Lotus Elan

+2 Fuel Tanks in Elans?

PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:20 pm

On another Lotus forum I have had the following discussion:

Poster A:
I no longer have any early Elans, but previously owned an S2 and an S4. Elan weights varied quite a bit from car to car in the early years due to amount of fiberglass cloth and resin used in each car. Beyond that, you have more weight in the later cars in the exhaust system, wheels, tires, KO wheel hubs, electric windows (certainly on mine), tail lights, wiring harness, and interior trim. Some later "baby" Elans even were built with +2 fuel tanks so more weight (fuel) there. At least one thing was lighter in the later cars, the Spitfire radiator compared with the earlier super dense fin, thick core "race" radiator in early cars.

Me:
I am unaware of any Elan (as opposed to +2, not 'baby', please, sir!) that was ever fitted with the +2 fuel tank by Hethel, there just was not the room for it and the placing and tank design was different for both cars. Most contemporary road tests had the S1 & S2 weights at 1,288lbs. This climbed to around 1,540lbs for the S3 and then to 1,570 for the S4 & Sprint. So we are talking about 300 extra lbs during the Elans lifetime. That's some 20% increase, though of course the engine power was similarly raised by 25% during that time.

Poster A:
Sorry Tim, but you are wrong about the +2 tank. I had one (early 1970 Federal Elan), and in discussions with an "insider" it was said that mine was far from the only one fitted with a +2 tank at the factory. It is a tight fit, but it does fit (I had it out and back in twice)! Reportedly, +2 tanks were fitted when an Elan(s) had to be delivered, but there was no stock of standard tanks. It also was indicated that these instances may not have been recorded.

Any one on here aware of this +2 tank fitment by the factory?

Tim
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:11 pm

Tim,
I?m with you here, although I?m not so clued up on +2?s I believe the physical dimensions of the tanks are so different that it would just not be practical to interchange them without major mods, if it were possible then Lotus would have made one size fits all.
If it were a proposition then I am sure it would have been noted, dissected and mulled over on this forum, if you really want to get a definitive opinion drop Andy Wiltshire a line....he should know if it is possible.
Peoples memories get fuzzy with age and I am sure poster A is getting confused.
I had at one time a custom made larger tank (height wise) in the Sprint but it gave the boot floor a step that was neither aesthetically or practicably acceptable, I just cannot see Lotus supplying a new car that was compromised in such a way.
Shrug it off and leave poster A to his misguided delusion's of yesteryear.
Brian
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:31 pm

Tim,
I'm not aware of the factory fitting any, but my S4 has a +2 STYLE tank mounted amidships between the rear turrets, this releases more space in the boot as well as providing a little peace of mind in the event of a rear end smash up by some dopey Ford Focus driver as happened to my +2 a few years back. I will check to see if Spyder have used an actual +2 tank, the clue will be if the sender unit is visible inside the boot or not ( the filler cap being on the opposite side in an Elan would mean reversing a +2 tank to fit).

You can just about make out the tank in this picture (aluminium), the pictures further down show the mounting position and the + 2 style straps to hold the tank in place
Image
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Image
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Spyder fan wrote:<snip> my S4 has a +2 STYLE tank mounted amidships between the rear turrets, this releases more space in the boot...


Alan,

What's the capacity?

(Mr. Arnold reported he had a total capacity of 36 gallons (the standard 9.5 + an extra 26.5 gallon tank) which completely filled the boot, in 769 TAR, for his London-Rome-London attempt! With more fuel stops and with less weight in the back he may have been more successful!)

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:09 pm

Tim, I saw the thread you are referring to. I think the guy is full of it, never heard of such a thing.

Retrofit, yes, factory, I think not.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:52 am

ardee_selby wrote:
Spyder fan wrote:<snip> my S4 has a +2 STYLE tank mounted amidships between the rear turrets, this releases more space in the boot...


Alan,

What's the capacity?

(Mr. Arnold reported he had a total capacity of 36 gallons (the standard 9.5 + an extra 26.5 gallon tank) which completely filled the boot, in 769 TAR, for his London-Rome-London attempt! With more fuel stops and with less weight in the back he may have been more successful!)

Cheers - Richard

Hi Richard
According to Sean it's 55 litres which is the same as the aluminium tank I have in the +2, so that's at least 300 miles between fill ups even with a heavy right foot.

I'm checking to see if this is actually a +2 tank or a slightly altered bespoke item. Spyder have been getting the +2 tanks made in aluminium for a while now, some of them are straight copies and others have a conversion for an internal swirlpot for fuel injection, if the +2 tank fit's there wouldn't be any reason not to fit it in reverse as the rear bulkhead is easy to remove to get at the sender.

I will check and report back.... if it's a +2 tank then it unfortunately gives ammunition for Tim's contact on the 'other' forum. I can't see the factory doing this as they would have had to make special boot boards etc for the odd car or two that possibly left the factory that way... doubtful.
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