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I have been asked on a number of occasion about replacing a XR3i CVH Engine with a CVH Turbo Engine. If anyone is about to embark on this project, here is an article which I came across about that same thing.

Unfortunately it isn't just a case of bolting on a turbo and changing the wiring loom. The original RS Turbo engine was based on the XR3i but it had strengthen pistons and a lower compression ratio of 8.3:1 (the 9.5:1 of the standard XR3i would detonate like fury if turbocharged). It also had larger gudgeon pins and heavy-duty big-ends shells. The head had re-profiled ports and special sodium-filled exhaust valves.

So far, converting the engine doesn't sound to difficult, and isn't, but then you've also got  to change the radiator, fit an intercooler and an oil cooler.
Then, the tricky and frustrating bit, the RS Turbo used a Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection system which is electronically controlled, whereas the XR3i used the Bosch K-Jetronic system which is mechanical apart from the sensors.
You would need the complete KE-Jetronic system with all the its mounting brackets, wiring loom, fuse and relay box and sensors.  On top of that you'd need the engine management control box with all its wiring.

It can be done, and has been done, and is not cheap !


 The Almost Official Ford Escort XR3i Web Site, Last Updated: 10-Feb-2008