Lotus Elan

OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE?? (Version 2.0)

PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Apr 04, 2023 6:30 pm

Well done- looks like an excellent project. :D
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Apr 05, 2023 5:47 pm

I have a question about my LR chassis (subframe, cough cough). The S4 chassis has a bit more caster angle, I think to help cope with the wider 155 tyres. Is there a way to determine the caster angle on my chassis (I mean by asking someone in the know, given the LR number, rather than trying to measure it)?

Meanwhile, I’ve been tinkering with it a bit. Stromberg diaphragms are in good shape and it appears to have a new oil pump. It’s overfilled with brand new oil, presumably for lay up. I need to score a new battery so I can turn it over and test compression. That’s next. And before someone says “it’s a resto, why bother - you’ll be rebuilding the engine anyway”, let me say I’m after data on the condition of the thing before the body comes off. As it appears to have done 63k miles, there’s a good chance it will be usable as is, but I am going to test the engine before making any assumptions.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Apr 05, 2023 6:05 pm

JonB wrote:(I mean by asking someone in the know, given the LR number, rather than trying to measure it)?


I assume that LR chassis would have the later increased caster but I think measuring it is as simple as putting your smart phone against the upright with the correct spirit level type app. This should also give you the accurate measurement of the chassis rather than the design spec.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Apr 05, 2023 6:29 pm

Ok I’ll give it a go.

5C4CB387-AB07-4EBD-A69C-70566ABBFED9.jpeg and


Ah, looks like I got it wrong, S4 has less caster. 6 30” to 7 30” for S1&S2, 2 30” to 3 30” for S3&S4. The difference being 4 degrees which should be measurable easily.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Apr 05, 2023 6:48 pm

Quick check, looks like 3 degrees of castor, which is great.

(Off topic, just learned it’s caster in the US and castor in the UK.)
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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Thu Apr 06, 2023 1:39 am

That is not sad...I've run many a car not in as good original nick as that.
Original being the key..my advice would be to keep it in it's original specification and simply restore it to it's former glory. Don't replace those Strombergs...there is a lot of b******s talked about carburettors...Strombergs were ( according to Graham Arnold in one of my conversations with him in the dim distant) the most reliable carb fitted to Elans....the others were more' tweakable'...after being brought up in the motor trade I recognise tweakable as being the danger of the well sorted motor at the hands of the amateur mechanic...the guy who wants to slow or speed the idle but actually adjusts the mixture screws.
Keep it as original and faithful as possible to the time it rolled out of the factory.
Last edited by Sadbrewer on Thu Apr 06, 2023 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: miked » Thu Apr 06, 2023 6:39 am

Nothing wrong with Strombergs. I ran 1000's of miles on mine. The car took some catching. Loads of torque. Don't deserve the bad press given to them by folk who have never run them. :D
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Apr 06, 2023 1:26 pm

Yeah, I'll be keeping the Strommies, even after reading Brian Buckland's "not quite glowing" report on them.

I'd like to restore the chassis (subframe, cough cough) too, for the sake of originality, but I'm not sure it would be safe. I need a good welder.

On a different note. I went and got a battery and turned the engine over to test compression. Results all good, 140 bar all round apart from Cylinder 1 which is 120. Some lights were working (indicators, rear sidelights, courtesy lights) but everything else dead. To attempt a startup (for the purposes of engine evaluation only) I'll need to sort some things out: Bolt down the Strommies as they are flapping about on the top nuts, sort the ignition wiring out, plug up the otter switch hole, fill with coolant and drain some of the oil as it's overfilled. Maybe then!
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Thu Apr 06, 2023 2:04 pm

JonB wrote: Results all good, 140 bar all round apart from Cylinder 1 which is 120. !

Wow! thats some compression......over 2000psi :lol:
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PostPost by: Sadbrewer » Thu Apr 06, 2023 4:51 pm

JonB wrote:Yeah, I'll be keeping the Strommies, even after reading Brian Buckland's "not quite glowing" report on them.

I'd like to restore the chassis (subframe, cough cough) too, for the sake of originality, but I'm not sure it would be safe. I need a good welder.

On a different note. I went and got a battery and turned the engine over to test compression. Results all good, 140 bar all round apart from Cylinder 1 which is 120. Some lights were working (indicators, rear sidelights, courtesy lights) but everything else dead. To attempt a startup (for the purposes of engine evaluation only) I'll need to sort some things out: Bolt down the Strommies as they are flapping about on the top nuts, sort the ignition wiring out, plug up the otter switch hole, fill with coolant and drain some of the oil as it's overfilled. Maybe then!


I've never read what Brian Buckland has said, but we were in the garage trade for 40 yrs and from a reliability point of view my old man rated Stromberg's as an easy to maintain no frills carb that stayed in tune well ...the only caveat I would add is that it's worth keeping a spare diaphragm as they do have a tendency to puncture occasionally, but it's a doddle to change.
As to the chassis ...assuming it's original or very old, I wouldn't even consider going near it with a welder...I've been there and done it, chasing cracks around the tissue paper thin front suspension towers and vacuum crossmember, I guarantee it is not worth trying... bite the bullet and buy a new one, you won't regret it.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Thu Apr 06, 2023 5:10 pm

^+1
My chassis friend was convinced no problem, though it meant folding new chassis metal from tunnel up.
Spyder now on its way, and no regrets outside of working a few weeks to pay it off :roll:
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Apr 09, 2023 1:16 pm

Looks like a real charmer! Love the colour.

And I love my Strombergs (so far at least anyway, having driven so few miles), as they seem to be just a larger version of the Bing carbs I knew on BMW motorcycles. Very easy to live with and the engine runs great and starts easily. Notice too how many threads there are about questions with Webers vs Strombergs in this forum alone. That should tell you something.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Apr 09, 2023 4:08 pm

Hi Jon,
I think you're a bit mixed between PSI and Bar pressure. 1 Bar is 14.7 PSI.
Have fun
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Apr 09, 2023 6:19 pm

alan.barker wrote:Hi Jon,
I think you're a bit mixed between PSI and Bar pressure. 1 Bar is 14.7 PSI.
Have fun
Alan


Quite possibly. I’ve had a long day…
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Apr 10, 2023 2:36 am

JonB wrote:
alan.barker wrote:Hi Jon,
I think you're a bit mixed between PSI and Bar pressure. 1 Bar is 14.7 PSI.
Have fun
Alan


Quite possibly. I’ve had a long day…


Then take your PSI to the bar and order a stiff drink! :mrgreen:
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