Lotus Elan

Track preparing a +2?

PostPost by: Dave240 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:38 am

Since I got my car, I've been debating what approach I am going to take when rebuilding it. When I bought the car, it was entirely disassembled and it seems there are lots of interior bits missing the more I delve into the project. I also really enjoy racing, there's a great little track with lapping events near my house and a new road course that will be finished next year. The local racing association hosts vintage classes of all their races too. So I'm thinking of turning the car into more of a track prepared weekend racer. I'll emphasize spending money on the engine and suspension, rather than blowing my life savings on getting the interior back to showroom quality. I was thinking more of just the dash and two seats, for the interior. I found some very nice vintage looking race seats that I am told will fit the car.

Anyone on here have experience with tracking their +2? I know it's not as ideal as other Elans but it seems like it would still be a decently competitive car on the track. What are the weaker points of the car, when it comes to driving them hard? I'd love to pick the brains of some guys who have track experience in their +2.

PS: I know it's faux pas to make the same posts in two subsections of the forums, but I didn't get any responses in the "Plus 2" section so I thought I would post this here...
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:20 am

Dave,

Dan Wardman and Joel Farber here in the SF Bay area raced +2's in sympathetic vintage clubs (Evil Twins Racing Team). They installed the required safety equipment and upgraded the springs, dampers, bushings, etc and went out to have fun.

If you want I can dig up the info and forward the info to you via PM or email.

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: elj221c » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:11 am

A little inspiration for you.......

Sorry, no technical details.
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+2  Brands 7;10.JPG and
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+2  Brands.1 7;10.JPG and
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:39 pm

preping a car for track work or racing is very simple ----take piles of money and throw it at the car until its ready --this pastime is designed to use up as many expensive parts as possible in as short a time as possible -----enjoy - :roll: -ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: Dave240 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:21 am

I guess I should be more specific in my questions. Some of the things I'm wanting to know are about upgrades to certain components. For the local vintage series I just need a roll bar, not a full cage. I see Sypder makes one for the Elan but not sure about the +2. Anyone know? I've emailed them to ask... I know there are people who do race these, so please chime in if you do! What do you run for brakes? Suspension?
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:51 am

GOING from the ground up in Cdn dollars --SET OF STICKY TIRES --SLICKS HERE ARE 900 BUCKS A SET GOOD FOR 4 HEAT CYCLES AND THEN THEY GO OFF -set of rains 900 and good wheels 900 -MEAN GREEN BRAKE PADS good for about 5 or 6 events -couple hundred -- a good race seat and a set of 5 or 6 point harnesses 4 0r 5 hundred bucks ----roll over bar a few hundred more -----A good snell approved helmet 500 and suit triple layer 600 gloves under wear -balaclava 350 shoes 100 -fuel cell 1000---engine work[ how fast do you want to go and how much money do you have ?] entry fee 450 -trailer to get there and bring the broken or wrecked car home[ cheap open one] 600 bucks or closed one 10,000- engine freshen up 10 dollars a lap and done every 4 or 5 events these costs are to start your first event -after that is crash damage-- upkeep -wheel bearings and other consumables ------I dont or didnt count food and lodgings because you need that anyhow ---and you may win a 15 dollar trophy --your better off to buy a boat --enjoy --ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: Dave240 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:37 pm

^ Thanks for the input, appreciate any help I can get. I am familiar with how much racing costs as my two friends and I own a car we built for Chump Car. So I know how much it costs to fit a car with good brakes, decent tires, a full roll cage, seat, 6-pt harness, fire extinguisher, cut off switches, tow hooks, and on and on. But that also means I already have the gear, 3-layer race suit, SA Snell helmet, gloves, shoes, etc. I have all the gear I need but a HANS device. Despite the fact it was Chump Car (budget racing) it was still expensive... about $1000CAD for every hour of track time I got. I understand the costs involved.

What I'm looking for are things like what pads people have raced with. What is the best spring/shock combo? What sway bars are you using? All that info that I can't seem to find anywhere online.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:32 pm

ok GET A HANNS if I had one I would not have had a stiff neck for the last 8 years -----my car has AR brakes front with soft pads -there are newer and better callipers and pads available if your sanctioning body allows them --front and rear anti roll bars --adjustable spring perch shocks [I would get Penskies as the rebound is adjustable and they are rebuildable .90 pound springs to allow the chassis to work and not tear off suspension mounting points or over stress the chassis .[ Im sure someone here will want stiffer ones ]--check the 26R section ---ed
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:10 pm

I think the +2 is a great trackday/vintage car. The wider track and longer wheelbase make it easier to drive quickly.

I noted the following items on Wardman's or Joel's cars:

Reinforced the chassis rear suspension towers and added a brace bar between.
Reinforced the front shock towers and added a triangulated brace bar.
Stiffer/shorter springs all round, but retained near original ride height. AVO shocks - huge improvement over Spax.
Reinforced the motor mount brackets.
Panasport K/O wheels. Higher strength stub axles and diff output shafts. Rear droop limit straps so the donuts didn't overextend. Donut inspection and torque check every event! (something in the rules about originality I think).
Replaced all suspension bushings and replaced the trunnions and front spindles with new stronger steel alloy ones.
KFP Magnum brake pads, or Porterfield R4S brake pads. I use Porterfield R4S on my Elan and R4 on my Formula Ford. Keith Averill at Averill Racing Stuff in Michigan is the guru on the KFP pads. He has been racing and selling parts for many years and is a wealth of knowledge.
Rebuild brakes all round, including new braided stainless hoses. I don't recall if he replaced the dual MC with a pair of singles and an adjustable bias bar.
Braided clutch line and insulated around the header and insulate the clutch slave too.
Roll Bar- he had one fabricated for his car. Much better quality than autopower. Perhaps Spyder makes one?
Racing seat.
Avon or Dunlop treaded vintage bias ply tires. They will last a season and wear well. They have great grip and make four wheel drifts very enjoyable because they are so progressive near the limit. Use them in the rain only if they are new. Ask me how I know this....

+1 on the HANS device. A fellow FF racer hit a tire barrier at 55 in a Royale. He was wearing a six point harness pulled tight and his forehead still struck the steering wheel!
Click on this link and scroll down to 1995....
http://www.jameshakewill.com/bio.htm
James says he still feels the effects from that shunt.

Best regards,
Dan Wise
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PostPost by: Dave240 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:41 am

StressCraxx: Thank you immensely for that post. I've got a lot of research ahead of me! The car came with brand new Koni adjustables for the rear, but unfortunately nothing for the front. So I'll have to find a set for the front. And I need some springs to pair them with.

I can probably get a good friend of mine to engineer a roll cage for me. He makes them for all the local cars, but never worked on a fiberglass car with a backbone chassis! I've emailed Spyder to see if they make one for a +2 so hopefully will hear from them soon. Definitely am getting a HANS device. Just haven't bit the bullet yet and it will be a while before this car is anywhere near ready to be on the track.

Thanks again for your reply!
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:19 pm

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:49 am

Thanks for posting Ross. What a great looking car. 8) Will be very interesting to see what it goes for with no reserve. :)
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:12 am

Ross Robbins wrote:Here is the fastest and probably cheapest way to have a track prepared Plus 2: :D :D

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1967-Lotus-Elan-2-prepared-vintage-racing-not-street-legal-/130734653142?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item1e70647ed6


I believe that is either Dan Wardman's or Joel Farber's car. I just can't remember who's who anymore!
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PostPost by: mini64 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:37 pm

I realize I'm a bit late in responding to this thread - sorry, i play on the computer all day long so rarely get on at home.

We race a +2 that we bought already prepared. Photos of it are at the race-cars.com link below. See it on our site here: http://race.fawcettengineering.com/

http://www.race-cars.com/carsold/lotus/ ... 7206ss.htm

As purchased it was well prepared but the engine was pretty worn. It has a nice cage in it, fuel cell, good seat. Apart from adjustable coilovers not much else done to make it a "racer". The shock tower mount on the left rear has bent at the weak point. Will have to fix sometime soon - for now i adjusted the spring perch to get the balance back - terrible, I know.

I'm a budget racer so my responses may be a bit different then others. I'll say the stock motor is quite reliable if you dont over rev it. The one in our 7 lasted for 6 seasons, two drivers running it in two different classes (i.e. twice the race mileage), and was still running strong when an oil filter backed off causing it to go bang. Big red oil pressure and temperature warning lights in all our cars now. I find the main problem with the motors is oil pickup on right hand turns. There are several fixes or helps for that in this forum. I'm using a center pickup and fully baffled, hinged oil pan. On my 7, which will pull more lateral g's, I have an accusump also, but honestly I dont think it helps much. Having said all this about the reliability of the stock motor, over the years, with too many cars to work on, and a bit more money coming in, i have tended to rebuild with stronger components. when the +2 motor was on its last legs I rebuilt with a cast FF crank (not that much stronger but better steel and casting tech then 40 years ago), nice pistons and h-beam rods.

If you are just getting into racing I suggest spending the money on safety and improve the car later, once you get the hang of your car and your tracks. Just a roll bar may be all that is needed, but remember there wont be any metal to your side in an accident. My vintage group requires dot approved tires - your quickest improvement in performance will be going from street tires to a set of r- compounds. i can make them last for two seasons, although near their end things get a bit more exciting.

As far as how does a +2 race - great! I drove our 7 for 10 years and sometimes I forget I'm not still in it. Yes, the 7 out performs it considerably, but they are both great fun. Both very catchable. Very forgiving and can be driven around competitors on almost any corner. I like springs not much stiffer then stock - this allows for a car that can be driven off line or over the bumps without it being upset. Yes, more body roll of course. It pretty much out-brakes anyone else. Our run group is full of porsches - sometimes 20 out of 30 cars. Its great fun to beat them! I've been 4th overall in the +2, behind three well driven and fast 911's.

If you can ever make it to the southwest, please look up the cvar schedule (corinthianvintagerace.com). we have 4 elans in the club right now - would love another.

race start in the +2 from a mid-pack grid position -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNeOw65j ... r_embedded
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PostPost by: Dave240 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:18 pm

Thanks for the informative response. I think I'll be using your car as a model, as I don't have a massive racing budget either. What coilovers are you using? I wasn't aware there were coilover options for our cars! I've done some racing, but I'm not a seasoned veteran by any means. I still have lots to learn.
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