Lotus Elan

Another Newbie Needing Some (Very) Basic Advice

PostPost by: tr8bofin » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:28 am

After years of aspiring to Lotus ownership I finally realized my +2 aspirations and I'm the new owner of a very nice driver quality 71 Elan +2 130S! I sold an Alfa GTV that I owned for almost 25 years to make room in my small stable so I'm pretty stoked. Of course the previous owner left a few jobs to do right off the bat. The two obvious issues are an emergency brake that will not fully push home to disengage and a problem with the charging system. You wouldn't know it from the questions below but I'm a reasonably competent wrench so I'm anxious to get going.

The car came with nothing apart from keys. I don't have a jack or service manual.

Anyone have any ideas regarding a good, comprehensive shop manual I should look out for?

Mine has the steel wheels with center hub 'earless' knockoffs but no tool to remove them! Anyone have a spare tool to sell or have ideas regarding a source or know of a common tool that will suffice?

What is the safest place to place the trolley jack when lifting the car front and back?

Finally, who are to go-to guys for parts here in the US and in the UK?

I look forward to the day when I can begin to give back some knowledge on this wonderful forum, but for now, pity the neophyte. Any assistance is warmly appreciated.

Best Regards, Al Jacob
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:54 am

Hi Al

Congratulations on joining the few lucky enough to get to enjoy a Lotus :D

You can buy large hex spanners for the wheel nuts. Its a good idea to get a socket and use a torque wrench to get the 200 ft lbs required.

I jack my plus 2 or support the body on jack stands under the corners of the body behind the front wheel and ahead of the rear wheel using a load spread piece of timber about 8 inches x 4 inches. If putting on jack stands I jack under the front cross member again using a load spreading piece of timber as you will deform it if you don't and under the chassis just next to the inner front, rear suspension pivots for the rear again spreading the load with timber.

You can buy workshop manuals and parts manuals new or you see them on Ebay

In recent times I have used Dave Bean and JAE for parts from the USA and Paul Matty, Burton, QED and Sue Miller in the UK

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:12 am

Welcome aboard Al. They are wonderful cars. I had an Alfa Berlina 'back in the day'. Props for keeping a GTV running for 25 years!

To add a couple of suppliers to Rohan's list

R D Enterprises in PA. Ray has a very nice on line parts catalog at http://www.rdent.com/ Click on the button upper left.

Sports Car World down your way also has a good web site, but I can't seem to get it to work tonight?

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/sports-car-world ... rts-dallas

Jeff at JAE and all the guys at Dave Bean are terrific as well. The Dave Bean catalog in hard copy is highly recommended as a first purchase to get your account set up. Here are some links.



For the wheel knockoff nuts, they are often called 'Nader Nuts'. Note they are octagonal rather than hexagonal. Ray has a large wrench on his web site under 'Tools'. It looks better than the one I bought a while ago from him; mine was formed out of thinner metal and would distort when getting up to the required 200 lb ft.

RD Enterprises KO Wheel Nut Wrench.jpg
Ray's revised wheel wrench
RD Enterprises KO Wheel Nut Wrench.jpg (43.74 KiB) Viewed 980 times

The other option is one of these from Jas...


They are an excellent tool. I got the one with the thru hole for a bar, but would go for the 1" socket model with a torque wrench. If getting a large torque wrench, make sure it 'clicks' in both directions to tighten the left hand thread side of the car. :wink:

Regarding jacking, agree with Rohan. I made up 3/4" thick plywood pads to allow lifting on the floor if required. be VERY careful placing the pad too close to the vertical wall by the rear wheel well / seat area; any compression on the vertical will collapse the fibreglass (you don't have to ask how I know this). I also made up 1" plywood pads that fit under the entire rear wishbones (slotted for the brake rotor) and use the trolley jacks under the pads to get the rear up. Find this easier than maneuvering blocks under the rear frame around the exhaust. One caution is to avoid compressing the frame by the diff as it makes it very difficult to remove for service.

For sure inspect the condition of the steel rocker rails prior to using the jacking holes provided on the lower rocker. It is very common for the rails to be dust at this point, and damage could be caused to the fibreglass if used. Replacement rails are available. To check condition, remove the metal covers from the wheel wells and shine a flashlight down the rocker plenum.

Not sure of exactly what is going on with the emergency brake, but there are several excellent threads here on getting it to work correctly. If you can't find them with the search feature, let us know and we can dig up some links for you that explain some of the quirks. One popular mod involves some light springs to keep the pads off the disc (if that is part of your issue).

For the shop manual, you want the Lotus Workshop Manual (WSM) for your model and year. I got mine here as a reprint. The Plus 2 WSM covers all the models I think. You might also want the parts book for the exploded diagrams.


For the charging system, a popular mod is to replace the original generator / control box with a compact Nippon Denso alternator with integral regulator. Either Ray or Dave Bean can fix you up with a kit including mount, belt, etc. That said, the first thing to check electrically is the condition of the main chassis grounds. The rear ground on the boot floor is often moved up to the right rear chassis tower bolt as this stays out of the weather and is a threaded hole directly into the frame. Another important tip; do not be tempted to run the belt too tight as the water pump is not that robust and the engine has to come out to replace it. :shock:

HTH and welcome aboard.

1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:05 pm

Welcome, good to see another "local" +2 owner! I am just up the road in Austin. Would be good to see some pic of the car, love to see the car if your passing Austin in it at some point.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: tr8bofin » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:13 pm

Thanks to Rohan and Stu for the inauguration. Invaluable info and I'll report back once I'm up and running. I can now sort the handbrake with no (less?) worries that I'll damage something when I lift the car.

Mbell, I make it to Austin regularly so I hope we'll meet soon.

Best Regards, Al
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:38 am


Your handbrake issue may be as simple as adjusting the switch at the forward end of the handbrake handle. Note that the switch is threaded and there is a locking nut to tighten when the adjustment is right.

I use a piece of 2 x 6 lumber about a foot long to pushed up into the frame at the back above the exhaust, then I lift on that piece of wood . You will have to taper the edge of the wood to be able to get in in and out around the exhaust.

Welcome aboard,

'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
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PostPost by: cal44 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:17 pm

Oh.......another Elan Plus 2 guy. Pictures please.

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