Lotus Elan

What upgrades/mods are there for the +2?

PostPost by: Jay-O » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:01 am

Hi everybody!

I was wondering if anyone out there is sitting on information on what modifications and/or upgrades are available for the +2.

I live in Norway, and we have some of the stricktest regulations in the world when it comes to approval of mods and upgrades, so I need everything to be T?V certified (or equivalent).

Did a search on the forums, but alot of what I found, I had trouble understanding (abbrieviations and so on).

Could we make this thread a neat little information bank on what we can do to improve our +2`s?

My car is a Californian 1970 +2 S, with Strombergs, and it did have the emission control crossovers (or whatever it was, my father removed all that in the early 80s some time) Looking at how people here descibe their +2s, I think I have a +2 S 127/4? Please correct me if not!

Anyhow, I digress - I am looking at following upgrades/mods:

    Engine upgrades (Camshafts, heads, seals, bolts etc)
    Suspension
    Brakes
    Drivechain (gearbox, propshaft and so on)
    Pumps - are there electrical replacements for them all?
    Ignition
    Carburators
    Wheels (Rims and tires, dimensions)


It`s a long list, I know - but if I can see what there is out there, I can see what can be done with my budget, and what can be done in the long run. I really want this car to reach it`s full potensial, and I`m no purist - original isn`t always better...
Regards, Jay

-1970 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S
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PostPost by: andyelan » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:31 pm

Hi There

The simple answer to your question is that you can change anything and everything you want to. The question is why would you want to, what is it you're trying to achieve. Once you decide that, then you'll know better what it is you're after

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PostPost by: bg109685 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:22 pm

Hi Jay,

There have been some interesting threads, some time ago, re: headlights. A number of members have converted from vacuum pop up to electric (mazda) motor pop up and to be honest, when I get to this point I am seriously considering this mod.

Another one to add to the list.
1970 Martini Green +2S,
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:40 am

Could we make this thread a neat little information bank on what we can do to improve our +2`s?

My car is a Californian 1970 +2 S, with Stromberg's, and it did have the emission control crossovers (or whatever it was, my father removed all that in the early 80s some time) Looking at how people here describe their +2s, I think I have a +2 S 127/4? Please correct me if not!

Anyhow, I digress - I am looking at following upgrades/mods:


Jay, I'll bite to get a list started with some options. Never seen TUV certification attached to any mods, but then again have never looked. No recommendations attached to this stuff, just a list...

    Engine upgrades (Camshafts, heads, seals, bolts etc)

  • Overbore pistons
  • Head modifications
  • Change Stromberg head to Weber
  • Oil pan baffling to prevent starvation in fast cornering
  • Various cam configurations
  • Modern shrouded electric fan
  • Clivey Boy thermostat housing with additional cap
  • Larger radiator or re-core with additional rows
  • Presurized coolant header tank rather than recovery bottle
  • Exhaust headers in various diameters and configurations
  • Head gasket thickness as required for desired compression ratio
  • Pre-engaged / hi torque starter
  • Nippon Denso or equivalent alternator (by-pass or remove regulator, voltmeter instead of ammeter)

    Suspension
  • Adjustable ride height (front or rear)
  • Spyder Wishbones front
  • Spyder adjustable toe-in wishbones rear
  • Spyder double wishbone rear
  • Spyder or other smaller diameter rear springs to allow larger tires/wheels
  • Various brands of shocks / struts
  • Stiffer bushings
  • Spring rates & lengths
  • Steering rack replacement / service
  • Steel universal joint in steering column
  • Solid steering mounts
  • Bump steer adjustment as required

    Brakes
  • Dual brake system (front & rear)
  • Brake booster removal or addition with matched/designed master cylinder diameter
  • Various after market brake hardware
  • Various pad materials

    Drivetrain (gearbox, propshaft and so on)
  • CV joint kits to replace Rotoflex joints
  • Five speed conversions (Ford T9, Ford MT75, Lotus 5 speed, various Japanese boxes)
  • Differential ratio change (3.54, 3.55 or 3.77 common in Plus 2; other ratio's in two seater's)
  • Differential brace if not present

    Pumps - are there electrical replacements for them all?
  • Electric fuel pump (various brands & configurations)
  • Electric water pump systems
  • Burton / Dave Bean front cover & cassette water pump conversions

    Ignition
  • Pertronix / Aldon Electronic ignition kits or dizzy replacement
  • Various advance curves, including removal of Stromberg vacuum retard dizzy

    Carburetors
  • Stromberg / Weber / Delorto / SU conversions
  • Stromberg emissions system removal
  • Various fuel injection systems

    Wheels (Rims and tires, dimensions)
  • Panasport 5" wide wheels
  • Minilite 5 1/2" wide wheels
  • Lotus Alloy used wheels
  • Various tire sizes based on availability and clearance

    Other Stuff
  • Replacement frame (Spyder or Lotus)
  • Replacement sill beams in Plus 2
  • Electric headlight pods
  • Relays & additional fuses added to replacement wiring loom
  • Sunroof 8)
  • Modern radio - Note restricted mounting depth in Plus 2
  • Electric door lock kits
  • New window lift motors if required (GM / Chevrolet part)
  • Improvement of fuel tank venting (back to filler neck, smaller diameter over roof section)
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PostPost by: peterako » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:17 am

Great list Stu......

Though it may be list used by my wife as grounds for divorce!!

Has Summer arrived in Calgary-land yet?

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:46 am

If you have to comply with rules which compare with T?V then you will not be able to change much. :roll:


e.g. Tyre & wheel sizes, brakes, suspension, chassis cannot be altered. :cry:

They may not notice drive line changes i.e. gearbox, differential :wink:

A change from Strombergs to Webers would be possible but you would need to acquire a suitable cylinder head.

It all depends what figures are stated in your vehicles registration document but changes to increase the power "moderately" would probably also be accepted by the T?V

Unfortunately some of the lovely changes mentioned by other members will just not be allowed in your country & IMHO you best option is to keep your car as original as possible.
It may have a better resale value as such & it will certainly stop a lot of problems with the T?V

Have a good chat with your local T?V station & get to know the people there may be one of them that has a blind eye to turn :wink:

Think about it all carefully before you spend your money & invest your valuable time on the project to save disappointment.

Good luck
John
Last edited by GrUmPyBoDgEr on Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: elanski » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:43 pm

Just thinking about engines. I have the same spec, i.e non big valve engine. What would be the most cost effective upgrades for the engine to get a bit more power out of it? I want more mid range torque mainly. My engine runs ok but the car just seems to lack omph. Would a rolling road tune up make any noticable difference?
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:22 pm

elanski wrote:Just thinking about engines. I have the same spec, i.e non big valve engine. What would be the most cost effective upgrades for the engine to get a bit more power out of it? I want more mid range torque mainly. My engine runs ok but the car just seems to lack omph. Would a rolling road tune up make any noticable difference?



Sorry if this may sound rude, but why not start a separate thread with this question?
The basis of this thread is what can/may be done to modify a car & stay within the regulations laid down by a named country.
Oh & a very warm welcome; you will get help with your question. :)

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: gherlt » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:46 pm

>I live in Norway, and we have some of the stricktest regulations in the world when it comes to approval of mods and upgrades, so I need everything to be T?V certified (or equivalent).

I think you wont find any mod with T?V or a conformity declaration of any manufacturer.
A Lotus is a British car, and as far as I know (not much) in the UK if it fits and works fine, its OK for MOT.
And all mods are British. Or US. Who work the same way.

I also would suggest to apply all the mods which are not obvious at first and second glance, all that are internal to the engine (valves, camshaft,...)
Then all mods that would apply to "historic" mods, I would search for documentation who demonstrate these historic mods.
There are some mods which are camuflaged, the change from dynamo to alternator is possible retaining original look (dynalite, not cheap). Some inignition systems also retain original look.
I would go this route.

BTW, is your car registered as "historic" ? In Germany you can apply only "historic" or original mods. Modern mods
are cause to withdraw the "historic" plate ...
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: elanski » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:17 pm

GrUmPyBoDgEr wrote:Sorry if this may sound rude, but why not start a separate thread with this question?
The basis of this thread is what can/may be done to modify a car & stay within the regulations laid down by a named country.Oh & a very warm welcome; you will get help with your question. :)
Cheers
John

Thanks. I can't find a way to move my message so I've just reposted it as a new thread.
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PostPost by: cdraper » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:57 pm

Be careful with the TUV. Unfortunately Lotus Homologated the 130 +2 with a top speed of 200kph. This requires high speed tyres that are no longer made in this size. The trick is to fit winter tyres for TUV visits.
Re mods - an electric fuel pump - Pieburg - mounted in a nice coolo place next to the air filter trunk. Cures vapour locks in hot weather. Connect one of the tank breather to the filler tube, put a simple "servo" valve in the other so air can enter the tank but not exit. Gets rid of the pretrol smell and fuel loss. Fit CV driveshafts, Fit a battery master switch under the steering colunm - good untheft and saves a flat battery. Seal around the radiator with foam rubber and fit decent electric fan. Change the Girling brake servo to Locheed or throw away. If 130 use 30mm chokes and smaller main jets - then drives in top like an automatic - loses 3 bhp at the top end. This was done by Victor Gunter the German Weber inporter! Fit relays behind the dash to work the electric windows - mine had only 9 volts with the original Lotus wiring!
Really depends on what you want but the above make it a much nice car for touring.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:32 pm

First I think you should keep in mind what you want from your car, ie a concours standard car or a modified daily runner.you could end up spending the same amount on either option.

But as I'm modifiying mine for a daily driver I'll pass on some of my ideas, so far I have had fitted a 3.54 diff ratio,solid sue miller drive shafts and a new andy Wiltshire fuel tank,ready for fuel injection.I have fitted electronic ignition,a very good move.recently I have spoke to Clive baker and now have his thermostat housing and large radiator with twin fans.these will be fitted very soon,maybe even tomorrow.I am in the process of rewiring the car so that when I fit the emerald efi,I won't have to worry about it going on fire. I also have a 5 speed gearbox to fit when I get round to it.the brakes,standard,have just been rebuilt,but I would consider an up grade to willwood 4pots front and 2 pot rears.

In the future,upgrades I will consider are larger capacity engine,still based on the Kent block.electrically raised lights,as mentioned before.light weight starters and alternators ect

Paul.
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PostPost by: peterako » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:52 am

As a fellow daily driver of an Elan +2 some possible words of warning..

If you're planning on using the standard sized tyres (165/80's) four pots and 2 pots front/rear may result in your wheels permanantly being locked when braking :)

I have the standard brakes and find them very good indeed.

If I press hard can lock the wheels at will (not something you want to be doing). Even easier to achieve in the wet....which you definitely do not want to be doing!

Now....if it's going to be a track day car too.... :)

Peter
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PostPost by: Jay-O » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:21 pm

Thank you so much, all of you, for replying to this thread. I know it`s alot of information to pass along, so I really apreciate it.

What my intention is, is to make my Lotus "Better". I want it to retain it`s original looks and feel, but reliable enough for me not to wonder i.e. if the bolts on the doughnut assembly have screwed them selves out every 1000 miles. I mentioned that in particular, because it happened, and the bolts where sheared off...

And also, since I`ll be tearing down the engine this fall, I might as well do the engine a favor and update it with new seals (newer meaning no cork seals and so on) and maybe gain a few BHP.
Regards, Jay

-1970 Lotus Elan Plus 2 S
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:29 pm

I was not aware how intrusive government motor vehicle regulations can be.

As far as I am aware, here in Pennsylvania, USA, you can pretty much do what you want.

You could move here and build the car anyway you like it. Plus the added benefit of "mild" winters. Sorry no escape from taxation. Not yet...... stay tuned.

Bob
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