Lotus Elan

Expecting Delivery....

PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:45 pm

Hi,

Recently purchased my first Lotus, an 1973 Elan +2S 130/5 UK model. Which should finely be delivered in the next few hours :D.

It appears it was exported from the UK ~1991. As it was a UK model it could not be put on the road in the US due to the federal regs. So it was then placed into storage, where it has sat for the last 20 years. As it now >25 years it can be put on the road here.

It appears that the car had some kind of restoration not long before being exported to the USA. It has been paint red from the original blue colour and has replaced suspension components.

My plan is to get it back on the road and driving (as a Lotus should be). Then slowly work my way through the car sorting it out, at some point I hope to paint it back to its original blue colour. As it been sat 20+ years I am expect quite a lot of work to get it on the road. List of stuff below, please free to suggest anything I might have missed.

If anyone happens to know any history on the car I?d be interest to hear it. The car?s UK reg was TRX 400M and the tax disc show it was from the Peterborough area. DVLA website show the tax expired March 1992 and the car was registered June 1974. (Should probably Contact DVLA and Lotus for bit of background.)

Thanks,

Mark (an ex-pat brit)

Engine
- Rebuild carbs (Webers)
- Drain/clean/replace fuel tank
- Replace fuel lines
- Fit fuel filter, cut-off and method to drain tank
- Spark plugs
- Change all fluids
- Replace coolant hoses
- Check Water pump
- New Engine electrics (Distributor cap, rotor arm, elec ignition, new leads)
- Clean/replace/upgrade radiator


Brakes
- New hoses all round
- Rebuild Calipers
- Access/rebuild/replace master cylinders
- Sort the hand brake

Suspension
- Check/replace bushes
- New Dampers/Shocks all round

Running gear
- Check/replace/re-grease wheel bearings
- Change Diff oil
- Change gearbox oil
- New Tires
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: 65sunbeam » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:42 pm

Hi Mark
Please post some photos when you get a chance-maybe that will refresh someone's memory about the car or it's history?
Hugh called me last night and told me how nice of a car you have! Welcome to the Elan world. Eric
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:54 pm

I'll try get some picture up.

Car looks to pretty much as you'd expect. Original chasis/frame, evidence of poor jacking on front and some surface rust. Will have to get it in the air, which should be an experience.

Noticed it missing the vacuum booster for the brakes and headlight lifter mech. So will have to do a little investigation about the best thing to do about that.

Eric: Interesting that you spoke to someone on the phone about the car. Was it Hugh the delivery driver? (Didn't really get his name as little bit distracted by something else :s)
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:28 am

Mark, where are you in the US?

Sounds like a great project

Phil
Another expat Brit!
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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:03 pm

Am in Austin Texas, so will be a winter car for me. At least give me a few months to get it running when I won't be that keen to drive it.
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20130607_174937.jpg and
Needs a little help to move at the minute
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:29 am

Salut Mark

Looks good - congratulations.

The brake servo isn't necessary if you have strong calves! However, I imagine the vacuum take-off should either be blanked off or still have it's non-return valve. As you probably know fed-spec +2s had to have a dual servo/circuit braking system - might be an idea to check if that's still a requirement. Also the servo is not needed for the headlight vacuum pods.

Your brit-spec car probably has the narrow radiator - I would think about a full-width replacement with double fans.

Have fun!

@+

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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:23 pm

I may not have had a brake servo in the beginning, they were optional on the Elan, but someone else will need to say whether they were optional or always fitted on the Plus 2 version.
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:51 pm

It has all the holes for the servo and looks like it had one at some point. It probably failed and was cheap/easier just to remove it. The vac hose currently has a bolt in the end of it to seal it off.

My understanding is that as it is over 25 years old it doesn't have to comply with any of the fed regulation. Hence it been successfully titled. It just up the to place doing the inspection to decide if it is safe or not for the road. I doubt they will know if it should or shouldn't have a servo. I'll probably see what it is like with no servo and then decide, my memory of driving a Mini with no servo makes me think I'll probably replace it.

The radiator is another area i need to decide what to do. Seeing that the neck isn't in very good nick and isn't sealing then maybe a bigger better rad might be the way to go rather than having a new core fitted to the present one.

Thanks for your thoughts/comments.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:33 pm

Welcome! You will find lots of good discussions about deleting servos and replacement options for radiator. I would suggest doing a couple of searches, then post your interpretation andante how you plan to proceed, and others will be more than happy to provide comment and any updates. In general, there are a lot of elans on the road without servos and some plus 2's as well. It becomes a matter of preference. On radiators, it depends on what you want to spend. Large aluminum radiators with 2 electric fans are more expensive, but common solutions. No rush. I've been adjusting mine to suit my situation for 9 years now and enjoying every minute, both on the road and under the car. Dan
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:42 pm

One main need to get it on the road is going to be some method of lifting the headlights. If it had been a federal version that would not have been a serious problem as they had the fail-safe system (with no vacuum the headights pods are up, the vacuum pod pulls them down for daytime running), The UK system the pods are normally down and the twin vacuum pods lift them up, so presumably with your UK car and with vacuum pods missing your headlight pods are down.

Depending on whether or not you want originality, there have been descriptions on this forum on fitting electric motors to lift the headlights.

Erm, that was true of the two-seater Elan, someone with a Plus2 correct me if it was not so on the Plus 2.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback. My basic plan has been to do some researching on here for the rad, servo and headlight options.

The car is missing the complete headlight vacuum pods and mounting brackets. I just have some bolt holes and the link bar between the headlights. I think the return spring are part of the main mech so missing from my car. This leaves me pretty free to choice a good solution. The thought of a gas strut plus something else had cross my mind but I'll have a search around here for good solutions.

Looking at the car yesterday it appear it had some prep for long term storage, new oil, no fluid brake fluid and the main jets/air tube have been removed from the carbs. Which is good and bad as I can only find one of them in the "quality Street" tin of bits and bolts that came with the car.

Need to get my act together on ordering parts as got a UK trip coming up which should be a good opportunity to get a few difficult to source in the US parts.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:22 pm

lotus-electrical-f38/electric-light-pods-t17041-15.html

A bit of reading for you regarding headlight lift motors.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:07 pm

Thanks. That's an interesting thread but than a few other ones I found. I fear/expect my mounting be be similar to the meccano....
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:21 pm

mbell wrote:Thanks. That's an interesting thread but than a few other ones I found. I fear/expect my mounting be be similar to the meccano....


LOL the Meccano was great for mocking up the mounting position. I then traced the Meccano with paper and then made the new mounts out of steel. Its not a tough job.
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:39 am

Well some 2 1/4 year later I've got to the point where I've manage to drive the car (first time driving a Lotus!), a whole round trip to the stop sign 25 yards away!

Progress has been slow and steady and still lots to do but hopefully be at a point I can put it on the road a month or so. Then steadily fix/improve the car as I go....
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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