Mazda F engine

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Carburetted eight-valve FE engine in a 1983 626 GC

The F engine family from Mazda is a mid-sized inline-four piston engine with iron block, alloy head and belt-driven SOHC and DOHC configurations. Introduced in 1983 as the 1.6 litre F6, this engine was found in the Mazda B-Series truck and Mazda G platform models such as Mazda 626/Capella as well as many other models internationally including Mazda Bongo and Ford Freda clone, Mazda B-series based Ford Courier, Mazda 929 HC and the GD platform-based Ford Probe

There were four basic head types within the F range, the diesel SOHC 8-valve (R-series), the petrol SOHC 8-valve, petrol SOHC 12-valve, and the petrol DOHC 16-valve. These heads came attached to multiple variations of the different blocks and strokes. Only the petrol 8-valve and 12-valve shared the same gasket pattern. It was built at the Miyoshi Plant in Miyoshi, Hiroshima, Japan.

Predecessors (VC/MA)[edit]

These engines are only the predecessors to the F-series engines, in no other way related. They were fitted to rear-wheel drive models in a longitudinal arrangement. This is in contrast to the successor engines that were designed for transverse front-wheel drive applications as had become the trend in the late-1970s and early-1980s.


The VC is a 1.8 L (1,769 cc) overhead camshaft inline-four, with an 80.0 mm bore and an 88.0 mm stroke (3.15 in × 3.46 in). It was all new in 1975 and has an alloy eight-valve head on an iron block. Output varied considerably depending on market and installation, in a 1981 UK-market B1800 it is 84 hp (63 kW) DIN at 5000 rpm and 13.7 kg⋅m (134 N⋅m; 99 lb⋅ft) at 2500 rpm.[1]



The 2 L (1,970 cc) was designated MA. Bore was as for the VC, 80 mm, but stroke was increased to 98 mm. This SOHC engine with a 2 barrel carburettor produced 89 hp (66 kW) and 109 lbf⋅ft (148 N⋅m). A more fuel-efficient 1 barrel version produced 77 hp (57 kW). Fuel injection was available in 1981 and 1982. Other capacities were available in some markets, such as the NA 1.6 L, but this engine is closer related to the smaller fours used in the Familia/323. Later on, this engine was designated the F.



The smallest of the F-family engines is the F6 8-valve SOHC engine. Essentially a de-bored and de-stroked version of the base FE 2.0 with an 81 mm bore and 77 mm stroke. At a compression ratio of 8.6:1, output is 73 hp (53 kW) at 5500 rpm and 89 lbf⋅ft (121 N⋅m) at 3500 rpm. It replaced the F/NA 1.6 from the previous generation.



A destroked FE at 77mm, the 1.8 L (1,789 cc) F8 comes in several configurations including a 12-valve head and fuel injection later in its life. It has a very high rod/stroke ratio of 2:1, bore of 86 mm and a stroke of 77 mm. With a compression ratio of 8.6:1, power output is 80 hp (60 kW) at 5500 rpm and 98 lbf⋅ft (133 N⋅m) at 2500 for the 8-valve SOHC carburetted versions.



The F8-DOHC is a DOHC F8 and basically a de-stroked version of the FE-DOHC displacing 1789 cc – 1.8L. It uses the same exhaust cam, but a different intake cam with less lift and a long, single-runner intake manifold. The F8 is usually identified by its unpainted cam cover. Output was 113 hp (84 kW) at 6000 rpm and 115 lbf⋅ft (156 N⋅m) at 5000 rpm. It is usually found in wagon variants.



The 2.0 L (1998 cc) FE has a square 86 mm bore and stroke. It was available as an 8-valve SOHC and 12-valve SOHC. Outputs are 82 or 86 hp (60 or 63 kW) at 4500 rpm and 152 N·m at 2500 rpm for the 8-valve carburetor version, or 99 hp (73 kW) at 5300 rpm and 155 N·m at 3700 rpm with fuel injection, 12-valve SOHC and higher compression (10:1 vs 8.6:1).



The 2.0 L (1998 cc) fuel-injected, turbocharged FET version of the FE produced 135 hp (101 kW) at 5250 rpm and 175 lbf⋅ft (237 N⋅m) at 2800 rpm. It was a variant of the 8-valve SOHC FE Featuring a small turbocharger and no intercooler producing 7 psi of boost. As such it features the same 86 mm bore and stroke of the FE. The Japanese variant of this engine was dubbed the Magnum Turbo. Given that the peak power for the naturally aspirated, fuel-injected FE is 118 hp (88 kW), the rated power for the FET is said to be conservative.



The FE-DOHC is the 16 valve DOHC variant of the FE. Commonly called the FE3 because of its head castings, it was used in some 626s from Europe, New Zealand and Japan; but not the U.S. or Australia. After the GD platform stopped production in 1992, FE-DOHCs continued production until the end of the GV wagon in 1997. The FE-DOHC was also produced under license by Kia for the 1995+ Kia Sportage.

The FE-DOHC shares the same dimensions as the original FE-SOHC, including the square 86mm bore x stroke and it has an ideal 1.74 rod/stroke ratio. The FE-DOHC is usually identified by a gold coloured cam cover, however not always. There were at least five different FE-DOHC engines available with various compression ratio, camshaft and ECU tuning combinations however none were fitted with a turbocharger from the factory. Like many DOHC engines, this engine has an interference valvetrain design, making periodic timing belt changes vital to the engine's life. Should the timing belt break the engine should be replaced as piston and valvetrain damage will occur.[2]



The F2 is a stroked version of the FE with an 86 mm bore and 94 mm stroke, for a displacement of 2,184 cc. Introduced for the 1988–1992 GD platform cars, it can also be found in the B2200 pickup and Ford Probe. A high-output variant of the F2 coded F2H2 was used in RWD configuration in the Mazda 929 HC. The compression ratio was raised to 9.2:1 and produced 127 hp (93 kW)/141 lb·ft (192 N·m). Although available as an 8-valve SOHC in the B2200, this engine is most commonly a 12-valve SOHC. With an 8.6:1 compression ratio, it generates 110 hp (82 kW) at 4700 rpm and 130 lbf⋅ft (176 N⋅m).



The F2T is a turbocharged version of the F2 equipped with an IHI-supplied RHB5 VJ11 turbocharger and an air-to-air intercooler. Internally the engine retains its 86 mm bore and 94 mm stroke, but has a lower compression ratio of 7.8:1. It produces 145 hp (108 kW) at 4300 rpm and 190 lbf⋅ft (258 N⋅m). It is rumored that this figure was produced at the drive wheels, as this engine was suspected to be under-rated. However Mazda had only ever quoted these figures as SAE Net and DIN which are crankshaft rating standards, as required by law in the countries where the cars were sold. Due to the increased torque output, Mazda was forced to increase the strength of the transmission for the F2T, producing the H-type, the strongest FWD gearbox Mazda produced at the time.



The R-series engines are diesel variants that are very closely related to the F-series, sharing essentially the same engine block.

Later engines with 'F' nomenclature[edit]

The FS and FP are structurally different from the original F-blocks with much smaller bore spacing, much shorter deck height and smaller head and journal dimensions. The FS and FP are more closely related to the Mazda BP engine than they are with the original F-engine.


The 2.0 L (1991 cc) FS has an 83 mm bore and 92 mm stroke and produces 130 hp and (97 kW) and 135 lbf⋅ft (183 N⋅m) in its most common variant up to 170 hp in the Japanese Domestic Market. In 1998 the engine evolved into the FS-DE by undergoing several changes, most notably a distributorless ignition as well as the move from hydraulic lifters to solid shim-on-bucket lifters. Japan received a couple of variations of the FS motor, all with increased power outputs. The highest being the Mazdaspeed Familia version of the FS-ZE which produced 170 hp. Mazdaspeed US decided to turbocharge the US FS-DE, known as the FS-DET in 2003 for the Mazdaspeed Protegé and it generated 170 hp (127 kW) and 160 lbf⋅ft (217 N⋅m), the same hp rating as the naturally aspirated Mazdaspeed Familia edition FS-ZE but with a sharper torque curve. This means that the Mazdaspeed Protegé's engine is internally identical to the regular FS-DE, except with a turbocharger installed.

The updated FS-DE engine did enjoy a few minor technical features, such as:

  • Oil Squirters
  • VICS (Variable Inertial Charge System) - A system that can vary the volume of the intake manifold resulting in a broader power band. There were known issues with this system, the most noteworthy was a defect which allowed screws that secured the VICS butterfly valves to come loose and end up being sucked into the engine. Some engines had to be replaced entirely due to the extent of the damage caused.[3]
  • VTCS (Variable Tumble Control System) - A set of butterflies in the intake manifold that would close to promote low emissions combustion under cold start at low engine speeds. These had a reputation of being noisy at times.
  • Windage Tray



The 1.8 L (1839 cc) FP is a destroked version of the FS, with an 83 mm bore and 85 mm stroke. It produces 122 hp (91 kW) and 120 lbf⋅ft (163 N⋅m). This engine is often incorrectly called the F8, which is the earlier destroked engine based on the FE. The FP enjoys a much better power band vs the FS due to slightly different camshafts and a better rod ratio over the regular FS-DE.

The FP is very close to the FS in many ways and shares a large percentage of parts but has its own FP specific block, crank, rods, pistons and timing belt. The pistons for the FS produce a compression ratio of 9.1:1 (USDM) but when FP pistons are used in the FS they yield 9.7:1 compression ratio. The biggest performance difference is that the European 1.8L FP & 2.0L FS both have maximum compression of 15.0 bar (213 PSI) vs the North American 2.0L FS which has a maximum compression of 11.5 bar (170 PSI). The KL & FS ATX engines both require 10° BTDC ignition timing while the FS MTX & FP require 12° BTDC. The FP does not share the same G25M-R transmission as the FS. In the Protegé it uses a F25M-R instead.



  1. ^ The Mazda B1800 Pickup (brochure), Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Mazda Car Imports (GB), May 1981, B1800/81/5
  2. ^ FE Service Manual. Mazda. p. Section 1A page 14.
  3. ^ [1] VICS recall information

3. Chilton's Repair and Tune-up guide Mazda Pickups 1971-86 copyright 1986 4.

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