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Ford Cosworth BDA / BDG Tuning Guide

Ford Cosworth BDA Engine Originally conceived by Mike Hall (Cosworth Engineering) as a belt driven version of Cosworth’s FVA power plant, this engine is based on the Ford 1600 X/Flow bottom end.

It made its first appearance in the Mk1 Escort in 1970 and replaced the Lotus twin cam engine as the new high performance engine for the Ford Rally Sport models. During the early seventies Brian Hart (amongst many others) developed this engine further and his 87mm big bore alloy block version, giving an increased capacity to 1840cc, was eventually adopted by Ford and used to power the later RS1800 Escort.

The BDA and all its derivatives went on to dominate the motorsport scene and even today, 30 years on, it is still providing many winning cars with their power. At least 15 types have been produced ranging from the 1098cc BDJ (150bhp) through to the 2 litre BDTE turbo version (650bhp in full race trim) which was produced with a slightly longer block to improve its structural strength.

Although the 1600 BDA was adapted from the 1600 push rod bottom end (the uprated 711M version) only the block and the con rods are interchangeable. However, a full range of specialist engine parts are still available for this engine including forged pistons, steel cranks/rods, steel flywheels, race clutches, camshafts, oversize valves, special valve train components, drive pulleys, gaskets, etc. At Burtons we have identified the need to support our customers with some of the major components which are becoming difficult to source. Such parts include cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, cam carriers, cam covers, front covers and water pump assemblies. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss any aspect of tuning this unique engine.