Lotus Elan

Why restore an Elan

PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:49 am

Thanks Dan and Randy.

Randy, I think those front fenders are from a 32 Ford they are doing at the shop. The car actually was on the cover of Rod and Custom Magazine 50 years ago. They are restoring it to have it look like it did 50 years ago and Rod and Custom was going to put it on the cover again. Then the owner accidently had some stuff in his garage fall on the newly painted hood and it has to be redone. Then the hand made chrome bumpers were lost in shipping from the chrome platers. Those will have to be fabricated again. The project keeps hitting one roadblock after another. Luckily, the Elan is winning all admirers that enter the shop! And they love the stance as do I !
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:59 am

Thanks for the info, Frank. '32 Fords are - for those people who care about North American cars - the "bomb", as I'm told (for some reason my heart was always with '60s European sports cars).

Frank, you say the body has been entirely covered with this so-called "tissue". Could you clarify: were the spider cracks in the gel coat ground out and filled first? If so, were the ground out areas just filled with epoxy (in anticipation of the layer of tissue) or was cloth used on them, too, before the complete layer of tissue?

Thanks for the detail on this . . . :mrgreen:

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:09 pm

Car is looking fantastic Frank. A real restoration with the before & after!

Great question Randy. I don't think my body guy did the tissue thing, nd not sure of the details.
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:26 pm

Frank,

Great looking car! It is really coming together now. I am counting on seeing it next to mine in Orlando in October. Now you have a target date deadline. :P By the way the front looks especially fine :roll: :roll: :D
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Thu May 03, 2012 7:57 pm

Ross Robbins wrote:Frank,

Great looking car! It is really coming together now . . .

Really, Ross? Is that the best pun you can come up with?!?!? :wink: :wink:

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:17 am

Well everyone, the last couple of months have been exciting to say least. In May, I got laid off from IBM after 35 years. Not one to go on unemployment, I got hired two weeks later at FedEx, ................loading Semi Trucks part time with kids 40 years younger than I. Well I kept up with them but it's hard work.

Then after four weeks, I got hired at Peachtree Fab, where I'm learning to fabricate prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces. I really enjoy the work although it doesn't pay much but it's very rewarding at the end of the day. Unfortunately, it's 1 1/2 to 2 hours away. Lots of windshield time.

More importantly, I've lost my IBM email address of almost 25 years and had to get another email. Now my old one won't work on the this site. Instead of going under my old name of Famous Frank, the new name is Famous Franks ! What really hurts is losing 3rd gear.

The Elan is coming along nicely and will most likely be painted this week. I can't wait! New pics will be coming soon. In the meantime I'm struggling with cutting off the rear spring perches to make adjustable rear height available.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:51 am

Hi Frank

Good to see your posting again, the loss of third gear thing is not a handicap, its an opportunity. There are folks here that say nothing with more posts than most and others with less that offer more so who cares. We all know what you offer and the passion you carry along with you. The layoff thing is a difficult life change and you are a better person than I, I got asked to "volunteer" and took the money and ran, the option was to wait for the tap on the shoulder. I got a call from my ex boss a year later and went back to work and got nearly 3 more years before he called me in to say goodbye. Since then its been a different life as I didn't really feel like breaking in any new bosses, work has turned into something I used to do for a living and now I just get by as best I can and play with my Elans and try and help others with theirs. I am looking forward to seeing the S2 SE as it progresses. Keep on smiling :)

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:08 am

OK, I've lost my regular job, but I'm learning something new in the new one every day. Here is really some new good news. During this time of wondering if I can still pay the bills, save money for my son's college, etc, etc, etc it has been the Elan that has kept my head on straight!!! Odd jobs, cost cutting etc has kept me out of the red. More importantly, the Elan keeps my mind focused on what is important in life and the Elan can help with that as there is always something to repair that doesn't necessarily cost an arm and a leg. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't use that analogy any more with my new job!

Any way, here is the greatest news in months!!!! I will let the pics do the talking. As always, thank you to everyone in the forum that has helped and contributed to this great milestone!!!
Attachments
Nose fresh paint great resized.jpg and
Wow! Let's get to the LOG!
Left side with hard top.jpg and
Hard top
Left Front side no flash fresh paint great.jpg and
Finally, the Fresh Paint. I'm thrilled!!!
Dash and windshield frame fresh paint.jpg and
Dash and Windshield Frame in fresh paint
Red Seat in primered Elan.jpg and
New seat Red Seat Cover in Primered Elan.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:04 am

I forgot to ask, .........Ross Robins, how does your front clip look now? Thank you!
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:38 am

Well, it's been one hell of a long time since I've updated this link. Lots has happened but the Elan is not near done................yet. Still moving forward but the bath has moved a few times. Let's just highlight some of the things that are keeping it from being done.

A) Changed out rear springs and rear spring caps

B) Routed new brake lines

C) Rebuilt the Calipers

D) Bumped steered the rebuilt rack and front suspension

E) Had the Lotus transmission rebuilt.....again. It was rebuilt about 4 or 5 years ago but thought there might be a chipped tooth so I had it looked at again. No shipped teeth but it was MISSING the 4th gear syncro. Glad I did that!

F) Repainted the Panasports to Anthracite spokes

G) Mounted and balanced tires

H) I was diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer, went to Chicago for the first three months of this year for Proton Therapy Radiation. If anyone is diagnosed as I was and would like to discuss options, side affects, or ???, just contact me.

I) I've decided to try to get an Isuzu 5 Speed to work. Progress is moving forward SLOWLY!

J) Decided to acquire and install later a 60's Becker Radio

K) Went to Lime Rock, towed Greg Zelazeks Sprint there, and got to see him win 1st Place. Good thing mine wasn't ready!!!

L) Rebuilt the 67 Twincam for my 67 Coupe while I was in Chicago. Got the opportunity to work everyday at
PHP Race Engines in Wauconda, Ill. What a terrific shop Barry runs there. While there dynoed my engine (157 hp, 138 lb ft) and a Aston DB5 motor. If you have to do something in between radiation treatments, this is the way to go!

M) Continued to raise my 15 year old son. Took him on his 1st hunting trip over Thanks giving. Got his first deer.

N) Worked Food Concessions for most of the year.

O) Purchased a new pick up truck (Toyota Tacoma 4 door - White)

P) Thinking about the Elan build every day. Will drive out to a race prep shop tomorrow to see if any progress has been made on the adapter plate I'm trying to get fabricated.

Q) Continued to purchase and install more parts for the Elan. Brake pads (EBC), emergency brake pads and associated parts, brake rebuild kits, hoses and associated parts from Cliveboy, and all the rebuild parts for the 67 motor.

Here are a few pics:
Attachments
Left Front Suspension with bent Bundy Line.jpg and
graphiteko2s.jpg
graphiteko2s.jpg (42.26 KiB) Viewed 1844 times
Elan engine RS on Dyno at PHP REDUCED.jpg and
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:51 am

Here are a few more pics. I might even add a few pics showing problem areas such as the Bolt On Knock Ons!

And I'm still looking for the wheel adapter for some Revolutions Wheels I have. Any one know of any available or at least one I can use as a guide to have some made?

Chrome plating coming up next.

Thanks, Frank

Merry Christmas

Jeff, does this get me in the contest you are running?
Attachments
Revolution Wheel Adapter.JPG and
Stub axle differences resized 704.jpg and
Bolted wheel reduced.jpg and
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:49 pm

How about another update?

1) Health is looking up. PSA number is down to 1.0. Hurrah!

2) Just had a great visit from one of my hero's, Ross Robbins. He is about to do another tour with his Elan. This man knows how to live. He is one of my mentors!

3) The Elan is moving forward but you wouldn't know it by looking at it. First I'll be installing the new emergency brake cable into the chassis. I've had the Isuzu transmission rebuilt. My adapter plate which has taken months of work to fabricate is finished and is now married to the trans. I've fabricated the new clutch disc and made a spacer ring for the pressure plate. Also fabricated a new shift lever. And also shortened the input shaft and fabricated a new pilot bearing. I'm about to fabricate the transmission mounts and test fit it. From there I will measure for a new driveshaft. Additionally, I have a friend who has a clutch master cylinder mounted to a wooden box with a pedal. I will soon be hooking up some hydraulics to this box to test the clutch operation. The last thing i want to do is mount the body and learn my clutch won't work properly.

4) I've just sent out gobs of parts to be re-chromed at a horrendous expense!!!. They should be ready in April. I will let everyone know how the chrome plating comes out.

I just love this stuff!!! Here are a couple more pics.
Attachments
Parts sent to Star Chrome.jpg and
Transmissions side by side.jpg and
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:33 am

Where has the time gone? Over three years has passed and it's still not on the road. If it wasn't for needing massive amounts of body work and numerous modifications, this Elan would have been finished years ago. Well here is an update, especially since I've been egged on by my best friend Greg who continues to assist me. Thank God for good friends, especially Lotus owners.

Well, the Isuzu transmission conversion is complete less actually test driving it. I can't wait !!! Before actually installing it, another friend loaned me a metal box with a clutch master installed. Greg and I attached the clutch hydraulic lines and tested the clutch operation. It worked fine. We then tested it again using the Girling Master. Again, the clutch operation was fine. Better to test before the body goes on the frame.

Then fitted the engine and Isuzu transmission to the chassis. I did have some interference problems but most were my own doing. When I started this restoration, I gusseted and triangulated the frame to 26R specs. Turns out the top of the trans interfered with the triangular metal that was added inside the frame. Some trimming was necessary but in no way affected the frame strength. Also, Dan Curcio helped out with the shortening of the speedo angle drive adapter. I did relieve the frame in that area to make more access room. Additonally, I am waiting for the angle adapter to come back from Texas Industrial Electric where they are swedging on the proper Isuzu cable drive.

And I'm waiting for the the driveshaft to be fabricated. I've been told it can be done but the driveshaft company is having a tough time getting the right size parts. It's been a week and they're still investigating options. Ugh!

Once the speedo angle adapter comes back the driveshaft is fabricated, the body can go on!!!

Everything takes ten times longer when it's been modified. And sometimes my ideas to save a few pennies backfires. Example: Dave Bean, JAE, RD Enterprises, all sell good Alternator conversion kits. I've had a couple in the past. This time I thought, I can make one up and save a few bucks. I was able pick up a nice 50 amp miniature alternator for only $70. I thought great! Then I had it rebuilt just to be sure everything would be okay. There went another $60. And then there was the expense of making a nice turnbuckle. Not to mention the numerous trips for weird size bolts, like a metric bolt to attach the turnbuckle, and a 7 inch long 5/16ths to attach it to the bracket. I started to add up my time, gas, etc and I should have just bought one of the good kits on the market.

Did I mention the fine support we get from our vendors such as Dave Bean, RD, and JAE? They are and always have been terrific! The only vendor I can think of that might be just a hair better is Famous Frank's Lotus Interior Parts. They are really great!!!!

It's now time to attack the body. First I need to fabricate a way to install three point seat belts. I have the belts but no S2 ever had a shoulder harness. I've got some ideas so I betting get to it.

I just bought some gasket material to make trunk lid seals and door handle gaskets. Then install the wiper motor and wiper assembly. Of course I can't remember what should go in first, ........the wipers of the air box.??? Id someone knows, please let me know.

And while the weather is still hot, it's time to put new wiring harness in the driveway under the hot sun to get the wrinkles out and to soften everything up.

And it's time to start installing the sound deadening material and the foot pedal assembly. After that, I'm almost done except for a few hundred other little things.

I had better get back in the garage. Ciao!
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:21 am

My apologies. I disobeyed my own rule, ...........................where are the pics?????

Here are a few new pics. Unfortunately, the car is got a huge layer of dust on the body. I washed it on Sunday and then forgot to take more pics. My gosh it looks great!

Today dropped the cant rails off at the painter to be repainted. Still waiting on a driveshaft and the reworked speedo cable angle drive.

Has anyone had their Fuel Sending Unit rebuilt and are happy with the outcome? Mine sat in a rusty gas tank for over 35 years and is a rusted mess. Or does anyone have a good used one they could sell me? For an S1 / S2.

Alternator went in yesterday.

Okay, what needs to be installed first? The wiper mechanism or the fiberglass fresh air box????

Can anyone help with the fuel sending unit?

Many thanks, Frank
Attachments
Engine in frame 1.jpg and
Engine Isuzu trans installed.jpg and
engine with entire frame.jpg and
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:50 am

Has anyone had their Fuel Sending Unit rebuilt and are happy with the outcome? Mine sat in a rusty gas tank for over 35 years and is a rusted mess


Frank,

I had mine rebuilt by Nosinger. It was a complete mess (completely not functioning), and what I got back was a new looking and perfectly working sending unit. They also rebuilt the gauge, and which really only needed cosmetics, but they both work perfectly. Hope this helps.
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