Lotus Elan

Installing an S3 radiator

PostPost by: CG901 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:15 pm

I am at the end of a mechanical restoration of my S3 and finally installing the Marston radiator (yes, it's pre-airflow coupe which still had Marstons). Please tell me there is a trick to getting the screws back on the bottom of the radiator. I have been struggling with this for 2 days now. My hands must be too big to fit but there isn't much space under the glassfibre support. I got the car with the radiator removed so didn't anticipate this problem. Thank you.
Current: 1965 S1.5 26/4004, 1966 S3 FHC 36/5192, 1958 Fiat Abarth 750GT Zagato, 1967 Brabham BT21B, 1988 Arrows A10B-04, 1991 Brun C91-001.
Past: 1971 Elan S4/SE DHC, 1972 Europa Special, 1980 Esprit Turbo, 1988 March 881-05, 1990 Leyton House CG90105
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:35 am

There is a school of thought that says nuts are not needed.
If the studs are sitting in reasonably tight grommets then gravity will do the job.
Simplify and reduce weight again!
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:03 pm

A cranked ring spanner with some plasticine or putty to hold the nut is your answer.

And you may need to do it with the front carburettor off.

Mine are bolts not studs, so a trick that I use is to attach the bolts to the radiator first using narrow nuts, effectively turning them into studs built onto the radiator. They don't turn then when I am trying to turn the mounting nut.
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PostPost by: CG901 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks for these ideas. It appears that one of the mounting holes in the body is large enough to clear an oval shaped washer which could then be turned 90 degrees. I am interested in exploring Mark's 'lighter is better" approach.
Current: 1965 S1.5 26/4004, 1966 S3 FHC 36/5192, 1958 Fiat Abarth 750GT Zagato, 1967 Brabham BT21B, 1988 Arrows A10B-04, 1991 Brun C91-001.
Past: 1971 Elan S4/SE DHC, 1972 Europa Special, 1980 Esprit Turbo, 1988 March 881-05, 1990 Leyton House CG90105
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:11 pm

both hoses (especially the bottom one) and those 2 bolts sticking thru the bodywork will do the job: it won't move nowheres!! sandy
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PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:22 am

Invite you young grandson over and train him on how to install a blind nut.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:14 pm

Whilst it used to be considered good practice to bolt radiators into cars, current thinking is that solid mounting may lead to cracking, and that flexible mounting is better. If you have the common piece of foam between the radiator and bonnet, and as someone said, grommets for the bolts / studs, you are probably doing what is currently thought to be good.

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PostPost by: CG901 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:03 pm

Thank you Richard - yes, I did finally get the nuts over the studs and had placed some closed cell neoprene around the base on each end of the radiator to permit some flexibility. I hope this will work well.
Current: 1965 S1.5 26/4004, 1966 S3 FHC 36/5192, 1958 Fiat Abarth 750GT Zagato, 1967 Brabham BT21B, 1988 Arrows A10B-04, 1991 Brun C91-001.
Past: 1971 Elan S4/SE DHC, 1972 Europa Special, 1980 Esprit Turbo, 1988 March 881-05, 1990 Leyton House CG90105
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