Lotus Elan

PO bodgery stories

PostPost by: LaikaTheDog » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:33 pm

For a long time I didn't know what a PO was .. Previous Owner

We do love to refer to the PO , usually when we find some hideous bodge... Even though some of us are the PO !

Sometimes I have asked.. why did I do it that way ??

Over the past weeks I have been recommissioning a car... To discover:
The water pump bolt for the alternator bracket had rounded off so they used a 10mm bolt from the water pump case so the thread in the block is now elongated.

The alternator was set back from the crank and water pump pulley so the belt was twisted

The entire water system was full of pink/white sludge

The radiator had a rust hole filled with a screw... The car had been jacked using the bottom of the radiator so it was crushed flat, some braising to fix a leak at the top hose had welded the fan shroud to the radiator.

The temp sensor is a capillary but when they had unscrewed it from the manifold they had broken the capilliary

The thermostat was wedged open with crusty sludge

The thermostat cover is cracked because the thermostat is not for this car at all so it doesn't fit.. when clamped down it fouled on the thermostat

The heater out and in , one on the manifold has had a bolt welded into it, the one on the pump has a bolt welded in and then cut the head off.

The clock in the tacho had a black bottle top glued over the clock face.

The exhaust manifold didn't have a gasket they had used silicone !

The manifold to pipe had been put on with nylocs...

The central section of exhaust pipe is...2" Copper tube

The exit pipe from the silencer is cut at an angle and was obviously a bit of scrap welded on to make it longer

The radiator fan was wired up to the rear fog light switch and the brake lights are wired to the numberplate lamps..

The oil cap has a plug chain attached to it... For no reason...

And today I discovered what the white and pink sludge was for... After replacing every part of the cooling system apart from the pump I got it started to discovery the water pump leaks from the pulley.. So it must have been a couple of doses of radweld.

Please share you worst PO bodgery ! Or even your own nightmarish bodges if you dare confess
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:15 pm

When my original engine was disassembled (smoked like a chimney) we found 3 nice, newish 125 rods, and one 125 rod that had been flash ground and polished - weighed a LOT less than the other 3. Crank had been reground 030 on the mains, and 050 on the rods. Head had been poorly welded, block was nearly plugged solid in the water passages. On and on.... Sigh....
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:18 am

Nearly all the bodges I've found have been wiring related. It was a tangled melted mess. Amazing anything worked, let alone not catching on fire!

There were a few other little things that weren't assembled after the bodywork. Looks like the previous owner cracked the shits and just wanted it over with. Most of it didn't take long to put right.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:36 am

The PO owners of my cars have been enthusiasts or engineers or both, so they did nothing bad, but some of the "specialists" that I had work done by were downright dangerous.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:31 am

A good few of those bodges are not so much a previous owner as the last time a dealer got hold of the car - “yes, all fixed and ready to go, just got to settle the bill”. When you go back after discovering some of those lash ups it’s “it was perfect when it left here, it must be something you’ve done”. Before you think I’m just cynical (who, me? :lol: ) I’ve just spent the last six months reversing a whole load of them on an old motorcycle I bought from a dealer - 6v bulbs in the 12v indicators, kickstart welded to the shaft, a Honda rear wheel bodged into a Yamaha with washers as spacers and bolt heads ground flat where they wouldn’t fit. It’s an even longer list inside the engine. And these were recent changes, ones made by the dealer, not the previous owner. More fool me you might think for buying it but it’s a rare bike in the U.K. and the other ones I’d seen were even worse.

This winter’s project is another old bike but this time I’m the ‘previous owner’ so I’m expecting to find a whole series of carefully considered and professionally executed sensible modifications. Should be easy. :roll: :lol:
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PostPost by: miked » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:40 am

Plus 2 S 130 from a PO who was a a big cheese in one of the UK clubs.
Short bolts in the front brake calipers held only by about 3 threads. Scary.
:? Put the spanner on and blew my mind.
Also front discs skimmed so thin they were warped.
Body sat on chassis to one side. Big job to set straight. Had to dremmel out strut bobbins. Before I get thought of as a bodger, I clarify that I mean the bobbin out of the fibre glass. Not the bobbin hole. Then lay up the bobbins with glass when the body was repositioned.
Last edited by miked on Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPost by: Lotusian » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:56 pm

Bought my Plus 2 as a non-runner for restoration. So pleased that it wasn’t a runner, as the PO had last been driving it with the following bodgery:

Top of one rear suspension turret bent up at 45 degrees, so that it had pushed against the fibreglass. PO had cut a big hole in the fibreglass and covered it over with a loose piece of plastic before replacing the rear shelf. Not surprisingly the wheel was leaning in at the top and the tyre had rubbed a hole through into the boot (trunk).

Unidentifiable radiator fitted which was wider and taller than the standard early wide version. To make it fit (!) only the bracket on one side was loosely attached and a hole chopped in the opposite inner wheel arch to accommodate the extra width. To allow for the extra height, the rad was resting on the steering rack and fouling the bellows, and all held in place by only the top hose.

It hardly seems worth mentioning that the sill reinforcements had turned to dust.

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PostPost by: Barney » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:12 pm

Instead of helicoiling a stripped spark plug hole in the head, a PO had inserted a metal electrical conduit gland into the head and tapped out the middle! :roll: :roll: :roll:
Blew the plug right out the head with the conduit gland, during some "spirited" driving.
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PostPost by: Donels » Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:37 pm

Removed the body from my recently acquired +2 S130 and found the front end to be 'floppy' :shock: Previous crash damage on the engine bay horizontals had not been repaired and GF was just strands. GF nose floor repair had been done over road dirt and one side was not attached to anything.
I had to strip it all back and rebuild. Apparently it had been like this since 1983!

I dropped the repaired body on the chassis today today :D, but the rack gaiters foul the 1983 body repairs :( So it’s coming off for further work.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Sep 24, 2020 3:21 am

Then there are the DPOs...take your pick of what the D is!

Some sort of goop applied to cracked fibreglass at the silencer mount rather than doing any real repair:

RTV fuel filler gasket:

Sheet-rubber clamped into the dogbone rather than a proper bush:
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PostPost by: David6 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:56 pm

I need to get at the spindle mechanism behind the diff to repair a real bodge up but I need to raise the body an inch to get at it. Having a nightmare with it
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:13 pm

[quote="The Veg"]Then there are the DPOs...take your pick of what the D is!

Some true bodgery there Veg ... Off to dig out some of my favourite finds now :lol:
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sun Sep 27, 2020 12:20 pm

Some of my DPO favourites.. Admittedly some of these were actually perpetrated by the garage one of the PO took the car to along with his DB5...
I have the receipts for some of this "work" think they should have stuck to repairing his horse box :lol:
thumbnail (28).jpeg and
Some interesting modification to the rear exhaust can bearing

thumbnail (29).jpeg and
The bearing

thumbnail (30).jpeg and
Some spurious bolt

thumbnail (31).jpeg and
Column fouling brake clevis

thumbnail (32).jpeg and
Rear strut update

The steering column ensured you only ever braked in a straight line though :lol:
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:44 pm

Some interesting wiring updates that add more than a few kilos...
IMG_0237.jpeg and

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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:02 pm

Sploder90 wrote:
The Veg wrote:Then there are the DPOs...take your pick of what the D is!

Some true bodgery there Veg ... Off to dig out some of my favourite finds now :lol:

You've got some good ones there too!

I've fixed the filler cap and the dogbone bush. The gooped fibreglass damage isn't the only spot on the body that needs repair, but that's all to be done sometime later and will be a learning experience.
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