The sky’s the limit when it comes to 100E im­prove­ments. Lots of small changes can make a big dif­fer­ence

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - LIVING WITH CLASSICS - Richard Dredge

As an econ­omy car, the Ford 100E is an ideal can­di­date for up­grades, from mild to wild. It helps that there’s a great club (the Ford Side­valve Own­ers’ Club, or FSOC) that of­fers plenty of ex­per­tise. Many of the parts pro­duced in pe­riod by Aqua­plane can still be found, with re­pro­duc­tion items avail­able too.

Any en­gine swap, apart from the ul­tra-rare Fiat 2.0-litre twin-cam, re­quires non-re­versible bulk­head and tun­nel mod­i­fi­ca­tions, which will prob­a­bly land you in hot water with the DVLA. A kit is avail­able to fit the over­head­valve Anglia 105E en­gine but this up­sets the bal­ance of the car, which is al­ready com­pro­mised by the heav­ier driv­e­train, so think care­fully be­fore tak­ing this route.

The most worth­while mod­i­fi­ca­tion is to fit a 105E four-speed gear­box. But it’s an in­volved con­ver­sion – even with the re­place­ment al­loy bell­hous­ing – that re­quires a mix­ture of 100E and 105E clutch com­po­nents and some ma­chin­ing. The orig­i­nal steer­ing is no more than OK. Fit­ting an Es­cort rack im­proves things, but must be trans­planted as an en­tire sys­tem with cross­mem­ber, struts, track con­trol arms and an­tiroll bar or bump steer will re­sult.

The 100E’s wheels have a 5.5in pitch cir­cle di­am­e­ter; all later Fords used 4.25in. The 100E rear axle can’t be con­verted to the later stud spac­ing and can’t cope with much ex­tra torque, but the 105E axle is stronger, has the cor­rect stud spac­ing and al­lows a choice of fi­nal drive ra­tios. But it’s 2in nar­rower and akin to gold dust. An Es­cort axle is wider but re­quires short­ened axle tubes and half­shafts (the lat­ter are avail­able) which al­lows the fit­ment of big­ger brakes to bal­ance any im­prove­ment at the front end.

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