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Opportunity of an excel, advice required


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Hi all, just joined here for some help, i have the opportunity to own an old but pretty good white excel which has been stored for about 5+ years. Main issue is its got no engine or gearbox. The guy has offered to include a mazda mk1 mx5 1.6 engine in the deal which he states will fit fine. Has anyone seen this conversion before? Main issue i can see is fitting the mazda ecu and loom. Anyways just testing the water, also no propshaft, and the headlining has totally dropped off, bodywork is all straight except some general trim pieces that want replacing. I can get the lot for very little money, any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

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Picked her up today chaps, will get some photos tommorow, first thoughts of parts i will need for the body are probibly a couple window frames, passenger door handle and a rear lens, interior is rough

By the way chaps abit overdue but heres a couple pictures when i brought her home, before and after a well needed wash, couldnt help myself and had to wash her in the dark ?

It only rotted away because Lotus didn't add "apply creosote  to all wooden structural component" to the service schedule.

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Obviously you're up for a fair bit of a project else you'd not even consider the car needing an engine conversion.

I've not seen, or even heard of that conversion but do you really want a c100HP car when the original sold in the 80s was nearly twice that? Buying an gearbox wouldn't be too expensive but a known good Lotus engine would be over £1k (see Lotusbits for prices). If it's really cheap then maybe it's worth it, and either get a Lotus engine and gearbox (it's a Toyota box) or an engine that's at least in the region of the original power.

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Just wondering if its been done chaps thats all, 16v 110hp i believe, just for a benchmark to get it running and look into something larger when restored. dont worry im capable i have a working garage and have done many large restorations on classics. 

Edited by bsaman001
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The Mazda has a pretty and bullet-proof engine, I suspect it would be a good match, perhaps less powerfull but reliable, cheap and easily tuned. However the lotus engine is cocked to one side to reduce height, you might want to see if it does fit before buying?

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Welcome to TLF bsaman001. :welcome:

I haven't heard of this conversion either, but you would be dropping a lot of power engine wise, as has already bee said.

You should duck over to the Introductions area and say hi in there as well. :) 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Do be certain that there is no rot on the important chassis before going any further. As others say, the Lotus engine is pretty good and as a mechanic you should be able to make the whole thing original.

Pleny of posts here on headline problems, that should be fairly easy to sort out.

good luck

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14 hours ago, Dan E said:

You might to have a word with @johnpwalsh he has a white one it is complete but in bits it's for sale on here looks lovely

As mentioned, I have a nice White one for sale, been stripped for painting, but all their and in pretty good nick, mechanically no issue's, thats why the previous owner was going to do a full restoration. Also have an engine available if you want to keep her original.

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This is the month of the Excel  lol.   Sounds like a great project and if you can get it cheap then even better,  Regards the engine i am all for putting an aftermarket engine in the four seaters maybe of a little less power as a daily driver, modern cheap reliable unit is a brilliant idea,  and yes the mazda is super reliable,  my only concern would be half the bhp would put me off,  

Also if an engine came out of a heavy car i would understand but the mx5 is pretty light, probably why they got away with low bhp as like lotus the handleing and light weight  design worked,  I am just not sure it will work in the Excel,  I could be 100 percent wrong and it may be a thrilling little motor when finished, but looking at it on paper the figures do not add up .  But that said time and ease of instilation do. :thumbup:

A

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I have a fleeting memory of an eclat with a 1800cc mazda twin cam. But at the time I seem to remember thinking to myself what an utter waste of someones time that conversion was.

I wouldn't even consider paying 500 quid for an MX5 engine to go in, as thats half way towards the cost of a Lotus engine. If you want the car, and its without an engine, think about fitting something better than the Lotus engine.

With varying degrees of complexity, there are lots of V8 engines that will fit under the hood. The rover is light, cheap and torquey and can produce a very potent car when coupled with the handling of the Lotus (i have a tuned 4.6). The lexus V8 has also been done, Jaguar V6/V8,, chev LS1, buick V6 etc.

 

If your on a budget, and you have no engine and box, fit 4L rover v8.

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Does the Excel have the prop shaft going through the chassis in the same way as the Elite?

If so, you not only have to consider the top of the engine height but will also be limited to an extent as to how far you can drop the engine on custom mounts as I assume the prop will have to line up with the chassis.

There's a black excel on fleabay for £4k at the moment - probably cheaper in the long run? :sofa:

Tony Rudd (in the Elite video hereabouts) always said it was the brake master cylinder that determined the scuttle height rather than the engine....

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Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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Guys i mean 500 for the whole lot, car, engine and box. i dont think the prop goes through no, it is an early mx5 engine, acording to my research the early ones are more powerfull than the old ones, but yes your right it doesnt really want to stay like that, but finding an engine near me for the right money is currently about impossible, plus would like to make sure the car is good and road worthy before splashing out

Edited by bsaman001
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Unfortunately the propshaft does go through the centre of the subframe, but probably not too restrective in itself as the bottom of the engine is already restricted by the crossmember that goes across the front of the Excel's engine bay.

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Im not getting the whole mx5 just the engine, the shell is scrap, im not really looking for a perfect example, ive just been offered it very cheap by a local, thought it may be something a little different to run about in hah, i guess time will tell if it will fit or not! Not the end of the world of not i will go for a rover v8 or a ford cologne ?

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Sell the Mazda engine and put the funds towards a 2.2 Lotus or a Rover V8. A 2.2 can be had for £800 complete except for the carbs.

 

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