Lotus Elan

Radiator doesn't fit?

PostPost by: rodsandyachts » Sun Jan 29, 2017 3:56 pm

NOTE ADDED: Paul Matty called me personally. He said this hasn't been a problem before with their part but nevertheless refunded me the cost. I have to say this is a very fair response and a sign of a business that looks after its customers and values its good reputation.


Hi
I just purchased the wide radiator with fan from Paul Matty.

I shipped my car from the UK to LA a couple of months ago and the original rad was tired and the set up would not stand a chance when things warm up here - so I went for a new one.

The service was amazing. The radiator arrived in five days.

But the part is a problem. First the side mount brackets were too wide at the bottom half, so I had to trim 1/4 inch of either side to get the radiator into position. But worse was to come.

I used the pre-drilled holes in the new rad and the original holes in the mount brackets on the car to bolt it in. Looked fine - never thought there would be a height issue. Closed the bonnet / hood, and the radiator cap punched a crack in the bonnet. Either the rad is too tall or the pre-drilled holes are in the wrong place.

Anyway one step forward two steps back is always a challenge. Anyone else had this problem?

Cheers
Simon
Last edited by rodsandyachts on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:26 am

There are at least 2 styles of the mounting plates, some with corner chamfers that mount the radiator lower & some that do not.

I had a pair powder coated, then fitted them to my radiator & then the radiator cap hit the hood, fortunately I did not damage anything :roll:

I have attached a picture of the 2 designs of side brackets, you can see the different mounting holes...

img_5056.jpg and
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:39 am

pharriso wrote:There are at least 2 styles of the mounting plates, some with corner chamfers that mount the radiator lower & some that do not.


Those look more like the brackets for the narrow radiator than the wide one. The wide radiator mounts directly to the right angle brackets in the body.

I believe the wide radiator is just a spit fire unit with rotated inlet/outlet. So the holes may not elan specific.

My wide unit is ex spitfire and think I had to adjust the brackets and certainly full new hole to fit it.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:10 am

The wide Triumph spitfire based radiator requires the bottom sides to be trimmed to some degree in most Elans to fit the shell. Some suppliers don't understand this. When I converted an ex Spitfire one to fit my S4 Elan I could use the existing mounting holes. The radiator cap I had relocated to the Lotus position on the side and i ensured the neck for the cap was short so the cap did not come up above the top of the radiator. Where is the radiator cap located on the one you have?

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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:41 am

mbell wrote:
pharriso wrote:There are at least 2 styles of the mounting plates, some with corner chamfers that mount the radiator lower & some that do not.


Those look more like the brackets for the narrow radiator than the wide one. The wide radiator mounts directly to the right angle brackets in the body.

I believe the wide radiator is just a spit fire unit with rotated inlet/outlet. So the holes may not elan specific.

My wide unit is ex spitfire and think I had to adjust the brackets and certainly full new hole to fit it.


Yes, they are.. Sorry.. didn't notice that the post was about the wide radiator! :roll:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:58 am

pharriso wrote:There are at least 2 styles of the mounting plates, some with corner chamfers that mount the radiator lower & some that do not.

I had a pair powder coated, then fitted them to my radiator & then the radiator cap hit the hood, fortunately I did not damage anything :roll:

I have attached a picture of the 2 designs of side brackets, you can see the different mounting holes...

IMG_5056.JPG


I believe the chamfered ones are Elan brackets and the square ones are Spitfire. I must have a look and see which ones my Plus 2 uses

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PostPost by: rodsandyachts » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:42 am

Thanks

It's the wide radiator from Paul Matty with the filler neck top right - see pic.

In fact the mounting holes are not the problem. The bottom of the radiator is already sitting on the body ledge so there's no way to get it lower. It's just too tall.

You can see the mark where it contacted the bonnet. this has pushed a ridge through to the outside.

Guess I'll talk to Paul Matty team in the morning. Meantime I would avoid buying one.

Thanks all will report back on the response.
Simon
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:08 am

I'd be surprised if it's too tall. Can't it be tilted back a little to lower the effective height ? I think the early Elans had radiators that were not rigidly mounted at the upper point, but would need to be advised on + 2's.

HTH

Regards
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:25 am

by the 'body ledge' do you mean the fibreglass flange on each side of the engine bay?

When I fitted a wide rad those needed to be cut out to allow the radiator to sit low enough and I also drilled some more holes in the brackets to allow the radiator to drop down.

It all fitted fine when this was done. I had mine made without a filler cap (Cliveboy) but I still think it would have fitted okay with one in place.

It is tight but it should work.

Jon
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PostPost by: rodsandyachts » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:52 pm

Hi Jono

Most helpful - that's exactly right. The bottom is resting on the fiberglass flanges each side.

The radiator came with no advice on modifying the car so I - foolishly - assumed it could just be bolted in. I expected a specialist supplier - perhaps The Specialist - to include instructions or a warning if the car needed to be modified.

When this happened, I was certain someone one here would know of the problem and indeed you do.

Does anyone have a picture of the modified filler neck I can copy?

Unfortunately I am on a plane today and can't talk to Paul Matty. But I'm expecting to be compensated.

Best
Simon
Last edited by rodsandyachts on Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:18 pm

Not sure it helps but I didn't have to modify the body to fit mine. However I'd had the filler removed & sealed and fitted it with Clivey Boy brackets to the body.

That does look like a radiator made specific for the +2 rather than a modified unit. So you would have hoped it would be a bolt in fit or at least some instruction/warning with it.

I'd second Richard's suggestion to see what adjustment to angle you can make and see if that allows it to fit.

My view now is that in general you have to assume that even parts from the Lotus supplier are not bolt in fitment and carefully check them before hand and during fitting.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: TeeJay » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:52 pm

Hi Simon.
My original wide radiator was angled back to ensure clearance to the bonnet.

I had it recored, but as it was a tight fit I took some measurements prior to recore.
After recore I checked the measurements and it was perfect.
radiator-rear.jpg and


rad-front-fan.jpg and


I used all the original brackets, fitted into original holes in the body, but did remove a small amount of the lower flange to ensure clearance to the bottom tank.
rad-fixed-in-engine-bay.jpg and


If your radiator is a similar size, I could give you some measurements, including the angle of the tilting back.
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PostPost by: jimj » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:47 pm

I recall building my `73 Sprint from a kit that the one thing that defeated us was getting the radiator to seat properly. As it was brand new and, included in the purchase price, was a dealer check over, I had them do it rather than hack around a brand new car. I don`t know what they did but, obviously, the radiator didn`t just slot in, even when brand new and ex-factory.
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:58 pm

Here are a couple of pics from the body shell resto on my +2 a few years back. Not sure if the cut outs were original or not, but we kept them as they are essential to fit the wide rad. My bodyshell is 382, so quite early, but the rad is not original and wonderfully strange in its fitment. Beats the standard arrangement hands down, and isn't rigidly fixed to the body, making removal a simple matter (apart from draining the fluids).

Jeremy
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rad-cut-out-primed.jpg and
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PostPost by: jono » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:30 am

...exactly what I had to do.

An oscillating saw worked a treat.

Jon
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