Lotus Elan

Engine number Translation Needed !

PostPost by: Wattie » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:16 am

:?: Hi

I'm new to the forum so apologies first as no doubt I'm going to be asking silly questions. I'm not knowledgeable enough or familiar with some of the abbreviations and history.
After ignoring the engine buried at the back of a friends garage for over a quarter of a century (apart from occasional spraying with oil and turning by hand) I dug it out this weekend.
Can anyone tell me what information the numbers on the engine translate to in terms of type / age etc? All help appreciated thanks.
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What do these mean in plain English ?
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:30 am

The 701 is the casting number with 701 blocks being the last 1500 type blocks made for and used by Lotus in the Sprints and later Plus 2's.
The "L" between the engine mounting shows it was cast for Lotus although some of these blocks ended up in various other pre Xflow Ford cars.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:35 am

Just to add that the actual engine number can be found on a ledge above that cast "L"
Regarding the age, it will be around 1970-1975 as it was also used in the Europa TC Special and I believe the last of the Twin Cam Escorts.
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:19 pm

The top picture show 9K4. 1969 or 1979 (probably 1969), K = Oct, 4= day 4
Concerning letters in the second position, Ford didn't use the letter "I" as it would be mistaken for a number one. Meaning you skip the "I"



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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:34 pm

Brian
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PostPost by: Wattie » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:36 pm

Thank you both for the information it is really helpful. I never spotted the "actual" engine number before and thought those numbers other numbers were it. As soon as I got your information I went over to the garage and checked to see if I could find the number over the L, and there it was F 21380 (think it's an F). This number now tallies with other engine number information I have and it confirms that all the other information is correct. Thank you so much now I need to decide what next ...
Here is some of the documentation with the engine number I couldn't find until today, thanks folks.
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:42 pm

Those documents show some pretty healthy bhp figures :D
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PostPost by: Wattie » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:01 pm

Alfa, they sure do. I just hope most of the horses have not escaped !
It would appear from the documents I have that the engine was possibly sent from Lotus and they put it into the car in Norfolk .
Interesting, any more of these around I wonder.
Great forum for information :wink:
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:15 pm

You have an interesting engine there, I see on the invoice from Norvic Racing one of the directors is a S.Sanville,
I seem to recall I read that the development engineer at Lotus at one time was a Steve Sanville.......wonder if its the same guy :?:
Another little bit of info you may be interested in, according to the spec sheet it has a 1600 crank (77.62 stroke) (instead of the 1500 crank) and is overbored by 1mm.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:15 am

F = SE Weber, domestic & export engines used for the Plus 2 & S 1967-1970.

Engine no 21380 would have been produced in the second half of 1970 at Hethel.

Steve Sanville left Lotus in October 1969 to found Norvic Racing Engines along with fellow Lotus colleague Graham Atkins.

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PostPost by: Wattie » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:01 am

This is great information, thank you. It all helps with putting the information and knowledge jigsaw together. Did Lotus used Norvic frequently or was it perhaps a one off customer request to have this done ?
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:52 am

Almost certainly a one off customer request. I am happy to be corrected but am unaware of any tie up between Norvic and Lotus. Steve died about 25 years ago and I believe Norvic branched off into aero engine servicing and preparation.

Of course back then it was not unusual for sporting owners to have their engines 'breathed on' by specialist firms. Since it would appear from what you said above that the engine is not currently fitted to a car, its possible that it was removed from it's original Plus 2 and used in some other (race?) car.

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PostPost by: Wattie » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:03 pm

Yes the engine was removed from the car 50.2691 around 25 yrs ago. Over the past few days we have dug out the rest of the car and unearthed all of the boxes of bits belonging to it. The shell has only the glass left in it now and is full of boxes of bits belonging to the car, haven't found the interior yet.
The subframe was removed and sand / shot blasted in 1989 and was immediately sprayed in primer and painted with hammerite, it was an original non galvanised subframe with a little flaky paint before being blasted.
As a result of the blasting and painting in 89/90 we are unable to locate any number on the frame near the engine mounts which are now visible, should we look elsewhere in case one survived?
From what we can see of the subframe at the moment it looks spotless under the dust like you could eat your dinner off it ! We will take the the body off the frame over the winter and check it out further now that it has our attention.
The body is just sitting resting on the subframe unbolted with most of the paint removed and needs some serious work if it's to be used again.

We have not been able to locate any body number (no vin plate on the car when it was parked up that anyone can recall ) , I can't see any dymo type number on the bulkhead and don't know where else to look as there is nothing that I can see in the door shuts.

There are numbers scratched on the door frame interiors that don't match anything else.
From the documents we have found the car had a few colour changes (3) one by Lotus and one in the mid eighties. All four colours are visible and match the documents for the reg / body number but can't find a number anywhere, however we are certain it is the the original body based on the documentation and it would be great to find a matching number if anyone has any other ideas where we could look.
Thanks again folks.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:33 pm

You mention 50/2691 Wattie.

This can not be correct as the VIN. The very last Plus 2S on the old VIN system (50/####), prior to the introduction on 1.1.70 of the new VIN system (7001010001L etc) was 2556, though that car was not apparently produced as the number is scored through in the records. I should add that there appear to be a number of Plus 2 cars with the old VIN system on them that were produced in 1970. For example, 50/2483 is, according to Lotus, a 1970 car; it was first registered on 19.2.71 - allegedly!

It is possible that 2691 is the Body number, not the Unit number. I suppose it is equally possible that the number has become transcribed incorrectly somewhere along the intervening years. For example, it may be that the 6 should be a 0, the two often getting muddled for obvious reasons. However, that would reflect a car made in 1969 (I have details of 2090, a Federal Plus 2, which is a 1969 car).

I'm left wondering if it might be 50/2491, as that would be more likely to fit into the time frame and with the engine number for a mid/late 1970 car. The 4 may have been mistakenly written as a 6 at some time, especially if the handwriting was poor.

If you have the registration number then we can see what date the car was first registered and where. That also might be helpful.

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PostPost by: draenog » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:26 pm

FWIW, VIN 50/2491 fits with the engine number in the Plus2_numbers.pdf file:

2491 F21380 4 Red 3/5/1970

(Serial Number, Engine number, Gearbox, Original colour, Built)

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