Many people wondered why the Ghost 212 is only 212cc when they have a 224cc engine that could have been upgraded. Part of the reason is to have power similar to a Briggs LO206. Still, why would that matter when these engines are not running in the same class and when most are not using the engine for kart racing. We wondered the same thing at EC, so we built a kit to increase the displacement to the same level as the Predator 224 and Wildcat 223. We're adding the same cam, carb, flywheel as the stage 3 kit, stainless steel valves, and aluminum retainers. 

Video Credit Red Beard's Garage

Since the Ghost 212 is basically the same as the Ducar 212 and Tillotson 212E, you can use this same kit for those engines.

For Cost Comparison

Ghost + Stroker Kit = $530

Tillotson + Stroker Kit = $438

Ducar + Stroker Kit = $425

Wildcat 223 + Billet Rod = $265, so it's $165-265 less expensive to buy the Wildcat and billet rod than to stroke the Ducar-based Engines. You can add a billet flywheel and still have $50 for shipping or additional parts. 

A Predator 212 on sale is $100 plus $200 for the stroker kit; it would still be more expensive to stroke a Predator 212 than buying a Wildcat 223. As for the Predator 224, it would cost the same unless it was on sale. The Wildcat would need a non-rev limited coil, but the Predator would need a flat top piston to gain some compression so the cost would even out. The Wildcat would still have better retainers, better block, and more compression and would not require the block to be cleared for the billet rod. 

Ghost + Super Kit = $890

Tillotson + Super Kit = $798

Ducar + Super Kit = $785

Ghost, Tillotson 212E, and Ducar 212 have the same cylinder head and use the same valves. The unique design of the valves is the 5.5mm stem valves are milled down to 5mm to use the factory automotive-style locks and retainers. We have produced 28.5mm, 27mm, and 24mm stainless steel valves specifically for this head that are of the same length and designed to use factory retainers, but for this build, we are going with our billet aluminum retainers. 

What are the specs of the Super Ghost 223?

Super Ghost Specs

- 70mm x 58mm = 223.21cc

- Approximate 8.8:1 Compression

- 27/24mm Stainless Valves with Billet Retainers

- 265 Lift 235° Duration Camshaft

- 34° Ignition Timing Billet Flywheel

- 26mm Slide Carburetor

- EC 3.273" Forged Rod

When installing the Super Ghost Kit, why is it important to measure your deck height?

Red Beards ran across a couple of issues we've yet to experience during the installation. First is the deck height and rod length. Normally, we include a 3.303 rod, which should give around zero decks. However, it was about .015 out of the bore. At the same time, these engines have been known to have around +/-005; it is rare to see above .010. There may have been some change in tooling. This engine is produced primarily for power equipment and can run 100s of thousands of units, requiring new molds over time. The Ghost may also be decked more than the Ducar 212/Tillotson 212E. So, we're using the 8271 3.273 length rod, which put us about .015 in the hole, which isn't a bad thing considering the Ducar/Ghost/Tillotson 212E heads have a steep valve angle that can cause piston-to-valve clearance. The piston in the hole will give us room for the extra lift. We're still gaining more compression with the flat top piston and additional stroke. For this reason, we wanted Red Beard to make a video showing how to measure your deck height. You should always measure your engine before buying parts. 

Another issue that suggests a tooling change is the rod's clearance. These kits usually drop in without any machine work. However, the rod doesn't clear the block, similar to the clearance issues with Predator 224. It's a minor problem that can be easily fixed with a die-grinder. 

Overall, the kit is fairly easy to install. Many of Red Beard's videos cover all the steps, from installing rods, flywheels, valves, and retainers. 

How does the Super Ghost 223 compare to the Wildcat 223 Stage 3?




Wildcat Stage 3

13.09ft-lbs @ 4600

13.48hp @5800rpms

Wildcat Stage 3 Ported

13.57ft-lbs @ 5400

15.48hp @ 6600rpms

Stock Ghost

11.61ft-lbs @ 4200rpms

9.9 @ 5100rpms

Super Ghost

12.85 @ 5500rpms

14.64hp @ 6600rpms

Super Ghost Ported

13.64 @ 5700rpm

16.31hp @ 6700rpms

What is better, compression or flow?

The difference between these two engines comes down to compression and airflow. The Wildcat has about 10:1 compression, and the Super Ghost has about 8.8:1. Both engines have Hemi heads, but the Ghost's valves are displayed at a wider angle than the Wildcat, which gives the port a better view of the valve. The Ghost also has a larger cross-sectional area from the factory, and we used our Stainless Steel Valves on both the stock and ported heads. All those features and components help give the Ghost a great flowing cylinder head, which improves after porting. We make a +1.5mm(28.5mm) Intake valve to enhance flow if needed. 

However, there are a couple of drawbacks. We've already covered the piston-to-valve clearance, which can be an issue if you change the cam profile. The other problem is the rocker's arm and push rod geometry and weight, causing harmonics. The compound angle of the push rod and the fixed rocker arm location can cause harmonics, and the extra weight of the rocker's arms can contribute to valve float. Many have viewed the heavier valve springs on the Ducar/Tillotson 212E and Ghost 212 as an advantage since bigger cams require more spring pressure. However, they are stiffer to reduce valve float where a 10.8lb spring in a non-hemi clone can turn 7000rpms with a stock cam; the Ducar/Tillotson 212E needs about 18 lbs to do the same. The Ghost 212 has a cam with a little more lift, and while it's rev-limited to 6100rpms, it has stiffer springs than the Ducar/Tillotson 212E.

We see a drop in power if we look at both the stock and ported dyno graphs around peak power. We believe there is a little bit of valve float because, near the end, the power picks up again. We can probably solve this issue with more spring pressure by adding a shim under the valve spring, but you may need to cut a pad to make it fit. The same applies if you go with a dual-valve spring. You'll need more spring pressure if you go beyond a .265 cam or a cam with a more aggressive profile. 

Now, to cover compression between the two engines. The Wildcat increased torque at a lower rpm, partly due to the compression ratio. Before everyone starts shouting about port velocity, both engines pick up torque and broaden their powerbands with porting. While peak torque moved rpms, the torque made at the previous peak is the same. The only difference that affects both flow and compression is the camshaft. We used the CM-224 while waiting for our new Banzai-224 cams to appear. A slight difference affects these engines' induction and dynamic compression and where peak power is made. The Ghost made both peak torque and peak power at a higher rpm. Suppose valve float wasn't an issue. The Super Ghost may have made even more power at a higher rpm, given that the Wildcat peak power moved 800 rpm, whereas the Super Ghost only moved 100 rpm. The Ghost is breathing better on the top end. As you can see, the peak torque and power difference is much higher. 

In the end, we always recommend increasing airflow over compression. 

Video Credit Red Beard's Garage

How does the Super Ghost 223 compare to a Built Predator 212 Hemi?

We must include data and information from Red Beard's previous videos to get a contextual view of the performance. If we go to Red Beards Road to horsepower when he tests a Built Predator 212 Hemi with .265 lift/245 duration cam, 1.2 ratio rocker, and a TM24 carburetor with and without porting, we see the engine made 12.37ft-lbs and 13.9hp non-ported and 13.09ft-lbs and 16.35hp ported. There is about .5ft-lbs in torque between the ported and non-ported versions, and the Super Ghost made about .7hp more non-ported and almost 2hp more ported than the Built Predator 212. Remember, the built Predator 212 Hemi has about 10 degrees more duration and .050 more lift, and a flat slide vs a round slide carburetor.

There are a couple of key points. First, if you start with a 223, the total cost should be near the same or less than the 212, even when the Predator 212 is on sale. Part of the reason is the extra cost of components like the flat slide carburetor, rocker arms, and more expensive camshafts, as well as the work to install their expensive dual valve springs and retainers. Since the 223 are using milder performance parts and the power band is at a lower rpms, the 223 engines will be more durable than the 212 engines. The 212 can produce similar power, but it does so at the cost of more rpms, which causes more wear on the engine. It also means when it comes to climbing steep inclines and getting off the line in a race, the 223 will do the job better. In the midrange between peak torque and peak power, the 223 engine is still stronger with a higher average torque/horsepower. The 212 is making power after 7000rpms, but that extra 500 or so rpms isn't enough to run down the 223. The additional low-speed torque and strong midrange will make the 223 engine more enjoyable on your mini bike and go-kart. 

Should you buy a Wildcat with a stage 3 kit or a Ghost with the Super Ghost Kit? 

There isn't a right or wrong answer. We aim to demonstrate the potential of various engines and components with as much transparency and information as possible. For any build, there will be a difference in price and skillset. Porting makes a big difference, but the non-ported Wildcat will produce more torque, and the non-ported Super Ghost will produce more power. But when ported, the Super Ghost produced a little more torque and about .75 more hp. 

However, depending on shipping and taxes, the Wildcat 223 will cost about $300 less than the Super Ghost. Even if you decide to go with a Ducar 212, which has the PVL Flywheel and can save you about $100 in your total build cost, or a Tillotson 212E, which offers small savings over the pre-built Ghost 212, the Wildcat will be less expensive.

The next level for these builds will require more modifications to the cylinder head to improve performance and durability, such as bigger valves for more flow or bigger springs to support bigger cams and roller rockers. Alternatively, the cylinder head may need to be replaced entirely. 

We have more engine testing in the works and the Wildcat stage 4.

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