Lotus Elan

Counterfeit Head ?

PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Dec 21, 2004 4:50 pm

I belong to several other lists/forums and on one at the moment is a discussion about a T.C. head that is unusual, the camshafts are short and there is no 5th cam cap, the head does not even have stud holes to take studs. The cast inlet manifold (runners) are about 1.5" longer then a normal T.C. and there is no "oil chamber" where the oil returns to the sump.
I seem to remember Vegantune made some belt driven cam heads in the seventies but this is chain driven so I doubt its one of these.
I also seem to remember someone else cast some heads but Lotus took them to court for copyrite/patent infringement, could it be one of these?
I have some pic's of the head but my computer skills do not extend me being able to put them on the forum, if anyone is interested and wants to see them I could email them as an attachment..........so any ideas to the origins of this head? :huh:
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Dec 21, 2004 4:55 pm

Come on,someone with the skills,we're all dying to see these

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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Tue Dec 21, 2004 5:23 pm

There is a guy in Seattle area (McCoy I think) who modifies heads, but nothing like that. Mostly he just converts Stromberg heads to Webers and does some nice flow work as well. Just thought I would mention it as a possibility.
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PostPost by: marcfuller » Tue Dec 21, 2004 5:59 pm

Just got the pics, will post them soon.

BTW - McCoy's website from the Stromberg conversion pics is - <a href='http://www.omnitech-engineering.com/auto/strom.asp' target='_blank'>http://www.omnitech-engineering.com/auto/strom.asp</a>
-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
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PostPost by: marcfuller » Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:20 pm

Here are Brian's pics. :huh:


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:09 pm

Hmmmmmmm???????
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:13 pm

Can I quote you on that ? :D
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:15 pm

I was going to say "could it be an early casting for evaluation purposes" but it has the strengthening web between 2 and 3 as per the later castings

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PostPost by: type26owner » Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:53 pm

Those two ~1/4" holes in the webbing between #2 & 3 are in the right position to mount the fuel distribution manifold module for the TJ fuel injection system.

If it were carburated I'd be concerned about running out of latent heat at the end of the straights and having it run too lean.

Suppose the extra length of the induction ports was to exploit the Helmholtz resonator effect?

Completely baffled here as to the origin.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:42 am

Maybe someone at Lotus knows. Too bad Graham Arnold is gone.

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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:54 am

could it be a 1100 or1300 ford tc motor from the pre 1558 motor ? ed
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:22 am

Ed,
The engine casting number (2731) indicates it is a 1500 Cortina or Cosair block. :blink:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:55 am

QED used to do a conversion of Stromberg to Weber. They welded the new cast weber inlets to the head after machining of the stromberg inlets and oil drain section. I have never seen one of these conversions but it could be possibly from that source. However the head surface on the inlet side does not show any machining from removing the stromberg inlets so this theory appears unlikely

Why no 5th cam caps could potentially be a conversion of someone looking to reduce bearing drag but why no hole in the head for the studs hard to understand as that implies it was done from a new bare head.

My best guess is its an early experimental Lotus head from the early 60's as the oil drain was a late addition in the development and its possible that Lotus also played with number of bearing caps and length of inlets during the development. The photo of an early 1500 engine in a 23 in the Wilkins book on page 11 appears to have longer inlets made in 2 sections to enable the length to be adjusted. The drawing on page 12 of an early engine also shows only 4 bearing caps ( never noticed this before today !).

It could be an interesting bit of history that raced in some of the classic races with some one like Jim Clark at the wheel !


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PostPost by: jabingb » Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:24 pm

Finally, I at last I have found another one. I too have a head as described. I have taken it to various people and Lotus club meetings in the hope that someone could identify the origin of this head. To no avail, I believe I even communicated with Lotus with similar results, it remains a mystery.

I too think that it may have been an early prototype, perhaps from a 23? There are the same mounting holes on the web between 2 & 3 which I have wondered if they located a T-J setup. But this is only the 2nd one I have heard of in all these years.

I acquired mine when I bought my 26R in 1973 from a Carlos Neiderhauser (sp?), Summit Point, NC. He related that he had the original head off the car for repair at an SCCA race and over the course of the weekend it disappeared. He got this head as a replacement, but did not elaborate as to the origin of it.
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PostPost by: khamai » Wed Dec 22, 2004 5:42 pm

Given the brilliant yellow paint on both head & block I would venture that VeganTune was involved since they commonly painted their engines in a similar color.

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