Lotus Elan

Wintering / jacking up a Lotus Elan Sprint

PostPost by: SprintingSophie » Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:07 pm

Evening!

I hope everyone's keeping well!

I'm about to start putting my 1971 DHC Lotus Elan Sprint to bed for another winter. It has been unofficially off the road for about 18 months and I'd say it'll be another 12 months before actually I'll get it going again (general life and a global pandemic have got in the way of building the forever home garage for it, as well as ongoing mechanical glitches). Looking at jacking it up / preserving the tyres, I appreciate that this has to be sensibly done and that wheels shouldn't be left hanging, wishbones should watched like a hawk, etc. I've just seen a great video on Youtube by Paul H - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4YUz55ELEw - and have printed off the pdf he provided (thank you, Paul!). I have all the original workshop manuals, etc. but it seems this is an area where opinions vs. original manuals can conflict and great damage can be done relatively easily to such a precious car. Any / all tips / pointers to avoid disaster very welcome!

Thank you in advance!

Sophie
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sun Nov 01, 2020 11:17 pm

Contentious subject, but this is what I do:
At point of overwinter storage:
Change the engine oil and filter.
Change coolant (if due)
Over inflate tyres
Disconnect and remove battery
During storage:
Occasionally move the car slightly for a new tyre contact patch
Avoid starting the engine
Turn the engine by hand every couple of weeks
Top up battery (if needed) and occasionally place on a battery conditioner.
Before use in the spring:
Complete service items, check all oil levels and top up
Check suspension, grease trunnions, bleed or replace (every other year) brake fluid, check brake pads, driveshafts and check the car for MOT test.
Based on 2-3 k miles per annum.
Better than DIY or decorating the house.
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1994 Caterham 7
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PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:03 am

englishmaninwales wrote:Contentious subject, but this is what I do:
At point of overwinter storage:
Change the engine oil and filter.
Change coolant (if due)
Over inflate tyres
Disconnect and remove battery
During storage:
Occasionally move the car slightly for a new tyre contact patch
Avoid starting the engine
Turn the engine by hand every couple of weeks
Top up battery (if needed) and occasionally place on a battery conditioner.
Before use in the spring:
Complete service items, check all oil levels and top up
Check suspension, grease trunnions, bleed or replace (every other year) brake fluid, check brake pads, driveshafts and check the car for MOT test.
Based on 2-3 k miles per annum.
Better than DIY or decorating the house.


Well, only if you're super bored and want something to do.
I, admittedly, don't live in a cold place, and we certainly don't have snow or freezing temperatures in our Winters.
For the last 40 years that I've put my Sprint to bed for the Winter I've,
1. Over inflated the tyres,
2. Every couple of months warmed it up in the garage, and then taken it around the block a couple of times.
That's it.

It seems to have survived my casual approach, and runs beautifully.
Bearing in mind how basic, and agricultural its engineering, I wouldn't expect otherwise.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:45 am

reb53 wrote:
englishmaninwales wrote:Contentious subject, but this is what I do:
At point of overwinter storage:
Change the engine oil and filter.
Change coolant (if due)
Over inflate tyres
Disconnect and remove battery
During storage:
Occasionally move the car slightly for a new tyre contact patch
Avoid starting the engine
Turn the engine by hand every couple of weeks
Top up battery (if needed) and occasionally place on a battery conditioner.
Before use in the spring:
Complete service items, check all oil levels and top up
Check suspension, grease trunnions, bleed or replace (every other year) brake fluid, check brake pads, driveshafts and check the car for MOT test.
Based on 2-3 k miles per annum.
Better than DIY or decorating the house.


Well, only if you're super bored and want something to do.
I, admittedly, don't live in a cold place, and we certainly don't have snow or freezing temperatures in our Winters.
For the last 40 years that I've put my Sprint to bed for the Winter I've,
1. Over inflated the tyres,
2. Every couple of months warmed it up in the garage, and then taken it around the block a couple of times.
That's it.

It seems to have survived my casual approach, and runs beautifully.
Bearing in mind how basic, and agricultural its engineering, I wouldn't expect otherwise.


Well as I said, contentious!
I bet your house is well decorated, though. :D
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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Nov 02, 2020 10:42 am

I don't do nuffing and use it all year round for the last few decades........................

Snow 2018 (43).jpg and
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:18 am

Hi TBG,
And me, I use it all year, but not in rain snow or salted roads.
I make sure it goes out once a week in summer and once a month in winter when possible. I believe it keeps things in working order and therefore improving reliabiilty.
I think you are just showing off in that photo, because you have an S3SE, the best in the whole range without doubt.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: USA64 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 1:47 pm

They're a lot of fun in the snow; the only time you'll find me drifting!
We are supposed to be having fun, are we not?
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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:41 pm

"And me, I use it all year, but not in rain snow or salted roads."

I never go out in the rain...........much!!

Flood 12.JPG and


Flood 8.JPG and
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:11 pm

Now you`re getting silly,
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:26 pm

reb53 wrote:2. Every couple of months warmed it up in the garage, and then taken it around the block a couple of times.
That's it.


I hope your garage is well ventillated :roll:
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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:59 pm

Eric - one has to show Jonny Foreigner what we Elan drivers are like....................... :shock:
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:56 pm

Sophie,

I had some of those skate devices that allow you to move the car sideways, and or rotate the wheels without moving the car. For a few years I turned the wheels every week. One winter I did not get round to it (ill health) but could not notice any tyre deterioration or flat spots.

Hope this helps,

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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:25 pm

Planning on using mine as often as I can now it is living again..
Done more miles in the Elan than the 2 "daily drivers" put together in the last few weeks
Maybe I am slightly mad but looking forward to trying it in the snow..

Any thoughts on winter tyres...? :D

Sorry to the originality police but as a nod to comfort I have fitted a wind deflector from an MGF... That way the hood can stay down and the other 1/2 doesn't have to dress like Ernest Shackleton :lol:

Mel (another biased S3 DHC operative)
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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:00 pm

Well done Mel !! I just use the tyres I have got and slide all over the place - great fun. Not much about so not much to hit! :shock: :shock:
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:28 am

Grew up in the Pennines with Mk 1 & 2 Escorts etc on skinny tyres which were always fun in the snow too many people in this country are afraid of it which is the biggest problem you face.
although the best thing I ever drove on the road in heavy snow was a Fiat 126
which was just a hoot... If you lost traction the passenger could climb out through the webasto roof and stand on the back bumper to add a bit of weight, bloody thing was unstoppable...way better than my landrover.

The thing is, I just love driving the Elan, I waited too long to get it so have to make up for lost time :lol:
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