Lotus Elan

Slow re-birth of a Sprint

PostPost by: slowsprinter » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Guys thank you all for your welcomes and words of encouragement!
I have never done a car restoration before so am a little apprehensive, if enthusiasm makes up for lack of skill and experience I should be ok, but I reckon I will be asking lots of questions of you guys.
Great news for me is that thanks to this wonderful site I have made contact with Neil, aka Hitus, who also has a Sprint in bits and he lives about 5 miles from me. For a small town in the North of Scotland a great result! We plan to meet up soon.
As I get stuck into the rebuild I hope to update this thead with progress and piccies in the same way Alex did, so you can share my pain.
This weekend have got my compressor and blast cabinet working and my first items have been blasted. The support arms for the diff. Great results. Its very difficult to see what you are doing in the cabinet but I took my time and got there in the end. Have ordered black epoxy mastic 2 pack from rust.co.uk to paint items such as this, is this ok? I have poly bushes for these arms ready to go on and TT diff mounts. Next job after a week on holiday is to get the diff into my Spyder chassis and do the rear chassis brake pipes.
I was advised to ask stupid questions so how about this one as its troubled me for a while though its a long way off when I get to this stage. My bodyshell was professionally painted by previous owner though its a non lotus but jaguar blue, I think. As my car is a Sprint I think it has got to be something over white, I currently favour Colorado orange. I have noted all the threads saying that preparation is key and there are no short cuts. However the finish of my shell looks very good to my untrained eye, no crazes or blisters. Why can I not spray on top of this colour to get the colours I want? The thought of spending 5 or 6 grand on a professional job horrifies me. Does it really have to go back to gel coat?
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:21 pm

Very difficult to advise without knowing more about the body on your car. It may be fine just to change the colour. How long ago was it painted and by who? Fibreglass finishing is (in the opinion of many) a very highly specialized process and you do get what you pay for. But... I have seen some excellent work by local painters and to be fair they do appear to be lasting well too. So with a bit of educated guess work ... :roll: Why not give it a go if you are confident its in good nick? Might be worth a try?

Certain refinishers will only do what they do and charge accordingly. The work IS superb but....

In the end its your choice... Keep asking the questions then decide.

Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Sun May 01, 2011 7:18 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/slowsprinter/

If I have done it correctly here is a link to the first photos of my restoration. Basically I have started my re-build by completing the rebuild of my diff and have mounted it in the chassis with TTR mountings. I have cleaned up the torque rods and used new poly bushes. A question for you guys. I can keep tightening the nut on the back of the torque rods until it completely squashes the bushes. How should I do this correctly, should I use 2 nuts and tighten one nut against the other? I have also added the rear end brake pipes. The front will wait until later when I am more certain of the routing.

Next jobs are hand brake tree, prop shaft refurb and rear suspension rebuild. Am currently cleaning up the rear suspension legs ready for a repaint.

Always grateful for your advice!!
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun May 01, 2011 8:00 pm

Hi ian, Guys....

Tighten the nut on the torque rods ( Handed mind!) until you have a decent bit of compression on the bushes but don't over do it. Then lock the two nuts together. Or use a new Nylock if not too worried about originality. Make sure you have the cups in the correct order and the 'spindle' of the rod is not touching the diff' mounting lugs. Try where possible to use new fasteners, pref' plated, or where applicable, Stainless. & don't re use Nylocks. I have still a lot of spare fasteners so if you run short, call me.

The two pack epoxy mastic is a fairly good choice for your chassis metalwork. Make sure it is well cleaned before applying a couple of coats. I have so far found this to be an excellent product.

We were out in our car today in this nice sunshine just to run in the gearbox. We did about 100 mls or so again and what a difference the 5 speed makes.... Just a thought! :roll: :lol:

What have you decided on the bodywork?

Alex...
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon May 02, 2011 6:49 am

slowsprinter wrote:....I was advised to ask stupid questions.... As my car is a Sprint I think it has got to be something over white, I currently favour Colorado orange.......
Ian


It does not HAVE to be something over white. There was the option to pay an extra ?15 and have the car in a single colour, any colour that you wanted (although there was an extra charge for that too). If you are happy with the colour, why not leave it like that?
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PostPost by: gordont » Mon May 02, 2011 7:08 am

As you are in Scotland what about a nice non original Scottish Racing Blue or RED if you want it to go faster!
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon May 02, 2011 10:05 am

Hear hear!!! Great ideas guys... Mine was single colour from the factory by the way. Lagoon Blue. I just fancied it split over white. Back from the ever present Gold Leaf tabbaky colour it had been changed to... :?

It was my car so I did what I wanted. You do the same! :wink:

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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Mon May 02, 2011 1:56 pm

No final decisions yet on colour but your advice is always welcome, fellas. The body is put to one side whilst I concentrate on the chassis and other bits, I will have a fair while yet til I make the colour decision!

Alex, I think I have decided though to give it a go on top of the body colour now as it would be the cheaper option and may well work. If it does not I have lost nothing and will send it off for a professional job! As I say along way to go before I am working on the body.

Another question I would like to ask you all. My rear suspension has been converted by Spyder to 2.25 ins springs with new bearings. I am currently cleaning these legs ready for painting and assembly onto the chassis. These springs are adjustable. Can one of you guys give me a ball park figure how many threads the bottom spring seats need to be up the leg for a good ride height? It will just give me a start point.

Regards to all
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Mon May 02, 2011 4:01 pm

Set them to about half way 1st. When everything has settled and you are setting the height correctly (better corner weighted) adjust until the wishbones (A frames)are level with ballast on the seats to sim' your 'Normal' driving conditions..

Someone will be along in a min' with the perfected method but that's what I did. Works. I would like to get the car corner weighted sometime soon though. laser alignment would be good too... I will get there eventually, but the car is driving so good.

Soon, I said, soon..

Keep us posted Ian...
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PostPost by: elansprint » Mon May 02, 2011 4:16 pm

Ian i have used the epoxy mastic on a stag floorpan & it is really good has some give so does noy chip like powder coating bit messy putting it on though
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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Tue May 03, 2011 1:34 pm

Thanks Alex will do exactly as you suggest with the adjustable suspension. Can you confirm you are able to access my photos on Flickr. I am a bit of a biff when it comes to IT and cannot make any other way of attaching photos to my posts work. I hope this way is good enough to keep you chaps abreast of my progress (or lack of it! :oops: )

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue May 03, 2011 4:53 pm

That looks perfect. Well done! Yes the flicker pics are veiwable ok....

Just watch the size of the files of the pics you are trying (?) to post on Elan.net That is all that will be wrong methinks..

Keep up the good work...

Alex....
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue May 03, 2011 6:23 pm

To post photos on here from Flickr is pretty simple- it must be because that's what I do!

Open your photo in Flickr , it opens with a little magnifying glass thingy, click on the photo again, it opens with a black background and a "view all sizes" script top right. Click on this and you get a choice of sizes- yours are a bit large, so I've clicked on your medium size, right click on the photo and then on "copy image location".

Then... in the post you are writing in Elan.net click on the Img button

and finally right click and paste between the middle square brackets:

Image

Simples!
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PostPost by: innesw » Tue May 03, 2011 6:57 pm

Hi Ian,

Nice to see another elan in scotland :wink: I'm located at Alford which is kind of near you... (in terms of scottish countryside). But my car and me are currently at uni in Dundee. I know of 2 elans and 2 plus 2's in the aberdeenshire area which aren't on lotuselan.net so count yourself competant with the IT!

I'm a big fan of the Ecurie Ecosse racing livery blue

Image

with maybe a sideways white stripe in front of the wheel arches and some white roundels, sorry, starting to get carried away! The purists wouldn't like that though! (But it's "period")

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PostPost by: slowsprinter » Tue May 03, 2011 8:25 pm

Pete
In my eyes you are now an IT god! 8) Thanks. I will use that if I have something amazing to show you guys.
Innes thank you I agree that is a lovely livery. Are you a youngster if you are at Uni? My eldest boy is about to start at Robert Gordon in Aberdeen. Sometime towards the end of his time there I should have my elan on the road!! I hope to see you around :)

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