Lotus Elan Central
Common Replacement Parts

This is a list of parts that regularly need changing/fixing with any other car you can just look in the charts at the store and pick out the right replacements, but it seems our humble Elan is never listed! Not even for something as simple as a wiper blade or battery.

  • Windshield Wipers
  • Brakes
  • Shocks
  • Oil Filter
  • Endcap Screws for the Valve Cover Plate
  • Spark Plugs
  • Timing and Accessory Belts
  • Heater Valve
  • Headlight Control Module
  • Softtop/Hood
  • Coolant Pump

    Windshield Wipers:

    I just gave my wiper assemblies a needed overhaul--nothing some fine grit sandpaper and some low gloss black paint couldn't make look brand new! And for those who keep asking, I found some wiper blade refills that fit perfectly into my original wiper arms. They are "Trico" brand 'Refills', model #45-245--they are 600mm long, so you have to trim a touch off the end (the originals are 23 inches). They were $2.99/each, minus a $1/each rebate--maybe I should buy a gross to ship around?! It's also worth noting that the original Elan wipers have a very large curve to them, so standard replacements don't touch the windscreen all the way to the ends. It's definately an idea to keep any wipers you take off so that you can replace the blades each time.


    From: Joshua Lawrence
    After some searching & digging, I have determined that the stock front braking setup for the Elan is the same as that of an 1989 Pontiac LeMans GSE 2.0 (in the US). I have compared calipers, rotors, & pads, and they are identical. Given that this setup is pretty much universally hated, this may not be that great of info, however in regards to caliper replacements, rebuild kits, and sliding pins, I thought it would be worth passing along. The setup is only the same for the 2.0 liter engine however, the others use a smaller caliper and rotor with the same pads. I also believe that only the GSE model uses this setup.

    It seems these GM parts are available through most vendors but not in stock; the rotors were like $55 & the pads were $15. The information on your site is correct regarding the rear braking setup, both calipers and pads are identical to that of a 1991 Chevy Lumina (rear). The rotors unfortunately, are not. I was glad to learn mine were plenty thick enough to be turned, so I didn't have to search for those!

    As far as Fieros go, that is a mystery I couldn't solve. I compared with 5 different Fieros, but the braking setup on all of those was nothing like our car's. The calipers were made out of aluminum; no resemblance. Strangely
    enough though, when I purchased the pads for an 89 LeMans, they cross referenced to be the same as for a Fiero! So....maybe it is the same as some specific model of Fiero?

    Somehow I could not help but feel a little insulted when I learned which model this setup was inherited from, heheh.... Joshua Lawrence

    "I can confirm that the front brake pads are compatible w/ the Pontiac Fiero."--Andy Y

    "The front disks and pads are 1990 Vauxhall Astra GSi parts; ? Rears are Vauxhall Nova fronts."--Rod

    "Doug... the brakes are from any of the "W-Body" G.M. cars from the late 80s early 90s ..."--Tony V
    W-body cars are: 1988-up Chevrolet Lumina, Monte Carlo, Buick Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and Pontiac Grand Prix.

    The Rear Pads are from the Pontiac Grand Prix apparently fitting 88-93 models, their part is # SLT 24-377-02 and they should cost around $30 --Brian MDB


    AVO Adjustable Gas Shock Absorbers are available as OEM replacement units and offer a wide range of damping adjustment. The part numbers are found on the AVO site as follows:

    Elan Front: PH747 Elan Rear: PH748 Learn more at

    SJ Sportscars, LTD - sells 'GAZ' adjustable struts for the Elan. You can get front and rear. They have been a reliable source of good parts and service to our Elan group, check out their website! They ship overseas.

    Oil Filters:

    • Purolator PureOne PL14459
    • Fram PH3593A (Fram DoubleGuard = DG3593)
    • AC PF1127
    • Motorcraft FL-810
    • Castrol MaxPro Plus CMP3593A
    • QuakerState QS3593B
    • WIX 51334ST
    • MANN (german company): part # W811/80

    Using this list of replacement oil filters, I was able to purchase and fit today a brand readily available here in Australia called Ryco, model Z79A. Cost me $10 Australian which is very good compared with ~$69 for the genuine Lotus filter. Jeff.

    Endcap Screws for the Valve Cover Plate:

    While changing my spark plug wires, I replaced the 6 screws that retain the plate over the wires--and it was easy!--(they were getting rusty) They are "hex-head, end cap screws" measuring "M5 X 10mm, with 0.8 pitch"--you can get them at probably any hardware store

    Spark Plugs:

    The Pep Boys part number for the original NGK BKR6E plugs is #6962.
    A breakdown of the NGK spark plug code is as follows:

    • "B" = 14mm Thread Diameter
    • "K" = Hex Size 5/8" Projected Tip (ISO)
    • "R" = Resistor Type
    • "6" = Heat Rating (range from 2=Hot to 11=Cold)
    • "E" = Thread Reach 19mm (3/4")

    Torque is one of the most critical aspects of spark plug installation. Torque directly affects the spark plugs' ability to transfer heat out of the combustion chamber. A spark plug that is under-torqued will not be fully seated on the cylinder head, hence heat transfer will be slowed. This will tend to elevate combustion chamber temperatures to unsafe levels, and pre-ignition and detonation will usually follow. Serious engine damage is not far behind.

    An over-torqued spark plug can suffer from severe stress to the Metal Shell which in turn can distort the spark plug's inner gas seals or even cause a hairline fracture to the spark plug's either case, heat transfer can again be slowed and the above mentioned conditions can occur.

    The spark plug holes must always be cleaned prior to installation, otherwise you may be torquing against dirt or debris and the spark plug may actually end up under-torqued, even though your torque wrench says otherwise. Of course, you should only install spark plugs in a cool engine, because metal expands when its hot and installation may prove difficult.

    Install the plugs to 18-21.5 lb-ft. torque.

    Since the gap size has a direct affect on the spark plug's tip temperature and on the voltage necessary to ionize (light) the air/fuel mixture, careful attention is required. While it is a popular misconception that plugs are pre-gapped from the factory, the fact remains that the gap must be adjusted for the vehicle that the spark plug is intended for. Those with modified engines must remember that a modified engine with higher compression or forced induction will typically require a smaller gap settings (to ensure ignitability in these denser air/fuel mixtures). As a rule, the more power you are making, the smaller the gap you will need.

    A spark plug's voltage requirement is directly proportionate to the gap size. The larger the gap, the more voltage is needed to bridge the gap. Most experienced tuners know that opening gaps up to present a larger spark to the air/fuel mixture maximizes burn efficiency. It is for this reason that most racers add high power ignition systems. The added power allows them to open the gap yet still provide a strong spark.

    With this mind, many think the larger the gap the better. In fact, some aftermarket ignition systems boast that their systems can tolerate gaps that are extreme. Be wary of such claims.

    Timing and Accessory Belts:

    So I traded my car's belts in with a load of cash for some new ones. My car now runs nicely but with a new "belt turning" sound from the engine--this has gone away after a few months! There are 2 drive belts, one smaller than the other. I noticed these belts definitely wearing/cracking on my car and some others so check yours out! They are both grooved belts, and seeing my old ones it seems they collect little silt/grit in the groove depths with age. The smaller belt says on it, "Bando Rib-Ace 4PK685" and the Isuzu part number written on it is "894139-0670", and the larger belt is "Bando Rib-Ace 6PK1045" with Isuzu part number "894362-7320". I've found these belts DO cost enough that you can save a great amount getting them all at your friendly local Isuzu dealer (mine is). To my surprise I examined my car's old (60K miles) timing belt and find it to be in visibly excellent condition--kinda too late now since I changed it though!! Yes, it does have Isuzu written on it (part #8944294860). Don't forget to check for availability of these belts at an Isuzu dealer near you.

    Heater Valve:

    My coolant leak is in fact the vacuum controlled valve right under the intake manifold. It is completely disintegrated.... I suspect that all Elans are prone to this...Came out no fact completely disintegrated in my hand... Check your cars...the NAPA # for the Heater valve. is 660-1200 It appears to work...can not drive the car as the roads are covered in salt up here...but unless you all hear form me...this appears to be a fix...the new valve is all plastic... and will probably outlast the car. --Tony V

    In regards to the coolant leak, it was the heater valve. This valve is part plastic/part metal. The metal flange was 60% gone. Upon trying to replace this part, I was notified that the design was discontinued due to this problem. I was able to use a generic heater valve by Four Seasons, part # 74612 --Scott

    Parts guys know this by the generic name "heater control valve."
    We sat down and used the pictures from a Four Seasons catalog (they happened to be the parts guy's supplier for such valves) to find the part that matched the "look" of the original valve. The only thing you need to be aware of is how the valve works...i.e. does it close under vacuum or open under vacuum. I think?? ours closed under vacuum.

    The reason I mention this is because there may be some confusion as to what is the "right" part. Since we matched the original valve up visually, we expected the delivered part to "look" just like the one we saw in the book. It did not look like the one in the book. This is because the metal on the old Lotus design decomposes. The new one I have is all plastic. (also, as an FYI - our old valve was listed in the book as also fitting a Ford/Mercury)

    So, if you feel okay with finding a part that works, but will not be "Lotus" then I recommend using the generic
    heater valve that is out there. Plus, the plastic will guarantee no more rot/leaks.

    I sketched up a profile of the new version of the part. With it, you should be able to find it easily at any shop.

    Phoned up Classic Components (telephone +44 (0)1324 722777--also known as Eurojag) and found them to be very helpful. Basically the heater valve part no. C41051A is the one I fitted. It's off a series 3 XJ6 and a also fitted to the XJS. The price is £17.95 plus VAT plus postage and packaging of £1.50. Another option (and I recon the slightly better one) is to fit a valve part number CBC2536. This vacuum operated heater control valve is off a Jag XJ40, it's the same price but apparently a little bit smaller as valve part no. C41051A has a small bracket on it allowing it to be mounted to the bulkhead.

    Headlight Control Module:

    The headlight control module is the same one in the Pontiac Firebird/Trans Am. It was rumored that this module was also in the Fiero/Sunbird. The module looks exactly the same in the Fiero/Sunbird. Upon opening up examples from both the Fiero/Sunbird, the pin-out is the same but the electronic connections are incompatible. It was not until I had my hands on a '92 Firebird module that the headlights worked. Dan had also used one from a '93 Firebird. Also, in investigating this problem, I visited the Firebird usenet groups. This module is prone to burn-out. (replacement cost new - $200) So, while Dan and I are the first, I do not believe we will be the only ones. Be warned!! The module is 5"x5", black and has one 4 wire plug on the left and a 5 wire plug on the right. Also, the module has the word "GUIDE" written on its top. On the Elan, while looking at the engine bay, the module sits on the left hand side of the firewall. On the '93 Trans Am Firebird I grabbed mine from, the module was below and behind the LH Headlight pod -- you have to look close to spot it.

    Soft Top/Hood:

    I have not read the messages in about a here are some responses to some "old" questions. R&D Enterprises in Pa. sell an exact match to our convertible top. I just received it. It cost $750.00 and took about 2 weeks to get. They were the only place I could find one in the US outside of Lotus. --Gary

    Regarding M100 soft top replacement: I Found another US aftermarket manufacturer called "cabrioworld" with a price of $425 and can be contacted at or Jeff at (800) 752 1563 or (973) 642 4058. thank you, Loren

    The original manufacture of the M100 hood was "Tickford", who are still trading but under a new name, "Trim Technology" =

    Check here as well,

    Coolant Pump:

    My electric coolant pump (engine management) stopped working and I found that the Lotus replacement part was very expensive. This is a brief summary of my troubleshooting and replacement.

    Test the pump:

    The electric pump operates when the engine temp is v-high, but the engine is turned off. The fans and pump use the same switch (next to the thermostat). To test the pump run the engine until the fans come on, turn off the engine and listen to the pump (it's quiet, so go around to the front of the car).

    Check the fuse:

    The pump has it's own fuse, so if the fans operate but the pump does not, check the fuse first! It's located under the dash-cover (remove the two screws and lift off). It is fuse no. 4 in the 'C' fuse box.

    Locating the pump:

    The coolant pump is located next to the left hand headlight pod (when sat in the car). It is a little electric pump with two wires and two hoses attached.

    Sourcing a new pump:

    During my research Ashaman found a site which showed a very similar pump, which had been used in the past to replace a Mercedes coolant pump, which is very similar to the Lotus pump.

    This pump is 12 volt and features a magnetic drive - this means that there is no way for water to ever get into the electrics. It also means that if a foreign body got into the impeller and jammed it, the motor should not burn out.

    I purchased my pump in the UK from: (look under JABSCO CIRCULATION PUMPS).

    59500-0012 Jabsco 59500 circulation pump

    It cost me £95 inc VAT, compared to the Lotus part at £195 inc VAT.

    When the pump arrived it turned out to be EXACTLY the same shape and size as the original. Even the wire colouring is the same. Only difference seems to be that they recommend a 2.5amp fuse rather than the 5amp recommended for the original pump.

    To fit:
    1)Make sure that the coolant is COLD!
    2) No need to drain coolant, not much spills as the pump is at the top of the system.
    3) Loosen the water pipes attached to the pump.
    4) Remove the 8mm bolt holding the pump in place.
    5) Keep the piece of rubber that is wrapped around the pump for fitting the new one.
    6) Get the new pump ready, then quickly pull the water hoses off the old pump and place onto the new one.
    7) Fit new pump in the mount with the rubber etc.
    8) Cut the power lead for the old pump and use an electrical joining block to connect the wires to the old connector (or use a new connector).

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