Lotus Elan

Day 7

PostPost by: JJDraper » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:54 pm

Day Seven

Surprise! Snow this morning?

After a break for celebrations, the reality is sinking in. Engine is out, only surprise so far is a severely cracked exhaust manifold. Around the weld into the two-into-one section. This is the third time I have had this problem which points to an underlying cause. The Man suggests the lack of an exhaust bracket on the gearbox may be a contributing factor, as the whole system was only supported at each end ? scope for fatigue fractures ? well I didn?t know there was supposed to be a bracket half way! I will have to budget for a new manifold ? the first unexpected item. Thoughts turn to a new big bore manifold, but that would require a new system and as it is the early transverse type, no one makes one ? special manufacture .. huge cost, restrain yourself. The Man, he say, ?secret to finishing a resto is to know when to stop?. However, I might get a new manifold and have it ceramic coated ? Zircotec; looks great & keeps the heat in ? Thoughts anyone?

Chassis is now naked for appreciation. It is an early spyder unit, from around 1979 and appears in very good condition. Masses of nuts & bolts and ?O? rings revealed along the edges of the chassis, embedded in the oil & grease - most of them from my servicing attention in the past. The powder coating (?) looks almost new in most areas with almost no rust, even in exposed areas. Lets hope the new Spyder one is as well protected. Reason for using a new chassis is a long standing worry about the geometry of the unit; possibly a smash at some point ? who knows. The rear turrets do not seem to sit level with each other making the body tilt ? adjustable suspension evened this out. Sort of. God only knows what this does to the handling. Unfortunately, I don?t have anything to compare it with. Front reservoir has major fatigue fractures, resulting in the chassis repair in France last year when the lower spindle mount pulled out. Repair and re-inforcing can only go so far.. Time for a new chassis.

Picked up refurbished gearbox and converted diff (3.77 to 3.54 from an RS2000) from the workshop. Cracking job for less than I budgeted, maybe I can get that manifold after all. Replacement gearbox was cleaned, fully disassembled, checked over and reassembled by race technicians ? verdict was very encouraging. Must have been a low mileage box, only needed new seals & gaskets. Cost was ?108 plus VAT all in; diff needed new bearings, seal and crush spacer ? plus dismantle the donor diff - ?112 plus VAT. ? is that par for the course? For info the company was J P Race, Silverstone Circuit - www.jprace.net. Their website is minimalist, especially the services section?

Brakes & suspension look OK and will be cleaned and mildly refurbed. New trunnions, Track rod ends, upper front wishbones, discs & pads. Brake calipers are all OK ? earlier attention from Classicar is wearing well.

Spoken to all suppliers today, except the dash people. Heavy snow has slowed up The Body Man, but we may still meet the Wednesday target date ? not an issue if not. Is it your freshly refurbished +2 body in the way??! Due to pick up chassis and drop off chroming bits on Wednesday as well. Having a crisis about transporting the chassis.. I had intended to put it on the roof rack of the car ? Mondeo estate with roof rails and Thule Aero bars rated at 100kg. I?m not so sure now having seen the bare chassis ? has anyone done this before? If not, I may have to hijack truck.

TTFN

Jeremy
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Body Off 1.jpg and
Body Off 2.jpg and
Body Off 3.jpg and
The elusive Man!
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:38 pm

I sprayed the exhaust manifold myself with a high temp ceramic coating, then used some exhaust wrap to help keep under bonnet temperatures down. Got all the stuff from Agremech ???
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PostPost by: gerrym » Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:45 pm

Jeremy, your comment re the early Spyder paint job (powdercoating?) holding up well, has reminded me of the poor paint quality of recent Syder chassis. Talking this through with a few others, they have had the same experience. The paint appears to be soft and thin, slightest knock with a spanner has it peeling off. Also there doesn't appear to be any zinc-rich primer, so paint damage quickly erupts into rust.

I'm probably going to strip my chassis down some time this year, get the paint sandblasted off, properly keyed and then recoated with a tougher paint system.
Suggest you speak to Andy and ask him if there is an option of getting it powder coated "from the factory". Normally he is very helpful on stuff like this.

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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:50 pm

Interesting to find out who your "Man" is, as that looks like the body of the stillborn M250 in the background of the 2nd photo.
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:10 pm

JJDraper wrote:Having a crisis about transporting the chassis.. I had intended to put it on the roof rack of the car ? Mondeo estate with roof rails and Thule Aero bars rated at 100kg. I?m not so sure now having seen the bare chassis ? has anyone done this before? If not, I may have to hijack truck.


I carted around my 2-seater chassis on a Passat wagon with Thule bars without difficulty. One person can heave it onto and off the bars (although two are better). I can't imagine the +2 Spyder chassis is much heavier, unless it is crated.
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PostPost by: terryp » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:22 am

Hello
I carted around my Ginetta G15 chassis on top of my 1960 Ford Popular 100E with a standard roof rack - well it was a few years ago but you should not worry about your chassis on top of a Thule rack on a Mondeo!
Great posts , when do you expect to finish?

Best Regards

Terry
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PostPost by: Jas » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:05 am

Yes very similar to the M 250.
My pictures are from the 60th anniversary last year.
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Lotus M 250 prototype
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm

Thanks for encouragement re chassis transport - I will use the roof rack with lots of ratchet webbing and ropes.

When will I finish? When I can drive away! Seriously though, the body will take eight weeks from delivery to body shop to return. Chassis should be built up by then with rebuild & rewire taking a further two to three weeks. As you can see, workshop space is at a premium. The rebuild is not going to be concours - not enough cash - but I want a pretty, usable daily driver - which is what it was (apart from the pretty bit!)when it went in last week.

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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:23 am

at this point it may be a good chance to upgrade the chassis with a 'bridge' and some rear gussetting ---ed
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