Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Wed Jan 03, 2024 5:15 pm

Afternoon all!
Got an interesting project just landed (and first venture into the Lotus family), a s4 Elan in bits. What better place to start than here for information, ideas etc. Hope you dont mind me picking your collective knowledge to help me out.
Bit of a long tail but heres a rough rundown of the story so far.

Chap dropped off his Fathers Elan S4 in boxes. The story is that he got it accident damaged in 1984 & pulled it to tiny bits. Got a new chassis (original was bent), sent the body off for repair & painted it Canary yellow when he got it back. That paint apparently went horribly wrong so off it went for a professional respray. The Engine went somewhere & got rebuilt & is sitting here looking very nice with clean paint on it.
Since 1984, he has moved 6 times & the boxes of Lotus parts have been to different parts of the county for storage, and they have moved several times as different storage locations disappeared. He has now dropped the boxes & parts here for reassembly. Quite a challenge as we don’t know if everything is infact here.
So my question is this. Is there a recognised assembly procedure that we can follow to get the car back together before his 75th birthday (3 years) As you know, it’s a bit of a pest to get something half assembled then find a bracket/bolt/pipe etc that should have gone on a week ago!
Any advice, suggestions etc would be very much appreciated.
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PostPost by: jcocking » Wed Jan 03, 2024 6:47 pm

The three items you should consider gettting are:
The Elan is very simple, with less than 800 unique parts.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jan 03, 2024 7:00 pm

Welcome aboard. Sounds like an excellent project.

Should be able to have her assembled in a few years. Heck, Dr Hammond only needed a weekend :D

https://lotuselan.net/wiki/Lotus_Elan_S4_Coupe_Ad

All kidding aside, you will find lots of help here. Agree with Jeff on the reference material.
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PostPost by: Lotus54 » Wed Jan 03, 2024 7:03 pm

Sounds like a great project.
If I understand, with carbs off- the body can be installed over the complete frame/suspenion/engine assym.
At least one thing to pay close attention to is the rear A-arms. Make sure to put the bolts in the right way, or you cannot remove the forward one once the body is on.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Jan 03, 2024 7:23 pm

There are a couple of things I’d do before stating any restoration work.

First, make sure the car has all the rare / difficult to find / expensive parts. Anything to do with the dash (instruments, switches, ABS plastic dash top / crash pad etc), the door frames and glass, the window motors, the seats, the hood frame (if it’s a convertible), heater box, wiper assembly and a few more bits and pieces. If you ask for a definitive list I’m sure forks will chip in which will help compile a list. It may also be worth photographing the bits you have grouped together, and we will soon identify what’s missing!

Second, if the shell has been repaired, make sure that the new chassis fits! If it’s had new sections grafted in, it should all be measured up to ensure it’s been done properly. Check that the doors, bonnet and bootlid fit, the headlamps pods fit and all the bobbins are clear and don’t have stripped threads or broken off screws still inside.

Once you’re satisfied everything is there (or can be obtained) then build up the rolling chassis as one project, and build up the bodyshell as another project. They can be united when both projects are fairly complete in order to drill and tap the chassis allowing it to be fastened to the body.

Most mechanical parts can be sourced quite easily and cheaply, although rear callipers and (good) rear struts may take some time to find.

Have fun and ask lots of questions!

Mark
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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 8:19 am

jcocking wrote:The three items you should consider gettting are:
The Elan is very simple, with less than 800 unique parts.



Thanks for that!
Got a couple of Elan parts lists already on the toolbar. Fortunately, it came with a workshop manual. Will look at Brian's book fer sure! Parts book is real handy as it gives an idea of how assemblie go together.
Any idea how to reply without using Quote?
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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 8:21 am

stugilmour wrote:Welcome aboard. Sounds like an excellent project.

Should be able to have her assembled in a few years. Heck, Dr Hammond only needed a weekend :D

https://lotuselan.net/wiki/Lotus_Elan_S4_Coupe_Ad

All kidding aside, you will find lots of help here. Agree with Jeff on the reference material.


A weekend? Bit ambitious for this one! :lol: My biggest concern is fitting parts then finding i should have fitted something else first.. DOH!
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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 8:24 am

Lotus54 wrote:Sounds like a great project.
If I understand, with carbs off- the body can be installed over the complete frame/suspenion/engine assym.
At least one thing to pay close attention to is the rear A-arms. Make sure to put the bolts in the right way, or you cannot remove the forward one once the body is on.


Was wondering about the rear arm bolts, you just confirmed my suspicions!.Also found that the front suspension had been thrown together (to move the chassis i guess) so already sorted that.
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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 8:29 am

Elanintheforest wrote:There are a couple of things I’d do before stating any restoration work.

First, make sure the car has all the rare / difficult to find / expensive parts. Anything to do with the dash (instruments, switches, ABS plastic dash top / crash pad etc), the door frames and glass, the window motors, the seats, the hood frame (if it’s a convertible), heater box, wiper assembly and a few more bits and pieces. If you ask for a definitive list I’m sure forks will chip in which will help compile a list. It may also be worth photographing the bits you have grouped together, and we will soon identify what’s missing!

Second, if the shell has been repaired, make sure that the new chassis fits! If it’s had new sections grafted in, it should all be measured up to ensure it’s been done properly. Check that the doors, bonnet and bootlid fit, the headlamps pods fit and all the bobbins are clear and don’t have stripped threads or broken off screws still inside.

Once you’re satisfied everything is there (or can be obtained) then build up the rolling chassis as one project, and build up the bodyshell as another project. They can be united when both projects are fairly complete in order to drill and tap the chassis allowing it to be fastened to the body.

Most mechanical parts can be sourced quite easily and cheaply, although rear callipers and (good) rear struts may take some time to find.

Have fun and ask lots of questions!

Mark


Dash is shot so thats one for the list. Came with body fitted to chassis, with one 8mm bolt each end. Bonnet & boot were held on with masking tape, amazed they made it here.. Not seen the dash top yet, See your fairly local to me Mark!
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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 8:52 am

IMG_0912.jpeg and

IMG_0912.jpeg and



As it landed here & how it looked the next day.
Attachments
IMG_0910.jpeg and
IMG_0912.jpeg and
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:06 am

Welcome to the forum. Good to see the enthusiasm. The only observation I would make is that the wheels are trying to mimic a Plus 2 look. That may be because they are Plus 2 wheels which I believe are bigger, so would be good to measure wheels to confirm what you have.

Good luck with it. You be come to the right place for in depth knowledge and experience of these cars.

Regards
Richard
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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 12:31 pm

Thanks for that Richard! Am looking forwards to picking everyones brains.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Thu Jan 04, 2024 2:47 pm

Brendon, I noticed you mentioned that the body was held to the chassis w/ 8mm bolts. But you need to put your metrics back in the box because only the Weber carbs are metric, all else is measured in inches and fitted w/ UNF and UNC bolts.

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PostPost by: Bredonhillsider » Thu Jan 04, 2024 3:41 pm

:D that’s what I was thinking.. metric nuts & bolts on a British car that age? Think someone needs to go & sit on the naughty step…
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Jan 10, 2024 4:10 pm

Welcome, can't wait to see your progress!
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