Lotus Elan

Engine numbers

PostPost by: BobC » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:53 pm

Hi all
Not for the first time an engine number query. I have +2/130-4 that I am at an early stage of 'rescuing'.It was first registered May 1973 and according to the VIN plate the engine number is P29885. However on the ledge between the middle inlets very faintly stamped is 93837 and bolder stamped 116E. As part of the block casting is T2 and on the LHS towards the front 3M10. There are no raised casting letters/numbers at the rear LHS. My reading of this 116E - correct Ford 1500 Kent base engine, T2 - good block for over boring, 3M10 - casting date M, Ford year 1973, 3 - March - 10 -10th day. Carbs are twin Dellortos and the cam box says 'Big Valve'. I have full history other than only (!) the first 13 years of its life and no evidence of any major engine work. I have no idea why just the block would need changing, but then I am not steeped in Lotus engine knowledge. So either the block has been changed for a suitable Ford item (93837 being some Ford model sequence) or it is an original block and the real engine number lurks elsewhere. Grateful if anybody can shed any light on either of my theories. Many thanks. Bob
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PostPost by: Craven » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:54 pm

If it’s a 116E block then your decoding of 3M10 is likely to be wrong, not good news as it would be 1963 March 10.
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PostPost by: promotor » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:58 pm

If it's got "116e" engraved or stamped above the engine mount then that block would have been in a Ford car first as that's part of Ford's identification numbers, 116e referring to Consul Classic / Capri.
116e cast into the block is an actual part number.

Craven wrote:If it’s a 116E block then your decoding of 3M10 is likely to be wrong, not good news as it would be 1963 March 10.


I think the "M" is for December - it's the 13th number of the alphabet but in Ford's numbering system they don't use "i" so 13th becomes 12th.
Last edited by promotor on Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Craven » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:04 pm

OK it was the year that concerned me as the difference between a 116E block and the later square cap, probably 701M in 1973 is chalk and cheese.
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PostPost by: BobC » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:51 pm

Thanks chaps. In anticipation of the block maybe having started life in a more humble animal, I am contacting the FMC Heritage Centre to see if they can shed any light. Will keep the Forum posted of any info they can provide. in the meanwhile any other comments would be appreciated.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:09 pm

BobC wrote:Hi all
I have no idea why just the block would need changing, ...


    Sustained use above 6500 RPM with stock crank
    Multiple rebores to minimum wall thickness or catastrophic piston failure
    Thrown rod
    Many others I am sure ...
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PostPost by: BobC » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:57 am

Thanks for last reply. I am well aware of the generic issues and their reasons that can befall an engine. Perhaps i phrased my question badly as I was really getting at any Lotus/Ford specific issues that can affect this engine.
It would not be the first time a designer built in a problem, for example even the mighty Porsche got it very wrong with the M96 engine as fitted to the 996.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:29 pm

BobC wrote: for example even the mighty Porsche got it very wrong with the M96 engine as fitted to the 996.


Porsche aren't mighty. Cosworth were way, way better. They set the standard by which all modern engines follow including Porsche
1970 Ford Escort Twin Cam
1972 Ford Escort GT1600 Twin Cam
1980 Ford Escort 2.0 Ghia
Peugeot 505 GTI Wagons (5spdx1) (Autox1)
2015 Honda City 5spd.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:18 am

BobC wrote:Thanks for last reply. I am well aware of the generic issues and their reasons that can befall an engine. Perhaps i phrased my question badly as I was really getting at any Lotus/Ford specific issues that can affect this engine.......


The Twincam had no particular weakness except perhaps for a tendency to leak a little more oil than usual for engines of that period due to the front timing chain case design. It is a strong and reliable engine in road trim that can take a lot of enthusiastic use up to the 6500 rpm rev limit.

Operating life between the need for rebuilds was also perhaps shorter than some engines due to the relatively short valve guides and no oil seals on the valve stems leading to smoky engines and the very rich tuning of the Webers leading to excessive fuel in the cylinders washing oil off the bores resulting in more rapid bore wear.

Replacement of engines however is very common as the cars tended to have a hard life in their first 10 to 15 years being driven hard and often being maintained poorly.

There is nothing inherently wrong with an early 116E block versus the later 701M block. The round main bearing caps on the 116E block are fine on a road engine.

regards
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PostPost by: BobC » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:12 pm

Rohan Thanks for that, I suspected that the 116E would not have any major problems, it is a five bearing crank so should be pretty robust. The car will only be used for light road use when refurbished. I am in the process of taking the car down and the body is nearly ready to come off, so I can then get at the engine more readily and remove the sump etc. I have checked the cylinder pressures and they are all 160 psi +/-, so that is good.
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PostPost by: BobC » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:57 pm

Hi all

Following my earlier post and Rohan's reply, have now got the sump off and exposed the crank. It clearly has round main bearing caps and the crank is stamped 3020E - see attached photo. Is this consistent with the 116E stamped engine number? Also amazed to find that I have what appears to be a spare camshaft in the block! Presume this is left over from the block's push rod origins.

Bob
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:43 pm

BobC wrote:Also amazed to find that I have what appears to be a spare camshaft in the block! Presume this is left over from the block's push rod origins.


It still drives the oil pump and distributor so not exactly spare :wink:
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PostPost by: promotor » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:30 pm

BobC wrote:Hi all

Following my earlier post and Rohan's reply, have now got the sump off and exposed the crank. It clearly has round main bearing caps and the crank is stamped 3020E - see attached photo. Is this consistent with the 116E stamped engine number? Also amazed to find that I have what appears to be a spare camshaft in the block! Presume this is left over from the block's push rod origins.

Bob


I think the last 116e blocks came out in 1963 as the 120e block was brought into production around that time. 116e was the original block type used for the first Lotus cars. Not sure if early Lotus 116e blocks had the numbers ground off although some later Lotus blocks did. Could be that a previous owner was trying to make it look like how they thought a later Lotus block should look to suit your car?
All 116e blocks would have had round caps from the factory. Round caps in Ford/Lotus blocks were phased out around mid/late 1969.
All of the features, stamping and the cast date marks indicate this is an original 116e block block found in 1500 consul classic/capri or early cortina.
3020e cranks would have been released around 1966 so that isn't the original crank to the block which further adds into the replaced engine block theory. I'm going to guess you've got a custom sump or oil pick-pipe as a 116e block used a screw-in pick-up pipe and an unmodified sump for a 6-bolt (ie 3020e) crank wouldn't work with where the pickup-pipe basket sits in the sump due to a baffle being in the way.

Hopefully that "spare cam" you have is actually identical to (or is) a proper jackshaft (as opposed to camshaft) in that it has the modified front bearing with four slots instead of a push rod engine standard camshaft's one slot. If it's a used camshaft the cam lobes are likely to show wear from its previous life in a pushrod engine. If it is showing wear it could be a standard camshaft with only 1 oil slot. If the lobes aren't showing any signs of contact or wear it's likely it's a proper jackshaft.

I hope this clarifies and doesn't confuse!
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PostPost by: BobC » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:59 pm

Thanks 'Promotor'

Was being slightly jocular about the third camshaft, there does not appear to be any wear on the lobes, so it is just a jackshaft for the disi and the oil pump.

Re. the motor, I am not surprised it is looking to be a hybrid. It is certainly not the original engine, numbers do not match with the VIN plate. Underneath the Ferguson tractor paint on the block a metallic green is showing through, no doubt the original Ford colour from it's first life. Maybe the original block in my car suffered something terminal and just the block was swopped and as many parts as possible re-used from my original engine (including the 'third' camsaft?), If all the shells were replaced, 'my' crankshaft could have been re-used, but if I was doing it I would keep the block, crank, pistons etc that started life together as one unit as they all wear in together.

Re. the sump, it looks bog standard pressed tin, but again underneath the grey/blue, green is showing through. The deep part of the sump has one central baffle and the oil pick up is on a swan neck and the intake is at the front right of the sump. All looks very unmolested and standard.

Bob
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