Lotus Elan

Tempory / Permanent engine swaps

PostPost by: lotuselanman » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:14 am

Gidday all,
Have done a bit of mischief to my worn out 'ol neck so I and banned from the shed for a short period.
Engine swaps, that is archaic units like TC's for a modern light weight multi valve is commonsense.
Please refer to my waffling on fat TC's for my back ground before sending the heavy mod.
The TC was old fashioned when produced, the design was a left over of Harry Mundys from a failed venture with the French Marque Facel. Harry then a senior citizen had previously been with Jaguar during WW2 hence the 6cyl TC series and also with Coventry Climax, have a look at them and you will see the similarity. So dear old 'arry was a man of the past. Now look a few short years on and see what a young buck like Keith Duckworth produced with the FVA and the neat and tidy efforts of a young Mike Hall resulting in the BDA.There is no comparison between a TC and a BDA, both from brilliant minds but years apart.
So with 'arrys unit we struggle on some 40 years on, a well set up TC is a joy to drive but if it were a BDA with the same amount sent on it would be a much quicker and reliable for the dollar spent. OK !!
So lets look at a Zetec, 1600,1800 and 2000cc, four valve, pent roof chamber, production steel rods and crank, a flywheel heavy enough for a Mack truck, unleaded fuel, computer controlled ignition and EFI, oh and around 5 million of the built.The larger unit giving around 130HP and runs as lean as Rats pee.
Off with its head and fit 1.5mm larger inlet valves andtidy up the ports and of course a multi angle valve seat job. Nothing magical or expensive there, put in through its paces and it flows enough air for a theoretical 220 HP at 400 th lift, in reality it probably won't come near that but try the same exercise with at TC.
Change the flywheel to an anorexic unit and you are well on the way.Don't touch the cams, don't raise the C/R. The next decision is Carbs or EFI, what sort of engine management you want. I opted for 45's and a belt driven CD Nissan distributor, custom fit of course. Next is to fit it with a custom exhaust to suit, a bonus here as the bolt pattern is the same as Ford started with on the 105/7E in the late 50's.
In that low state of tune we are looking at 170HP as a minimum and a enough torque to make short shifting an art.
Lift the bonnet, the TC is out and parked in the corner carefully wrapped up for a future day, The Z is in and connected up with some custom items and ready to give some spectacular results. Comes the day when the Elan is deemed to be to ancient / too small /impractical or simply a pain in the bum the bonnet is again lifted and the engines are swapped back to the original concept ready for sale.
Consider this, I have friend who uses his Eupopa to great effect in Super Sprint but is now on the conventional route with the Renault engine for more power. He can look forward to 160HP as the limit for elderly unit, had a 4AG Toyota been used with a starting power of 100KW's and a cost of around $1200-00 the only changes being to clean up the air to the Injection and a decent exhaust he would be looking at around 160HP as the starting point, 180 to 200 is not out of the question.The original Reno unit would be parked in the corner.
I was diverted to other projects from my Zetec engine project, that will change when my present obsession is completed. That obsession is an Austin A40 Farina powered by a TC to start. Another to 8 weeks will se it completed. For next year I,m looking at a Supercharged SR20 Nissan engine and gearbox, that is a Toyota blower at 5lb boost on a standard SR20 Injected engine that has a torque curve that very much resembles a flat line. Cost is around 2.5 to $3000-00 dollars.
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