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Det

Buying a Lotus Europa (S2 or Twincam)

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Hi, I'm Det from Germany. I'm seriously interested in buying a Lotus Europa (classic), but I don't have any practical experiences with this car. I'm owner of an MG Midget (for 16 years now) and a Morgan 4/4, but those are totally different cars. As the Lotus Europa isn't that popular over here in Germany, it's quite difficult to get recommandations or detailled hints about buying an Europa. For example from Classic Car Magazines.

I know quite a lot about the Lotus Europa's history (English literature) and the main technical aspects but I'm missing helpful informations about buying one.

For example, I don't know if I'd prefer an S2 or a Twincam. As far as I know, the Renault engine might be more reliable and easier to maintain; on the other hand it's somehow missing the spirit of a typical lotus engine.

Which are the typical issues of the S2 and Twincam?

I'll appreciate any useful hints from experienced Europa owners.

Det

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I don’t know the answer to your questions. I do however own a twin cam special and love it. Always a conversation piece and something I love owning. Sure you won’t be disappointed with either.

 

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I'm not so sure that the Renault engine is better, because (If I recall correctly) it's a modified Renault engine, so parts not available off-the shelf from normal sources of Renault items. That said. the Renault engine power is lower but similar displacement, so perhaps it's less stressed.

All of them use the gearbox/transaxle as part of the suspension, so the driveshafts become the upper links of the rear suspension. That means those gearbox output bearings tend to fail sooner than normal.

 

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I had a couple of S2 Europas. Always wished I had a twin cam or better still a twin cam Special. 

Great cars and mine were very reliable.

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14 hours ago, Det said:

For example, I don't know if I'd prefer an S2 or a Twincam. As far as I know, the Renault engine might be more reliable and easier to maintain; on the other hand it's somehow missing the spirit of a typical lotus engine.

Which are the typical issues of the S2 and Twincam?

The Twin cam was the best engine Lotus ever produced, very reliable. 

Biggest issue would be the chassis, make sure it's not rusted through anywhere, especially the front cross member.

Great car & everything is fixable.

Here is a Europa site: Technical articles

I had one for many years as my daily driver, pictures on my web site. :thumbup:

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In all fairness, a s2 an a twin cam are not the same money so you need to think if money is an object.

One thing with the Europa is that it does not have the standardisation of modern cars so you could have two S2 that look pretty different depending of what was available in the bucket at the factory when they did it. Later years may carry an advantage as there are parts of S1 that got used to finish some of the S2.

S2 Renault should be easier to source in Europe in LHD. A compatible Renault engine is also easy to find as different version of the block  had been used for Renaults and Alpine. In France many have seen the engine swapped during the life sometimes with a power upgrade.

The twincam is a faster car if it matters. Although quite easy to maintain in the uk, you should expect less familiar to garages in continental Europe. 

Overall the car is remarkably simple in a good way (although you will get surprises when you order parts as they don't always fit...), Europa banks has a good catalog of parts.

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What about converting the Renault engine to Gordini specs? A mate here in oz did that as well as increasing the capacity I think to 1800cc. He's very happy with the result. He also said the Renault engine is lighter too.

I think this company and a Salv Sacco can supply the 1800cc kit. salvatpowertorquedotcodotuk

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Hello Det,

if you are near by the Frankfurt area you can visit me.

I can show you the details of an original S2.

And it's a question about the Money TC or Renault.

Both are good cars.

 

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Thanks to everybody for the helpful hints.

@madwolf: Thanks for inviting me to see your Europa in the Frankfurt area. I'm from Northern Germany, so it's quite far away. Nevertheless I appreciate your offer and will contact you if I ever get a chance to go down to Frankfurt.

I inspected a Lotus Europa S2 (Federal) today in the Netherlands. This car had been totally restaured a short time ago. I was disappointed about all the issues I found. Main problem to me seemed the loss of gearbox oil at the driveshaft bearings. The oil spot on the ground had the size of a piece of copy paper. Shouldn't be normal after not being moved for just three weeks, should it? The petrol pump also failed to work (car wouldn't start), so we had to use a vacuum pump to get it running. The state of the  new headlining was also bad, is it so difficult to get that fixed correctly? And so on...

I would be glad to get some hints especially regarding the driveshaft bearings.

By the way: I was surprised to get replies even from Australia!:)

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Sometime I'm in Hamburg (maybe next or over next week).

 

Sealing of the driveshaft bearings does only works if the driveshaft survace is perfect or by the use of sleeve sealings..

Tel 01726114700

 

 

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1 hour ago, Det said:

Main problem to me seemed the loss of gearbox oil at the driveshaft bearings. The oil spot on the ground had the size of a piece of copy paper. Shouldn't be normal after not being moved for just three weeks, should it? 

I would be glad to get some hints especially regarding the driveshaft bearings.

The driveshafts can be difficult to seal, especially if the seal housing has been unscrewed from the transmission casing as oil leaks past the threads of the housing which would have been sealed at the factory. Also, there's a large rubber 'O' ring around the output shaft which tends not to have been replaced when the seals were replaced. :thumbdown:

Take a look at page 23 on the attached & good luck. 

S2_Section_F_-_Transmission.pdf

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Thank you, John, do you mean these (output shaft oil seals)? There are different types for 336 and 352/365 gearboxes.

sr0007a

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Hi, everyone, here are pictures of the driveshafts I took when I inspected the Europa today:

 

Driveshaft LH.JPG

Driveshaft RH.JPG

Edited by Det

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Det,

I've marked the "O" ring & oil seal in red in the drawing, the "O" ring is to stop oil leaking out via the splines.

 

Those pictures you posted show a gearbox with a major oil leak, obviously something is very wrong. :thumbdown:

 

Europa box.jpg

Edited by jonwat

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