Lotus Elan

About that engine...

PostPost by: pauljones » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:39 pm

Jon

I disagree on the cost, it depends how you go about it and what parts you need, added with what you actually get for the twink. I guess if your buying new everything then its a no, and also you could be unlucky on a second hand purchase and buy twice. But a zetec in silver or black top varient is cheap as chips in 1.8 or 2.0 size.

Assuming you get say 3k then i think your looking at change, if you go second hand.
I hope so because this is what im setting myself. But, i already have my twink fuel injected, i have solid drive shafts and TTR diff outputs, i have a cliveboy twin fan large rad. So i have a good base. I still have several sets of 40s and 45s so i could use those, including the set that came on the twink. I got an 1800 silvertop complete with mt75 box and the exhaust sytem, the intake had a crude looking plenum system fitted managed with an omex ecu. In fact it came out of an elan that its new owner was converting back to a lotus heart.

I want to keep my 4 speed box so i know in the parts i need will be a clutch to suit, ill need engine mounts, ill also need a new welder and to cut n weld the front cross beam. Ill be ditching the intake and using my jenveys so add the appropriate intake to the list. It was used in the elan as stated but never had a modified sump and oil pickup so again add to list.

Not an exhaustive list of parts or work required but if we look at what i have as a base, what ive spent to get it to there,what ive purchased so far and then what i need to finish this, then if im honest its around 6k.
Thats the route ive taken, yours and others may well be very different.
Will a twink cover it? Maybe, maybe not.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:07 pm

I pretty much summed up my reasoning for the installation of a 2L silver top Zetec in my Plus2 in my first post. Why a silver top? Hydraulic lifters and one less maintenance item. But, there is a bit of disclaimer that has to go along with that decision. I have a standard engined S2 that I dearly love and would never make this sort of change to, or even sell before my death. The Plus2 sort of fell into my lap from an owner who was changing his direction, with regards to his cars.

I spent nearly 50 years building and modifying my race cars up to the point where I felt it was better to withdraw from the sport before I became a hazard to navigation on the course. Tough decision. Over that time period, I continued to add various tools to my home shop/garage. Sell a car and add a major tool. Fabrication skills increased over the years to the point where if I can draw it on paper, or visualize it in my mind, I can make it. Thus the decision to fabricate the needed parts for the conversion, rather than open up my wallet or do a check book hand off conversion.

There was also the matter that I felt that I could do a better job constructing what I needed, rather than purchasing off the shelf items. The water rail, my 4-2-1 exhaust and oil pan being three major components. As an example, the only point where my exhaust system dips below the chassis, is where the pipe slips under the center of the chassis below the tail shaft of the gear box. Changing from an external slave and lever operation to a concentric clutch release made this possible. Also, following C42's lead in moving the motor mounts from the engine to the chassis, and constructing the appropriate brackets from the mounts to the engine. No more clutch housing interference when removing or installing the engine and transmission. I also made a one piece intermediate plate that fits between the gear box and the engine out of 4130, which allows the cast portion of the oil pan to be bolted to the bottom to the lower portion of the clutch housing, stiffening things up.

There were mistakes made during this conversion, that necessitated re-making some of the parts. Most were a result of changing my mind on how the part looked or I came up with a better idea. I consider this all a part of chase, and the additional time is just a part of my continual education process. I have to say that the information gleaned from this site on the conversion process was instrumental in making my original decision. I cannot thank enough, those who traveled before me and posted their progress. I copied much of their work and parts selection, without which, my conversion would have taken a more difficult path and consumed considerable more time. After all, I consider copying another's work as the most sincere form of flattery when their ideas are offered up.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:16 pm

Nice post Rob,

I like original cars, if one came my way that needed work I would probably work it as per the workshop manual.

I’m lucky to have the choice.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:23 pm

No offense intended with this post just my opinion. I pondered on the viability of buying a zetec , and a DHC +2, before buying mine.

I came to the conclusion it was a bit pointless. First off it is patently not a Lotus! Just having a different chassis makes it debatable. When virtually every mechanical part is different, from the steering rack back, it is deluded to pretend.

A modern car with the style of a "Classic" OR a half modern 90's, (no power steering / air con / ABS ), with most of the disadvantages of an old car (ergonomics / security / crash resistance etc). Depends which side you prefer. Seems to me it could be the worst of both worlds. A kit car with a Lotus body. Hence I decided against it.

Having one built for more than the cost of a good Porsche Cayman. :shock: You jest!

Again - no offense - just my reasoning.

If you already have a dead +2 it may make sense . Or you could get a good Xflow and stick that it. These days 140 bhp is no problem.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:28 pm

Well, ok, I was only asking. You can put the pitchforks down now.

My main worry is engine failure due to some worn part that I've neglected. Perhaps I should get someone to listen to my Twink. To me it appears healthy, other than some oil leaks, but I do want a second opinion. The reason I started this thread was that I thought it might be viable to stick a modern engine in that white Plus 2 currently for sale that has had an engine bay fire. Thought it'd make an interesting, lively discussion. Not wrong there, eh? :lol:

Anyway I do hope that the poor car is bought and nursed back to health.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:01 pm

Jon
You need to ask about something not so contentious like grease or oil for your front suspension trunnions :lol:
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:10 pm

rgh0 wrote:Jon
You need to ask about something not so contentious like grease or oil for your front suspension trunnions :lol:



Just to be awkward - I use a mixture of both. About 66% oil mixed with 34% melted moly. grease.

Thick oil or thin grease - take your choice!
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:27 am

Hmmmm, been watching this with interest. I have a plus 2 which has had a big valve twink fitted by the previous owner sometime in its first 8 years of life and it 50 years old now and I’ve owned it for 40 of those years. My engine was rebuilt soon after I bought the car and had the head reworked with new seats, valve guides, ports matched etc plus a full internal balance etc etc. It ran well when it was in regular use and as my car gets near to completion after .about 30 years off the road, I wonder how reliable this engine will be, it’s had nothing done to it in all those intervening years except the engine has been completely dry of water, had the oil drained and a new charge of oil put in it when it was first laid up, it has thin oil put down the bores and occasionally turned over by hand after manually squirting oil on the cams. I wonder if it will leak oil or water when back in use, will the various seals have dried out or something inside corroded.
Hence I too have been wondering what I should do if this engine fails in some way. My thoughts are to go down the route of a tall cross flow block, long throw steel crank, with appropriate rods and pistons to take it up to around the 1700cc region. I’ve started reading up on this and looking at the parts required and the costs soon rack up, but would it cost more than a zetec conversion, answer is I don’t know. I was half hoping this thread would shed some light on this, but really all it has done is highlight that a lot of people hold strong opinions about both options of twink v zetec. Some are unwilling to even discuss the option of a different engine thinking that things should be held in a time warp with nothing changed whatever the reason. Others like experimenting with what can be done to make their car go and perform how they want it to.
As for me, I’m into reliability mods hence I have cv driveshafts, an alternator, fuses that the early plus 2 never had, (the car had already had one small electrical fire under the bonnet before I bought it), failsafe headlights (I’ve tried driving down country lanes when headlights suddenly go down and didn’t like it). I’ve got an alloy tank as my steel one corroded through, if got twin electric fans on my radiator and am just about to have it retrimmed in leather but using the original seat frame etc.
So is the big capacity cross flow block twink a viable option or is a zetec cheaper and better or do I just rebuild my engine again, bear in mind it’s already not the original engine. Is a cross flow based engine still considered to be a twink or is it some sort of Frankenstein’s monster too?
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:10 am

Personally I'm not a fan of the crossflow tall block conversion. My experience with kent based engines is that yes you gain some torque by going up in capacity but you lose some of the sweetness and smooth revvy character of the smaller capacity versions. Besides it goes against the purist engineering principle of getting more out of less. It takes brains to get more out of less whereas its easy to just get more out of more!
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:22 am

No argument there. Getting more from a small displacement engine is a matter of getting more air into the engine along with the maximum squish the engine will accept. Reduce the available air and the engine will never attain its maximum performance. A good example is a VW 1200 with its 28PCIT carb. You can achieve 50-55 horsepower from the engine with stock internals, just ask a Formula Vee competitor. Your can also drive the stock automobile with your foot on the floor and never have an engine failure, as long as you keep the valves adjusted. At some point a 15 to 1 engine, with the largest carbs, equipped with the biggest available venturi, will have a very short engine life, without continual maintenance. Along with the requirement for some exotic fuel. Been there, done that, got the oil stained tee shirt.

But that is not what I am looking for. As a compromise, additional cubic centimeters, will deliver the same torque and usable rpm without the expense of a billet crankshaft, custom connecting rods and the latest hyperutectic pistons with an ultra thing ring package, that a TC would require to make the same numbers. Plus if one were to get a wild hair up their rear, all those internal parts are available for a 2L to 2.5L modern engine that has superior material in its engine block. When have you heard of a TC going 200k miles between rebuilds? Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the advanced technology that Chapman and Ford developed in the sixties. But for a tired old guy who is trying minimize the amount of maintenance in my life, so I can enjoy my S2 and Plus2, choosing the ultra cheap "go to market" low octane engine, makes the maintenance on my TC easier to accept. Though you can take the man out of the race car, it is really difficult to take the race car out of the man. The mind is always churning.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:13 am

Bigbaldybloke wrote:Hmmmm, been watching this with interest. I have a plus 2 which has had a big valve twink fitted by the previous owner sometime in its first 8 years of life and it 50 years old now and I’ve owned it for 40 of those years.

SNIP

Hence I too have been wondering what I should do if this engine fails in some way. My thoughts are to go down the route of a tall cross flow block, long throw steel crank, with appropriate rods and pistons to take it up to around the 1700cc region. I’ve started reading up on this and looking at the parts required and the costs soon rack up, but would it cost more than a zetec conversion, answer is I don’t know. I was half hoping this thread would shed some light on this, but really all it has done is highlight that a lot of people hold strong opinions about both options of twink v zetec. Some are unwilling to even discuss the option of a different engine thinking that things should be held in a time warp with nothing changed whatever the reason. Others like experimenting with what can be done to make their car go and perform how they want it to.
As for me, I’m into reliability mods hence I have cv driveshafts, an alternator, fuses that the early plus 2 never had, (the car had already had one small electrical fire under the bonnet before I bought it), failsafe headlights (I’ve tried driving down country lanes when headlights suddenly go down and didn’t like it). I’ve got an alloy tank as my steel one corroded through, if got twin electric fans on my radiator and am just about to have it retrimmed in leather but using the original seat frame etc.
So is the big capacity cross flow block twink a viable option or is a zetec cheaper and better or do I just rebuild my engine again, bear in mind it’s already not the original engine. Is a cross flow based engine still considered to be a twink or is it some sort of Frankenstein’s monster too?


To try and answer without raising hackles: Zetecs are cheap and plentiful either second hand or brand new in a crate. You could fit a totally stock 2 L Zetec and use your existing 40DCOE Weber’s and bolt the engine straight to your existing gearbox and get 140-150 bhp all day long until you get bored trying to break it. You will need a new exhaust system including a manifold (£650), you will need to solve plumbing issues as the thermostat housing on a Zetec is in the wrong place for use inline, so that’s either a Dunnel or Raceline water rail (£350), your radiator will need changing or altering, all the hoses are different (£150-£450) the standard Zetec sump won’t fit into the chassis, you need to change that for an Escort CVH sump if you can find one or a Raceline wet sump (£100-£300) if you have a standard Spyder chassis you will need to alter the front crossmember/vacuum tank to clear the front pulley of the Zetec (£??? Time and skill) fabricate new engine mount points If you have a Folded metal chassis you will need those fabrication skills a bit more. I’m sure that there’s lots of stuff I have forgotten, so all those parts and time needed on top of the cost of the engine can easily equal £2500 + labour, if you add throttle body fuel injection that’s another £2000, but they do sound good on Weber’s.

Hope that helps
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:51 am

I'd like to think that unless one's twink was totally toast that one would fix it.
Quite what totally toast means is debatable of course. Needing a new head would probably count.
Thinking about the Dutch +2 with engine fire that only took out the bonnet do we really think that engine has had it in which case why not include it in the sale; or is the owner hanging on to something more valuable?
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:32 am

Seems to me he is asking rather a lot for it, Mark. If the engine was included it would be a more viable deal. As you said!
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:37 pm

And theres no radio, i guess it got damaged too.
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:21 pm

If it was in there when the fire happened... for my part I fitted a half depth "mechless" (without CD) Bluetooth enabled radio for £50. Not period, but sounds good, or will when I get front speakers installed. Plus I get hands free functionality with a remote mic for the phone, bonus.

One of these. http://www.halfords.com/technology/car- ... car-stereo

No need to hack the heater about.
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