Lotus Elan

Twin Cam rebuild costs

PostPost by: Matt Elan » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:35 pm

I'm looking at the possibility of rebuilding a TC which has been standing for a long time. So FYI I did a couple of spreadsheets for prices. I was quite surprised that a minimal rebuild, replacing only necessary things like main bearing and con rod bolts, head bolts, all shell bearings and the rings, gaskets, thrust washers, oil pump, water pump, cam chain and so on, but without new pistons, cam sprockets or valve seats came to around £1400 including VAT. And thats using standard parts not exotic racing kit!
Having new pistons, jackshaft bearings, cam sprockets, con rods etc added another £1200.
Then there's quite a bit for outsourced machining, like rebores, block and head facing, crack testing crank, crank grinding, pressure testing head etc, etc!
Not cheap these engines, but I suspect much the same cost for any other four cylinder unit.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:39 pm

That's why quite a lot of Zetec conversions happened I guess!
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:19 am

Matt,

That's consistent with my experience. I've rebuilt mine twice since I've owned it in 40 years.
Machine work performed correctly by a competent shop is worth every penny. I've seen some real horrors performed by some so called "experts."
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: 74Twincam » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:42 am

I second that- well worth researching shops and getting to know as much about it as you can beforehand. I was unlucky enough fall victim years ago to a hack job on one of mine and subsequently had to build it again, plus the extra costs to repair and replace damaged items. Now, THAT was expensive. I’ve learned that these engines are expensive but I don’t try to cut corners. Build it right and it will ease the pain of writing the checks along the way once you hear it tick over.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:24 am

The main cost and most important part is the machining of the head: fitting guides, replacing or machining seats, followers, follower sleeves, etc. as necessary. You haven't factored that into your spreadsheet yet but be prepared for a shock!
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri Jun 19, 2020 10:57 am

MarkDa wrote:That's why quite a lot of Zetec conversions happened I guess!


You can certainly do a cheap Zetec conversion but, for a 'full conversion' the costs do add up.

I bought a new, crated black top engine for £840 complete with clutch. On top of that I will need:
Revised engine mounts
A different sump and windage tray
Dipstick tube, dispstick and oil pickup
Engine to gearbox mounting plate
Gearbox bolts and dowels
Alternator and bracket
Extra pulley to spin water pump in the correct direction and belt
Mods to water pump outlet angle
Water rail inc thermostat and hoses
Starter motor
Exhaust system
Complete inlet system, probably including manifold, throttle bodies, linkages, injectors, ram pipes, pipework, airbox etc.
Fuel pump
Fuel pressure limiter
Scavenge tank
Return system for fuel
Engine management system
Revised oil pressure and water temp senders and gauges
New engine wiring harness
Other things I have forgotten including various nuts and bolts

Of course you also need chassis mods, probably, an MT75 box with associated mods, a different diff etc. etc.

Maybe the twink isn't so expensive an option........

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PostPost by: elaninfuture » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:25 am

What's the going rate in the US to have a running twin cam rebuilt in stock or slightly hot form? Any suggestions on builders in the mountain West?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:07 am

For me there's rebuilding and rebuilding.
All depends on wear found in engine and what you want to do with it.
Do you want to drive it normally or give it a good canning on a Circuit.
Or remanufacture the Engine.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:44 am

elaninfuture wrote:What's the going rate in the US to have a running twin cam rebuilt in stock or slightly hot form? Any suggestions on builders in the mountain West?


Someone from Colorado may advise a shop in Denver/Boulder area.

West Coast, the three I have complete confidence in:
Jay Ivey, Ivey Engines of Portland, OR.
He and his sons are the shop operations.
www.iveyengines.com
I have bought parts and most recently Jay built my Formula Ford engine.

Tony Ingram in Santa Maria, CA
https://lotus7.com/Home.html
My son has used Tony for his Lotus Super Seven S2

Barry Spencer - Spencers Motorsports - Barry is doing a body off resto on my Elan. He is factory trained and also was an engine builder for Dave Vegher of Veloce Motors West in Petaluma CA. Dave has retired.
http://www.spencersmotorsports.com/
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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