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Author Engine Conversion FAQ - Read this before posting!

Registered: 10th Sep 03
Location: Northampton Drives: Fiat 500/Porsche Boxster
User status: Offline
29th Jun 05 at 23:28   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Small block engine conversions (1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6)

A small block engine will fit into your Corsa using your existing engines mounts. There are a few points you should consider before doing the work.

  • You need a strong enough gearbox for the job. If your car is a 1.2 8v and you are cosidering fitting, say, a 1.6 engine you may want to fit the gearbox from the engine donor car as it will be stronger and have better gear ratios.
  • You need powerful enough brakes, as a guess you will be fitting a more powerfull engine to your car so you will be wanting better performance brakes. Corsa Sport and GSi brakes will do a good enough job, I would recomend upgrading to Cavalier/Calibra/Astra ATE brakes.
  • If your current engine is single point injection and you are fitting a multi point inection engine then you will need to change your fuel pump to a multi point injection, and vice versa.
  • 16v and 12v engines have a slightly different cooling curcuit, you will need a 16v header tank with two pipe inlets near the filler cap, rather than just one.

The driveshafts on all Corsas are the same, there is no need to upgrade those when fitting a new small block engine.

Also, you may want to consider just buying a car with the engine desired already in it. Insurers don't take kindly to modified engines, and unfortunately a car with a transplanted engine will cost more to insure than a car with it's standard engine in. Also, many people aren't too keen on buying cars with transplanted engines.

If your car has PAS then you will need to either buy an engine with a pump on it already, or just fit your PAS pump to your new engine. You may need to also fit your crankshaft pully if the one on the new engine does not have a grrove for a PAS drive belt.

Fitting the engine is reletively straight forward, you need to use the original Corsa engine mount and gearbox mounts and the correct ECU and wiring loom. If your car is a 1.4 16v and you are fitting a 1.6 16v (Ecotec models only) it is not nececery to change the ECU or wiring loom.
If you are unsure of how to remove and re-fit an engine but are keen to take the project on yourself I would recomend reading a Haynes manual for a Corsa because all the details are listed in there - there really is too much to list here, especially with there being many different vairients of Corsa.

2.0 Engnie Conversions

Before you fit the engine

It is a good idea to overhaul the engine before fitting it, timing belt, water pump and idlers in highly recomended. Sump gaskets are also another thing to change because they always leak for some reason. It's also a good idea to clean the head out and replace the stem seals and gaskets, and while it's out you have a good excuse to have it ported and gas flowed.

Engine Fitting

To fit a 2.0 enigne into a Corsa you will need a front engine mount. You will either need to shave off a small ammount of the rear gearbox mount and then plate it for strength or use a gearbox mount spacer and a modified gear shift mechanism, these are available from M-Tec. There is no right or wrong way to fit the rear gearbox mount, it is youre prefernece.

If your car was a 16v or 12v varient or it has PAS then you will need an extra bodywork mount for the front engine mount.


The Vauxhall Corsa B shell is strong enough to have a 2.0 or 2.0 turbo engine fitted without any seam welding and plating being carried out. However, the shell will be made stiffer if you seam weld and plate it, which is good for track use. You can buy ready cut kits which strengthen your front cross member to chassis rail welds.


You need to use a 16v header tank and ideally a diesel radiator as they are the largest. The fan needs to be either modified to fit or replaced by a slim universal fan supplied by kit car part suppliers like Demon Tweeks.


As the engine is a big block engine you have the choice of a few gearboxes. The most popular are the F16 and F20. Both will fit straight onto the Corsa using the Corsa gearbox engine mounts. You use the Corsa gearlinkage not the gearlinkage from the donor car. You can also use an F28 gearbox if you want some six speed action. You will need to modify that gearbox to 2wd and use custom gearbox mounts, M-Tec produce an F28 conversion kit. I will post more information on this when I know what you need to do!
Driveshafts are another issue. I would recomend you use Corsa specific 2.0 driveshafts because they are the correct length, but there are other options. You can use Mk II Cavalier 1.8 inner CV's which fit onto Corsa driveshafts, you then need to use Corsa outer CV's. This setup will more than likely break due to excessive torque being put through the driveshafts and CV's. You can of course use Cavalier/Calibra equal length driveshafts or 2.0 Astra driveshafts. If you are using Vauxhall big block driveshafts and outer CV's or Corsa 2.0 sepcific driveshafts yo uwill need the correct hubs to mount the big CV's to. You can either use machined Vauxhall hubs from the donor car so they fit to the Corsa bearings, specific Corsa 2.0 hubs (which are the same as machined hubs) or a Harry Hockley set up. The Harry Hockley set up uses bigger bearings which fit into machined bearing knuckles so you do not have to machine (weaken) the hubs to fit.

The passenger side (short) driveshaft is the driveshaft that is too long to use in a Corsa. You can buy these from M-Tec on thier own, and use a Vauxhall drives side shaft...


You need to use the Corsa starter motor wiring loom, this is a direct swap to the one on the donor engine.
The ECU and wiring loom is also a direct swap. If you are removing the engine yourself take notes of where all the wires plug into, it will save you a lot of time!
The only modifcation to the loom is in the cabin behind the kick pannel where the ECU fits. You need to cut the loose plugs off for the dash board tell tales and dials of both the 2.0 wiring loom and the Corsa loom and join them together colour for colour. I would recomend you use connector blocks to do this so none of the wires fall off!


You must upgrade your front brakes to at least 2.0 spec. V6 brakes would be ideal as they are nice and powerful. 4 pots would be the ultimate choice, though they are not really suitable for a daily driver due to the increased complexity if thier workings, also many set ups are made of billet aluminium and need to be steam cleaned every week.


You will need an MPI fuel injection pump if your car was SPI before hand. You may need to also extend or shorten the fuel lines inside the engine bay depending on what engine you had in the car before. You can buy fuel line from motorfactors in rolls, this can be joined using crimps or jubillee clips.

If your car was an SPI model, like a 1.2 8v you can use the original fuel line connection nipples from the MPI throttle body. I removed them and fitted one to the fuel rail and the other to the fuel pressure regulator. You will notice that the fuel pressure regulator has an M5 thread on it. You will need to have the nipple lathed down and have a new thread tapped to it to bring it down a mm. This seemed the easiest option for me.

If you are fitting a 2.0 turbo then you may find that a MPI fuel pump from a Corsa is not powerful enough. You can buy uprated fuel pumps which will fit from tuning shops like Regal.


The SFI box on the 2.0 enignes does not fit in the Corsa engine bay. You will need to either heavily chop the SFI box to fit around the bulkhead, use a Powercap or use an Ecotec pipe.
If you use a Powercap you will need to remove a large part of the bulkhead for it to fit. An Ectoec pipe is virtually the same but no bulkhead modification is needed. Both parts are available from Companys like LMF and Cossvaux.
An indution kit is needed because the air box doesn't fit in the engine bay without modification.

Exhaust System

You will ideally need a custom built exhaust for the new engine, you you can have a custom de-cat pipe made to mate the 2.0 mnifold to the Corsa exhaust.


Your cars top speed will be increased to about 130-140mph in most cases, you will need tyres that are rated for those speeds.


If you are using an F20 box no modification is needed for the speedo cable. It will fit and work straight away!

When Using an F28 box some modification is needed to the speedo drive mechanism to make it read correctly - more on this when I find out!

Hope this has covered a few points Ed

[Edited on 11-06-2006 by ed]

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