Lotus Elan

Engine identification

PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:37 am

That 120E "L" block is still at standard tunnel and deck height, so will have it tested for wall thickness to run as a small bore steel capped 1500 race engine.

Cheers

James

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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:04 am

My March 1972 build Twin Cam Escort's engine is built on a 701 M6015 A casting with the "L" in the engine mount and is a T2 example (from memory it's stamped LA on it's front too) - it's at plus 60 at the moment, tired and emotional after having done a lot of miles since it's last rebuild. It's eng # is J 23448


Have now largely dissected the early L blocked Twin Cam Escort engine, it's no. is J 22130 stamped on the flat between the distributor and fuel pump sites. ...........it's block is graded LB (it's at 83 mm , hopefully it'll safely go one more bore).
It's got more letters and numbers stamped into the back of the cylinder head than I was expecting - DF78 K305.
I wonder what year the engine number places this motor at? 68? 69?


And the 120E "L" cast block I got off Ed is going to be bored to 81.5mm.

At this rate I'm going to end up with a lot of tapered piston ring compressors as none of them are cleaning up to matching sizes!!!


Cheers

James
Last edited by SJ Lambert on Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:25 pm

512BB wrote:The pics that Paddy posted for me, thanks Pad, show a 681F L block, with SQUARE main caps, as it came from the factory. Quite unusual no? I would think that this block was one that was cast in around 1970, as Ford were going over to the 701M L block for Lotus, but the case casting number has not been changed yet.

Leslie



G'day Leslie

This 681F 6015 G NA block from a Twin Cam Escort has the same casting number complete with stamped in G as yours!

Though this one has round caps.

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Cheers

James
Last edited by SJ Lambert on Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:34 pm

The area inside of the ellipse is the casting date.

cast date.jpg and


It can be decoded by using any of the Ford casting date codes as specified by many of the sites that can be found by google by doing a search on Ford casting date codes
http://www.google.com/search?q=Ford+cas ... CAcQ_AUoAA

here is one that is pretty good,

http://www.fordclassics.com/forddatecodes.html


Identifying Casting and Manufacturing Date Codes

There are some key attributes about date codes. For starters all date codes are alphanumeric – containing both letters and numbers.

A ‘casting date code’ provides the exact date when the component was produced at the foundry. A casting date code can be found, for example, at the rear of the engine block, usually above the starter, or between spark plugs on a FE cylinder head. You will notice that the casting date code was actually formed during the casting of the component.

A ‘manufacturing date code’ provides the exact date the assembly took place. Note manufacturing date codes are typically stamped or inked. If the component has undergone machining, it is possible the manufacturing date code may have been removed. As such, it is a good idea to document the manufacturing date code prior to engine work, (e.g.: milling) as this could remove the manufacturing date code forever.

Below is an example of a casting/manufacturing date code:

Casting/Manufacturing date code: 6 B 10

6 = 1966 (Note: You will need to identify the decade via part number on the component first)
B = February
10 = 10th day of the month

FIRST CHARACTER = YEAR WITHIN DECADE (0 - 9)

SECOND CHARACTER = MONTH (i.e.: A = JANUARY; B = FEBRUARY; C = MARCH; D = APRIL; E = MAY; F = JUNE;
G = JULY; H = AUGUST; J = SEPTEMBER; K = OCTOBER; L = NOVEMBER; M = DECEMBER) (Note: There is no 'I' in the month identifier)

THIRD CHARACTER = DAY OF MONTH
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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:09 pm

Thanks Gary, that makes it November '69. Edit, have had a look at the 701M in the engine bay and think it's a July 1970 edition.

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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:13 am

After digesting the collective wisdom found in this thread (and after repeated visits to the garage armed with a flashlight and mirror), I'm remain confused by the casting number on my engine block.

My engine (cast date: Jan 22, 1968) has the initial part of the casting number ground off with a hand stamping in its place. On the LH side at the rear of the block, it reads: "3020 E6015." The "3020" is hand stamped (or appears so) and the "E6015" is raised as expected. It's hard to tell, but there appears to be a "2" directly in front of the 3020 and it is of a smaller font size.

I would appreciate any comments on the significance of this casting number.

I believe my block is a 2737; it has an L under the RH motor mount and a smaller L on the left side just below the head. T3 marks appear on both sides.

regards,
Rick B


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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:22 am

Rick

I think your block is a 3020E 6015 casting and that this one that Rohan posted (his picture 7 of 8 of his post in this thread of 27 Sept 2010) is a similarly aged one of the same casting type. Rohan's appears to be a July 1968 casting and looks to have been hand stamped with 3020.

I think I've seen a couple of these castings with raised 3020 lettering as a non L block and not paid them much attention in the past as I've presumed that they have post dated 1967 and therefore been less desireable for me as the basis for a Group O Historic Racing engine.

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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:14 am

I believe that the 3020 designation is Fords for the Twin Cam to keep them out of regular production of other Ford vehicles. This is the lip seal, 6 bolt crankshaft, short block from 45/7334. It's Engine number is LP8824 and the S3 SE Elan was invoiced 24 July 1967. I can't see the casting date of the block as their is another block in the way and I didn't feel like moving it to look, the engine was likely cast 5 or 6 weeks before the invoice date.

3020 E 6015 block.JPG and
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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:01 pm

Thank you gentlemen for the comments.

I saw Rohan's pics, but couldn't detect the 3020 designation on the pic originally posted; but it is visible in the larger, reposted pic (maybe I need a better laptop..or glasses). BTW, my block does not have the large T-shaped boss running along the upper edge directly beneath the head as shown in the photo.

For the record, my engine no. is G16084B (original engine to 45/7906 built in '68).

regards
Rick B


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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:00 pm

I wonder if I'm leading you up the garden path in saying that I've seen the raised lettering of the 3020 casting. It could have been the raised lettering of the 2731 types. Rohan's block could be a 681F that's been ground and stamped over and yours may well be a 2731 treated the same way. If you look at the ribbing and check for the absence of dip stick holes then it may turn out to have been a 2731 initially...... (My 1969 vintage 681F block that I've posted pics of above has the T shaped boss at the top too & I think 701Ms have it as well, so if 2731 castings pre-date them then the lack of boss could also be a pointer)

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:27 am

The block of mine in the photos is I think the orginal block from my 68 S4 Elan 36/8555 assembled in August 68 but with so many engine changes over the years I have lost track. I would have to check the engine number to be certain. its date fits with it being the orginal block

The thing I dont understand around this block is that the E is cast and the 3020 stamped unlike Piss-ants's version where the E is also stamped. I had believed that the 1500 ford blocks only had an cast F in this location ahead of the 6015 as in 681 F around this time or no letter as in 2731. The E suggests it was a 120E block but the press in oil pick up says its not.

So what was the casting number that was ground off ? --- Did Ford have a Lotus specific casting variant around this time that had some unpublished casting number that they ground off to produce the stamped 3020 plus cast E6015 combination?

regards
Rohan
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PostPost by: Dag-Henning » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:56 am

EdHolly wrote:Just spent the day stripping a 120E long engine with an L cast in at the appropriate place.

This engine came from my Lotus Elite series 1 which had had an engine transplant in the USA back in the dark ages. I pulled the engine out some 14 years ago in late 1998 and put it aside when I built and installed a Climax.

A few years ago I was moving the engine and it was then I realised the engine was built around an L block a T3.

As I now have 3 cars with twincams, 2 Brabhams and a series 1 Elan, I thought I would start the process of building a spare around this block, starting with stripping it bare. I always imagined that seeing the Elite was a Lotus they had sourced a Lotus engine and put a non-crossflow head on it. Well, first disappointment was ordinary pistons, no eyebrows. Next disppointment was 116E crankshaft and rods. Next disappointment was bore size 81 mm. Next and last disappointment was only about 3mm meat measureable in the rear wall of the rear cylinder, not enough to get 82.5 even.


So it would appear occassionally a block cast with an L was realised to have too thin a wall thickness to use as a Lotus and it was sent down the normal assemby line as a normal production block and only bored to 81mm

Almost 50 years later we learn a little more - anyone else ever found an L block with only 81mm ?

Going to list it on E-bay as might be useful to someone from an originality point of view - but it will have to be sleeved. I have searched all over it but cannot find an engine number on it. It still has 120E-6015 embossed on the side.

Ed


Ed, what Brabhams do you have ? I have a BT 41 / TwinCam and seek some parts..... :-)

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PostPost by: elj221c » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:47 pm

SJ Lambert wrote: I think 701Ms have it as well,
James


My 701M does....
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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:05 pm

rgh0 wrote:The block of mine in the photos is I think the orginal block from my 68 S4 Elan 36/8555 assembled in August 68 but with so many engine changes over the years I have lost track. I would have to check the engine number to be certain. its date fits with it being the orginal block

The thing I dont understand around this block is that the E is cast and the 3020 stamped unlike Piss-ants's version where the E is also stamped. I had believed that the 1500 ford blocks only had an cast F in this location ahead of the 6015 as in 681 F around this time or no letter as in 2731. The E suggests it was a 120E block but the press in oil pick up says its not.

So what was the casting number that was ground off ? --- Did Ford have a Lotus specific casting variant around this time that had some unpublished casting number that they ground off to produce the stamped 3020 plus cast E6015 combination?

regards
Rohan


It's a bit of a mystery to me too Rohan. I had thought that it might be a 2731 casting, but a close look at your 2731 pics reveal differences in the external ribs.....

I collected another iron head 120E engine today. This time a July 1964 unit that still had it's automatic gearbox attached.

I've still not come across any 122E castings.

James
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PostPost by: k44ent » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:45 pm

My Elan +2 S has a 2731 615E block with a 83.9mm bore, I can post pictures if it will help anyone. It also has the 116E 4 hole crank so it probably came out of a 1500 cortina!! although the con-rods are 125E items.
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