Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:25 pm

What a cracking looking car
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PostPost by: JDL » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:08 pm

Thank you Sploder. Yes, insofar as I've been able to determine the car is in exceptionally nice condition, both cosmetically and technically. I have been looking for quite a while and have run several cars through very comprehensive PPI's (including the car on BaT now) and decided on this one. The car's bodywork, interior and drivetrain were quite thoroughly restored in the 2014-2016 timeframe save the engine, and the engine was rebuilt a few years later It's had very few miles since that work, though it does seem quite well fettled and sorted. As I wrote earlier, I'm finding the car to be a delightful dance partner on the road. I'll probably consider replacing the donuts with CV-joints sometime, but I first want to spend some time getting to know it more thoroughly. As others have mentioned, it isn't always wise to fix something that's not broken. At least not immediately.
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PostPost by: sprintsoft » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:33 pm

Hi JDL,

Well done on securing yourself a truly beautiful car, what a treat it must be! It looks superb on the Minilites.

Don't get browbeaten into fitting CV's, unless you are going racing the rotoflex couplings do an excellent job. Being rubber based like your tyres you just have to inspect them regularly and renew them every 2-3 years.

Any pics of the engine bay for us?

Regards
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74 S130/5 - 1931L
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PostPost by: JDL » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:49 pm

Happy to oblige. Here are a couple engine shots. Compression and leak down are as follows:

• Cylinder 1: 155PSI with 1% leak down
• Cylinder 2: 150PSI with 1% leak down
• Cylinder 3: 150PSI with 1% leak down
• Cylinder 4: 150PSI with 1% leak down

It feels like a pretty "healthy" engine, although I don't have enough experience with these particular engines to qualify as well informed.
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PostPost by: JDL » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:56 pm

One question I have for the experts out there: from the reading I've done, I would expect the cam covers to be painted red. This engine is a replacement engine from a +2, so I believe that may be the reason the covers are black. Is my understanding correct? I appreciate that consistency in manufacturing was not one of Lotus' strong suites, so this might not be accurate, hence the question.

In any case, here are a few shots of the underside, merely for completeness. Any observations, comments, or suggestions are most welcome!
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PostPost by: MrBonus » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:15 am

Looks like a really nice Elan! Congrats.
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PostPost by: JDL » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:27 am

Thanks Mr. Bonus! I must confess I think the pair of chronometers idea you mentioned in another thread is a fun way to replace the blanking plate. If I had a set I'd be tempted to install them in either my Morgan or my Lotus, though I'm not sure which. It would certainly make timing the beer runs more entertaining!
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PostPost by: sprintsoft » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:00 am

Hi, great pics JDL.

I think you are right on the cam cover colour but Phil Harrison is your man on that one.

There looks to be a small leak showing on each side of the diff you might want to get checked out.

That could be an original chassis, rare as hens teeth nowadays :)

Engine driven fan - I'm not sure that was original for a Sprint, it can add stress to the precious water pump bearing, I would remove it and fit a good electric fan.

Your leak down test is excellent, the compressions read nice and even but a bit low but that maybe down to the gauge you are using - there is a large variation in gauge accuracy. Keep an close eye on oil usage.

Otherwise it looks nice original and tidy!!

Iain
72 Sprint - 0363E
74 S130/5 - 1931L
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:53 pm

JDL wrote:One question I have for the experts out there: from the reading I've done, I would expect the cam covers to be painted red. This engine is a replacement engine from a +2, so I believe that may be the reason the covers are black. Is my understanding correct? I appreciate that consistency in manufacturing was not one of Lotus' strong suites, so this might not be accurate, hence the question.

In any case, here are a few shots of the underside, merely for completeness. Any observations, comments, or suggestions are most welcome!



John, both Plus 2s & Elans with the Federal Big Valve engine (+2 S130 & Sprint respectively) should have Red crinkle finish cam covers.

Beautiful condition underneath, I wish mine were so clean :roll:
Last edited by pharriso on Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:55 pm

sprintsoft wrote:Engine driven fan - I'm not sure that was original for a Sprint, it can add stress to the precious water pump bearing, I would remove it and fit a good electric fan.

Iain


My research leads me to believe that the mechanical fans were added by the US distributors in hot climates & not a factory fitment.
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PostPost by: JDL » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:49 pm

sprintsoft wrote:Hi, great pics JDL.

I think you are right on the cam cover colour but Phil Harrison is your man on that one.

There looks to be a small leak showing on each side of the diff you might want to get checked out.

That could be an original chassis, rare as hens teeth nowadays :)

Engine driven fan - I'm not sure that was original for a Sprint, it can add stress to the precious water pump bearing, I would remove it and fit a good electric fan.

Your leak down test is excellent, the compressions read nice and even but a bit low but that maybe down to the gauge you are using - there is a large variation in gauge accuracy. Keep an close eye on oil usage.

Otherwise it looks nice original and tidy!!

Iain


Thanks Iain, I had noticed the weeping at the diff and am planning to investigate (as well as a bit of weeping at both the engine and tranny). Of course I don't expect an Elan to be as tight as a new Honda, but I like to chase down these things to be see where they might indicate an emerging issue.

I suspect the chassis might indeed be original. From what I can tell the car came to California either straight from the factory or quite early in it's life, and lived in the southwestern USA until around 2014, when it was brought to the midwest for a restoration. I've a bit more homework to do, and then I'll try starting a thread to see if folks can help with it's early history. Unlikely, I suspect, but worth looking into.

I really appreciate the observation about the engine driven fan. I hadn't appreciated that potential issue at all. The engine is newly rebuilt (ca. 300 miles, so I'm still using Break In Oil) so I'll get that issue dealt with shortly; with any luck, the bearings are still in good condition.

I'm still developing my "work list" for the car, changing fluids and checking torque on various nuts, and all the usual "new old car" tasks, but any suggestions are helpful. In the meantime, I'm trying to read through the (voluminous) body of older posts to further acquaint myself with the needs and frailties of these cars. Much to be learned.

Thanks, John
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PostPost by: JDL » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:16 pm

pharriso wrote:
JDL wrote:One question I have for the experts out there: from the reading I've done, I would expect the cam covers to be painted red. This engine is a replacement engine from a +2, so I believe that may be the reason the covers are black. Is my understanding correct? I appreciate that consistency in manufacturing was not one of Lotus' strong suites, so this might not be accurate, hence the question.

In any case, here are a few shots of the underside, merely for completeness. Any observations, comments, or suggestions are most welcome!



John, both Plus 2s & Elans with the Federal Big Valve engine (+2 S130 & Sprint respectively) should have Red crinkle finish cam covers.

Beautiful condition underneath, I wish mine were so clean :roll:


Thanks Phil, that was my understanding. Attending to the paint on the cam cover isn't my top priority just yet, but are you aware of a source for either the appropriate paint (I need to check with Dave Bean; he appears to be "working" on this) or a new (or used) properly painted item?

I agree the underside is pretty tidy. It doesn't have very many miles on it since it was restored, so comparing it with a well-seasoned example is probably not fair.

Also, I appreciate your thoughts regarding the fan; it seems consistent with my impression that the car was originally delivered to California, or perhaps somewhere else in the southwest.

Thanks again for your help, John
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