Ford’s Tassie Tiger

“THE WINDSOR IN 220KW FORM WAS A BIT TOO LIVELY FOR THE UTE’S LIVE, LEAF-SPRUNG REAR END”

Bill Mullen, Email

I have read with interest the discussion on Holden 202 sixes in HGs and have enjoyed it. There has been a similar discussion in AU XR circles for a long time now on whether the Windsor 5.0 litre 220 kW engine was fitted to AUIII XR8 utes.

Ford’s blurb at the time says 200kW but a number of owners have reported finding 220 engines fitted from the factory line.

Some claim to have spoken to FPV in 2003 into Series III XR8 utes during the final months production. When one the question in forums is much derision. It seems there may be parallels the 202 HG story. Are any ex-Tickford contacts know of that may be able shed some light on this? or fiction?

I have no axe to grind have an AUII XR6 which have had from new, I to you asking about your in method you used on AU XR6 ute in late 2001, have read with interest discussion on Holden sixes in HGs and have enjoyed it. There has been a similar discussion in AU XR circles for a long time now whether the Windsor litre 220 kW engine was to AUIII XR8 utes.

Ford’s blurb at the time 200kW but a number owners have reported finding 220 engines fitted the factory line.

Some claim to have spoken to FPV in 2003 directly and were told that some 220s found their way into Series III XR8 utes during the final months of production. When one raises the question in forums there is much derision. It seems there may be parallels with the 202 HG story. Are there any ex-Tickford contacts you know of that may be able to shed some light on this? Fact or fiction?

I have no axe to grind as I have an AUII XR6 which I have had from new, I wrote to you asking about your run in method you used on your AU XR6 ute in late 2001, I still have a copy of your reply!

Keep up the good work with your column in Unique Cars, it is a highlight of the magazine.

“THE WINDSOR IN 220KW FORM WAS A BIT TOO LIVELY FOR THE UTE’S LIVE, LEAF-SPRUNG REAR END”

Morley says...

IF YOU look at the industry records of the AU Series 3 XR8 Ute, you’ll only find reference to the 200kW version of the five-litre Windsor. That would be the iron-headed version of the injected Windsor that was, and let’s not beat around the bush here, probably the old Windsor’s second-finest hour. Its finest hour, meanwhile, would be the 220kW version you’re asking about. At the time, Ford announced that the 220kW motor would be available as an option in the AU Series 3 XR8 sedan, but not the ute.

The thinking was probably that the Windsor in 220kW form was a bit too lively for the ute’s live, leaf-sprung rear end. And that was probably right, too.

But here’s the twist: I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a few 220kW Windsors did, in fact, make it under the bonnet of the AU Ute. And yes, I know this is shades of the red-motored EJ Holden, and, yes, I know that there will be experts out there who will shout this suggestion down. But I don’t care. I was hanging around Ford and Tickford a bit at the time, and I reckon that if a Ford dealer locked on to a customer who wanted a 220kW XR8 Ute or nothing, then it wouldn’t have been out of the question for such a thing to be built as a special order.

The thing is, you won’t be able to take a particular car and judge it as either a 200kW or a 220kW unit just by looking. See, while the popular version is that the 220kW engine had alloy heads, that was early on in the 220’s career. By the time the Series 3 Au rolled around, Tickford had gone back to a locally-ported (I think it might have been Yella Terra) cast-iron head, so the two engines look the same. The big clue would be to lift a rocker cover and check for the 220’s

roller-rockers (the 200 had standard rockers).

The 220kW version of the Windsor was originally developed for the Tickford TE, TS and TL series of cars, but when Ford dealers couldn’t shift them quick enough, the 220 engine was offered as an option in the XR8 sedan. But architecturally, there’s no difference between the ute’s engine bay and the sedan’s, so there’s no physical reason it couldn’t have been done.

Meantime, Bill, I reckon the best advice on the majority of internerd forums is to forget about them.

They tend to be populated by smart-arses who know everything except how to get a job and leave home.

And they’re cowards; hiding behind their keyboards while dispensing their ‘wisdom’.

They wouldn’t speak to you or me face-to-face the way they do online. Well, they’d only do it to me the once, if you know what I mean.