Lotus Elan

Workshop manuals. Is it me or are they a bit thin on info?

PostPost by: Johnfm » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:53 pm

The +2 I just bought was supplied with both an original old manual (in a four ring binder. Love the old typeface!!) and a more modern Brooklands version.

They seem a bit light on diagnostics and things like how to adjust the doors so that close perfectly. And as for understanding how to adjust the bonnet catches! Forget it!

Thank Tim Berners-Lee (and you guys) for this forum!
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PostPost by: MickG » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:24 pm

Hi Jon,
I think you will find all manufactures workshop manuals are like that. The adjustment of doors, bonnet and other similar bits are carried out at the factory and would not normally be required during the life of the vehicle.
The workshop manual is just that full of technical data and procedures that a qualified mechanic of the day would refer to when repair or replacement of components is required.
That is why forums like this are such a great way of finding out how to do the little repairs and adjustment from the vast experience of it's members. I'm sure you have found this already.
Many of the questions have, over the years been covered in one way or another. Just in case you are unaware the search facility at the top right of the page is the gateway to the archives where most if not all of the queries you have will be answered.
I'm not saying don't post and ask questions we all look forward to reading of your progress.
Most of us if not all have been in a similar position and the only stupid question is the one not asked.


Regards Mick G
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:34 pm

Yes, the search facility has been put through its paces...

Weber tuning
Electronic ignition
How to press out the bushes
Petrol smells
Water temp gauges
..and on and on and on...
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PostPost by: gus » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:53 pm

I find that the parts manual is nearly as useful, most of us know which direction a bolt turns, so knowing the exact stack up of components is frequently all that is required
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:03 pm

Parts manuals are more essential than wsm's imo .......... lots of pictures!

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PostPost by: tcsoar » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:44 pm

And with a really useful online one below if you havent seen it yet.

http://www.rdent.com/manuals/index.html

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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:06 pm

The Lotus Workshop Manuals were never written for the amateur/ owner mechanic. They're more like a set of Cliff Notes for a trained technician.

The exploded parts diagrams in the Lotus Parts Manuals are often more helpful in telling you how things go together. (Gozinta drawings... this goes in ta that).

The Esprit was in production for 26 years, and by the end of the 4-cylinders production run, the engine section of the manual had been fleshed out about as much as any Lotus manual ever printed. However, the reader still had to know enough in advance to be able to read between the lines. And there were pretty big gaps between some of the lines.

In contrast, my Toyota and Subaru workshop manuals are wonderfully detailed examples of how a manual should be written.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:52 am

Check out the Brian Buckland book. This has much more detail than the factory shop manual. Not sure how to obtain one but someone will chime in.

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PostPost by: MickG » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:38 pm

Chime

Club Lotus sell them :D

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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:53 pm

I have emailed Brian Buckland but I'm not sure if it sent correctly. Does anyone know if the book covers the +2 as well? The book sounds really good.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:12 pm

Plus one on the parts manual being very handy, and the forum for detailed help. I think a lot of the issues relate to mods & adjustments done by a previous owner, so parts book really helps.

That said, bonnet catches may be a good example. The adjustment involves fiddling within the oval shaped mounting holes to get them to work, and not pop up while driving. I have to press the right side down first or they will not seat; I have just got used to this fit. However, my parts manual (illustration BD) appears to be missing a critical part. There are wooden wedge shaped shims placed under the female bonnet catches on the fire wall. The thin part of the wedge is down, thick side up. they are about 1/4" thick or so; can measure them if needed. Does your car still have the wedges? Easily lost or broken. Just a thought, and an example of potential 'missing' part, or perhaps a running change made at the factory?

My bonnet stays down fine on road drives and catches properly. That said, when I tracked the car at Sebring there was so much torsional bending in the body the bonnet popped up repeatedly after my second session and we got the car moving. Racing tape solved the issue for the rest of the day. My instructor (Steve Smith who runs Elan and Ginetta race cars out of Florida) laughed it off while slapping the tape on. :) Great fun!

Door fit also difficult. I have mine right now in a compromise position so they work, but the trailing edge of the door sticks out a bit. Has always bugged me, and have spent hours trying to improve things. This is not the same door fit issue as the Elan; the door shape is absolutely correct, it is just difficult to get the catch to work from the door handles if they are flush with the body. It might be that my replacement door seals are too thick, causing outward pressure on the catch and not allowing it to release. I have tried two sets, and still have the issue.

Funny story though. At LOG in Las Vegas Bob Dance and the guy who MC's the events (can't recall his name, but he has worked for Lotus forever and used to work on assembly of the early cars) commented on how good my shut lines were and said the fit was way better than they delivered from the factory! :) Charitably put, the fibreglass assemblies are a bit approximate by modern standards.

Brian Buckland book is great, even for Plus 2 types. It does not reference the Plus 2 at all, but the models are similar enough it is a great reference. I got mine from Foster Cooperstein, which is a bit easier than Club Lotus for folks on our side of the pond.
Last edited by stugilmour on Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Funny about the wooden shims. I thought the DPO had fitted them and I thought WOOD!! :shock:
Now with all the rest I've got to do I suppose I've got to check for woodworm too :oops:
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:06 am

I had my wooden shims re made in Dural. Aside from the wood looking, well, a bit homemade, I heard that the wood can swell in damp causing the catches to stick.

I was very fortunate to be given a genuine hardcopy Plus 2 parts manual recently - it is indeed far more informative that the workshop manual. If I'd had it from the outset my car may have been on the road last rear :?

I agree the doors are a pain to get right - probably the most time consuming part of my rebuild to assemble and get working/hanging properly

Jon
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