Lotus Elan

New owner S4 Elan sprint

PostPost by: kristelvdr » Sun May 28, 2017 3:23 pm

Hello Lotus Elan Forum members. I am new to the forum and new to the Elan ownership. In november 2016 we bought our Lotus Elan S4 sprint conversion DHC at Paul Matty?s Sports Cars. It used to be registered in UK as GVB 813J. As I read on the forum that one never really owns it, but rather is allowed to care for it for a period of time, we would like to thank the previous owners for their care ;-)

On the surface it was in good condition, the testdrive showed some hick-ups at low rev accelerating. We believed a carb overhaul and some adjustments would keep it running through our first summer together. There were more small items on the checklist, for next winter. But nothing urgent.
We took it home (Belgium) on a trailer and drove it to MOT without troubles ( light adjustment had to be done twice=> green card;-). The new Belgian numberplate arrived and Paul Matty helped us to get the correct white letters for the grille. Ready for action after the winter.

I took off the air filter and airbox to clean them (surface rust, dirt) , charged the battery and when the sun came out in March, took it out of the garage for a maidentrip.

Then the wheel of fortune turned the wrong way up... I could not push it out of the garage because of a small ridge (and my husband was not at home). So against my natural aversion, I tried to start the car in the garage. No luck, so I used jump leads and insisted a bit longer.
The engine started and rather quickly had a stable idle rpm. I got out to check for leaks, the fire extinguisher in my hands. (Yes, my previous job had learned me how easy it is for a car to catch fire). No leaks, no fumes,...
So I drove the Elan onto the driveway. Cleaned some oily bits and left the engine idling. The idea was to take it for a short testdrive and then measure the airflow per cilinder at the Weber carbs.

A neighbour walking his dog stopped for a look and while we were talking the engine bay cought fire!
The fire extinguisher was still on the ground next to me, and two blows of powder stopped the fire. The engine stalled and I turned off the ignition. Still with a 170bpm heartbeat, I started assessing the damage. It could have been so much worse, but still....
A few deep breaths later, I sealed the carbs and started rinsing the powder away.

When inspecting the car afterwards, I found several things NOK. Most of them are unclear whether they were a cause or an effect of the fire. Almost 3 months later, we are close to finishing the repairs and improvements. A non-power, CO2 fire extinguisher has been bought and is at hand should it happen again. But we hope for the best ;-)

Kristel
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun May 28, 2017 4:28 pm

Hi from USA!

Sounds like too much excitement for a car you've just bought! Glad to hear that damage was minimal, and the work done as a result sounds like an upside.

Looking forward to seeing more of your car! :D
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: jimj » Sun May 28, 2017 4:33 pm

No airbox = petrol spit back = FIRE
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PostPost by: Europatc » Sun May 28, 2017 8:15 pm

Welcome Kristel
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