Lotus Elan

The restoration of 45/7286

PostPost by: Famous Frank » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:19 pm

My frame was in much worse condition than that. After sandblasting it I brought it down to Steve Smith of Twincam Sports Cars in Sarasota, Florida. Steve is a great technician and a long time Lotus racer. I addition to being a decent welder and fabricator, he has a jig to perform Elan Frame repairs. He performed the repairs on my frame which include rebuilding the entire left front turret and upgrading the frame to 26R specs. Not cheap but fair.

Frank
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Inside of frame.jpg and
L frt frame after repairs.jpg and
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:39 pm

Thought I would post what I have been working on. I have cleaned up and refinished some of the front and rear suspension pieces. I used gloss black Rust Seal for the front control arms. It seems to match the factory gloss well. I used Satin black Rust Seal for the front hubs, front steering arms, brake shields and rear control arms. It looks good but is glossier than the original finish. I used Rust-oleum hunter green and regal red to mark the left and right hand components. Both colors were very close to the original colors.
IMG_1626.JPG and

IMG_1630.JPG and

IMG_1628.JPG and

IMG_1631.JPG and


I used Zero Rust in red for the rear hubs. It seems to match the original color very well.
IMG_1627.JPG and
IMG_1627.JPG and

IMG_1629.JPG and


I also replaced the bushings in the control arms with new factory style bushings.
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:55 pm

I also got the frame back from the blasters. No new rust areas showed up, so that is a good thing. I found the serial number 45/7286 stamped on top of the right front side next to the engine.
IMG_1644.JPG and


I also found the number 26A701stamped on top of the center section just back of the front Y. I assume that is the frame number from the original manufacturer, but don't really know.
IMG_1646.JPG and
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:14 am

Nice! 026A0701 is the frame part number for S1 through 3, up to 7894.

Thanks for sharing.

Greg Z
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PostPost by: rcombs » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:37 pm

Frame part number, makes sense.

Thanks Greg Z
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PostPost by: rcombs » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:06 pm

Well, it's been about two months since I last posted. I had about 3 weekends that I didn't get much done due to colds and other stuff. I have been working on getting the frame ready to prime. I have been cutting out the rust and welding in new metal along the sides.

IMG_1633.JPG and

IMG_1634.JPG and

IMG_1642.JPG and
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PostPost by: rcombs » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:33 pm

After some thought, and looking at how light the frame is built, I decided to put some stiffeners in even though this will not be original, I think it will help the frame last with the stresses of modern radial tires. I used copper weld-through primer in the boxed areas.

Blocked off towers inside and repaired the rust at the bottom.
IMG_1650.JPG and


Stiffeners along the bottom
IMG_1656.JPG and


Jack plate and tow hook under the front cross member
IMG_1659.JPG and


Added material at the sway bar mounts
IMG_1660.JPG and


Under the front uppler flanges. These are a little smaller that usual so that they aren't as visable from the top.
IMG_1661.JPG and

IMG_1662.JPG and


Gussets at the back, top and bottom
IMG_1663.JPG and

IMG_1665.JPG and


And gussets at the rear towers
IMG_1664.JPG and
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PostPost by: rcombs » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:36 pm

Thought I would post a few pictures. Not much progress from May through early July. Graduations, vacation, house chores have kept me busy.

I have finished the frame and removed everything from the body except the harness and the heater assembly. I built a rotisserie from a couple of engine stands and mounted the body. Stripping the paint is next.

IMG_1672.JPG and


IMG_1874.JPG and


Rick
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PostPost by: au-yt » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:56 am

rcombs wrote:Thought I would post what I have been working on. I have cleaned up and refinished some of the front and rear suspension pieces. I used gloss black Rust Seal for the front control arms. It seems to match the factory gloss well. I used Satin black Rust Seal for the front hubs, front steering arms, brake shields and rear control arms. It looks good but is glossier than the original finish. I used Rust-oleum hunter green and regal red to mark the left and right hand components. Both colors were very close to the original colors.
IMG_1626.JPG

IMG_1630.JPG

IMG_1628.JPG

IMG_1631.JPG


I used Zero Rust in red for the rear hubs. It seems to match the original color very well.
IMG_1627.JPG
IMG_1627.JPG

IMG_1629.JPG


I also replaced the bushings in the control arms with new factory style bushings.


Don't forget the red and green 1/2 to 5/5 dots on top of the bearing area of the rear struts

Cheers
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:34 am

I'm no expert, but that seems a lot of work not to add lightness........ :lol:

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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:40 pm

Fred,

It's special light-weight Lotus paint!
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:44 pm

Graeme,

Red & green dots on the rear housings hugh? You wouldn't be pulling my leg would you.

Rick
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:04 pm

Though I would post an update. Been stripping the paint. Oh boy what fun. I tried Strip Kleen aircraft stripper for fiberglass, but it attacked the gel coat in some places. After that I switched to the razor blade method which worked well in most spots. I still have the door jams and engine compartment to do. The body originaly had been jitter bugged with 400 or 600 grit paper. The only sanding marks on the gel coat were the little pig tails from the jitter bug.

IMG_1965.JPG and
Almost done stripping. Blocked body with a long boy and 36 grit to find the low spots.


IMG_1966.JPG and
This is the trunk lid during stripping. The area inside the tape box has been sanded to the original paint and buffed. I got a color match and painted a small test paint to keep a record of the original color. The factory didn't record the color, or the dealer painted it.


IMG_1969.JPG and
factory bondo


IMG_1970.JPG and
More factory bondo


I am going to try some stripper I got at Lowes on the jambs and engine compartment.

Rick
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:36 pm

Man, it has been a while since I have updated this. The inside edges of the wheel openings were worn from oversize tires, so I rebuilt them and ground the edges to match the existing edges.

IMG_1981.JPG and

IMG_1983.JPG and
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:40 pm

rcombs wrote:Man, it has been a while since I have updated this.


No problem there. Better to be working on the car than just talking (posting) about it. :lol:
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