Lotus Elan

Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:28 pm

The engine is all back together now Tim with no dramas at all. I got the bits back from the machine shop a couple of weeks ago and it took two days to assemble the short motor, then paint it, then pop the head on!

The Zimbabwe 1600E has reached a critical stage currently, so the Elan build is on hold for a couple of weeks. But then I hope to re-build the rear struts (getting the shaft and old bearings out is not a job I'm looking forward to!), get them on the chassis, get the engine , box and propshaft back in the chassis and drop the body back on for marking up for drilling and taping.

Busy busy busy, Since being retired I'm now a full time mechanic!
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:38 pm

Looking good!!!
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:24 am

Shiny!

Well done, Mark.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:57 am

Nice work Mark,

Will you have it ready for Castle Combe?
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:03 pm

Spyder fan wrote:Nice work Mark,

Will you have it ready for Castle Combe?


Don't be daft Alan, it's taken him 35 years to get this far! :lol:
Seriously Mark, looking really good. I'm sure we'll see it in Combe.......sometime :roll: :lol:
Be nice to see it next to EOK again eh?
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:43 pm

I've only had DWW 13 years!

Once the chassis is back on and the car is running there will be plenty more fettling to do, so I doubt it will be ready for Castle Combe this year.

One year though !
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:46 am

You might want to confirm your compression ratio by measuring it. Those look like racing piston that need to have the crowns machined down a bit to make them acceptable for the road.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:56 am

They are Accralite pistons which can be used for racing, but these were measured with my head for 10.8:1, which is up a bit but should be fine. The machine shop that did the work build quite a lot of Twincams and BDAs for competition, so tend to only use these pistons, but as you say, machined down a tad for road use.

I built an engine last year for my Lotus Cortina using a set of Hepolite pistons that I bought in the 1980s! Quite a difference in design, with the Accralites having huge valve recesses compared with the Hepolites. I guess that's where the CR is lost for the road application.
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:59 pm

Engine build/machining always looks great when you get it back. Out of interest who did yours?

cheers
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:34 pm

I have gone to Maynards in Stroud for the last three engines I've built. They who do the machining and supply the pistons, bearings and whatever other bits you need, and will optionally build the engine. They have done many Kent, Twincam and BDA engines, both machining and build, so know their stuff.

There was a time when every large town had an engine machine shop or two, but of course, that was when a 'modern' car needed a re-bore and crank grind at 70k miles / after 6 or 7 years! Today virtually all the work these guys seem to do is with classics, and of course, whilst things are done very accurately, it's not a cheap activity any more.
https://www.maynardenginesltd.co.uk/

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PostPost by: mark030358 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:51 pm

Thats exactly what you need. A reputable, reliable engine builder....
good luck with the rest of the project :D

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:15 am

In "the old days" there were no end of really good places who could rebuild the bottom end of our Ford engines; those days are long gone.
I suspect that if you wanted even a five-year old Ford engine "fixed up" you would be in trouble these days.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:46 am

My favourite engine machine shop is so busy rebuilding Ford engines under warranty that he has no time to work on old twin cam machining !!!!! Hopefully the Ford failure rate will decline so he needs some more work from us poor twink builders

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:36 am

I’m back on the Elan now after a few months getting another car I’m restoring near to completion, and sorting out a lot of house and farm renovation stuff. It never stops!

Getting the engine and box in as one unit is a tight squeeze even without the body in place. I used a full complement of sophisticated equipment to help the insertion, including the Lotus Cortina to stop the rolling chassis from, eh, rolling. The front was in the air on ramps with the wheels tied on!

That pretty much completes the rolling chassis now. On Monday the body was fitted back onto the chassis where it will stay for a couple of weeks or more to settle. It is very symmetrical with the front and rear of the chassis just touching the shell, the seat belt mounting in the middle of the holes in the body to take them, and I now have the seat belt bolts in the centre / floor to help ensure that nothing moves.

I’m building up the courage now to take the dash out to check out the wiring, and to replace the dash. Whilst it’s out then the heater will be refurbished along with the wiper motor and drives. I learnt a long time ago that the parts that are not given attention at this stage are the ones that fail as soon as the car gets running again, especially after being laid up for 35 years. Repairing the heater or wiper drives / wheel-boxes when it’s all back together doesn’t look like much fun.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:14 am

Very nice to see your hard work coming together, Mark. Well done.

Tim
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