Lotus Elan

New Plus 2 Owner

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:41 pm

Getting closer to buying this one I think. The bodywork looks excellent and it drives well, tight, lively and responsive. Here are my findings. Basically all the important bits are ok, I think. Just a bit of fiddling around to get it right. Anything I have missed or any comments at all would be greatly appreciated.

Findings on 1st visit 15/2 20:
- Body very good. Strip, repair & respray in Glacier Blue (was red) 2 years ago still looks excellent.
- Bumpers and headlight bezels re-chromed, look perfect. Rest of chrome has patina but sound
- Wheels (black) & spinners refurbished, look great, new tyres

Findings on 2nd visit 21/2/20:
Chassis
- probably but not conclusively original chassis.
- No red oxide visible, all thinly coated in underseal and no rust obviously evident.
- 2 small repair sections welded on front bottom twin rails approx. under pedal box, also undersealed.
- Front and rear turrets, top and bottom, looked sound and rust-free.
- Small section of bottom rail near near diff slightly rusted away on outer edge, on one side only.
- Sill jacking points looked clean and whole

Suspension & Steering
- all wishbones straight and firmly attached. No play, bushes seem fine. Recently painted.
- springs and shocks clean, no untoward play in bushes
- steering arms clean and no play, same at track rod ends
- trunions seem fine
- Brakes all good, very clean calipers & ss hoses

Engine & Drivetrain (underneath)
- plenty of clean golden oil drips from bottom of alternator and to a lesser extent bottom of starter motor – check
- diff seals show no leaks
- diff torsion arms clean and tight
- replacement solid driveshafts, all good no play

Engine Bay
- clean and tidy,
- new aluminium radiator
- carbs not right (Strombergs) – fast idle (1500 rpm) and a little uneven didn’t like to idle under 1,000 rpm - check
- oil pressure 15-20psi when hot, doesn’t seem to move when revved. Obviously very low so will check but as it doesn't move could the gauge be suspect?
- no rattles, engine responsive if a little slow to reduce to idle
- Exhaust mild steel except ss back box and pipe. Mountings fine. No leaks and sounds ok

Boot
- All clean, no carpet except for (scruffy) boot floor
- Replacement aluminium fuel tank
- Spare wheel present

Interior
- Indicator green lamp in speedo not working
- Lights all good, pods up and down fast and smooth (closes with a bit of a thunk)
- Clock and oil pressure panel lights not working
- Ammeter works but flickers/jumps around a little
- Fuel gauge either not working or very little fuel in tank (forgot to ask!) red fuel light not on
- Drivers window only goes down half way
- Driver door handle only releases door intermittently
- Centre console a bit mobile when selecting reverse
- Horn centre push not working – horn on a switch panel below steering column
- Another switch there – don’t know what it does.
- Indicator & high beam stalks a bit loose on column and turns when pressure applied
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK

PostPost by: sprintsoft » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:42 pm

A couple of things stood out for me:

Oil pressure, can you find out what oil they are using in there?

If it's registering pressure at idle then you would expect it to increase as revs rise. Approx figures as a guide: you could expect around 20psi at hot idle at 1000 rpm. Max around 40psi hot 2000rpm and above with a standard oil pump. I'm assuming a classic 20w50 type oil. If they have a modern synthetic oil in there it's going to register lower.

Do you know when the engine was rebuilt & who did it?

Most of the other notes indicate some jobs you will have to do, the idle problem is difficult to comment on without checking through several areas including distributor, carbs, plugs... even as far as checking for a sticky valve. Did you do a compression test?

I'm sure you know there is always something that needs attention on a car of this age so don't expect perfection!

Regards
Iain
72 Sprint - 0363E
74 S130/5 - 1931L
sprintsoft
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 163
Joined: 18 Mar 2019
Location: Swansea, Wales, UK

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:19 pm

Thanks Iain, that's useful. No, I certainly don't expect perfection at this price (less than £15k) and I don't mind attending to those niggles. I'll check what oil they used. The gauge seemed to behave oddly to me, it got to 15psi and kinda stuck there - even revving to 4/5,000 rpm.

There's no real history before 2017 and its only done a couple of hundred miles since 2012 according the the MOT checker. Current mileage is just shy of 60k.

I think the fundamentals are ok, just the niggles to sort out.
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:30 pm

That’s quite a list for a “tv restoration” car. There are some simple jobs that could’ve been done easily. Why haven’t they been done? Oil leaks are a right pain to put right (ask me how I know!)

Other jobs are doable. What do you mean by “trunnions look fine”? You can’t see the fail points. Look for fresh oil or grease coming out at the top of the seals. If it’s dry caked grease, the joints will need dismantling and checking. Come to think of it I’d do it anyway. Make sure the kingpins aren’t rusty, especially at the top of the thread.

Main question is how much do they want for it? Only then can a value judgement be made (by us).

I’d be wary of the welded chassis, but under pedal box sounds OK. As in, not near the turret bases. I’d also be wary of the oil pressure. Looks too low. As a guide.. mine has 40psi at tick over when cold, dropping to 30 when warm. Back up to 40 when revved.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: mbell » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:43 pm

The oil pressure take off isn't too hard to get to, below dizzy. So might be good to hook up an external gauge and just confirm.

Could be gauge, over pressure plunger in pump kicking in to soon or sticking, wrong or bad oil, major issues with the engine.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:23 pm

"Main question is how much do they want for it? Only then can a value judgement be made (by us)".

currently talking about £14,750

Thanks all for input - appreciated.
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK

PostPost by: sprintsoft » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:43 pm

Hi Andy,

The price is not unreasonable given that the paint appears to be done to a high standard, and the expensive task of body off for chassis replacement looks not necessary.

The fly in the ointment is the unknown history of the engine, the low oil pressure and rough running at low revs. You might get lucky and fix these yourself with some minor tinkering, but If you were unlucky and ended up having to rebuild the engine, then it would be a very expensive car.

The dilemma is when there’s no history to help you make a decision - all the major stuff better be in very good working order.

Is this a trade sale or private? maybe a deal could be you buy the car on condition these issues are fixed first?

Regards
Iain
72 Sprint - 0363E
74 S130/5 - 1931L
sprintsoft
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 163
Joined: 18 Mar 2019
Location: Swansea, Wales, UK

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:44 am

Thanks Iain, Yes, you have just about summed it up.

The sale is slightly unusual. It is being sold by the TV production company that bought it 2 years ago to be the subject of a pilot of 'Salvage Huneters, Classic Cars'. They did the work, made the program and sold the car at the end of it. Due to complications - nothing to do with the car - that sale didn't proceed and it has sat in their workshop for the last 2 years.

If I can resolve the oil pressure reading low, I would feel a lot more comfortable about the rest. I'll let you know.

Cheers,
Andy
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK

PostPost by: JonB » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:49 am

I think it sounds like a good price to me given the respray and chrome work. Incidentally, there was much discussion about the light embellishers on here. They were rechromed along with the bumpers at Derby Electroplating (£££) which seemed a bit odd as you can just go and buy new ones for much less money.

As you can see from the show, when they first drive it away (and it's still painted red), the engine seems to be pretty strong. You could spend a fair amount of cash sorting the problems out, though. Obviously bear that in mind..

If it's been sat in a shop for two years there will be lots of little things to be sorted. These cars don't like to be left on their own, they like to be driven. It is (allegedly) the best way to keep them in shape.
User avatar
JonB
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: 14 Nov 2017
Location: South Coast, UK

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:23 pm

"Incidentally, there was much discussion about the light embellishers on here. They were rechromed along with the bumpers at Derby Electroplating (£££) which seemed a bit odd as you can just go and buy new ones for much less money."

Yes Jon, I saw that thread. You know what, having spoken at length to the producer of that program, it wouldn't surprise me if they repaired and re-plated those headlamp bezels just so Drew Pritchard could deliver the line "they're only original once".

I've had good advice from you guys and accordingly I have let the seller know on what basis I would be prepared to proceed. Let's see what happens.

thanks chaps,
Andy
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK

PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:17 am

Oil pressure may be the wrong sensor assuming it has the electric sensor and gauge as the original 0-60 sensors are no longer available and they probably just put in a 0-100 sensor which would read low I think.

The other areas to check on the chassis are

1. The rear brackets for the inner suspension A frame joints as these or their welds to the bottom chassis plate can fail. I had one of these these fail on my Plus 2S 130/5 when the bracket cracked and then ripped of the chassis when the welds failed.

2. When I removed the body off the chassis to repair the failed bracket I discovered the bottom of the chassis along the tunnel on both sides had corroded at the lap join where the top inverted U section of the back bone joins the bottom plate of the backbone This hard to see with the body on as the body covers that area but water can get into there and be held there by the noise reducing horse hair mat between the body and the chassis back bone causing the corrosion

regards
Rohan

PS At that point i got a new Spyder chassis as repairing the corroded backbone was not economic
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7512
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:15 am

rgh0 wrote:Oil pressure may be the wrong sensor assuming it has the electric sensor and gauge as the original 0-60 sensors are no longer available and they probably just put in a 0-100 sensor which would read low I think.


Thanks Rohan, i'll recheck those chassis points you mention.

regarding the low oil pressure - I'll get the opportunity to hook up an external gauge, but to my mind it is just as likely to be the sender. The fact that the gauge rose to 15psi and then just wouldn't move higher from there, regardless of engine speed, points to something sticking to me.

If I can get hold of one i think it would be better to hook up a capillary gauge. Does anyone know what the thread size is on the engine block?

thanks,
Andy
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK

PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:15 pm

Hi Andy,
As it is in the engine casting which is an american design, the oil pressure port will be NPT, probably 1/8".
Eric in Burnley
ericbushby
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 839
Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Location: east lancashire

PostPost by: mbell » Mon Feb 24, 2020 2:28 pm

It depends on age of the block, I think some are 1/8 NPT and some are 1/4 NTP.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1667
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:10 pm

mbell wrote:It depends on age of the block, I think some are 1/8 NPT and some are 1/4 NTP.


well, its a September 1970 car with original engine - does that help or would the engine number be required?
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
Andy Hamblin
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 65
Joined: 17 Feb 2020
Location: Abingdon, UK
PreviousNext

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: 10kph and 0 guests