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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So it looks like I bent a valve during the last track day at Laguna Seca, bummer...
Car is a track only NA Elise 2005, racing slicks & roll cage, stock engine & transmission that have seen many track days, and also raced 1 season of Lotus Cup USA under previous owner.
I’m still waiting the full diagnostics from the shop but I’d like to learn a bit more about built engines.
Full disclaimer, my mechanical knowledge is pretty limited, and the first question would be what exactly defines a “built” engine?
Does that mean keeping the original bloc and replacing most/all moving components for stronger alternatives? Or does that mean swapping the entire engine?

Then there seem to be 2 main options in the US (BOE vs MWR), is one “better” than the other?

I plan to keep the car track only, no competition, mostly HPDE. I’m fairly new to that world, 15-20 days on track (6 with the Lotus) and have a ton to learn. I also plan to remain on slicks and maybe to run race gas because why not?
I eventually plan to install a REV 400 kit, hence the interest in building a bulletproof engine. I’m not ready to go the K swap route, I prefer the idea of a stronger 2ZZ.

Suggestions?
 

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Since the plan is to go REV400 and you're not building the engine yourself the best option is to drop it off with BOE and pick up finished product ready to rock.
 

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To answer your question on what it means to have a "built" engine, that usually implies at least an aftermarket crank and pistons. If those bits are still good, I'd just upgrade the head at this point with all the nice stuff like valves, springs, and maybe the Ferrera rocker if you can get a good NA tune for it from BOE. Regarding growing with the engine like you said though, rather than jumping straight to rev400 like @Catsailr27 said, you'll run into a fork in the road very early on. As you increase the boost, this dramatically raises the intake air temperature and the cylinder peak temps, so you have to run lower compression. The problem with that is compression is largely driven by the piston and it hurts NA power, so it isn't like you can start building the engine ready for rev400 now then just add the supercharger later unless you want a compromised NA engine in the short term. Being in a hot climate, I wouldn't cheap out either and go the non-intercooled route since that'll leave you with nearly stock speed once it heat soaks. There was a recent thread that you can dig up for a good intro to heatsoak and how hot the intake air temps really can get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since the plan is to go REV400 and you're not building the engine yourself the best option is to drop it off with BOE and pick up finished product ready to rock.
That’s what I read, however that’s 2,000 miles away from me. How about the MWR option?
I don’t do the work myself but Trackspec in Fremont is local and has been great so far. Not sure how far their knowledge at building engines is thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To answer your question on what it means to have a "built" engine, that usually implies at least an aftermarket crank and pistons. If those bits are still good, I'd just upgrade the head at this point with all the nice stuff like valves, springs, and maybe the Ferrera rocker if you can get a good NA tune for it from BOE. Regarding growing with the engine like you said though, rather than jumping straight to rev400 like @Catsailr27 said, you'll run into a fork in the road very early on. As you increase the boost, this dramatically raises the intake air temperature and the cylinder peak temps, so you have to run lower compression. The problem with that is compression is largely driven by the piston and it hurts NA power, so it isn't like you can start building the engine ready for rev400 now then just add the supercharger later unless you want a compromised NA engine in the short term. Being in a hot climate, I wouldn't cheap out either and go the non-intercooled route since that'll leave you with nearly stock speed once it heat soaks. There was a recent thread that you can dig up for a good intro to heatsoak and how hot the intake air temps really can get.
That’s interesting. I thought REV 400 kit included an intercooler? That’s how I imagined the setup anyway (intercooled)
 

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BOE doesn't build engines anymore AFAIK I am pretty sure they were just sending people to MWR.

There are a variety of people who can follow a service manual and build a 2zz. I would probably ask allen at VSA for someone on the west side of the country. MWR probably sells the most engines but at the same time they have the most engines go bad AFAIK.
 

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That’s interesting. I thought REV 400 kit included an intercooler? That’s how I imagined the setup anyway (intercooled)
I think he was trying to say that the IAT will be higher even with an intercooler.

But maybe said more clearly, if you want to build an engine for a supercharger you have to run lower compression. If you use that engine in an NA configuration then it will make less power then a stock engine because it was meant to have boost to raise the effective compression.

Building an engine for a supercharger on a 2zz involves pistons (lower compression), rods (higher strength to handle the higher effective compression) bearings, springs, valves, rockers, and oil pump if not dry sumping (reliability). Expect to spend somewhere around 8-12k for a built engine for a rev400 to make max power.

That said you COULD just run a rev400 on lowish boost with a stock engine, or with a standalone on E85 and just get a supply of junk yard engines at $800ish a piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Exactly the the kind of info I was expecting, thanks!
 

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That’s interesting. I thought REV 400 kit included an intercooler? That’s how I imagined the setup anyway (intercooled)
Sorry for the confusion. I didn't mean to imply it wasn't intercooled. I meant there's no point (in my mind) in a non-intercooled SC if you are tracking it. Basically, go big (intercooled) or go home (NA). I'm still NA, so I'm not knocking that all, just knocking non-intercooled SCers. Just that it is hard to gradually work your way up to such a build, you kinda have to just dive right in.
 

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Inokinetic has partnered with Mountune US in SoCal to provide special build 2ZZ engines. Mountune is a well known Ford tuner in the UK since the 1980s. When Cosworth closed its doors in Torrance, CA a group of the Cosworth guys became the Mountune shop for the US. Their work is absolutely first rate. If I was having a race motor built, I'd call Shinoo to have Mountune build one for me. Ken Anderson at Mountune is a long time Lotus enthusiast too with an Elan, a Lotus Cortina and a 'sleeper' Anglia.
 

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Kris @ DRS is another option. Might be worth reaching out to him to see what he recommends. They're also located in the SoCal area.
 

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I would like to add, DONT FORGET THE TRANSMISSION when you go SC, at least 3rd and 4th gear as well as a QUAIFE LSD. I find with the Boe Rev 300 I now get a lot of inside wheel spin coming off the tighter corners, a job for next winter. 🤣
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow this is why I like this community, thanks all for the great info!
I already have a TRD LSD, not sure how it compares to QUAIFE but agreed that transmission upgrade would be next.
 

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To @StressCraxx point, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket and want a bullet proof transmission option, I have a spare E153 and the E53 3,4,5 gears to improve the ratios :) :)
The money burned through the hole in my pocket for my Elan restoration and the Elise I bought to keep me company while the Elan gets refreshed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So verdict is out on the damage, dropped a cam and damaged a cylinder...
After some research, I changed my mind about supercharging a built 2ZZ and went fo a NA K24 swap instead. Basically the opposite route! Roughly same budget as built 2ZZ + REV400, but should result in a more simple, light & reliable setup for that usage.
TrackSpec will do the work, it'll be the same drivetrain they recently installed in their race Exige, and they have an extra engine ready to go in! (Trackspec's Exige S240 Build Thread) Only difference is they detuned theirs to fit a specific class, while this one will be shooting for 250+ whp on race gas...
 
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