First thing is to check the sill members, or side impact bars. These are often forgotten about, being hidden away within the sill of the car, they are doubly important as the seatbelts attatch to them. Mine were a pile of rust...
I agree with all the comments regarding the maintenance things. If you use the car regularly, consider a driveshaft conversion to replace the 'doughnuts'. Although I have not had a failure, the dents in my chassis show that his has happened at least once to my car. I went for the Spyder conversion which keeps the inboard couplings, and has a CV joint for the outer ones. The unit also has a nifty little fix to stop the inner shaft flailing about if it does fail. This keeps a bit of flex in the drivetrain and stops shock feeding back up the drivetrain.
I don't want to alarm you, but I did spend a fair wad of cash in the first 18 months of ownership, but mainly to rectify some of the horrors of the past...The car is now reliable, hardly leaks (apart from the diff), is in everyday use, and is kept on the street (I don't have a garage). I justify the amount spent as equal to the depreciation of a conventional car, but the value sticks to the car! Cheap motoring, even with the expenses to date (around ?3k).
I think that a lot of problems with these cars stems from lack of use, especially electrics and brakes. Talking of which, does your handbrake work....mine didn't to begin with, and I spent a year trying to make a clapped out mechanism work. It was a waste of time, and I regard the money I spent to get both rear calipers refurbished by 'Classicar' (do a google) some of the most effective cash spent! The handbrake (and rear brakes) has worked a treat ever since.
Good tyres are essential in the wet, the light weight and strong braking can get you into trouble if the tyres are a bit hard. I run Goodyear GT2s, but there are several good choices.
Hope this helps - Enjoy!!
- Coveted Fifth Gear
- Posts: 1031
- Joined: 17 Oct 2004
- Location: Buckingham, UK
Just to add to the bit about the radio, when I bought my 68 +2 it was fitted with the original radio but had been converted to am/fm. apparently they put the insides of a new radio into the old unit. I have been looking for the bill so I could let you know who done the work but unfortunately I can?t find it, maybe someone else on this forum could tell you who could do this work, this way you get the best of both worlds old looks with modern listening.
As for the pod sticking I had this problem the bottom of the pod was catching on the underside of the bodywork (the pod must have twisted a bit with age) I manage to move the pod a fraction and all is now ok.
I hope this is of some help to you, and if I find the bill for the radio I will let you know the company who did it.
Ps I know it?s a bit of a way for you but if you need engine work or general servicing this guy is for you Dave Wills engineering. He is in Woodford Essex he advertises in club lotus magazine if you need he?s details.
- Posts: 7
- Joined: 09 Feb 2004
Re the headlights, I was suffering similar problem with mine, found that the chrome trim surrounding the lights had worked its way loose and was catching on the body of the car as the pods were raised and lowered. Having squeezed it back into place the lights operated normally.
As has been mentioned above, budget for some big expenses in the first year. They may or may not happen but at least you'll be prepared if they do.
Get full breakdown cover, at least for the first year while you are finding out what has and has not been done to maintain the car.
Finally, when talking to garages about what needs done, bear in mind how much you intend to use the car each and let this guide you on how many of the "non essential" repairs you need to have done there and then.
- First Gear
- Posts: 32
- Joined: 09 Oct 2003
- Second Gear
- Posts: 79
- Joined: 22 Oct 2003
1. A full service
2. An engine tune (has made a massive difference)
3. Both of the door locks fixed
4. A battery master switch and fan over ride switch fitted
5. The headlamp problem sorted (something just needed greasing apparently)
6. A complete safety check of the car completed.
They charge ?38 per hour and so far as I can tell do a first rate job.
I think that is all of the niggly annoyances finished with so once again thanks to all for your help.
- First Gear
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- Joined: 11 Oct 2004
- Location: Watchfield - Oxon - UK
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