Lotus Elan


PostPost by: Tonyw » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:04 pm

Here is hoping my question is not to dumb. I used to be a mechanic that is I have not practised my trade in over 20 years and then I quit to go into an office type envioronment so I have not really paid any attention to modern cars except to fill them up at a service station.

I see commentary on the Zetec engine and how some folk have been fitting them to Elans, can someone tell me what cars they were fitted to in Australia? I was thinking that if my twink is going to cost heaps to recondition I might look at grafting one of these to my S3 DHC. It is also not clear to me what is required to fit one up to a stock gearbox, adapter plate?? new bell housing?

I know some people think that we should keep our cars original and some say that Colin C would have continue to improve them had he kept going so really I suppose it is a matter of individual choice at the moment I am keeping my options open.

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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:13 pm


The Zetec is a current European Ford engine made in South Wales (Not New South Wales).
Spyder is the company that do this conversion - but it is expensive. New chassis, gearbox, driveshaft and diff would be the minimum needed with the Zeyec engine. Then you would need to uprate the suspension and brakes to cope with the power.
Full details on their website. (http://www.spydercars.co.uk/)

My advice - stick with the twink. Unless you have lots of money to spare, of course.

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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:50 am

"Colin C would have continue to improve them had he kept going"


He did keep going, until 1982. Problem is, Elan production never made it past 1973. :cry:
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:59 am

To answer your question,
The Zetec was produced in 1,8 & 2,0 liter versions. It was fitted to Ford Mondeos etc. here in Europe. I think it was also used in some American Fords. Suggest you ask your local Ford dealer.
The engine has now been superceded by the all aluminiun Duratec.
I'm told that the Duratec is a bit on the tall side. The exhaust & intake sides of the Cyl.-Head are also reversed; so a difficult conversion.
The Zetec will fit onto the Twink G/Box bellhousing.
All the bolt holes align except for one. I've done this job myself.
(mixture of metric & unified threads!)
Lots of things have to be changed. I know soneone who fitted this engine into a +2 using a standard chassis so it should also work in an Elan.
None of it is that easy e.g. new exhaust manifold, suitable flywheel & starter motor, finding room at the bulkhead for the large thermostat housing, cooling system etc. etc.
Have a search around in the archives on this site there's quite a lot of information already available.
Good luck :wink:
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