Evening fellow Lotuser's.
### The Story ###
A few weeks ago my 2000 95K K-Series S1 Elise died of head gasket failure. I stripped it down intending to replace H/G (and all the other gaskets), h/bolts, c/belt + cam seals, w/pump, valve seals, ETC. As such I bought all the above new and spent about £120 in the process.
I bought all this as I thought if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it once and once properly. With this attitude I started getting prices on skimming the head and having it ported, valves re-seated ETC so it was worth putting it back on, there shouldn't have been a warped issue as it never ran over-heated. This all came to a few more hundred and I then started thinking well if I'm going to spend this much I should start looking into better way to spend the money and get more power... after a lot! of Google and head-scratching I decided on a VVC conversion for a cost/BHP+torque gain. Buying a bodywork/chassis knackered VVC MGF was cheaper than a VVC engine on it's own. So here's where I'm at
In my Elise at the moment I have a very very clean, perfectly running non VVC 1.8 bottom end and gearbox with 95K miles on it. Next to it I now have a 68K miles VVC complete engine and gearbox covered slightly here and there in oil. I've never heard this engine/gearbox run but been assured it's 100%. The oil is very clean, the gear linkage moves freely and the expansion bottle is spotless. The coolant was beautifully florescent green while pissing out everywhere as I took it out of the MG I bought. The handbrake travels only one click, the wiper washer fluid is blue and the brake pads and discs are in very good condition as it seems this car was very well serviced.
###The Question ###
My dilemma is:
1) Do I remove what's left of my Elise engine and replace it for the entire slightly leaky paired VVC engine/gearbox as a one? Meaning the need to hire a hoist and then deliberating whether to strip the head off, change the h/gasket, c/belt, w/pump, seals, sort any leaks... ETC, so pretty much back where I started with additional costs as I believe a lot of the stuff I've already bough isn't useable on the VVC (non VVC head bolts, cam-belt + pulley, h/gasket)
2) Rebuild my current bottom end with the VVC head meaning I can change the H/G and all other bits without effectively adding to my workload (bar the wiring harness!) but ending up with a bottom end and gearbox carrying 95K miles instead of 68K.
Is there any advantage to keeping the VVC bottom end and gearbox matched with the VVC head? Is the MGF VVC PG1 gearbox the same ratio's as the Elise 1.8 non VVC?
Any thoughts appreciated