Lotus Elan

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

PostPost by: Jason1 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:02 pm

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?

I used Mr Muscle oven cleaner.

Mine where not great but maybe not as bad as yours. I bought a spare pair which were as bad as yours that needed a bit more encouragement. I used a footpump and the oven cleaner. Put lots on and kept pumping.

The callipers were easier as they had fluid in them.

50/0951 1968 Wedgewood blue +2, 1990 Mini Cooper RSP
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PostPost by: GeForce Junky » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:42 am

Any ideas what sort of price classiccar automotive would charge for a complete brake overhaul? Budget is quite important. I can defiantly not afford a proper restoration so its a case of doing as much as I can myself to get it up and running. I can't afford to pump loads of money into making it look pretty. Seeing as it needs 4 new rotoflexes I was thinking a CV drive shaft conversion would be nice but that's quite expensive, I'm guessing they are not the sort of thing that pops up second hand very often?

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

Yep, although I didn't know it wasn't the normal one! My dad never really used it enough as he rides a road bike everywhere. He doesn't even own a car anymore. It also broke a timing chain at one point and sat for a fair while whilst the head was rebuilt and it never really got used proper since due to fuelling issues and then from being sat for too long. The lack of a decent garage was always the main problem so it just got worse and worse.

I would love to be able to do and body off restoration but I don't have the dry indoor space or funds to do so. I'm currently unemployed which doesn't help, need to find a job!
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PostPost by: RichC » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:09 am

as oldelanman said, the master cylinders can look a hopeless case externally and seem to be seized but don't give up .
to start with, take 'em off the car ... it's probably one of the most time consuming and nasty jobs but it'll cost you very little if you can get away with just replacement seals .
remember that once you've taken the metal backplate off the car the water will piss in , even if the bonnet is closed .
a little tip is to tap the pistons 'in' a little just to break the seal the crud has made there may be rust on the underside of the piston if water has got in. then squirt in loads of lubricant ... whatever you have .
I seem to remember that petrol was very good at removing the crud from the bore that you can see in front of the piston ( agood soak may be needed). It's very important that you don't scratch the bore but it has to be dead clean in order for you to tap the piston 'out' by hitting the cylinder 'in'... it's surprising how easy this is to do , but if you've not done it before it's maybe tricky to understand . sometimes you have to tap the pistons 'in' again and add more wd40 or whatever, before trying to tap piston 'out' by tapping the cylinder 'in' but try to free up the pistons without damaging the bores with any sharp objects. Main thing is to be patient... first time i did this I wrote off the clutch master cylinder by hitting it too hard with a steel headed hammer before the wd40 had had time to seep in . subsequently |I used a copper headed hammer ... a lead hammer or a piece of wood to protect the mouth of the cylinder from hammer damage is recommended.
In the past I've used very fine wet & dry paper ( 800 grit and finer ) to remove any final imperfections in the bore and rust from piston .
let us know how you get on Chris !
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:08 pm

Hi Chris

Welcome to the forum. About 40 years ago I change my Imp for my Elan and I still have the Elan and collected a few other Lotus ( plus 2S 130 /5 and Esprit S1) over the years.

Loved the imp conventry climax designed engine and did my first engine developing on that and played with twinks ever since

You can get old master cylinders resleeved with a stainless steel liner and this may be a cheaper option than replacement if the bores are badly scored or corroded.

Lotus suspensions are very soft so it may be all OK.

Dont expect to end up with a car worth more than the cost in parts you put in!! but it sounds like your labor is available at this time and lots can be achieved with input of your own labor and a little spent on parts - read pissants low cost elan restoration posts in the "sows ear chassis" thread.

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