Lotus Elan

Mystery engine

PostPost by: alanpearl » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:07 pm

Hi everybody,
I recently bought a 1969 Plus 2, which is currently in having a few teething troubles sorted. Still a very exciting car to own! One question I had - I suspect the engine may not be the original one, as it has a mechanical fan and I believe all +2s had an electrical one. Could anybody help me with how I discover what sort of engine I have (e.g. is it a standard twin cam, or an SE - I doubt its a big valve). For info, it's on twin webers and has a red cover, with green (i think) head underneath.
Many thanks
Al
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:50 pm

They had both fans


cam cover color is not very indicative, most +2 would be SE spec IIRC
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PostPost by: theelanman » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:26 pm

the mechanical fan was attached to the water pump on the earlier cars....(so between the rad and engine)
then later cars came with an electrical fan in front of the rad......I think the change was from +2 to +2S.....

there is a time line somewhere......
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PostPost by: theelanman » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:29 pm

found it.....
if your car was pre 50/0928 (chassis No) then it should be a mechanical fan.....
if post 50/0928 (chassis No) then that's the switch to the electric fan
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PostPost by: theelanman » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:30 pm

I also includes an approx. date of March 1968.....

mmmmm
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:34 pm

Interesting - not sure when mine was built, but it was registered 1.1.69 (and is a standard +2). Thanks for your help! I'll check the chassis no when I get it back from the garage.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:53 pm

Hi Al, my Plus 2 was registered very close to your date and is number 50/1153. It's one of those crossover cars just before the 'S' with straight exhaust, cable to boot opening etc.
Mine had the metal fan on the water pump with no electric fan so I've now removed the fan to save the newly built water pump and I'm about to fit a new Kenlowe 10" blower fan (in front of the rad) that I've bought from Burtons for what I think is a good price.
HTH
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:01 pm

alanpearl wrote: I suspect the engine may not be the original one,



Check the engine number against the number on the VIN plate.
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:08 pm

Thanks again:
(1) Kev, sounds about right - I recall mine might be something like 50/1168 or thereabouts. Glad to hear there's such a thing as a "crossover", as mine had been accused of reshelling due to boot cable opening and similar features. I was thinking about removing the fan - I did that on my P5B and the new Kenlowe is fantastic, much more efficient.
(2) Vince, if only life was that simple - no engine number on the VIN plate, just a space. I thought that meant the "rebuilt shell"/replacement engine theory was more likely, but it sounds like it could maybe have been supplied unbuilt from the factory, hence no number?
Cheers everyone. This all sounds mildly encouraging that I may not have bought a bitsa...
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:16 pm

Al, don't be too worried, my original vin plate has no engine number on it but I know from Lotus archives that it is original (well the block is anyway :roll: )
Look above the right hand engine mount for the engine number and check against archives.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:19 pm

You could try the Lotus archive. A very helpful chap called Andy Graham, he is on this forum.

He may be able to tell you what engine number it should have.

I believe the engine numbers were left blank if the car was due to be built by a dealer. He might get a couple of cars and separate engines etc. All "ducking and diving" fun to escape purchase tax.

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PostPost by: alanpearl » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:31 pm

Thanks - got to love the Lotus way! To be honest, I find the "flexibility" on things like precise spec and matching numbers very refreshing after the grief you get with some other classics for having the "wrong" airbox.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:07 pm

If you're worried about the wrong air box, just stay in this forum a bit longer ....

Seriously though, this forum is a great resource and most contributors have either seen it, done it, are in the middle of doing it, or known someone who can do it.

Enjoy the car.

Regards,
Richard
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:33 pm

The engine number missing from the VIN plate indicating a component build is only a rule of thumb for the Elan. I'm not sure that it applies to the +2, which of course was only available in component form for just over the first year of it's run. Again as a rule of thumb, from the introduction of the +2S they were all factory built.

H17248 would be the original engine number for 50/1168, in which case you have one of the rare Super SE Weber twin cams which produced 123bhp.

Tim
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:48 am

Thanks very much for this (this is a great forum with great members) - all very useful information. As I mentioned, the car is off on a ramp at the moment (getting new sill members, rear harnesses, alternator, steering UJ etc) but I'll ask the garage for the chassis and engine numbers to check. I'm really grateful for all this information and expertise - I loved the car even when I thought it was a reshelled mongrel with the wrong engine, so it's encouraging to think it may in fact be more as nature (and Colin) intended. PS is it wrong to enjoy the popping and banging on the overrun!?
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