the Zetecs do like it when they run a bit hot, you should probably get it sorted.

                /Magnus F.


                • #9

                  As you've already done the mapping I was only suggesting you get another HP plot on the dyno that is doing and has done other Zetecs for a more direct comparison.

                  If you do want more tweeking be sure to bring the ECU to computer cable.

                  As Magnus points out if it is suddenly running hotter you may have other issues.

                  I suggest replacing the thermostat with a new one as they can go bad and cause overheating. Or you can test it on the stove in some heated water. It should open fully before the water boils.

                  Can you look at the ECU map and see what timing advance it's running? I don't know if too much advance can cause it to run hot. I suspect you would hear pinging or worse if had too much.

                  I tied header wrap and gave it up as it made my Jet Hot coating blister.

                  Last edited by Doug Liedblad; September 7, 2013, 11:50 AM.


                  • #10
                    I looked at the Dyno day Link. Ontario?! I don't think I'll be driving to Ontario & back from La Mesa for a dyno run. I would if I lived in Rancho Cucamonga, but not from down here. But I may be going to the local drags at Qualcomm or Barona to see what it will do in the eighth mile. If I can get her to hook up I bet I'll post a decent time.
                    Thanks for all the input everybody.


                    • #11
                      Was just looking at the Raceline UK website.

                      They claim that their carbed Zetecs range up to 210 HP. & that the injected engines (like mine) range up to (with all the tricky parts but no boost) 250 horsepower.
                      I don't know what combo-platter of parts I'm running but 208 might not be that outrageous. The guys on the focus websites make simmilar HP claims.

                      So maybe my 208 HP dyno run is not too optimistic. Just sayin'.