Lotus Elan

accidental restoration

PostPost by: sparkey » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:31 pm

I bought an Elan Sprint (from a member on this forum) last November and spent November and December fettling it and having a bit of paintwork done and it now looks and drives great. The Sprint was an impulse buy and my long term Lotus has been my +2S which has been in fairly regular use with me without major refurbishment for the last 18 years. It was scruffy, but useable and mechanically good and I had convinced myself I preferred it like that...

However now that I have an Elan Sprint of the same age (and half the same colour) I felt a bit guilty over the general neglect which the +2 had received. It needed some refurbishment for the MOT at the start of the year including new rear brake discs, pads etc and whilst doing this I realised it probably needed further attention.

A few weeks ago I drove it round to my workshop to investigate the mysterious loss of brake fluid (I still can't see where it's going!), and when I got it there I "popped" a few of it's many paint blisters in an idle moment of contemplation.

Anyway I kept popping them and scraping them and it now looks like this:

ImageIMG_0315 by sparkey.sprite, on Flickr

So I'm into a proper body restoration which I hadn't really intended. It's revealed a few things I didn't know, such as a front end grafted on (done well - I think by Paul Matty's about 25 years ago if memory of my old receipts serves correct) and a rear end smash which would appear to have been some time after the front end was done and has been done very poorly with lots of filler over holes and cracks rather than proper fibreglass repairs. So now I've cut out all the damage and am reviving my Fibreglass skills and hope to have it repainted within the next few weeks and back on the road sometime in March..

When hopefully it will be able to more than hold it's head up when parked beside it's "new" stablemate:

ImageIMG_0136 by sparkey.sprite, on Flickr
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:02 pm

makes me a bit jealous: having both a baby and a grown up version of OUR cars!!! is junior (=baby) obediant or are they governed maybe by WORTH???? here in appenzell it's better to have jr, as there's loads of very narrow streets/passes alpine sandy --------------- tomorrow im goin fer my first ride since oct 16!!
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PostPost by: jimj » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:04 pm

Steve, it`s very pleasing to hear that you`re pleased with the Sprint but damn, I should`ve kept it. Did it need much?
Jim
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:41 am

Re the disappearing brake fluid - I had the same symptoms on my +2S and on my S3. Eventually tracked to the same cause on both cars: a passing seal in the servo was drawing fluid into the engine and it was disappearing out the exhaust in occasional clouds of white smoke.

Good luck with the body work - you could send your servo off to be refurb'd at the same time ?

Best
Steve
1967 S3 SE DHC
1970 +2S (RIP - went out in a blaze of glory in 2001)
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PostPost by: sparkey » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:13 am

jimj wrote:Steve, it`s very pleasing to hear that you`re pleased with the Sprint but damn, I should`ve kept it. Did it need much?
Jim


Hi Jim,

The Sprint didn't need anything serious - a new starter solenoid and starter motor, replacing some of the ignition wiring and the carbs needed cleaning and rebuilding. Then just a general tune up and reset the timing and it runs well - the engine's really healthy and the car drives really well. What took most time was tracing an intermittent wiring fault - I ended up swapping all the ignition components and wiring from the +2 onto the Sprint to try and isolate the fault, which turned out to be the "anti-theft" switch! I've had the lower body repainted and tidied up the suspension, brakes and engine bay and it looks quite respectable now.

Spending time on the Sprint highlighted my neglect of the +2 so hopefully it'll be back in fine fettle soon.

Steve.
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PostPost by: sparkey » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:09 pm

Stevie-Heathie wrote:Re the disappearing brake fluid - I had the same symptoms on my +2S and on my S3. Eventually tracked to the same cause on both cars: a passing seal in the servo was drawing fluid into the engine and it was disappearing out the exhaust in occasional clouds of white smoke.

Good luck with the body work - you could send your servo off to be refurb'd at the same time ?

Best
Steve


You were right, I took the servo out today and it was full of brake fluid (the part that should only be full of air!)

It appears that rebuild kits are available so I'll try rebuilding it whilst I wait for the painting to be done.

Cheers,
Steve
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:38 pm

Good to hear!

Alternative is just to run your brakes without servo. I did that a year ago and I haven't looked back. No need to change MC, pads or anything else. Needs a harder pressure but feel is si much better. I'll probably put softer pads in when current ones run out but I'm happy for now :-)

Best
Steve
1967 S3 SE DHC
1970 +2S (RIP - went out in a blaze of glory in 2001)
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