K-series and or Duratec

K-series and or Duratec

Author
Discussion

huwdm

Original Poster:

623 posts

123 months

Saturday 1st May 2010
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As some of you may have read I am looking to become a new Caterham owner having been converted from my 911.
I have been looking for an R300 or R400 Duratec but these are few and far between.
My main reason is I have driven an R300 and R500 Duratec.
Should I have any concerns if I opted for a K-Series instead (so I can get one quicker!!) or should I hold out for a Duratec.

taffyracer

2,093 posts

185 months

Saturday 1st May 2010
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The K series is a great engine, bangs and pops like a good un and just has lots of character, but they are getting on now, if you can afford a duratec then definitely hang on, its the better newer engine and longer term will be a better buy IMO

SLR400

215 posts

114 months

Saturday 1st May 2010
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Just about to open up a can of worms but Personally, I'd take my time and hold out for a duratec, it will pay off in the long run. Start off with an SLR either 300 or 400, learn the ropes and then upgrade the engine when you're ready and have mastered it. The beauty of the duratec is it's reliability and nice and tuneable. Take your time, there will be more coming up soon and you can choose.

BertBert

12,626 posts

153 months

Saturday 1st May 2010
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SLR400 said:
Just about to open up a can of worms but Personally, I'd take my time and hold out for a duratec, it will pay off in the long run. Start off with an SLR either 300 or 400, learn the ropes and then upgrade the engine when you're ready and have mastered it. The beauty of the duratec is it's reliability and nice and tuneable. Take your time, there will be more coming up soon and you can choose.
That's just silly talk biggrin Quite a few people bought quite a lot of k-series caterhams for quite a few years. To suggest that the only way is to wait for a D is madness. The time is now. The weather is great. Get a brilliant k caterham to drive and change it when you have got all you can out of it.

Bert

sam919

1,077 posts

138 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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Oh dear......
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SLR400

215 posts

114 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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Dind ding round 2
No but seriously I've had both K and D and they've been great, but in terms of higher power 7's, duratec is the way forward. If you go and buy a high power K now, you know what will happen, several ideal duratecs will miraculously appear overnight. Maybe give it until the end of May, there'll be more available then.
The other option is to buy a much cheaper K now, say superlight spec (which will hold it's value) for £14-£15k with lsd, 6speed, widetrack etc to make sure you "like" 7's then when you're sure you do part ex for an R3/400D. There seems to be quite a few people coming straight into 7's, R400's and particulalrly R500's and then selling them within a short space of time, as if they haven't really gel'd with them. I think the the R500D on top gear had alot to do with this. The other thing driving the D choice is residuals. High power K's are and will fall in value as more D's become available. All in my opinion of course.

Edited by SLR400 on Sunday 2nd May 09:01

huwdm

Original Poster:

623 posts

123 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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What about a 150bhp superlight Sigma engined car?
My worry is that after a few months I would want more, especially after having driven an R300 and R500.

taffyracer

2,093 posts

185 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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150bhp is nice on the road, that's pretty much what my VVC K has before I converted it to R400 spec and it went really well, but you will want more power, especially if you venture onto track, with a Sigma there is limited easy tuning potential, if you can afford a Duratec then I would hang on, I really would, unless of course you are happy to settle for 1 year then upgrade in which case something like a superlight as suggested makes perfect sense, if you buy right you won't lose a penny

buzzer

3,150 posts

182 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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To buy a Duratec now you may have to wait a while.... But at least once you have it you wont have to have it off the road while the head gaskets being done!


Now waits for a load of posts from people with a K series trying to justify their purchase...

The K series is simply an inferior engine on all levels...

Edited by buzzer on Sunday 2nd May 14:03

David Long

1,095 posts

121 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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I am sure both K and Duratec will do the job but if the engine does let go you'll be better off with the Duratec. Put simply, the Duratec short engine is Ford OE up to about 220BHP/7800RPM and is much cheaper to replace than the K.



Edited by David Long on Sunday 2nd May 15:27

fergus

6,392 posts

217 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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buzzer said:
To buy a Duratec now you may have to wait a while.... But at least once you have it you wont have to have it off the road while the head gaskets being done!

Now waits for a load of posts from people with a K series trying to justify their purchase...

The K series is simply an inferior engine on all levels...
Correct. The D wasn't around 15 years ago. Surprisingly technology has moved on. I've got a K, but would happily upgrade to a D if I wanted big power. I'm not justifying anything here btw!

Using your knowledge of engines, why will the head gasket *have* to be done on a K? Are you aware of what generally tends to cause the HG to go on a K?

The D *is* a more advanced engine design and for a given power output will be under a lower state of tune, which suggests increased reliability....

rubystone

11,252 posts

201 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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fergus said:
The D *is* a more advanced engine design and for a given power output will be under a lower state of tune, which suggests increased reliability....
...plus it has been engineered correctly with the correctly specified materials out of the box....I don't hear of (m)any hgfs on Ks that have the later gaskets and dowels....

I love the revvy nature of the K - it really suits these cars...but after driving that DR300 I have to say that you really can have your cake and eat it now.

huwdm

Original Poster:

623 posts

123 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
quotequote all
I didnt want to start a K vs Duratec row so thanks for all the comments.
As a newbie seems to be all things progress over time and the Duratec is a progression.
The K-series obviously has been there a long time and continues to have many satisfied customers.
I think I will hang on for a Duratec or Cosworth (any views on Duratec vs Cosworth?).
The next things is to find one so if anyone sees an R300 or R400 Duratec for sale please let me know - maybe I should offer a finders fee!!

fergus

6,392 posts

217 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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rubystone said:
fergus said:
The D *is* a more advanced engine design and for a given power output will be under a lower state of tune, which suggests increased reliability....
...plus it has been engineered correctly with the correctly specified materials out of the box....I don't hear of (m)any hgfs on Ks that have the later gaskets and dowels....

I love the revvy nature of the K - it really suits these cars...but after driving that DR300 I have to say that you really can have your cake and eat it now.
More a function of peened fire rings and cylinder liners being set to protrude above the deck height at the correct offset. You can use a totally stock gasket on a very high output K if other parts of the engines have been prepared correctly.

Dave J

716 posts

208 months

Sunday 2nd May 2010
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I wouldnt bother with the Sigma . Its a bit of a duffer with little tuning potential and probably low value in resale.

I would go for a R400 K or duratec engined car - either original install or self build.

Nicodema

259 posts

160 months

Monday 3rd May 2010
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huwdm said:
I think I will hang on for a Duratec or Cosworth (any views on Duratec vs Cosworth?).
Huw,
If by Cosworth you mean the 2.3l Duratec in the CSR 200 and 260, then my guess is that you would be looking for the CSR260 Superlight. The 2.3l is a great engine, but with a slightly different delivery to the 2.0l. You'd want to try one to see if you liked the way it works, but the double wishbone rear end is rather potent on track.

Steve-B

634 posts

224 months

Monday 3rd May 2010
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I'm 7 + years on a K/VHPD and have been thinking on and off last year/two on doing to a Big D....

the plusses:
- i have a very good VHPD to sell
- mates right onto my Caterham 6 spd box
- just have to have the spare dosh (note to self, book wife on spa holiday now!)
- my frame, etc are in great shape so i don't have to buy a new car

the minuses:
- going to skin front of car when cut hole in drivers side
- won't be able to continue to disprove K reliability stories any more
- will leave a hole in my wallet for a while (unless buy wrecked Mazda6 and move engine over)
- heavier engine

I know my list is longer than that, but above is how i'm either going to home in on the mother of all CSR's, or just upgrade our SV. frankly i don't see the sense in a new car to one who's frame, etc are all in great nick and work well. after using our car on 4 of the 5 continents over 7 years she needs a respray, so new skin, engine, and spray pretty much all need to be done at once....

ph well, enough dreaming for now, back to work on the BH frownfrownfrown

edb49

1,652 posts

147 months

Monday 3rd May 2010
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huwdm,

I can't offer much opinion on the Duratec vs K series as I've never been in a K. I would say think carefully about what you want though... I bought a new car and it started off as an R300, then order changed to R400 and it ended up being an R500 with sequential box. It was definitely the right decision for me... probably spends half its time on the track.

If you get an R300 will you always have that niggling thought you need more power?