Lotus Elan


PostPost by: torsinadoc » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:08 pm

I am curious what people consider on here to be essential tools for maintaining an elan. I know it is an open ended question. Thanks in advance
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PostPost by: paddy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:40 pm

Open-ended indeed.

It obviously depends on what kind of maintenance work you plan to do. My breakdown of tools is below. I've probably missed out lots.

My approach has always been to buy on demand rather than buy "sets" of tools up front. Buy good quality, even if you only expect to use them a few times, but that's up to you. If I think I will use something more than a few times, and I have room to store it, I would buy instead of hire, but again that's up to you.

You'll find a lot here have much more comprehensive workshops with lathes, welding equipment, etc but that goes beyond "maintenance" needs IMO.


You'll get a long way with a set of basic tools:
- open and ring spanners in all A/F sizes
- socket set(s) covering all A/F sizes
- torque wrench(es) covering 6lbft-200 lbft
- flat and Philips screwdrivers of all sizes
- copper-headed mallet, hammer(s)
- other misc tools, pliers, knife, etc etc
- blowtorch

Standard service tools

Service tools for specific jobs that you may well have already acquired for maintaining other cars, eg
- pullers
- circlip pliers, internal and external both large and small
- ball joint separators
- feeler gauges
- plug spanner/socket
- spring compressors

Basic engine tuning

If you're going to be doing any of this - various different tools according to individual preferences
- timing light
- synchrometer / carb synchroniser
- colortune


Probably get these when first doing a job that needs them
- vernier calipers
- dial gauge


General purpose tools for wiring and electrical work, eg
- side cutters
- multimeter
- crimping tool
- soldering tools

Heavy duty stuff

Depending on what you're doing, either buy or hire or borrow
- engine hoist, stand
- bench press

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PostPost by: torsinadoc » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:32 pm

thats what I was looking for. Thanks
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:53 pm

Ball joint separators? :?
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:05 pm

How about adding a grease/oil gun :roll: a small trolly jack, an oil filter removal tool and a container to catch the old oil :mrgreen:
Oh.....a pair of axle stands, a set of small ramps and a fire extinguisher :lol:
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PostPost by: paddy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:24 pm

elansprint71 wrote:Ball joint separators? :?

Tool for separating taper joints eg track rod ends and the like, eg here:

http://www.tools-n-all.co.uk/items/item ... =260240709

I forgot to add a category:

Tools you use but don't like to admit it
- angle grinder
- hacksaw
- 4lb hammer
- crowbar
- large cold chisel

I also forgot to mention you need a swear box, and several exotic calendars to go on the garage wall.

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:02 pm

As you can see .. One could go on forever.

How's about an Elan.Net tool share system?

Things like Valve lifters/spring compressers/hyd'pullers/Spray equipement/ big box of valve clearance shims/slide hammer/ torque wrenches, etc etc.

We could set up a register of who would be willing (for a small fee perhaps?) to add some of their special tools to this list. I would be happy to loan out some of mine if it helped fellow enthusiasts and above all saved them money. We are, after all sharing great info'. Why not share our tools?

Anyone local to me for E.G. is welcome to use any of the machinery and tools in my workshop. Just treat them as your own & Look after them. That's all I would ask. Or how about a refundable deposit, returned when tool(s) are returned in good nick etc. Anyone in need of any tool could ask for it via the 'wanted' area on this list, anyone willing to lend could then respond. Postage + deposit paid = send the tool. Safely returned tool = returned deposit.

Full of pitfalls I know, but could it work?..Just a thought or two.... :lol:

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PostPost by: frearther » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:26 pm

Great idea on tool sharing, Alex. Would you mind dropping off your slide hammer when you're in the neighborhood? No, I won't pay your transportation :twisted:

Seriously, though, it's an interesting concept.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:43 pm

Brilliant idea!
especially the shims thingy
who's got what bucket shims available for swaps, sale, gifts etc.
Not everybody has a box full of them but most have a few lying around.
Very much worth putting on some sort of availability list.
Well worth setting up IMHO.
Speed of delivery would be a defining factor so "location" will be important.

Lending tools however; oh I don't know about that :roll:

He whispers, Zetecs have hydraulic valve clearance adjustment, no problemo.
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PostPost by: paddy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:44 pm

From time to time I've looked at the selections of shims being sold on ebay, but then thought that there's really no point. You can measure, order just what you want from QED for pennies, and get them the next day for less than the cost of the postage from the ebay seller. It just doesn't make sense to scrabble around trying to get them any other way.

As for loaning tools, I used to do this a lot, but had some bad experiences - including from people who I know and trust well - where the tools were just not treated in the way you'd treat them yourself, coming back blunt, rusty, bent or otherwise knackered. I will always happily invite someone to come to mine and use the tools and facilities, but I don't give things out any more. Add to that the possible issues with liability and insurance (fancy lending an engine hoist?) and I think it would be difficult to get a scheme like this working. I know that's not the way we're supposed to think, but it's a sad fact of life I think.

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PostPost by: gerrym » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:36 pm

For the brakes, a set of imperial flare spanners is very useful. I find a 3/8" drive most useful and a lot handier than 1/2". If a good quality set, this should be ok up to 3/4" AF, also i'ts better if the sockets are hex rather than bi-hex.

Not quite a tool, but a bulk box of 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16" & 1/2" UNF self locking nuts (eg 200 of each ) is pretty useful and much more economical than buying one or two as required.


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