Lotus Elan

zetec engine in lotus chassis on 2+2

PostPost by: tablets32 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:25 pm

hi.
i am about to start on the zetec to lotus chassis conversion on my +2. i see from other posts that i will need to fit different engine mounts, will spider mounts do the job?

i have a formula four 1.8 zetec with uprated cams which should give 130 bhp. not sure if i should change the drive shafts from doughnuts to cv joints,the doughnuts that are fitted are brand new, as i understand it the lotus twincam bhp was 130, so the drivetrain should not be overstretched by the zetec.

will i need a shallower sump design to improve clearance. i read somewhere that a sump from a zetec escort engine will fit the lotus chassis, any ideas?

the car is fitted with a cross flow at the moment, i think it,s a 1500cc it came with the car, and i am unsure of its condition so i think fitting the zetec is common sense.

sorry to bombard you with questions, but believe me i need as much help as i can get.

thank you.

Keith
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:53 am

Hi Keith. Sounds like a great project. I see some others working on getting the Zetec and/or replacement five speeds into the standard Lotus chassis. Sorry I can't help with those details, but it will be interesting to see all these projects progress. You may want to try a PM to user name RichP or search on his posts. I believe he sold his stock chassis Zetec a year or two ago and hasn't posted in a while, but he may be able to help you out.

Regarding the donuts, I would for sure go with a CV joint conversion while you are doing the other work. The CV's transform the car and really improve drivability. Sue Miller recommends the conversion now even on stock cars due to difficulty getting good quality donuts. If you are going Zetec anyway, you have moved past the only reason for retaining donuts (originality). As you are probably aware, there are several suppliers to choose from, and lots of threads discussing their products. If the rear end is all assembled and the donuts are fresh they are probably OK to test things out, but if you can find room in the budget (time and dough), you will not regret the change to CV's. :)

Are you going to use the stock Lotus transmission (4 or 5 spd?) or go with a replacement five speed? Are you removing the body during the build?

Remember, we all like pics. :)

Cheers!
Stu
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PostPost by: Bud English » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:52 am

Hi Keith, Looks like we?re headed down the same road. I?ve got the other thread going on this subject in the Mods section. It sounds like we?re at almost the same stage in our projects. Maybe there will be information that comes along that will help us both. If I can help in any way I?ll sure try. Where are you located? It?s a good idea to add your location using the control panel.

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PostPost by: gerrym » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:57 pm

Hi all, 90 degree oil filter adaptor reference number is M-6880-A50 and its threaded 3/4" UN (but check yourself).

Summit stock these (about $79 US)

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PostPost by: c42 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:48 am

Hi Keith

I am not sure if this will help you, I am installing a 1.8 Zetec into a standard +2 chassis although I am using a MT75 gearbox. Have a look at the photographs and I will try and answer any questions that you have.

Regards
John
Attachments
210920111074.jpg and
210920111073.jpg and
210920111069.jpg and
190920111065.jpg and
190920111062.jpg and
190920111059.jpg and
140920111058.jpg and
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PostPost by: tablets32 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:07 am

hi fellas

thanks for the replies, and the photos did you make the mounts yourself? i am sticking with the standard 4 speed box. i will change to cv driveshafts, the body will stay on during the swap. i will upload some snaps soon.

Keith

by the way i am located in chester england.
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PostPost by: c42 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:27 pm

Yes, made them myself with a bit of trial and error!

John
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:51 pm

John ? Your mounts look like a pretty clean solution. I?m at that ?trial and error? stage myself. I had hoped to keep the factory chassis tabs intact, but looking at your efforts has me second guessing myself. I plan to add a doubler in that crack prone area of the chassis even if I leave the tabs intact. It should be warm enough in the coming week to get some garage time in. I?ll post what I come up with.

Keith ? I expect that the swap will be a trick to do with the body on. Even using motor mounts that bolt to the existing chassis tabs, I can?t see a way of stuffing the zetec in there without relieving the center of the front cross member. That will take some cutting and welding. Not saying that it can?t be done that way though. Sometimes you just have to go ahead and get it done before someone comes along and tells you that it can?t be done.

I have huge respect for anyone tackling this on their own...
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PostPost by: c42 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:41 am

Bud

The reinforcement plates are a worthwhile addition and will be welded in place when I next remove the engine and box from the chassis.

Regards
John
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PostPost by: Bud English » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:02 am

Zetec conversions done stateside??
zetec engine in lotus chassis on 2+2

I don?t know what the forum etiquette is here. Keith and I are basically doing the same thing, swap to a Zetec motor and retain as much of the original drive train as practical. I don?t want to hijack Keith?s thread but I do have questions for John. He?s a bit further along in his project than either Keith or I am. The answers should help Keith, me, and anyone else trying to do this. I could PM John with my questions but that won?t help anyone else.

I think our posts belong in the ?Mods? section but that seems to be a great wasteland where only the brave or foolish tend to go. As to the question in the section title, you don?t really run the risk of upsetting the purists. They ignore this section. The title to my thread is now sort of outdated as nobody "stateside" seems to have anything to share. Stu from Canada was kind enough to reply with some suggested links. "Worzel" posted ?Mating a MT75 box to an elan block in a std Lotus chassis? back on the 4th and 55 people have looked at it but no answers to his questions. I don't have any answers for him. I'd reply if I did. I don?t know if anybody knows the answers or they think that we aught to sort it out for ourselves. That?s okay too, but I think it would be good if we helped each other.

Down from my soapbox now?.

Keith - Do you want to combine these threads or maintain our separate paths??

Regards-
Bud
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PostPost by: tablets32 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:28 pm

hi,
bud, i have no problem with combining the threads, keep it all together then. john i have no welding skills at all, it would be a great help to me if you would make the new mounts for my swap, maybe we could arrange something?

i too am concerned about fitting the zetec with the body in place but will just have to suck it and see!

i have bought some electric motors (mazda) for the headlights so will not need a vacuum tank.
Attachments
P1000019.JPG and
the new motor
P1000018.JPG and
P1000016.JPG and
P1000015.JPG and
P1000012.JPG and
P1000013.JPG and
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:05 pm

That?s good to hear. That way, we can at least share what we learn as we go, then if someone else drops in with comments, all the better.

I?m using a 2.0 crate motor as supplied from Ford. As I mentioned in another post it is a little different than zetecs I?ve read about here and on the UK Zetec forums. It came with the correct pilot bearing installed and the proper dowel holes to mate with the Lotus transmission and bellhousing.

I believe that it is the same physical size externally as yours. There?s the problem you may run into unless your front cross member has already been relieved to accept the crossflow you have in there now. I haven?t seen that done before. Without that relief, you?ll have to mount the motor and transmission farther back. That will require a shorter drive shaft and will move the shifter back in the console.

I can?t see what sump is installed on your motor. You may get by with relieving the front sump lip slightly and running the motor a little higher in the front. My Zetec motor is about 1 1/16? taller from the crank centerline to the top of the timing belts (without the belt cover) than the twincam motor. You may have clearance problems at the top that way.

I opted to keep the original transmission position and make room for the motor at the front cross member. That way I can level the motor and still clear the hood (bonnet). I cut my cross member yesterday and fab?d the boxed section for it. I?ll get welded in today and post some pictures tonight. You?ll be able to see how much the motor will have to move to accomplish the same thing.

I?m ditching the brake servos and running Miata headlight motors as well. No vacuum tank needed for me either.
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PostPost by: tablets32 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:36 pm

hi

my zetec also has the correct spigot for the match up to the original gearbox, i believe the bell housing will also match. it will be great to finally see the cut out in the cross member.

removal of the x flow begins tomorrow, the positioning of the new engine mounts is the most worrying operation, any help would be appreciated, but as with any work i do the ultimate responsibility will always be mine. i don,t want anyone to have any concerns or fears of passing on any information.

thanks again to everyone for the advice i have already received and for (hopefully) any future help.

Keith
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:31 am

Here are my thoughts on the cross member cut out. When installed, my original twincam motor had 2+29/64? between the crank centerline and the cross member at the crank pulley (1st picture).

With the zetec bolted up to the transmission and the transmission mount bolted to the chassis (no mount spacers), the crank pulley sits about 3? off the cross member when the sump lip hits (2nd picture). The zetec is already taller than the lotus motor so I figure it has to sit lower in the chassis to clear the bonnet. For the front of the motor to sit lower the rear should also drop to stay relatively level and in the same plane as the diff pinion. That?s the reason I left the transmission mount spacers out.

With the recess and the motor sitting level there is 2? between the crank centerline and the top of the cross member (last picture). As you can see a portion of the crank pulley is below the top of the cross member. I?m not even sure that this is low enough to clear the bonnet. I'm aslo not sure that this will be the sump I'll use.

It?s been done before so I know you can get it low enough. Maybe someone will chime in here.
Attachments
Hole in One.jpg and
Height frame to crank center.jpg and
Zetec frame to crank center.jpg and
Zetec Engine Position First Try.jpg and
Last edited by Bud English on Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:46 am

John ? It?s a little hard to tell in your pictures but it looks like your motor is a bit lower in the chassis than mine is at this point. Can you tell me the crank centerline to cross member measurement you came up with? Even the distance between the block to sump split line and the top of the chassis at the motor mount would be helpful. Does your motor centerline run fairly parallel to the frame, front to back?

Thanks,
Bud
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