Lotus Elan

ignorant question about radiators and fans

PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:17 pm

I'm new to Lotus Elan.

working on a friend's 1970 +2 trying to get it going after being stored for a decade or more. He bought it complete but has never driven it. Pretty decent overall.

Finally got the engine running but things heated up fairly quick. I noticed an electric fan mounted as original but it never came on even beyond 90C. Water is circulating.

Doing some reading I see there are a lot of ways to get things cooled off.

Based on my total ignorance, how do I tell if the radiator is wide or narrow, or how many rows it has? - simply an overall dimension?

And the fan? I am about to jump some power to the electric fan to see if it even spins under power. There is an old style fan controller still screwed into the rad but no wires going to it. No other obvious fan control, like a spare switch anywhere. Will trace some wires when the rain stops (Texas hurricanes)

Also noted the presence of a fan hub/spacer bolted on the water pump in addition to the pulley, but no fan blade. Tech manual mentions a possibility of either electric or belt driven fan - and possibly both at once?

I can post a photo later today. Thanks, this forum has been invaluable for our efforts.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:27 pm

Wide radiator is ~22" and fills the gap between the two mounting brackets, narrow has two brackets bolted to the radiator sides that fit to the mounts on the body. Often have washer or expansion tanks fastened to them.

If the car is going to live in Texas I suggest making sure to have the wide radiator and a modern fan. I have the wide and two high flow fans and have no issue even on the hottest days.

Both radiators are Triumph spitfire units with input/outputs adjusted to line up with +2. So easily to get and any radiator place can adjust them.

I wouldn't spend much time on the original fan it the car is going to stay in a warm climate, remove it and fit modern one. I also personally wouldn't add a fan to the water pump, extra load on the bearing, saps power and is extra weight.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:31 pm

Pull the rad cap and you’ll see his many fore’s it has.
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PostPost by: TBG » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:20 pm

This should work!! :D :D
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PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:36 pm

wow, what a difference 50 years makes.

Here's what I'm working on. So, obviously a narrow radiator, and somebody bypassed the original temp control, and hot-wired the fan to keyed power that activates the simple gold relay. I got the fan to work by cleaning the 10-amp bladed fuse in the patched wiring, it was corroded. I note the plastic fan on electric motor is flopped, it moves air but the blades spin backwards. I'd like to find a correct replacement. You can see the situation on the water pump, looks like something used to be there.

I am impressed by how much of the original car is still in place. We are simply trying to resurrect the car in order to sell it, my friend needs some cash so we can't upgrade everything. Supposedly, the car was restored, then driven very little if at all, then stored/displayed for many years. It shows very well. I got the power windows to "work" the other day, by that I mean they will go up and down all the way in less than a minute.

Great to have a resource like the group. Thanks to all
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PostPost by: MrBonus » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:34 pm

I have the OEM wide radiator and a single 10.5" electric fan (set to come on at 88C) and even in mid-90s temperatures, I hit 88 and it will bring it down to the mid-80s steadily idling. I cannot get the car to trigger the fan while in motion, even driving it steadily at heavy throttle over 4000 RPMs as it holds a steady mid-80s.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:38 pm

x75x75x75 wrote:
.... I got the power windows to "work" the other day, by that I mean they will go up and down all the way in less than a minute.



Sounds like a cool car. If and when the owner wants to offer for sale, consider posting her here. Will be great to see some pictures when she is cleaned up.

Get that you want to minimize costs, but wanted to let you know the window lift motors are readily available at your local parts store. They are GM/Delco units used in a wide variety of NA cars. I think the call up I used was ‘69 Chevelle (to avoid confusion with the GM back door units). Quirky part is the Chev left side motor mounts in the right door on the Plus 2, and visa versa, just to test your patience a bit. :D Get the rebuilt motor prior to letting go of your core, as part of the unit is Lotus specific. Even if you don’t replace the motors, you can at least put the owner a ease that it is a relatively easy fix for a buyer.

All the best with getting the car set up. Great to hear of another Plus 2 getting out of the barn.

Stu
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:45 am

Regarding the windows, before you spend money on motors I can recommend some much less-expensive things to try.

If you're courageous enough to get into the doors and take things apart, make sure everything is clean and lubricated. But probably the most important thing you can do is to make sure that the motors have good healthy earth-connections. The stock setup runs the earths through the dashboard harness and isn't really an ideally direct connection. Take some 12-gauge wire and run a connection from the motor mounting bolts straight to the chassis-bolts that connect the dashboard's lower mounting bracket to the backbone inside the tunnel. Make sure too that these bolts and the threads in the backbone are nice and clean! These new earth-leads are what made my windows move with purpose after rebuilt motors, cleaning the switch-contacts, lubricating everything, and running new power leads into the doors failed to make any improvement.

Looking at your picture, is all that copper plumbing around the carbs for fuel? Odd setup.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:57 am

i have had great success soaking window motors in automatic transmission fluid for a couple days
i even use, used atf. to be cheap
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PostPost by: x75x75x75 » Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:55 pm

back to working on the +2 today. I need to drain/flush the tank, I'm getting ugly blackish gravel in my fuel filter. The copper tube setup replaced a jumble of rubber hoses and screw clamps that looked janky, leaked and slipped off easily. Plus the whole assembly had dissolved into sponge rubber from the ethanol in modern gas. The electric pump was already installed and working, so I used a bunch of compression connectors from Home Depot with some extra copper tubing I had lying around. Odd looking perhaps, but very solid. The line from the tank looked to by nylon or vinyl and did not show any ethanol fuel damage.

I am leaving the electric fan in place as it is now operating. With the arrival of fall, temps are less of a concern for now. I got the power windows working good enough with lots of grease, silicone and graphite sprays. Additional ground wires were already installed so I just verified everything was properly earthed.

While poking around the fan with the bonnet removed, I checked the headlamp mechanism since they did not go down as they should, but was surprised to find the diaphragm held vacuum and the whole assembly functioned normally with my Mity-Vac attached. Guess the switch or hoses have some issues, will check next.

Soon I will clean up everything and post some pictures. From what I can tell, this is a good vehicle. Somebody will be very happy with it.
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