The Story So Far.................

NormZ 1974 TD Cortina Sedan

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It all started Feb 2002. I got an idea to put a 4.0L into a TD Cortina cos at that stage I'd never heard of anyone ever doing it before and I wanted something a little different. First I Had to buy a suitable body. I found one just out of Perth for $200 less radiator and battery. there was another bloke looking at it to buy but as soon as I saw that it was straight, interior ok and no serious rust I couldn't hand over the money quick enough. The other bloke cracked the shits cos he reckoned he was "still looking at it and was gonna buy it". Too slow, money talks bullshit walks. If I had of been quick enough I should've told to him to "get the fuck away from my car!!"


at this stage I decided to build a prototype basically just to see if I could do it. the plan was to build it, iron out any flaws. once that's done, pull it all apart and start again from scratch doing everything to show car kind of detail.

I picked up a good 4.0L(70,000kms) with 4speed trans out of an ED XR6. I used this engine cos I like the look of the injection over the later models and at that stage I was concerned about bonnet clearance.


by the end of the first weekend I had the bare block less sump, oil pump/pickup), inlet manifold and trans bolted up. this part was easy and the dream was real cos I now knew it would fit without any major modifications ie:firewall massaging etc.  then I started making all the external goodies fit back on. there was nothing that would bolt straight back on without having some sort of clearance problems with something.


the top photo shows that the water pump(without viscous hub, fan and pulley) pokes out too far and is gonna be a problem if I ever want to put a radiator in it. it also shows how close the end of the crankshaft(without harmonic balancer)  is to the radiator support panel. what the photo doesn't show is the alternator resting up against castor rod and sub-frame.

even with the minor clearance problems at the front of the motor, the second photo shows how little space I had between the rocker cover and the firewall. for those not familiar with a ford 4.0L, they have a water pipe coming out the back of the water pump which runs beneath the exhaust, around the back of the head and under the inlet manifold. had this pipe not have been there I probably could have gone closer. 

this photo shows how close the inlet manifold runs to the chassis/sub frame mount. the photo isn't very clear but I did manage to get 1/4inch of space.




At this stage, I changed my mind, pulled it all out again and bolted on a T5 manual.



I didn't take any more progress photos from here on cos they would have all looked the same. I slowly but surely modified and shifted everything and bolted everything back in. there are only approx 6 wires running into the engine bay of a Cortina for the purpose of engine running. it took me approximately 100 amateur hours to splice those 6 wires into the 40(give or take) wire harness for the 4.0L.  after overcoming a great deal of grief and head fucks, I finally got spark and injection pulse back(i had it and lost it).  apart from a persistent noisy lifter and a few exhaust leaks it was a great sense of relief that I'd finally done it. here is the running, driving product.



I don't know where this photo below came from but it shows what I did to overcome the clearance problems I had at the front of the engine.  this is looking down at the harmonic balancer if you were leaning over the rhf guard. just to get some perspective, the curved bit of pipe in the top left is No.1 extractor pipe and the silver part in the middle is the water pump housing. sorry the photo isn't clearer I've got a cheap and nasty digital camera.


at this point I bought myself an unfinished project which for several reasons was a fine recipe for disaster. the person building this car fucked up 80% of what they had already done. however it did have a disc brake 3:1 9" lsd and a falcon girlock upgrade on the front brakes. I robbed the diff and front stub axles and basically there isn't much left worth keeping apart from a few boxes of spare parts. the front wheel bearings were put in almost dry and not pinned, no one could identify what brake pads to use in the rear brake calipers. both lower shockie mounting studs were snapped on the left hand front lower control arm. all front caliper slides were seized and boots missing. it was all painted up pretty good though - including the disc surfaces.



this is what it looked like on the 21st of September 2003. complete with 4 cylinder bonnet for the "sleeper" effect(although that's gonna change because I like the look of the 6 Cyl better), TC XLE grille and lights and 15 inch NA Fairlane rims I had off of a wreck I have in my backyard. the rims are only temporary and are good enough till the cash reserves build up again to get something else. I already have lowered springs and such but I wont fit them until I change the tyres.



Introducing my work hack. Cost me fuckall to buy, costs me fuckall to run but does the best single-spinner skids I've seen for a long time. UPDATE: Sent it to the glue factory beginning of September 2004.




Well that's the story up until 21st September 2003. Future plans are to change the rims/tyres, dump it on the deck and finally paint it. I haven't been too concerned about painting it because I am yet undecided what colour to paint it.





18th May 2004 - These are up to date pics. I've since lowered it 90mm, fitted Pedders springs, shocks and sway bars front and rear. The rims are 16 X 7 Boyd Coddington Billets with 225/50R16 tyres. I bought them pretty cheap considering. They didn't fit the falcon stud pattern so I had them redrilled. these pics are before they are polished. I wanted to bolt them up and check the offset before they are polished.


I've just made a rotisserie and hopefully very shortly I will stick another shell I have up on it and get cracking to do it all over again. this time with a bit more detail


07 October 2004:  A few weekends ago I decided I'd had enough of the car looking like a bunkie, seeing the rippled panels, the ripped vinyl roof and the caved in lhf guard so I decided it was time for a lick of jam. It took me 2 full weekends plus the nights after work to prep and paint it. A mate of mine tinted the windows(darker would have been nicer but beggars cant be choosers) and in the meantime I had the rims polished. I also put clear front indicators on. This is probably(grain of salt) going to be the last time I do any great amounts of work or spend any money on the ole faithful and I must now turn my attention to a newly acquired MkIII 2 door Cortina. Pretty soon I'll have a page up and running for that car.


27th October 2004 - I finally took it down to the Motorplex to find out what it'd run. The timesheet is pretty big so if you don't want to load it, the car ran a best of 13.911@101.05mph. That was with wheel spin every gear running on 16inch rims and a 3.0:1 diff. I was crossing the line in 3rd gear. Hopefully with a ratio change I can get better times crossing in 5th.


          27th December 2004 - Just a couple of pics taken when I left work after our Chrissie do. Apologies for the quality as they were taken with a mobile phone.


15th October 2006 - Some new pics which I've had sitting around for a while and never displayed on here.



15th October 2006 - Remember when I said I'm not gonna spend any more money on Black Betty? I Lied!!! Where do I start? First of  all my missus was getting on my back for the state of the backyard, see that cream coloured fence on the rhs of the first pics? that's so I can make mess behind it and no-one can see it. Anyway she could and by the power of the hairy lasso I had to clean it up. Took me a cupla days to clean it and about 6 months to make it look similar again....I'm waiting for the storm to come back again.

Ok onto Black Betty. I was looking at adding a hairdryer to the old girl to give her a bit of wind when the setup from John Coliadis came up for sale. I snapped up the exhaust manifold and as you can see IT FITS in a cortina engine bay. It's actually a better fit than the extractors. The turbo in the test pic is an old T3 I had layin around in the shed and it's gonna have stacks of room. For those not familiar with Ford 4.0L EEC-IV injection, it doesn't cope with boost too well so before I could go all out I had to modify the injection.

So out came the harness to change the injection setup. Speaking to Peter Bysterveld I decided to go with a Tweecer setup. This allowed me to run an air flow meter instead of a map sensor and it changes the injection from bank fired injection to sequential injection. On top of all this fully tunable via a laptop. Basically I had to pretty much rewire the injection harness. The last picture you can see is the completed harness. I've run a splint up the guts of it so the shape you see is the actual shape it is - you can pick it up like a javelin. I've shifted the ECU and all the relays to inside the glovebox and everything is all round neater and better on the eye.

The night out at the drags when I ran a 13.9 I crossed the line in 3rd gear due to my diff ratio leaving 2 gear unused. A cheap 4:11 gearset came up so I snapped it up and put it in. From there I went backwards. I couldn't get it to break lower than 14.5 crossing in fifth.

On the basemap(untuned) which came with the Tweecer via Pete I ran a 14.0 first run out. The second run I ran a 14.2 but I backed off at the top of the track cos my arse end was getting scarily wobbly - on that run I was 0.8sec and 15kmh faster at the 1000ft mark and still rolled thru for a 14.2. Oh yeah I've also since fitted a Steeda quickshifter. Overall I was just happy to get in a full pass and know the system works. I got back to the pits and I'd blown a core plug so that was it for the night.

It's sitting in the shed now in pieces. I pulled the inlet manifold off to access the core plugs and got carried away by pulling the head off to fix an oil leak it has.

That's about it for this time around. I'll update again when I get the head back on and all the goodies bolted together so I can have a decent nights racing. I've also just acquired a 3.5:1 gearset so I'm umming and arring whether or not I should fit it now while it's off the road or finish mucking around with the injection..



November 11 2006 - Got a bit bored, so I polished the inlet manifold and had a whole heap of goodies chromed while I had it all apart.. Apologies for the quality of the photo, my camera has issues focusing in artificial light and with the flash there was too much reflection. The whole lot is easy to do, just very time consuming. The engine is back together, just waiting on Pete to give me a minute of his time to help tune it.


April 4th 2007 - Just a quick pop in and say hello, not really worthy of a full update as not much has happened. Spending too much time on the TC. Billets off and AU XR6 17's went on. 235/45R17 on the back, 215/45R17 on the front.


April 10th 2007 - Acquired a brass button clutch so out with the gearbox. Takes a bit of getting used to but I now prefer it to a friction clutch. Let's see how long the T5 lasts now.



November 16th 2007 - Not much to update. I changed the diff ratio to 3.5:1 and thats about it. These two pics were taken on the 3rd of the October at the Perth Motorplex. I only got the one run in that night before my flywheel came loose. Back on the trailer - thats life. If you own the photos, let me know and I'll remove them otherwise I'll buy them. Might convert her back to auto - see how I feel.




9th September 2009 - A few years of sunlight, wrong paint choice plus the texture of a sponge roller had taken thier toll so I figured I'd treat the ole girl to a bit of a birthday. So the next few weeks I stripped her down, fixed up a few minor imperfections  and then trailered it to a mate paint shop for a coat of his finest.

Very pleased with how it came out and also very pleased how everything worked out once fully cleaned etc. The photo of me was taken in the week just before All Ford Day, 4 days to detail the TC and 5 hours to detail Black Betty, almost borderline maintenance-free. Just long enough for me to make short work of a carton.

Thats about it for Black Betty this time around. There isnt much I could do to improve it.

I still get asked, "so what colour are you gunna paint it?"




If you came here from a somewhere else ie:google and cant see the links across the top, click here


if you want to know anything about it I've got mIRC open most of the time on the Austnet server, channel #cortinaclub otherwise don't bother in the Cortina forums as they can go forth and multiply.


to the asshole who signed up the above address to a spam list...your day will come



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