Lotus Elan

Driving an Elan S3 Coupe

PostPost by: Simon5350 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:22 pm

Hi, everybody. This is my second post.

The first post was about fixing the gear lever with the anti sizzle bush. That worked, thank you.

The owner is nervous of driving this classic car, it has had very little use in the last 5 years, I was asked to take it out on the assumption that if it went wrong I had half a chance of fixing it.

I don't know what an Elan should feel like. Back in the 1970's I chose an MGB instead of the Elan, because the Elan was seen as more of a "thoroughbred" - which meant it would need more attention more fequently than the "B".

This one appears well used, not modified, and was allegedly checked over by someone who knows what they are doing, a couple of years ago.

Having checked oil, water, tyres - I couldn't find the brake reservoir (but have now) - it started immediately without the choke.
10 miles on, the oil pressure is steady at 38, the temperature at 80, the tacho reading between 6000 and 8000 at 40 in top. (4 speed box) Still the same after 50 miles run.

It is fairly "lumpy" at 40 in top - should I expect that? I was taking it easy, with an unknown car and no usable tacho I didn't exceed 60 - well, up to 70 briefly. The handling of the car feels wonderful at those speeds. Acceleration isn't particularly exciting, probably on a par with the MGB (from memory of 40 years ago!).
Your comments, please.

Cheers

Simon
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:35 pm

It shouldn't feel lumpy, a well tuned twincam is tractable from quite low revs and should be reasonable smooth and responsive across the rev range.

The oil pressure and temp seem correct/normal.

The first think I'd do is figure out what is going on with the rev counter. The over reading could be due to an electric ignition module or other ignition system issue. You should be able to tell if it has electronic ignition if its got a 12v supply going to the dizzy or by popping the dizzy cap and seeing what is going on.

If it electric igntion that probably the cause of the tacho issue, you can try relocating the 12v supply for the module off the ignition coil power circuit. If it points I'd be doing more checks to see if everything on the ignition side is ok.

After that I'd be looking at carbs, assume it has fresh fuel in it? If so I would pull and clean all the jets in the carbs (assuming webber or DHLA) as a start.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Simon5350 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:47 pm

Ok, thanks for that. It had less than a quarter of a tank, but had been used a little in the last couple of months, I put 10 litres in - so the fuel is relatively fresh.

I will check on what carbs and ignition it has, my instinct is to change plugs, points, condenser if conventional, and see what that does.

Tacho I might just bypass with a temporary little self contained add on, which I use on another classic - cheap, effective, no need to be wired in, and no poking round the back af the dash of an unknown car.
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:25 pm

I doubt the tacho wiring is any issue,unless there is a bad connection on the security switch in the glove box(if still fitted).

Electric ignition are know to cause over reading (upto 2x) if they take power from the coil. This would fit report of 6K-8K at ~60MPH, where engines likely somewhere between 3k and 4k rpm. So if it electronic ignition then the tacho reading is unlikely a signal of ignition system issue and I'd move on to carbs.
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:05 am

mbell wrote:I doubt the tacho wiring is any issue,unless there is a bad connection on the security switch in the glove box(if still fitted).

Electric ignition are know to cause over reading (upto 2x) if they take power from the coil. This would fit report of 6K-8K at ~60MPH, where engines likely somewhere between 3k and 4k rpm. So if it electronic ignition then the tacho reading is unlikely a signal of ignition system issue and I'd move on to carbs.



I don't think 2-seaters like the S3 have that security switch fitted.
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:18 am

billwill wrote:
mbell wrote:I doubt the tacho wiring is any issue,unless there is a bad connection on the security switch in the glove box(if still fitted).

Electric ignition are know to cause over reading (upto 2x) if they take power from the coil. This would fit report of 6K-8K at ~60MPH, where engines likely somewhere between 3k and 4k rpm. So if it electronic ignition then the tacho reading is unlikely a signal of ignition system issue and I'd move on to carbs.



I don't think 2-seaters like the S3 have that security switch fitted.


Mine does. Or did, since disconnected.
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1972 MGB Roadster @ https://www.mgexp.com/registry/1972-MG- ... 842G.4498/
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:23 am

Acceleration should definitely be significantly better than an MGB, carbs & timing should be checked.
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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:19 pm

As saildrive says above....an Elan should feel like a rocket when compared to an MGB.
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