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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:22 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:47 am
Posts: 39
Location: No. Nevada
Having recently bought some hens teeth through this forum (Pinto 711M engine) I thought I might try for some horse feathers too!

I would like to find a Sunbeam/Hillman/Singer "Imp" engine & trans.
Or at least an engine or two to rebuild.
They are loosely related to the Coventry Climax but much more common and a fraction of the price.
Nice light and compact SOHC engines with a bit of British pedigree.
Had one of the cars years ago, an "Entertaining" ride.
Most of the cars have rusted away by now but I hope some one has hoarded an engine or drive-train they will part with?

Need it for one of my Tatum builds.
One of the very few non-Bike engines light enough to still work well rear mounted.
Would replace a VW Bug set-up.
A FIAT 850 might work but I really want the OHC Sunbeam!

Closer to Nevada is better, but what have you got?

I may have some LOCOST related parts for partial trade.
PM or email please.

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At these prices I want my gas leaded, 100 octane, and my windshield washed!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:41 pm
Posts: 565
Location: Vancouver, BC
I have a Coventry Climax FWM that I might part with. The FWM is what the Hillman Imp engine was loosely based on. The downside would be trying to sort out a transaxle for it.

The motor requires a head gasket, the bottom end was gone through and the pistons re-ringed. I had started on an adapter plate to mate it to a BMC A-series gearbox, and have had the intake manifold converted to take a pair of HS2 SU carbs (though the manifold needs a bit more work).

Failing that, there was an Imp hiding in someones yard here in Vancouver a few months back. If it pops up again on Craigslist I'll forward the ad to you.

Rod


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:47 am
Posts: 39
Location: No. Nevada
The Tatum was originally designed to use a VW engine and transaxle so there is probably an expensive Hewland adapter available somewhere.
Since the Imp engine will have a lot less torque than a 1600 VW I'm considering a Fiat 850 transaxle.
There might be something newer that will work but I need the narrow VW track width.
Hoping to keep this a fairly simple build. :lol:

I expect any engine with "Coventry Climax" as part of it's legitimate name to be expensive, why I was only looking for an Imp.
But what would you take for it?
Tried to look that one up, is it a 650cc or 750cc?
Imp was a bit bigger but the smaller engine might still work.
I do have a few vintage LOCOST type parts laying around, mostly CIBIE, MARSCHALL and LUCAS lamps, some Land-Rover Series parts.
Also 348/409 Chevrolet V8 parts for the vintage hot-rodder or restorer.

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At these prices I want my gas leaded, 100 octane, and my windshield washed!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:41 pm
Posts: 565
Location: Vancouver, BC
If you go with an Imp motor, you might be able to flip the ring and pinion in the gearbox to make it a mid engined set up. Failing that, make an adapter to run the gearbox upside down. Either way you'll have a gearbox that's more or less set up for the motor.

Onto the Climax, its a 750cc former pump motor. It would require a suitable flywheel made up, which is the one part that was holding me back on the conversion. Its just gathering dust in the garage, though I did at one point have it earmarked for a special (which is now cut up) then earmarked for a front engined single seater (think Lotus 16 but 2/3 scale). I'm into it for roughly $600 (cost of the motor, welding on the manifold, pair of used HS2 carbs, rings etc), and would like to get that out of it.

If it were me, I'd hold out for the Imp engine and gearbox. Though they are getting harder to find.

But, I just remembered that a former customer of mine had a friend in Alberta with a few. You might phone Ken Miles at Miles Import Cars/Brit Bits (780 440 4225) and ask if he knows if Rod (the car hauler) still has his Imps. I had inquired about them 7 or 8 years ago when I was building the Eleven and hadn't made my mind up on the engine. If he asks who put you on to him, tell him Rod formerly of Octagon.

Cheers
Rod


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:47 am
Posts: 39
Location: No. Nevada
Long ago I had an unknown builders "Special" with tube frame, Huffaker Genie bodywork, Ford 105E engine (Hollow crank!), and an inverted Fiat 600 trans.
Some one had actually raced it long enough to wear out the rose joints.
Actually not a bad little car, I still know the current owner and occasionally wish I had it back.
The local vintage racing group would not let me run it as I did not have the log books or history.
But certain members were allowed to run their non-historic street cars, which led to my losing interest in the Monterey Historic events.
Point of all that is that I know a Fiat trans can be flipped, but I think the 850 trans is already correct rotation.
Am Imp trans would be simpler of course, not sure which would have the better gears.

The greater displacement of an Imp would probably be helpful with a street driven car, but I'm not saying no to yours.
Just paid for the 711M and shipping, so I cannot get too carried away at the moment.
Thank you for the reply and additional leads!

Oh, a note, no room for mid-engine with this body.
Would all be so much simpler if I were a VW Bug engine enthusiast, but I'm not.

Tatum pics, sorry about the overlarge image.

Image

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At these prices I want my gas leaded, 100 octane, and my windshield washed!


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