Capri V6 conversion (3.0 X30XE)

The Ford Capri has been the recipient of a variety of engines over the years. More recently, the Granada Scorpio 2.9 engine swap has become common place. However, these engines are becoming hard to find in good order (with according prices). Therefore this owner decided to use a Vauxhall V6 as the basis for conversion. Normally found in 2.5 litre form, this engine is actually a 3.0 from an Omega. These cars are rear wheel drive to start with, so can often be found with manual gearboxes as standard.

Hopefully the following details will be useful to other owners contemplating such a conversion...

The standard 3.0 Vauxhall V6 produces 210bhp, so performance is on a par with the Cosworth. Engines are much cheaper to start with, and availability of spares is no problem as they were also fitted to Vectras, Calibras and Cavaliers.

The car was converted to run with power steering at the same time as the engine conversion, therefore the Vauxhall power steering pump was retained and used with the Ford steering rack. The air conditioning pump was no longer needed, and to save space a Calibra steering pump and drivebelt are fitted.

Also required were a pair of engine mounts (custom made, but bolting to the original Capri crossmember). The Omega sump and oil pickup pipe were replaced with Calibra items - this meant only slight modification to the crossmember was required :

To make way for the V6 cylinder configuration (and power steering pump) the battery box was recessed into the inner wing area - this is a common modification on Capris. The radiator was upgraded to an Astra TD item.

A custom propshaft was made from the original Capri and Omega items. The gear stick exit is in the original Capri location (effected by shortening the change mechanism). However the tunnel did have to be raised slightly to clear the larger gearbox. With carpets back in the car you are unable to tell however.

To mate the propshaft to the rear of the gearbox, the adaptor plate shown below was machined:

A benefit of the Vauxhall conversion - very cheap running costs. The cam belt and water pump being renewed.

To give clearance under the bonnet, the plenum chamber was removed and rotated through 180 degrees (such that the throttle butterflies face the rear of the car). Luckily the inlet manifolds are symmetrical.

The Canems ECU uses the original 60-2 trigger wheel (mounted inside the block, on the crank), and the original coolant sensor. The restrictive air flow sensor was replaced with a Vauxhall MAP sensor, and ignition is controlled via wasted spark with the original Omega coil pack.

An electric fan is controlled thermostatically by the ECU. The idle speed is also maintained at all temperatures by closed loop control (ie. the ECU will speed up / slow down the engine if it is too slow / fast).

After initial mapping with a wideband lambda sensor, the engine is now run with a narrow band sensor just to keep an eye on economy figures. The car now has double the original power that the 2.0 Pinto provided, and gives 25mpg - the Pinto managed only 26.

Below - rolling road plot from Z Cars in East Yorkshire. 238 bhp with the only modifications being free-flow exhausts, K&N filters and Canems ECU. (Click for a larger view). We were also testing a prototype LPG system on the same day - hence the two lower readings 'Test2' and 'Test3'.

 


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