Lotus Elan

Another Zetec +2 project

PostPost by: mds4544 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:47 pm

IMG_1420.JPG and
Spyder Cars Zetec chassis
So, here is my first post as my Elan project gets some momentum. My wife has always wanted to own an Elan - ideally an S4 but the prices are high and this vehicle will need to be a regularly used London based vehicle so the +2 made sense. The car was bought as very incomplete kit of parts in April. The key item missing is the engine so, after some careful thought and a lot of reading on this forum and other sources the decision is to go Zetec. All the reasons for and against this choice have been rehearsed on the forum I am sure but for us the lack of the original engine means this car can never me a matching numbers classic. The price of a replacement twin cam and the desire for a reliable and reasonably green vehicle that will do 6,000 to 10,000 miles a year based in London make up the reasoning.

The body has been removed from the chassis and the team at Spyder Cars have kindly supplied their new Zetec ready chassis and are making hubs for the bigger brakes as I write. The car will have the MT75 box and Sierra diff and the engine will be set up in Spyders' standard ECU and EFI configuration - I am not going for any tuning as I reckon 170bhp will be a great road drive in the Elan and there is no plan for track use.

The body was well prepped by the previous owner but is now residing with Kevin ready for him to rub down and paint but it will be far better done when the chassis is back under the car and I hope that will be done by the end of June.

The interior was oatmeal vinyl but a PO seems to have added chocolate brown panels to the seats and parcel shelf - very '80s perhaps?? Anyway, I have sourced two MX5 seats for safety (headrest) and all the rest will be re-trimmed in leather later on.

I would be grateful for any advice on the way to finishing this and I have already had loads of help from Spyder themselves. However, there are couple of questions already on my mind if anyone has a view or any experience:

Has anyone got a pair of door cards they don't need please? - I would buy new but they will be recovered so a scruffy pair would be fine.

I have read the posts on the air temperature gauge but would be interested in any suggestions for other solutions people have adopted.

Lastly, I am thinking of trying to install aircon as it is so prevalent in modern cars and I think we will miss it on the longer journeys we have planned (Northern Spain for a start). Carbuilder have an in car unit that looks compact enough, the challenge is finding a way of fitting the compressor onto the engine. I am aware Spyder are looking at this and I will turn to them for help I am sure but if there is any other experience out there it would be great to hear.

Thanks for your time if you have read this far!! More to follow......
Attachments
IMG_1313.JPG and
The body
At the bodyshop.JPG and
The body is off.....
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:41 am

Looks like a good project with the elbow work done on the body.

The oatmeal + Brown is factory fit. I have it in my car.

In the US I'd look at:
http://www.vintageair.com

For a.c. Not sure if you can get the same stuff in the UK or not. I think there smallest unit will fit behind the dash on the +2. There has been a couple of posts on ac installs on here but think they were all on twink's, so not sure if they will be helpful on pump placement.

I hope one day to fit a.c. to my car but probably not until I do a full body of and paint job on it.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Europatc » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:33 am

welcome mds4544 looks like you have your hands full. Keep us posted with progress
all the best
Stuart
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PostPost by: mds4544 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:10 pm

Thanks for the replies - the oatmeal and chocolate combination was original then so 1974 (the year of my car). The thought that it my be a mod came from the parcel shelf as the material is very poorly fitted and tatty - my guess now is it that it may have been damaged at some point and refitted earlier in its life.

I have had a quick look at vintage air so thanks for the link.

News is that the diff and box are ready and the suspension part will be done next week so I hope to build the rolling chassis the week after - so finished at the end of June as planned (I hope!!).

Thanks again
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:35 pm

Mines an October 73 car. I think it was an option to have fabric inserts. The brown is in good condition in my car (see pic).

The most useful pit of vintage air is the catalogue the first few pages do a good overview and the rest gives you a view in to what parts are available. I think a couple of people have fitted the mini HVAC behind the +2 dash.
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20130702_173337.jpg and
Oatmeal + Chocolate interior
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:09 pm

I have a source for new old stock smiths ambient temperature gauges as fitted to the +2 wither correct bezel, cost is roughly ?175. i don't know of any fixes for the gauge that work reliably. PM me if you want the details for where to get the gauge.

Compact air con units are available for Japanese micro cars so I see no reason why something couldn't be used for the Elan or +2, the zetec has room on the pulley for an extra belt to drive a compressor.

The problem with Spyder is that they are a small company with limited R&D facilities, you need to do the research yourself and then throw money at them to get anything done that isn't already part of their not inconsiderable repertoire. For instance the steering lock on a zetec +2 can be improved no end by altering the connection between the control arms and the track rod ends, this means the car can turn on a sixpence to use the old expression but it's at the expense of weight of steering, luckily my upper body strength is pretty good, but after driving my modern I'm wondering why my +2 doesn't have power steering. Ask Spyder and they will tell you they are working on it.

I'm using my +2 zetec as my everyday car whilst I have family visiting from Australia this summer ( they are borrowing my modern) I regularly clock up 6000 miles a year in it as well as 10,000+ in the modern and another 3000+ in my S4, it's a great car and amazingly practical and refined even by 2015 standards.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
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PostPost by: mds4544 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:19 pm

Thanks for the info Spyder fan - it is good to hear you getting on famously with your Spyder Elan!

My box, diff and running gear are ready so I will be building next week in between a bit of work to pay the bills!! Pics to follow.

I am on the look out for a bracket and a compressor for air con. There is a fitment for the Zetec as you say - the problem will be space in the engine bay I guess so planning to get the body on the chassis before going much further.

I will PM you about the gauge.

Thanks again
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PostPost by: gavk » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Good luck with the project.

My Zetec +2 is in SW London on a weekly basis so if you wish to take a look at anything then give me a shout.

With regards to the standard EFI Configuration as supplied by Spyder....

I assume you might be running an Emerald ECU?

When I purchased my car it was running the Standard Spyder Map on the Emerald ECU, it was TOTALLY wrong for my engine, the car was slow with a real lack of willingness to rev. In fairness my engine was not supplied by Spyder and was rumored to have had some head modifications so it fits that it wouldn't run perfectly on a standard map.

No disrespect to Spyder at all (my engine may have been an exception) but my experience at Emeralds rolling road was so good and the difference in performance was night and day, If you have any doubts about the ECU settings then for a few hundred pounds I would head over to Emerald, its a great experience, they are extremely friendly and knowledgeable guys and you can drive away safe in the knowledge that not only is your engine producing the right power, its also going to be efficient and not destroy itself with an excessively rich or weak mixture.

All the best,

Gavin
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PostPost by: mds4544 » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:33 pm

Many thanks for the offer gavk. I can see that could be very useful as the project moves along.

Next stage starts now as the hubs, struts uprated brakes and struts are all collected from Spyder (with many thanks). MT75 and sierra diff are rebuilt and ready to go in as well so rolling chassis it the aim in a couple of weeks time.

No reverse light switch on my MT75 is a challenge as they are NLA but I have a couple of routes to follow and hope for success.....

More follows once things get attached to the chassis.

Thanks again all.
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P1020181.JPG and
Parts galore!!
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:42 am

Cool project.

I was also missing a functioning reverse switch on my MT75. Big pain as it is a fail for our version of MOT inspection.

I used a lever micro switch similar to this one (can't remember the exact model) mounted with an ali strip on the tunnel, actuated by the gear lever. A bit fussy to adjust but still working fine after a few years. Console covered it all up.

http://www.alliedelec.com/honeywell-v7- ... /70118567/

HTH

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:01 am

Another smart Alberta Engineer fix, Stu! :wink: :mrgreen:

Looks good.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:55 am

How unique can a reversing light switch for an MT75 that it is NLA ?

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: c42 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:29 pm

This unique!

Rev switch.jpg
Rev switch.jpg (13.43 KiB) Viewed 1084 times


Looking for alternatives but might also have to go with the external micro switch.

Regards
John
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PostPost by: mds4544 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:27 pm

Hi

Quick update:

Car has suspension, brakes a diff and is about to get the engine and g/box installed. The nickel copper fuel lines are still to go in - I stopped installing them because they are being stubborn and I thought patience was best!.

Happy to report that the MT75 box reverse light switch was obtained form Bearingkits.co.uk and delivered very promptly.

More soon.....

Malcolm
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PostPost by: mds4544 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:27 pm

IMG_1608.JPG and
Latest pic


The engine and box are in now and I plan to move the chassis back to the workshop where it can be reunited with its body this week. Note the spacesaver wheels - keeps my new ones out of harms way.

MDS
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