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Elite 4.9

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Posts posted by Elite 4.9


    Richard - loving the interior mods on your car, looks great - must shift fairly as well with the 4.9 engine (buick?)


    Was your Buick engine similar to the Rover V8 3.5lt? I believe Rover used the Buick engine as a starting point.


    All the best




    Thanks Ant.. Actually Lotus factory used the exact same burled Elm in the dash of the Esprit years later but I put mine in


    My transmission (Tremec TKO ) evolved from the Borg Warner T-5 (that came stock in many Mustangs and Camaros of the day) in the drag racing arena. Second gear would often only last a few runs before succumbing to the 600 hp Mustang engines dropping the clutch @ 8,000 and power shifting through a 10.0 second quarter mile.


    Their first (Tremec) replacement 5 spd, went 170 quarter mile passes without breaking. It has a three rail shift mechanism for ultra smooth and very fast, if necessary, shifting. Although, with 310 hp / 360 ft/ lbs of torque on tap, with my engine, there really isn't much shifting going on unless it becomes absolutely necessary to smoke the tires in all the


    Yeah, the Buick is the grandfather of the Rover 3.5 V8 ( built from 1961-63)  till GM gave up on it and sold it to Rover who built it till the end of the 1990s I believe.

    GM had a lot of trouble casting the block without warping and wouldn't know if the engine was good till almost full assembly has taken place. At times, nearly 90% were good for nothing.


    So, GM dumped the engine but continued with an iron block and increased displacement to 300 cid. However, they keep the heads aluminum which have larger valves and breath much better than the stock 215 (3.5l ) heads so I put both the 300 heads and the crank in my engine (up from 2.8 to 3.4 inches) The increase in stroke is easily felt and really brings in the torque at a much lower rpm. This is the ultimate combination, here in the states, for the famous Buick all aluminum and much loved V8. The rod to stroke ratio (1.67) is very close to what is considered to be the perfect number of 1.75 from a renowned world record engine builder known as "the old one' 



    Besides being a great engine, the best part, for a Lotus owner, is that it weighs in the same as the original Lotus 907 lump. Mine is under 300 pounds so there is no need to change out the front springs which I have read are different even when ac was added. And there is more room to work around the engine than the 907 and, it is much more reliable. 


    This also was the beginning of the much loved Buick V6 which uses many of the same internals and engine parts such as the front cover but reducing the capacity for a smaller engine displacement. This engine just has two cylinders cut off of the V8 and has also been fitted to the type 75 Elite and it's close relatives, the Eclat, Sprint and Excel.

    • Like 1
  2. bad stuff and usually is only recommended in an emergency.


    plugs up both radiator and small water coolant passages in your engine restricting flow which then leads to overheating. I have taken apart engines and seen this first hand. Used as a band-aid for a leaky radiator.


    If you have water in your oil best take off the head and check it out before something else goes wrong.


    This stuff will only makes matters worse. Just my experience with it.



  3. The only time not to use synthetic oil is, if your engine has a lot of miles on it as then, the super detergent oil (synthetic oil ) will clean all of the gunk out of your engine and more than likely plug up your filter. So if you decide to put it in, then at about 100 miles, change out the filter with a fresh one. It also might loosen up some of the tolerances that were heavy laden with sludge thus making your engine a little noisier. 

    This is another reason to use synthetic oil as it keeps everything much cleaner inside your engine reducing the sludge and carbon build up dramatically.  


    Been using synthetic oil in all my engines including lawn mowers and small engines unrelated to autos for decades. Increases the life of the engine every time besides reducing friction and emissions while increasing power and mileage and longevity of the engine.

    Whats there not to like? 


    If you aren't using it then it's time to make the change. Most all new cars come from the factory with synthetic oil these days just to get that last mpg increase.


    no one drives a model T any more except for parades.

    Not sure why anyone would not use it unless they simply don't care about all the benefits.




    • Like 1
  4. Over heating solutions are many.


    Synthetic oil is one of them. Less friction, more power, less heat and emissions. They cost more but in the long run pay for themselves in fuel mileage alone as well as way better protection and they don't turn into a solid like conventional oils do at high temps, floating all that carbon around inside your engine wearing it out faster.

    The one I use:


    A "Systems 1" oil filter is another very effective solution.

    This aluminum housed stainless steel filter is very high tech and cools the engine almost as much as the radiator according to the manufacture. And because you can take it apart at any time, one can check the internal condition of the engine to see if any foreign parts are coming loose and floating around the engine. Easy to clean and put back together without any further costs. It also traps smaller particles ( 30 microns ) so your oil stays cleaner longer.


    I have both on my conversion as well as an enlarged radiator ( 4 core, 4 gallon ) double the size of the original.


    Bigger rad fans also a must with a separate remote dash switch besides an internal thermostat which also can be lowered (lower temp to open ) to help. If you didn't enlarge the radiator, it may be the fix you need to do first as it will make a huge difference. 


    You are producing way more power, thus more heat so you can easily see, there is a need to get rid of the excess heat.


    By the way, nice conversion and who needs to have a high revving engine? What a true sports car needs is ample power and at a low rpm especially for the street. Other wise, what is the use for all the upgrades in performance with the exception of power. Might as well just be a poser car to look good in and not for high performance.


    Just look at what Lotus finely did fitting a V8 from the factory so they were aware of the shortcomings of the 4 banger ( even turbo charged ) that IMHO should have never been put in a modern Lotus of this size. 




  5. You are correct Richard,

    in tuning your exhaust system to your car. Most systems don't allow this but the one I put in my Elite also is tune-able and very easily done. They also fit quite nicely in the original designed placement on the Elite. 


    Just by adding or taking away diffusers, the Suppertrapp stainless steel mufflers can add some back pressure moving your torque curve.  Or, by taking them totally out gives a bit more hp and noise.


    A lot of club racers have used Suppertrapp mufflers in the past as does lower the noise, which makes them popular at some race tracks where there is a measured db noise limit.


    U can also tune your carbs with this type of muffler.


    This is a picture of the Supertrapp muffler up close from the side. 




    and a picture from the rear view showing the cap diffusers.




    and a closer look from Amazon :



    atb  Richard



    I was also going to ask if the increase BHP drastically transformed the performance of the car. I am guessing it will be a different beast entirely. Anyway, any thoughts and experience would be greatly appreciated.

      More power dramatically improves the Elite. The balance is already there and with enough power, one can put out the rear end or take it back in during hard cornering. Very predictable.


    My 4.9 liter Buick aluminum V8, was built for torque (360 ft lbs ) and is a perfect compliment to the great road manners of the Elite's finely tuned suspension and chassis. I have driven both a stock and now modified car and there is simply no comparison. Similar power to weight as a small block AC Cobra so not for the faint of heart and too much for some but a great deal of motoring fun.



  7. Yeah Mark, I have done that process now on other vehicles as well. Chevy box van has the same problem as the heads are a bear to remove and replace with the engine in place. Trust me on that one too. lol


    The pros take off the whole body to pull the engine out. The only sane way to do it IMHO.




    don't you just love these forums? 

  8. I know the job to remove the exhaust manifold. Once it took me nearly 2 hours and a modified wrench to get it done. Can't see from any where so feeling in the dark is the way I first used to get it done.


    Next time, I just took out one side (exhaust side ) bolt on the motor mount and jacked the engine to expose the manifold nuts.


    Much easier. I wish it was in the workshop manual but it isn't.


    Of all the cars I have ever worked on, my Elite is the most difficult but then, it is the most fun to drive as well.




    • Like 1
  9. Real Lotus F1 machinery is a distance thing of the past. The current team really has little to do with Lotus except for the name. Yes it is sad that Lotus really isn't represented in F1 any more. As a young kid, I started watching F1 back in 1963 when Jimmy Clark won the first championship for Lotus. Those were the days and is why I love both F1 and Lotus.


    When Colin Chapman left the team, it basically fell apart and died with him as he was the genius behind it all, winning and setting trends in design that are still being used in today's F1 machinery. Most years when Chapman came with a new car, starting the season, everyone else was racing for second. Really no one is still there from the old team so what is the worry?

    It is really no loss if it is taken over now as Renault has the deep pockets that are needed to fund a team or one needs a major sponsor so it will be good for the team and F1 for the team to be taken over. 


    One can only speculate but I believe there is a chance that Chapman never died, but just left the country with close to 18 million pounds sterling when the Delorean sports can deal with Ireland went south. The money was never recovered as shadow companies were set up to hide it's where abouts. One dude went to prison as only 800k pounds was recovered. 

    They even said that he, Chapman, billed them twice so who really knows the where abouts of the money or Chapman. He was a genius in his racing cars and very clever so who knows. 


    But team Lotus isn't really Lotus at all other than in name only.




  10. One of the worst things that happens when too much oil is in the sump and touching the crankshaft is that the oil catches on the throws of the crank and put the engine way out of balance, thus creating a vibration and eventually will destroy your engine. 


    The other extreme:

    Once I was riding with a friend to a business appointment which was about a two hour drive away. My friend didn't have time to check the oil as we left in a big hurry. Said he would do it later. Only got about 4 miles away going up a canyon road when his Chevy Suburban's engine froze (spun a bearing ) because of lack of oil. We didn't make the appointment needless to say. He never did get it fixed so the price was much higher than just the engine rebuild.




  11. I agree with Duncan.

    Freshened up your ignition system... like new plugs, plug wires, rotor and distributor cap? This is one of the most over looked areas for optimizing performance and sound like it could very well be the problem.


    Try the midnight test.

    Wait till dark.

    Rev the engine and look for electrical current around the plug wires and spark plug boots and distributor.

    If you don't see anything do the next step.


    Rev the engine and with your hand open (ie..fingers straight ), rev the engine and lower your hand to the plug wires.

    If your system is breaking down, you will see steaks of blue current jump to your hand. Won't hurt,  just don't grab the wires with a closed hand.


    Also if inside your distributor cap is dirty, electrical energy can leak away from where you desire it all to be and that is to finish at the plug tip igniting your fuel mixture. The energy is looking to ground itself and will always follow the weakest link.



    • Like 1
  12. Tried to buy one years ago in San Francisco but the guy returned my money as he sold it locally instead of having to ship it up to me. 


    If these cars were so undeveloped, and slow, then it must have been pure luck when Jimmy Clark came in second in the "65 Times GP in CA. He also broke the F1 track record at Silverstone the same year.


    The problem was the little Ford 289 cid V8 just had too much power coming out the corners for the lack of chassis stiffness so the front wheel would come off the ground making it rather difficult to manage. 

    The 40 had even more power with the 351 Ford V8 which really had the same problem. 


    Beautiful car and a shame Chapman didn't take time to develop it. Too many irons in the fire.


    Saw one at Kent Pacific Raceway here in Kent, Washington a good number of years ago. I never saw it run but a trail of oil on the ground told the story of what happened as it sat in the pits for the rest of the vintage race weekend. Never saw it again.



    thanks for posting one of my favorite Lotus cars,



  13. My dad had a customer who was had a diesel shop mainly working on injectors and cleaning them. He said not to use any injector cleaners as they loosen up deposits and often make matters worse. He would back flushed injectors, out of the engine in his shop.


    I had my gas, 4.9 L six, Ford truck engine done and they were like new.





  14. VERY COOL Lotus Eleven !!!


    Many years ago, here in Seattle, there was an 11 for-sale so my brother and I went to look at it. Unfortunately we weren't the first to get there and a guy ahead of us said he was " for sure" going to buy it. He was 6' 3" and didn't fit the car with the steering wheel on. lol

    We left thinking he was going to buy but he didn't. Other wise, I would, no doubt, own one to this day as it is one of my favorites from Lotus.He only wanted $750.00 dollars for it, back in the 60's. ugggggg

  15. Dr Christoper Jacobs says in his book, "guide to optimizing your ignition" that nearly all electrical problems stem mainly from bad grounds so I rewired all of my grounds with fairly large but flexible braided ground straps including the battery, gas tank and engine to the frame. 


    And since my battery is in the trunk, for my Elite, I ran a new 00 heavy copper cable which eliminates any measurable voltage drop to the front fuse panel. 







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