Lotus Elan

Old Heads ID Please

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Mon May 03, 2021 8:27 pm

The attachment In Car LP1485 (1).JPG is no longer available
The attachment In Car LP1485 (1).JPG is no longer available
The attachment In Car LP1485 (1).JPG is no longer available
The attachment In Car LP1485 (1).JPG is no longer available
I have recovered a couple of heads from the back of a friends workshop, but know nothing about them so can I call on some of our head experts to throw some light on them for me. However before I start on those can I also ask about the head fitted currently to my 1970 S4 Fixed Head which is a little awkward to get details from as its still in the car. I will list the heads with what data I have to make it easier.

IN CAR: Number on rear of casting is LP1485 - boss in plug channel is flush with no stamping, has projections into plug channel, no other details available

HEAD1:Casting numbers, WM9403
735 L406
A26E311
Stamped number BD1 6L (between these two sets of numbers looks like an inverted triangle slightly lower and out of line to the others)
There are no casting projections into the plug channel
Has a raised boss in plug channel but no stampings on it
It has a vertical supports (or ridge) along the top of the inlet pipes between the outer flange and the head on numbers 1 and 2 ports.

HEAD 2: Casting numbers on rear 26E311
WM LM8 WP
Stamped number LP1738
It has projections into plug channel
Boss is in plug channel is plain

Can someone interpret all these for me and tell me what they mean and also how old these heads may be.
The head on the car is fitted to a 1700 tall block, the car spent most of its life out in South Africa and was supposedly put together by a well known tuner out there named Willie Meissner, who produced some very special engines for Ford and others.
Thanks
Tony

Heads appear in order as above
Attachments
In Car LP1485 (2).JPG and
Head 1 WM9403 (7).JPG and
Head 2 LP1738 (2).JPG and
Last edited by tonyabacus on Mon May 03, 2021 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: ncm » Mon May 03, 2021 8:54 pm

Some interesting discussions here:- viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31049

Brian.
ncm
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 166
Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Location: Derbyshire

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Tue May 04, 2021 8:59 pm

Thanks Brian, interesting read, the earlier heads seem to be a bit more involved to try and identify, so I hope others may be able to help to date each of the heads I questioned.
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Tue May 04, 2021 9:20 pm

With all the different head “types” and numbers that get quoted, does anyone have a list of the numbers relative to the type and modifications. Rohan you seem to be a source of much information on heads, so do you know if such a database has ever been put together?
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed May 05, 2021 1:38 pm

Mk1 and early Mk2 heads with a engine number on them can be dated approximately from that number and the production records of cars and engine numbers. The later Mk2 heads with normally a 4 digit code of format AANN are harder to date as the number was never recorded in any of the production and sales records but it is some kind of batch code and it appears the first letter changed approximately each year starting with B in around 1968. The latest I have seen start with an H and I presume this is around 1974.

Unfortunately there appears to be no official Lotus records of the heads production and changes over the years and the people at Lotus and their suppliers who must have been involved never saw fit to record anything of what they knew either that I have been able to find.

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7898
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Thu May 06, 2021 9:12 am

Thanks Rohan for the feedback, I think we all realise you have done a lot of solid work on this in the past, which is much valued by us all.

In the case of the head fitted to my car at present with number LP1485 (which is the only I’d I can find) are you suggesting this is likely to be the engine number it was originally fitted to. At present the head is fitted on to a tall block engine and the only number I can find on that is located on the front engine rib next to the water pump outlet and is a stamping that looks to be either L12306L or E12306L. How do we date these tall blocks?
Tony
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu May 06, 2021 10:53 am

Yes the head will originally have been fitted to engine LP1485 which was probably an early Elan engine but I am sure someone will know what car it came off.

The Ford blocks all have a date code cast into them on the top LH side which you can decode to get the casting date. The engine number itself also appears to be in the normal place for a Ford block and maybe someone call tell what type of car and when it came off from that number

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7898
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: trw99 » Thu May 06, 2021 4:40 pm

Neither LP 1485 nor LP 1738 come up against any Elan in my records.

1485 comes from around Apr/May 1964. 1738 from mid 1964. In all likelihood they were fitted to Lotus Cortinas.

Tim
User avatar
trw99
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2928
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Location: Essex/Herts border, UK

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Fri May 07, 2021 12:20 am

Thanks Tim/Rohan.
Rohan, you say the stamped engine number appears to be in the normal place, but as I recall on the Mk1 blocks wasn’t the stamped engine number on the rib just above the cast engine code (120/691 etc) at the gearbox end? On my tall block the stamped engine number is at the opposite end in front of the distributor on the rib to which the inner timing cover plate is bolted, and the heater hose connection is screwed in. Perhaps someone with a tall block installed could have a look and see if their block has a number stamped there. It is difficult to make out the start letter to the engine number due to corrosion etc but could be either an L or an E.

Tim, interesting that neither head number appears in your list, but as the car was in South Africa for most of its life perhaps when the original 1558 was changed to the current tall block, cylinder heads were not very easy to locate hence the early head that appears to be installed from what you say. Andy Graham at Lotus has little information on my car so has no original engine details. Do you know of anyone that perhaps has engine numbers of those fitted to the Cortinas asI think that may be my only other source, there being little chance of finding engine numbers of those fitted in the numerous in period sports and sports racing cars?
Tony
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: vstibbard » Fri May 07, 2021 9:27 am

From my Elan records there's a batch of LP's from LP1481 to LP1485 not recorded against an Elan Serial number.

A theory, is it possible that some heads or complete engines based on above were not used in cars and sold as replacement units or spares?

I thought Lotus Cortina's had different engine numbers to the LP range.

V
vstibbard
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 756
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Fri May 07, 2021 12:30 pm

V, that's an interesting twist that those few heads are not recorded against an Elan. Can I ask where your list is from?
Also I wonder as the serial numbers are obviously part of a batch, whether they could have been freighted out to South Africa for instance to perhaps a race shop (Willie Meissner?) for tuning and then installation into various cars. I know for instance that Willie was one of the original three guys producing the GSM Dart (Delta in the UK due to Chrysler having title to Dart, which is also why Daimler had to rename their Dart to SP250), also the Flamingo and then another name I can't recall (https://bewilderbeast.org/tag/gsm-delta/).

It is possible I guess in the early days that a few tuners or small race car teams like Cooper, Vegantune, Alan Mann and the like may have ordered a batch of engines that would then not have been assigned to any cars at Lotus.

Rohan, do you know whether anything like that happened out in Oz with any of the small race teams or specialist car builders?
Tony
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat May 08, 2021 12:33 am

There were certainly companies such as Elfin here building race cars using Twincam engines that they would have got direct from Lotus so there will be many engines around that were never in Elans or Cortinas I would think.

cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7898
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat May 08, 2021 5:12 am

What is the casting number on the lower rear left hand side of the tall block?
681F, 691M or 711M?

If it's none of these you could even possibly have something special like an AX series block. These were cast in South Africa and fitted to poverty pack Ford Sierra's over there with the Kent crossflow.
1970 Ford Escort Twin Cam
1972 Ford Escort GT1600 Twin Cam
1980 Ford Escort 2.0 Ghia
Peugeot 505 GTI Wagons (5spdx1) (Autox1)
2015 Honda City 5spd.
2cams70
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: 10 Jun 2015
Location: Australia

PostPost by: tonyabacus » Sat May 08, 2021 10:00 am

2Cams, I will have to go look at the car and get back with that, something I should have thought about as I had an AX block a few years ago before it got sold on. One thing I do recall was how heavy that block was and how sort after they were. But will get back with code on block ASAP.
Rohan, I had forgotten about Elfin, they were a pretty little car as I recall and very competitive, thanks for the input by the way
Tony
tonyabacus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 16 Sep 2003

PostPost by: vstibbard » Sun May 16, 2021 2:56 am

This Elfin 300 on pole and winner of this race was completed and flown to Singapore GP by BOAC driven by Mal Ramsay, it was part of the BOAC/BP Elfin team and raced throughout Asia. It was sold by Garrie Cooper (Elfin Cars) at the end of the Singapore and Malaysian races to Henkie Iriawan and then to Rodney Show who I purchased the car from.

It still has both original engines that it raced with, initially it had a 1750cc LTC built by Paul England and then later in Singapore it had a Martin all steel gear driven cam 1860cc 3 valve engine fitted. I'll check the engine when next at the shed to see what numbers are on it as I've confirmed with Mal that the car used a brand new engine/FT200 Gearbox combination.

RAMSAY Elfin 300B 6.jpg and
I'm fortunate to own this Elfin 300 #5


Note the line up of cars for the Malaysian Sports car race, Porsche 906, Ginetta G4R, Lotus 23B, Elva Mk8 amongst field, the car went on to win this race.
vstibbard
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 756
Joined: 22 Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: ill_will and 17 guests