Lotus Elan

alternators and Elan ownership longevity

PostPost by: Early67DHC » Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:24 pm


I took delivery of my early '67 S3 SE DHC in May 1967 - imported it myself to USA through Amsterdam. I am likewise planning a restoration now.

Although I beat you on duration, yours has been on the road much longer than mine so you've had more fun - retired mine at 35K miles when I began a family and it has been stored since 1971.

An alternator is a no-brainer upgrade. I installed a small Motorola alternator early-on - the same model installed on some late 60s AMC cars. It is for +ve operation and has an external voltage regulator. The ones available now from Bean and others are for -ve operation. If for some reason you wanted to remain +ve, you might find a rebuilt Motorola unit for sale somewhere. It's a nice fit and I can send a picture of the mounting bracket. I also installed a Mark IV CD ignition system that was +ve, but is no longer available. All the modern point-less electronic ignition units seem to be -ve. Good electric fuel pumps are still available with non-grounded cases, so work fine in +ve.

But converting to -ve is probably the sensible thing to do if starting from scratch now.


Weldon Smith
I am my DPO.

Message: 4
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 10:24:40 -0800 (PST)
From: carlos guerra <***@***.***>
Subject: Re: water pumps

Hello everyone,
I am new to this list, although I have owned an Elan
since 1968...has anybody owned an Elan (the same
car)longer that?
In almost 40 years, I had only one water pump fail,
happened about 15 years ago, it got noisy but never
leaked, was able to drive it home and did the "remove
head and lower the oil pan" routine to change it.
Before that, there was one other precautionary pump
change during an engine swap.
The belt was always kept as loose as possible and most
of the time I did not have the fan attached to it.
The car regularly sat for long stretches (Connecticut
weather) and early on it was driven very hard at times
(autocrosses and time trials). So, I guess I have
been lucky.
Plan to start restoration soon. I have a couple of
Does anybody know of an oil filter adapter for spin-on
How about any advice on high output oil pumps? (to
leak more oil on the floor?)
I think Bean sells a small alternator, has anybody
installed one? Do you have to reverse the system
Thanks in advance
Carlos G.

"a wet bird never flies at night"
Weldon Smith
I am my DPO.
Posts: 6
Joined: 25 Sep 2003

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