Lotus Elan

It's Alive....

PostPost by: TBG » Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:09 pm

This is the chap I use - no affiliation but very good stuff. Call Gill at https://www.bettercarlighting.co.uk/

I now have all lights/interior/brake and so on LED. Brilliant! Literally! :D

PS Straight swap - no modifications apart from a new indicator flasher thingy.

PPS - note clear indicator lenses - none of that nasty orange stuff here matey!!
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:11 am

Cheers TBG quite a range of stuff on their website.
Wallet may be getting troubled.. :wink:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:26 am

el-saturn wrote:for me an elan is a street legal race car; IF you invest some real money. otherwise we degrade these beasts to the triumph, mg or sunbeam level -----------where 155/80/13 tyres are more than suffcient! coiln would write signed for letters to most of you! so thats why im not that active - its good enough having a wife getting old sandy


Hi Sandy
I agree an Elan is at its best as a street legal race car both when it was first built and also now. To maintain that status in the current day it needs to have some subtle modifications to the engine, suspension and tyres which can cost a little to do right. It does not required radical changes.

There are many options between this approach and the keep it original down to the air in the tyres approach.

My Elan has probably evolved a little to far and while it is street legal still, it is tuned to a state that its not really happy under 5000 rpm and 100 km/h which makes it somewhat challenging in suburban driving but I do enjoy that acceleration on a freeway entrance ramp and makes it lots of fun on the track :lol:

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:46 pm

On another forum some bloke, who sounded very credible, said that it was illegal to fit fixed blue lights to a motor vehicle in the UK. However he opined that carrying flashing blue LEDs in your car (not fixed) appears not to be an offense. This ruse seems to have been taken up by cyclists, quite rightly, and there are some pretty powerful blue flashers available. These would certainly draw attention to our invisible little cars.
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:51 pm

rgh0 wrote:
el-saturn wrote:for me an elan is a street legal race car; IF you invest some real money. otherwise we degrade these beasts to the triumph, mg or sunbeam level -----------where 155/80/13 tyres are more than suffcient! coiln would write signed for letters to most of you! so thats why im not that active - its good enough having a wife getting old sandy


Hi Sandy
I agree an Elan is at its best as a street legal race car both when it was first built and also now. To maintain that status in the current day it needs to have some subtle modifications to the engine, suspension and tyres which can cost a little to do right. It does not required radical changes.

There are many options between this approach and the keep it original down to the air in the tyres approach.

My Elan has probably evolved a little to far and while it is street legal still, it is tuned to a state that its not really happy under 5000 rpm and 100 km/h which makes it somewhat challenging in suburban driving but I do enjoy that acceleration on a freeway entrance ramp and makes it lots of fun on the track :lol:

cheers
Rohan


Not quite sure why the talk has got to race cars for the road from "its alive" but what the hey.. I like a bit of debate :D

Tyres seem to be a moot point on here and for that matter other forums where "classic" vehicles are concerned. What is that reference to opinions again?

My updates have been primarily aimed at getting a usable road focussed Elan.
Not sure 're Sandy statement 're invest some REAL money.
Non of the money I have put into mine including full engine rebuild to BV sprint spec, electric fuel.pump rebuild dcoes twin electric fans, alternator, hi torque starter, new wishbones & poly bushes, rebuilt brakes alters the fact it is still in effect pretty much stock but the money certainly wasn't fake so not sure how much I have to spend to get into the exclusive Elan drivers club not just the Elan owners club?

In terms of ride height spring rate and damping.. mine is new but pretty much stock other than poly bushes throughout including anti roll bar and updated diff mounts.. Still on doughnuts but they are also new. But there was a lot of careful measuring to restore the mount points which were oval after being run with loose bolts. Maybe I should have just saved the effort and bought some adjustable arms.
I do have a spare pair of stripped type 18 struts which will be getting built up and installed over the winter and I will then decide on CV's etc.

So given the other works done and based on subtle mods primarily for reliability and safety the 155 tyres seemed to be in keeping with the original design parameters (145 or 155 according to the manual) and it could be argued that after 60 years of tyre development a mid range or even budget tyre from a major brand is likely to out perform what was available in the 60's or 70's.
Handling and ultimate grip are not mutually exclusive. I have had My share of modified road and race cars and if you are going to use on the road a Race focussed tool is in my opinion rather short sighted and limits it's use especially given the state of the roads where I live.
The base set up and tall / skinny possibly naff in some opinions, tyres seem to be a pretty reasonable start point... Not saying I won't upgrade at some point but currently happy to enjoy another Elan saved from being parked unused for over 10 years.
Basically it may not fit with the Sandy ethos but it suits what I want from.my car at this time. I personally do not see it has degrading the car as it is close to the original design ethos / parameters.
Each to their own, your car your choice, so enjoy it your way ...
Jim Clark seemed to cope in a Standard car... Gordon Murray still cites it as being the pinnacle of handling so who am I to argue?
Don't recall much talk from Murray about anything other than how good a design it is so I presume he still means stock or close to it. Wonder what Tyres he runs..probably XAS Michelin... Not my favourite rubber as don't find them progressive but plenty of people like them. Their car their choice.

I have done a bit of competition stuff both as a driver and mechanic and have had a range of of vehicles over the last 40 years or so & not new to or averse to modified cars. If that was the way I wanted to go with this one I would have..I certainly debated with myself what type of car and how I wanted to use and enjoy it... the car would probably still be on stands and minus a body not out being used and enjoyed it I had gone down the 26R TTR shopping list.. although I did get my starter motor from there.

I could have been world champion but for two key points.
1 A lack of finance
2 A lack of talent
I used to think I was pretty handy in a car until I got a lift off ex British Rally champion Mark Lovell (RIP) in a bog standard Legacy estate which changed my view a bit when I worked out the first thing you need to improve in a well designed road car is the nut holding the wheel.
Point is?? I wanted a base line to start with.

I doubt I will get a letter from Colin for having the temerity to fit tyres the car was basically designed around unless there is any truth in the rumour he can still be seen peeking out of the curtains at Ketteringham hall... & Elvis works at the local chip shop. I have been in his office / boardroom at Hethel though..
( Colin's not Elvis' :lol: )

OK, here is a poser for you..
Anyone ever considered the load v speed aspect of tyres??.. eg easily available T rated is good for 118mph but carrying a potentially much heavier car..
Say a 79 capable of carrying 437 Kg so in effect 2/3 of the weight of the car could be carried on one tyre. Leaves 2.5 tyres in effect spare with regards load capacity... so not strained.
Build in a bit for weight transfer and you still have loads of spare capacity... They are designed to run at sustained 118 mph carrying 1748 KG...
Is your sub 700Kg motor going to be pushing the envelope of the Tyres actual capability?

I know with commercial vehicles there is an allowance the other way..reduce the speed allows an increase in axle load for a tyre so there may be a correlation plus add in the safety factor any major brand will put in therefore could there be undue concern with aT rated tyre on an Elan unless you were doing very high speed for a considerable period of time?
118 (T) is around the Max speed unless sprint or above specification..
If you change the Tyres to use a lower profile and reduce the rolling radius to you have effectively dropped your overall Max speed anyway unless you then change the diff..
Yes I understand there may be other benefits with lower profile / wider boots but there are also potential other trade offs once you start down the path.. unsprung weight, gearing, steering effort, steering feel additional stress on components that started life in a Herald ... Etc.

Blue touch paper lit & waiting for the fireworks....

In reality I am happy to listen to sage advice and the knowledge and experience of others on here has been invaluable. I am also lucky to be a stone's throw from Chris Foulds who has a lot of knowledge and experience and is quite an advocate of the stock Elan design but I am also happy to try other ideas and options & go my way on some things, possibly why I have ditched the vac take offs on the manifold to hopefully balance the carbs but I have retained vac headlamps courtesy of a pump..oops I didn't add lightness..get the nails and the cross ready :wink: please don't tell me I have degraded my car though.my bank manager might get upset.


Edited several times to get rid of some of the auto correct typos.. :roll:
For one thing I do not own an ALAN :lol: bonus of coming back on line is I have found another soapbox subject this morning :D
Take care all.
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