Lotus Elan

Engine sale

PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:18 pm

Dear All
It's nearly that time and am looking for the concensus of opinion,would one prefer to buy a complete engine or one with the head/sump removed for inspection ?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:43 pm

depends WHO's the builder and his reputation : if its richardson, neil, schaffner or so... AND NOT FLEABAY, then i would buy a finished engine at 20000? !!! i only had my head done by one of them, BUT they don't need any new clients!! sandy my engine has parts worth almost 8 grand! sandy
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:51 pm

Hi John,
If it were me, then I would only buy a fully rebuilt engine complete, and that would have to include all new parts like pistons, bearings, seals etc. It would also depend on who rebuilt the engine and their pedigree.
If it was a doer upper then I would like to see the state of things inside.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:49 pm

Difficult one that, if an engine is 'supposed' to have been re-built, it is generally for sale at a high price, & for that, I would want to be certain of what was inside, it's pretty easy to make a stack of receipts say what you want them to. A friend of mine got caught like that a few years back, bought an engine (not Lotus) from what we thought was a reputable source, which came with a folder full of spec's & receipts for it's build from an equally reputable engineer/engine builder/tuner. He later found out to his dismay that that particular engine had never been anywhere near that particular engineer. It had been taken apart, cleaned & painted, & put back together with new gaskets. It looked wonderful, & the paperwork backed the look up, but inside it was a mess. Said 'reputable' source claimed my friend had swapped things about & was trying to 'pull a fast one' & refused to have anything further to do with it. The 'reputable' source no longer exists!
If, on the other hand, it's an engine being sold as one to re-build, then it's almost better to have it in one piece so you can see it is all there.
If it's between these two extremes, I think at least head off is good, you can then see the state of the bores, piston tops, valves & combustion chambers etc, & you can also get an idea of any significant big end wear if the crank moves & the piston lags behind. Assuming all is good & usable, a prospective purchaser then only has to put the head back on & they're up & running.
Horses for courses I guess :D

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:33 pm

i just remember a friend who bought an escort twin cam (yes, wide body) from an almost famous "RETAILER". the body and cage and even suspension were lovely. the seller was talking about an all steel (forged pistons) engine, even cams PLUS all the other goodies. it was in good running conditon BUT it didn't make the proper noise! there's a huge audible difference between 120hp and 160!! ------------------ so we opened top and bottom: 125 rods, casted crank and pistons, dia. of valves and valve springs stock etc.. etc.., ---------------- with really useless goodrich tyres: he sold the car at a big loss; he shouldn't have: these cars cost big bucks these days sandy
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:50 pm

When you buy an assembled engine you are always buying a "claimed condition"
i.e. The claimed condtion may be
"Newly rebuilt to specification X by builder Y, dyno hours only"
"Was running well when removed from car to install a Zetec"
"In need of rebuild but complete engine"

In every case unless you can see and inspect the internal components you may be paying more than its worth.
That newly rebuilt engine may have been freshened up had new rings and bearings fitted and new gaskets and been painted but the key internal components may be at the end of their useful life with bore walls to thin and piston clearances to big

That complete engine in need of a rebuild may be a piece of junk with the head to soft and the block to corroded so rebuilding is not possible.

The potential size of the loss on a top engine with a big price tag is certainly higher than for an engine needing a rebuild but I would want to see the insides of any engine I was buying no matter what the cost or condition before handing over my money. I would only buy a complete engine without detailed intenral inspection if I knew the history of the engine and the people involved very well and if the price was such a bargain that the potential loss due to undiscovered faults was very small.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:16 am

It all depends on price. If it's cheap I'll take the risk (which I have done several times and not disappointed). If it's expensive, I will want to inspect in great detail on an engine stand and a copy of the parts and work that was done by engine builder. Anyone who has an engine built by an unknown entity qualifies them for a cheap engine.
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