Lotus Elan

Replacement weber heads

PostPost by: autoxnut » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:50 pm

Hi,

I am new here and have a 1967 Elan S3 coupe. I am considering acquiring a replacement head because one of my valve seats has receded and I am unsure of its repairability. Does anyone have experience with sources for replacement heads and can you share your experience? I am in the US but will consider any source.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:52 pm

See my good experiences with a brand new SAS Enginneering head on this topic:

lotus-elan-f19/getting-ogu-roadworthy-again-t26101.html?hilit=roadworthy
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:37 pm

Replacement of receding valve seats is a routine operation in twincam heads. The new heads are expensive and you can do a lot of repair work on an old head before they are uneconomic to repair.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:50 am

autoxnut wrote:Hi,

I am new here and have a 1967 Elan S3 coupe. I am considering acquiring a replacement head because one of my valve seats has receded and I am unsure of its repairability. Does anyone have experience with sources for replacement heads and can you share your experience? I am in the US but will consider any source.


I had all of my valve seats replaced years ago because they had receded too far. The replacement is straightforward and you can have good as new results. Cost is nominal when refurbishing a head as long as the head has not lost its temper or is corroded or warped. I have more than 200,000 miles on my car with the original head, block, rods, crank.

Now if you want the SAS head that makes 200HP, that's a horse of a different color....

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:59 pm

Definitely look into repairing your existing head. It is a big jump in cost to get into a SAS or other replica head although performance can be great. The ones with ports suitable for the road come out of the UK, as of last year. Current cost is softened a bit by the recent decline in the pound if you are using USD.
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PostPost by: autoxnut » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:10 pm

Bill and others, thank you for mentioning SAS. I was unaware of them and will add them to my research list.

Bill, I skimmed your referenced post - lots of good information there. How many miles/kilos do you have on your new head?

For everyone, I should have provided more information. I acquired my Elan in 1986 as a complete basket case - partially disassembled and improper/failing body repairs.

Between 1987 and 1988, I completed restoration of the chassis and drive train, including machine work on the head. Then the car sat (life got in the way) till I completed the body work in 2000 and got the car on the road for the first time. Between 2000 and 2005, I put less than 500 miles on the car, mostly at Lotus events in the USA that I trailered to. The car was built as an autocrosser with flaired fenders, 7" wide wheels, pertronix ignition, MSD electronic controller, etc. When I discovered the valve lash on one valve had gone to zero, I parked the car and it has sat unused. Obviously, since I got so few mile on the engine after paying for machining, I have my doubts about the capabilities of machine shops here in Oklahoma, USA.

I have decided it is time to get this on the road again and I would like to actually drive it to a Lotus Owners gathering.

Thus, I am considering a brand new head or looking for a reliable machinist shop. Please keep the info coming.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:09 pm

I haven't used the Elan a vast amount since putting in the SAS head. Around 3 tours of Dorset/Somerset (from London) and 5 or 6 spins around in Herts, Probably around 1,500 miles all told.

I would have to dig out my MOT certificates to get a better estimate.

The original Lotus head did over 200,000 miles, but eventually it had so many welds in one of the chambers that it just kept cracking again after repair so I gave up on that and saved up for that SAS one.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: bill308 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:49 am

autoxnut,

As you are in OK, USA, you might want to check with Dave Bean Engineering in CA about a new head. Dave bought the rights to and reproduces John Stowe's, Hartford, CT designed head, with internal structural and coolant flow enhancements and a very nice port design. This is a great street or race head that is built with printed sand tooling.

Bill.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

When I spoke to Ken at Dave Bean last year the DBE heads have ports more suitable for race applications. They didn't have a smaller port version that would be more tractable for the street.

Thus, I turned to SAS that has both street and race port versions. The street port version with Weber 40's that I now have dynoes at 181 Hp @ 7000 and 143 lb-ft torque peak @ 5200 IIRC (long flat curve - stroked engine). So certainly nice performance for a tractable street twincam. Still putting the rest of the car together so only dyno time so far.

As Dave Vegher, the engine builder, noted in one of the "Vintage Racing Podcasts": working with these newer heads just yields better results.
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