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mat grant

the eclat with a ford sierra engine

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Hi all,

 

I have seen the eclat on ebay with a ford sierra engine and gearbox - i know there is a thread on the for sale page, but I am intrigued by this so putting it on here. Why do people pay higher for an unoriginal eclat than an original one? And what does it mean for the status of the Elite / Eclat as a "classic"? Most cars are worth a lot more in original condition.

 

My view on this is I'm not particuarly excited by the thought of a sierra engine, the only good bit I can think of is that if the drivetrain has been done well, the mounts and ford gearbox will make it easy to fit a cosworth engine which will give decent performance.

 

I'd be interested to know what people think. This can only have been done for cost reasons, ie someone broke their lotus 907 engine and had a cheap ford engine and box available.

 

Mat.

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My memory of those engines is that they are cast iron blocks and so would weigh much more than the original engine (I assume we mean what I'd know as Sierra here in the UK) and the power output was woeful relative to the original Lotus engine. 2.3l pushing out 115 BHP or XR4i 2.8 with just over 160.

 

I can only assume that some people like these thinking the engine will be just as powerful (wrong) and be more reliable (not so if the Lotus is maintained). They must get out in when the original engine starts throwing hissy fits and needs a rebuild with lots of parts and somebody thinks they'll just drop a half-knackered run of the mill engine in.

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It was originally an eclat 520, so had a ford 4 speed gearbox. The owner has presumably been confronted with a ruined 907 and chosen something on which a bellhousing was readily available.

 

I think the ad said it was for a CVH ford engine, which I think was up to 1800cc in the UK and was more commonly found in escorts. I believe the larger pinto engined sierras (as per cosworth) would be a difficult fit due to the height of the engine and the low nose of the lotus, (hence why lotus used a slant 4). An escort RS turbo 1.6 was a cvh, but not sure if a turbo gubbins would fit as I've not seen how the engine has been mounted.


A CVH isn't that heavy, and my mates and I had lots of fun with them in the 90's, but I recall reading in CCC that the 1800cc one has dreadful head swirl and is athsmatic in terms of performance.

 

It probably will be more reliable than a 907 and probably a LOT more economical, but not my cup of tea.

 

I don't think people pay higher for an unoriginal one - that car looked to be in pretty decent nick, and if it had a 907 I'd be thinking that someone has got themselves a bargain.

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I'm sure I've seen an Eclat or Elite with a Cosworth engine fitted - I think it was in Germany(?) With a ludicrous price tag.

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now you mention it, I recall seeing that car advertised as well, so it is possible.

 

I still think it would be hard to engineer in however....

 

Easier alternatives are available. I've always pondered the SAAB 2.3 turbo, it's a slant four of good quality (at least the earlier ones were) and can be made to give huge power and torque fairly reliably. Not sure if the turbo bits would fit in the bay using the the standard manifold, and a remote turbo is a pants idea due to volume between the port and impellor.

 

One of my best freinds is a SAAB tuner/mapper and has over 400bhp in his 9000 Aero

 

There is a VX220(lotus) with a Saab 2.3T 16V in Sweden...

 

that'll be a real weapon.

 

I'd pay a lot more for it than I would a "standard" Vx220

D

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The advert should really have a shot of the engine bay to see how professionally it has been done. A different engine wouldn't put me off, there is nothing special about the entirely functional Lotus lump, but preferably any alternative should have more power than an old Sierra. I've run Volvo T5s for years and love the power & delivery; wonder if that would fit?

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Think this Eclat is back on e bay. £300 with 2 or 3 days left. Wonder if its the new owner selling or the original one?

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I've just noticed LooseCannon's previous comment about the 907 being an entirely functional Lotus lump.  In the spirit of friendly jousting, you're soooooooooo wrong!

 

Sorry Mark, but a two litre, 16-valve, twin overhead cam, all alloy, 160BHP engine in the earlier 70s was an outstandingly advanced design.  Sure, it didn't really work that well until the 80s, but in many respects it defined what was to become in the next 30 years of 'cooking' engine design.  it is an iconic engine.

 

To drive, they are also wonderfully revvy engines that love high the top end of the dial - not something you'd get from any saloon engine.  Even the current Porsche 911 engine doesn't give that exciting feel.  They lack mid-range power, are thirsty, and could do with fuel injection, and are not much good as a daily driver, but it is not a run-about car, it is a classic car.

 

If you take the engine way, you have left nice handling, and an interesting shape that mostly works, but much of the rest gets irritating quite quickly, doesn't it?  Those flimsy doors, terrible door locks,  ignition key in an impossible place, smell of fibreglass...

 

Something I have noticed over the past couple of years watching eBay, is that most the S1's have mileages between 40k and 80K, while the Excels are mostly over 100K.   I don't thing this is a reflection of clocking so much as that Excels are just so much more drivable on a day-to-day basis.

 

Herc.

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Hi,

 

Yes I saw that - it was on sale several times and relisted, and it's new owner hasn't had it long (unless it's the same owner who has moved(?)

 

Regarding Hercs point - I don't think you'll get any arguments about the excel being a lot more reliable, partly evolution of the design, the move to toyota hubs / brakes / drivetrain / electrical parts etc.

 

But for me what is cool about the Elite and Eclat is the 70s style, the driving position, and the handling etc.I find it hard to get excited about the engine, compared to contemporary designs it is great and advanced for the time, but driving it now - it's too inflexible and problematic. Oil leaks, thirsty,bad starting etc... and the potential for catastrophic failure and big expense.

 

If it was a 300 bhp Lotus 909 V8 with all those problems I'd be more likely to want to live with it. But the it would be even more expense when it failed!

 

It's funny - if it was in italian car people would say "it's part of the charm" about the reliability problems.

 

Cheers, Mat.

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