Lotus Elan

Timing chain

PostPost by: promotor » Fri Nov 03, 2023 7:22 am

If I ever get around to using this head I will either need a split link, or a chain riveting tool. Not sure how it was done in period.
(BTW, it's a Group5 BRM Lotus Cortina cylinder head).

DSC02470.JPG and

DSC02467.JPG and
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Nov 03, 2023 12:15 pm

Very interesting head. I recently got a photo from another person of the same type of BRM injection head with the same divider reinforcing the front chain cover section. My guess would be that they riveted the chain during assembly but unless you can find someone from the time we will be just guessing :D

Does the head have any identifcation numbers from BRM ?

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PostPost by: promotor » Fri Nov 03, 2023 4:29 pm

rgh0 wrote:Very interesting head. I recently got a photo from another person of the same type of BRM injection head with the same divider reinforcing the front chain cover section. My guess would be that they riveted the chain during assembly but unless you can find someone from the time we will be just guessing :D

Does the head have any identifcation numbers from BRM ?

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It is interesting, but finding out info on it is still proving to be very tricky. I did see one of the Group 5 Cortina cars (that Jim Clark famously drove) for sale at the NEC a few years ago but I wasn't able to look around the engine bay as the car had sold before I realised what it was - the bonnet was shut and the auctioneers weren't lifting it!

It does have some numbers on it which I'm told are BRM specific to this model of head. I'd love to build a replica engine but where to start? Interestingly, the Group 5 Cortina used completely custom suspension - (the hole for the original Macpherson struts has been blanked off and there are turrets below the old holes).

full_6da05c85b1335f8bd22ba6b02da788a9.jpg and


Sorry for the thread deviation HCA!
Last edited by promotor on Sat Nov 04, 2023 7:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: HCA » Fri Nov 03, 2023 5:03 pm

Not at all - more interesting than timing chains... :lol:
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat Nov 04, 2023 1:14 am

I'm guessing the divider is there to help support the belt and vibration loads on the front of the head caused by the injector pump. That's one of the worst areas of the LTC head design where you've got bolts going through trying to bend the front of the head over the front of the block. The cork gasket underneath gives no support whatsoever.
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PostPost by: elanman999 » Sat Nov 04, 2023 10:01 am

Look at the rear of the group 5 Cortina!!
Scroll down to the bottom.
http://www.lotuscortinainfo.com/?page_id=2322
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PostPost by: promotor » Sat Nov 04, 2023 11:18 am

elanman999 wrote:Look at the rear of the group 5 Cortina!!
Scroll down to the bottom.
http://www.lotuscortinainfo.com/?page_id=2322


That's not a Group5 Cortina, but it's a very nice Cortina Elan indeed! Love it! The Group5 Cortina's are on Mark's website though.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat Nov 04, 2023 1:18 pm

Is it just me but why would you go to all that trouble and expense but still use a standard iron carrier housing for the diff? Even the standard early Lotus Cortina’s had an alloy casing. Admittedly on a non live axle car the weight of the carrier doesn’t contribute to the unsprung mass.
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PostPost by: HCA » Mon Nov 06, 2023 7:30 pm

Back to timing chains - I emailed the IWIS uk distributer on Friday explaining, politely, that my earlier request was not regarding the solid roller chain he earlier called the Bush chain designed for conveyor use, but the solid/split inner bushing and solid/split outer roller automotive chain.

Not having a reply, I followed up with a call today that was met with a very hostile reception. The representative Jeremy, immediately asked why I was talking negatively re his chains that he supplies to ‘hundreds’ of Lotus users through QED and, that I did not know what I was talking about.

I was completely taken aback, affirming that I only wanted to know if the IWIS chain is split or solid bushing. I was met with more mild abuse, so I said it best I go, but before I go, please tell me if the chain is split bushing, to which he said in a loud voice, yes!

Before we parted, he very curtly told me not to put all or part of his ‘conversation’ on the internet…

Read what you want into this. Not exactly flying the flag for IWIS though. I will post what IWIS in Bavaria answers to the same question.
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PostPost by: alanr » Mon Nov 06, 2023 7:51 pm

That is bad news Hal.
With hearing of that sort of disgusting behaviour from IWIS UK I for one will not be buying an IWIS chain in the UK now or in the future.
Hope you get a better reply from the actual manufacturer. Maybe you need to mention to them the sort of conversation and reception received from their UK distributor!

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PostPost by: HCA » Mon Nov 06, 2023 8:30 pm

Do not be too hasty! Maybe he was having a bad day and could do without some wipper-snapper going on about split and solid :D

I first want to find out from IWIS if the split bushing is correct.

Apart from everyone here rating IWIS as the best, i was chatting with someone over here who is THE race engine preparateur here for the Ford 429. I asked him about chains. He too only uses IWIS but is aware that the Far East is starting to take over but has been assured that IWIS still uses solid bushes even though they now use split roller covers…
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Nov 08, 2023 9:16 am

You guys are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Some people just won’t listen or absorb logic and I can fully understand why the guy from IWIS is getting frustrated. There is no engineering reason why having a split in the roller should cause problems. IWIS UK score: 1. Lotus elan.net score: 0. Maybe you guys should pay more attention to what is being said and does it make sense rather than to who is saying it.
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PostPost by: alanr » Wed Nov 08, 2023 10:59 am

No I can't agree with that.
Firstly Hal called the IWIS UK Distributor who is just a third party supplier of a product and not the actual manufacturer of the timing chain.
All that is trying to be established here is why the product has changed from what used to be supplied to what is on the surface a seemingly inferior product? It may well be perfectly ok, it may be not, no-one knows at this moment in time. It was a sensible and perfectly acceptable question to ask why this has happened.

But that set aside for a moment. Open hostility and abuse to a potential customer of any goods always raises suspicion in my mind and smacks to me of someone who cannot justify the quality of their product and is merely angrily trying to justify their price point.
Not on...Bad form!

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PostPost by: HCA » Thu Nov 09, 2023 10:54 am

Well, a polite reply from IWIS France!

Translation of his last paragraph to my question:
We only make chains with rollers and bushings in a single part and all our chains are Iwis stamped.

So, it clears up and upholds the pinnacle that IWIS chains sits on. I will not comment in writing my thoughts of what the UK importer of IWIS chains is up to...but I will question him regarding his answer to my question on seamless bushings.

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PostPost by: alanr » Thu Nov 09, 2023 11:15 am

Thanks for that information.
Hmmm...It all does seem a bit strange and I can't help but wonder exactly what timing chains Denis Welch the UK Distributor of IWIS chains is onward selling and I wonder if they are stamped IWIS ?
Please keep us posted on this.

Have you spoken with QED at all about this?

Thanks,

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