Lotus Elan

Ford engine block question

PostPost by: Simmie C » Tue Aug 01, 2023 9:22 am

Hi,
I've started my long journey into restoring my S4 Elan.
I have the body shell and parts, chassis and a large box of bits.
The most obvious thing missing is a twin cam engine (Twinky - Is that right???).
I have the possibility of purchasing a cheap (for a twin cam!) but good condition head and a cheap but good condition block.
The block is a 681F. I understand Lotus used the 681F in some of the later cars, if so will it be ok to use for my car and also what will I need to change? I know it will need Lotus pistons and the cam chain cover but do I need to change anything else? I am thinking of going straight to electronic ignition and possibly injection.
Or should I just bite the bullet an get a recon/rebuilt engine for between 6.5K and 8.5K???
Any help would be appreciated.
Simon
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 12:13 pm

You need to understand exactly what 681F block you have as they came in both 1500cc and 1600cc versions. It will need new pistons and maybe a new crank and rods depending on what you have otherwise it will work. If its the 1600 cc version then you have to build a stroker Lotus engine from it, but that is good if its for road use and your not an orginality type person :)

cheers
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PostPost by: Simmie C » Tue Aug 01, 2023 12:38 pm

Hi Rohan,

Thanks for the reply.
I guessed that there would be a few amendments required!!
It's from a Mk2 Cortina 1600 GT.
As for originality... I've had to replace the chassis and I don't have an engine or gearbox so it's going to be a bit of a Frankenstein (only a lot prettier).
It's for my retirement and I'm looking for driveability more than originality (hence possibly fuel injection-5 speed gearbox - electronic ignition conversions).
Any further advice welcome!!! :D
Simon
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PostPost by: c42 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 3:35 pm

If you are not bothered about originality, a Zetec 1.8/2lt and MT75 gearbox is a pretty easy conversion - but I am not sure how you will get on with the French authorities for registering, testing etc. I am sure there are a few French members on here who will give you that information.

Cheers
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PostPost by: HCA » Tue Aug 01, 2023 3:46 pm

Whilst you might have the basics, you will need lots of add-ons along the way. Not only the bits outlined by Rohan, but, yes - front plate, front cover, maybe valve gear, exhaust headers not to mention the incidentals. 6.5k€ might be cheap after all this!

Where in France are you, and what time frame do you have for your restoration? I ask as I will one day have a complete big valve twincam to include everything -5 sp Lotus box, fuel pump, water pump, distributer, two Delortos, exhaust header etc etc etc from a +2. Being in France it will be easier for you, and me, instead of dealing with the brexshit palava to get it to the UK where there is a larger market. I have one or two interested already, so let me know.

Is the car with current French immatriculation? if it is, then not a problem to put a Zetec 1.8. You can alter the engine providing the carburant stays the same. If your car does not have a carte gris, then forget it, you will have much to do to get it registered, and all will have to be original and verifiable - and not easy.

If you are near Occitanie, then I can show you what you will need for EFI...
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Tue Aug 01, 2023 11:31 pm

681F block from a Mk2 Cortina will be 1600cc. In my opinion a Lotus engine is best based on the block and short stroke crankshaft god originally intended - ie 1500cc. If you are not concerned about originality and want everyday reliability a modern engine will be much cheaper, easier to maintain, more reliable and better.

Don’t discount using the 1600GT engine out of the Cortina either. It’s a good, simple, reliable engine. With a little tuning it can be brought up to the performance level of a standard Twin Cam engine relatively easily.
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PostPost by: Simmie C » Fri Aug 18, 2023 2:11 pm

Hi HCA,

Thanks for the reply and It's good to know there are other Lotus-ers crazy enough to take on a restoration in France.
I'm based in the Limousin close to Limoges.
My time frame is quite flexible as I've warned my wife it will take between 1-2 years to get it up together.
The car has a V5 and I wasn't really planning on reregistering it in France. As I believe in the UK a car of this age doesn't need an MOT or pay road TAX. I thought I would keep it UK registered as it is also a RHD.
Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks also to '2cams70' for your reply.......... Keep them coming :D
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PostPost by: HCA » Fri Aug 18, 2023 2:29 pm

mmm. Be careful. It is law in france, and the EU, that residents must register cars purchased outside of their country within one month of the car arriving here. I say this assuming you are a resident. Also another law to remember when you do get the car rolling, a french resident cannot drive a foreign car in France... Also you have the insurance minefield where you cannot keep a car that is uninsured (there is no SORN here...) I am just saying. maybe unlikely you will ever be sussed, but you are now playing with Douane rules and they are at the top of the food chain.. :lol:

Limoges not too far. If you are ever down my way, let me know.
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PostPost by: Simmie C » Fri Aug 18, 2023 2:46 pm

Hi,
Yeah I know what it's like dealing with French insurance and Prefecture!!
I've been a resident over here for over 20 years and my son-in-law is an officer in the Gendarmes!!! So I will be double checking everything.
Anyway, registering the car is a long way off for me at the moment, I'm just enjoying the process...

Thanks
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Aug 18, 2023 3:24 pm

As said you cannot keep the car in France all the time there is a limit. Best to keep car as original and get "carte grise collection".
But if you have been in France for 20 years you already know that.
I've registered 6 different cars from UK in France so have learned a few things.
2 Lotus + 4 TVRs.
Bon chance
Alan
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PostPost by: HCA » Fri Aug 18, 2023 4:02 pm

Yes, please be careful. Since the brexshit brigade cut their tether, anything UK car over here is now under Douane control who are interested in the TVA and import duty - coin of the realm.

There is a story circulating of someone who brought in a rare three wheel Morgan a while back, never registered it as it is in bits, now he is facing accusations that he brought it in recently and 'owes' a lot of money to cover the TVA on the high valuation decreed by their 'experts'. As he has no proof of bringing it all those years ago, he is somewhat in the poo. :oops:

There is no doubt they are making it hard on UK imports judging by the duties I pay on minor bits n bobs against a brand new engine block from the US where I paid a paltry admin fee :wink:
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Fri Aug 18, 2023 6:11 pm

alan.barker wrote:
……..Bon chance
Alan


Sounds like you’ll need lots! :lol:
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