Lotus Elan

S3 Project: I don't know Jack

PostPost by: neilcritter » Sat Apr 16, 2022 9:07 pm

6 months and 6 days ago I saw my first Lotus Elan speeding to a car show. It was Steve Lyle's Sprint and he told me about the classifieds of Lotuselan.net. That evening I stumbled on this listing viewtopic.php?f=2&t=49801
and with the encouragement of my more experienced friends, I bought the project from "Famous Frank" Filicicchia. The project was started by his late friend Jack who planned on finishing it as a racecar. Following repainting the BRG color, completing a Spyder Chassis, rebuilding the engine and transmission, Jack died prematurely after surgery several years ago. Frank acquired the project from Jack's wife and the project stalled.

Frank put it up for sale as an easy project and my wife and I took the plunge following the high of the Brits in the Ozarks event. The car arrived to Oklahoma City over New Years weekend, and moved to Mike Glass's shop about a month ago. We've been unpacking boxes, sorting the parts and making plans.

Today we undertook the ritual of removing the body from the chassis. A bunch of buddies from the British Car Breakfast club made light work of the move. We then admired the chassis and everyone was overjoyed about the possibilities it holds for the future.

Over the next few months I'll post updates of our progress and seek input from this great community!

I didn't get interested in cars until the boredom of the first COVID lockdown of 2020. I really don't know anything about restoring a car or how all the parts work together and I feel like an Elan is a great car to learn about automobiles.

In honor of this car's original owner Jack who started this project, I've named the car Jack. And because I don't know much about cars, the title of this feed is "I don't know Jack."

Once the project is done I hope to have a working knowledge of cars, and then I can finally start a new thread about my adventures with this Elan that we'll probably call, "I do know Jack."
Attachments
3CB2EF69-23A9-4F50-8E82-807EDAC7CEF5.jpeg and
ECDBE061-9E8D-441E-A42E-EA3191F8856A.jpeg and
FC7C6BC4-4505-47F9-98A2-ECF45F1130D1.jpeg and
33ED8E7D-0845-4D7C-95CE-8D0817B34A46.jpeg and
Neil Crittenden
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1967 S3

"I don't know Jack"
https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=50881
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PostPost by: 661 » Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:13 am

Fantastic.
I hope you enjoy discovering Jack.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:47 am

I’m puzzled as to why you needed to take the body off, is that a step backwards?
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PostPost by: neilcritter » Sun Apr 17, 2022 1:15 pm

To answer the question why we needed to remove the body:

The project was sold to us as a rolling project and Famous Frank and his buddies in Georgia who loosely assembled the components and packed lots of boxes so it could be easily transported to Oklahoma. The plan was to always take off the body (so it was only connected with 1 bolt!).

In addition for us to marvel at the frame (and none of my friends had seen such a design before), we are more easily able to complete the brake lines and install the fuel line.

The big bonus for me is the chance to see the Elan down to the frame, and learn about it from the inside out. The ritual of gathering friends to lift the body and eventually return it brings my local car community together for a shared goal.

It is a step backwards in a technical sense, but it's a setup for a better learning experience and an opportunity to build a collective memory with my friends.
Neil Crittenden
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1967 S3

"I don't know Jack"
https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=50881
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Sun Apr 17, 2022 5:32 pm

Very cool! Sorry I couldn’t be there, looks like you guys had fun.

One suggestion. When you put the body back, or move it around, don’t put any ‘lifters’ on the wheel arches, that puts stress on the body where there is the least strength. Put the at the front and rear of the rocker panel on both sides to be safe.

It still amazes me how tiny the mechanicals are/look when the body is off, and yet how powerful it is. Just a brilliant design.

Looking forward to getting over to OKC to see it.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Apr 17, 2022 7:03 pm

Wow, looks like a fantastic project! I hope it brings you even more joy than expected, and keep us posted on your progress!
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sun Apr 17, 2022 8:47 pm

Maybe its just me but the frame and the entire suspension is a thing of beauty with a new powder coated Spyder Frame, gobs of new suspension components and shiny cad plated grade 8 hardware. It sure beats the sight when you remove the body of a 50 plus year old car and all you see is a rusted frame, rusting suspension pieces, leaking everything, and parts falling off.

Just going by memory, (which is suspect at my advanced age), I thought there was a fuel line already installed in the top portion of the center tunnel? It was a hard line I thought. The original fuel lines were plastic and after this many years would need to be replaced anyway. I was thinking all that might need to be done is the connections between the fuel pump and the hard line, and the hard line to the fuel tank. But I may be wrong.

A couple of thoughts for when the body goes back on. It may need a a shim or two or three between the body and the frame just to the rear of the differential and maybe between the frame and the body at other locations where the body bolts up. The shims are to relieve fiberglass stress so you don't tighten down the body to the frame and stress the fiberglass where there may be a small gap. Stainless washers work well.

And also, when the body goes back on, there should be a cushioning mat between the frame and the body. Much like a blanket under a horse saddle. It cuts down vibrations that could be transmitted from the suspension/frame to the fiberglass body. Originally they were manufactured with a jute type of material. New closed cell foam ones are available from RD Enterprises if the jute one is missing or contaminated with 50 years of oil, dirt, and / or sludge.

Looks like everyone had a grand time and a great learning session. I would have attended just for the donuts, coffee, and / or pizza. I remember helping a friend do something similar to an MGA and I was surprised years ago to see the bottom was a piece of rotting plywood.

All the best!

Oh, one more thought. The hand brake mechanism and parts would be installed before the body goes back on. And also, this is just a personal think that I like to do is to place a heat shield on the body near where the headers are located.

I too am looking forward to the continuing adventure.
Famous Frank

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PostPost by: neilcritter » Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:04 pm

Thank you Frank and Steve for the suggestions and everyone for your replies! I'm making a list of all the suggestions!

Please keep the ideas coming. They are all welcome and read by me! Remember, I don't know Jack, so I'm here to learn from those of you with experience to share!

Neil
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Oklahoma City
1967 S3

"I don't know Jack"
https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=50881
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PostPost by: Frankster1955 » Mon Apr 18, 2022 3:27 am

I am having my S3 restored professionally at present. It was more than i could do without a lift. My body is superb. I am systematically and completely refurbishing the car and rebuilding the engine to 160 hp. My journey is yours. Mine is going on now. We are in disassembly stage.
Write anytime here or email below. I check in here twice a month. I may have the answer or can get it. .
Here are parts suppliers of which you may not be aware.
elantrikbits.com
sj sports cars
tony thompson racing
RD enterprises
Dave Bean engineering.

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:50 am

Frankster1955 wrote:I am having my S3 restored professionally at present. It was more than i could do without a lift. My body is superb. I am systematically and completely refurbishing the car and rebuilding the engine to 160 hp. My journey is yours. Mine is going on now. We are in disassembly stage.
Write anytime here or email below. I check in here twice a month. I may have the answer or can get it. .
Here are parts suppliers of which you may not be aware.
elantrikbits.com
sj sports cars
tony thompson racing
RD enterprises
Dave Bean engineering.


Don't forget Steve Taylor at Lotus Marques based here in Australia. I've always found Steve to be very helpful and knowledgeable. You often get useful tips from him that you don't get elsewhere and his website technical resources pages are often quite useful.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Jul 22, 2022 10:30 pm

Neil,

Haven't heard of any updates lately. How is everything coming along? Still a bunch of friends on Saturdays?

Frank
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PostPost by: neilcritter » Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:08 pm

Hi Frank and everyone following,

Things are going well with Jack the Elan project. Summer family travel has interfered with some of my time, but a few things we have accomplished are sourcing and adding an electric ignition, installing the alternator, adding a new gear reduction starter and attaching the manifold.

We have had the usual troubleshooting of adding back the handbrake tree. We successfully sourced a handbrake lever (thank you Henry (@SENC), and handbrake pads (Ebay) and I’m about to send them off for new padding today at Brake and Equipment Warehouse.

Several friends and mechanics are helping with the projecting including Mike, Michael and Andrew (photos attached).

Today we made to do list of things to do to get the body back on (handbrake and undercoating paint mainly), and we are about to order new wiring harness from England as well as a tachometer and oil/water pressure duel sensor.

Thanks for touching base,
Neil
Attachments
IMG_6108 copy 2.jpg and
Me and Andrew (right)
IMG_5181 copy.jpeg and
Mike
IMG_4644 copy.jpeg and
Michael (left) and me
Neil Crittenden
Oklahoma City
1967 S3

"I don't know Jack"
https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=50881
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PostPost by: 2mAn » Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:29 pm

Neil, I remember seeing this project go up for sale and am happy to see someone get it with such enthusiasm. That last picture of the original post is classic. Should be printed and framed.

Just curious which book you're using and what books others can suggest for a similar task. I recall a thread somewhere but cant seem to find it now

Good luck!
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