Lotus Elan

The Hero Car Build

PostPost by: Uturn » Wed Feb 21, 2024 9:57 am

Quick background:
Had always wanted a Lotus but never the right time, never the right place. That changed this year and I am now the owner of a 1968 S3 Elan, albeit in pieces.

I have other stalled projects that I've ignored and I'm trying to stay on a budget. My plan was to knock one of those projects out last year but an engine fire on another car took precedence. I plan to work on that project and get it back on the road this year, then I'll start on the Lotus.

The Hero Car....
I didn't plan to do anything till next year but as I sort and catalog what I have, I can't help but spend a little money.

Fuel system- the fuel pipe is a nylon/plastic tube. I'm assuming it's similar to what bmw used in the 2002ti, a self sealing plastic that will act like shrink tubing when exposed to heat to cut off fuel. A search here says its 1/4" line, my calipers show it to be 5/16"(8mm) O.D. Fuel injection is in my future so this tubing will be replaced with either 304 stainless or copper/nickel with beads on the end so that a clamp can hold the pressurized rubber hose in place.

Brake system- This S3 is RHD and was imported. Single line master cylinder where federal cars were eventually mandated to have dual circuits. I like the safety of a dual circuit. My web digging tells me the Triumph Spitfire master cylinder is a decent drop in for a RHD car. Not so much for a LHD as the lines are on the left and will foul on the fender well.

Not the GMC-226, it has a 5/8" bore.

Moss Motors -TRW 580-115 -small cap. Their website says the bore is 0.7, matching the Dave Bean Engr catalog data for the Elan.

The wild card in this brake master cylinder mess will be the brake line fittings. Not until I get it in hand will I know if it will be....
double flare
bubble flare

I placed orders to Moss Motors, Pegasus Racing, and Summit Racing.

Will update when I can confirm....and as I make any progress.
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The Brake MC arrived. It is labeled GMC-226. The bore measures about 11/16" so that post about it being 5/8" was wrong. Both outlets take 10mmx1.0 bubble flare. And the length from the face of the flange to the end is roughy 7.25". The rod is much longer than the Elan spec of 82mm. I'll have to reuse the old one or buy an adjustable rod and clevis pin.

I was able to put a nice bead on the steel fuel line. However I started reading up on the nylon fuel lines. They can handle up to 100psi and 200 degrees. I'm wondering if I shouldn't just stay with the nylon line. It'll make installation a hair easier.

Sifting through the boxes of parts, I set aside hydraulic components. Found a brake MC, clutch MC and two SC. Both rear brake calipers but no fronts. TedTaylor had a set of 14LF calipers so I bought those. I was able to break down the brake MC and clutch MC/SC.
Managed to coax the pistons out of the front brake calipers but the ones in the rear would not budge. I have split the rear calipers and have a motorcycle brake piston remover tool set on order. Contact me via PM if you have stuck pistons and think you might need to use the tool. Would be a waste if it's only used this one time for my brake overhaul.
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Brake piston tool arrived. Made child's play of the rear calipers. The collet sizing was metric, so broke when it was expanded in the piston bore, however it did its job.
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Was going to buy a hydraulic press but a friend said I could use his. Spent a day at the shop getting a workout on my arms (pumping the bottle jack).
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Last edited by Uturn on Sun Apr 28, 2024 7:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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PostPost by: l10tus » Tue Mar 05, 2024 6:50 pm

U-turn, I applaud your optimism and planning, but you'll probably learn the hard way on how to rebuild your car, as most of us have. This site helps immensely and the technical knowledge is in depth, but working on lotus's can be both demanding and rewarding. Good luck with your re-build.

UK '72 Sprint DHC

Sometimes my Lotus makes me cry.
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