Lotus Elan

Thought i would have this winter off,but no!

PostPost by: vxah » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:48 pm

Well having just spent 7 months up till June in the garage on the Lotus Carlton i thought i might have a quiet winter this year... Until i lifted the +2 up to see why the handbrake had stopped working.... The n/s lotacone gave up allowing the whole hub etc to drop down overnight ripping the brake hose and tearing the drive shaft coupling in half!
In truth i have been thinking about a bit of a resto on the car for the last 15 years as it's been going home for a while now,I bought a new chassis in 1994 for ?500 but never quite got around to fitting it yet.. Ive now owned the car for just over 30 years so i guess it needs a freshen up?

Just not quite sure about the running gear? I did think about doing an engine swap to something more modern but well,i am not so sure about that now.. Really want to get a 5 speeder in it though as it just sounds so strained at speed,i have beed hording a ford Sierra box since 1990 for the job but now i read it's not quite that easy?
I started on Saturday and got the body off and the diff out!

Any thoughts?
Thanks, Julian.
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Need a bit of work yet!
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:31 pm

vxah wrote: have been thinking about a bit of a resto on the car for the last 15 years as it's been going home for a while now,

:lol: :lol:

Now don't go getting carried away - just swap the chassis over and put it back together and you will be back on the road in a couple of weeks. Then you can think of the mods for another 15 years... while still driving it!
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:09 pm

I thought there was an outfit making Lotus Elan specific 5 speeds. Am I wrong again?
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:55 am

AHM wrote:Now don't go getting carried away - just swap the chassis over and put it back together and you will be back on the road in a couple of weeks. Then you can think of the mods for another 15 years... while still driving it!


Brilliant advice!! Think twice before going too far.
Hands up if your car has been off the road for 15+ years.... 30+ here :oops:
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PostPost by: vxah » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:52 pm

There is indeed a guy up in the Liverpool area that does the 5 speeders... Spoke to him today,complete box with clutch,slave,prop yoke etc for ?2.4k Was shocked at first but then thinking about it thats not bad value in the scheme of things,i mean it's fully overhauled,pretty much plug and play. You don't need to rebuild you own box,buy a new clutch,release bearing,fork,slave etc....
But thats money i need to do the rest of the thing really....All well and good with it's new 5 speeder but if it just sits in the garage most of the time..Never needed it for the last 40 years :wink:

But really how good are these cars when sorted with a good chassis and without soggy oil soaked bushes and worn out ball joint,trunnions etc? My car has always been a bit rear end steery if you know what i mean? I guess that could be due to the rear bushes.. I would want the car to drive well when done even though i'm not too bothered about the bodywork yet...I read about adjustable rear arms and lower ball joint upgrades etc,are they really worth the extra expense?

Any views are welcome...Well almost!

Julian.
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PostPost by: cal44 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:47 pm

Julian,

if your rear end is steering the car..........your stuff is all messed up. If a Plus 2 is squared away, they are a joy to drive. Break out the wallet, buy all new parts............you'll see. And for gawd sakes replace the forty year old springs.

I don't know what the heck is up with people that think forty year old springs are just fine........they ain't.

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PostPost by: AHM » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:16 pm

Well I'd change 40 year old rubber bits, but I'm not sure I'd change a spring just because it was 40 years old.

vxah wrote:,are they really worth the extra expense

In my opinion no!

I have spent much of my elan ownership trying to overcome 'upgrades' and 'replacement' parts.

The chaps that designed the car knew a thing or two! So it is hard for the amateur to improve on. Properly sorted it will make you feel a better driver than you are. It is not a modern car so the rest is character, or character building... which is proportional to maintenance.
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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:51 pm

Well now,just a little update as i have been spending many nights locked in the garage!
So far i have stripped and rebuilt the suspension,steering, brakes and diff,all on a new Lotus chassis! Have to say nothing is easy, even when you buy new parts as many just don't fit 100%.

I have fitted new front shocks and springs,refurbished spyder front arms,all new ball joints and trunnions,new rear arms,all new bushes,new rear shocks,all new brake pipes and hoses,new brake calliper seals and pistons,new discs and pads all round,new handbrake cable and rods,new handbrake pads and refurbished the handbrake calliper mechanism,new wheel bearings,all new diff bearings and seals,rebuilt steering rack and new track rod ends.... Must have forgotten something as it's been so much work!

All parts have been stripped down and most grit blasted,then painted or hot zinc sprayed before reassembly.
Have to say that hot zinc spraying seems like pretty good rust proofing?

I intend to fit a type 9 five speed gearbox while i am at it so have one in bits doing a shifter mechanism mod, to bring it closer to the correct position. I thought about switching to 3.55 rear gears but the difference is too minimal compared to a 5 speed 0.82 ratio..

I stripped the engine down expecting it to be knackered but it's had a rebore at some time and there seems very little bore or crank wear...Not yet got it to the machine shop for a proper measure up..Hopefully very early in the new year.

I have refurbished the Spyder drive shafts,cleaning the cv joints and fitting new gators and new grease, only trouble is i can't get any new Rotoflex couplings! Seems like there are none in the country? Can anyone help on this? Maybe there are some in the USA? I have a friend coming over who could bring them in if anyone knows where he could buy them?

When i can get the pictures loaded up i will post them up!!
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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:23 pm

A few pictures..
Attachments
PA260047.JPG and
PA260049.JPG and
PA260060.JPG and
PA260054.JPG and
PA260046.JPG and
PA260045.JPG and
PA260058.JPG and
PA260057.JPG and
PA260044.JPG and
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:56 pm

Those front springs seem to have a lot of turns on them. Check out a recent post on binding springs that have afflicted a few owners, I think it was in December.
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PostPost by: vxah » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:53 pm

Thanks meg,i did read that thread and had a measure up! Iirc i have 18 turns on them,the same as one of the old ones! the other had 17 i think? I replaced them because the dirt covers had worn flats on the springs and weakened them.. I was worried that new ones would sit the front end up too high like i have seen on some cars with new springs so,i bought new shocks with adjustable spring seats... Shame really as the old ones were Koni's!
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:19 pm

Nice work.............done the right way. Luv it.......

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PostPost by: vxah » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:45 pm

I have now got the engine apart and it does seem a rebore is needed :? Thought it looked ok but when i measured it up i have 0.008" piston to bore clearance,more than twice what it should be.. The thing has already been bored 0.030" but that must have been well over 30 years ago because i have not done it!
So what to do next? A mate did say he would swap a spare 701M block he has that has only been bored 0.020", so that i could have it machined to suit my pistons but, i need to check the ring grooves first because my pistons could be scrap? Only thing is that would mean it's not a matching numbers car i guess,if that really matters?
I also have an idea about making it a 1760cc engine... He has a crossflow crank laying about as well :wink: I am thinking,if i need to buy pistons get ones for a stroker engine? I understand the rod to stroke ratio might be a bit iffy but,is it going to matter for a road car? I'm off to cc the chambers now to work out what the compression might be! :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: AHM » Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:41 pm

Looking Good!

What next -
See if you can get away with a +.040 re-bore.
Buy new pistons.
Assemble
Drive!

Dream about upgrades later!.... ECU, Fuel injection.

Also before you doo too much more check the handbrake cable length by attaching it to the lever now. Much easier to check and adjust as it is, while the body is off.
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PostPost by: vxah » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:31 pm

Well,pistons are shot by the looks of it, 0.002" wear on the rings but 0.004" on the pistons :roll:
Need to find some pistons to suit the 77mm stroke and low deck 701M block..

Oh valve guides worn,valve stems worn,follower bores ok but followers worn :|
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