Lotus Elan

New To The Forum, With A Project . . .

PostPost by: PDXElan » Sat Apr 22, 2023 6:04 pm

I'm new here, located near Portland, Oregon, USA. I have an Elan S2 DHC which I've owned since 1985, though I've not gotten to drive it much -- more about that later. :D

I'd love to connect with any local Elan owners, and I'm particularly interested in finding a competent, reliable local shop or individual willing to help me maintain my car, as my mechanical skills and resources are unfortunately minimal. The car underwent a recent "professional" restoration which was extremely sloppy; it's been catastrophically unreliable ever since, and I want to change that. I haven't found a lot of local resources to help.

I had my first ride in an Elan many years ago, back in my college days, and the memory has really never left me. I've monitored this forum off and on for years, and now it's time to dive in. Cheers!

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Apr 23, 2023 2:06 am

Elans are relatively simple cars and not hard to make reliable even if sometimes not cheap to do! What has been the nature of the reliability problems.

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PostPost by: The Cyclist » Sun Apr 23, 2023 10:08 am

The other advantage is pretty much every part is available as well as some useful sympathetic upgrades. And of course there's this really friendly forum on line to support you....
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PostPost by: PDXElan » Mon Apr 24, 2023 12:14 am

In answer to Rohan's question: the problems I've had are actually not Lotus issues per se -- and I'm well aware of the car's somewhat-undeserved reputation for "fragility", having owned it for decades, if not driving it all that time -- these are workmanship and attention-to-detail issues caused IMO by a particular shop's circumstances -- they have only three or four technicians and well over 50 British cars undergoing repair at any time. They move from car to car depending on parts availability and (I think) which owner is yelling most loudly, and apparently have no way of keeping track of just what has been done and what still needs doing. Why did I choose them for service work? They're just about the only option I've found to work on the car.

I've had the experience of receiving the car after service, noticing "new" play in the steering, then learning that someone forgot to snug up the nut securing the steering wheel to the steering column . . . taking the car on a short trip after it has returned from service, only to find 25 miles into the trip that someone forgot to tighten the through bolts which secure the differential to the frame and the nuts securing the short torque rod attached to it, leaving it flopping around under the car and banging into various bits of the car.

Most recently I had new shocks and springs and other suspension bits installed; the car was returned to me on a flatbed. Being a bit suspicious about the work quality, I confined myself to a few short trips around the neighborhood. I quickly discovered that the speedometer no longer worked (a new problem) and that someone had apparently forgotten to install the tiny gasket at the input of the oil pressure gauge, as oil was dripping onto my pants from under the dash. I'd had them install a pair of RD CV joints, and the capper came when, while driving through the neighborhood at 15mph, there came a great banging from the rear of the car, which came to a halt, though in gear and with the engine running . . . turns out, someone had forgotten to tighten the bolts which secure the flange at the outboard end of the stub axle to the hub on the passenger's side of the car. Thank goodness I wasn't at speed on the freeway. Evidently nobody drove the car after "repairing" it.

I'm well aware that many or most here do the work on their cars themselves, and I'm in awe of the collective expertise here. I haven't the facilities or tools or expertise to do much of this work myself. I love the car and don't wish to sell it -- it's a clean example, none of these episodes has done any real damage to it, and it's a proper treat to drive when things are working. And yes, I'm continually delighted by the availability of parts and the support of the vendors with whom I've corresponded.

But at the moment, I don't trust the car enough to have any fun driving it.

I just need to find someone locally who is competent, meticulous, and interested in maintaining the car with my assistance. So far I'm striking out. And yes, I'm ranting. :-)
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Mon Apr 24, 2023 12:52 am

I would not consider that ranting.
I would consider that shop not Lotus, but generic.
Call some Lotus places, and you will find through here who to trust.

Maybe it growing pains, or the odd fart-freckle. But, seems like they (your 50 British car shop) wont take the time to read up on the job at hand.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Apr 26, 2023 5:14 pm

Welcome and wishing you the best getting it sorted! You're in the right place- the gang in this forum are some of the best, most knowledgeable and helpful people you'll find.
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