Lotus Elan

Engine Options for Lotus Elan +2

PostPost by: Martyn Thompson » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:20 pm

Hi folks,

I am new to the forum so please be gentle with me! I'm consdering a +2 resoration project but would like to understand what engine options I have as I would like a little more grunt than the twinc engine. I am aware the Ford Zetec can be used, however, I would like to use an engine that is a litte more in keeping with the era of the +2 so I'm open to suggestion. I have built / owned V8's before so was wondering whether the Rover V8 was a practical option?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Martyn.
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PostPost by: jimj » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:38 pm

Given the cost of any restoration, even when done yourself, and the steady increase in values of Elans and +2s, I`d be very wary of substituting a "wrong" engine. I think you`ll find twincam performance more than adequate.

If you enjoy an engineering challenge and think of the car as a long term keeper then that`s a different matter and good luck with whatever you choose.
Jim
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PostPost by: theelanman » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:00 pm

I agree with Jims comments......
Id be loathed to buy a car without the twincam........


to answer it in a different way......
Ive seen them fitted with Zetec, Duratec, Crossflow, Mazda (MX5), Vauxhall redtop.........

I think if you've got skills and a good tape measure then you could probably squeeze anything in.....
I suppose itd depend on where your gearstick fitted inside.....from which ever box works with youre chosen engine.....
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PostPost by: Harvey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:15 pm

Martyn,

How about a Cosworth BDA?

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:42 pm

........... I like lee?s suggestion: AND from the correct era: BDA, BDR and BDGs will definetely add the needed grunt PLUS loads of nice bits available thank to the gigantic success of the TC Escorts in historic racing! .................................once upon a time there were also a couple of europas with a (rover?) V8. good luck! sandy from the alps
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:33 pm

Huh! Talk to Mark Kempson about BDAs in +2s before you make a rash decision!

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PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:57 pm

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PostPost by: dunclentdr » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:42 pm

I have a Europa with a Vauxhall Red Top (210bhp and 5 speed 'box), as well as three Elans with TCs - the Europa is fantastic! It's an an option, the world has room for those who will only have TCs and those who will have something else.

Good luck choosing, it's a great privilege!

David
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:09 pm

Toyota 4AGE and back in the day Alfa Twincam are not unheard of changes. Zetec is by far the most common swap for number of reason, mostly power to cost, availability of parts and will mate up to the Elan gearbox.

If you have a lotus twincam engine they can be made to deliver a decent amount more power than from the factory but might not be a cheap option.

If the car has a twincam engine, good or bad condition, I'd keep hold of it especially if its number matching. Given there value it might be very tempting to sell it to fund the project but going forward it might hit the resale price for a lot more than you get for the engine. Especially if it is the original number matching engine.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:19 pm

Why don't you consider putting a stroker crank in the twink, maybe bore it out to 1700cc. I understand the longer stroke makes a big difference.Of course, longer stroke should add torque.

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:31 am

I guess that the BDA is the most obvious contemporary upgrade to the Twincam, and certainly looks like it belongs there.It uses the same bottom end as the Twincam, the short Kent engine, so mounting and gearbox all remain the same. The main issue is cost as a good fresh engine is around ?15k, and a good one to rebuild around ?5k if you can find one. Plus ?10 to rebuild it!!

The Zetec or Vauxhall Red Top are by far the more cost effective solutions, but as you say, are from a different era.

Anything else requires a degree of engineering, and some more than others! There isn't a lot of space under the bonnet for a Rover V8, especially head room, and I'm not sure how you'd hook up a gearbox.

A lot of competition Escorts are now using the Connaught Warrior engine, which is essentially a 16 valve head on a Pinto block. Kind of contemporary, but the same sort of price as the BDA. And a Pinto doesn't slot straight in!

Here's my BDA engined Plus 2.

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PostPost by: Martyn Thompson » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:49 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks so far for the advise & links. The BDA is out of my price range but it seems there are many options so I guess time for some research!

Changing the subject slightly, do any of the UK owners know if there are any Lotus Elan shows coming up soon or club meetings?

Thanks again,
Martyn.
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PostPost by: theelanman » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:50 am

on my radar at the moment is the Lotus Festival at Brands Hatch 15-16 Aug 2015 then the Gold Cup at Oulton Park August BH weekend 30-31st Aug2015
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:27 pm

el-saturn wrote:once upon a time there were also a couple of europas with a (rover?) V8. good luck! sandy from the alps


There was, and still is, one. GKN-47D. Last noted residing in Massachusetts with a collector who also has a LoCort.

It was not a particular success and required lengthening of the body and chassis. I would think the (Buick, actually) Rover V8 would be way too wide and too front-heavy for an Elan in addition to the non-availability of a suitable gearbox.

I'd personally snap up either an Elan or Plus2 with Toyota 4A power that was well done. Any out there worried about value due to lack of originality and looking to unload? The 4A is a BDA knock-off with, of course, roots in the Twinc.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:30 pm

If you want an "original" Rover V8 instead of the Buick, you might go for a Meteorite. :shock:
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