Lotus Elan

Decisions Decisions .....do I replace that part?

PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:35 pm

I am having a bit of a nightmare, there are parts I have to replace , there are parts I should replace and then there are other parts ........
To set the scene the car has done 32000 miles but was involved in a front LH accident ,fixed badly and then a few years later the clutch master cylinder went and the car was laid up, 26 years later and here we are.
So ...... I am replacing a lot of parts but can anybody offer words of wisdom on the following:-
Brake Disks , They are un-scored and just covered with surface rust .....Do I replace?
Front wheel bearings , no sign of play ....Do I replace?
Front Shocks , They are Armstrong , no signs of leakage, look reasonable, one has a slightly bent anti roll bar stud .....Do I replace?
Rear Shocks , ditto no sign of leakage , suspension has lots of surface rust but is clean .....Do I replace?
Rear Wheel bearings, no sign of play ....Do I replace?

Budget has been adjusted twice in as many weeks!
Thanks

Terry
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:46 pm

>26 years later and here we are.

Hmm, my opinions:

Provided that the brake disks have not thinned, don't replace, clean with a wire brush in a power drill.

Wheel Bearings; try to get a good look at them, if the grease looks good and you can't feel any wear, keep them until next time.

Shock absorbers, very difficult to test if they are OK in an ordinary workshop. They contain oil and rubber seals. Rubber seals may have deteriorated in 26 years and if surfaces have let all the oil run off and have rusted internally, the rust will rip or shred the seals. So replace all the shocks & use the strong bits of the old ones as stock steel for your lathe (if you have one).
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
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PostPost by: DaveAlmey » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:49 pm

Hi,

If its not broke, dont fix it.

Unless, your like me, and want to make a 1969 car into an as new.

Dave
Regards

Dave

Yes I know I cant spell, but can weld, spray paint, lay grp and rebuild engines.

69 S4SE DHC
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PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:52 pm

Bill
Thanks so much, its basically what I thought but just needed someone else to say

Dave
I'm finding it very difficult to draw the line. We also like the patina on the old chrome, seats etc. after all it is an old car.

Cheers
Terry
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:09 pm

Terry

It's only original once!

But be safe.

Tim
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PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:13 pm

trw99 wrote:Terry

It's only original once!

But be safe.

Tim


Tim - I don't think the 26R headlights will look out of place :wink:

Trust me it will look like an old car!

Terry
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PostPost by: gherlt » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:14 pm

>I'm finding it very difficult to draw the line. We also like the patina on the old chrome, seats etc. after all it is an old car.
Terry,
you were on a budget when you searched for a car.
Now you are talking 4000 GBP or more for new parts.
Step back and think of what you wanted to afford a while back.
If you like patina, you should not buy new, you should restore where possible.
(Originalists would say restore everything.)
The restoration has its advantage: its cheaper because you can do more yourself,
but it is also more time consuming.

Now my line is clearly security: brakes, steering and suspension should be perfect.
You cannot enjoy driving if there is a chance of ending up somewhere off tarmac.

Regards

Guillermo
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:20 pm

For what I use my car for I'd inspect the front wheel bearings and I'd inspect the front shocks (because of the bent roll bar stud). If they passed muster I'd leave them in place. The other parts I'd use without worry. The discs will clean up the first time you use the brakes. The rear wheel bearings are almost impossible to check in situ unless they have worn to the point of breaking up and you'd hear that. They are such a pain to change I'd be happy to take a chance on them until I'd at least taken the car for a reasonable run first.
Stuart Holding
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69 S4 FHC
Honda GoldWing 1800
Honda CBX1000
Kawasaki H1 500
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:24 pm

Hi Terry,

As a pre-cursor, when you said (elsewhere) "I've been bamboozled! My wife has suggested we ask our friends / neighbours to lend a hand rather than spend rather a lot of money".

I don't believe you were bamboozled. Thwarted maybe, but not bamboozled! :wink: :)

But in the indicated "spirit of cost avoidance" I agree with comments above, plus my 2d worth:

If the brake disks still have minimum thickness & the surface rust hasn't resulted in any real pitting, I would re-use them.

Front wheel bearings are relatively simples to clean, inspect & re-pack with grease if necessary. The rear bearings though, are as you know, are a different animal. I would leave well alone if they feel OK.

But look closely for any tell-tale signs of water ingress / seal failure. Same goes for the diff output shaft bearings.

It IS difficult drawing a line...very easy to get into the "while I'm at it, and have easy access, I might as well do..."

Good luck with it...

Regards - Richard
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PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:27 pm

Guillermo
I agree totally.
But the dashboard needs replacing , the hood disintegrated , the carpets and many other parts are missing, I have had to go for refurbished original front wishbones from Spyder - mine were completely deformed and bent, then suddenly we are ?6K in parts.
(But that does include some reliability parts ......Cliveyboy Radiator and twin fans - it gets hot here. TTR UJ driveshalfs - Why isn't there a topic on the demise of CVs(!!) Lumention etc etc)

Terry
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PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:34 pm

ardee_selby wrote:
It IS difficult drawing a line...very easy to get into the "while I'm at it, and have easy access, I might as well do..."


Richard
I think you have hit the nail on the head , if I am replacing the shocks , callipers rebuilt , refurbed wishbones , refurbed rack , new track rod ends , new upper swivel , trunion kit , we only have the disc, bearings and stub axle left !!!!!
But I don't want to end up with a "Spyder" looking set up. (with all due respect to them) It has to be Lotus and original

Stuart
I think I will leave the rear wheel bearings as it all seems Ok and pretty tight to me .... better than my +2!


This post is getting a bit of interest!

Terry
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:37 pm

I would leave it all as original as possible, but anything with hydraulics and / or rubber bits would be replaced...well, maybe.

I got my S3 running a few months ago, to go back on the road this year. I looked very carefully at the rotoflex couplings, and they still look like new. I took the car around some quite roads, and around a paddock for a happy hour to see if anything broke, had another look, and they were still perfect. I fitted those in 1978 !!

I'm certainly not doing anything on the bodywork of either the S3 or S4. They are a long way from being perfect. with a few chips, a little bit of gel coat cracking and a few microblisters on the bit I painted...in 1977. The bumpers and wheels will be painted as they look horrible...silver of course....but that's about the limit for the cosmetic renovation.

Brakes are something that I'm not going to compromise on now, after three cars failed on me last year. It does say in the maintenance schedules that the brake fluid should be changed every 18 months, and the seals every 4 or 5 years (can't remember which), and now I know they've put that for a very good reason! The one exception to the rule...if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Mark
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PostPost by: gherlt » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:29 pm

Terry,
in Spain it is hotter than in France, and I have no problems with stock radiator and stock fan.
(But then also, I dont drive in a big city).
CV Joints, elctronic ignition, ... ?
I really dont want to discuss pro and contras, but if you say "It has to be Lotus and original"
isn't there a is a bit of contradiction in your saying .. ?!
A dashboard, hood, carpets, sounds reasonable, but *many* things can be repaired, good Donuts last long ...
"Make it better" is not cheap, although it might be well spend. But it is *spend*.
(now, I also spent too much on new parts, but now I slowly learn to recover and repair parts,
and it is a gratifying work, but it so slow !). In my Golf Mk I I am tempted by NOS parts,
there are much more available and much cheaper than equivalent Lotus parts
(except steering wheel, what a coincidence), but if you have a original part and
a tight budget, think, refurbish, restore, re-use !

regards

Guillermo
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: gherlt » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:31 pm

But then,by your description, your car sounds to be in a horrible state ...
Have you posted images of your car somewhere ?
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:48 pm

Guillermo
Its sort of OK but the chassis is completely rotten and one of the inner wings isn't there much.
It needs quite a lot of unseen fibreglass work (luckily)
With the radiator , I like the way the a twincam sounds and drives at 75 to 80 degrees. I know its cool but I don't like the way it reacts as it heats up.
We had a Lotus event here in France last year and 3 of the cars had ignition problems. My old +2 had Lumenition (and didn't have a problem) and our new car will also have Lumenition!

I'm still under budget by the way!

Terry
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