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Ford Taunus/Cologne V4/V6 Tuning Guide

Ford Taunus Cologne V6 Engine

Originally known as the Ford Taunus, this engine is now more commonly known as the Cologne. There are two major forms of Cologne V6 of true concern, basically, the 2.8 and 2.9 series of engines. Both of these have their roots in Germany - hence the name! In that country, a V4 of the same format was also produced in 1183cc, 1288, 1305, 1498 and 1699ccs. Their V6 series also included 1812cc, 1998, 2293, 2551 and 2792cc. However, the engines that are really only used for power are the UK-supplied versions, 2.3 litre and the aforementioned 2.8 and 2.9.

The 2.3 and 2.8 are significantly different since they feature Siamese ported heads, fibre-teeth cam gear and shorter stroke. In contrast, the 2.9s cam is chain driven in the opposite direction and features 3 port heads.

In practical terms, you either tune one engine or the other - you can’t fit 2.9 heads on a 2.8 because the cam phasing is different amongst many other parts - conversion is therefore very difficult. However, you can fit the 2.9 crank in a 2.8 block although the nose at the front will need machining to accept the cam drive. Neither engine has anything in common with the Essex type V6, which this engine replaced for emissions reasons.

You are likely to find a 2.8 in MkII Granadas, Capri 2.8 Injections and Sierra XR4i, whilst the 2.3 was fitted again to MkII Granadas, plus MkIV/V Cortinas. 1989 saw the switch to 2.9 for the new Mk3 Granadas, whilst the 2.3 became the 2.4. These engines were controlled by twin plenum EFi with Ford EEC IV management. The previous engines had Bosch K-Jet injection/carburettor. However, early Mk3s were fitted with 2.8s along with EFi. The 2.9 also formed the base for the 24 valve Cosworth 4 cam version fitted to the Scorpio.

These engines are very smooth and do rev well although it’s easy to over-rev them too. For this reason most engines feature rev limiters although the Capri’s is safe to 6,000rpm. Since the con rods are the weak link, HD ARP con rod bolts are essential for over 6000 rpm. A con rod that has been stress relieved and shot peened can rev safely to 6500 rpm. An electronic rev limiter is a must have for any engine not fitted with one to prevent the consequences of over-revving. 2.8s are better catered for in terms of cams and heads. Our Stage 1 heads with a Kent V6T1 cam will give power to around 165bhp, whilst Stage 2, or better still Stage 3 with bigger valves, plus a V6T3 cam should see close on 200bhp. We can do 2.9 litre heads to order and, coupled with the relevant Kent cams, you should see at least 10 BHP up on the 2.8, all round. The most significant improvement you’ll see in this engine though is torque - 2.9s behave much more like the old Essex.

Capacity can be increased with a 1mm overbore, which is safe - you can go higher, but overheating is risked beyond this. Use of our Accralite 94mm Pinto pistons are popular in this application although they do need machining to fit. We can supply Farndon H-section steel rods to special order only.

As far as induction goes, the injection can be tuned on the rolling road to cope, although plenty switch to carbs, using the 2.3/2.8 carb inlet manifold.