Lotus Elan

alternative engine for a plus 2

PostPost by: brettfcars » Thu May 01, 2008 1:09 pm

This is my first post, Hello all!
I have a elan +2 130s minus engine.
And was wondering !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have yet to check dimensions, but would a MX5 engine 1.6 or 1.8 fit in the engine bay ?
The engine is a twin cam has a rear wheel drive gearbox and is avalible !
bhp apears to be the same.
Am aware work would be required for engine mountings and water pipe work etc, but should look the part !
Sorry if this option sounds Sacrilege but currenty engine is bay empty, also considring the ZETEC.
any info/remarks apricated.
Thanks
Brett
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PostPost by: memini55 » Thu May 01, 2008 2:50 pm

Welcome Brett!!
The motor would more than likely work fine but the gearbox will be the tough one. The Elan has a very limited shifter position in relation to the frame, boxed thin sheet metal and not easy to relocate different shifter placement.
Take a look at some of the posts on transmision changes and you will find lots of posts on that topic.
Several have done Zetec and other conversions.
Best of luck and welcome to the project side of the world!
Mark
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Thu May 01, 2008 4:15 pm

Welcome & congratulations on buying a great car! :wink:
I would think that fitting anything but a Lotus Twin Cam would probably de-value it, but the demand for/price of Zetec conversions disproves that straight away... :shock: :?
What condition is the rest of the car in? Is the chassis sound/original/a replacement? If it needs replacing and the body/paintwork is 'good' then a Zetec 'kit' from Spyder would be an 'easy' (i.e. proven!) option.
If you're after a 'development project' then other options have been discussed before. For example:
www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1985
www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=14125
I looked at an Alfa-engined +2 once but already having a Lotus-engined 2-seater Elan meant that I'd need 2 sets of spares so I went for an original one instead.... :lol:

:arrow: Matthew
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PostPost by: jeff jackson » Thu May 01, 2008 4:28 pm

Hi Brett,
Welcome to the family.
I read somewhere on this forum that the MX5 (miata) engine is too tall for the +2. Best bet, would be the ZETEC, but you will have to consider upgrading just about everything else that hangs off the chassis, and could be a cost issue for you. However, you could trawl around ebay or this forum or at worst the Club Lotus mag or website and pick up a Twin cam. Still not cheap for a good one, but that would be all. Gearbox, you have the option of the 4 speed or the 5. Opionion is divided, but I have never had a problem with either.
Good luck, and anything you need to know, you will find everyone on this forum very helpful.
Regards
Jeff 72+2.
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PostPost by: tyburn » Thu May 01, 2008 8:28 pm

Hi Brett,

This is my first posting, I have been browsing this forum as I am thinking about buying a Plus2, Anyway to cut a long story short and in response to your quest for an engine, a friend of mine in Dorset knew i was looking for an Elan and contacted me a couple of weeks ago about an S4 Elan that went through his local auction house (Charterhouse) he kindly went along and photographed the car and it was an S4 with a Zetec conversion, the auctioneers description states;
The original engine and gearbox still available with owner, for collection by arrangement within three weeks of the sale day.

Give the auctioneer a call, they should put you in touch with the
buyer who may have no use for the engine or the seller who may still have it, it's worth a shot. Best of Luck

Chris (Edinburgh)

P.S I have some photos of the conversion, I can't post web links as I am
a new forum member but it's on their web site, Charterhouse Dorset
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A 1970 Lotus Elan Mk IV DHC, 1.6 litre Zetec fuel injection
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PostPost by: tower of strength » Thu May 01, 2008 11:59 pm

I have always thought that the Alfa twincam in 1750 form from a 105 series would be the perfect substitute engine for the Lotus one, being all alloy its nice and light, gutsy, would look right, sound right and has the right carbs(webber side draughts) it is also attached to a rather sweet all alloy 5 speed gearbox with the gear stick half way down the gearbox! I saw a 2 seat Elan "shed" being advertised with such a transplant, so it must be possible....... another project idea on the long list of dreams!!
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Fri May 02, 2008 2:42 am

Welcome aboard,
IMHO,
The Miata MX5 idea is ironically a pretty good idea.... from Elan, to Mazda, back to Elan...
There is also a twin cam Toyota Corolla engine with RWD trans available from the mid eighties that some claim will fit. I've never tried.
Other than Zetec, none of it makes any sense to me, including the Alfa stuff. Trying to fit something else in when the stock Lotus engine and transmission are better, hands down, feet down, revs, power, weight, synchronisers, and punchiness, it's a Lotus.. (F1 World Champions at the time)
Eric
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Fri May 02, 2008 9:54 am

Of course if you arre on a budget the other option is a crossflow, these can easity be made to make the same power as a twincam, and use virtually the same block so bolt straight in.

The Zetec should also bolt to the elan gearbox (a special flywheel and mounts will be required).

kevin
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PostPost by: handi_andi » Fri May 02, 2008 10:41 am

As matterof pure interest, has anyone ever measured up the Ford 2.6L V6 as used in the Maverick and a few other vehicles. Seem to remember it is a pretty compact unit and would certinaly make for a VERY fun Elan plus 2

Andy
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PostPost by: elan_fan » Fri May 02, 2008 2:31 pm

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PostPost by: brettfcars » Fri May 02, 2008 10:44 pm

some intresting idears and advice !
Lots to think about.
Would realy like to refit the proper engine but the cost of obtaining a usable one is a factor.
The MX5 engine is avalible local to me for ?300, take what i want, including gearbox, ecu etc, etc.
Very tempting to rengineer to fit.
I would ony take this route if no perment modifications are required to the Elan.
Right out with the tape measure !
Important factors are height,width and gear lever position.
And missing any car structure inbetween !

Brett
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PostPost by: jeff jackson » Sat May 03, 2008 11:06 am

Hi Brett,
A good usable Zetec, could be purchased for around ?400, so don't dismiss this option out of hand. The Zetec could easily be mated to any Ford gearbox the one from the Granada being the favourite, and again not much money.
Thinking again, I don't think a Zetec would be as much as ?400.
Try Trents the car Recylers here in Dorset (highly recommended). They always seem to have Zetec's in stock. If I hadn't already rebuilt my twincam, I would have gone this route. Just for interest, you could easily squeeze 220 -240 BHP out of the Zetec.

Regards
Jeff
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PostPost by: lotuselan2 » Tue May 06, 2008 2:33 am

The BD motors are not cheap and tougher to find than a good TC, but I sure like mine. Only needed to replace the Stromberg hump in the hood with a central hump for the cam pulleys. I have a whole lot of torque and power and it looks right too.
Ken
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'04 Audi allroad
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PostPost by: tower of strength » Tue May 06, 2008 10:10 pm

I've had another thought on this idea , how about the K series as used in the earlier Elise? Caterham use this mated to a Ford 5 speed(type9) or even quafe's 6 speed gearset, along with an alloy gearbox case and Voights tailhousing, the lineage is kind of maintained and 120 to 180 bhp available dependant on budget. Properly built and maintained K's dont have head gasket woes for the doubters and its a very light engine to boot, adding lightness being one of Colins mantra's!!!
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed May 07, 2008 5:51 am

"Properly built and maintained K's dont have head gasket woes"

Pity that Rover never found that out :lol:

OK I'll get my coat.
John
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