Lotus Elan

Engine & head numbers???

PostPost by: therolfie » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:24 pm

Dear all, I have just taken the engine out of my '68 S4 & would like to track down the engine/head number. I have noticed that the log book has an error for the chassis number so would like to check the engine number also. There are several numbers, so which ones do I need & where are they located. Any help would be great, sorry if I'm asking a straight forward question, but I have looked & couldn't find where to find the numbers!!! Cheers
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:44 pm

Your V5 (logbook) from the DVLA should contain your VIN number from the plate (in the left side of the engine compartment) as the chassis number. Officially the Elan chassis is just a subframe, the fibreglass body & VIN plate carry the 'identity' of the car and you really, really, really do not want to get into the hassle that will occur if you were to try to tell the DVLA that the chassis number is whatever was stamped on a replacement sub-frame..

Been there done that, took from 1978 to about 2006 to get it properly sorted out.
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PostPost by: therolfie » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:29 am

Thanks for the info, I understand re the chassis & that's not a problem just at some stage someone has mistaken the forward slash as the number 1! There is no engine number on the plate, I have a number in the V5 starting with an L but that would indicate a S/E Stromberg head SS which this isn't. I have just found some numbers on the block & head:
Block: exhaust side, scratched in lower back 5929E then cast 6015, also T9. Inlet side LP7925LA A (this is stamped in above the engine mount & between the last two letters it looks to have maybe a 1 stamped above?

The head has: Rear 8964 on the left then SBH 230 towards the right. On the exhaust side, Front A26E311, then middle 735 & rear side WM9403.

Any help with this would be great, the car was registered 23/08/68 type 36 S4. :D
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:59 am

Best to split your post into two.

1 The DVLA
a. do nothing - When you next MOT the car ensure that the MOT tester puts in the correct number from the VIN plate. Now that the DVLA/MOT are computerised they will notice the difference and send you a fairly straightforward letter asking if you have rebuilt the car the to verify the VIN no. You send them a photo of the VIN plate and the car reg no - they send you a corrected V5

b. Phone them up explain that you have been checking and you notice a mistake in the V5 and take it from there.
But for heavens sake don't talk about chassis number it is irrelevant, don't talk about rebuilds and don't talk about restoration. if they ask tell them that it is rebuilt using original parts.

Re the engine number - You should inform them, but I would wait until the car is on the road, otherwise you may have to answer lots of questions.

The DVLA are not tuned-in to old cars and you would be best off not being the one to educate them.

Part 2
Engine numbers - there are lots of detailed discussions even how to read the date code too many to list and it is worth reading most of them.
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PostPost by: ken ob » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:09 am

The engine number that should be on your V5 is the one beginning LP ???? . The one you have found below the engine mount under the carbs. Lots of people don't alter the V5 when an engine swop occurs of course.

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:23 am

therolfie wrote:Thanks for the info, I understand re the chassis & that's not a problem just at some stage someone has mistaken the forward slash as the number 1! There is no engine number on the plate, I have a number in the V5 starting with an L but that would indicate a S/E Stromberg head SS which this isn't. I have just found some numbers on the block & head:
Block: exhaust side, scratched in lower back 5929E then cast 6015, also T9. Inlet side LP7925LA A (this is stamped in above the engine mount & between the last two letters it looks to have maybe a 1 stamped above?

The head has: Rear 8964 on the left then SBH 230 towards the right. On the exhaust side, Front A26E311, then middle 735 & rear side WM9403.

Any help with this would be great, the car was registered 23/08/68 type 36 S4. :D



>I have a number in the V5 starting with an L but that would indicate a S/E Stromberg head SS which this isn't.

No I think the prefix LP just means "Lotus Part"
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:26 am

There was often/usually no engine number on the VIN plate as the cars were sold as kits to avoid purchase tax (pre-cursor of VAT) so officially the engine came from a different company,
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PostPost by: therolfie » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:12 pm

Thanks for the updates, I have taken on board the comments re the chassis number etc, so thanks. The engine number is still unclear to me, I'm missing something here! Using Miles Wilkins book pg 180 onwards, he talks about numbers, but mine should have a 'D' number as I see it due to no rings on cams & part number from Robinshaw book also being a webber head on 31's? I have lots of numbers, but what do they mean, is there a way of finding out what the original engine number & type including head was when new? I'm going to use the DVAL form V888 to trace history. Thanks again for all help.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:07 am

therolfie

LP 7925 LA A is your engine number. LP stands for Lotus Power. LA A indicates the bore thickness (from memory)

That engine left the factory on 23 June 1967 in Elan unit no 7045.

7279 is the first Elan with SS features I am aware of. The SS was officially introduced at 7400 in November 1967. The final official SS being 7894; the S4 was introduced at 7895 in March 1968. However I am aware of 7906 which is a sort of S3/S4 SS! There were a number of SS spec cars sold into the domestic UK market.

The engine in 7910 of June 1968 is the first I am aware of using a letter prefix - G - other than LP which was used previously and continued to be used alongside the 'new' engine prefix letters for some time.

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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:02 pm

Tim,
could you elaborate on what you know about 7906? I'm curious to know if this early S4 was made for the domestic UK market.

thanks
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:41 am

Rick

Sorry for late reply; I have been away.

I have 7906 listed as a Type 45 S3/S4 SS hybrid! Left Lotus on 11 June 1968 and shipped to BMCD in the US.

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PostPost by: Watership Down » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:45 pm

I hope I am not hijacking this thread but I have a spare engine and would like to know where it came from. Engine number LP7437LBA
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:22 pm

Watership

That engine left the factory in a S3, Unit No. 6677 on 13 February 1967. I'm afraid I am unable to tell you more.

Tim
Last edited by trw99 on Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:23 pm

You can get this infromation from Andy Graham ? Technical Publications and Archives
LOTUS AFTERSALES, Units 6 & 7 John Hyrne Way, Longwater Business Park, Costessey, Norwich, Norfolk NR5 0AF England.
T +44 (0)1603 732178
This is level of info you will receive as I did on my S4 SN 45/8602
"Thank you for your enquiry regarding you 1969 Lotus Elan S4 SE drop head coupe. You are correct this car was manufactured for Canada, and doesn?t have the Federal specification engine, instead it has a high compression engine number L17776. It left Lotus on the 1st January 1969. It was sold from Lotus to Sports Cars unlimited who I believe were based in Ontario, Canada and were the distributor for this area, and they would have held onto any further history. Unfortunately the original body colour was not recorded."

Andy may be able to do a reverse lookup. From engine number To car chassis number

Hope this helps
James
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PostPost by: Watership Down » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:34 pm

Thank you for the information on the spare engine :D
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