Lotus Elan

Why restore an Elan

PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:41 am

Russ,

Thank you very much. I've had instruments rebuilt by Nosinger many times but for some reason, I never gave my sending a thought about them doing it. Thanks.

Frank

How about a couple more pics?

The Alternator I installed which took so long and so many trips for bolts, etc, I should have bought the kit from one of out suppliers.

And tonight, i was restoring the hardware that attaches to the Cant Rails. Get this! I though it was odd that of the four nuts on the metal parts that insert into the windshield header there were 3 nylock nuts and one regular nut with a star washer. After I blasted them it became apparent. The threaded part is brazed on at the factory 50 years ago. Three of the four threads are fine thread and one is coarse thread.!!!!!! You just can't make this stuff up!

I does make sense to find things like this on a car whose previous owner had bolts with lock nuts going thru the pin drive holes on the knock on wheels. I guess if you have bolts holding on the knock on wheels it makes sense you would have two different threads on the hardware that attaches to the windshield frame.

Ugh!
Attachments
Alternator front.jpg and
Alternator side.jpg and
Cant Rail Parts.jpg and
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:47 pm

Frank,

Your alternator turned out great. I had purchased a kit from one of the suppliers, and it didn't line up at all. The alternator pulley was off by about 1/2 inch (13 mm). I have no explanation why, but had to modify the bracket to block, and ended up using the generator adjusting bracket, because the rod end bracket just wouldn't work. I don't know if this because mine is RHD or what. Shouldn't make any difference you would think. In the end it all works great, but it would have been just as easy to make my own brackets.

Your car is truly an inspiration and the Medici Blue with the Silver hardtop looks great. I'm in the process of restoring my hardtop right now. Did you have problems finding the rubber parts for the hardtop? I ended up buying from one of the suppliers and feel I paid way too much for rubber I could have found elsewhere for a fraction of the price. It was nothing special, and I'm sure wasn't what came on the hardtop originally. Live and learn.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:23 pm

PM Sent to Russ.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:02 pm

I saw something really interesting at a recent cars and coffee re: removable hard tops. Someone has put a strip of that clear stone chip material/tape where the top goes on the car to reduce scratching. Got me thinking about putting a strip around the engine bay and bonnet to protect paint. You wouldn't see it when bonnet was on, but would prevent wearing and chipping. Dan
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:12 pm

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:23 am

Dan,

I've done that in the past for my Hardtop and it helps considerably. But why I never thought of that for the hood/bonnet I'll never know. Thank you!!! What a terrific idea!

Frank
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PostPost by: Tahoe » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:15 pm

Dan,

Those are both great ideas. I'm about 2-4more hours of prep work on my hardtop and then it's ready for paint. My old body paint doesn't need the clear strip yet, but that's exactly what I'll do after the body is painted.
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PostPost by: RedS4 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:27 pm

I love that turn buckle! What an elegant solution to belt tension.. :)
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:34 am

Frank, thanks for keeping us up-to-date. And glad your PSA number is down :mrgreen:

I, too, love the Medici body with silver top; perhaps my favourite Elan combo. Might even use that Medici on my Plus 2.

Frank, can you tell us about the red chassis paint choice? My chassis (February 1970 Plus 2) was painted red (presumably the so-called red oxide), then black paint on top of that, from the factory. I would love to just paint the chassis in a red-oxide-looking colour and leave it at that (like yours), 'cause I think it looks ultra-cool, but I'm not sure just how original/acceptable that would be . . . :? Did Lotus turn out chassis in just the red, or was it always top-coated with black, or ?

Thanks . . .

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:26 am

Randy,

Thanks for the feedback. It's not Medici Blue. I call it Wedgewood Blue but the touch up can buried in the trunk just said blue. It has a Lotus Part number but no one has ever been able to tell me what the part number color is. It's darker than Medici Blue and has no metallic. I love it too. Here is a pic of the touch up can found years ago. I then had the paint matched to sample.

I've never removed the body from a +2 to know exactly what the frame color is but I've numerous bodies off of regular Elans and they have always been the red oxide primer. I've seen many in gray but those were painted by previous owners.
Attachments
Lotus paint 5738 part number.jpg and
Lotus Paint Part Number
Lotus paint 5738 blue.jpg and
Elan Touch Up Paint
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:07 am

I also just received the new driveshaft. The tube diameter is larger than the original due to the Isuzu splined joint size. As such I had to clearance part of the frame bulkhead. Not much but just another thing to do. Remember, but every modification, there are what seems like another 100 modifications to make the one modification work.

I also sent the speedo angle drive to Texas Industrial to swedge on the proper tab for the Isuzu speedo.

I pushed the body out of the garage today to rinse it off. There was fiberglass dust everywhere from when I cut the speaker hole in the dash the other night. It was a beautiful day! Compare this pic to the pic when Greg and I cut off the front of the car.

It's getting closer by the day.
Attachments
Body split with Frank.jpg and
Body Pic Compare to Cut off nose.jpg and
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:34 am

I'm always struggling with keeping things totally stock and original and making modifications. Luckily, all the modifications made can be unbolted and brought back to stock. One item that I've struggled with is seat belts. I've owned a number of Elans in the past and I'm a huge supporter of seat belts. My first Elan (a 65 S2) came with Lap Belts. I wanted shoulder harnesses, so that car got a Roll Bar and competition Seat Belts, ( you know the kind, the three inch wide belts with the leather pad and a latch to release) and shoulder harnesses attached to the Roll Bar. Cool in the 70's, not so cool now, .......at least in my own personal estimation. A later Elan, a 66 S2 SE got competition Willians Belts. Much classier looking and they attached to the rear bolts that go to the rear uprights. The problem with all of these competition belts is as soon as someone sits in the car, it becomes a 15 minute ordeal trying to get the harnesses properly adjusted, ......especially for the passenger. Now there have been times when adjusting the harness to a pretty woman was, .......well, ...........very enjoyable!!!! But at my age now, those days are far and few between.

So what is the solution today? Well, I'd still like to have shoulder harnesses but something as easy to use as those in my 2013 Toyota. A three point would work just fine. But where and how would I install such a thing. They are very inexpensive on Ebay. So I bought a pair and with the help of a good friend and cash for labor skills, this is what I've come up with. If I ever need to, they can still be unbolted. Here are some pics. They still have to be painted black. And the interior still has to be installed around them. But I think I'll enjoy the ease of use.

Now the early Elans were never designed to utilize a shoulder harness, so maybe I better put a legal thing in here.

INSTALL SHOULDER HARNESSES AT YOUR OWN RISK. THEY ARE FOR OFF ROAD USE ONLY. I AM NOT AN ENGINEER, AND I'M NOT RECOMMENDING THIS TO ANYONE! NOT BEING AN ENGINEER, AND NOT HAVING ANY FORMAL TRAINING, I DON'T KNOW A DAMN THING ABOUT WHAT I'M DOING.

Okay, some thoughts. None of the places I mounted this harness to was ever designed for a shoulder harness. And the harness is only as strong and the vehicle it's attached to. That said, in my mind at least, I feel like it's at least as safe as the original lap belt and I'm still using those factory mounts for a portion of this harness installation.
Attachments
Shoulder Harness Mounted.jpg and
Shoulder Harness Retractor.jpg and
Shoulder Harness Upper Mount.jpg and
Shoulder Harness Bottom Mount.jpg and
Shoulder Harness Rear Mount.jpg and
Shoulder Harness All Mounts.jpg and
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:37 am

Elegant, Frank. Subtle & unobtrusive come to mind, too. :mrgreen: I think they'll be very discreet once all the interior is installed.

I believe the only difficult part is achieving sufficient height for this 3rd "point" of the 3 point belt (the top mount for the shoulder portion). During a collision, the forward motion of the upper body causes the loop of seat belt webbing from lower-center mount to upper-shoulder mount to be pulled tight. If the upper-shoulder mount is below the height of the wearer's shoulder, this tightened loop exerts downward pressure on the shoulder and can cause some vertical compression of the upper body and perhaps the spine. :( (This is why we see the elaborate and sometimes ugly extensions for upper-shoulder belt mounts in various new convertibles these days, and of course the now-standard height adjustment, too.)

Having said that, I personally would still rather have a shoulder belt and some vertical compression than no shoulder belt at all, when time comes for a collision. Not to mention the fact that my wife won't ride in a vehicle without shoulder belts (or headrests, for that matter, which is a whole 'nother discussion when it comes to Elans and Plus 2s).

Keep rolling along, Frank, and thanks for sharing!

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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:01 am

I'm struggling with this on my S2 myself and that looks a good solution Frank. I had thought of just a square section bar like the one you have used, but right across the back and fastened to the two bolts that attach the body to the rear chassis towers. Then an outboard flange attached to that bar that extends 6"or so down towards the floor and carries the ratchet mechanism at it's end. The swivel bracket would then be above this at shoulder height. The problem I see with this is that the bar would either stand proud of the rear bulkhead to clear the bends at the end, or be bent to follow the curve of the body. Difficult to explain clearly without a diagram, but I hope you can see what I mean :D Your solution might make me think again :wink:
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:30 am

Hopefully within the next month, the car should be running. And here is a surefire way of knowing when you are getting old................Yep, you want to make your car "Quieter"! I can't believe I actually said that. Remember the years when you'd take off all or part of your fathers exhaust system ? Or at least crack it open? Well although I'm going with a 2 inch pipe from the headers back due to all of the extra horsepower I'll be producing. I'll be using a Tony Thompson Racing Big Bore Muffler and Tailpipe, one, because I'm hoping it will breath well, but more importantly because it LOOKS SO COOL!

But will it be quiet enough? I've noticed on my Toyota that sometimes I forget to shift to 5th because its so quiet in 4th. Anyway, check this out. This muffler will be installed inline ahead of the transverse muffler. Its total height is only 2 1/8 inches. Only 1/8th to a maximum of 1/4 taller than the 2 inch pipe alone. I'm so excited, I'm add this to my product line. oooooooooooooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Oops, stated to fall asleep. I better post this before I doze off again.
Attachments
muffler quiet internals.jpg and
muffler loud direction internals.jpg and
Tony Thompson Big Bore Muffler.jpg and
Exhaust with Flex joint.jpg and
Exhaust layed out.jpg and
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