Lotus Elan

What kind of 0-60 should I expect?

PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:41 am

Well, after working on my 69 S4 over the past 18 months an intervention has occurred and I am now sequestered some 1500 miles away in a warm(er) climate from Northern California unable to work on the car for the next two months. The car sits at home awaiting my return.

I was getting close and undoubtedly would have finished the car (or at least made it roadworthy) in these two months. So I am left to conjecture about what kind of performance I might expect from my uprated S4. I have been looking in particular at 0-60 times and trying to calculate based upon weight, horsepower, and torque ratios compared to known times for other cars. Clearly, there are many factors but my hp/weight and torque/weight are a significant departure from my original stock (formerly Stromberg, now 40 DCOE Weber), 1700 cc vs 1558, 181 horsepower, 143 torque (virtually flat from 4000-7000). This is a street, not race engine, redline 7000, not a peaky, high rpm, hp bomb.

I was able to squeeze 185/60VR13 Toyo R888R tires on the car, by the skin of my teeth. Just cleared the arch on the left rear side and I will need to remove maybe 1/16-1/8" on the right rear but the tires actually clear throughout full travel.. Steering wheel lock slightly reduced to not foul the ARB. All the other bits are also uprated (forged axles, prop-shaft, diff brace, Quaife ATB, etc. Lightened bits (bell housing, flywheel, etc.) 26R K/O wheels (5"). Stock arches. So the car looks stock from the outside (except for wheels/ tires) and perhaps the TTR large exhaust.

So, a Sprint, back in the day, was sometimes reported to have achieved a 6.6 sec 0-60 time. Just ratioing my reduced weight, and 44% more hp and 23% more torque (also broader curve) I get a 0-60 time of between 4.5 and 5.0 secs. Also, have done this for numerous other cars and can get somewhat similar results. There are also 0-60 calculators on line but these seem to provide a rather optimistic sub 4.0 to 4.3 secs. (BTW I have the 3.77 diff).

Curious if anyone has real experience with an Elan of a substantially uprated spec, as I am left to twiddle my thumbs for the next two months and can only dream about my future drive.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:29 am

My 700kg S4 FHC Elan with a similar setup and a bit more power and similar torque from a 12.5:1 compression 1600 cc twin cam will do around 4.5 secs 0- 60 mph and maybe a bit better depending on how well I launch it. Off the start line and up to 100 kmh it will stay with pretty much anything on the historic racing grid including 1970's 3.3 litre Porches and 6 litre Corvettes with full race engines.

it is also a hoot on the road when you sit on the tail of a big sports bike away from the lights :)

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PostPost by: jimj » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:23 am

It`s a bit of a mystery to me. My S1 Elise back in 1999 had 118bhp, not sure about torque but not much, and supposedly did 0-60 in 5.5 seconds yet was quite a bit heavier than an Elan which, I seem to recall, never matched the factory`s claim of 6.6 on independent road tests.
189bhp on a street engine limited to 7000rpm? I`m amazed.
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PostPost by: ecamiel » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:45 pm

It won't take many 0 to 60 runs to twist off the inner or outer axels !! Even some of the supposed "billet" ones

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:11 pm

My S4 has 182BHP and 160Lb torque and it's a proper street car with good manners (fuel injection).

Launching from a standing start to achieve a very quick 0-60 ( sub 5 seconds ) is easily possible, but not very sympathetic to the clutch and drivetrain. Where the car really scores is the pickup in speed above 30mph where you can just overtake slower stuff at a whim.

We have lots of twisty roads here where mid range torque is more important than outright power, I think you have quite a few of those roads in California, but maybe the culture is more straight line dragging?

Elise's even lowly 118bhp examples are quick off the mark due to the driven wheels getting loads of traction with the engine and transmission overhead, it's difficult to beat one from the lights unless you put your mechanical sympathy on hold.

I did this chart for Club Lotus News in January 2013 when they ran a 2 page article on my car.
performance-comparison-chart.jpg and


I hope you get back to the car soon and finish it off, the extra power over standard is very addictive.... enjoy.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:15 pm

Thanks for the info on your Supersprint. Looks like quite a car. I just joined Club Lotus (UK) so I could go back and read about it in the News.

You have the same bhp but a lot more torque than I do (162 vs 143) but my car is a bit lighter at 674kg (calculated from the stock figure and the various weights of the mods (+/-) ). So i get 268 bhp/tonne vs 251 for your car. (Had to look up that this is a metric ton!). So perhaps my car will be in a similar range 0-60 as your car.

As you say, torque for drivability, on curvy roads is probably more important (fun) that outright hp and 0-60.

As far as thrashing the car in all-out 0-60 runs, it won't be happening. I have had the car almost 50 years since I picked it up new directly at the Hethel factory for export back to California. I have too much of a relationship with, and respect for, my car to start abusing it now, especially being almost 50 years older myself and not the crazy kid that drove this same car all over the UK and the Continent in the summer of 1969 sometimes scaring myself half to death.

As far as the dyno output of my car, I have posted commentary on this earlier. The exemplary performance is mainly due to the master engine builder, Dave Vegher, as well as a new, well breathing, SAS Weber head, high lift - short duration cams, and Dave's decades of knowledge of how to tweak a twin-cam. A picture below of my car(with no drive train and original wheels) while at Dave's shop, to get some frame mods done.

img_6597.jpg and


img_6603.jpg and

26r's lurking under covers in the background

I put the top (hood) up to transport the car to his shop. It hadn't been unfolded for 30 years. Dave, familiar with supporting all manner of vintage racers (including a couple of Elan 26r's), he and his mechanics found my car to be a fascinating "time capsule" of originality. Of course, some of the recent mods, have taken some of that originality away. But that was my selfish decision to have some fun. However, body, paint, interior, engine block, trans, diff (now with ATB), chassis, all basically original. A lot of the mechanicals now uprated but outwardly the car is unmodified.

It was funny to me that several of the young mechanics in Dave's shop had never seen a road-going Elan, only the racing 26r's. So they were very curious to see how they differed.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:42 pm

Great pictures and info, thanks for posting them. I would guess very similar performance for your car. I have more torque mainly due to using a different sort of twincam AKA a Ford Duratec 2:0, just search S4 Duratec on here and prepare to be bored rigid by all the posts and my inane form of humour and banter.

I'm really interested in the current trend to modify the original style of engine by using a tall block or BDG block along with an SAS or similar newly produced twincam pattern head to keep the original under bonnet(hood) look. Maybe next time I rebuild one of my cars I will go that route.
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:22 pm

1ownerElan
Where is Dave Vegher shop in California. Do you have any info on the Mk1 Escort?
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:35 am

Dave Vegher's shop is Veloce Motors West in Petaluma (Sonoma County).

He's a very busy guy. Only takes on projects that truly interest him at this point. His focus is vintage racing. He agreed to create my street engine partly because of the originality and single ownership of my car. And, I asked him to make the engine a "no compromise" build for the street. This allowed him to exercise his best judgment and apply his 4 decades plus of accumulated knowledge without real constraint. There was still a nominal budget which was respected.

I don't have any knowledge about the Escort. He has an amazing aggregation of vintage racers in his warehouse/ shop that leaves you drooling. All manner of engine work, drivetrain, suspension, chassis and body work is done. Some if his mechanics are also accomplished racers as Dave is himself (3 time National SCCA champ back in 80's in a monster Elan).

If you follow the vintage racing podcast you can hear Dave expound on a variety of subjects (including one episode talking a bit about my street build). http://www.vintageracingpodcast.com/
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PostPost by: MyLotus » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:57 am

Fully agree with those who refuse to subject a vintage car to 0 to 60 launches. In my case, I even refuse to do it in a modern car. In my opinion, it is much better - and far more relevant - to check running acceleration. Those of us in metric-land, 80 to 120 km (50 to 75 mph) per hours in 4th is a standard performance measure. With its feather weight and torquey engine, the Elan shines even against modern machinery. Here is a list to compare against:
http://www.supercars.net/forum/threads/ ... kph.42514/
At 6 sec you're in Lotus Exige (192 hp) territory. Let us know what you get. Bets are open!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:30 am

Why are people worried about doing a full blooded standing start launch of an Elan?

It is one of the most enjoyable things I do in mine. The skill to launch it correctly as the flag drops and jump a couple of rows on the grid ahead of you is a most satisfying objective.

Admittedly I have broken my share of drive train components over the years but modern components for drive shafts and diff output shafts and clutch can handle the stress and I have not had a start line failure for many years. Diff gears, gearbox gears and rear hub shafts also fail but not due to the launch stresses off the line.

Many of the big hp historic race categories ( e.g. F5000) do rolling starts as they are worried about breaking their cars with the extra horsepower and stickier tyres than existed in the period but personally i think this is wimping and if your a racer you do standing starts :evil:

On the road mid range acceleration is more important unless your a committed stop light dragster which is more of an American than Canadian or European hobby :lol:

cheers
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:36 am

Hooligan! :lol:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:37 am

Always
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 am

Thought I would share a bit of this article from an old EVO magazine from October 1999 that I recently acquired. This article had been mentioned in an 1999 Forum post and I was finally able to track down a copy. Gives some of the fastest times I have ever read about for an Elan (of any sort): 0-60 3.7 secs and 0-100 in 8.9 secs as measured with professional equipment.

I have similar horsepower as this "26r" (181 vs 188) but probably a lot less torque as this car is 1950 cc vs my 1700 cc. I have 143 lb-ft, the article does not give a torque figure. It states a bhp/tonne of almost 340. My car is 284 bhp/tonne. For comparison an early(89) Dodge Viper V-10 is at @ 275 with a published 0-60 of 4.6 secs and 0-100 pf 9.2 secs, which seems consistent with this Lotus 26r's better bhp/tonne.

Due to a flaky clutch that gives me an erratically variable clutch engagement point, that I haven't sorted out yet, I haven't felt comfortable in doing any all out acceleration runs. My sense is my car probably is in the 5 secs 0-60 range. What also seems pretty quick is 50-90+ or so.

img_8739.jpg and


img_8737.jpg and


img_8741.jpg and


img_8736.jpg and
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PostPost by: Coupe » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:01 am

That is one copy of EVO I have kept:
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