Lotus Elan

Returning Engine Bay To Original

PostPost by: 111Robin » Mon Nov 22, 2021 9:31 pm

I noticed my cam cover has a raised rectangular section on both sides, more pronounced on the left. I thought it was just a mark on the paint where someone had stuck a label but it is cast into the cover. Does this mean the cover is from something else, Cortina/Escort perhaps ?.

Image20211122_211113 by Robin Derrick, on Flickr
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:49 pm

Another query, the inlet tracts have vacuum takeoffs, I presume this is a modification by a previous owner to enable the carb's to be synchronized by connecting a vacuum gauge to each cylinder ?

Image20211122_210240 by Robin Derrick, on Flickr
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:20 pm

111Robin wrote:Another query, the inlet tracts have vacuum takeoffs, I presume this is a modification by a previous owner to enable the carb's to be synchronized by connecting a vacuum gauge to each cylinder ?

Image20211122_210240 by Robin Derrick, on Flickr


Those inlets are not standard so you are probably right about a previous owner.

Some Dellorto carbs have vacuum takeoffs, Webers do not. (As far as I know)
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:33 am

111Robin wrote:I noticed my cam cover has a raised rectangular section on both sides, more pronounced on the left. I thought it was just a mark on the paint where someone had stuck a label but it is cast into the cover. Does this mean the cover is from something else, Cortina/Escort perhaps ?.

Image20211122_211113 by Robin Derrick, on Flickr


The cam covers made around 1968 used modified moulds when the Lotus script was moved from the top of each cam to the front. A "shadow" was left from removal of the original Lotus script.

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PostPost by: 111Robin » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:35 am

Excellent, thank you
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PostPost by: Washer » Sat Dec 04, 2021 6:25 pm

There are some wonderful engine bay photos in this thread. The desire of some owners to return the car to the original condition it left the showroom is understandable but I do wonder if sometimes a lot of important history and 'story' of the car is lost by this. The age of these cars means that a lot of 'upgrades' took place not long after the car was made and so are as contemporary and interesting as the car itself. I would certainly would not respray a scratch in the cill that Ms Peel made with her stiletto boots. Because the third Duke rebuilt the west wing two centuries after the house was built does not make a good argument for complete restoration to an earlier time. Of course all owners can do what they wish with their property but maybe we will end up with many factory fresh cars and few of the cars that record the evolving history of the cars life.
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Sat Dec 04, 2021 8:58 pm

Washer
Interesting point, with which I agree. My engine bay, as pictured above (and indeed the whole car) had been subjected only to downgrades (radiator from an unknown source, earlier type cam cover, carbs with missing filters, Jaguar washer bottle etc etc) so I had no qualms about returning to near original.
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Sat Dec 04, 2021 9:37 pm

My engine bay is just a mess, black paint on everything, bodged wiring, bodged brackets, not nice at all, so starting from scratch is the way to go. I have a couple of 50+ year old cars with engine bays still original but looking 50+ years old and I'm keeping them like that, not doing anything cosmetic just making sure everything works. I do prefer patina but hate bodges.
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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:50 pm

Rohan-Thanks for the cam cover info. I never noticed the moulding until the black crackle finish started to peel and I removed the rest for the bare aluminum look- makes sense as my car has Oct 68 build date.

Thanks, Mark Whitaker
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