Ford Pinto engine

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Ford Pinto engine
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called EAO/OHC
Taunus/Lima in-line
Production 1970-2001
Combustion chamber
Configuration Inline-4
Displacement 1.3 L - 2.5 L
Power output 54-205hp
Predecessor None (North America)
Essex V4/Taunus V4 engine

The Ford Pinto engine was the unofficial but generic nickname for a 4-cylinder internal combustion engine built by Ford Europe. In Ford sales literature it was referred to as the EAO or OHC engine and because it was designed to the metric system, it was sometimes called the "Metric engine". The internal Ford codename for the unit was the T88-series engine. European Ford service literature refer to it as the Taunus In-Line engine (hence the TL codenames) and the Lima In-Line (LL)

It was used in many European Ford cars and was exported to the United States to be used in the Ford Pinto, a successful Subcompact car of the 1970s, hence the name which is used most often for the unit. In Britain, it is commonly used in many kit cars and hot rods, especially in the 2 litre size.

Pinto OHC (TL)[edit]

In Europe, the Pinto OHC was introduced in 1970 to replace the Essex V4 in the Mk3 Ford Cortina and Taunus V4 for the German Fords range (mainly the new Taunus TC). It was the first Ford engine to feature a belt-driven overhead camshaft (thus the name).


The Pinto engine was available in five displacements: 1.3 L (1,294 cc), earlier 1.6 L (1,593 cc), later 1.6 L (1,598 cc), 1.8 L (1,796 cc) and the 2.0 L (1,993 cc). Due to emission requirements it was phased out towards the end of the 1980s to be replaced by the CVH engine and DOHC engine, the latter being (contrary to popular belief) a completely new design and not a twin-cam development of the Pinto unit. The 16-valve version of the Ford DOHC unit is still used on the Ford Transit. The only DOHC direct derivative of Pinto engine is the Cosworth YB 16-valve engine, powering Ford Sierra and Ford Escort RS Cosworth variants.

1.3 (TL13)[edit]

The smallest member of the family was the 1.3 L (1,294 cc) which had a 79.0 mm (3.11 in) bore and 66.0 mm (2.60 in) stroke. It was produced in two compression ratio versions:

  • TL13L – the low compression (LC) variant, which developed 40–43 kW (54–58 hp) / 90–92 N·m (66–68 ft·lbf) depending on carburetor model. Had a compression ratio of 8.0:1 and the engine codes started with 'JA'
  • TL13H — the high compression (HC) variant, which developed 43–46 kW (58–62 hp) / 97–98 N·m (72–72 ft·lbf) depending on carburetor model. Had a compression ratio of 9.0:1 and the engine codes started with 'JC'

The fuel was supplied by the Motorcraft 1V single barrel carburettor in the early models (until April 1979), and Motorcraft VV ("variable venturi") carburetor for the vehicles built after April 1979.


1.6 (TL16)[edit]

Early low compression variant (TL16L)[edit]

Initially the 1.6 L (1,593 cc) had a bore of 87.6 mm (3.45 in) and shared the crankshaft with the 1.3 L model with a stroke of 66.0 mm (2.60 in) giving the displacement of 1593 cc. The TL16L had a compression ratio of 8.2:1 and developed 48–51 kW (64–68 hp) of power and 111–113 N·m (82–83 ft·lbf) of torque depending on the carburettor and application. As the 1.3 L model it used the Motorcraft 1V and, later, the Motorcraft VV carburetors. The engine code of the low compression variant started with 'LA'.


Early high compression variant (TL16H)[edit]

The HC version of the early 1.6 L had the same bore and stroke as the LC version but the compression ratio was higher (9.2:1) allowing it to produce 53 kW (71 hp) of power and 118 N·m (87 ft·lbf) of torque. It used the same carburetor models as the low compression version (Motorcraft 1V and Motorcraft VV).


Increased performance (GT) variant (TL16G)[edit]

From the beginning of the production run, the 1.6 L had a special, 'sporty' version which featured:

  • modified cylinder head (larger inlet valves and 2.0 L camshaft with higher valve lifts)
  • Weber DGAV 32/36 carburetor
  • tubular exhaust manifold

With such an improvement package the engine produced 66 kW (89 hp) of power and 125 N·m (92 ft·lbf) of torque.


Late variant (TL16E)[edit]

At the beginning of 1984 Ford Pinto engine displacement range switched from 1.3/1.6/2.0 to 1.6/1.8/2.0. The newly introduced 1.8 L engine used the 2.0 L crankshaft, so in order to uniform engine parts for the whole range after dropping the 1.3 L — the 1.6 L was redesigned to also take the 2.0 L crankshaft which had a 76.2 mm (3.00 in) stroke. This of course led to bringing the bore down to 81.0 mm (3.19 in) in order to keep the displacement within range — it was now 1598 cc. The TL16E became now the only available 1.6 L engine of the Pinto range. Although the compression ratio was raised to 9.5:1, the power figures didn't differ much from the earlier TL16H version — the engine developed 56 kW (75 hp) of power and 123 N·m (91 ft·lbf) of torque. This engine is sometimes referred to as 1.6 E-Max engine.


1.8 (TL18H)[edit]

The 1.8 L (1,798 cc) Pinto engine was introduced in 1984 as a replacement for the "old" 1.6 L. The engine had an 86.1 mm (3.39 in) bore and 77.0 mm (3.03 in) stroke giving the displacement of 1798 cc. Output was 66 kW (89 hp) of power and 140 N·m (100 ft·lbf). Fuel was supplied by the Pierburg 2E3 28/32 carburetor.


2.0 (TL20)[edit]

The 2.0 L (1,993 cc) was used in many Ford vehicles from the early 1970s. Due to its robustness and high tuning potential it's often used as an aftermarket engine upgrade or base for building race&rally engines — not exclusively in Ford cars. The engine has bore of 90.7 mm (3.57 in) and 76.2 mm (3.00 in) stroke giving the displacement of 1993 cc. It was manufactured in several variants:

Low compression variant (TL20L)[edit]

There were actually three completely different LC variants of the 2.0 L. One was used on the 1970–1982 Ford Taunus export version to Sweden — fitted with the Weber DGAV 32/32 carburetor and compression ratio lowered to 8.2:1 in order to meet the rigorous emission specifications it delivered 64 kW (86 hp) of power and 140 N·m (100 ft·lbf) of torque. The second one was used on 1978–1991 Ford Transits and P100 models. With modified induction and Motorcraft 1V carburetor it produced 57 kW (76 hp) of power and 147 N·m (108 ft·lbf) of torque available at only 2800 rpm. The compression ratio in this case was also 8.2:1. The Transits also used the third variant called the "Economy" engine. The power figure of this one was even lower — it developed only 43 kW (58 hp).


  • 1970–1982 Ford Taunus Sweden export version (engine code NA)
  • 1978–1994 Ford Transit (engine codes NAT, NAV, NAW, NAX, NBA)
  • 1988–1993 Ford P100 (engine code NAE)
  • 1977–1986 Ford Transit "Economy" version (engine code NUT)

Standard (high compression) variant (TL20H)[edit]

Although Ford marked its standard 2.0 L engine as a HC it actually uses engine codes meant for the 'increased performance variant' engines (coding starting with 'NE'). This engine different carburetor models across the years:

  • Weber DGAV 32/36 - on all cars up to 1987
  • Weber DFTH 30/34 - from 1987 until the end of production run (1989)
  • Weber DFAV 32/36 - on engines exported to USA

The engine produced 74 kW (99 hp) of power and 156 N·m (115 ft·lbf) of torque, though there were a couple of models with a higher output (for example a 81 kW (109 hp) version used in 1976 Ford Escort RS2000).


Injection variant (TL20EFI)[edit]

The injected 2.0 L used Bosch L-Jetronic injection system which allowed to rise the output up to 85 kW (114 hp) of power and 118 N·m (87 ft·lbf) of torque.


Single point injection variant (TL20CFI)[edit]

This variant was used in Ford Transit exclusively. The power output was 57 kW (75 PS).


Cosworth YB (CH20EFI)[edit]

In the beginning of the 1980s Ford ordered Cosworth developing a performance engine for use in Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. The company decided to base it on the Pinto 2.0, and although the new engine — the Cosworth YB - had not much in common with the design that it originated from, the Pinto can be still recognized as its predecessor.

Lima OHC (LL)[edit]


The 2.0 litre version was a narrower-bore version of the original 2.3 liter "Lima" four. Bore and stroke are 89.3 and 79.4 mm (3.52 and 3.13 in) respectively, for an overall displacement of 1,990 cc (121 cu in). This engine was installed in the 1983-1988 Ford Ranger and in some Argentinian Ford Taunuses.


2.3 (LL23)[edit]

The Ford Pinto used the OHC version, a 2.3 L (2301 cc) unit introduced in 1974 which has a 96.04 mm (3.78 in) bore and 79.4 mm (3.13 in) stroke. This version lasted until 1997 in various guises. The earliest units produced 66 kW (88 hp) and 160 N·m (118 lb·ft). This engine has also been known as the Lima engine, after the Lima Engine plant in Lima, Ohio, where it was first manufactured (it was also later manufactured in Brazil).

In 1979-80, a draw-through, non-intercooled turbo version was produced for Mustang Cobras and some Capris. Lack of dealership and owner training resulted in many stuck turbochargers and other maintenance problems. They were limited to 5 PSI of boost though Ford Motorsport sold a wastegate with an adjustable rod which allowed an increase of up to 9 PSI. It was used in this carbureted form in a number of passenger cars, from the Fairmont Futura Turbo to the 1979 Indy Pace Car edition Mustang.

In 1983, Ford introduced a fuel-injected version of the turbocharged engine, which was used in the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and the Turbo GT trim of the Mustang. In 1984, the Mustang SVO was introduced with an intercooler, initially producing 175 hp (130 kW) and later increased to 205 hp (153 kW) in 1985½. After the SVO was discontinued, the intercooler was added to the Turbo Coupe. Output for this turbo/intercooled version was 190 hp (140 kW) and 240 ft·lbf (330 N·m) for the 1987-88 models with the (T-5) 5-speed manual transmission. In addition to the 1983-1984 Mustang Turbo GT and 1983-1986 Turbo Coupe, the non-intercooled version of the engine was also used in the 1985-89 Merkur XR4Ti and 1984-1986 Mercury Cougar XR7, producing 155 hp (116 kW) and 190 ft·lbf (260 N·m).

A dual-spark version (with two spark plugs per cylinder and distributor-less ignition) was introduced in the 1989 Ford Ranger and 1991 Ford Mustang. This version produced 78 kW (105 hp) and 183 N·m (135 lb·ft).

Turbocharged and intercooled 2.3 liter engine in a 1986 Mustang SVO
  • Turbo
    • 1979–1980 Ford Mustang, Mercury Capri (carbureted)
    • 1980 Ford Fairmont, Mercury Zephyr (carbureted)
    • 1985–1989 Merkur XR4Ti
    • 1983–1986 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
    • 1984–1986 Mercury Cougar XR7
    • 1983–1984 Mustang TurboGT (W Code)
    • 1983–1984 Capri Turbo RS
  • Turbo/Intercooler
  • used as a conversion engine on VW based cars like Sandrail and Baja Bug

2.5 (LL25)[edit]

A stroked (by 7 mm) version(but not exact block as an earlier version of the 2.3) of the 2.3 OHC Ford Ranger engine appeared in 1998. It also used higher-flow cylinder heads for better intake and combustion. Output was 89 kW (119 hp) and 202 N·m (149 lb·ft). It was replaced in 2001 by the Mazda-derived Duratec 23, but Ford Power Products continues to sell this engine as the LRG-425.


See also[edit]