Lotus Elan

Zetec conversions done stateside??

PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:51 am

Has anyone on the forum, in the US, done a zetec conversion using the original +2 frame and drive train? One of the things I bought back in 2004 while my +2 was stored was a 2.0L zetec crate engine. It?s a 2002, black top as you call them in the UK. It came almost complete with a clutch and flywheel installed.

I?m somewhat confused now that I?m getting into it. Having read about them not having pilot (spigot) bushing/bearings, I find that mine has needle bearings installed. Not the size needed but it has one. Having read about needing stepped down bellhousing alignment dowels, I find my zetec dowel holes are the same size as the dowels in my twin cam engine. The bell housing bolts right up and the transmission input shaft length looks correct. I have the flywheel off at this point so I haven?t made an assessment of the clutch situation. I had planned on a lightened flywheel (Turbo Sport in Bedford) and pinto clutch setup, but I?m not sure the zetec clutch won?t work using my twincam disc.

I?d really like to be able to talk or PM with someone that has done this using stateside resources if possible. Don?t get me wrong I get a lot of my parts from the UK but the heavy stuff eats you alive in postage and you can forget about modified parts with exchanges. The cores cost less than the postage.
Bud
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PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:57 am

After getting the original pilot bearing out I found that it actually is the one I need (SKF FC65354). It fits the input shaft on the ?lan transmission perfectly. Of course I destroyed the bearing getting it out, but the local parts store had one.

I bought my crate engine from a company that had ordered them from Ford for a project they were doing here in the US. They had a few that were surplus to their needs and sold them off. Maybe they had already started modifying them for a RWD application or ordered them that way. I?m not complaining.

I cut away part of the sump casting to clear the clutch slave cylinder in hopes that I can retain that setup. I?m not sure what my starter solution will be at this point.

I?ll press on and see if I hear from anyone here that has done this. If not, I guess it can?t be much different than a UK or AUS conversion.
Bud
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:38 am

Bud, I spent a few minutes searching, but can't find a username for you. There was a US list member who had a pretty complete web site detailing his Spyder Zetec build, and it may be a good general resource for you. Perhaps someone else can recall the name or has a link to his web site? The car was a completely refurbished Plus 2 in Lotus yellow IIRC.

The other username to try might be RichP. He built up a Zetec in the stock chassis, but I believe he sold it a few years ago and has not posted in a while. He was UK based I believe (RHD car at any rate).

Are you going with the stock transmission?

HTH
Stu
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PostPost by: Bud English » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:36 am

Hi Stu,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I would like to keep the stock transmission and drive train to keep the costs down, if that works out. The car has fairly low mileage and other than needing some cleaning, new seals and gaskets everything is in pretty good shape. I?m not trying to build a racer, just a great looking, reliable driver that will run on gas that?s readily obtainable.

Like I said in the previous posts, at first glance it all looks like it will work. Of some concern is the trans input shaft length. I have the engine/trans bolted together without the pilot bearing, clutch assy and throw out bearing installed. Looking through the clutch fork and starter openings, it doesn?t look as if the input shaft extends far enough into the end of the crank where the pilot bearing will be. I?ll have to check that out further with some Prussian blue on the input shaft and the pilot bearing installed.

Tomorrow I?ll set the engine/trans combo into the chassis to see how much the front cross member needs to be trimmed and boxed. The body is off and the chassis is stripped and ready for whatever mods are needed.

One other thing that keeps the costs down is that I am retired and charge myself very little for labor. Only down side to that is that sometimes the boss is kind of a jerk and makes me work late into the night.

NOTE: I've terminated this thread and combined my build thread with the one titled "zetec engine in lotus chassis on 2+2". Please see updats there.
Bud
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