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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Recently I have been doing some research regarding the possibility of fitting a V8 engine into a S2 / 2ZZ chassis . I have some down time from my current build as I wait for a loom to be completed and its always good to plan ahead.
Appreciate that this subject has been discussed at length in these forums but I think that i may have come up with a solution ..albeit only for track use.

I have long been an admirer of the Radical RXC cars in particular the V8 version.
Radical Performace Engines - race-winning engines
and have often thought that this would be an ideal engine to fit into the Lotus chassis.
I enquired with RPE with regards to price , but that turned out to be an eye watering number when the conversion from UK pounds to NZ $ was calculated !!

It was with some surprise that I discovered that a NZ company was also producing a V8 based on a motorcycle engine.
SYNERGYPOWER
Main difference was that they used the Kawasaki ZX engine for a base . [RPE use Suzuki Hayabusa] turns out the engine was initially developed for Midget dirt track oval racing in Australasia
https://motorequipmentnews.co.nz/article/synergy%E2%80%99s-quiet-revolution
They have been subsequently installed into a number of other track cars the most notable been a Juno conversion which has gained several track records.
Synergy V8 Powered Juno Sportscar Video - Blog -

So I started to look at the possibility of making the instal happen and what my list of specs / parameters would be

- No Increase in weight
- Be able to fit the S2 chassis with no Mods to the main chassis but acceptable to modify the rear sub frame.
- Wheelbase to remain unchanged .
- Wishbones pickup points etc unchanged
- Minimal changes to Bodywork acceptable [ initial thoughts were to use a 2-11 donor, but have changed to Exige as require full body to meet local regs ]
- Be able to produce around 400-450 whp reliably
- Normally Aspirated
- Inline engine install preferred but Traverse acceptable.
- Sequential gearbox
- Dry sumped

Based on the above I have now progressed to the stage where I have ruled out an inline instal . The engine / Gearbox [Hollinger MFT] is approx 150 mm to long .. engine would need to go 150 mm into fuel tank / bulkhead . Doable but lots of work.
Initially not that confident that a Transverse setup would work but after getting some rough CAD drawings done , using the EP sequential box it appears that the Synergy V8 is a reasonably easy fit. The EP box is situated using the mounts that would normally be used for the Honda K20 engine so still have the ability to drop lower if required . The drawing allows for the Engine / transmission plate width and fitment of a racing clutch . Driveshafts are well placed and almost straight and level.
Currently working on the exhaust pipe routing drawing and looking to run these under the engine . Looks like we will have plenty of room for the front bank as enough clearance to fuel tank and bulkhead although plenty of heat shielding will be required. More airflow will be required to this area also.
A quick calculation [ based on my K20 Build with the same box] shows expected weight to be around 625-650 kg [1377 to 1433 pounds] No driver ... keep in mind this is a fully stripped out race car.
Synergy offers a 3Litre - 500Hp @ 10,500 rpm engine [say 425 WHP] so it would be an exciting drive !
I have attached a couple of pictures and encourage others to give there opinion good or bad , and yes I realise the expense involved so lets leave that out of the discussion.. but would like to use this as a bit of a think tank , to possibly look at what other issues , problems may arise.
All input appreciated.


p.s ... I have a great 2-11 for sale if anyone is interested ?
 

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Barry that's insane! I to have thought about this conversion, would be an absolute blast In on of our cars. I'm sure it's a very doable conversion with a man of your skills and tools. Selling the 211 and keeping the Elise ?

My car should be tuned for the new turbo shortly...

Hopefully be back to see you In the new year
 

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Hi Barry
If you check-out RS Performance, you'll see they offered a transverse V8 option on their conversions.

Can't seem to see their web site, but it did feature installation photos. Maybe they stopped making V6/V8 powered Lotus' ?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Barry
If you check-out RS Performance, you'll see they offered a transverse V8 option on their conversions.

Can't seem to see their web site, but it did feature installation photos. Maybe they stopped making V6/V8 powered Lotus' ?
Hi Sean
Couldnt find anything either other than this from Pilbeam
Pilbeam Racing .. RSW EVO
Be great to see some install pictures if anyone can find a link.

I have spoken to Pilbeam at length as interested in there new Carbon chassis and mentioned that I was looking to install Engine transversally , they advised that it had never been done and couldn't see how it would fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Barry that's insane! I to have thought about this conversion, would be an absolute blast In on of our cars. I'm sure it's a very doable conversion with a man of your skills and tools. Selling the 211 and keeping the Elise ?

My car should be tuned for the new turbo shortly...

Hopefully be back to see you In the new year
Hi Riley
Good to hear from you ..what part of the world are you currently in ?
Its a sad day to have to offer the 2-11 for sale ... but my workshop is to small !!
Elise is just about done , waiting for the electrics to be finalised then time to fire it up and get it on the dyno , hopefully on track in 2-3 months all going well.

Bring your car down .. keen to see it .
Cheers
 

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I'll do some digging Barry. Russell may have sent me some install pictures.

However the Ariel Atom 500 V8 certainly was in production with something similar to your plans.
I seem to remember Ariel stating (after the batch was made) they found it quite challenging/time consuming to produce & develop. I think the calibration to match the engine & gearbox was tricky - even with 3rd party help.
Certainly after the V8 production run, they have stayed firmly with the mass production based powertrains.

Pilbeam built the rear subframe to mount the RS V8 / V6 drivetrains lengthways on the Lotus tub.
 

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Barry did you follow the recent Ferrari 355 engine Elise build ?
The builder, Pat, kept the Elise (S1) overall chassis tub & subframe, but pushed the drivetrain into the fuel tank area - which I know you've considered.

However the 'trick' was using the F355 transverse gearbox, which is a lot more compact despite the drivetrain retaining its original length ways orientation.

Could the F355 gearbox be used on the V8 you propose ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for the info Sean .
I noticed that Montune did a RST V8 based on the Hayabusa and now seem to have stopped doing them . I wonder if RS tuning is the carry over from that ... whatever its hard to find any info on them .
Any idea how to contact Russell Savoury ?
I have found a picture of the RST V8 used in the aerial Atom [ attached ] and can see they have used the Sadev box , which is surprising because looking at the specs I would not have thought the Sadev could have lived with the V8 power / Torque numbers .
Only boxes that I believe will work is the Elise Parts Box and the Hollinger SF or possibly the MF

Thanks for reminding me about the Ferrari build .
Its an interesting project pity he didn't get it completed, but yes that is basically what I had in mind. I have not completely discounted it ... but with the V8 looking to be an easy fit transversally , I will pursue this install and see how it pans out.

Have to say that I am not 100% sure his rear subframe and extra bracing would have been that suffice . I would have been inclined to add more lateral bracing around the fuel tank area , and the Subframe also appears to be a bit shy .. would be interesting to see if he has done any strength type analysis .

With regards to the inline box the Hollinger MFT http://holinger.com.au/showroom/mft Inline box looks the goods. Its basically bulletproof and well proven and compact . Only real issue is the weight at 64Kg + [ The SF Transverse is 34Kg ] and most of that will be behind the rear axle , so not ideal really .

Info here : - Ferotus V8 Exige -
 

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Hi Barry
If you do a UK Director search, it will detail the last recorded contact details for Russell.
I 'think' RS Performance & Mountune worked together at one time.
I 'dont think' Ariel used the RS Performance V8, they used an alternative from the US.

Pat, the Elise 355 builder, is a drivetrain engineer, currently at Triumph Motorcycles, so I guess he knows, or has contacts who know how to complete the install analysis.

I've been reading about these motorcycle based V8 of a long time (the successor to the Light Car Company Rocket was going to use one) but apart from Caterham, Ariel & Radical no other manufacturer has used them.

Reading between the lines, I get the impression they dont share that much with the original motorcycle engine, hence final costs ramp up. Also their duty cycle is quite short before a refresh is required.

Maybe the best way to answer open points would be to recontact Pilbeam ? Looks like they've been close enough to these builds over the years to give an accurate view.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Correct re Aerial , looks like they used a Hartley V8
HOME PAGE...

I showed the pictures of the Ferrari Install to my chassis Fabricator and he thought it looked really well done , and that there was adequate support where needed ...so much for my analysis !!

Yes interesting to note that no one else has picked up these engines. I guess based on the cost to purchase and ongoing running costs the market is very small.

The recommended time between overhauls in a racing situation is 50 hours , so similar to other racing engines.

I have real difficulty getting any info out of Pilbeam , even when I want to spend money!

Trying to contact Russell now.
 

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Good luck Barry... it would be a very interesting project.

Someone else who could help you is Simon Scleater from Caral Automotive. Home - Caral manufacturers of performance sports cars
He's ex-Lotus MS, was involved in the Elise GT1 & Exige 300RR factory developed cars & has produced his own V6/V8 conversions on the 111 chassis. Again he uses Pilbeam for chassis / suspension fab.
Nowadays I think he busy in LS engined Esprit, Alfa 4C upgrades & drivetrain supply.

I've contacted & met Simon - he seems very knowledgeable & helpful. Email if you want his direct contact details.

Personally, I think the longer duty cycle & lower running costs of a larger capacity, production based engine is the way to go for a clubmans based car. Off the shelf hardware & wider choice. I keep coming back to an LS, normally aspirated engined 111 would be the ideal. Light, compact, easy available, loads of tuning options. The LS is a similar size to the F355, so with the right gearbox, Pat has proved it can be done whilst retaining most of the 'Lotusness'. Starting with a S2 Toyota based car would be easier than a S1 I think.
 

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Yes interesting to note that no one else has picked up these engines. I guess based on the cost to purchase and ongoing running costs the market is very small.
The Caparo T1 was also going to use the RS Performance V8 (the prototype did) but once it went into limited production, the engine switched to a larger capacity race V8 (Cosworth I think). From memory, Gordon Murray insisted on the engine change when he got involved in the project.
 

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There was also a guy in Europe who put a BMW V10 in; it seems that your best bet is to just throw out the entire rear subframe and start from scratch as that opens your options up tremendously. From that point, the bodywork is the limit, and it has plenty of room (especially if you lose the trunk).
 

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too much work for too little gain. You can get alot of power out 2zz 450 and it you want more a k20 will go higher. it is pretty engine. but that is it
 
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