Lotus Elan

Quick repair guesstimate....

PostPost by: 4regt4 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:50 pm

I'm looking at a Plus 2 that has some "issues". Can anyone give a quick guess of what it would cost to:

1. Overhaul tacho and speedo. (Tach could be wiring issue, but let's plan for the worst)
2. Power window motor.
3. Fuel pump
4. Motor mounts
5. Headlight actuators (probably vacuum problem, but ??)
6. Tie rods.
7. Possible carb rebuild (Stromberg)

The biggest issue is that I don't readily have any idea of parts prices or availability. I can research this, but I'm hoping those who have done some of these things can give a quick guess and save a bit of time. I'd like to get back to the seller soon - I think the price will need to be adjusted!

The big items seem OK. Meaning body, frame, motor, gearbox. But it looks like a car that could nickel and dime to death. (err, shillings and crowns??)

Hans.

Thanks,
Hans.
4regt4
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 14 Oct 2020
Location: Oregon, USA

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:00 am

Hello Hans,

There are several great sources for parts:
JAE Parts
http://www.jaeparts.com/

RD Enterprises
https://www.rdent.com/

Dave Bean Engineering
http://davebean.com/

Overhaul tach and speedo - Budget $350 each It could be the tach signal wire is disconnected, or the tach does not like electronic ignition. Speedo may be a broken cable or a broken angle drive that attaches to the gearbox.

Window motor - May only be a broken cable in the door. $25 for good quality braided cable. Buy the good stuff.

Fuel Pump - standard AC Delco fuel pump. $55. Make sure to get one with threaded ports, not press-in hose fittings(fuel leak over the starter - very very bad).

Motor Mounts - $62 - buy the heavy duty ones

Headlight actuators - probably the rubber tee on the front crossmember vacuum reservoir port or the check valve at the intake runner on the head. Don't know the cost of the actuators themselves.

Tie Rods - Standard Triumph part - $50 ea. Also check the threaded trunnion joints and bushings on the bottom, they are likely worn out.

Stromberg carb rebuild - Contact Spencers Motosports in Rohnert Park, CA Barry knows these carbs in his sleep. http://www.spencersmotorsports.com/

These cars live longest when they are regularly maintained by a conscientious owner and driven frequently. Buy good parts once. Cheap parts usually disappoint and leave you stranded.

Expect the gas tank will need to be removed and cleaned at minimum.

Best of luck to you. Lotus stands for "Leave Out The Unnecessary Stuff"

Dan Wise
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1108
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPost by: 4regt4 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:18 am

Hi, and thanks for the reply.

In the repair history there is a repair order for the driver's window. The shop diagnosed a dead motor. No repair was made, unfortunately. The passenger side is "slow", and needs "help" raising. So I'm guessing a good clean and lube will fix that side.

I haven't been able to locate a source for the driver's side motor, but haven't tried emailing the various sources that don't list inventory on line. I did find a Lotus part number for it, but searches have turned up empty. As I've been unable to find this part, I'm not sure what figure to use when I renegotiate with the seller.

Anyway, thanks. I was wanting a "driver" quality car that I could gradually bring up to snuff, but this car looks to be a bit of a project just to get it that far.

Hans.
4regt4
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 14 Oct 2020
Location: Oregon, USA

PostPost by: mbell » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:21 am

The window motor is a left hand unit off a common USA car if the time. I forget which one but it's mentioned multiplier times on here. A few minutes searching should find it or wait for someone with better memory I post.

I wouldn't expect it to be expensive and might be able to find one locally.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
mbell
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1834
Joined: 07 Jun 2013
Location: Austin, TX (UK Ex-pat)

PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:29 am

in short:
Cardone Part Number: 42-13
Front Left, Rear Left for Chev; fits RHS on Lotus Plus 2

Cardone Part Number: 42-14
Front Right, Rear Right for Chev; fits LHS on Lotus Plus 2


Stu Gilmore's excellent post on the whole process here:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=24949&start=

There are no cables in the +2's window mechanisms.
Bud
1970 +2S Fed
"Every Lotus that an owner modifies makes yours worth that much more." - You're welcome!
User avatar
Bud English
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 990
Joined: 05 Nov 2011
Location: Winnemucca, NV, USA

PostPost by: 4regt4 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:44 am

This forum is a hell of a resource.....

Thanks.

Hans.
4regt4
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 25
Joined: 14 Oct 2020
Location: Oregon, USA

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:46 am

and the +2 is a hell of a car
best Lotus ever made
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
Find out where the limits are, and start from there
Love your Mother
Earth
User avatar
h20hamelan
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 772
Joined: 25 Sep 2010
Location: W Kootenay’s B.C.

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:55 am

Bud English wrote:in short:

There are no cables in the +2's window mechanisms.


Thanks for the correction Bud, my erroneous assumption.
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
User avatar
StressCraxx
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1108
Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California

PostPost by: elansprint » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:40 pm

You need to be wary the vacuum pods have not rotted through
Ian
elansprint
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 510
Joined: 12 Sep 2003

PostPost by: TBG » Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:57 pm

"and the +2 is a hell of a car
best Lotus ever made"

For old men...........................with toupees. :D
TBG
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 334
Joined: 21 Apr 2020
Location: Somerset, England

PostPost by: h20hamelan » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:40 pm

we are trying to get him to buy a Lotus

besides, the +2 handles and drives more straight. Nicer than most cars, at speed with the windows down.
Born, and brought home from the hospital (no seat belt (wtf)) in a baby!
Find out where the limits are, and start from there
Love your Mother
Earth
User avatar
h20hamelan
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 772
Joined: 25 Sep 2010
Location: W Kootenay’s B.C.

PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:38 pm

The rebuilt window motors are inexpensive, but before you do that make sure that the motors are thoroughly earthed (er, grounded for us Yanks). Mine were very slow and I did the following, none of which made any difference:

New door wiring (just wires to the motor, being an early car)
Rebuilt motors
Cleaned contacts in the switches
Lubricated everything

Then I ran a 12-ga. earth/ground wire directly from a mounting bolt on each motor to the chassis bolts behind the dashboard, and now the windows go up and down with authority!

The way the factory earthed the motors, the wires go through bullet connectors to connect to the grouped earths for the dashboard, which then connect to a chassis bolt. My direct route with large wire eliminates all potential bottlenecks in the earth-path.

The Strombergs are easy to rebuild. I recommend doing one at a time- if you get lost or something doesn’t make sense, you can refer to the other one. The exception to that is the enricher on the front carb; there isn’t one on the rear carb so pay careful attention to the orientation of the disc.

Your list really doesn’t look terrible and except for servicing the speedo & tach, it’s all stuff you can do yourself.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
User avatar
The Veg
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1720
Joined: 16 Nov 2015
Location: Atlanta 'burbs (southeast USA)

PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:04 pm

4regt4 wrote:I'm looking at a Plus 2 that has some "issues". Can anyone give a quick guess of what it would cost to:

1. Overhaul tacho and speedo. (Tach could be wiring issue, but let's plan for the worst)

More than it should. Google Nisonger, who is well-rated and can quote this, but at least $150 a unit. Generally, you can fix these yourself with a little pluck. The common problem is that the grease on the odo gears turns to soft rock from sitting and you have to chip it off. The other is that the needle sits on a shroud around a magnetic driver and if the two touch (say, by the presence of an insect), the needle will jump. Other than not bending the bits, these aren't like working on a watch. I've fiddled with about four of these during Triumph and Lotus ownership, and all were quite accurate after I invaded their innards and cleaned up a bit. Used workables used to be around $75 but I haven't looked in awhile. See eBay for Lotus or Spitfire/GT6.

2. Power window motor.

Again a user-do-able thing (instructions likely in the archives, and my guess is the motor isn't the problem. If I were an enterprising Lotus mechanic, maybe $500 or more. I believe the Elans use the same old GM part as the Europa does.

3. Fuel pump

Super-easy DIY for under $20 using electric pump from the usual discounter, slightly more to source Ford OEM mechanical part. The hoses need replacing anyway, I'll bet. Strombergs aren't as picky about inlet pressure as Webers so you probably don't need a regulator for Weber, but a cutout is a nice safety item.

4. Motor mounts

$50 plus two hours (maybe a bit less depending on headers.) Ford.

5. Headlight actuators (probably vacuum problem, but ??)

If the switch, close to unobtanium and you may need to repair it. High risk that rusted chassis is the real source, figure at least several thousand for body-off and chassis. And then there's shipwright's disease... Easy test though, connect two rubber hoses to the chassis points, hold one and suck on the other. If it doesn't leak, get over that gasoline taste and smile. Check the turrets while you're down there as they collapse when the rust gets bad. Usually the chassis leaks first. Same fix.

6. Tie rods.

An hour apiece and $20 apiece from the British place up in Victoria BC. Triumph Spitfire, but there are two different sizes, so measure the length from socket center to the start of the screw shaft and make sure you get real close. They put a little chocolate bar in every box they ship (or they used to.) Super-easy DIY I need to get to on my right front.

7. Possible carb rebuild (Stromberg)

A few years back, a weber kit for one carb was something like $45, expect same ballpark. These are very reliable units though, so start with cleaning. Professionally done, around $500 for the pair? The North American units are emissions-constrained and a bit harder to play with.

You might have noticed I'm steering you to DIY. Must of us are that person, and most of the work is do-able by someone with basic tool skills. But there's another reason: If you rely on professional help, you'll need very deep pockets in the long haul for things that are cheap DIY's. And you'll have to really keep loving them to keep a smile unless you have money to burn. A Lotus or British car specialist is a lot cheaper than a Ferrari specialist, but still a lot more than elbow grease.

Overall, I think your list amounts to $1000 to $15,000 from a Lotus shop, but that's a broad guess. As your whole list is wear items excepting the chassis, don't expect your seller to just knock off $15,000 from the asking price.

There are a lot of helpful Lotus owners up in the Northwest, so ask on this site for Elan or the Europa site and you'll likely find someone willing to take a peek for you and opine whether to run away -- just remember that (s)he is a Lotus lover. And maybe they'll help with the fixits as well.

My final advice is common here: Buy the best example you can find and pay for. As the high end of my guess suggests, you can save quite a lot by starting with something that's been maintained, and this one doesn't sound like that. This is particularly true if you'll be paying for maintenance. You will save in the long run as the basic car is pretty reliable (well, not relative to a modern Toyota reliable.)

The biggest issue is that I don't readily have any idea of parts prices or availability. I can research this, but I'm hoping those who have done some of these things can give a quick guess and save a bit of time. I'd like to get back to the seller soon - I think the price will need to be adjusted!

The big items seem OK. Meaning body, frame, motor, gearbox. But it looks like a car that could nickel and dime to death. (err, shillings and crowns??)

Hans.

Thanks,
Hans.
denicholls2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 615
Joined: 23 Jan 2006

PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Nov 24, 2020 10:12 pm

One more thing. The parts suppliers identified on this site aren't like the guy behind the counter at Auto Zone. They know their stuff and are committed to it. If Ray at RDENT is still at it, then it's worth paying more for his knowledge when you buy the parts. Same for the place out west that has escaped my head, and oh, Dave Bean is well respected as well. As the bits get specialized, the extra price is worth paying.

Why can't I think of that name? Oh yeah, JAE. Thanks, guy. Really nice people, sold me a green Lotus horn push 'cause I like it better than the black one. Somebody here knows. Ray would recommend them if he didn't have what I wanted and they would do likewise. That's how these people are.
denicholls2
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 615
Joined: 23 Jan 2006

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests