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Elite 4.9

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  • Name
    Richard Norman
  • Car
    Lotus Elite 502, 1974
  • Modifications
    Only factory approved..really ! IF these were done when new the Elite would have sold way more cars. List of mods is in my photo section. check it out and tell me what you like.
  • Location
    United States, Seattle

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  1. Why people want to even think of altering or modifying any Lotus suspension is beyond me. Just because Lotus was so innovative in F1, that for many years, Lotus was so far ahead of the rest that the races became a race for, who was going to take second. Lotus road cars are a direct derivative of their racing cars so any modification that alters anything that has to do with handling should be an obvious no. no if you ask me. Why else do people buy these cars if not for the way the are designed with road manners a cut above the rest. Great fun ! These Elites give the impression of a larger car ( Body shape to allow 4 seats and could easily been a two seater...same wheel base as many Corvettes of the past.) but are so well sorted and designed to give much pleasure to those of us who love to corner fast.....much faster than most anyone drives simply, because you have to try really hard to find the limit in the Elite. I installed a Buick V-8 but it is as light as the original 907 Lotus twincam otherwise I wouldn't have done it because the sensitiveness of the front end springs, as they would have to be changed for most larger engines. And my Elite is already too low for some parking lot speed bumps so why would you want to lower it and mess up a car that is simply mind blowing in its' road manners especially around corners. I have made a good number of improvements and modifications on my Elite but this was one thing I really loved about the Elite, the fact that I didn't have to lower it because it already comes that way from the factory. Cheers, Richard
  2. What is really quite difficult to believe is that before production started, Lotus built two early Elite versions with the English version of the Buick 215, the Rover V8 at 4 L. Everyone liked it but Colin wanted an all English car and he said that the 4 liter didn't produce any more hp than the two liter. Twice the cubic inches and no more power or that it didn't make that much difference. Right ! Mine, with a 4.9 liter Buick (298 cid) , is very fun to drive. Much of the time, having so much torque in this engine, there is no need to down shift for a good boost in speed, just a little more stab on the gas petal is all that is needed. And it is way different than the original two liter Lotus twincam, by a long ways.! Still it can deliver over 30 mpg US.
  3. I always add Lucas oil stabilizer to my oil which is a thick, VERY sticky additive made for all engines. It not only will increase your oil pressure but will also eliminates dry starts when cold and sticks to all bearing and rotating engine parts to make them last longer. It will also give you better cylinder ring sealing which will raise your compression slightly and give you more power and mileage. I have used it for many years in all my engines and the big truckers swear buy it, buying it by the gallon. A friend with a Detroit diesel ran his 14.8 liter straight six to a million miles before overhauling it ! He also got up to 8.7 mpg (US) Pretty good for such a large loaded truck powered semi engine. It also allows motor oils a higher degree of lubricity which reduces oil consumption. Great stuff !! It has been around for a long time and has been tops in my book for many years and I never drive without it. https://lucasoil.com/products/engine-oil-additives/heavy-duty-oil-stabilizer cheers, Richard
  4. yes please include me for best recovery and thanks for all the work in the past done for our enjoyment. Bought my '74 Elite in 1984 and still own it. ATB, Richard
  5. Stay away from the original GM unit. I took mine off and haven't as yet replaced it but then I live in a climate that really doesn't get all that hot so not really needed. It also took 8 hp to run which in the federal version was too much to loose. Lotus said it was and extra 135 lbs (whole system ) so different front springs were required to offset the added weight. And it uses Freon 12 which is no longer manufactured. R-134a replaced that so get a modern one for sure. An aluminum housed sound better for sure. Probably many from newer cars will do the job. atb, Richard
  6. Also updated was the brake master cylinder. Lotus's original part was something over $500 US dollars to replace so I found an AC Delco one for $47 with basically the same cylinder with right hand ports and the same piston diameter, but then I had to replace all of the brake lines which was necessary as the union to the rear brakes was blocked from a stuck valve down line. Even 160 psi wasn't enough to get any brake fluid through to bleed the rear brakes. I didn't find any mention of this part in the workshop manual which was very annoying. Really didn't matter because the rear end had leaked rear end fluid saturating the rear brake shoes at only 28,000 miles making them essentially worthless. Seals failed! The forklift rear end is really problematic and was not designed for a car traveling at much higher speeds and distances IMHO.
  7. The overall shape was really never accepted by the Lotus aficionados. Copied, no doubt, from American Motors Gremlin (1972 even used the same door handles) the rear end design takes some getting used to IMHO. I like it now but have owned the car for almost 40 years. It is a great road car with awesome handling and with the mods I have done, is a lot more reliable. Lots of storage and a very large interior even a large man can be comfortable. This car, in the US, in it's original form is difficult to find someone who actually knows how to work on them and it would not be wise to go road tripping with one too far from home.
  8. Red is one of the colors IMHO best suits the Elite. Cardinal Red from a Ford truck color. Notice that the dual exhausts look to be plugged but these are ss "SuperTrap" mufflers many racers have used in the past as one can quiet the noise with the number of radial defusers and adjust back pressure for controlling the hp and torque. Very nice sweet rumble this small V8 produces. Actually quieter than the original Lotus twincam believe it or not. Larger 16 inch alloy wheels to accommodate the z rated Dunlap's with slightly larger foot print on the back @ 225 verses the original width of 205.
  9. Hey Richard, Welcome to the forum ! Nice find! Love that color. It looks like at least one of the rad fans has been replaced and I would guess it is the orange fan bladed one. These are dc motors so you should be able to switch the 2 wires and run it the other way, sucking in the air, as it is suppose to simulate just like when driving down the road. There are jacking points on the bottom of the body but not the chassis. I jack mine Elite with a hydraulic jack on the rear end and on the front cross member only. You will need to find a workshop manual or wait for someone to post a picture of where they are. Your scissor lift may fit as the places for lifting it are inside the wheelbase of the car. atb, Richard
  10. Not seen is an updated heavy duty 10" clutch to match the heavy duty 5 speed transmission. Offenhauser valve train covers dress up the engine with along with spark wire holders keeping them away from the exhaust headers which were ceramic metallic coated, inside and out, to dress up these parts, keeping the exhaust temps up inside the headers for an increase in power (around 10 hp increase to help scavenge the exhaust) all while keeping the engine bay some 70 F degrees cooler.
  11. Same wood Lotus factory used a few years later in their Esprit. I changed 5 somewhat major things I felt was needed to make this car easily more desirable and the factory ended up with the exact same improvements. Real Elm wood dash, door and consul cappings, larger 16 inch wheels, electric lifts for the headlight pods and painted window trim body color. And finely, although it took them a lot longer (well after the final Elite version, the Excel went out of production) Lotus put in a much needed V8 in their 2 seater Esprit
  12. The 5 speed Tremec transmission evolved from Mustang owners needing a transmission that would take the 650 hp , the 302 cid drag engines produced for their 10 second quarter mile racers. The original would only take a couple of runs before second great would blow. When I bought this transmission, they had run 170 passes without a failure. Now called the TKO, this is one tough transmission with a .68 final drive in 5th. Makes for an under 2,000 rpm engine speed @ 60 mph and a top speed, at red line, of over 190 mph.
  13. This same design was no doubt copied from the Ford GT which took out the best the Ferrari had to offer.
  14. The much modified 1961 Buick, now 4.9 L (298 cid) all aluminum V8 weighs in at nearly the exact same weight as the original Lotus twin cam 4 keeping the same 50/50 weight balance as original. I plumbed the entire engine with stainless steel braided hoses with an fittings. Plus a 4 core, 4 gallon custom radiator which was a very tight fit. Also added was a K&N air filter on top the Holley double pumper 4 barrel 600 cfm carb with larger secondaries.
  15. I ended up replacing the 14" original alloy factory wheels with 16" as there simply no tires now available suitable for sustaining the heat that can be generated by the awesome handling and high speed corning this car has. Dunlap sports 8,000 z rated tires were chosen after reading a road test of some top 8 performance tires. These tires won the test and came out in 1st place on nearly everyone of the categories except noise. Excellent in both the dry and wet weather corning with super wide rain grooves to exit a lot of water. Tons of grip make it a perfect tire for the Elite. 205/45/16 give the exact same overall size of the originals which is the maximum one can fit without rubbing. 215/45/16 were put on the rear because of the extra power ( nearly 3 times the torque for the federal original twincam engine ) now available with the Buick 4.9 L all aluminum V8.
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