Lotus Elan

Fat TC

PostPost by: lotuselanman » Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:24 pm

Gidday all, Tis a great for topic sure and I see some real good advice and some worrying comments, cost that seem to spiral and some words that have me scratching my head.
We all approach things from different perspectives.
This is my attitude, I'm 60 years young, retired Motor Engineer, not retired I can assure you with wealth, I was born and educated in New Zealand coming to Australia in 1966. Up until I left NZ there were some unusual cars about, many Lotus Cortina in fact I reckon NZ was one of ACBC's best markets. To purchase a new car at that time one had to have overseas funds to cover about 1/3 of the purchase price, overseas funds for the average Joe Blow was a near impossibility so the resale on cars was very high with some selling for more than the original purchase price when 3 or four years old. I had the NZ money to purchase a Lotus Cortina but nil in the way of O/S funds. The local market for go fast goods was very narrow forcing enterprising speed freaks to sit and ponder, and ponder they did. The NZ Touring / Saloon racing of the late fifties and sixties was brilliant in hindsight. 1650cc Anglias, then TC Anglias, then Breabvan Anglias with 4" roof cops, full under trays and extended noses. The same was done with other Marques. The staid Hillman Minx with similar modifications some with the addition of a Raymond Mayes head on a Zephyr engine crammed in and the ultimate for Hillmans a 'D' type Jaguar engine of 4litre plus capacity. Pre-war Ford and Chevy coupes fitted with 283 Marine Corvette engines. For me the ultimate was the 'Morrari', a low headlight Morris Minor body sitting on a 1955 Super Squalo Ferrari rolling chassis that had been cut and trimmed to suit, this was of course powered by the ubiquitous Corvette.
Today NZ is a different world with very few older cars on the road and what is ever available in the world is availableoff the shelf. The modern Kiwi is a very aggressive business man and looks after his client. So now for Motor Racing they are right there.
So having sat through that sad tale of woe you can appreciate I have a different attitude to engineering / modification chellenges.

Now I have three toy cars, a Lotus Cortina that is used in Super Sprints Hill, climbs etc.
The engine is a 1600cc Kent bottom end,
Standard bore TC pistons, giving 1660cc, 10.5/1 Compression,
1.65 inlets, 1.4 exhaust, running unleaded 96 octane fuel,
The valves are long in the area between the seat and cotter groove for higher lift cams,
Valve springs are 190lb over the nose, buckets are light weight, this set is 10% lighter than original, The valve spring seats are NOT counter bored.
Cams are L1 based with 400th + lift,
I have done my own head work over the years, not radical basically clean flow is what I look for.
40mm Webbers with 34 chokes.
My own 4 into 1 extractors,
Modified Nissan A series distributor with points.
There is nothing left to chance such as crack test tuftriteing, line boring etc and is set up very loose.
158 HP at 6700 RPM with 7 as the limit, this engine was originally set up nearly ten years ago and has been gradually uprated.
For the Cortina with a 4.1 LSD it is just acceptable for road use , in an baby Elan it would be fine, not to keen on hill starts but still fine for the boss to drive.
With my humble bach ground you can appreciate I do put a lot of thought into what I do cost wise.
Using a 1600 based engine gives you 100cc straight off, use std TC pistons and you have 1658cc, go to 83.5 and bingo 1700cc. **
Any of the 1600 blocks are stronger than a TC block/rods. The later with square main caps are great.
These day good TC or 'L' blocks are getting rarer, hence my use of 1600 throw away blocks where suitable.
The stages Rhonan has complied is a good indication, in reality 140/ 155 HP in an Elan is plenty for most folk.
Don't be put off by high prices and be wary of Cons, there is a lot of bullshit spread around by Cons.
If you are obsessed with cc's then check with Burton Eng and John Wilcox racing in the UK, but be sure to be comfortably seated when you view the price.
1600cc short engines are still available in Australia a reasonable price, if anybody is interested in a short or parts, bearings etc I'm more than happy to help
As for engine swaps I have my own views and reasons which I will put on paper soon, It is now 7am and time for breaky before heading for the shed and my present project.
See ya, Les.

** Although I have bored late model blocks to 86.5mm I am of the firm belief that any hole bigger than 83,5mm leads to bore distortion in the centre of the bore where the wall is the thinnest, this leads to blow by and sump pressureisation. Really I think big big bore is self defeating and a waste.
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