Lotus Elan

701M BLOCK ENGINE NUMBER P30477

PostPost by: 512BB » Fri Jun 21, 2024 6:59 am

I bought this engine in the early 1980's, from a 'gentleman' somewhere close to Highgate / Holloway Road area, if my memory serves, and without looking out the receipt. I can only imagine I bought it from an advert placed in the Exchange & Mart, after all, where else would you look for all things Lotus back in the day.

Now, my question is, what car did this engine come from, and where is it now? I believe it to have come from a very late +2 that was probably crashed and written off, otherwise, why would it have been removed from the original car? Well, I suppose the car could have been stolen. Can anyone shed any light.

And before anyone asks why have I painted the block red, I did that back in the 80's when we weren't all anal about grey. Must have made quite a good job of it though, as the paint is still as good as the day it was splashed on. It will revert back to grey, now that we are all a bit retentive.

Leslie
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 21, 2024 9:49 am

Leslie,

As you reckoned, the P designation is for Big Valve Weber, Domestic Market Plus 2S 130 Elans and was fitted from Feb 71 onwards.

The number of 30477 would most likely have been fitted to the car in around Jul 73, but I am afraid I have no idea as to which car, or any further history.

Tim
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Jun 21, 2024 10:24 am

Interesting - I have an Australian built Twin Cam Escort with two engine numbers. One locally stamped when the car was assembled which is similar in format to regular production Escorts but also another in the same location as pictured above with a "J" prefix instead of a "P". Only the locally stamped number is the officially recognized one linked to the ID plate. Seems the one with a "J" was stamped in the UK before the engine was exported.

Is there a list somewhere of what those UK engine number prefixes mean? - seems there is at least "J", "LP" and as mentioned here "P"
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PostPost by: trw99 » Fri Jun 21, 2024 3:30 pm

Here you go:

Tim
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Jun 21, 2024 10:45 pm

Aaah - interesting. Thank you.
1970 Ford Escort Twin Cam
1972 Ford Escort GT1600 Twin Cam
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Peugeot 505 GTI Wagons (5spdx1) (Autox1)
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PostPost by: 512BB » Sat Jun 22, 2024 7:08 am

Thank you both for your contributions, however, I am still a bit baffled by this block. Even though we believe it to come from a late +2, why would it have the dip stick tube at the rear of the block instead of in the front cover? The only thing I can think of is that it was used in a Ford of some description, but that does not leave much time from being in a +2 in 1973 and obviously covering some miles, maybe 20 - 30k in my estimation, still with standard pistons fitted and very little wear, to my ownership from about 1982 till the present day.

I guess we will never know, unless the original owner pops up and sheds some light, and I think there is a better chance of winning the lottery than that happening.

Leslie
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jun 22, 2024 7:49 am

The 701 blocks had provision for the dipstick at the rear for use in Escorts with the rear sump bowl. i have seen these with the hole not drilled or with a drilled hole and blanking plug when fitted to Lotus, If yours has an open hole or dip stick tube it may have been fitted to an Escort at some stage ?

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PostPost by: 512BB » Sat Jun 22, 2024 9:21 am

'If yours has an open hole or dip stick tube'

See picture, which shows that it does, but my troubled mind cannot get my head around when it would have been fitted to a Ford if it came out of a 1973 - 74 +2 and I bought it in '82. That does not leave much time.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jun 22, 2024 10:29 am

Potentially an engine diverted to Ford by Lotus for an Escort due to a shortage or off a Plus 2 wrecked early in its life and then put into an Escort or maybe a replacement engine supplied by Lotus or Ford for an Escort ?

Without more details of its previous life we will probably never know

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat Jun 22, 2024 11:21 am

Did the engine originally have a sump when you bought it? If so was it front or rear bowl?
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1972 Ford Escort GT1600 Twin Cam
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PostPost by: 512BB » Sun Jun 23, 2024 10:00 am

Thanks both. In all honesty, I cannot remember what sump it came with, but I have both front and rear bowl sumps in stock, so it gives me choices when it comes to rebuilding.

Thinking of turning this thread into an engine rebuild blog. Here are a few more pictures of progress.

I have started to clean the top of the pistons and see that they are standard size. Of course I already knew that from measuring the top of the bores but nice to see it stamped on the piston tops. Judging by the wear, or lack of it at the top of the bores, I am hoping that I can get away with a hone and new rings. Failing that, I have a set of new old stock +.015" oversize pistons and rings on standby. Strangely, the only bore that I can just feel some sort of minute lip, is number 4. I seem to remember there was talk on here about more wear occuring on number 4 than any other.

Interesting to note that even though this is a Big Valve engine, the cut outs in the pistons, and in particular for the exhaust valves, are only tiny. I have mentioned this before. Obviously some careful measuring will be needed on reassembly, should the block and head need to be skimmed, as I have engines that show witness marks on small cut out pistons where the valves just touched.

Note the water coolant passages between pots 2 and 3. That is not crud blocking those holes, that is metal, and it would not surprise me if this engine ran hot.

All for now.

Leslie
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Jun 23, 2024 2:21 pm

The later big valve engines used smaller piston cutouts. Not sure why but maybe about achieving the increased compression ratio in these engines of 10.3:1

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PostPost by: 512BB » Sun Jul 21, 2024 7:31 am

Whilst working on this block, during its stripdown, I recalled that I had a box somewhere with additional parts for this engine. After a search, I came up with the original oil pick, which confirms that the engine must have been in a Ford and had a rear bowl sump.

Leslie
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Jul 21, 2024 7:48 am

Yes would have originally been in a Twincam Escort
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PostPost by: trw99 » Sun Jul 21, 2024 11:13 am

Yes, Rohan, but ...

It appears to have the genuine Lotus Engine number stamped into the correct place, with the P prefix, indicating it would have originated in a Plus 2S 130 at Hethel. In the list of prefixes J is the only one dedicated to the Escort TC, from 1968 onward, with a SE Weber spec for the domestic & export markets.

I know 1973 to 1982 is only nine years, but is it conceivable that the block (at least) was extracted from a crashed or written off Plus 2 and transferred into a Ford Escort TC during that time, before you bought it, Les? After all, I and you will recall that back then cars were changed more frequently than now, they tended not to be run for as long as they are now and many cars were souped up at the time - remember Cars & Car Conversions mag?

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