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To 2.2, or not to 2.2? That is the question! - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


To 2.2, or not to 2.2? That is the question!


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Morning.

So I have the original 2.0L in an S1 that I am going to rebuild eventually.

What is the current thinking regarding modifying to 2.2L?

I know the increase in torque would be great, but I want to protect the gearbox.

I'm not afraid of driving a revvy motor if I build it as a peaky 2.0L (the bottom end is good for it), but am I leaving too much on the table?

What about retaining the 2.0L 'originality' aspect? I like the idea of retaining the 2.0L. Sort of suits the car's vibe.

 

If anyone has rebuilt a peaky 2.0L, I'd be very interested in hearing their feelings on the subject.

 

Cheers!

'A pound of rubber is worth a Ton of engineering.'- Jim Endruweit quoting Colin Chapman.

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I have 2.2-litre HC engine in my S2. No gear linkage issues, although I had to bend it a bit after I installed the Lotusbits 4-2-1 exhaust.. I really don´t think 2.2-conversion would have a negative e

Hi Langleytw This is just my opinion and I am sure others will have theirs. I would stick with the 2.0l. I am a lotus specialist and over the years have built quite a few s1 Esprits for customer

I'm with Rossvm on this one, if you want a faster car buy a faster one. Enjoy the S1 for what it is. I have thought about more power on loads of occasions but for me it comes down to originality (sens

Hi Langleytw

This is just my opinion and I am sure others will have theirs.

I would stick with the 2.0l. I am a lotus specialist and over the years have built quite a few s1 Esprits for customers and it is not difficult to get over 200bhp out of the 2.0l engine naturally aspirated. The gearbox will stand up to it as long as you are not harsh on it. By that I mean on and off the throttle causing harsh jerking which can break teeth off the crown wheel.

keeping the 2.0l is better from an originality and ultimately overall value point of view. Having said that there is no such thing as a free lunch and usually large increases in performance have a trade off some where down the line either in driveability or reliability. If you increase the perfomance you will find you will have to improve the brakes. This inturn is heavy on suspension and drive shaft components which will often require upgrading if you drive the car any where near its potential. My advice to customers is generally if you want an s1 have an s1. If you want a faster car then you should buy a faster car to begin with.

If you would like another opinion you can always call steve at sjsportscars he is very knowledgeable and will tell you the truth even if if it is not what you want to hear. Some people find his manner abrupt but I rather enjoy the refreshing no nonsense honesty.

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I am grappling with this same question. I asked Garry Kemp for some advice, and have taken the liberty of including part of his response here. I am seriously tempted to go down the 2.2 and perhaps also fuel injection route.

"I would suggest you convert the 907 to a 2.2 litre. They drive much nicer than the 2.0l engine and the crank will fit in your 907 block, so it will look original. You can get 210hp and keep nice road manners, in fact it will drive a lot better than your existing 907. For that you would need, the usual stuff like bearings and gaskets, but also:

2.2 crank

Forged 2.2 pistons

A pair of cams

Cam followers

A good exhaust manifold

Some gas flow work to the cylinder head and oversize valves.

I would also recommend a lightweight steel flywheel, it will really sharpen the throttle response."

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What I did was buy a 2.2 hc,rebuilt it and with a slight mod to the crank an the sump dropped it straight in,I even used the old distributor.I found that was the cheapest and quickest way of getting better performance.That way you can do up the 907 at your leisure and always refit it any time.

The reason I did this was that I was fed up with a lovely looking car that had the performance of a Ford Escort,it was crap.

When I fitted the HC engine it was instantly fantastic,it was as fast as the turbo but without all the turbo problems.

Although i would say that I always took it steady on take off to protect the gearbox and clutch.

I took the car to an air field to try out the performance and at 140 it was still pulling big time at this point I eased up because it is an old car .I found the HC engine to be totally reliable and had better oil pressure than the old 2.0 907 engine.Oh another bonus was that the cam covers did not leak because they are flat .Cheers Paul G.

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I'm with Rossvm on this one, if you want a faster car buy a faster one. Enjoy the S1 for what it is. I have thought about more power on loads of occasions but for me it comes down to originality (sensible modifications for reliability excepted). I love the 2.0l and revving the nuts of it without fear of doing damage. The noise is more than enough to put a smile on your face. I have no issues when a Mondeo pulls up alongside me at the lights and feels the need to show me up, after all I'm sitting in a Lotus Esprit and he's in a Ford Mondeo...

 

My sensible car is an Alfa 147 GTA - 3.2 V6 250bhp and for a hatchback goes like stink. Blows the socks of the Esprit for performance. They both deliver major grin factor but in different ways. One day the Alfa will have to go (had her for 8 years) but I'm never letting go of the S2!

 

Pete

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Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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I honestly think if performance is the issue and the s1 is slower than an Escort you should try it against a car of the same age and see the difference. It is very easy to knock the early Esprits while forgetting that it is the wrong side of 30 years old. I dont remember many cars 30 years ago that could keep up. That said though I am a purist to a certain extent and love all the Lotus range for their character, individuality, style , history, engineering and place in time.

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Straight line performance is not what the Esprit's about. So I'm happy that the performance is about A-B, not a quarter mile drag. I've had plenty of those. I had a Gardner Douglas T70 with 475rwhp but I actually enjoyed driving my 1.6 crossflow Caterham more to be honest.

 

Having considered all the responses above (thanks!) I think I'm erring on retaining the 2.0L.

As I said in my original post, it just suits the car.

So long as I build it right it should give me everything I need.

Lightened flywheel is already on the list. I might also try reducing the weight a bit. The engine cover, cast manifold, old air box and carbs weigh a ton for a start. Of course, I'll be keeping them on the shelf. But personally I think the engine looks great through the rear window.

Plus, I have noticed that gearbox parts are EXPENSIVE! Can't even find a crown-wheel and pinion.

Cheers for all the input.

'A pound of rubber is worth a Ton of engineering.'- Jim Endruweit quoting Colin Chapman.

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Absolutely right, they should be compared to other cars of their time and not modern ones.

 

I have the SS tubular manifold from SJ, a lightened flywheel, K&N air filter and I think faster cams, added when SJ rebuilt the car many years ago plus electronic ignition. No idea what the performance increase would have been but aside from the manifold the engine still looks original though I suspect since all that was done 60,000 miles ago some of the horses will have since gone awol.

 

Pete

Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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  • 5 years later...

I'm going through this dilemma a the mo and found the thread. To be honest I've been mulling this over for five years, but I need to start building my engine soon so have to sh1t or get off the pot on the matter. 

Someone told me that a 912 sump gets in the way of the gear linkage in an earlier car like my S2, @espritmania if you see this, could you confirm whether you had to make gear linkage alterations or not? One of the things that attracts me to the 912 engine is the strengthened bottom end. I'm not even sure I'd need this, I'm not going to be doing track days in the car, but the peace of mind would be nice. The extra torque is a big draw too.

Anyone have any intel on the technicalities of getting a 912 to work well in a S1 or S2?

George

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I have 2.2-litre HC engine in my S2. No gear linkage issues, although I had to bend it a bit after I installed the Lotusbits 4-2-1 exhaust.. I really don´t think 2.2-conversion would have a negative effect on value. I think my S2 with a 2.2 HC and the Lotusbits exhaust is worth more, than a comparable stock S2. With S1 the value question might be a bit different. If you are looking for more power, the 2.2 HC is the solution that was designed by Lotus engineers.

As far as the transmission goes... If it can cope with Turbo Esprit power, Maserati Merak power/weight and Citroen SM weight, I see no problems with a S2 that has less weight, power & torque than a Turbo Esprit.

I feel that I almost have it all. S2 looks and weight, Turbo performance and naturally aspirated intake sounds. Only thing I am missing is the S3 glass roof...

Edited by Finlandese
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2 hours ago, Finlandese said:

I feel that I almost have it all. S2 looks and weight, Turbo performance and naturally aspirated intake sounds. Only thing I am missing is the S3 glass roof...

:unworthy:

Only trouble is putting the paws on a HC motor.

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20 minutes ago, GTK said:

:unworthy:

Only trouble is putting the paws on a HC motor.

Lotusbits should have some Excel 912 HC engines available. Putting Excel engine in an Esprit is a well known procedure.

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5 minutes ago, peteyg said:

Keep it 2.0l.

Ah you say that Petey, but yours has been breathed upon. Know what I mean ;)

I want to restore the 2.0 engine either way, and that'll happen first, but then... maybe

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