Lotus Elan

Day 14

PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:52 pm

Day 14

Lots done this week, but mainly arranging deliveries & pick ups. This bit is much harder than it sounds. Due to the tight timescales this is very important to all concerned. The Man (or should that be The Men, as this has been a family affair so far ? three generations of Lotus fiends) does not have much storage space. Some observant fellows have spotted an M250 in the background ? fair cop. Yes it is the same one that was at Hethel last year? Neil, the chief man (at least where this +2 is concerned) is anxious to prevent constipation in his work load ? and that is now my job!

The snow seemed to slow everything up.. Frank at Options was already suffering from +2 constipation in his body shop, with another completed +2 body awaiting collection this week. Arranged Wednesday afternoon as a potential time for Frank to pick up the body, as long as the other +2 body has been collected. Passed this on to Neil.

Phoning Andy at Spyder, I realised that I had not given him the colour I wanted for the chassis ? I went for black ? not really fussed? Arranged to pick up the chassis on Wednesday morning. Also discussed my Spyder CV joints which after 40k miles need some attention ? new boots and an inspection & grease re-pack.

After an inspection of the various bumpers & window frames we decided which to take to the platers. Guess what, I was to deliver the bits to them on Wednesday morning

Sue asks me to drop off some ?supplies? to our daughter at Uni on the way ? only 35 miles out of the way, but hey, I?m passing.

Wednesday ? get up early load up the car with the various bits. Phone Frank at Options and the news is not good. He will not be able to pick up the body today.

Get the ratchet straps and roof rack out and prepare to fit them. Major panic ? the roof bars are too long!! 138cm not 120cm so will not fit on my car. I said ?Oh dear? and went back into the house. Did some ringing round and found that there was a Halfords on the way that had the appropriate roof bars. Set off.. 10 miles down the road I realised that I hadn?t brought the footpacks (needed to fit the bars). Said ?OH Dear? again and went back home to get them. Set off for the shop again. Got to the shop and they had the appropriate steel bars on special offer 50% off ? hooray! Try to fit the roof bars and realise that the bits that connect the footpacks to the bars are different for the alloy Aero bars which I had originally ? the other fittings were in the box at home. Moment of crisis ? pay three time the cost for another set of alloy bars, or drive 13 miles home & get the correct fittings. Said ?OH DEAR? and drove home.

Setting off from home a little later than planned, I made an executive decision that my eldest could manage without the spare socks and tea-towels I was supposed to drive 35 miles out of my way to deliver and decided to go straight to the platers. Got there at lunch time, but all was quiet with no-one answering the phone. This day gets better and better; with the prospect of an hour or so of doing nothing I pushed on to Spyder.

Andy, had of course, gone to lunch by the time I arrived, but the guys there let me in and I had my first opportunity to see my chassis. Wow! Its one thing to see them at the shows, but when it is Yours, it is a different matter. Real butterflies. I don?t think I have been as excited since I got my first motorbike.. Andy turned up a few minutes later, and we got down to the business of what else he could sell me. After Neil?s comments about the upper wishbones on my car, I elected for a new upper set with bushes. I was mighty tempted by one of those rear seatbelt mounting bars, but this could be easily fitted later. On Andy?s advice I got a set of rear seat belt plates, which are much easier to fit with the body off. May never be used, but at around ?50, reasonable. Andy showed me around the workshop, which seemed to be filled with at least 5 +2s in various states of prettiness. There was only one two seater. All I can say is that between Frank at Options and Andy at Spyder, there are going to be an awful lot of very pretty +2s breaking cover in the summer. Stroke of luck is that Andy uses the same plater and he agrees to pass my pieces on when they next do a pick up (which is regularly). At last a result! Load the chassis onto the roof ? lighter and easier than I was expecting. Strap it up and say goodbye.

Arrive at Neil?s workshop much later than I was anticipating, with the realisation that in all the bother, I forgot to let him know that the Frank couldn?t make it ? due to the aforementioned +2 constipation. Bit of a frosty welcome? but the excitement of the new chassis is infectious. Get unloaded, and make a call to Frank. He now has a vacant space where my +2 body should be. Agree a mutually agreeable time between Frank, Neil and myself. Friday lunch time. Go home to frosty reception re non delivery of socks & tea-towels.

Had to take a long lunch break and shoot off to the workshop. Boy is it cold today, must be around -4DegC; perhaps I should have taken a coat, instead of tie and shirtsleeves. Arrive at the shop just as there is a call from Frank ? seems he was a bit too reliant on the Sat Nav and was 40 miles off course before he realised it?.. Anyway, he was going to be around a hour late. Three generations are in the workshop waiting load the body ? oh dear, it just got a bit colder? Anyway, we laugh at the over reliance on Sat Navs which is now commonplace ? I did something similar in France on the way to Angouleme. When leaving a rest place on the Peage, I accidently pressed ?Home? and only realised when I saw the signs to Paris?. We laughed and swapped few anecdotes. Also discussed my tasks over the coming weeks. First is to have a go at the Webers, which need to be disassembled, cleaned and rebuilt ? by me! I?m terrified. It?s all very well tinkering with the idle screw, but this? Well, Neil gave me some comfort by saying that as long as I didn?t break or lose any bits he would show me how to put it all back together. We also do a detailed examination of the body, highlighting the repairs and work that needs to be done. The sub zero cold is seeping into my totally unprepared body and I am sure I can feel the onset of hypothermia. Trying to write notes, my handwriting is laboured! Anyway Frank arrives with a monster trailer and expertly reverses it into the workshop courtyard. Frank looks over the body and agrees that it is thick, ?but then again the earlier ones were?, he says. With surprising ease, three of us lift the body from one dolly onto his custom +2 dolly. More discussion about possible colours, repairs, improvements and one or two other potential problems. The timescale for the body is 8-12 weeks, which seems an eternity after the hectic pace of the week; then it is time to say goodbye to Frank and the +2 and go back to work.

As I gradually warm up in my car, I can begin to relax. I don?t think I really warmed up until I went to bed, with the electric blanket on full.. What a week!

Thanks to Colin from this forum for the offer of a surplus manifold which I picked up on Sunday. Also the offer of a chassis from Leslie, which, I could not take up ? Andy would not have been pleased!

Next step. Dig out more bits from the attic that I have collected over the years. Source a new wiring loom, dash and visit Options to see what their sanders reveal. Decide colour ? Carnival or Calypso. Metalflake gold roof is non-negotiable with Sue. Begin stripping Webers. Take Sue out to lunch.

At least it?s warmer today.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:49 am

Jeremy

Great write-up, thanks.

Sounds to me as if your 'Men' are the Myers family?

Tim
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:09 am

Great write up Jeremy. Agree it is easy to under-estimate the logistics of moving all the bits about. Looks like it is coming well. Very motivating to me.

I am at a similar point with my Plus 2; body off and being repaired and painted, Spyder chassis and parts received, covered in snow here in Canada.

A question for you. I see you have removed the side glass and chrome surrounds from the body. I have decided mine are in good enough shape that they do not need re-plating. We figure we can effectively mask the chrome off for the repaint.

I have new external and internal seals on order from Sue Miller; hope to get shortly.

Can the new seals be installed after painting without complete removal of the side glass and chrome pieces? If they can't probably smarter to remove now for painting. If these can all be renewed after painting, it could save a lot of hassle re-aligning the glass. Any thoughts appreciated. Will be seeing the car in about a week or two to discuss details with the body dude, and it is hard to visualize as don't have access right now.

Cheers!
Stu
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