The Turbo Diesel
Originally known as the Lynx and later as the Endura-D, the 1800cc turbo diesel engine was used in a variety of vehicles made by Ford throughout the 1980's and 1990's - including the Escort, Focus, Fiesta, Mondeo, Sierra and later the Transit Connect.
The 1.8 itself was a development of the (then all-new) 1.6 Diesel unit that originally first featured in the Mk.3 Escort and Mk.2 Fiesta.
Still branded Lynx, later engines had "Endura-DE" stamped on the rocker cover as opposed to the "1.8 Diesel" of the earlier units, and first featured in the Mk.4 Fiesta, Mk.6 Escort and Mk.2 Mondeo.
The Endura-D engine features a cast iron block and indirect injection style cylinder head, which means there is a combustion chamber built into the cylinder head. This engine makes use of aluminium for some other components to minimise the weight penalty of the Diesel engine. It has a single overhead camshaft opening 8 valves via shim-and-bucket followers. The camshaft is rotated by a toothed belt driven by a toothed sprocket on the Crankshaft, likewise the fuel injection pump is rotated by a second toothed belt driven from the crankshaft. The diesel injection pump is a rotary distributor type most typically made by Lucas CAV.
For some models, typically commercial and base model applications, the Endura-DE engine was a normally aspirated engine producing 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp). However other models featured a turbocharger producing 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp)."
- source: Wikipedia
What goes wrong on them?
Timing belts get neglected and break. The replacement interval for the diesel engine is 36,000-miles and there are two main timing belts: one from the crank to the cam, and one from the crank to the diesel injection pump. Neglect belt changes and run the risk of severe engine damage should it break. Snapped camshafts and ruined cylinder heads are not unknown as a result of belt breakage.
Later engines suffered with higher-than-average numbers of bearing problems. Mainly big- and small-end bearings, possibly connected with the way the bearings are lubricated. Earlier Endura-D engines are not so affected but the later Endura-DI revision engines used in the TDDI Mondeo and Focus models seem prone.
Head gasket problems are rare but not unknown.
The Lucas diesel injection pump is not the best. It has been jokingly observed that they struggle to pump pure diesel, let alone all the biodiesel derivatives available now. The Bosch units are much better, but rare unless sourced from another car.
Regular servicing is a must. Fuel and air filters need to be regularly changed, and failing glowplugs will make cold starting a difficult, smelly, smokey affair. It has been noted that with the increasing age of the cars, the perception that "diesels go on forever" also means "I don't need to service it quite as much" but the engines definately respond well to having clean oil as opposed to thick sludge.
"As an owner, im chuffed with it. Economy ranges between 39mpg to almost 60mpg but generally stays around 42-47mpg (my own personal economy, sad as it sounds i work out my MPG everytime i fill). It's slow, which i dont mind. 90 is about all it's got flat out and at sustained speeds of over 75mph it gets thirsty. I only really drive it at 60-65, economy is brilliant then.
As far as modifications are concerned, there is nothing really worth talking about. A lot of people tend to think because modern CRD diesel engines are very tunable - most diesels are but these aren't as such. The pump can be tweeked in terms of removing the govenor (and first hand I can tell you it is a waste of time, and risky business being a Lucas!). Pump timing can be advanced but with little gain. The boost on the T2 turbo can be wound up but it's still going to be a stone age diesel engine.
Freeflow airfilters can be done although you are limited to universal cone filter kits off eBay as nobody makes a specific kit. They tend to make the engine a little louder, and of course if you find someone who can custom build an exhaust, that's another option. When I had my custom exhaust fitted, I found the turbo much more willing at 50-70mph.
Of course with enough money, custom engine work, turbo's, pumps, intercoolers could all be done but for the effort involved it's not really worth it (although i have seen a mk3 fiesta with a Endura D from a mk6 Escort in with big power) http://www.mwstewart.co.uk/articles/mk3enduratdi/
A lot of people I speak to tend to think the Sierra 1800TD is the same engine as the mondeo and escorts - and they're broadly the same but until they try and fit one to a Sierra they find a few small issues with things not fitting or working causing them agro! But like anything it can be done with a bit of time and effort."
- Owner Dan Gardner (Weblefeck on the FSOC Forum) talking about his 1991 Turbo Diesel GLX.
Jim's note: Thanks go to Danny Gardner for his invaluable help in producing this page. :-)