Jay Lenos garage- Lotus Elan - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Jay Lenos garage- Lotus Elan

i loved this video, i learned a lot and now want an Elan!

2006 k24 powered Lotus Elise-way too many mods to list (k24 swap 300whp NA!)
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:02 AM
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OK. Now I want one. Who wants to trade me an Elan for my 1961 Lincoln?
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:43 AM
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Sweet!
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 12:34 PM
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"you get a real sense of driving..." That about says it on adding lightness.

'06 Lotus Elise Ardent Red, Touring, Sport, Driving Lights, Stage II Exhaust, Risen Engine Covers, Star Shield, SirLotus' Front Under Clam Protectors in anti-matter-black, Yoko's, Sector111 FFI Cover; DS Brace Toe-link upgrade and cool Carpet Buttons, Long Blond Hairs in Pax Seat ... I think the most important thing is that in the last seven days we've just had the greatest adventure of our lifetimes.” (Richard Branson)
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 04:35 AM
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I'm one of the fortunate few (See my Avitar). The Vision Function equiped Elise is still faster. The Hank Clarkson built motor in the Elan is about 15 hp less than Leno's. I've had the Elan since 1973 and my widow is the only person who would ever sell it!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the link. I never knew any of that.

Very cool car!

440bhp E85 2006 Solar Yellow Elise.
The way it should have been delivered from the factory with Honda Power!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 06:14 AM
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He has three Elans. He is building a Elan 26r with sequential 6sp and 220Hp

It looks really cool. he has some vids of that to

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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here are some other videos of Jay's elan build....
jay lenos garage has a bunch of other cool non lotus related videos too
this video also leads me to another question, are there many elans with motor swaps? would the 2zz or k20/k24 fit in an elan?




2006 k24 powered Lotus Elise-way too many mods to list (k24 swap 300whp NA!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uOFOm5xTZA
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 04:16 PM
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Here are a few pics of my '69 Elan Series 4 that I restored. Sold it in 2005 in order to buy my Elise in 2007. Nice car, but I owned it for 16 years, had fun with it, but was ready to move on. No regrets.

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'05 Lotus Elise (Arctic Silver) Sport, HT, Stage II, Odyssey PC925, Cup 240r Wheels
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 03:27 AM
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Great looking Elan! Do you have any idea where it is now?
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 02:28 PM
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In San Jose, California with the current owner. He was a fellow engineer and did all of his own wrenching, so I knew that he was the right buyer. I turned down a few others who were overseas or didn't know beans about working on cars. The guy had a Speedster that he owned for decades that he was restoring, but he always wanted an Elan.

It was on the cover of Hemmings Motor News in May 2005, so offers started coming in from around the globe. Selling price was around $30k, which was all the money in the world for one back then. Here's the Hemmings cover:

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'05 Lotus Elise (Arctic Silver) Sport, HT, Stage II, Odyssey PC925, Cup 240r Wheels
'11 BMW 335i (Alpine White) M-Sport, Premium, Heated Seats, HK, Ipod adaptor, 6 MT, Performance Power Kit - Euro Delivery 5/11/2011 - daily driver
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmr View Post
Here are a few pics of my '69 Elan Series 4 that I restored.
Thats a very nice restoration, I'm impressed by your attention to detail.

Monaco White Lotus Luddite
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:44 AM
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They took my mom to the hospital when I was born in a Lotus Elan and I grew up around that car...and a Bugeye. They were such a big part of my early obsession with cars and still are.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Thats a very nice restoration, I'm impressed by your attention to detail.
Many thanks for the kind words. I'm an engineer by trade, but OCD by nature.

In the end, the car drove me crazy, as I could point out lots of tiny flaws, but everyone else saw only the whole package. Ever notice how the doors on Series 3 and 4 Elans stick out at the bottom? Chapman was too cheap to buy new molds, as the old ones were so worn that this was the result on the later cars. Some folks fix these by separating out the inner/outer door panels, then cutting to fit. Also, it's just about impossible to get the 'chromed' plastic strip that goes between the top of the front bumper and the body to stay put. I gave up, but perhaps the new owner will have success when he restores it again some day.

I contracted out the paint/fiberglass work, seat upholstery, and engine rebuild, but did most everything else. I guess I'm an assembler more than anything.

I would love to restore an old 356A coupe or a BMW 2002 'roundie', but my covered car storage is maxed out at the moment. The 356's are going out of sight, so it's probably not going to happen.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmr View Post
Here are a few pics of my '69 Elan Series 4 that I restored. Sold it in 2005 in order to buy my Elise in 2007. Nice car, but I owned it for 16 years, had fun with it, but was ready to move on. No regrets.

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Tom,

I was one of your prospective buyers (funds not available at that time--your car was probably the best restored original Elans out there) and glad to see you here. Held out a little bit and got an Elise instead

Tony

'05 ELISE Storm Titanium LSS/TP/HT/Dual Oil Coolers/Starshield/Raptor Racing exhaust XP111 (LBH)/BWR 7/8" Anti Roll Bar
"Smooth is fast, but fast is quicker"
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNlotus View Post
here are some other videos of Jay's Elan build....
Jay Leno's garage has a bunch of other cool non Lotus related videos too
this video also leads me to another question, are there many Elans with motor swaps? Would the 2zz or k20/k24 fit in an Elan?
Great video! I had been following Jay's build, but had never seen this great overview of his 'original' car. It is an excellent overview of the car, particularly showing it on the hoist. I put 'original' in quotes as I really like the mods he has done to this car to make a modern driver. The CV joint conversion he shows is fantastic and transforms the car. I added adjustable rear wishbones, which are great as well.

His TC is seriously upgraded, but even in essentially stock form it is a great engine. He doesn't mention baffling of the oil pan, which is an excellent upgrade due to the high cornering loads the car is capable of. Updating the cooling with the swirl pot and/or a pressurized expansion tank and a three row radiator takes away all cooling worries. Electronic ignition is popular; the dizzy is a bit awkward for access so set and forget is great. He has added venting in the front of the cam cover which really helps. Bottom line is the Lotus TC is such a part of the car's character it really is great to retain it with judicious mods.

For engine swaps, the most popular is a Ford Zetec. Since the Zetec was superseded, some guys have used the more modern Ford Duratec. These engines are favored for the Ford heritage and the ability to fit a Ford five speed to the bell housing. The engine swaps are more common in Elan Plus 2's because with their extra weight (approx 2,000 lb. compared to the Élan's 1,550 lb.) the extra power is really nice. The engine & transmission swap is usually done with a Spyder space frame. Spyder has all the knowledge and parts available.

Classic Car Restoration, Chassis Replacement And Suspension Repairs - SpyderCars, Cambridgeshire UK

I have seen Toyota 1600 TC's installed in Plus 2's as well. Don't know my Toyota engines very well, but thinking they were in the hot Corolla from the seventies or eighties? Not sure if that is the one of the Toyota engines you mentioned?

The other swap I have seen pictures of (again Plus 2) is an Alfa TC.

There certainly are some Elan's using Ford Crossflows (similar to the Lotus Super Seven), but this is more an issue of cost and availability than an upgrade.

One chap on Lotuselan.net has a Plus 2 with a Ford BDA, but this required mods to the hood/bonnet to fit. For any engine swaps, the front of the bonnet is one of the biggest packaging issues.

For a quick look at the various generations of Ford engines, there is a lot of details and mod info here:

http://www.burtonpower.com/tuning-guides.html

Really, I think the engine swaps are partially motivated around getting a five speed in the car, which really helps for Interstates. I used a Ford MT75 five speed from Spyder but retained the Lotus TC. They sell the MT75 as 'kit', but it was not without a few issues to get it all to work. The biggest drawback with the conversions is ground clearance with the engine oil pan and exhaust set-up coming around the bell housing.

Anyway, great video and fun to see interest in the Elan. The prices on these cars are definitely on the rise in the last couple of years. To give an idea of their appeal, I recently got an Esprit V8 but can not see parting with my Plus 2.

Cheers!

Stu
Calgary AB
'69 Elan Plus 2
'00 Esprit V8
'87 BMW M6 & '84 BMW R100RT

Last edited by stugilmour; 03-11-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 01:10 PM
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Just to add a bit to the engine info above. I am not sure of all of the details, but worth noting for those not familiar with the Lotus TC 'Twink' that it is based on the Ford Cortina 1500 block. As Jay mentions in the video, it's kind of the Small Block Chevy in terms of its universal use in British Fords at various displacements and is very tunable.

A common upgrade is to mate the Lotus TC head to a 1600 cc Crossflow/Pinto block for extra displacement and torque. This is commonly called the 'Tall Block' conversion. It adds maybe 1/2" to the overall engine height and apparently fits in the Elan. Dave Bean has details in his excellent catalog and sells kits. This requires taking care of changes to the front cover dimensions. I think he claims about 15 lb ft of increased torque.

Not sure on Jay's engine, but a very common and advisable mod is a new front cover with a cassette type water pump. The stock pump degrades ( primarily with the engine sitting seasonally), and it is an engine out job to replace. They claim the cassette pump is a one wrench roadside repair, although I haven't had to do this.

Main point is the Twink can be tuned, and is generally a favored upgrade route to engine swapping.

Another engine swap I forgot about (because it is so radical) is a Honda S2000 drive train. There is an absolutely hilarious uTube video of one of these in a Plus 2 pulling burn out donuts. This requires extensive body & frame butchering though, and is probably not really a practical road car option.

Cheers!

Stu
Calgary AB
'69 Elan Plus 2
'00 Esprit V8
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Tom,

I was one of your prospective buyers (funds not available at that time--your car was probably the best restored original Elans out there) and glad to see you here. Held out a little bit and got an Elise instead

Tony
Tony:

I remember now, but it seems like a long time ago! Thanks for the kind words on the Elan, as I tried to keep it original, but improve where needed. Glad you made the jump to an Elise, as I know that you'll enjoy it.

Tom

'05 Lotus Elise (Arctic Silver) Sport, HT, Stage II, Odyssey PC925, Cup 240r Wheels
'11 BMW 335i (Alpine White) M-Sport, Premium, Heated Seats, HK, Ipod adaptor, 6 MT, Performance Power Kit - Euro Delivery 5/11/2011 - daily driver
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 07:33 PM
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A few photos before and during restoration:

Before photo - barn find
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At body shop
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On dolly after paint
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'05 Lotus Elise (Arctic Silver) Sport, HT, Stage II, Odyssey PC925, Cup 240r Wheels
'11 BMW 335i (Alpine White) M-Sport, Premium, Heated Seats, HK, Ipod adaptor, 6 MT, Performance Power Kit - Euro Delivery 5/11/2011 - daily driver
'87 Nissan Pickup (Burgandy) King Cab, used for hauling stuff
'17 Audi A4 Ultra (Monsoon Gray) Premium Plus - Wife's car - Delivery 2/17
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 10:11 PM
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Very nice job Tom. That brings back some memories. The Before / After comparo says it all.

Stu
Calgary AB
'69 Elan Plus 2
'00 Esprit V8
'87 BMW M6 & '84 BMW R100RT
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