Lotus Elan

New Lotus Owner - Elan +2 - Many silly questions inside!

PostPost by: GeForce Junky » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:40 pm

Hello, I'm new here, thought I'd introduce me and my car and ask many many questions!

I'm 24 and have owned a Hillman Imp since I was 17. I sold that a few months ago because my dad offered to give me his 1974 Elan +2. He had owned it for the last 15 years. In that time it has hardly covered any miles and hasn't moved at all in the last 4 years. It has always been left outside uncovered so it is in a bit of a state. The car is fairly wet and mouldy inside, but everything is complete and nothing looks badly corroded or salvageable.

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I have never driven this car as it has never been working since I've been able to drive. I remember how it use to smell and sound as a kid and used to love the interior. The rear seats were great for us as kids to sit in the back with a great view out the front due to the lack of headrests.

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When the car was last running the 4 speed gearbox and drive chain was working fine so fingers crossed they should still be fine.

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When my dad purchased it the chassis was a new replacement Spyder chassis so this is still in relatively good condition. The body has a few small cracks but overall seams to be very solid. The paintwork is very poor with large areas of paint flaking.

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The car still has the original 1600cc Lotus Twin Cam engine with the big valve head. I know this has had a unleaded conversion and was running when last used but with a very bad fueling problem from one of the twin Webber 40's.

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This project is probably going to be quite slow as I am not very good at quick car repairs! I want to get it running and mot'd first, I don't really care what it looks like, I just want to drive it. Sorting out the bodywork is last on the list. First thing to do is get the car rolling and stopping. The steering moves fine, feels smooth and doesn't knock. The suspension seams ok although its very soft! The main first problem is the brakes. So far I have removed the pedal box and the clutch and brake master cylinders are both solid. The clutch master was full of crystallised brake fluid! I think new ones are probably a safer bet than trying to refub these. Time for the first of many questions:

1. What size master cylinder for the brakes? Its got the original +2 brakes and I plan to remove the brake servo. Am I right in thinking the original is 0.7 but a 0.625 will give better brake feel with no servo but with a bit more brake travel?

2. What size master cylinder for the clutch?

3. Knock on wheels!! What are these things of mystery?? I haven't removed the wheels at all yet. I have a lead hammer and heard its best to put the lead hammer on the spinner then hit the hammer with a lump hammer, is that right? Do all 4 wheel undo anti-clockwise? How tight should they be done back up?

4. Any suggestions on tyres and size for the original steelies?

Thanks for the help
Chris
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:55 pm

Firstly welcome to the forum - you will get tons of valuable advice here i am sure.
Secondly what a kind Dad you've got. You have the basis of a great rolling restoration there. The search function on here will lead you to lots of great restoration threads that will act as a guide for you.

The spinners have arrows on them to tell you which way they unscrew - they say 160lb+ to do them up but how can you tell with a hammer? I'd recommend you get one of the spinner tools and use a torque wrench.

Think I'd get some oil downthe bores fairly early too - this might make turning the engine a bit easier when you get to it.

If you add your location to your profile you will most likely find there are members close to you who can be of help.
Steve

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PostPost by: GeForce Junky » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:16 pm

The engine does actually turn over very easily using a socket on the end of the crank. I did try and turn it over on the starter but nothing happens. I took the starter off and it worked fine with jump leads to a battery so I put jump leads straight to the starter having put it back on the car and nothing happens. My dad did mention he thought the starter ring on the flywheel was knackered so it could be the starter jamming. Need to jack the car up properly and have a look.

I'm not sure on how much of a restoration the car had but I believe it was a pretty substantial one 15 years ago with new chassis, repaint and general overhaul. Here's a photo of how it used to look:

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Beautiful!
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PostPost by: GeForce Junky » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:25 pm

I also found a photo of my dads old S4 which was stolen in the 80's I think. :cry:

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PostPost by: GeForce Junky » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:22 pm

Here is the corrosion to the master cylinders. With the circlip removed should the pistons try and pop themselves out? Not sure whether I can fix these or just buy some new ones.

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I just had a go at getting the wheels off and they came off with a bit of hammering. There is some surface rust but nothing look too bad other than the driveshaft donuts which are knackered.

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:51 pm

GeForce Junky wrote:Here is the corrosion to the master cylinders. With the circlip removed should the pistons try and pop themselves out? Not sure whether I can fix these or just buy some new ones.


You will need to "encourage" the piston out of the bore - tapping the open end of the bore on a block of wood on a good solid surface should do the trick. Don't be in a hurry to discard your mastercylinders, mine were in a similar condition and they are fine now. The surface crud will clean off and as long as the bores are not scored a thorough clean up and a new set of seals is all you need.
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Mcyl before.jpg and
Mcyl after.jpg and
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S4 DHC
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:36 pm

Greetings Chris,

Great to have kept it in the family and good luck with the recommissioning.

I suspect 99.99% of your forthcoming questions have been covered in some way in the "Plus 2" & "Things in Common" sections (Including the merits, or not, of dispensing with the servo on the heavier Plus 2)

So (as said above) time spent searching/perusing the archive won't be wasted...and any other questions put into either of the above sections will, no doubt, get responses faster than a fast thing

A couple of questions...

Q. Have you got the Workshop Manual, Parts List, Handbook, or other books with the car?

Q. Do you know if the sill members had any attention during the previous restoration work?

WRT the starter/non-starter you will find many references to poor battery earthing (to the chassis frame in the boot area) being a culprit...something easy to check amongst other things.

BTW - I bet you can't wait to get another 100 horses on tap! :) :wink:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eq5tVjduoQ

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:40 pm

yes , good luck Chris !
you might like to find out how to fix the windscreen rubbers/trim... i think they've been tricky to source in the past .
Is that why it's so wet inside ?
Rich
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PostPost by: niagra » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:50 pm

That's how wet mine looks inside, I thought it was the sunroof! So it could have come in via crusty windscreen seals?
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:28 pm

Welcome to +2 ownership and now the spending starts :lol: :lol:

1. What size master cylinder for the brakes? Its got the original +2 brakes and I plan to remove the brake servo. Am I right in thinking the original is 0.7 but a 0.625 will give better brake feel with no servo but with a bit more brake travel?

2. What size master cylinder for the clutch?


SJ Sportscars sells the brake Master Cyclinder (0.70) new for ?65.60 Or the repair kit for ?8.97

SJ Sportscars sells the clutch Master Cyclinder (5/8) ?38.70 or the repair kit for ?6.98

Jason
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PostPost by: GeForce Junky » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:44 am

That's how wet mine looks inside, I thought it was the sunroof! So it could have come in via crusty windscreen seals?


Yeah I'm pretty sure its the poor windscreen seal. I've got as far as removing all the carpet and underlining and seats from the passenger side so I can keep an eye on where the water is coming from. Sadly the car has to live outside if I want to work on it as it only just fits in my garage, its a bit of a mission to get out of the car once its in!

Q. Have you got the Workshop Manual, Parts List, Handbook, or other books with the car?

Q. Do you know if the sill members had any attention during the previous restoration work?


I do have the original Workshop Manual which seams pretty good. No idea on what previous work had been done unfortunately. The funny thing about that video of my Imp was it made just 24bhp at the wheels! Considering how little power it had it was awesome!

When I tried the starter I put jump leads straight onto the starter for both positive and earth. I might have another go now I've got the car jacked up a bit then have a go at cleaning up the master cylinders. Any ideas on what liquids to clean up the ali and encourage the pistons to start moving?

Cheers :D
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:56 am

Early +2 signed Chappers steering wheel? - wrong for the car but much nicer that the later one and worth a few quid, nice!

I would send the cylinders to Classicar Automotive for a rebuild if I were you. I think most of the replacement 'Girling' cylinders are made in China and supposedly not of good quality. Properly rebuilt originals will be better than overhauled or modern pattern parts. You can't take risks with the brakes IMHO. I would od the same with the calipers as well, then you know the brakes are 'right'.

A fair bit of time an money needed to get the old girl back onto the road I suspect but certainly worth it. Why did Dad let it go to seed in the first place :shock:

Jon
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:24 am

Another shout for classiccar automotive for the brakes. Send them your callipers (they look like they could do with overhauling) and they will come back like new. Don't bother trying to rebuild them your self (unless you are really tight for budget), they will never work or look as good.
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:02 pm

...as rebuilt by Classiccar Auto - you know it makes sense :wink:
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:39 pm

Or you could do a "CeeJay". He shows his excellent work here: elan-f14/rear-brake-caliper-rebuild-restoration-t22999.html

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