Lotus Elan

Engine Height relation to body 1966 S3 FHC(webers)

PostPost by: sepans » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:07 pm

Hi, Originally engine height was o.k before I embarked on a full body off restoration, now having replaced the body today the engine is sitting proud of a straight edge over the front of the cam cover.I have used all the same parts except the gearbox mounting (which had disintegrated). The engine mountings where new so not replaced, they are fitted in the fail safe position (n not u configuration both sides) although I think they where fitted upside down previously! The bottom of the sump is above the crossmember (1.5cm). What should the bonnet clearance be, and the sump and crossmember.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:27 pm

Sorry, no dimensions at the moment.
When you replaced the gearbox mounting, did you fit the two tubular spacers. They lift the gearbox and therefore lower the front of the cam cover. Just a thought because I did that.
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PostPost by: sepans » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:51 pm

Hi Eric, Yes the spacers are fitted, although I have read a old thread by Rolan which states that the new spacers which are fitted to my car are narrower than the original fitted to earlier cars. I will adjust this tomorrow I think his will make some improvement.
Many Thanks for your advice
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:09 am

Have you actually fitted the bonnet and find it does not close (as a result)?
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:24 am

If you have not fitted the radiator put a torch/light on the engine and fit it bonnet but do not close it, look through the front air intake without the grill fitted and get someone to gently close the bonnet (if it touches stop)
You will be able to see if there is a gap to the cam cover if the light shines through.
With the bonnet closed you can judge the gap by pushing in long pieces of cardboard in the gap.
Alternative lay the cardboard on the cam cover and with the bonnet closed try to pull out the cardboard.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:51 am

My cam cover is 8mm below the inner edge of the wing tops and the curvature of the bonnet gives a total clearance of 25mm or so when fitted. It's a Stromberg engine so sits level, the higher carb side mount used with Webers will reduce your clearance somewhat.
If your engine mounts were previously fitted upside down as you say the engine would have been sitting much lower in the chassis and I would have thought there would have been a problem with the carbs hitting the top of the footwell.....unless of course you have a Spyder chassis where they are fitted the other way up I believe.
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PostPost by: sepans » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:44 am

Hi, Thanks for all your comments and advice. I have fitted additional spacers to the gearbox mounting the total thickness of each spacer is 2cm or 3/4" imperial. I now have a gap between bonnet and cam cover of around 5mm and the sump is level with the bottom of the crossmember. This I think is not enough and need to find another 2 cm. the rear carbuerettor stud is 4cm above the top of the footwell.
Thanks again
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PostPost by: Foxie » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:11 am

oldelanman wrote:My cam cover is 8mm below the inner edge of the wing tops and the curvature of the bonnet gives a total clearance of 25mm or so when fitted. It's a Stromberg engine so sits level, the higher carb side mount used with Webers will reduce your clearance somewhat.
If your engine mounts were previously fitted upside down as you say the engine would have been sitting much lower in the chassis and I would have thought there would have been a problem with the carbs hitting the top of the footwell.....unless of course you have a Spyder chassis where they are fitted the other way up I believe.


I made up a timber wedge which fits between the underside of the bonnet and the cross tube in the Plus 2 to bring the front of the bonnet up in line with the bonnet opening. I have also redrilled the engine mounts to drop the engine half an inch.

The engine mounts in the Spyder chassis are indeed fitted the other way up, but they are also rotated so the 4 bolts are now on the chassis and not the engine block, and consequently still in the "fail-safe" orientation. :)
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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:57 pm

I never realised there should be spacers on the gearbox mount , I have just checked mine and no spacers ?

Can somebody post a picture of the spacers and confirm their size , I guess you can just add washers to achieve the same lift

It?s the S3 running gear


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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:27 pm

My records show the spacer is .44" thick and 1.25" in diameter.
Pic shows a plus two chassis (removable lower brace)
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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:29 pm

Thanks are they compressible like a pu or solid ? , I guess compressible might reduce vibration

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Solid steel but alloy would work ok.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:28 pm

I never realised there should be spacers on the gearbox mount , I have just checked mine and no spacers ?


Don't have a Spyder chassis do you ?
Spacers are not required with their spaceframe chassis as the mount bracket is taller.
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PostPost by: sepans » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:37 pm

Hi according to Rolan (old post) the spacers on early Elans were thicker and and therefore you need a wider spacer to compensate for a different gearbox mounting and current spacer. It all can get very confusing as Spyder chassis use a different set-up as do the plus 2`s. My car is a 1966 S3 fhc lotus chassis everything is standard. I have the radiator out at present so I can see the gap between cam cover and bonnet or rather lack of it (5mm). Logically either the body will have to be raised or the engine dropped. Was hoping for a 2-2.5cm gap.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:26 am

Brian,

I have a similar problem. My car is a S4 FHC. I have only 2 to 3 mm of clearance between cam cover and bonnet. I have asked my Elan owning friends and 8 to10mm seems to be normal. The problem as I see it is that if you raise the body or lower the engine then you decrease the clearance between the Webbers and the footwell. I have slotted the holes in the engine mount by 2mm and will wait and see when I get the car running if that is sufficient to avoid contact between engine and body.

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