Lotus Elan

Zetec to replace TC?

PostPost by: b-havers » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:06 am

As I experienced some problems starting the +2S' engine last autum, and I also suspect the original TC to be a bit 'tired', I have been thinking of replacing the original Ford/Lotus TC with a modern Zetec. 1.6 or 2.0 from a Mondeo.

What work and extra parts are needed to fit this engine?
Can I use the same old gearbox and propshaft?
What about engine mountings?
Does the brakes need to be upgraded?
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:42 pm

In the UK, Spyder (Google search) do a complete re-engineering service. Take a look at their web site to start you off. You'll probably need to start with a new chassis!

After that, there are lots of previous posts on this site - try a search on Zetec.

I'm building a Zetec car myself but I'm upgrading everything that makes sense to produce a 2007 Elan +2. It's a big job but I'm enjoying it (so far)

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PostPost by: chrishewett » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:11 pm

If your twincam is a bit tired it deserves a rebuild. Why go to all that trouble and replace it? Rebuilt it will give many more years of pleasure. Otherwise it would be less costly to just buy an MX5 or something.
Just my opinion.
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PostPost by: b-havers » Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:42 am

mikealdren wrote:I'm building a Zetec car myself but I'm upgrading everything that makes sense to produce a 2007 Elan +2. It's a big job but I'm enjoying it (so far)

Mike


That would have been my aim as well, but as I am just about to finish the complete rebuild og the Europa, it is not particular tempting to start all over again....
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:22 am

I think that a well engineered Zetec Plus 2 is a fabulous car, but there is a very good reason that Spyder charge ?30,000 for the completed machine.

Firstly, would you just put a 2nd hand zetec engine in without checking it? It's a 16 valve twincam after all, and to strip, inspect and rebuild will cost as much as doing a twink engine.

There are many parts required to convert it from front wheel drive east-west to rear wheel drive north south, and you'll need a decent 5 speed gearbox as well. And an appropriate propshaft.

Your fuel tank will need modifying for the return, and a swirl pot added. The wiring for the electric fuel pump and engine management system has to be added, and the extra load on the existing wiring loom taken into account. A new fully protected multi-fuse and multi-relay loom is the only safe (and reliable) option.

A new chassis, or modifications to the vacuum chamber & engine mounts will be required for the taller engine to fit. And then there are considerations for the radiator, exhaust system and probably a hundred other smaller jobs.

If you're going that route for higher performance and reliability, then perhaps the braking system and the suspension should be enhanced with Spyders excellent products as well.

As Mike says, it's a big job, and not just a 'simple' nut and bolt rebuild that a standard specification restoration requires.

I've seen a few that have been done cheaply, with tired engines and bodged electrics. They are horrible to drive, and one in particular was not far off catching fire...the old patched-up loom was running hot, the fuel delivery was cutting in and out, the exhaust was banging on the bodywork and the engine started to overheat...and the owner had spent over ?5000 on that car as well as a couple of hundred hours work. And it still looks like a shed as it needs repainting and re-upholstering.

I really don't think that zetec engines are being put into Plus 2s because it will create a modern, daily driving car. It's much more likely that it's the fun and challenge of doing such a project, much like restoring any old car to original perfection. Surely if they were to be a replacement for a modern sports car, you'd also want anti-lock brakes, air bags and all the anti - slide and stability gismos that come with a new Mazda, Honda and BM? Not to mention a bit of side and roll-over protection.

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PostPost by: b-havers » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:46 am

Hmm, a lot to think about.
But; I got the answer I asked for. Yes, it looks like a huge job.

We'll see what happends; summer is still at least two months away (at least in snowy Norway...), and the car won't be taken out for at least one month....

Thanx for your answers, gents ;-)
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'02 Elise Supercharged
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:54 am

This is a big-ish job depending on how far you want to go.
The obvious things are engine mounts, exhaust,cooling system & engine management system.
The Zetec will bolt to your existing G/box & propshaft.
The Zetec intake system will not fit.
You will need an intake manifold that will permit the use of either 2 twin choke injector bodies or 2 Weber carbs (which keeps the fuel system simpler with the addition of an electric fuel pump).
Look at all of the previous threads on this subject, there is, as people have said, a lot of information available on this Forum.
I've done the job in an Elan & enjoyed the challenge, which it was at the time, due to the lack of information.
The concept of turning an Elan into a modern car purely by the addition of a relatively modern engine is totally misconcieved in my oppinion.
Spyder replace alot of other parts as I did, which does a lot to get the major mechanical components up to a modern standard.
However do any of these parts cause day to day problems in an Elan?
I think not, apart from the odd oil leak.
Look at the Forum questions on electrics, windscreen wipers, window motors, switches, headlight vacuum systems etc.
These are the bits that hold our Elans back in the 60's-70's era.

Sorry guys, I always have to add my three penneth when the Zetec thingy crops up :lol:
PS I do love my car the way it is. Pure adrenelin :D :D :D
John
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Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
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PostPost by: Phil W » Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:59 am

Practical Classics magazine did an article on rebuilding 2+2 Elan using simialr engine a few years ago.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:59 pm

The practical classics article (and others) is on the Spyder website. Classics monthly is currently doing a Zetec conversion and their articles are more comprehesive (with better pictures) and I guess Spyder will put them on the web when the magazines have stopped selling.
I'm taking lots of pictures and making notes of my Zetec conversion because Spyder don't have a conversion manual - it's all in Wiggy's head. He's a real font of knowledge but that's not much use when you get stuck on a Sunday afternoon!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:24 pm

That will be a very interesting read, Mike. I really do think it's a worthwhile conversion, mainly for the extra horses that can be unleashed. A chum of mine, who has been building twinks and BDAs for 30 years, recently built a fast road zetec for a customer. Something like 200bhp on the dyno, and after testing they left it ticking over whilst off to have a cup of tea. Normally, a highly tuned twink or BDA after such treatment will tick over for a while, get a bit fluffy, and stop unless the tickover is raised to 1200 rpm plus. To their surprise, 30 minutes later the zetec was just sitting there, ticking over happily at 700 rpm with no fuss. A fabulous engine.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:27 pm

Mark
Was that on carbs or injection with the engine management?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: b-havers » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:18 am

Phil W wrote:Practical Classics magazine did an article on rebuilding 2+2 Elan using simialr engine a few years ago.


And the 'Classics Monthly' is doing a +2S rebuild serie right now.
Get out and buy the magazine..... Right now!!!


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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:34 am

John...the smooooth zetec was on injection. Seems to be little point going back to carbs with them as there are many options / programmable bits for the ECUs now....if you have the kit or know someone who can do it But I can't see why you wouldn't get similar power or reliability using carbs. The BDA in my Plus 2 is running twin 40s and develops 170bhp, and is very unfussy and reliable. The chap who installed the engine experimented with 45s for a while, which gave it a bit more poke but started to make it a bit lumpy, so stuck to the 40s suitably rejetted. They did a similar 'compromise' with the zetec on the ECU, trading a bit of power for useability on the road.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:51 am

Mark
But how many twincs with carbs have you seen ticking over happily for half an hour?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:23 pm

My S3, complete with Anglia fan blade, lasts about 15 minutes with the bonnet on, maybe 20 with it off. I guess that one of those new fangled electric fans may help :wink:
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