Lotus Elan

Unobtainable Lotus Elan Parts

PostPost by: gearbox » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:23 pm

Hello all;

I hope to soon to be a new Elan owner (this month) and will be looking at 7 Elans in various states of disrepair. All the cars are either a S3 or S4. So the question I have is, are there any parts, mechanical or cosmetic, that is no longer being made and near impossible or ungodly expensive to get? This way I can I can steer away from those particular cars. Thanks Allan
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:22 pm

I shall be following this carefully as I have exactly the same interest, quite some while ago I read that rear screens for the coup? were unobtainable and that the screen alone was worth the value of the rest of the car on a restoration project, I am not sure if this is still the case or even if it were actually true at the time, hopefully someone will confirm, its important to know these things as when the car is in bits and parts stored some we may want to put in a bank vault :D

I would add another criteria if I may, what parts that are available at whetever price are as much use as a chocolate teapot compared to the originals? I get the idea that driveshaft donuts come into this category, at least 10 if not 15 years ago I bought a remanufactured Ford rear gearbox mount and it wasnt even bonded rubber, just a few offcuts glued between 2 plates hand cut plates, worse than useless.

And then perhaps what original parts are rubbish compared with modern replacements?
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:30 pm

Missing or damaged door frames will be very expensive to replace.

Correct instuments - Speedo/Tacho

Correct steering wheel.

Correct seats and some interior trim

D Section hoodframe if drophead

Engine/head
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PostPost by: 0005K » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:08 pm

I stongly recommend that you purchase Brian Buckland's book "The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan". It is expensive but it is a wealth of knowledge, especially if you are considering buying a basket case. He lists 45 items as obsolete parts, and devotes an entire chapter to alternatives. Rear brake calipers are Lotus- unique. Original steering wheels are scarce. I suggest that you buy the book before you buy the car!
Dick
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PostPost by: simonknee » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:12 pm

There is really very little that you can't get especially with the whole world at your finger tips on this forum.

QED are making the head so all not lost there (might fall into ungodly price though).
I saw Miles Wilkins putting one together, for a French customer, two years ago.

I think people get too worried about the donuts.
They are not a fit and forget item on an Elan.
Buy them from a reputable dealer you'll be fine.
When they go - and they do - buy some more!

Also I would have thought that there are loads of Smiths instruments out there.
I bet that Speedy Cables (wales) for one would help get the right type.
They can completely refurb anything you send them.

Buy whichever of the 7 Elans has a Colin Chapman steering wheel!

Simon
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:44 pm

simonknee wrote:I think people get too worried about the donuts.
They are not a fit and forget item on an Elan.
Buy them from a reputable dealer you'll be fine.
When they go - and they do - buy some more!


@ circa ?320/set (not including bolts) :shock:

Try to buy a car as complete as possible because that will give you the option to refurbish and recondition parts instead of having to source new.

As has been suggested most parts can be sourced but IMO often carry hefty prices.

The aforementioned window frames are very thin on the ground nowadays.
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PostPost by: simonknee » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:07 pm

nebogipfel wrote:@ circa ?320/set (not including bolts)


They're still going to last 4 years minimum and then that's only ?80 per year and that's only like filling up with petrol twice!
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:33 pm

No parts eluded my search ---use Dave Bean or R and D ---- front windshield was 550 US delivered the rear screen is perspex so cut your own and heat it to fit --I repaired the surround for the wind shield my self . Triumph running gear and assorted bits from many cars are involved here You will develop some new skills though ---ed ---POOR SPELLERS UNTIE and edit a lot and try not to put 2 sentences together
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:29 am

twincamman wrote:the rear screen is perspex so cut your own and heat it to fit


Not on the pre-airflow Coupe that I had for a while, that was proper laminated glass. Even the Elite had a laminated glass rear screen. The Service Parts List includes three part numbers for S3 and S4 Coupes with Sundym and heated options.
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PostPost by: gearbox » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:10 am

0005K wrote:I stongly recommend that you purchase Brian Buckland's book "The Rebuilding of a Lotus Elan". It is expensive but it is a wealth of knowledge, especially if you are considering buying a basket case. He lists 45 items as obsolete parts, and devotes an entire chapter to alternatives. Rear brake calipers are Lotus- unique. Original steering wheels are scarce. I suggest that you buy the book before you buy the car!
Dick


LOL. The car is a given and will be in my driveway within the month. And obsolete parts do not scare me, just would like to know what I will need to fabricate just in case. But you are correct that knowledge is power and have collected over 10 books already but have not yet found Brian's book yet. As you most likely know, it has been out of print since 06 and seems to be trading up in price quite briskly. Is this a Lotus thing?, as I am begining to see a trend here lol.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:14 am

Buy the most complete and best condition one you can. Make sure you check the front shock towers for rust or crash damage. Use a screwdrivers to poke around and tap for thin areas on the chassis around the towers and crossmember.

Good luck!
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:58 am

Hi,
Brian's book was only published in 2006, so will not have been out of print in the same year! The email for him in the front of my book is:
[email protected] dot freeserve dot co dot uk
He is also a poster in this Forum as elanman. Try dropping him a line.
Regards,
Colin.



LOL. The car is a given and will be in my driveway within the month. And obsolete parts do not scare me, just would like to know what I will need to fabricate just in case. But you are correct that knowledge is power and have collected over 10 books already but have not yet found Brian's book yet. As you most likely know, it has been out of print since 06 and seems to be trading up in price quite briskly. Is this a Lotus thing?, as I am begining to see a trend here lol.[/quote]
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PostPost by: elanski » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:14 am

You can order the book from Club Lotus I think.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:57 am

fatboyoz wrote:Hi,
Brian's book was only published in 2006, so will not have been out of print in the same year! The email for him in the front of my book is:
[email protected] dot freeserve dot co dot uk
He is also a poster in this Forum as elanman. Try dropping him a line.
Regards,
Colin.


Brian changed his email address a while ago.......

post159514.html
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:14 am

simonknee wrote:They're still going to last 4 years minimum and then that's only ?80 per year and that's only like filling up with petrol twice!


So if I average 100,000 miles a year you are guaranteeing me 400,000 miles?! :lol:

I know you can break prices down over a period of time but that has to be added to all the other things you will need to invest in.

Rotoflex couplings have become expensive and anecdotal evidence suggests that modern ones can fail at very low mileages.
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