Tuning and Modification Guide.

Below are a few useful hints and tips on getting more out of your Cortina (If you like that kind of thing!). If you know any more useful tips please e-mail me and I will share them with the world.


If it's a standard 1500 engine then many parts used on GT models can be used as simple bolt-on mods. To start try the Weber 28/36 DCD carb. Overboring the 1500cc can easily bring it up to 1650cc. Many early Ford engines will squeeze under the bonnet of the Mk1, Mk2 and early Mk3 crossflow 1600 engines provide the natural choice. These were also available in early Escorts. The only problem being linking the throttle pedal to the carburettor - for this you will need the original linkage and heater matrix pipes from a Mk2 Cortina. To release the extra power in this engine the camshaft should be uprated, the only problem being that to do this you must remove the engine! Ford's BLF 22 or BCF 2 is the ideal solution. All this, accompanied with a performance exhaust system, a K&N filter and a gas flowed head then you should be well in excess of 100bhp. More widely available is the 2-litre Pinto engine used in Cortina's replacement, the Sierra. Easily reaching 120bhp with a multitude of upgrades available. It fits easily onto earlier gearboxes and bolts in with the Transit engine mounts, but you'll need to modify the sump to clear the Cortina's front crossmember. An unleaded conversion should cost around £200.


Once again a standard can be uprated to a GT! This 3.9:1 ratio can also be found in 1600 Mk2 Cortinas and 1300 Mk1 Escorts. This is an easy straight swap. If you are changing the engine to a crossflow then try to use the crossflows gearbox, but remember when mounting the gearbox to use the accompanying propshaft and mounting crossmember.


Again standard to GT conversion on the front is simple, GT's rode a couple of inches lower using 140lb rate springs with a 10" free length. Early Escort springs also fit making sourcing parts more easy. Also available is the strut top mounting bush in polyurethane, also various suspension bushes in various grades depending on how stiff you want it, most are from the Cortina Owners Clubs. A Capri Mk3 2.8i can be a great source for the rear suspension, a single leaf 115lb or 145lb spring was used, and fits directly onto the Cortina's location points.


Another standard to GT conversion! The front brakes used on late Mk1 GT's used 9½" discs, a simple bolt-on conversion. The GT's calipers were also used on 1600 Escorts and Capris, the only difference being that the flexible hoses will need remaking, with an imperial thread at one end and metric on the other, also try fitting a Lockheed servo. Another option is to use the vented discs and calipers from the 2.8i Capri, again using the modified flexible hoses. Larger 9" rear drums used on Escort and Capri 1600's, and of course the GT can be bolted on.


The GT instrument panel can be squeezed into a standard with a bit of careful wiring. Also try fitting the fusebox from a Mk1 or Mk2 Escort, this will prevent your treasure going up in smoke.

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