Lotus Elan

My first LOTUS, a 1970 Elan +2

PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:17 pm

Not actually mine to own, but to repair, maintain and improve. This is the first LOTUS I have ever put a hand on, and have only see a few of any model in my life.

A friend of mine bought this car about 10 years ago as part of a package deal. He visited a car collector and wanted to buy a couple cars, but the seller said all or none. Thus he ended up with the Elan along with an XKE, a couple of early TBirds, and some others I've not seen. He never drove the Lotus but instead pushed into long-term storage where it remained until recently when he dropped it off at my place, wanting me to "get it going".

I have owned and restored dozens of antique vehicles, everything from 1936 Ford pickups to V-12 Jags, but mostly 1960s GM stuff like Corvettes and GTOs.

I joined the group today to begin the process. Any sage words are appreciated.

When I figure out how to post photos, they will be coming
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PostPost by: Pete M » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:39 pm

Now's your chance to buy this car from your friend. If he drives it, it will become his favorite and you won't stand a chance of getting it for a reasonable price.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:52 am

Welcome.

I am probably the closet +2 owner to you as I am in south Austin. (There another +2 in Austin as well.)

Would be happy to meet up at some point (current situation permitting...) and answer questions or share my thoughts on the car.

In the meantime would be great to see a few photos.

Mark
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:57 am

Welcome!

Looking forward to reading all about your adventures with it!
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:16 am

Welcome!!
Henry
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65 Seven S2
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PostPost by: GHill » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:44 am

Welcome

I agree with the others - buy it quickly and post some piccies ;-)

Regards
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PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:14 am

Thanks and hello to all who welcomed me.

I am laughing about people encouraging me to buy the car now, before I resurrect it, My friend sortof knows what the car is all about, but has no real interest in it. A year or two ago, I bought a decent 1985 El Camino Conquista he had sitting outside the storage barn. It was all original, 88K miles, most everything works. I think I got it for half-price.

So here goes. My first picture is what rolled off his trailer.
Attachments
BarnFind.jpg and
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PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:22 am

If I can post a reply to myself, here goes.

First thing I did was to look at the frame, I've heard they rot quickly.

But I did not know how to lift it, and would never put a jack on 50-year-old fiberglass (Corvette lessons) so I used 2x4 blocks to jack up each side control arm a little at a time (a tip I got from from here).
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Uplift.jpg and
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PostPost by: tdskip » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:29 pm

Welcome - you will find the Elan to be quite a bit different than what it sounds like you are more used to wrenching on. When in doubt take lots of pictures and post them here, lots of experienced and helpful people here.

Shop manuals are invaluable, and there are some parts schematics here;

http://rdent.com/manuals/index.html
SoCal
1969 Elan DHC
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PostPost by: SGO 2F » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:45 pm

Welcome!!
Richard Shetler
1967 Lotus Elan +2 (050/0164)
1972 Lotus Elan +2S/130 (0239N)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:40 pm

Unlike most cars (and somewhat like the Renault engine in my Europa), there are things you shouldn't do to the engine without specific knowledge. You will find good help for just about everything here, but I would entrust all head work (and if you have a Weber head it is a rare and expensive piece, though for $$$ it can be bought new) to not just a machine shop, but a Twincam-experienced shop. Doing that work right is very important.

For a Federal 1970 Elan, you most likely have a Stromberg head which is easier to come by but still specialized.

I have a Europa engine I bought very cheap because someone rebuilt it themselves without proper instructions. And sheared the distributor drive immediately upon startup because they did not know how to properly align the head to the block, something that is easy to do but must be done. :cry:

Enjoy the ride!
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PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:26 pm

wow, I am already very impressed by the following for this marque.

got under the rear of the car to check out things, and was surprised at how clean things appeared. My friend said that he thought the car had been refurbished prior to his purchase, and from what I saw I agree. Rear brake pads had plenty of material if not new. Shocks/springs looked decent, rear flex hoses were solid, even the rubber donuts were in place, although with a bit of weathering.

I pulled the plugs and dribbled some light oil into the cylinders. I was pleased to see the engine turn over easily when I put some air pressure into the plug hole using my compressor and a coupling. Spun over fine through all 4 cylinders a couple of times. This an old trick I use for getting engines to turn over when they have sat a while, instead of wrenching the crank nut, or bumping the starter, or rocking in gear if manual.

Here are a few pics from underneath
Attachments
IMG_5648.JPG and
IMG_5649.JPG and
IMG_5650.JPG and
IMG_5651.JPG and
IMG_5653.JPG and
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:30 am

Looks good. Looking at that Tbh I'd be surprised if there was much wrong with the chassis.

Do you have a plan of work for what you are going to do? Looks like it might be straight forward recommissioning of it.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:52 am

It's the very best colour too, but then I am a little biased! :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:02 am

thanks mbell for your input

I don't know what Tbh means but good to hear your opinion.

My plan is a little fuzzy because I'm not familiar with the vehicle. Fortunately, I have owned or restored a fair number of British vehicles including Jaguar XKE Series 1, 1.5, 2, 3, XJ, MGB, plus 2-wheels (a lot) BSA, Norton, Triumph and so on.My user name is X75 - so the Elan feels familiar.

my plan to revive any dead thing (please help) so far is:

1. Is it worth it? (No issue here)
2. examine frame/body/suspension for any fatal problems (nothing yet)
3. see if engine turns over.
4. Examine/repair fuel system (always something)
5. check for spark, and repair
6. check fluids like oil, radiator, gas tank
7. get fuel into carbs (If electric fuel pump)
8. spin engine dry and set ignition timing
9. spin engine dry and check oil pressure.
10. Check belts, hoses, wiring, solenoids, relays, throttle linkage, air filters, vacuum hoses, etc.
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