26th Mar 2006, 02:13

The classic C20XE "Red Top" engine was used in the SRI - if you pick one up your be lucky... I have one on a 93 K reg. It is absolutely amazing. However to take full advantage of the power, you need wider tires and a completely drive surface to appreciate the engine.

13th Nov 2006, 05:27

The XEJ (early Red Top) was essentially a Cosworth designed and cast 16 valve head bolted onto the existing 1998cc Family 2 block from the Astra GTE, Cavalier and Carlton.

Reputed to be one of the few engines that has near perfect head porting as standard. Later XE's had GM cast heads, lost 6 bhp and the heads went porous.

15th Sep 2008, 12:37

That sounds like good news, as I have a 2.0 16 valve ecotec, and I think the head is gone, and I have a red top head from a mate, and was hoping it would fit!!! Can anyone else verify this please??? Cheers.

21st Sep 2008, 12:02

Yes it will fit, in a mechanical sense.

If you're prepared to swap out the ECU (XEVs are Simtec, XEs are Motronic) along with the loom then fine.

There's also the manifold, which isn't interchangeable and you'll need to blank off the EGR function, which will have nowhere to go on the XE head. Incidentally, the swapping of the manifold may cause some routing problems back to the rest of the system, depending on which sump you have.

I'm guessing that the cam belt may well be slightly longer for the XE, as the pulleys are further apart than on the XEV.

9th Nov 2008, 12:59

So is it better to get an engine with or without the distributor, which 1 is faster? And this cos cast head, are these the better heads than all the others? And what car and year do you find them on? Thanks.