Lotus Elan

Thinking of Returning to +2 Ownership

PostPost by: shynsy » Fri Mar 17, 2023 12:21 pm

Hi all,
I am musing about returning to +2 ownership. I had a +2S130 and sold it about 10 years ago to buy some other classics to work on. Since then have built a supercharged TR6, K-series engined MG midget, semi-rally prepped Triumph 2500 saloon and MK1 Cortina (non-lotus). However I have always pinned for another +2. My first impression is that "boy they have gone up in price!", but then so have many classics I suppose. I bought my +2 in 2002 for £4500 and sold it 5 years later for £7500 so I guess the trend was always occuring..
Now looking back at the market I was wondering if anything much has changed in spare parts supply while I have been away. My memories were that you could get almost everything (apart perhaps from the ambient temp gauge :-). I have heard that Mattys have closed which is a shame as he was close by.. but is it still easy to get parts.
Second question is whether new chassis are still available and whether Spyder are still the ones to have.
Third, are people still doing type 9 5 speed conversions (my one complaint about my +2 was the lack of a long gear for long journeys.
Finally is Keith Franck still around pushing the boundaries of Twin choke tuning?
I still have to sell my TR6 before I truly go car hunting, but I thought some homework was probable useful!
Thanks for any help
Cheers
Tim
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Mar 17, 2023 2:01 pm

1. Parts suppliers are mostly the same. Matty's was bought and relocated by team classic lotus. I think replacement for a few hard to get had improved.

2. Spyder still make chassis and other parts. Which chassis is best is a personal choice based on various factors. Some people want one, some people prefer an original style.

3. People are still doing 5 speed swaps. There is a company that that sells a kit but they have long wait period normally.

4. Yes Keith is still around and offering improved jets. His latest ones seem very good and tuneable with just some basis knowledge.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Mar 17, 2023 2:08 pm

Hi

I can understand your desire to get back into a +2. They are a special car for sure.

I had a few over the years and recently (18 months or so) got back into the fold. I have at least 2 on the boil at the moment, one a full Zetec conversion, the other a more standard car.

All the best

Berni
Zetec+ 2 under const, also 130S. And another 130S for complete restoration. Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Great to be back 04/11/2021 although its all starting to get a bit out of control.
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PostPost by: shynsy » Fri Mar 17, 2023 2:36 pm

Thanks folks.. I was actually an active member of these forums back in the day but don't seem to be able to activate my original account which is a shame..
Regarding the 5 speed conversion, I was assuming that the original 5 speed box in the S130/5 is still thought to be a bad option?
Tim
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Mar 17, 2023 5:36 pm

Welcome back Tim!
1970 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
2012 BMW R1200GS
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Mar 17, 2023 7:04 pm

Hi

I have never driven a 5sp car, but I think they are considered “bad” when compared to the 4 speed.

Others will have direct experience.

For my cars I am using modified type 9 boxes with relocated gear levers. One of the boxes is from a v6 so has the higher 1st gear ratio. Otherwise they are considered a bit low in that gear.

Berni
Zetec+ 2 under const, also 130S. And another 130S for complete restoration. Previously Racing green +2s with green tints. Yellow +2 and a couple of others, all missed. Great to be back 04/11/2021 although its all starting to get a bit out of control.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Mar 17, 2023 7:34 pm

Hi Tim,
Alan Voigts in Merseyside still makes their Type 9 conversions which they have been doing for maybe 20 years.
I believe they are experiencing difficulty obtaining the new castings for the bell housing and tail thingy which is causing long lead times. That may be why they are no longer advertising them.
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: shynsy » Sun Mar 19, 2023 9:07 am

Thanks for the info folks. I did a type 9 conversion on the k series midget I built. The challenge was getting the bell housing. I was wondering whether the Westfields or Caterham ever used the type 9 on a cross flow block engine. Shouldn't it just drop into the elan? Have to say the gear shift feel om the type 9 was not as good as the elan 4 speed which is a beaut.
Tim
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PostPost by: TBG » Sun Mar 19, 2023 4:45 pm

Oh just buy an Elan - not the old mans version!! D
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Mar 20, 2023 5:17 am

Tim,
Before you buy a +2 have a drive of an Elan. A big difference between the two models.
Alan
Alan.b Brittany 1972 elan sprint fhc Lagoon Blue 0460E
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PostPost by: shynsy » Mon Mar 20, 2023 7:08 am

alan.barker wrote:Tim,
Before you buy a +2 have a drive of an Elan. A big difference between the two models.
Alan

Will do if I can find someone willing to let me.
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Mon Mar 20, 2023 1:21 pm

The standard 5 speed is OK (I've had 2 and both have been fine and both have done over 100k miles) but the quality of the change isn't as good as a 4 speed. There is a very significant benefit if you do long distances on motorways/dual carriageways. One of the issues with the 5 speed is the spring loading between the 3rd/4th gear 'plain' and shifting to 5th where you have to put quite a bit of sideways/RH pressure on the gear lever to make the shift. I think you can change the spring to make this easier if you have the gearbox out.

I understand the syncros on the 5 speed may be weaker than the standard 4 and if they are worn the quality of the shift can deteriorate badly. I've not experienced this particularly and have found the changes fine, just let the gearbox do it's stuff and don't rush the changes. Apparently (this was from Robin Alabaster) it's also important not to leave your hand on the gear lever as this can lead to premature wear. Again I don't do this so haven't direct experience.

Basically try out a 5 speed car and see what you think - and if/when you buy one try to make sure the gearbox is in good nick! Whereabouts are you based?
Last edited by Craig Elliott on Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: shynsy » Mon Mar 20, 2023 5:50 pm

Kenilworth
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Mon Mar 20, 2023 6:06 pm

ahhh... bit of a trek from me unfortunately (S. Lincs)
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Mar 21, 2023 5:26 pm

I'll add to the 5 speed comments with...

The five speed box has a very strong 5th gear detent spring that makes it hard to drop back to 4th. I think I described it as needing a "manly tug"! You can easily adjust this without removing the gearbox but don't go too far or it'll jump out of 5th when you apply the throttle.

viewtopic.php?t=45077

I haven't experienced the 4-speed box (yet) but a series of modifications can be made to improve the feel of the gearchange, mostly to the gear stick anti sizzle bush.
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