Lotus Elan

Sows Ear Chassis

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:55 pm

I started about 7:30 this morning, I knocked these GT6 uprights apart as I didn't like the green. I found some crud under the paint so I was glad I took the time to take them apart and get a good look under the paint.
GT6 hubs and uprights disassembled.JPG and

I guess that Tingles C Production body is getting converted to RHD because I have the parts to do it and I need to use them up. About 9 hours to get this stuff cleaned and painted. There is no money to be made doing this, I just like to build these wrecks back from the dead the way I like.
Sows Ear front end parts painted.JPG and


Friday 11:30 am

GT6 uprights reassembled and hung off the top ball joint.
fronts on loose.JPG and


Progress is likely to slow down as I have run into some problems with parts that must be repaired or replaced. I have 3 diff housings and 2 have some issues that I can't overlook, one is a maybe but if I get one welded then I might as well do the other. Here are a couple of pictures of the worst one. This used to reside in my current Elan and was living with me beating the living shit out of it with 150 hp for 6 years, I pulled it out 5 or 6 years ago to replace with a 3.55 and this morning I pulled it off the shelf to have a look and clean it up before installing and noticed that Its a bit cracked and to install it as is just ain't going to do the job.

cracked Lotus diff housing.JPG and


cracked Lotus diff housing1.JPG and


This other Diff was out of 36/6292 I think and it has the snap ring showing for about 60 degrees of the circumference and may be ok for mild use but I plan on beating it hard so I would like to install something that I won't make worse than it already is.
worn output bearing area Lotus diff housing.JPG and


4:15 pm
Progress continues with the one good diff and it now has paint on it, matches the chassis. The other diff pig was painted as it's just as easy to paint two as it is one, the prep time was about an hour each. these are not rebuilt but I have not had problems with the Ford english diffs, these cars, either Elan or Cortina just never got all that many miles on them before something else rendered them dead.

pig and a pumpkin painted1.JPG and


pig and a pumpkin painted.JPG and


16P caliper halves painted and alloy rack mounts .JPG and

Gary
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:06 pm

Back on the two bit whore this morning, it was time to stuff in the one good diff I have in. It was in my original chassis for the last 20 years without turning a mile but was full of 90 weight and looked good enough with a coat of the chassis paint mix I used. I pulled it as the original chassis had way too many issues and besides I needed it. When I disconnected the prop shaft when I de-installed it there was a good stream of 90 weight in the cavity that the prop flange and diff input flange create when bolted together so I pulled the nut off the pinion input shaft after marking it and smeared some wellseal on the threads and the nut mating surface and re-tightened the the pinion flange nut back to where it had been before I started this morning. I don't know if it will help but probably won't hurt so I figure that its time for the picture show.

Cardboard is taped in place to prevent the scuffing of the chassis or differential paint by the other.
Cassis prepped for diff.JPG and


Only ninor jockeying was required to slip the diff into position, I saw a minor scuff on one of the top ears of the diff case once it was in place.
Diff installed from the LH side.JPG and


No other related parts or hardware is installed before the diff other than the parking-brake tree.
Diff installed from the LH side top view.JPG and


Left ear of the diff housing is shown with the bolt and two washers below and the 2 - two inch by 1/8" thick washers ready to push up the bolt into the frustacone.
Diff installed from the LH side frustacone prep.PG.jpg and


Plenty of antiseize was used on the long bolt to ease dis-assembly in the future.
bolt up -hick washer-fender-2 two inch thick.JPG and


In the event of a frustacone failure it is the thick 2 inch washers the keep thinks in place and only make a noise to let you know there are problems
single two inch thick on top.JPG and


Photo show the steel cup washers hanging in place, these are there to center the torque thrust rods in the diff housing to prevent the steel rod to ovalizing the the alloy hole in the housing. I believe that the manual says to install from the left side because of the parking-brake tree, it seems to be almost impossible to remove once the body is in place. I am not sure it is the only reason or not as I haven't tried it from the right side before.
Cup washers installed.JPG and


I used some soft urethane bushes in the front of the diff on the torque rods, on the back side there were some urethane bushes that I picked up locally (8 for $12), I guess I'll see how they work out. :) Oh yea, I will remove the cardboard when I tighten up all of the bolts...
Nothing tightr yetJPG.jpg and


I think that the only bolt that I have tightened so far is the parking-brake tree to chassis, I will soon have to get out the wrenches and do some up but I want to get more of the front suspension done first. I have some parts coming later this week so maybe I'll get the right shock bushes so that will happen. The back needs a pair of strut inserts so thats on hold for now. The sows ear special is waiting on parts too so I need to start on something else this week to keep busy...

Gary
Last edited by Guest on Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: elansprint » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:52 pm

Gary coming on well just looking at the pictures are you building the chassis up in your conservatory/lounge ?
Ian
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi Ian

I hope folks are enjoying the topic. Alan suggested I document a build a while back so when I decided to get off of my ass and get some projects that have lingered for 8 (maybe more?) years I thought it was a great idea to share it with everyone that wanted to follow along. The only problem with me doing projects is the space that I needed to do these chassis (two chassis) was filled with other project stuff. I really hate to sell anything so I just moved the chassis into the living room. They came in through a 32 inch entry door sideways and that is how they will exit when the time comes, just a bit heavier. This was done before back in 1992 when I did a Spyder chassis build in the downstairs bedroom that is now a parts storage room. Its not ideal to do a build up in the living room but getting nothing done this year is not an option.

Gary
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PostPost by: Peter +2 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:14 pm

Gary

I really enjoy reading and seeing the progress you are making.

Please keep the posts comming.

Peter
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:11 pm

Hi Gary
Great work, the speed your going puts mine to shame
rod
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:41 pm

Gary, Great thread! You and I are at about the same stage of completion, but you're doing two to my one. ... and in your living room, to boot. How come your living room isn't as trashed as my garage?
Bud
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:59 pm

Hi Peter

Posts will continue as things are done. If nothing is done then there will be no post.

Hi Rod

I done this a couple of time before so I am aware of what needs to get done, It still takes a year to do an Elan if things go right and they won't. I'd guess I will get close but I doubt I will get them done as the money thing is a large part of keeping the ball rolling.

Hi Bud

Thank Alan for lighting a fire. You should see the rest of the house, Ny garage is worse than yours I am sure of that.

Gary

I switched gears this morning, Not a lot to do until some parts come in and they only shipped today, I'll be lucky to get them by next Monday. Anyway I uncovered Tingles C production body on the back porch and did some looking at it. It needs some money spent on materials and I didn't feel like spending more so I looked a little deeper and thought the rear bumper could be worked on and some progress made.Its just about as ugly a rear bumper as I have seen, I have had worse but I tossed them out, this was a borderline bumper but I was short on rears so I kept it around. the first order of business was to inspect it and it was foamed so that meant that it was coming out. It had been "fixed" before, maybe several times. It had a number of fiberglass cloth patched and it had been broken and badly repaired. I didn't take many pictures as I thought the deeper I got the more likely is was I would just trash the thing, it was looking pretty bad and I thought about cutting it length wise but I just used several sharp chisels to remove the nasty repairs. I sanded off all of the filler that was hiding the original gel coat and when I finished sanding about 3:00pm I had two fairly clean but still nasty pieces. I put it back on the S2 shell and taped it together and pulled it away rather gingerly and set it down and went to find some fiberglass mat, resin, hardener and the rest of the kit. it was about 55 degrees and borderline for that time of day to start glassing but I had a lot of hardener so I figured with a heat gun I could get it to kick. It did and I brought it inside to get some more heat into it, Finally I gave it a good blast with the heat gun once it was hard enough to move. by 6:30 I was grinding off the excess fur. So about 9 hours to get it back into one piece, it will take another long day plus to get it looking right.

before top and after today bottom.JPG and


taped side.JPG and


3 layers.JPG and


tape removed  side.JPG and


ready to glass tomorrow.JPG and


Seems like a lot of work to save the thing but prep work is never fun or rewarding and it sure doesn't look like I spent all day on it. Oh well, not a lot else to do but at least I did something...
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:31 pm

Hi Gary
its great to see someone else who actually mends things Ive never been a fan of chequebook restoration
rod
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:56 pm

Thanks, Gary. I've looking at a crack in my rear bumper for 7 years now and wondered how to repair, now I know.
Dan
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:05 pm

It it is even a better fiberglass day today, I got started early and it was a bit cool but I got yesterdays clean break repair done anyway. A bit of extra hardened again and the heat gun as a helper. This is old resin and hardener, I got it just before LOG30 to fix Ross Robins cant rail so thats a year and a half, I had another small jar of resin and its even older. This fits right in with the sows ear mentality of the project, old and free stuff that should be tossed but it got a new lease on being useful. Pretty much all junk that will be saved, you just can't beat that for making a penny scream. Yesterdays repair is now sanded and if I had some gel coat I might do the whole bumper but I don't and it's a lot of work for what my intentions are. I guess I'll get some bondo and fill in the small voids and fair it to shape. That may or may not happen tomorrow, I just don't know, I guess I'll see how the rest of it turns out, I need to do another batch of resin and it will be all gone. I guess I'll go and see my friend Willie and see what he has that he won't use.

Not bad for a bumper that was in two pieces
yesterdays repair glassed ground and sanded.JPG and

yesterdays repair glassed ground and sanded1.JPG and




more goo two.JPG and


more goo three.JPG and


Wednesday April 11th 08:30

Two days later, it doesn't look like much more than I started but I know the difference. This is just the start of a whole lot of sanding that needs to happen. I guess thats one of the reasons that this and other projects stall. The repair of fiberglass is just the start, now that the rear bumper is back to being a solid one piece unit it's time to start to make it look "pretty". I Stopped at Willie's and bummed some more resin to finish the glass work, I was close yesterday but there were enough low spots that needed more. I just thought I could waste some time and put off some of the sanding, besides the glass really wasn't hard enough and was just clogging the 80 grit paper. I got about 20 oz resin and the bottom of a 5 gallon pale of old black gel coat, two thick to spray but probably just about right to brush on. So thats going to be todays project. Anyway I did another round last night at around 6pm with the resin and glass and left it over night to harden on the rack.
hardening rack.JPG and

I sanded down the fiberglass and all of the fur that I didn't wet out and ended up with this lovely thing. This took the better part of an hour. It's just a bit disheartening to look at and know there is a good month of sanding to be done on this project but thats the reality of the sows ear. Its either pay someone a months wages and then some or do the work or feel the pain myself. life's a bitch and its good to be able to enjoy it.
two days.JPG and


two days1.JPG and


two days2.JPG and


It's now black, ready or not all it can be is right or not and I will just have to sand it down to find out. I think I was a little heavy on the hardener but I guess thats how things work out sometimes.

ready enough for black.JPG and


make mine black1.JPG and
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:23 am

Nothing more annoying than when you discover lost in your spares a part that just got delivered. Bearings, bushes and seals are the most often candidates

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:47 pm

Well it's turned into bumper week, one rear repaired and two fronts. One is from 26/4020 which is supposed to get the "two bit whore" chassis so I figured it was time to fix the front bumper that I backed into with the F250, luckily for me the trailer hitch receiver punched the bumper just off the middle but dead center on the height so the body shell was undamaged but the bumper took it on the chin. This morning I started off fixing the stress cracks from the punch, I didn't take them all out as this is not by any means a perfect shell. its had seen some action when it was extracted from 20 plus years of growth. There were holes punched in the body from the rake on the back of the tractor used to clear away the heavy brush and small trees. You can see some small stress fractures directly above the impact but these will be mostly hidden by paint (I can always use one of those filler strips and that will hide most that is not hidden) and if not I can do it again if it bothers me that much which is unlikely.
26-4020 front bumper repair.JPG and

This was one of the bumpers that I molded from Willie's bumper mold and it's seen a number of units molded from it, I've pulled at least 3 and the mold was no virgin before. That said the bumpers molded need a fair amount of work to look right but the money was right so I used what I got and made due. This was one of the last jobs that came out of my old shop in Greenbush before the commuter train bought the property and turned it into a parking lot. It was painted only days before we were evicted and two others never got painted, things were tight for time and time just ran out. So the bumper was not finished either. I never got the bobbins boned into it and just figured I would get to it. So here it is eight and a half years later and I am getting to it today. I wouldn't want to rush a project along or anything :) , I am not sure if I had bobbins back then so I guess thats a good excuse for shit bagging it back then. Excellent weather today and all week for fiberglass, with fiberglass is grinding, and with grinding is laundry, so I did 3 loads this morning. I spare you the laundry photos but here are a couple of the bobbing bonding.
bobbin bonding.JPG and


bobbin bonding 2.JPG and


It still needs some more work but getting closer is half of the game.
bumper fitting 1.JPG and




I found this other front bumper in Tingles C Prod race body, it does not go with it but was just stored init for the last couple years, out of site, out of mind. Anyway I pulled all of the foam as it was blown up bigger than could ever be used and I needed it gone to get inside to glass the back side. This was nearly broken it two places but due to it being a later bumper from an S3 it remained intact. I spent about a day on it and I don?t even have a place for it at the moment but it bumper week so it got what it needed to be useful again. The S3 SE is missing the mid-nose and bumper so it won?t go to waste. To be truthful I just didn?t want to spend money this week and start on Tingles early S2 body so the three bumpers killed the week, I wet sanded the black gel coat off of the rear bumper at least I sanded about half, but after an hour and a bit I moved on to something else, I hope to get back to it tomorrow. The front will wait for a while I think but maybe my right arm will be up for it after the rear gets done.
front after glass.JPG and


front after glass gel coated.JPG and


Saturday April 14th 12:00pm

I was looking for something easy to do this morning so I got all of the parts and various pieces together for the rear uprights for the two bit whore chassis. I tossed the rear drive axles and the output shafts for the diff in the freezer for about an hour and went out to set up the arbor press. I had some time to kill and went down the street to pick up a few more sheets of 120 grit 3M wet/dry sandpaper. When I got back I pulled off the paper that was still on the uprights and cleaned up the old masking tape that was left from a couple years ago when I bead blasted the uprights. I didn?t want to bead blast the bearing surface of the alloy so this needed some acetone and a bit of elbow grease to remove. Once everything was good and clean I pressed it all together. I was going to get photos but, well I didn?t. I just didn?t think it would show much so there is only one photo of the uprights nearly ready to install minus the shock inserts.

Sows ear rear uprights.JPG and


I managed to do a bit of sanding on the black gel coat and the rear bumper is getting close, now I need to really get serious about the rest of it. :)
rear bumper fitting.JPG and


Monday, April 16th

Yesterday was a slow day, I looked for missing parts for the front wheel bearings. I looked at the hubs and they had bearing installed and packed but the heavy-duty washers with the D hole was missing. I found several sets of used bearing in different locations but no washers, in between searches I went out and sanded the black gel coat off of the front bumper that I repaired, this has nothing to do with either chassis as its for a S3 or S4 but I had the weather and I had the glass, resin, and gel coat so it got fixed. On about the 4th search of the day I found a pair of front stub axle bearing washers so it was a good day. Both front and the rear bumpers need more work but they are well along, I need to spend money on materials so I looked for a different job for today. Last week I started looking at gearboxes for 26/4020, it had the early style mount and all of the boxes I had ready or nearly ready were late style mounts so I started to pull one apart last Wednesday, I had the shift rails out and then I noticed it had the 17 mm input shaft so it was either a Ultra-close or a wide box. seeing the one Ultra-close was in the White Coupe and the other was in the alloy case, I said "Oh Shit", and put it back together with nothing accomplished. Today I pulled out two others and made the swap. On this box I tore the gasket removing the tailshaft and that meant dropping the second motion (counter) shaft and extracting the main shaft with all of the gears. I had been in this box a couple years ago and repacked the needle bearings with vaseline and got lucky and all of the needles stayed in place while I swapped the gasket out. I got it cleaned up and ready for paint and the bell housing bolted on with some wellseal on the one bolt that passes into the the case that beats everyone that doesn't read this forum day and night. Its about 85 degrees and not a day I am going out to run for paint so I guess it will wait a day or two.

It cooled off a bit so I took the Elan to Lowes for paint and to Autozone to get another swaybar bush set, I destroyed one trying to install it, I think its the first one that I have ruined, oh well another $7.50 gone. Paint was Rust-olium Hunter Green for $10.00 a quart, I got back and gave it a quick coat at about 3:30 so I can bring it back in in a couple hours before it gets dark.
Tailshaft swapped.JPG and

green box.JPG and


Not quite the right color but so what, its painted and thats a good thing! :D
Gary
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:30 pm

More paint today, great weather continues and I like to take advantage of it. I installed the last sway bar bush that I picked up yesterday, so thats 4 installed and one ruined, cost about $22 for both bars, it needed some touch up from me man handling it several times. I needed a set of front springs for 26/4020, I figure it will be light and I wanted it low so I chose the two shortest ones, one is about a half an inch taller than the other so I guess thats the drivers side. Other parts that got painted weren't needed right away but as I came across them and they would clean up easily I did so and less work that will need to be done once the bodies go back on. I still need to get or fix the Alloy Lotus differential case, I hope to get this resolved in the next coupe weeks but I don't think I'll run out of work for a couple years anyway but I would like to see that chassis out of the living room so I can bring in the one that is currently under 26/4020 that is destined to go back underneath 26/4997 to be re-united with the original body. So far I think I have spent a total of $700 to $800 on parts and fuel to get both chassis as far along as they currently are, That doesn't include any of the parts that were purchased previously but I would guess that was around $1000 8 or so years ago. I need to get my original engine out of the trailer, that means I need to disassemble it in place as its installed in a chassis and the work involved to get it out and put it back is just to much to think of. My guess is that the block, rods, pistons, crankshaft and pan weighs about 130lbs, I should be able to manage that or may even have to ask for help. All in all this project started 2 months ago and is well along, I guess I put in about 8 hours a day on average so I still think things are going nicely.

More Black stuff.JPG and


Black stuff.JPG and


recycled fasteners.JPG and


Wednesday April 18th
still more paint prep.JPG and


still more painted black.JPG and


other stuff too.JPG and


bump stops glues.JPG and
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:11 am

I got a package in the mail, a pair of used Koni?s so I got to thinking that the paint was dry on the rotors that I taped up and painted this morning, I figured, what the hell, why not. I had some other things that needed to be done like to find the 3.25 inch long - by 7/16 and found 11, six were a matched set so I cleaned them up on the wire wheel and then ran the 7/16 die over the threads and wire wheeled again. They looked pretty good for used donut bolts. I installed the Koni?s with some motor oil to conduct the heat away. The rotors went on next and then I slid on the donut, I haven?t cleaned up the stover nuts yet so its just sitting on there for now. I found the tie down straps and used two to pull the spring to something a bit shorter, it didn?t need much, maybe two or three inches and it was good to go on. I got the spring caps placed and tried the lotocone and I could get the alloy tube nut started easily so I took it back off and smeared some anti-seize on the lotocone and a bit of grease for good luck. Placed the nut back on with the permatex gasket cement, this stuff is 10 or more years old and the cap has been off for years, good stuff and hand tightened till I needed the 15/16 socket and worked it tight. I wasn?t satisfied with it so I got the ? inch impact wrench and tightened it good, it will be needed to remove it for sure. The straps were a bitch to get off I had to wind them around to near the top to get the hooks out of the spring but I managed.

spring compressed.JPG and


bump stop installed.JPG and


spring in place.JPG and


wonky spring cap in place.JPG and


shock nut nearly ready.JPG and


belts and suspenders.JPG and


goo kit.JPG and


goo'ed nut on.JPG and


straps off.JPG and


both.JPG and
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