Lotus Elan

Recent Zetec +2's for sale update

PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:13 pm

Hi all,

I was on business this morning at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, which just happens to be down the road from Spyder Engineering so it would have been rude not to pop in and see Andy & Sean at Spyder for a coffee on the way back to the office.

Anyway the conversation drifted on to recent +2 Zetecs that have come up for sale and in particular Jerry's car from Classics Monthly as well as the car on sale at Paul Mattys. Although Spyder had a hand in finishing Jerry's car, they had absolutely nothing to do with the build of the car at Matty's apart from supplying the chassis and other parts necessary for the build.

The car on sale at Matty's was built by 'A.N. Other Specialist', apparently the owner paid 30k+ for the car to be built and was less than happy with the result to the extent he took it to Spyder and asked for their opinion of what needed doing to put it right, the answer was an extensive list including buffing the paint (very poor paintjob in Andy's opinion) and a new wiring loom (they bodged the old one), the total rectification cost was put at ?6000. The car stayed at Spyder doing nothing for a few weeks until the owner took it away and sent it back to the A N Other Specialist possibly armed with Spyders list of things that needed rectifying. It's unclear if the problems the unhappy owner suffered have been cured, the awful red leather interior hasn't changed (quality issue rather than colour) and I would have to see the paint myself before judging the finish.

Jerry's +2 from Classics monthly has been sold to a hopefully happy new owner, Andy described the car as a bargain with the proviso that it needed ?2000 - ?3000 spent to finish it off and reverse some items like the too harsh polybushes and too low section tyres, there were no under dash trims, the door cards were some old good condition items that were lying about in Spyders workshop, oh and last but not least Jerry managed to break the gearbox by giving the car one last thrash before the new owner collected the car! I bet he wishes he hadn't tempted fate like that! Selecting reverse from 5th thinking you are driving a 6 speed car is not advisable, honestly thats what he did. Andy lifted the body to remove the gearbox (safer that taking the engine and box out through the engine bay if you want to preserve the paintwork), the selectors were all bent and buckled. The new owner collected the car from Spyder a couple of weeks ago, wonder if Jerry told them the truth or spun them some yarn about Spyder giving it the once over before they collected etc etc?

The point of this post is that things are not always as they seem, none of the cars for sale recently were built by Spyder and therefore any zetec car that comes up for sale should be examined very closely to ensure that its the real deal. Andy and Sean at Spyder will give free advice and are very helpful, if they know a cars history because they have built or done work on it they will give you the full spec and advice, if not they will arm you with the knowledge you will need to see if the car has been converted properly and very importantly 'SAFELY'

There are some very nice Elan's with zetecs in them owned by members of the forum, if any of those come up for sale you can bet they will make more than ?15K... properly built and developed cars are worth more.

Hall of fame:

John Pelly, love your car, but you need to bring it over here so we can go through tunnels together!

Rich, your car looks great, keep developing it. Just don't go girly and chop the roof!

Gerry in Aberdeen: Do you get to the Western Highlands at all? My business partner has a nice house at Strathcarron and those local roads are great fun!

Mark (Elan in the Forest) your BDA engined +2 probably started all this nonsense off, nobody can afford a decent BDA these days, so zetecs are a good alternative.

Regards
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: gerrym » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:02 pm

Alan, a trip to Strathcarron long overdue (must be 8 years since the last)

To get there from Aberdeen, the Lecht, Bridge of Brown(broon) is the way to go. Very twisty, some steep gradients, a few idiots to look out for on the wrong side of the road...

Re the MT75 blowup on Jerry's car, not surprising when you consider that reverse has synchromesh (original Ford Saloon application had a mechanical lockout in the shift lever).

Regards

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PostPost by: richgilb » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Not chopping it, just thinking of putting a hole in it for a mohair Webasto............still not sure yet. Not seen any threads to advise whether the hole makes it wobble a bit.

I would never have bought a Zetec from anyone but Spyder....at the time I knew so little about the conversions I could not trust myself.
I am now an ex-Elan owner but will drop by from time to time with some suitably inappropriate comments.
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PostPost by: gerrym » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:34 pm

Rich or is it Ken, the Tudor Webastos I have seen have a hunking great hardwood frame screwed into the roof which surely will restore the stiffness back to what it was prior to cutting a hole.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:22 am

gerrym wrote:
Re the MT75 blowup on Jerry's car, not surprising when you consider that reverse has synchromesh (original Ford Saloon application had a mechanical lockout in the shift lever).

Regards

Gerry


Hi Gerry,

I have a 6 speed in my other car which is a diesel so it doesn't rev much above 4500, if I have been driving it a lot I almost naturally look for 6th in the +2 at about 3500, but reverse is just slightly off to the bottom right on a dogleg so you would have to be pretty brutal or in a red mist to do it and as soon as I realise that there's resistance at the neutral part of the gate I go back into +2 five speed mode.

That drive sounds great fun from Aberdeen.

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:52 am

John Pelly, love your car, but you need to bring it over here so we can go through tunnels together!

Wot an offer!
Well maybe one day, who knows?
But you'd better keep your hands where I can see them :lol: :lol: :lol:
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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.
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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:11 am

i'm surprised spyder get away with no proper reverse lockout,thought that was a minimum requirement.
"He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy"
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:26 am

Many years ago when the 1st 7 Series BMW was a prototype a workmate of mine wrapped one up in the Armco on the high speed track at Nardo. He came out of it shaken but the (very expensive) prototype was a write off.
Needless to say, the car went into production with a reverse gear lock out.

Cheers
John
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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.
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PostPost by: SpyderRider » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:11 am

This is my first post, and I am very pleased and proud to announce that I?m the owner of Jerry?s +2, got it a couple of weeks ago now, and he did mention to me about the gear box. Although sticking it in reverse wasn?t actually what he said :!:

I got the message that it didn?t sound quite right on the way back from the MOT so Spyder were removing it to send the ?box to a specialist for them to have a look at!

Have been enjoying the car, but takes a lot of getting used to. I?ve also got a Caterham, and the ride in the +2 seems a bit spongey compared with the Caterham. I can adjust the suspension, but haven?t played with it at all. Still enjoying just driving it :P

There were a few minor problems on the way home, Spyder it seems hadn?t done the two lock nuts up on the throttle link screw joining the throttle cable to the bodies, and the car came to a graceful stop on the dual carriageway, but only a couple of minutes and we were off again. They hadn?t tightened up some of the water hoses after reinstalling the engine, again only a very minor point.

Something that?s a bit more annoying is that the speedo has now stopped working. I believe the speedo is ok, as the cable from the gear box is no longer turning. I couldn?t see where the speedo cable joins the ?box and am hoping that it can be accessed from inside the car. (please advise)

There are indeed a few things that need finishing, in particular there are no rear armrests, which is annoying. Also the rear heated window doesn?t work, seems that the heater lugs have been cut off! I was interested to read about the harsh polybushes, do you think that would cause the spongey ride?. I would have thought the opposite would be true. Andy and Sean suggested I changed the brake pads sometime soon, as the ones fitted weren?t up to much. They don?t seem that bad, but I don?t have much to compare it with.

I?ve now fitted a stereo, with the main unit in the boot and just a face plate mounted on the dash, as was suggested by another post. Works fine but took about 4 days! I wasn?t expecting to have to remove so much of the dash to access enough space to mount the face plate. Also wasn?t expecting to have to remove the steering just to fit a stereo!

If anyone knows the paint code for it I would be grateful. Jerry says it?s a Peugeot colour, although he hasn?t heard back from the bodyshop with the actual paint code.

One thing that wasn?t done was the ECU map. The Emerald only has a base map in it. I?ve spoken to Emerald and they have a 6 ? 7 week wait on their rolling road, so thought it would be a great time to play around with the maps, before it gets set up properly (please see my post regarding ECU maps)

I can understand Jerry putting it in reverse, the box isn?t as good as the Caterhams one. I cant see why the caterham box cant be put into the +2. Caterham also uses the Zetec engine and therefore the bell housing should be able to fit correctly. Perhaps there is a difference in the length of the two ?boxes but I wouldn?t have expected it to be a large difference. Is it possible to change the ratio of just one set of gears?. It would be nice if 5th were more of a cruising gear with lower revs.

I did go and see the spyder up at Paul Mattys, it drove fine, and confirm the paint work was in poor state considering the money spent on the car. I didn?t think the interior was to bad, the colour was ?OK? it looked darker then the photos showed it and can?t say I noticed anything wrong with the quality of the leather work etc. I has a sun roof which I was considering getting fitted to mine. I believe I brought the best of the two cars.

Anyway, if theres anything else you can tell me about my new car I would very much like to know.

Thanks
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PostPost by: richgilb » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:52 am

That makes five of us then. It won't be long before us fundamentalist modifiers take this forum over....
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:27 am

SpyderRyder (Andy?)

Welcome to the forum, you have definitely bought the better of the 2 cars, it was a bargain! Perhaps the car at Matty's had all its problems resolved apart from the paint, if it drove well and was fine apart from paint they should be able to shift it without too much trouble.

Your speedo problem will be down to the right angle speedo drive on the gearbox, this was probably recycled from the old Lotus gearbox. These things just have a flexible inner cable that snaps when it gets old. Mine went after a year, but I chickened out and got Spyder to do it for me as it's a bit of a fiddly job to do lying on your back.

Don't worry about your gearbox, it was repaired properly and there wasn't much damage, just remember there are 5 forward gears only and don't get all ham fisted like Jerry obviously did. I asked Andy Widnall about the 6 speed Caterham unit, but he says the linkage can't be modified to put the gearlever in a sensible enough position. As for swapping cogs, Burton Power should be able to advise, but with your paint job it would mean lifting the body off again unless you wanted to chance removing the engine and box through the engine bay....ouch that scrape was expensive!! etc etc.

Hopefully you got a full set of Classics Monthly detailing the build of the car with your purchase? I'm not sure if your springs and dampers are the standard Spyder offering as Jerry did the rounds of all the major manufacturers basically blagging all he could in return for a write up. My car is set up firm but compliant with the ride height a little bit higher than i would like, but thats to cope with the local speedhumps, it certainly isn't soft but then i don't drive a Caterham, so I don't know what you are used to.

Option 1 painted your car http://www.option1sportscars.co.uk/ give them a call, I'm sure they will give you the details.

Just read your post on Emerald and have replied.


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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:39 am

lotusanglia1965 wrote:i'm surprised spyder get away with no proper reverse lockout,thought that was a minimum requirement.


My new BMW MINI diesel doesn't have a lock out for reverse. It's parallel to 1st gear and if you are heavy handed selecting first from neutral you can get reverse.

The gate pattern on the MT75 when fitted to a +2 is a little odd, but soon got used to.
1st is top left diagonally from neutral, second is bottom left diagonally from neutral, third is straight up 4th is straight down 5th is top right diagonally from neutral and reverse is bottom left diagonally from neutral (but a bit further).

The fun part is, when I drive my Mini a lot I sometimes think my +2 has a 6th gear, although I have never got past taking it out of 5th and into neutral whereupon syncro or no syncro reverse there is a LARGE amount of resistance, it just doesn't happen and I maintain you have to be really hamfisted to do it.

The other side is when I drive my +2 a lot, I jump into the Mini and have to think real hard about where 1st gear is. The lever sits in the middle of the gate so straight up is 3rd and straight down is 4th, being a nice neat Gertrag unit you just have to move the gear lever slightly left until slight resistance is felt and go straight up into 1st. The danger is that I go too far left overcoming the spring resistance and going into reverse. It won't cause any damage to the gearbox, but I might damage the car one day :shock: My worst fear is doing this at a junction or traffic lights, but I have only ever done this by mistake once and that was on my driveway :wink:

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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:07 pm

I used to do the same in my wife's merc,embarrassing on the drive when we were about to set off,usually followed by,shall i drive :lol:
i'm sure that there should be a light spring to overcome to get first and a much heavier spring to go further and get reverse,effectively a lockout,though not in the true sense.
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PostPost by: blackandgold » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:14 am

Congratulations on buying Jeremys car I followed the whole project in Classic Monthy
Unfortunately he came unstuck with the body work and the time frame involved leading
to a blow out in cost, also his confusion in the spec lead to some unessary expence such
as the roller barrel induction for the Zetec which would be better used in a higher spec engine

In the final storey of the car he said he wanted the car to be initiatly a
Type 50R but then decided to use it as everyday car for his wife, in the end he developed
a real dislike for the car especialy the gearbox and how it compared with the four speed he
was used to, although it seemed similar to the Lotus five speed of the +2 in the final comparison

So after all the expense and time he was too scared to drive it in case it got scratched or damaged
and put it up for sale

As far as the ride quality of your car goes remember the standard cars have a fairley soft compliant ride
and spyder has tryed to replicate with there selection of suspension parts so perhaps there is mismatch of the componants that Jerry chose for the car ?

I will be interested in what the power figares are for your car when you get it on a dyno
Mark

1973 +2 S130 with BDA
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PostPost by: EMA7K » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:36 pm

Alan

I know what you mean about the BMW Mini. I bought the Cooper version for my wife and although I don't drive it often I often select reverse instead of first. I think it is far too easy to do this, especially if you don't drive the car a lot. With respect to Zetec Elans. I bought one built by a retired Saab engineer in 2007. Because the guy was retiring to Spain I got the car off him at the bargain price of ?12K. I had the car checked over by Andy at Spyder and he gave it the thumbs up. Apart from a few teething problems the car is now fast, reliable, and in daily use. Initially I found the MT75 box notchy, especially when cold but now I have put 3000 miles on it it is a nice smooth change and almost as good as my Sprint.

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