Rotary powered Elise? - Page 3 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #41 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 05:03 AM
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Quite a few people are misinformed on the forum about this engine.

#1 - It burns some oil yes - by design. This is a small amount of oil and isn't anything to think about.

#2 - It is "gutless"? C'mon... the Toyota engine that these cars come with is hardly anything to write home about. If you use a turbo on the engine (several models came with this) with some mods to support higher boost, you're looking at 350+ wheel horsepower without even stressing the engine. I'm pretty sure that that much power in a very light car like the Lotus would be almost undrivable traction-wise. If you were willing to take a little more risk on the engine 400, 500 wheel hp would not be tough to get.

#3 - Issue number one would be how to get the transmission worked out. After that, you'd have cooling issues. The engine is certainly not too big or too heavy. Iron rotors? Yes, but they only weigh about 10 lbs each - hardly a big deal.
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post #42 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safetypup View Post
Quite a few people are misinformed on the forum about this engine.

#2 - It is "gutless"? C'mon... the Toyota engine that these cars come with is hardly anything to write home about. If you use a turbo on the engine (several models came with this) with some mods to support higher boost, you're looking at 350+ wheel horsepower without even stressing the engine. I'm pretty sure that that much power in a very light car like the Lotus would be almost undrivable traction-wise. If you were willing to take a little more risk on the engine 400, 500 wheel hp would not be tough to get.

#3 - Issue number one would be how to get the transmission worked out. After that, you'd have cooling issues. The engine is certainly not too big or too heavy. Iron rotors? Yes, but they only weigh about 10 lbs each - hardly a big deal.

As I previously posted, RX-7 and RX-8 engines in formula cars work great!
I asked engine builders for opinion why the RX-7 had a bad reputation (won't make it to 100,000 miles without an engine rebuild), but the engine in the formula car went longer between rebuilds in racing application that any piston engine of similar power. Opinions I got was lighter weight (1100 lbs.) of the formula car compared to the RX-7 street car, good cooling in formula car, and dry sump. Last longer than other similar piston engines in race applications because simple, doesn't hurt to overrev a bit, and basically good overall implementation and installation for the application.

RX-8 engine in the Pro Formula Mazda isn't as reliable and doesn't last as long as the RX-7 engine in the Standard Formula Mazda. Opinions why?
- More complexity - the 3 selenoids (vacuum and electrical) fail to activate at least one or twice per race, and completely fail too often. I got to where I could diagose which one failed by sound and seat of the pants - power drops dramatically.
- Open loop lambda is a bad idea. Poor compensation for variations in fuel, etc. Implemented to prevent cheating in spec racing, but hurt reliability.
- More power, more stress, more heat.

One down-side to the rotary is that very sensitive to overheating. Even one time overheating will mean the engine will be down on power until the next rebuild.

Another concern is that the RX-7 engine cores are getting harder to find.

Another issue is change in Cg. Some claim the Honda engine in the S1 is great, but hard core road racers disagree and state that oversteer is hard to eliminate after that engine swap. I haven't driven one of these after engine swap, just know that the balance of my Sport 190 is great - I wouldn't want to mess it up.
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post #43 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 12:30 PM
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obviously this guy tuned his FD to scare people...but not that much off a properly tuned RX-7 with a super hot exhaust!


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post #44 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 12:37 PM
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The best engine swap for an Elise would be a 4G63T.
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post #45 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 01:21 PM
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Why haven't you guys been talking about a turbo Hayabusa for the Elise? Chain drive, lightweight LSD. Instead of oiling the engine regularly (RX7), you just be oiling the chain. You'd have a lightweight package with an integral sequential transmission, and dial-your-horsepower flexibility.

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post #46 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 03:42 PM
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Because you have an obvious weak point in the design (chain).
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post #47 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb View Post
The best engine swap for an Elise would be a 4G63T.
Which is why there are so many of them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripledigits View Post
Why haven't you guys been talking about a turbo Hayabusa for the Elise? Chain drive, lightweight LSD. Instead of oiling the engine regularly (RX7), you just be oiling the chain. You'd have a lightweight package with an integral sequential transmission, and dial-your-horsepower flexibility.
Been done in Europe - not enough power or torque due to low displacement.
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post #48 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 06:38 AM
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Hmmmm 20b PP S2 Exige .... that would be my choice !

BUT there is the gearbox issue ....

Anything is doable with money/time but i wouldnt be cutting up my 08 Exige ...
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post #49 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 09:57 AM
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Sound of the RX-8 and Hewland sequential in a Pro Formula Mazda.
Would love put same in my S1 Sport 190, so able to left foot brake, shift this fast, lower Cg, decent power for 1500 lbs car. But would be quite a project.

YouTube - One Lap of Road Atlanta, Formula Mazda Pro
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post #50 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-27-2009, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_Hughes View Post
Sound of the RX-8 and Hewland sequential in a Pro Formula Mazda.
Would love put same in my S1 Sport 190, so able to left foot brake, shift this fast, lower Cg, decent power for 1500 lbs car. But would be quite a project.

YouTube - One Lap of Road Atlanta, Formula Mazda Pro

The setup we have in the Diasio is an RX8 engine with a Hewland FTR sequential transaxle and a Microtec ECU. Pretty much sounds like what you describe.

So far the engines are getting over 5000 hard track miles. The neat thing about these engines is a rebuild is typically just seals (side and apex) unless something lets go. The big thing is lubrication. We run 180 PSI and add 1 oz oil per gallon of fuel.

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post #51 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 03:08 AM
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That is a beautiful sound ;-)

Well it would definetly be doable with the hewland FTR transaxle, but there like 15k new ...

Notsure how streetable that would be though ? Any thoughts ?

Rotary is definetly a beautiful engine ... i love em !

I think this would be your only gearbox option ...
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post #52 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 05:39 AM
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The FTR price varies with the pound / $ conversion. They hit a bottom this year of about $8,600 and are now around $10,000. They were as high as $15,000 last year.

No issue with using them on the street. But not that practical. $$$$

Most would not get one though because of the parts replacement life span.

On the street the mileage would probably be higher but on the track you start to look at ring and pinion replacement at 3500 miles and then at 6000 miles a gear stack. Straight cut gears are used.

I REM polish all my internals and that gets an extra 30% life span. It's an extra $900.

A gear stack with a ring and pinion is going to be around $5,000 (parts) if you don't need 1st gear (it's the most expensive $900). Add a $1,000 labor (it takes Hewland specific tools to work on it) for tear down, installation and for bringing into spec and REM and you're at about $8,000 (over $1 / mile).

You do save some wear and tear on the clutch so that can be factored into the equation. Once you get out of the pit you never use the clutch on upshift or downshift.

Most people don't have that kind of budget for a street car to warrant it. That being said, it's an awesome transaxle and cuts lap times because of no dealys with shifting and saves on clutch use and wear.






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Originally Posted by CUP_240 View Post
That is a beautiful sound ;-)

Well it would definetly be doable with the hewland FTR transaxle, but there like 15k new ...

Notsure how streetable that would be though ? Any thoughts ?

Rotary is definetly a beautiful engine ... i love em !

I think this would be your only gearbox option ...

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post #53 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 01:05 PM
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To the OP. Rotary in a Lotus. Its taken how many years for a British car to become reliable? and you want to add a rotary? I don't want to go back to the days of a 60's British car (found on the roadside broken down). I think rotary motors are neat, but I wouldn't want to have to depend on it to get me to work. Based on my experiences they break too much.

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post #54 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 03:06 PM
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i dont know if this has been mentioned here or not.but why not use a good transverse gearbox with the rotary?it would fit just fine transverse.its lower and shorter than a 2zz.i had an rx7 for many years.they are very dependable if they have oil and water in them.if you run them slightly hot you run the risk of loosing a seal.my biggest problem with them is they drink fuel like no tomorrow.
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post #55 of 63 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcarcrazy View Post
To the OP. Rotary in a Lotus. Its taken how many years for a British car to become reliable? and you want to add a rotary? I don't want to go back to the days of a 60's British car (found on the roadside broken down). I think rotary motors are neat, but I wouldn't want to have to depend on it to get me to work. Based on my experiences they break too much.
From my experience racing cars (since 1968) I will use a rotary. They just don't break if they are set up right. Repairs are minimal and at worse a long block new is $3500. Just bolt the external stuff on and away you go. I ran big block chevys and all other kinds of piston engines. Just too much stuff moving around.

A triple rotor with a turbo set up can give you 800 HP and weighs next to nothing.

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post #56 of 63 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 01:06 AM
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Thanks for the heads up on Hewland ...

Any other options on gearbox if this conversion was actually done ?

Then the next question, will heat be a problem ?

What engine to use 13BT S6 or RX8 NA ?

Id love to do this but im not 100&#37; convinced its doable ?
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post #57 of 63 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 01:34 AM
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Watch for width issues at the base 18", I think.

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post #58 of 63 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CUP_240 View Post
DPM
Thanks for the heads up on Hewland ...

Any other options on gearbox if this conversion was actually done ?

Then the next question, will heat be a problem ?

What engine to use 13BT S6 or RX8 NA ?

Id love to do this but im not 100% convinced its doable ?
There are some other aftermarket sequential transaxle companies out there, but non with the Hewland reputation.

Heat should not be an issue. We run ours hard in 20 minute sessions and have never had a heat issue with the engine or the transaxle.

Either engine will do. If you are going to do a lot mods, then go with the RX7, bigger parts source as well as options. If stock use the Renesis, it has a lot of mods done to it from the factory.

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post #59 of 63 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 03:36 AM
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Anyone know were you can buy a new/used Hewland at a great price ?

Renesis ... you mean RX8 oem right ?
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post #60 of 63 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CUP_240 View Post
Anyone know were you can buy a new/used Hewland at a great price ?

Renesis ... you mean RX8 oem right ?
Yes.

check The Race Car Sales Site then look under "gearboxes by marque"

Also, any car that is a Formula 3, Formula BMW or Formula Star Mazda. Check their Forums

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