Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Corporation are introducing an all-new global family of 16-valve I-4 engines displacing from 1.8 liters up to 2.3 liters using different bore and stroke combinations...
Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Corporation are introducing an all-new global family of 16-valve I-4 engines displacing from 1.8 liters up to 2.3 liters using different bore and stroke combinations with potential for up to 100 different derivatives. The new I-4 engine will be built in four plants on three continents. “Eventually we expect to build up to 1.5 million of the new I-4 engines annually, which will represent about 20 percent of our total engine production,” said Dave Szczupak, vice president of Powertrain Operations, Ford Motor Company. “These I-4 engines eventually will replace up to eight different Ford and Mazda families of four-cylinder engines globally.
The first engines were produced in Chihuahua, Mexico in the third quarter of 2000. The Dearborn Engine Plant began production of the 2.3-liter I-4 in the second quarter of 2001. Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan plant launched I-4 production in January 2002. Valencia, Spain launches later this year for various European Ford applications.
The new I-4 engine family makes extensive use of lightweight aluminum components, which offers a weight savings of approximately 40 pounds compared with the equivalent Zetec I-4 engine. The cylinder head’s Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) design uses Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket (DAMB) tappets and an aluminum alloy (AA319) “high flow” cylinder head with press fit valve seats, which helps to improve long-term sealing. Valves and tappets are individually graded for consistency. This assures their ability to maintain proper valve clearances over the engine’s entire life, without the use of shims. Lobes on the chain-driven cast-iron double overhead camshafts are chilled during manufacture to harden them. These actions help to eliminate valve adjustments throughout a service life of 150,000 miles or 10 years in use. The camshafts run directly in the aluminum cylinder head and are driven by a “silent” chain, which provides quieter operation. A spring arm maintains proper tension, and a hydraulically activated composite damper controls chain movement. The camshaft cover is made of cast aluminum alloy to contain valve train noise and assure warp-free sealing for life. For enhanced efficiency, the electronic thermostat control uses a wax capsule that melts at a specific rate to signal the thermostat to open and close. It begins to open at a relatively high temperature of 98 degrees Celsius to support improved fuel economy through reduced friction, while allowing PCM-controlled actuation during high-load conditions. For further fuel efficiency, the engine uses 5W20 SAE (ILSAC GF-3) grade oil for reduced resistance to flow, and operates at a relatively low idle speed of 700 rpm. Maximum engine speed is 7,000 rpm.