Lotus Elan

Couple of questions

PostPost by: Dave Fowler » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:09 am

Hello one and all,

I'm new to this forum and indeed to the delights of Lotus ownership - I've just bought a 1972 Plus 2 and it's wonderful. I'm puzzled by one thing and have a query on another:

First, the puzzlement - I can only get less than eight gallons into the tank, even when it's empty. When I picked the car up on Saturday it was empty enough to splutter a few times on the way to the nearest garage, but even then I could only get about 34 litres into it. At this point the petrol gauge showed as under three-quarters full. Yesterday it went below the quarter-full mark on the gauge, the warning light started to flicker and soon came on solid. I filled it again, this time getting less than 30 litres in. I can only guess that a smaller tank has been fitted, but the original gauge (and maybe sensor?) left in place. This isn't an issue in itself, as I'll get used to it, but I can't really see why anybody would have fitted a smaller petrol tank in the first place. Any ideas?

Second, are there any good options for stereos on the Plus 2? Mine has its original radio (I think), which looks good, but I'd like to be able to get FM radio and listen to my iPod when driving. I know there are some threads on this subject already, but they're a couple of years old and things may well have changed in the meantime.

Needless to say, all help and advice gratefully received!
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:36 am

Hi Dave - welcome to the forum.

Filling the tank on a plus 2 is notoriously difficult, just the way the tank is designed unfortunately. Quite often the fuel will bubble up the neck and look like it's full but will then filter down and you can get more in. They are also slow fillers so full flow from the pump will cause the same problem, I have to trickle mine in for the last gallon or so. The only way I've managed to fill it completely was when on a forecourt with a slope across the car. This may be your problem rather than a smaller tank. Or it could be the sender is telling lies but as it sounds like you've had starvation seems unlikely.

Re radios - you may have already found this in the archives but, you can get the original radios converted to FM and with an mp3 jack input, but it's not cheap. About ?250.00 so I recall. The original radios a very shallow so modern units are unlikely to fit. Some have modified the heater casing to get more depth, others just leave the radio sticking out a bit. There are some period units with FM if you can find one.

I'm sure others will pitch in with other options..

Cheers

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PostPost by: jono » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:48 am

I believe there is a breather / vent modification you can perform to the tank to overcome or improve the filing issue
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:57 am

Hi Dave and welcome!

I agree with Robbie about the fuel filling "experience";as Jono says there are several vent mods on offer which may help the problem although I think that these mods are primarily to get rid of the petrol fumes issue-the fuel vent pipes on the Plus 2/S130 go up and over the cabin behind the headlining before venting just in front of the rear wheels on each side.Several threads on this forum and Paul Matty Sportscars, a B'ham based specialist of Lotus, offers a mod.

Radio-be careful.Again,as others have said,the depth behind the dash is minimal and most radios stick out - fitting one just spoils the whole look of the car/dash. Vintage Wireless in Sale,Cheshire on 01619730438 will most certainly be able to help you.

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PostPost by: live_ade » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:22 pm

It's probably worthwhile taking a look at the breather pipes, they (as mentioned) go up and over the roof (above the headlining) and exit through the wheel arch...check there's no blockage in the wheel arch..not sure how best to check elsewhere unless you disconnect at the tank end.
I haven't used my +2 for some while so can't easily comment on how long it takes to fill up.
as mentioned - there is a mod to the original arrangement..it was published in Club Lotus mag, if you're a member you can ask for the bulletin.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:36 pm

Slightly off-topic (mine is a S3, not a +2) but Ive had an interesting experience with fuel. When I fill the tank if I don't run some serious miles, it will overflow significantly when it sits in warm weather. Anyone else seen this? :?
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PostPost by: Dave Fowler » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:32 pm

Thanks very much for the replies; I guess the tank filling is just a thing I'll have to get used to until (or unless) I go for the mod(s) mentioned. Comments about breather tube positioning make sense too, as there tends to be a slight whiff in the passenger compartment from time to time. The car had a nice little leak on the pump when I bought it, but I've fixed that - I'll keep on checking just to be certain though.

One supplementary on fuel. Yesterday, after filling it up as far as I could, I drove about ten miles then stopped. I checked the filler and the petrol was still showing in the spout, so I guess it must take a long time to drip into the tank, if it gets there at all before the pump sucks it through.

On stereos, I'd been told that the space is highly restricted (in fact, I'd seen a car with a modern stereo fitted, which protruded rather nastily). I may well go for one of the units which Robbie mentioned - I don't want a massive system with booming speakers in the boot, but I do like to hear Hank Williams (or whoever else I may choose) as I drive. Hell, if my iPod played through a bog-standard unit can make itself heard in my 2CV, I reckon it should be able to manage in the Lotus.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:43 pm

One thing I forgot to mention - If you have FM capable radio then there are transmiters available to broadcast your ipod to a tunable FM frequency. Itrip for example..

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:55 am

Dave, welcome aboard.

For the fuel issue, perhaps try removing the two vent lines and blowing compressed air through them to see if the lines are clear, and filling tank with them off to see if this is the issue. Mine were in very bad shape, all yellowed and hardened. Unfortunately replacement in the original position requires removal of the headliner, which requires removal of the glass to refit.

For the radio, I can send you a photo of my heater mod if you like. It didn't work for me as the stereo was still WAY to deep to install even with max relief put into the heater box. Others have posted they got this to work, but I expect they had an older head unit that was way shallower than a current unit. One's I looked at typically have mounting depth of 7 1/4 to 7 1/2", and this does not include all the wire out the back. I would estimate the max depth with heater box mod at about 5 1/2".

My solution is this unit

http://www.casmfg.com/Secretaudio.htm

The box is mounted in the trunk. The small head unit contoller mounts in the dash, and only protrudes about 1/4" behind the dash. Unit plays a second gen iPod Nano directly plugged into the box (controlled from head unit). Also plays thumb drive stored tunes. Does not have CD in head unit, but changer can be added to trunk. Manual says FM can be set to your tuning range your side of pond, but I have not checked this feature. Sounds OK. I used an amp, but not required. Has Sirius sat radio direct conect, but this does not work with a Stileto tuner (I tried). Was able to connect Sirius tuner to audio in; just requires tuning using the Silletto rather than the head unit. Hoping they build the required interface box to be able to connect the portable Sirius tuners; other manufacturers like Alpine, Kenwood, clarion, all have these available so may happen in the future. Styling of the SST Model is way better than their earlier effort. Overall happy with the unit, and wish I had done it right off the bat.

HTH
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PostPost by: Dave Fowler » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:22 am

stugilmour wrote:Dave, welcome aboard.

For the fuel issue, perhaps try removing the two vent lines and blowing compressed air through them to see if the lines are clear, and filling tank with them off to see if this is the issue. Mine were in very bad shape, all yellowed and hardened. Unfortunately replacement in the original position requires removal of the headliner, which requires removal of the glass to refit.

For the radio, I can send you a photo of my heater mod if you like. It didn't work for me as the stereo was still WAY to deep to install even with max relief put into the heater box. Others have posted they got this to work, but I expect they had an older head unit that was way shallower than a current unit. One's I looked at typically have mounting depth of 7 1/4 to 7 1/2", and this does not include all the wire out the back. I would estimate the max depth with heater box mod at about 5 1/2".

My solution is this unit

http://www.casmfg.com/Secretaudio.htm

The box is mounted in the trunk. The small head unit contoller mounts in the dash, and only protrudes about 1/4" behind the dash. Unit plays a second gen iPod Nano directly plugged into the box (controlled from head unit). Also plays thumb drive stored tunes. Does not have CD in head unit, but changer can be added to trunk. Manual says FM can be set to your tuning range your side of pond, but I have not checked this feature. Sounds OK. I used an amp, but not required. Has Sirius sat radio direct conect, but this does not work with a Stileto tuner (I tried). Was able to connect Sirius tuner to audio in; just requires tuning using the Silletto rather than the head unit. Hoping they build the required interface box to be able to connect the portable Sirius tuners; other manufacturers like Alpine, Kenwood, clarion, all have these available so may happen in the future. Styling of the SST Model is way better than their earlier effort. Overall happy with the unit, and wish I had done it right off the bat.

HTH


Hi Stu,

Thanks for all that - very helpful indeed. I'll check out the vent tubes when I get the chance; as the car itself is pretty original I wouldn't be surprised if that's the root cause of the filling issue.

I'm nowhere near bold enough to start modifying the heater! The link you've posted looks very good though assuming, as you say, that the FM side of it works OK over here. I'm not bothered about CDs as my iPod Classic contains everything I've got (and has room for all my vinyl once I get around to doing it). As my car has its original radio in place it would be a shame to lose the look of it, so it's either a hidden system (the head unit you have could go in the glove box) or having the insides of the current one changed while retaining its looks. Neither will be cheap, I'm sure, so it will all depend on when I have the necessary pennies!
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