Lotus Elan

How much should I pay for a +2?

PostPost by: Grib » Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:50 pm

Best of luck with the chassis swap - I love jobs like that, I'd like to see some pictures of the old chassis with the bad areas pointed out. Your car looks really well looked after, I really like the leather interior, the colour isn't to my taste but if we were all the same the world would be a boring place. who did the work on the interior?
Grib
New-tral
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Location: Isle of Man

PostPost by: barefoot » Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:49 pm

My trim was done by a guy called Roy Dowd his business is called ACT in Blackpool. He originally worked at TVR many moons ago when Martin Lilley owned it. He retrimmed a 3000M in about 1975 for me since then he has retrimmed lots of cars for me as I said I don't like black interiors!

Gutted that I never kept pics to look back on as they included 2 911's, 2 M3's, an NSX, a ski boat, a Smart , a TR6 and lastly my Lotus. here is the TR6:

Image

He is one of the best trimmers out there he doesn't suffer fools and is always booked up for months but it is always worth the wait!
barefoot
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 68
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

PostPost by: bcmc33 » Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:56 pm

It would be nice to know what was wrong with the chassis that two 'expert' people did not find. For a chassis to be buggered is obviously very serious but was clearly not that obvious.
I was of the opinion that the original Lotus chassis only really suffered from one failure - rotting front upright supprts.

My car has the original Spyder replacement chassis that was a 'copy' of the lotus chassis with the upright supports blocked-off to prevent the water trap.
I've no idea when this replacement was done on my car, so it would be useful to know what 'secrets' we should all be looking for.
Brian Clarke
(1972 Sprint 5 EFI)

Growing old is mandatory..........Growing up is optional
User avatar
bcmc33
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1847
Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Location: Aldridge, West Midlands, UK.

PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:49 am

I can't speak for experts but when I realised that my original chassis turrets had failed when I saw a small crack at the front turret.

When I removed the chassis, I was amazed at how much worse it was than I had realised. Muck and underseal had obscured the extent of the cracking.

Mike
mikealdren
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1028
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Location: Surrey England

PostPost by: barefoot » Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:05 am

Will take pics once removed my man said that it where it had gone but had been "fixed" as such but not properly. Big difference between someone looking over the car to find faults and someone looking over to buy methinks!
barefoot
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 68
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

PostPost by: barefoot » Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:00 am

Story so far.....Howard arrived yesterday morning and we started at 9.00am.

Image

Took 6 of us to lift the body off just before lunch at 1 then at 5.50 by no skin on our fingers and truly knackered...

Image

Image

Day 2 starts at 9 today!
barefoot
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 68
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

PostPost by: barefoot » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:41 am

Day 2 went a bit slower it's a lot easier to take apart than rebuild! Got most of front end on diff in etc. Biggest job was 6 guys lifting it back on so Howard could mark the chassis at the fixing points then taking it back off to drill.

Howard who is a senior QC from Northwich has been an inspiration his knowledge and enthuisiasm knows no bounds he has worked the n**s off me, travels an hour to get here and back leaves at 6 then does a bit more in his garage when he gets home on stuff we have struggled with.

The older Lotus community (Elan Europa Plus 2) seems to have some of the frienldiest most helpful people in it's community!

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
barefoot
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 68
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

PostPost by: barefoot » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:48 am

Here is whats left of the old chassis which actually was in good condition except for the front suspension turrets. They have been "mended" at some stage but 1 is twisted slightly, hard to see in pictures.
Last day today before all back to work so hoping to get engine in and body back on and attached to the chassis.

Image
barefoot
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 68
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:25 am

A quick summary of where to look on a chassis on a car as you work from front to rear - I have seen all on these in chassis including the 2 I replaced on my cars. Much more than just rust in the front towers though that is almost universal in old chassi in UK cars especially.

1. Cracks and rust around front steering rack
2. Cracks and damage in front member from jacking
3. Cracks, distortion and rust around front uprights and suspension pins
4. Cracks around front Y to back bone join
5. Cracks around the engine mount brackets
6. Rust along the bottom joins of the backbone, especially in plus 2S 5 speeds that leak less oil into the chassis.
7. Distortion along the lower chassis flange and cracks where any of the chassis bolts go into this flange
8. Cracks around the rear backbone to Y join
9. Cracks in the rear wishbone mounting brackets
10. Cracks around the upper or lower diff mounts
11. Distortion in the top tower spring mount plates or cracks around the welds in this this area
12. Distortion to the rear chassis bottom plate due to jacking


I am sure others can add a few more points to check that I have missed but this list will cover 90% plus of the chassis problems you may find.

In a Spyder chassis most of these problems have be solved but the small plates used to attache the lower body bolts on the spyder chassis can crack.


cheers
Rohan
User avatar
rgh0
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 7511
Joined: 22 Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPost by: barefoot » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:54 pm

Got the engine in which was a bit of a nightmare plus more bits and bobs waxoiled the chassis and finally put the body back on!

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
barefoot
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 68
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

PostPost by: seaandmoor » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:20 pm

Hi Grib,
Welcome to the forum - you will find it very helpful - not just now but always.
I bought one about 3 years ago and would add a few points.
1. the original 5 speed box is an austin maxi - rubbish. There were only a few hundred of these and I would personally go for the much nicer 4 speed or alternatively do what I did and buy with the intention of replacing it with the much better ford 5 speed ?1,750. (by the way the 5 speed boxes out of excel looks so similar that I'd be surprised if it didn't fit and can be picked up for ?50 as opposed to ?750 for a working +2 5 speed)
2. If you can buy the car with a really good paint job otherwise a proper respray is about ?5,500 - anything costing less is probably a waste of money - it will need doing again.
3. I waited for one of the later cars built - these had galvanised chassis which not a guarantee against problems but are a much better bet.
4. In my case i was too bothered about a showroom car but i wanted something that was useable and the money I would have paid for a nice looker I spent instead on making sure the mechanicals were good.
5. Like someone said - a low miler (mine was 54,000) doesn't mean it is in good condition - usually means a lot of work is needed to re-'commission' it.
6. For this reason ask for the invoices which should include engine rebuild, particularly the head - hopefully with a leadfree conversion and must be by a recognised twimcam engine builder such as QED and others.
7. Personal preference here but avoid stromberg carbs - less power, webber - more fiddley to tune.. I like Dellorto's. These cars can be difficult to start and tune but once you have experienced a good one when it is giving it's 130bhp there is nothing quite like it.
8. Lack of any adjustment on the timing chain adjuster means an expensive bill as does a wobbly fan/water pump.
9. As to price, I think the orange one with replacement chassis is likely to be as good as it gets for the price. I think most trade sellers mark up about ?5,000 on the price of a private seller and some trade sellers should be avoided - I like Paul Matty though. In my opinion something around ?6000 needs too much doing (many such cars are being parted out because it isn't economical to bring them up to an acceptable standard) and you would need to spend minimum ?5,000 to make it useable. Best to pay more where someone else has done the work and then enjoy the car. So be prepared to pay ?10,000 to ?12,000 and you should be a very happy owner. Finally the dwindling number of cars and the realisation that the +2 is actually a nicer car to drive on a daily basis than the baby elan is just starting to lift prices off the floor and have seen very nice ones sell for ?17,500 and even asking ?22,500 but doubt mine will ever achieve those heady heights.
Good luck but you should get a detailed vehicle inspection done to help cut down the likelihood of buying a lemon.
seaandmoor
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 149
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Location: United Kingdom

PostPost by: seaandmoor » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:20 pm

Hi Grib,
Welcome to the forum - you will find it very helpful - not just now but always.
I bought one about 3 years ago and would add a few points.
1. the original 5 speed box is an austin maxi - rubbish. There were only a few hundred of these and I would personally go for the much nicer 4 speed or alternatively do what I did and buy with the intention of replacing it with the much better ford 5 speed ?1,750. (by the way the 5 speed boxes out of excel looks so similar that I'd be surprised if it didn't fit and can be picked up for ?50 as opposed to ?750 for a working +2 5 speed)
2. If you can buy the car with a really good paint job otherwise a proper respray is about ?5,500 - anything costing less is probably a waste of money - it will need doing again.
3. I waited for one of the later cars built - these had galvanised chassis which not a guarantee against problems but are a much better bet.
4. In my case i was too bothered about a showroom car but i wanted something that was useable and the money I would have paid for a nice looker I spent instead on making sure the mechanicals were good.
5. Like someone said - a low miler (mine was 54,000) doesn't mean it is in good condition - usually means a lot of work is needed to re-'commission' it.
6. For this reason ask for the invoices which should include engine rebuild, particularly the head - hopefully with a leadfree conversion and must be by a recognised twimcam engine builder such as QED and others.
7. Personal preference here but avoid stromberg carbs - less power, webber - more fiddley to tune.. I like Dellorto's. These cars can be difficult to start and tune but once you have experienced a good one when it is giving it's 130bhp there is nothing quite like it.
8. Lack of any adjustment on the timing chain adjuster means an expensive bill as does a wobbly fan/water pump.
9. As to price, I think the orange one with replacement chassis is likely to be as good as it gets for the price. I think most trade sellers mark up about ?5,000 on the price of a private seller and some trade sellers should be avoided - I like Paul Matty though. In my opinion something around ?6000 needs too much doing (many such cars are being parted out because it isn't economical to bring them up to an acceptable standard) and you would need to spend minimum ?5,000 to make it useable. Best to pay more where someone else has done the work and then enjoy the car. So be prepared to pay ?10,000 to ?12,000 and you should be a very happy owner. Finally the dwindling number of cars and the realisation that the +2 is actually a nicer car to drive on a daily basis than the baby elan is just starting to lift prices off the floor and have seen very nice ones sell for ?17,500 and even asking ?22,500 but doubt mine will ever achieve those heady heights.
Good luck but you should get a detailed vehicle inspection done to help cut down the likelihood of buying a lemon.
seaandmoor
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 149
Joined: 21 Oct 2005
Location: United Kingdom

PostPost by: robcall » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:21 pm

No Elan was originally fitted with a galvanised chassis.Even the later Elite models started out without galvinisation.
A galvanised chassis is a replacement!
Nigel Robertson
User avatar
robcall
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 257
Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Location: Melbourne,OZ

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:01 am

I applaud your enthusiasm for the Plus 2, Seaandmoor, but let me take a wild guess and say you have a late 130 running on Dellortos with a galvanised chassis and it had a 4 speed box?or a knackered 5 speed.

Nigel is right, the galvanised chassis wasn?t available until long after the last Plus 2 left the factory?late 1980s from memory.

The original 5 speed isn?t rubbish, but it was never as strong as the old 4 speed 2000E box, which was one of the best boxes in any car at any price in the era. A 5 speed that has been properly rebuilt is a delight to use, with excellent ratios for the Plus 2. The myth that they are poor boxes is partially based on lousy workmanship carried out to recondition them, or the cheap owners who just replaced the bits that were broken. Do them properly and they are (almost) as good as the 4 speed.

You can get the original box reconditioned properly for a lot less than a modern Type 9 conversion, and have the satisfaction of originality. With the sort of use most Plus 2s get, the box will outlast the owner.

Weber carbs are no more fiddly to set up than Dellortos. My experience is that a Weber car will come back to life after a few months or years lay-up a lot easier than a Dellorto car, which usually has to have the carbs stripped to at least replace the diaphragms. As for the Strombergs, read Miles Wilkins book on the TwinCam?he rates them very highly, and he?s one of the world?s authorities on the engine.

I doubt very much that many people buy a Plus 2 over a 2 seat Elan because it?s a better car to drive on a daily basis. I think that Plus 2 prices are hardening because they are being recognised as superb cars and not just donors for an old Escort or Cortina?.it used to be the other way around! They cost the same as a V12 E Type back in 1973, and nearly twice the price of an Escort Mexico or Cortina 1600GT. That either made the Plus 2 a very expensive car, or the E Type a real bargain. Or both.

The mid price for any car is always the danger area, and for the Plus 2 that?s ?6k to ?8k, as it?s so easy to make a car, needing everything doing, look good for a short period. I agree that you can get a great car in this range if you know what you?re looking for, but if you have to paint it, replace the chassis and do some engine work, you may have been better off buying a car for ?3k from eBay where you knew it needed everything doing.

Just a few more thought to put into the pot?.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2896
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: mikealdren » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:26 pm

Mark,
I think you're about right (as usual). However, I think the galvanised chassis was available from the early 1980s. I seem to remember them being around when I put a Spyder chassis in my 130/5 in 1983 but they were in short (erratic) supply the time.

Mike
mikealdren
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1028
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Location: Surrey England
PreviousNext

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests