Lotus Elan

Cam Covers S1-S4 WHEN (chassis-nr) pls help

PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:55 am

good morning EUROPE! is there knowledge (maybe in writing) when (in my case S3 4982) they switched the 3 original covers (incl Big Valve) ???? - i have the 1st type and maybe there's a list somewheres! thanks sandy
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:25 am

Sandy,

At least over on this side of the pond, the original type cover w/ "LOTUS" down each bank of valves was used at least until the end of S3 production, including the SS sub-model. I'm thinking that there was some reason, perhaps a linkage mount location, that the cam cover change coincided with the switch to Stromberg carbs.

If naught else, the crossover pipes for the smog system would have covered over the "LOTUS" letters.

Roger
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:13 am

The change from the side letters to the front letters occurred sometime in 1968 with the introduction of the Stromberg emission cars and the S4 with the cross over pipes and also the introduction of the twin cam escort with the air cleaner on top of the cam cover. Being Lotus there is probably no specific date or car number when the change occurred. The early front Lotus lettering covers still had ghost marks where the side Lotus lettering had been removed in the molds, my August 68 S4 has those marks.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm

Miles Wilkins in his Twin Cam book gives Oct 1968 as the change over from twin Lotus script to single. He also lists all the colours of cam covers for the different engine types.

So in theory Sandy your car would have the twin script green cover fitted originally.

Tim
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:10 pm

Here is a picture of my 69 Federal S4 SE cam cover (Strombergs originally - now Webers) showing the ghost marks from the previous generation side lettering.

Cam cover was originally red crackle which covered the ghost marks. When repainted smooth black the ghost marks surfaced.

img_8647.jpg and
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:56 am

The ‘ghost marks’ seem to be on most of the ‘Type 2’ cam covers, but were hidden under the paint of most of them!

I can’t find anything in writing about the change from Type 1 (italic script on both sides) to Type 2 (block script on front) but from a lot of hunting and talking with original owners, I believe that the earliest changeover was around July / August / September 1967.

There are two main reasons for that. First is the Mk2 Lotus Cortina, introduced in March 1967. The script on both covers was hidden by the large airbox that sat diagonally over the top of the engine. The round oil cap was also very difficult to remove due to the location of the airbox, so the 3 eared type replaced it at the same time. There was a revision in the Mk2 Series 1 Lotus Cortina, introduced in October 1967, and all the new models had the Type 2 cam cover and 3 eared cap. Those cars would have been built a couple of months earlier than the launch date.

The second reason is the Plus 2. I was very interested in the early cars for quite a while, and talked with many folks about originality for the early cars. The consensus was that (nearly) all the production Plus 2 cars had the Type 2 cover with the 3 eared oil cap, although some pre-production and maybe a couple of very early production cars had the Type 1 cover. The launch brochure certainly shows the early cover on a Plus 2.

The Plus 2 was launched in September 1967, almost exactly the same time that the cover was changed on the Mk2 Lotus Cortina.

However, consensus was also that the S3 Elan carried on using the Type ‘1’ cover, probably with the 3 eared oil filler, and the Type ‘2’ cover wasn’t introduced on the 2 seat Elans until the S4 was launched in March 1968. That, of course, does not mean that all S3 cars had the Type 1, and all S4 cars the Type 2. !!

The photo below shows why Colin Chapman wanted to revise the cam cover when he saw how Ford had positioned the air filter housing.
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