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Author Topic: 1800HC vs 2000 engine  (Read 2997 times)
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« on: November 30, 2008, 05:12:43 PM »

I've nearly sorted the body rust on my '75 beta coupe 1800 (though still have to do the bolt-on panels) & will have to start thinking about the drivetrain next...
The car came with no history & with its head in the boot but assuming its original (come to think of it I'll have to double check that) should be an 1800 with the coupe's higher compression pistons & lower final drive ratio.
I also have a '79 HPE 2000 dragged home with no history for parts.

I thought I should see which drivetrain people preferred, & what problems I'd be likely to face if I opted for the later engine (though I'd prefer to keep my original bonnet if at all possible).

According to Specs the 2L had similar power with approx 20% more torque, allowing (& getting) higher gearing, but supposedly didn't rev as happily, has a less 'tuneable' carburettor & looks to have a more restrictive factory exhaust manifold, but the advantage of an Electronic ignition distributor & Electric Fuel pump (yet Lancia reverted back to mechanical again later in the series?)

Personally I've not driven a 2L - nor the 1800 much really, to be able to compare, & don't know how well the higher compression ratio (9.8:1vs 8.9:1) copes with modern lower octane unleaded.

Obviously a third possibility would be to hybridize the drivetrains for high compression, low geared 2l?


Personally i would go with the 2000 engine.
People always talk about how much better the 1800 revs.
I have restored and driven many a Fiat 124CC coupe with this engine.
I am not impressed, full stop.
Just ok for it's time, all the ones i have seen mentioned on (well most!) have all been modified beyond recognition - not that i have a problem with that - but because it's performance is nowadays mediocre to say the least.
Its not worth all the extra hassle, anyone telling you they are more tunable is talking out of their backside.
The said coupe's were converted to 2l because parts are easier to source and the transformation was stunning.
One of the coupe's was displayed at the Alexandra Palace classic car show a couple of years ago and nobody noticed the 2000 fitted.
Only problem now is that they both require a taller final drive so don't use the 1800 gearbox with the 2000.
You will end up with a 2000 coupe that revs to buggery at 70 mph in fifth gear and feels like it needs another two extra gears to get the full potential of the power plant.
When i was a wee nipper, i read all the rubbish about fitting - lets say a gearbox from a 1300cc Alfasud to a 1500.
Wow the "lower diff ratios" made a big difference.
RUBBISH it just gave you the impression you were going faster because the engine was screaming.
I learned about this on a volumex coupe with a standard ie gearbox fitted - what a waste of time and petrol - killed the full potential of the car, not to mention the top speed.
I am not certain you may have to change the bonnet - that is if you have the early flat type.
Go for the 2000 ( which revs perfectly well thank you) and fit a pair of DHLA or DCOE 40's, not only will the engine rev more freely but you should get the clearance under the bonnet.
The nice thing is you already have the electric fuel pump - a carry over from the Fiat coupe again.
I don't see why the exhaust manifold on the 2000 should be anymore restrictive than the 1800 - same pattern - more than likely the complete exhaust system was the cause having too much back pressure.
Anyway good luck with you project.


Having driven about 200K miles in dozens of Betas my impression is that
there is wide variation between individual cars, power output, rev.
lightness of controls, roadholding, etc. We never found out why totally.
You can play with settings of anything and everything, but you are still
left with fast ones and slow ones.
One point:- DO NOT mix S.1 & S.2 engines and gearboxes. There is a
difference in dimensions between block and engine mount. If you do mix
them you will end up miles from home completely without drive, been
there, done that, 140 miles from home. The splines on the collar which
joins the diff. and the drive shaft chew up when it runs out of line.
Another point:- If you want it to corner fast, make sure the rear track
is correctly set. Do not take it to one of the speedy fit while you wait
places. They probably will not even know it is adjustable.
That's enough for today.


Hello Hutch and others,
We had a S2 2.0 with S1. early bonnet, everything else standard. It
We had a 2.0 with 1.6 pistons which came to us like it. The previous
owner knew no better, he just built the engine with the bits he had. It
was very fast, but not for long. We also had a 2,0 with a 1.8 head, also
Alleyne P.S. Ever seen 70 in 2nd.? [ a 100 Gamma]


Yes Alleyne, thanks for confirming the 2000 fits with the early bonnet and also advising on not to fit the 1800 gearbox.
Been a long time since i have seen an early coupe with this style of bonnet
You paid exactly what i did for a Gamma Berlina 2.5 flat four.
Very fast cars indeed - with an Alfa-sud like exhaust rasp - but with "more" attitude.


Hello Hutch,
At one time we had 8 Gamma Berlinas in a row without a head between
them. They were much quicker than a Beta, while they were going. We have
taxed and MOT a set of number plates, on occasion. They cornered faster
too, if the rear hung out there was enough torque to pull it straight.
The C of G was lower and the balance was better.
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