Lotus Elan

Welcome to the Elan + 2?

PostPost by: 1969E+2 » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:42 pm

Hello everyone,

I just bought a 1969 elan plus two, what a nice car. I had a very pleasant drive home after buying it for about 100 miles, no issues and smooth ride. One day later the car broke down in city traffic as the cooling fan is not working. Luckily I have breakdown cover and wanted to get the car checked out anyway. Now I was wondering what standard 'equipment' you guys always carry in the car with you. Oil? Water? Number of the breakdown recovery company? :)
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:22 am

ah memories ... when i first got my +2 on the road we put the kids in the back & went for a sunday afternoon maiden voyage with toolbox in the back and broke down after abt 10 miles . 'Twas the ignition coil so nothing could be done except wait for breakdown lorry...
Once you get fettling and sort out the niggles you should be fine .
I still have original fanbelt driven fan and never had overheating probs so have never carried water or oil in the car , but you might like to think of a fire extinguisher....
I have mine stashed under the front of passenger seat for easy access. Never needed it tho'.
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PostPost by: peterako » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:59 am

What's in my +2 boot at the moment:

Spare tyre (duh :) )
Metre long wheel nut spanner.
Low jack and a piece of ply.
Tools - to cover all accessable items.
Spare Distributor and Coil (!)
Brake Fluid
Gallon of Petrol
Carb balancing thingy
Some spare nuts and bolts and some bushings.

In the car - Fire Extinguisher

All I've needed has been the Petrol, the odd drop of oil and brake fluid and the spare tyre (jack and spanner)

I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
'73 +2S 130/5
Opel Zafira, Some bicycles, Wife, Kids, Cats, Dogs....chickens....cluck cluck...goldfish...ducks flew away!
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PostPost by: elansprint » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:28 am

RAC card & a mobile phone
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PostPost by: 1969E+2 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:48 pm

Thanks for your replies and luckily the boot is not too small so that I can fit in the list of items...;)

I think the fire extinguisher is a good idea and I will get one. How big are yours?
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:52 pm

Trying to remember when my +2 let me down (it's been off the road for many years for restoration).

Things that spring to mind include:
5 speed gearlever snapped at the circlip groove luckily this was at home while engaging reverse
Clutch slave cylinder came loose (circlip groove again!) - drove onto kerb so I could refit it
Top hose sprang a leak (fixed with a service station repair kit)
Wiper blade flew off, swapped blade from passenger side

Good luck
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:01 pm

Once you have sorted the fan out, unless you know it has been done recently I would give it fresh oil and filter and coolant.

Change all the plugs and leads and fit a new distributor cap. Buy a spare coil - or replace the current one.

That should pre-empt the usual ignition based breakdown.

I am insured with Hagerty and it includes Europe wide recovery.
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PostPost by: 1969E+2 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:23 pm

Turns out the problem with the fan had very little to do with the car and more with the driver itself as there is a switch underneath the stearing wheel.... :oops:

Asked my workshop to check everything else and it sounds like everything is in good condition. In the meantime I got some water and oil to keep in the car as well as a fire extinguisher. There is also a mallet to remove the earnut on the wheels and a scissor jack. The only issue is that the jack does not seem to have the 'bolt' on top so that it goes into the jacking point. Can one buy them or is it better to get a new/different jack?
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:01 am


I'd say the problem was more with the PO not informing you - the switch is not standard - but it is popular to wire in a fan over-ride though it's usually to force the fan on rather than off ! Lazy wiring.

So you need to make sure you have a thermostatic switch somewher to control the fan. Originally it was an 'otter switch' pushed into the top of the radiator, but it may have been replaced a Kenlowe type unit or even an in-line hose controller - should be easy to follow the wires coming out of the fan.

So give it a good service as John outlined and make sure your fan comes on - checking in the driveway is more convenient than breaking down in town.

Oil, water and brake fluid are sensible things to carry as of course fuses, bulbs and I'm going to put an umbrella in my boot - thanks, Peter. The jack is a collectors item in itself, so if you can't modify yours with a long bolt then a cheap scissor jack and a sqaure of ply to spread the load.

I bought a restored +2 from Paul Matty - somehow on the trip back to France in a closed transporter the alternator died. Not wanting overheating problems I fitted a Kenlowe fan and controller - within a month the controller broke and the car overheated. A mechanic told me that it is not uncommon for modern electronic fan controllers to fail - don't know if that's true but it could explain your underdash fan switch.

As for the fire extinguisher I don't know - I bought the one that was on specail offer whilst doing the food shopping.

Have fun with your +2.


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