Replacing our missing engine plate with a homemade one | Project Elva sports racer

When we bought our Elva MkVI sports racer, we were missing a lot of the driveline pieces. The car would originally have a metal plate behind the engine that held the starter. This plate would contain a seal around the crankshaft to keep oil from getting onto the clutch and into the bellhousing.

We looked and looked and finally found such a plate. But when we got it home, we realized it was set up for another transmission–most likely a BMC unit for a front-engine Climax conversion.

So, we would have to make this plate and fit the correct seal. We got another break when a reader with a disassembled Elva MK VI agreed to loan us some parts, including this spacer plate, so we could duplicate it accurately.

And accuracy here is key as this plate ultimately mounts to the transaxle. (There’s a spacer involved that we’ll talk about later.) You must get this plate correct to center the input shaft into the pilot bearing.

We used this borrowed plate to cut a new one from a quarter-inch plate of aluminum. It would mount our seal holder and surround the crankshaft.

We then test fitted our starter and made sure it engaged with our Fidanza flywheel.

Once we got every hole lined up, we could trace the shape of the original, borrowed plate onto our new one. We then cut down the new plate with a jigsaw and then smoothed the edges with a table sander using 120-grit paper.


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