Lotus Elan

RSM949G 1969 S4SE FHC Mech refurbishment

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:04 pm

Mine was the same Pete as it hadn't been moved for the best part of 40 years, but a bit of heat on the ally cover soon scared it loose!
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:20 am

Mark....

Tried the blow-lamp... no good! I'd already worked my way through from a correct-sized socket with a long bar, Vice-grips, Footprint "dogs" … etc! Finished up grinding two flats on the remains of the plug/flange, using heat with 10" Bahco spanner with 18" scaffolding tube over it and a bloody big wooden mallet!

Had that not worked Plan D would have been to completely remove the remaining brass "head" and carefully drill out the centre until there was literally just the brass threads left, the unpick them out of the ally thread. Tricky stuff and, of course, it would mean dismantling the diff again to remove and swarf which had got inside. That is the "engine stopped in the middle of the Atlantic scenario".

It looks like DPO used some sort of thread-locking fluid, there is grey powder in the threads and it isn't aluminium oxide.

Onwards...…. :twisted:
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:47 pm

I'm not sure which is worse Pete...trying to sort out the last owner's mess / seized up bits or trying to fit repro rubbish that doesn't fit!
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:07 pm

I'm seriously wondering at what point it makes more sense just to remove the body to gain access to all the hardware below! :evil:
Having done a couple of "body-offs" over the years I really think that I might have been better advised to do a third! All I've really achieved so far (and I've still to wrestle one Miller drive back shaft into place) is to change the diff and fit new lower wishbones! Ahead of me lies pulling out the engine, swapping the gearbox, fitting new core-plugs (Christ, I hope the block isn't cracked) and all the other stuff you don't even think of.

Today's absolute bastard of a job was trying to get that peculiar domed nut, which retains the diff tie-rod, back onto the damaged thread of the bolt welded to the chassis. Why on earth did they do that? A nut either side would have sorted it. Actually, I know the answer- back in the factory the bolt for the wishbone was fitted the other way around and there was no need to grind off part of the head to get it past the welded-in tie-rod bolt. It took me ages to make the start of the thread good with a swiss file.

So, tomorrow... somehow I've got to get the three bolts through the inner drive-shaft "wings" into the aluminium adapter plate for the CV joint, without damaging the threads. Jacking up the suspension, to limit droop, gets one to the point where the car is lifting off the axle-stands under the body. :shock:

When I did all this on my Sprint, with the body off and a Spyder Chassis and RSC twin rear suspension, it was dead easy, everything fell into place....

:|
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Feb 28, 2020 9:08 am

I'd use a spring compressor Pete. The rear springs are from a Biro originally so will compress very quickly, and once everything is lined up, even fitting a Rotoflex is a doddle...relatively speaking.

If doing a full mechanical refurb I would definitely take the body off....but it sound like you're at the point of no return now!

So easy to work on :D :D :D
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:13 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:I'd use a spring compressor Pete. The rear springs are from a Biro originally so will compress very quickly, and once everything is lined up, even fitting a Rotoflex is a doddle...relatively speaking.

If doing a full mechanical refurb I would definitely take the body off....but it sound like you're at the point of no return now!

So easy to work on :D :D :D


Yes, too far gone! Diff now back in, have loosened gearbox mounting bolts, not much more than finger-tight! The problem with taking on a project car is that one has to check everything!
Next step is to remove engine and box, a four-handed job: I've lined up my next-door neighbour for this but we can't get within 2 metres of each other.... back to the gardening! Actually I'll remove all those bits and pieces like radiator, hoses and cables... at my convenience; this job is the exact opposite of how Team Lotus spanner-men used to operate. Stay at home, keep safe. :cry:
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:12 pm

Well, after a Covid-induced delay I'm back on the case. I've not had Covid, I just went into a spiral of idleness, where old cars were concerned.

My Sprint has been providing occasional transport and has been treated to a new set of tyres, not because the others were worn out, they were about eleven years old! I have a leak from around the rim on one Minilite, I thought the new tyres would cure this but apparently not. Another job for the "to do" list.

RSM949G: Today I started to remove the tubular exhaust manifolds; got all the studs out (they will be replaced by cap-head socket screws) and now need to correct a bodge by the DPO. Instead of cutting out the chassis cross member and making a decent fish-plate job, he sawed through one side and bent the cross-member out of the way, then "welded" the cross-member back in place (usual bird-shit "welding" job). Why didn't the galvanised Lotus Replacement chassis get the removable cross-member?? :evil:

We've got mice in the AUDI Q3 and Mini Cooper engine bays (both cars stand outside) and now in the cavity wall insulation of the house! never a dull moment. :twisted:
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:31 pm

If the Chassis is galvanised i wouldn't want to be near it when trying to weld. All those toxic gasses :shock:
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:49 pm

alan.barker wrote:If the Chassis is galvanised i wouldn't want to be near it when trying to weld. All those toxic gasses :shock:
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Absolutely. When we used to weld galvanised material it was normal to give it a light grind, or heavy motorised wire brushing! We had a powerful extractor system for taking away any fumes too.

I'm astounded that this cross-member was simply bent out of the way and then bent back and welded after fitting the manifolds! :roll:
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:13 pm

Well; I've made fishplates for the cross-member, drilled them, in place, and sawn off the crossmember, so it will go back in place.
Removed lots of "stuff" and realised that I ought to sort out my storage. I have a double garage, which is fine for two cars but... if one of them is in a thousand pieces, this is not so good. So, cleared out two garden sheds. Killed a zillion spiders, set traps for various species of mice, etc. Fortunately we do not have snakes or alligators here.
Ordered a breathable, waterproof cover for the Sprint- at some point it will have to live outside while I mess about with the "big bits" over the winter.
Just when I thought that I really did not have much work to do and could get on with this, someone has asked me to produce enough photos for another motor-sports book. I think he will have to wait. :shock:
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:30 am

I suggest not to put a Cover over the Sprint it will get Pimples :roll:
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:52 am

Blue balls, is a common complaint from these vehicles
Help it release!
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Find out where the limits are, and start from there
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