Lotus Elan

Day whatever...

PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:05 pm

The last two weeks have been characterised by not much progress on the chassis (none), but lots of work elsewhere. Neil, rightly, is doing no work to the chassis as the body will not come back for at least two months, possibly three. No point in having a chassis cluttering up the workshop. Andy has lived up to his word and sent the refurbished drive shafts to Neil along with new brake and fuel pipes. I have dug out more bits from the attic ? Lotus dash switches and fuse box.

A quick inspection of the gearbox bell-housing from the car shows worrying damage and the casting is scrap. Fortunately, my new gearbox comes with a bell-housing as well. Suspect damage may have had something to do with partial flywheel break up a few years ago, but that?s another story ? don?t lighten your flywheel too much.

Paid a visit to Matty?s en route to Options1 (a happy coincidence that they are close). Bought two new Doughnuts and a complete wiring loom for the car (430GBP - Ouch!). Here I am going to upset the purists, so apols in advance. I have made the decision to use the late +2S 130, three piece loom, with the fusebox in the Dash. Reason for this is simplicity and closeness to the custom harness that was in the car. The car will never be ?original? as it may have been a works hack for a while, hence the high mileage, number of oddities about it and the early history. As usual, met up with a couple of +2 nuts in PM?s parts area and took the opportunity to look at a customer?s early +2 boot interior, as mine has been severely messed about with in the past so I have no point of reference. I brought in my quarterlight window, with the rubber seals in place to see if PM had any replacements ? no chance! Does anyone know of a source for these? An email to SM has not produced any response yet, so I may have to phone. I will attach a picture of the seal showing the profile if anyone is interested?.

On to Options1 to see their progress with the body shell. Met Frank, deskbound, trying to get to grips with the filing logic on the office computer ? this is not Frank?s natural habitat. Sue, who had looked at all the pretty cars at Matty?s was now very interested to see the progress on ?her? car (yes dear). I quipped that they must have had an easy job stripping it as the paint had been nearly all polished off by me! ?If only it was that simple...? Frank replied, rather too sardonically. The body was up on a lift for all to see and had been half stripped (with a pile of sander discs in the nose). The reason for the strength of the body was now clear. It appears that an additional layer of glass mat has been applied; even Frank said they had done a good job, but the labour involved must have been huge. This ties up with Neil?s comment that someone in the car?s past ownership must have enjoyed working with glassfibre, as there was lots of it added here and there. No major repairs have shown up (so far) apart from some work confined to adding fog lamp cutouts, which may have been for the look rather than accident damage. Some minor repairs and reinforcing are indicated at the headlamp corners and a star craze above the non standard radiator where the cap touches. This is being addressed by removing the filler neck altogether and relying on the excellent thermostat housing produced by Cliveyboy (fitted a couple of years ago and proving a worthwhile mod).

Had a long discussion about the final colour for the body. I (Sue, actually) had already decided to keep the same colours, including the gold metalflake roof, as these are what caught the eye in the first place. Apparently the two reds used by Lotus are Carnival and Calypso ? Calypso is very red and Carnival is orangey red as far as I can tell (or is it the other way round?). Anyway we want the orangey red, which is more in keeping with the groovey sixties?. (debatable?). Left Frank battling with the office computer to find the photographic record of their work so far ? ?I know its here somewhere, but she has her own filing system? ? yes Frank, they do.

More progress on the exhaust front; the header appears sound and talking to the guys at Zircotec (www.zircotec.com ) was interesting. I am interested in the thermal (and sound) insulation properties of the coating in the confined space of the engine bay, with no appreciable added thickness of the pipes. I saw the finish at their stand at the NEC and was impressed by its quality and robustness. I was assured that the coating is not particularly brittle and would take normal handling and light knocks without damage. Hitting it with a hammer would cause localised chipping but no more. In terms of thermal performance I asked how it would compare to thermal wraps. ?Very well? was the reply? apparently there are all sorts of wraps with different thermal properties, and application methods. His assertion was that the process would give better thermal performance than even the best woven wrap. The budget cost for three pieces ? manifold and ?Y? piece ? was 230-300GBP for the base ceramic coat, with 30-45GBP for the optional colour coat ? plus the now much lower tax (!) and would take 10 working days. This work would make another cracked manifold very expensive. I am sorely tempted by this route, but cash is cash and recent expenses are biting.. Plenty of time to make that decision later.

I have finally got to the bottom (!) of where the seats in my car come from ? a late MGB! They had been recovered in the Lotus style and had their headrests removed. Purists look away now ? I have always been happy with the comfort and practicality of the seats so will probably replace with new(er) MGB seats with headrests, as I now know they fit pretty well (slightly wide, but then so is my rear). I also note that the MGB seats are lighter than the later Lotus seats ? a bonus there. A cursory glance on the internet shows that these seats are pretty common and well catered for. Now I know what to look for, I may even get away with buying a pair of headrests and new seat covers, saving a bit of cash for the exhaust?.

I am now wrestling with other bits of trivia associated with the decision to go for the late wiring loom. Should I go for a Burr Walnut dash, or have a custom Teak veneer one made, like the existing one? Dash people say no extra cost, but custom finish will have to be made to order ? 3 weeks. What about door puddle lights? Low brake fluid warning switch? Should I solder up all the connectors on the new loom? Where do I get a handbrake warning switch? How about a modern fuse box with blade fuses? Choices, choices..

Still got to get to grips with the Webers.

Jeremy

PS Should I keep this activity log to myself or keep posting?
Attachments
Scrap.jpg and
!!
Window 1.jpg and
Quarterlight window rubber moulding
Window 2.jpg and
Quarterlight window rubber moulding
Window 1.jpg and
Quarterlight window rubber moulding
Star 1.jpg and
Body 1.jpg and
User avatar
JJDraper
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Location: Buckingham, UK

PostPost by: ebc699 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:32 am

Hi Jeremy,
Don't stop now! Really interesting to follow a restoration like the one you are undertaking. Besides, I have a feeling that the really exciting stuff is still to come.......
Cheers,
Wylie
ebc699
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 37
Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Location: New Zealand

PostPost by: steveww » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:14 am

Please keep posting your reports.

Try http://www.woolies-trim.co.uk for the rubber.
User avatar
steveww
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: 18 Sep 2003
Location: Northamptonshire, England

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:15 pm

Jeremy

If you were to reply (new chapter?) to your own posts it would make it a lot easier to follow. A new post every time makes the story a bit disjointed. Photos of your project will inspire folks, If they can't find the posts and see the progress you are making then we are all missing out.

Gary
User avatar
garyeanderson
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3128
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:58 pm

Yes, by all means keep the excellent postings coming by replying to your own thread. Finding them inspirational and fun!

Thanks for the posted pics of the quarter light gaskets. A few of us are also looking for them. I got an email from Sue Miller a few weeks ago indicating they are NLA, and she has been unable to source a suitable replacement/workaround. If you find something please post. There was a similar thread a while back with a suggested supplier in the US (apparently available a few years ago). I did not receive a reply from them when I inquired a few weeks ago, so assume NLA.

Did you see my earlier question regarding fitment of new exterior side window waist gaskets without removing the side glass? My car is in similar state of dismantling, and wondering if I need to remove side glass & chrome window tracks for re-paint.

Cheers!
Stu
1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
User avatar
stugilmour
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1751
Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada

PostPost by: JJDraper » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:31 am

6th Feb 2009

Now that the UK has been brought to a standstill after a few inches of snow I have the time and can reply to you Stu!

With regard to re-painting with the window frames in situ, I'm afraid I can't offer much advice.. As my project called for a complete strip down to the shell we just ploughed on and dismantled everything. However, from my experience of stripping another set of doors, I can say that the condition of the door capping/waist seal is everything.

The door cap seal (the bit that holds against the glass and round the uprights was beyond saving, and quite brittle. If this is the case take this opportunity to get (make) new ones before respray. Other than this I see no reason why you can't leave the frames in place when you re-spray. Progress on my own project has still been slow. Frank at Options is still struggling with his computer so has been unable to send me any more progress pics. However, his report on progress is again encouraging - no signs of damage on the rest of the body so far (hasn't got to the back yet).

They have been working on getting the bonnet and door shut lines even. Greatest difficulty has been getting the bonnet even. First the existing hinge bobbins (too much play) were deemed to be past it and so he made the decision to replace them. Next the bonnet itself seems to have a slight warp to it - may be the result of that prolonged radiator cap contact.

Second worry (on his part) was that one of the doors has too much play up and down. He was surprised when I said that the pins and bushes were all new and Lotus supplied (factory clear out some years ago). I fitted these only a month ago. I guess they were all like that from new or did quality vary.... Anyway, as a bit of a perfectionist he is going to pick up some new ones from PM and play around to see if he can find a set of bushes with closer tolerances (blue printing the door hinges ? how picky is that?!) - perhaps scope for a +2 user club official fix? PTFE bushes, Phosphor Bronze top hat bushes? It is a nasty weak point for the cars, both with the pin at the bottom seizing and lubrication issues (use the wrong oil and the plastic bushes go gooey I understand).

Engine bay has been glassed up with all extraneous holes filled and the whole bay given a tissue coat. I will post more pictures when I have them. Still no further chassis work, but progress on sorting out other important areas.

An opportunity came up to buy a set of MGB seats as per my previous thread for a reasonable 210GBP. They are in immaculate condition with the all important headrests and are dimensionally and operationally identical to my old seats. The guy I bought them from was a little surprised that they were going into a Lotus and said "I would have charged more if I'd known that!"..

The existing upholstered tunnel cover on my car is a well made, strong yet unwieldy single moulding of fibreglass, covering the full height from the floor to the top of the transmission tunnel. Like I said unwieldy.. This moulding is very well made, but has caused me problems in the past, so has to go. I have the choice of several standard types of moulding. Early, fragile full length unit, with the centre locker - No! I have one in the attic and it strikes me as asking for trouble in a heavily used car. Later 4 speed two piece unit, Fibreglass rear hump and plastic front piece. Like the style, but the plastic unit I have is shattered - impossible to repair (almost). Latest type is in good condition and has side indentations for the seatbelts, but has a different cutout for the 5 speed gearchange. I will go for the late tunnel and try to correct the gearchange cut-out for the 4 speed.. An interesting note was comparing the moulding marks on the various fibreglass rear humps. They all have a progression of marks from the mould - the early hump has a few star crazes, the later ones have the same star crazes plus a few more. Obviously the same mould was in use for the entire production run. Its a bit like dating by tree rings! I am left with the problem of what to do with the old tunnel - it has been left out in the snow for now....

I also needed a new dashboard so have sourced a new one of these, with a further saving off the budget spreadsheet. Ebay I'm afraid - sight unseen, but there have been some good reports on this website about this supplier. I will report back when I get the dash in my sweaty hands.

Speaking to the chrome shop has revealed good progress. Original rear bumper was in good shape, but required some filling around one bolt hole - no traumas though. Plater man uses several coats of copper with polishing in between to get a smooth, deep finish - I hope it is as good as it sounds. Window frames are also done, so pretty quick turnround so far. For info, the company is Brighthouse Metal Finishing in Peterborough - used by Neil Myers and Spyder amongst others - good enough recommendation for me. They also do a lot of M/Cycle work and the guy to talk to - Neil (another one) is knowledgeable and easy to speak to. He has done a lot of Lotus +2 window frames and is aware of the curvature issues. I was hoping to pick up the finished parts today, but snow makes this unwise...

If you are interested, my current budget is nearly 17.5k GBP including labour and taxes...... This is not a cheap process! Should I be keeping a log of the costs or just keep spending....... sorry I like to know where the money goes! I just keep the spreadsheet in a hidden directory!

Jeremy

PS as per suggestion, I will continue to post to this thread instead of creating a new one each time.
Attachments
Door Waist Seal.jpg and
Ravages of time on rubber.
Stores.jpg and
Stash of parts.....
Old tunnel.jpg and
Anyone remember making this??
Damn Snow.jpg and
This was yesterday - been snowing all morning today..
User avatar
JJDraper
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Location: Buckingham, UK

PostPost by: JJDraper » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:49 pm

March

The project is moving on, with lots of tedious things building up which begin to make my enthusiasm flag.. Over the years I have collected lots of the bits to fit to the rebuilt car; correct bonnet stay; correct door check straps; correct boot catches; trim, seats, wheels etc etc. With storage at a premium in the house, these have been spread around half a dozen caches in lofts, cupboards, sheds etc . When it comes to the crunch, after seven years I have had difficulty retrieving the correct items on demand! I knew I should have kept a log of what was where, but never got round to it ? big mistake.

Other sources of frustration have been the slow and meticulous nature of specialists! The body work at Options appears slow in contrast to the whirlwind nature of the dismantling process. Neil the plater is another perfectionist and rejected the first coat of Copper on the rear bumper, so has re-polished and started again. I hadn?t appreciated how slow the plating process is, with the part sitting in the plating bath (copper at least) for what seems like ages. Window frames were superb though?

Time on your hands is a dangerous thing at this stage because you re-assess all the bits and pieces of the car and start thinking they aren?t good enough, or need a new coat of paint, or should be replaced with a modern widget? Witness the front & rear lights ? I have always thought they were pretty good. A few blemishes and the odd crack on the lens, but good enough. Spending time at Mattys parts store, your eyes are drawn to the nice new shiny things and you start thinking ?Hmmm??. Neil Myers was looking at one of the boxes of bits which represent my car and said he always thought the correct bumper bolts looked best and that the ones that came off the car could always be replated ? this lead to a discussion on the different types of bumper bolts fitted to Elans and which were ?correct? and which looked best ? the hours just fly by?.

It was never the intention to do a concours resto, rather, build a super useable car. I think the thin end of the wedge was seeing the work of the plater and Frank?s comment at Options1 ?You?re not putting those old lights back on are you?!?. So far the intention is just that.

For the most part all I can do is wait and do the day job to finance the process, and resist these urges.

Back to progress. The body is at the high build primer stage, and looks great in an all encompassing matt white finish. Highlights to date have been getting the door, bonnet and boot shut lines even, reinforcing the stress points (door hinge mounts, headlamp pods etc) and formalising the remote release, rather than going back to the ?original? T bar handle. This last one has been a bit odd, as the boot panel doesn?t show sign of ever having the handle fitted, although the boot lid is correct for this style. Frank has fitted the best of my offered remote release catches/panel and altered the boot lid to match a correct striker plate. He has also made a later style ?well? in the door frame for the remote release handle. This formalises the previous bitsa arrangement which used non Lotus bits to achieve remote release. At least now the parts are all Lotus.

The door shut lines are now spot on, although the window frames gave Frank a headache as they sit very tight in the door opening. This is common with the +2, but he said mine were the worst he had come across. Rear panel where the boot hinges locate is a common problem when the body is stripped. It tends to sag, making a clean shut line almost impossible. Neil M said ?yes they do that. You usually have to stuff soundproofing above the steel reinforcing tube to lift it.? As I had stripped this tube out (square section, shallow U shape) for the resto, I had to bring it with me at my next visit. With this in place the section springs back slightly making the fit better. This makes me wonder how much stress this area of the body is normally under. Should we fit stronger brace tubes? I have seen several that were rotten from the back (as the felt sits against it). Another thing for you to check or worry about!

Sill closing edges have been tidied up and now look much better. Gold roof has all been stripped, revealing some writing in the matting. Not sure what it means, but Chris Brown at Lotus is checking for me. Chris has also looked at the records and notes that the car was sold to a Mr Pitkanen in March 1968, but no other information. Sounds Finnish to me ? anyone know of any Finnish Lotus enthusiasts from the 60s?

No progress on the chassis yet, Neil has been shifting round his workshop to make space for the build. Its like one of those puzzles that you have to move one tile at a time to shuffle them all into the correct order. The M250 is cluttering up the place waiting for its trip abroad. Looks great and apparently goes pretty well too!

After seeing the pedal boxes used in his Zetecs, my rattley old one was sent to Andy at Spyder for a refurb. Reinforced case, stainless oversize spindle, ream pedals, cut top access hole, shot blast and powder coat all, fit new pedal return spring. The bill was a little eye watering (220GBP) but should get rid of the wobbly pedal syndrome.

Next highlights are chassis build, colour coats on the body and electrics. Target date for completion is firming up for a trip to the Spa Summer Classic in July, but I hope it will be up and running well before then...
Attachments
Boot.jpg and
Rear panel showing slight sag without the reinforcing tube.
Engine bay.jpg and
Front.jpg and
lots of hard work...
Sides.jpg and
High build primer.jpg and
Looking good!
High build primer 2.jpg and
Note reinforcing tube in the boot - (two shiny bolt heads)
Writing on roof.jpg and
Mystery writing embedded in the fibreglass of the roof - any ideas?
User avatar
JJDraper
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Location: Buckingham, UK

PostPost by: elansprint » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:32 pm

Gentlemen try googling seals+direct or ring 0845 226 3345 they do all sorts of rubber seals
Ian
elansprint
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 500
Joined: 12 Sep 2003

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:21 am

Ref. the mention of fuses & wiring loom.
Here's what I did in my S4. Fuses "till the cows come home" & behind the glove box a row of modern miniature relays.
A fair bit of work though; the glove box is shortened to provide the needed space & fabricated from aluminium sheet to take the weight of the loom hanging from it.
I wouldn't recommend soldering wires to lights which you were considering. One hell of a job if you need to replace them?
Cheers
John
Attachments
DSCN0785.JPG and
Beware of the Illuminati


Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
User avatar
GrUmPyBoDgEr
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3151
Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Location: Burnham-on-Mud

PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:26 pm

So many fuses to choose from! Have you considered the smart auto fuse, fitted with an LED which glows when the fuse has blown. With so many fuses it could save time on a dark night! You could also consider resettable fuses.... Got to better than the archaic glass fuses. Is the supply to the fuses fused?

re soldering, I meant the connection to the male & female spade connectors not the bulbs.....

Jeremy
User avatar
JJDraper
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Location: Buckingham, UK

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:22 pm

Smart fuses with LED's, interesting!
Do you have a contact adress?
Or is this a warm up to 1st April :lol:

Cheers
John

P.S. Not all of the fuses are used, some are spares :wink:
Beware of the Illuminati


Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
User avatar
GrUmPyBoDgEr
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3151
Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Location: Burnham-on-Mud

PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:37 pm

maplins Uk web site

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=49003

Try Ultraleds.co.uk for a selection of useful LEDs for dash etc.

Jeremy
User avatar
JJDraper
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Location: Buckingham, UK

PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:04 am

Jeremy,
Mine has the number 1860 scrawled on the inside of the roof and some text that I can't decipher on the other side. I assumed that they numbered the shells as part of the factory production stock control.

Mike
mikealdren
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1024
Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Location: Surrey England

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:41 am

JJDraper wrote:maplins Uk web site

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=49003

Try Ultraleds.co.uk for a selection of useful LEDs for dash etc.

Jeremy


Thanks very much. Will go shopping at Maplins when back in GB.
Cheers
John
Beware of the Illuminati


Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
User avatar
GrUmPyBoDgEr
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3151
Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Location: Burnham-on-Mud

PostPost by: elansprint » Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:34 pm

ETA do a resetable circuit breaker in a blade fuse package was available from cpc you can guarantee even though the led versions indicate easily which fuse has blown you wont have the correct replacement with you when it goes.
Ian
elansprint
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 500
Joined: 12 Sep 2003
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests