Lotus Elan

Restoration of a '71 Sprint

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:36 am

I purchased my Sprint in 1987 from Tom Clarke with the intent of 'restoring it next year'. The car was 16 years old when I bought it, it is now over 50. It has been moved from garage to garage, and apart from the occasional bit of maintenance early on, I have done nothing done to it. It hasn't been on the road for many years. I joined this forum in 2011, the last time I got serious about restoring it. Hopefully I will make more progress this time around.

I have posted before about this car, so I will try to bring everything together in this thread with pictures along the way.

Progress so far:

1. I needed a new garage. I had a couple of cars in storage which was expensive, and needed to bring them home. The garage that was storing the mowers was going to be my workshop, so I needed more space. I live in a national park, and planning permission is difficult. Apparently the garage was going to be built in an 'ancient woodland' - in spite of there being no trees there. The garage became a lockdown project, and two years later is now built.

2. The garage that will store the car is in poor shape and needs work. It is watertight, but a summer project will be to put on a new roof. The concrete floor was too thin to support a lift, and I had promised myself a 2 post lift for the restoration. After a great deal of grief, I now have a solid area to support the lift, which I plan to fit today. If this is my last post, then the installation hasn't gone well.

Hopefully more to follow.

IMG_2931 (1).jpg and
The lift
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (to be restored)
32 Standard 12
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PostPost by: 661 » Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:20 am

Thread drift, I think I've been in this car.
I bought my S4 from Tom in about 1986 when he lived in Thornton Heath or Streatham
He then moved to Farnborough Kent, near where I was.
He helped out a lot with rebuilds, advice and breakdowns!
He had an S3 Esprit at the same time as what I believe to be your car. I believe yours had some wild cams ( L1s??)
Red over white?
Tom moved to Surrey I think, maybe Weybridge??? and I lost touch. I had heard he had had some ill health. I think it was Midland Bank he worked for
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:08 pm

Drifting a little further, Tom Clarke lived in Surrey and was restoring a Series 3 until he became ill and had to sell it.
He had done a lot of basic work on it.
It passed through the hands of two other owners including one who is active on this forum. They each did some work on it and then it came to me and I finished it.
Are they ever actually finished, I am still finding thinks to do after eleven years.
However I am pleased with it now and I hope Tom would be.
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PostPost by: 661 » Thu Jun 16, 2022 8:34 pm

If you have any long lost numbers for Tom I'd be obliged?
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PostPost by: Roland » Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:18 am

Andy,

I did a 2 post lift 2 years back, had loads of concrete depth and strength. However the concrete was fine with very small aggregate and I had trouble getting wedge anchor bolts to work. I changed to chemical anchor bolts.

If you are not using chemical anchors I would switch to them, I think they are probably a more reliable fix whatever concrete you have.

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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:41 am

Roland wrote:Andy,

I did a 2 post lift 2 years back, had loads of concrete depth and strength. However the concrete was fine with very small aggregate and I had trouble getting wedge anchor bolts to work. I changed to chemical anchor bolts.

If you are not using chemical anchors I would switch to them, I think they are probably a more reliable fix whatever concrete you have.

Roland

Roland,

Thanks. I wish I had read this before I installed the lift. I opted for 500mm of 'C40' concrete - which was significantly stronger than the spec required by the lift supplier (Automotech). The wedge anchors supplied were marked 3/4, but the spec called for a 19mm hole which is slightly smaller than 3/4. I left the concrete the requisite 28 days, wetted it regularly, and spent a lot of care drilling and cleaning the holes. I could only just get the anchors to fit. The instructions said 'tap', I had to beat them with a club hammer.

Torqueing the anchors was nerve racking - they didn't seem to grip for the first few turns, and I was beginning to panic. I was able to torque them to the spec eventually, but I felt the whole process was more of a mission than it needed to be. Should I ever install another lift, I will look at chemical anchors.

Pictures of the lift to follow.
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (to be restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:44 am

661 wrote:If you have any long lost numbers for Tom I'd be obliged?
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Graeme,

I am afraid I lost contact with Tom years ago. Apologies to him if I have got this wrong, but I recall there was a thread a few years back that suggested he wasn't with us anymore.

Rgds,
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (to be restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
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PostPost by: Roland » Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:52 am

Andy,

I thought it might have been too late.

Yes I had a concrete cube test at 42000 PSI and it was 6 months cured but two of the ten anchors never set that well. I found they needed continual torquing every 2 months.

In the end I walked these two bolts out, they were 18mm and basically left me with a 19mm hole. So I ended up putting two 19mm chemical anchors in.

I steered away from chemical anchors because I didn't like the thought of using a 'glue'. But with the chemical anchor you have a resin working on the whole length of the bolt in shear. You are probably going to fail the concrete before the resin fails, they should easily take the required torque.

Anyway I have another lift to go in my other workshop and will definitely go for chemical anchors there.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jun 20, 2022 11:16 am

For all the construction in the processing plants I work in we use chemical anchors as quicker, simpler and more reliable once installed and less subject to corrosion from caustic or acid liquids getting in the hole.

Having said that I used expanding anchors with my MaxJax 2 post hoist as the anchors came with it :) and have been fine

cheers
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PostPost by: baileyman » Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:27 pm

Given the loads we would put on our lifts, the foundations seem magnificently over spec'd, generally. I'm intending to mount a dual post lift in my barn, wedging the feet into a couple of posts and bolting the uprights to the same posts, which will handle the torque ordinarily at the foundation entirely a further 8' higher with hardly any lateral load up there. John
Last edited by baileyman on Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:50 pm

baileyman wrote:Given the loads we would put on our lifts, the foundations seem magnificently over spec'd, generally. I'm intending to mount a dual post lift in my barn, wedging the feet into a couple of posts and bolting the uprights to the same posts, which will handle the torque ordinarily at the foundation entirely a further 8' higher with hardly any lateral load up there. John

I thought a bit of over-engineering was probably a good idea if I was going to have to stand under the damn thing. I wanted to avoid a similar fate:

indg434-fig2 - Copy.jpg and
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (to be restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Jun 20, 2022 3:31 pm

Andy8421 wrote:I thought a bit of over-engineering was probably a good idea if I was going to have to stand under the damn thing. I wanted to avoid a similar fate:


Looks like the guy on the left is belatedly checking the anchor bolts for tightness!
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:40 am

I bought the lift from Automotech:

https://www.automotechservices.co.uk/products/as-230nsp-3-0t-capacity-short-narrow-2-post-lift/

Very helpful guys, replaced a part that was damaged in transit overnight, and sent a new copy of the manual that I managed to lose via email within a few minutes. The lift is very good value - a lot of metal for about £1750. Pretty well made - just one or two niggles that were fixed by dressing a couple of welds that were fouling one of the main rams, and tidying up a few out of shape holes. The worst part was excavating the garage, laying the concrete and fitting the anchor bolts. The instructions were a bit sparse, but frankly you shouldn't be fitting a lift yourself if you can't figure out where a few bolts go.

Here it is in situ. The observant will spot that there is a beam in the way. I had measured everything pretty carefully, and figured it would just fit. The beam supported a mezzanine floor that I had planned to remove, but I think I can get away with it as is.

IMG_2969 - Copy.jpg and
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (to be restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:46 am

Just to add, there had been a discussion sometime back about storing a Lotus on a two post lift.

Longer term, when the car is restored I plan to come up with something that supports the car via the wheels (there are brackets available), but for the moment I am supporting it via the frame at the front of the car, and via the corner 'jacking points' at the rear. I figure that if anything is going to fall out onto the car below, I would rather it were the diff than the engine and gearbox.
68 Elan S3 HSCC Roadsports spec
71 Elan Sprint (to be restored)
32 Standard 12
Various modern stuff
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Jun 21, 2022 9:07 am

If I had a two post lift, I'd get a set of wheel supports like this.
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