Ford Essex V6 engine
The Ford Essex V6 engine was a 60° V6 engine built between 1966 and 1981 by the Ford Motor Company in the United Kingdom at their engine plant in Dagenham, Essex, which gave the engine its name. It was produced in two main capacities, 2.5 L and 3.0 L, and was fitted to a wide range of vehicles, from Ford Transit vans to sports cars. A 3.1 L version was produced for the 1973 Ford Capri RS 3100, but only 248 examples of this model were built. The Essex V6 also formed the base for the 3.4 L Cosworth GAA which, with the benefit of DOHC heads and fuel injection, generated 462 bhp (345 kW; 468 PS) at 9,000 rpm. This engine was used in the racing version of the Capri RS 3100, competing successfully in the European Touring Car Championship, as well as in Formula 5000 single-seaters.
Unusually, the Essex V6 was built so that the same block could serve in both diesel (compression ignition) and petrol applications, although the diesel version never reached production. Traces of its diesel design lie in the very heavy construction and the necessity for dished piston heads to decrease compression for the petrol engine. The cast iron Essex V6 is a heavy engine, weighing significantly more than the aluminum alloy Rover V8, for example.
The 2.5 L and 3.0 L engines share the same block and 93.66 mm (3.7 in) bore, differing only in crank throw and pistons. The 3.4 GAA version has 100 mm (3.9 in) bores, combined with the 72.42 mm (2.9 in) stroke of the 3.0L.
In 1977, Californian company Olson Engineering, Inc. was contracted by TVR to design modifications to the Essex V6 such that it could be emissions-certified for use in the United States. The allowed TVR to sell its Essex-engined M Series cars in that market for the 1978 and 1979 model years.
In South Africa, the engine continued in production from 1982 up to April 2000 for use in the Sapphire Saloon and Sierra vehicles, and Courier pick-ups. Late in its production life it was fitted with Lucas controlled electronic fuel injection designed by SAMCOR (South African Motor Corporation - now Ford SA) in co-operation with the University of Pretoria's engineering department. This conversion resulted in a power increase from 103 kW (140 PS; 138 bhp) to 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) of the standard 3.0 version, and 117 kW (159 PS; 157 bhp) for the fuel injection version, plus a useful boost to fuel economy. Only about 1,600 of the EFI variants were produced during 1992 and 1993. In October 1997, the 3.0L was enlarged to 3.4L to be better suited to 4x4 vehicles. The 3.4 version produced 108 kW (147 PS; 145 bhp) and 260 N·m (190 lb·ft). All 3.4 variants used the 38DGAS Weber carburetor with 29 mm (1.1 in) venturis. Production tooling at the factory was scrapped and sold in 2000, to make way for the production of a new four cylinder OHC engine. From 1966 to 1998, the 3.0L was also used in industrial applications such as generator plants, airport vehicles, milk vans, jet boats (Hamilton jet) and even river barges.
Vehicles using the Essex V6
The Essex V6 was fitted to a wide variety of cars, both from Ford and from smaller specialist manufacturers that used Ford engines. Among these were the following:
- AC ME3000
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (car) prop
- Ford Capri
- Ford Corsair Savage
- Ford Cortina Savage
- Ford Escort Superspeed Mk1
- Ford Granada
- Ford Transit
- Ford Zephyr
- Ford Zodiac
- Gilbern Genie
- Gilbern Invader
- Marcos (various models)
- Reliant Scimitar
- TVR 3000M - 3.0 L
- TVR 3000S - 3.0 L
- TVR Taimar
- TVR Tuscan V6
- Ford Escort Apache
- Broadspeed Bullet Capri
- Ford Zephyr and Zodiac (Mk4)
- Ford Cortina Perana (Mk2)
- Ford 17M and 20M (Taunus)
- Ford Transit van V4 + V6
- Ford Capri (Mk1)1970 to 1973.
- Ford Cortina (Mk3, Mk4, Mk5)
- Ford Granada (Mk1, Mk2)
- Ford Sierra hatch 1984 to 1993.
- Ford Sierra/Sapphire 1989 to 1993.
- Ford Sapphire Ghia (EFI engined Sapphire) 1992 to 1993
- Ford Sierra 3.0i RS (EFI engined Sierra produced alongside the Sapphire Ghia)
- Ford 1 ton pickup (Cortina Mk3+ Mk4 based) 1974 to 1985.
- Ford Courier/Mazda Drifter 1 ton pickup 1986 to 2000
- Also used by a number of companies as conversions in VW Kombi and Toyota Hiace
- FERRINO Sports car, based on Ferrari Dino, using a tubular chassis and glassfibre body.
- Lynx Roadster, based on Ford Cortina chassis with glassfibre body.