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Cosworth YB Turbo Into Elan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:30 pm
by stevebroad

Sorry to all you purists, but I am in the process of fitting an RS Cosworth turbo engine into my 1967 baby Elan.

I was wondering if anyone out there has done the same. If so, maybe we can swap stories :-)


Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:26 am
by steveww
Hmm well that will keep you busy over the winter months ;)

Not so sure about the Cosworth engine as the in/out ports on the head are the wrong way round. However I guess you would have to have a lot of bit custom made anyway so this little detail should not slow you down too much. Would have been easier to fit a BDG/Zetec. Be sure to uprate all the transmission, brakes etc..... The chaps at Spyder should be of some assistance here as they already do Zetec conversions.

I guess you are going to run it with out the turbo? :o

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:32 pm
by stevebroad
400bhp turbo with 125bhp NOS Nozsle kit. I don't plan to mess about. Fitting 2WD Cossie diff and driveshafts mated to fabricated hub carriers allowing the retention of suspension setup. Gearbox is TVR Tuscan Speed 6 so that gearlever position is retained. Front and rear suspension to be upgraded to race spec from Tony Thompson Racing.

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:46 am
by type36lotus

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:59 am
by rgh0
Sounds like an "interesting" project. 180 hp in an Elan is fun, 400 plus would be more than twice as much fun !

If you can actually get the hp to the ground you will need to have seriously strenthened the chassis otherwise the engine toque reaction will twist the front of the car and the diff will twist the rear off ! Some serious heat shielding will also be required to prevent setting fire to the fibreglass in the engine bay at the same time due to turbo heat given the limited clearances available to the exhaust system

I would love to see simulated performance figures for a 400 plus hp elan

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:07 pm
by Hamish Coutts
Yikes indeed!

This will be some beasty when it get's going and I too would love to see the performance figures.

What are you doing to the chassis to take all the grunt?

I've driven a highly tweaked cossie Sierra a couple of times and that was scary enough. Are you putting this thing on the road? If so it will eat almost anything.


Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:08 pm
by GrUmPyBoDgEr
:o I hope you have good nerves!
I've rebuilt an S4 using a 2 Liter Zetec producing 185bhp. It's more than quick enough for me & provided enough problems during the installation.
Good luck with your project. Have you already involved Tony Thompson with it?

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:51 pm
by Evan Carpenter-Crawford
FWIW - figured out once that 425hp in a 1500 pound baby elan was roughly equivalent to the power-to-weight ratio of a McLaren F1 supercar...

Gearing will have a big effect here - are you going all out for top speed or blistering acceleration?
Hope your'e developing a super strong roll cage to match!

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:42 pm
by steveww
Given the top speed potential of this beast I would have a good look at the aerodynamics as well :o

I have driven some of very fast caterfields and they are just plain scary devloping serious ammounts of front end lift at high speed.

I once had a play with a Porsche 935 K3 which is 750bhp in about 1100kg car. That was a bit quick B)

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:48 pm
by stevebroad
Hi to type36lotus, rgh0, Hamish Coutts, D.J.Pelly, Evan Carpenter-Crawford and steveww.

When I broke it at the British Street Car Championships in 1984! it had a cetificated 168bhp at the wheels, I agee that that was fun!

Chassis will be taken beyond 26R spec, but I am still researching this topic.

Yeah, heat will be a problem, but not one that can't be overcome :-)

Simulated figures (friends drag racing software) indicates that, in theory with good traction, the car should be capable (with nitrous) of 8 second quarter miles!!!! Ummmmm, will be happy with 9s :-) In 1984 I was running high 12s on road tyres.

On talking to my gearbox guru, he reckons that with the power to weight ratio in the 550-600bhp/tonne range (without nitrous) and quite a slippery car, we could be looking at 200mph+ with he correct gearing. Yeah, right, not with me driving! Mind you, with Sierra Cossies claiming 170+, this doesn't seem TOO far fetched. Quite a lot of work will need to be done on the aerodynamics and downforces in order to keep car on the ground and travelling in a straight line. I have just started to research this.

Yes, it will be on the road, that is what makes it so much more of a challenge (and MUCH more fun).

I have had long discussions with Tony Thompson (who incidently, was rather dismissive of Spyder) and it was he who warned me of the rear suspension problems. None of his gear will cope with the sort of torque I will be playing with (neither will Spyer's, who suggested that I go with the Zetec, I wonder why?), so I had to rethink my plans. Tony is advising on steeing, dampers, springs, etc.

Stumbled across Graham Hatherway Racing in Mundon, Essex (about 2 stones throw from where I live), who used to play with both Elans and Cossies (he runs the Global racing series here in England). He is taking on the challenge of building me a rear end man enough for the job, but retaining the Elan basic set up.

May have been easier to fit BDG/Zetec, but not so much of a challenge and I think that the Cossie is prettier :-) Also much more expensive, or so I have been informed, to get the same power as can be squeezed from the old Ford (we are talking 600bhp+ with a lot of work). Decision has been made now, so no going back.

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:51 pm
by miked
Steve, I dont know if it is of help but I have that video of the baby elan (that a guy sells at the shows). On it it show Pat Tomas with an Elan with a cosworth engine.

It says he built it yeass ago for mod sport and then sold it and just bought it back.

regards mike

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:55 pm
by steveww
A real adventurous project. Please keep us all posted on prgress. Would be great if you could set up a web site and post up pictures, specs etc. Not sure the concourse types would approve but I just love good engineering projects.

Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:03 pm
by stevebroad
Thought about setting up a web site, but just haven't found the time. I am, however, keeping a record, both written and photographic, so maybe I could set up a site in the near future. I will advise if/when I do. Any major developments will be reported here as long as people are interested :-)


Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:32 pm
by Hamish Coutts

I'm interested - keep reporting. Have a look at the site below for ideas.

<a href='' target='_blank'></a>



Re: Cosworth Into Baby Elan

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:38 pm
by Evan Carpenter-Crawford
Why don't you set up your own group on yahoo?
It's free, can be done in an hour or less , and gives you some really usable features.
I'm currently moderating 3 groups for family, a professional discussion group, and my part time teaching gig...
There is a photo section, a group email address for all, and you can determine who the group is open to.

If this sounds good to you, I can answer most questions you might have...
but really i'ts so easy you should just go for it!
good luck