Lotus Elan

Another newbie to the forum.

PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue May 16, 2017 9:16 pm

Hi all
I've owned my Plus 2 chassis number 50/0143 since 1977 and am the second owner of the car. I took it off the road in 1985 when I moved to Aberdeen as the dreaded rust had weakened the front cross member on the chassis. I stripped the car and ordered a Spyder refurbished chassis and started to rebuild it, reconditioning parts as I went. Then I changed job and moved house so the car was partly assembled and moved to a barn on my in laws farm for about 10 years. It finally joined me in Lincolnshire in the mid 1990's and was eventually sent to a local specialist to have the rebuild completed due to lack of time on my part. This all went wrong and the car was returned, partially completed with many parts off the car and in a variety of boxes and bags. Again it sat untouched for some years, until I had some time around 2002 and I sent the body for a bare fibreglass respray and rebuilt the suspension a second time as the bushes had deteriorated and rust had appeared on some parts. Then my job moved to Aberdeen, but I didn't relocate, just commuted every week for over 8 years so again, nothing got done on the Lotus. I finally retired last summer so after a few holidays and essential jobs around the house I decided that it was time for one final push to finish the Lotus. First job was the garage, it was full of "stuff" and needed a good clear out. Then it was clean and paint the garage, fully rewire it with new sockets and lots of new lights, set up my lathe, milling machine, compressor, grit blaster, welder, bench grinder etc. Finally I was ready to actually start on the car! A second set of axle stands were purchased and the car jacked up, put on them ready to work on at a reasonable height. Next job was to go through all the boxes of bits and see what I had and what condition the bits were in. I forgot to mention that in 2007, the garage was flooded and all the Lotus parts were at that time in cardboard boxes on the garage floor! After the flood everything was washed down with many cans of WD40 and put into plastic storage boxes and there they stayed till early this year when I started the restoration.
As I have progressed I have found that somewhere sometime in the 30 years the car has been off the road, some vital bits have gone missing, mainly, the brake servo and the complete pedal box, plus some smaller brackets and bits, but eBay has come to the rescue for some parts and others I have been able to make in my workshop section of the garage. So, where am I now? The chassis engine, gearbox, suspension is all complete, the resprayed body is on the chassis and I'm gradually refurbishing all the engine ancillaries or replacing/upgrading them, and replacing all the underbonnet wiring with my own custom harness incorporating the relays and fuses that were absent on the early cars. I've managed to buy a genuine Lotus workshop manual so have reasonable documentation, but some bits aren't covered in enough detail, so a google search for images has proved useful.
I've bought some after market replacement parts and although they are generally good, there has been some small problems with all of them. The new alloy fuel tank doesn't have the two small recesses in the bottom to clear the diff top mounting bolts, hence the need to put the bolts in upside down with the bolt heads on the top and the nut underneath to get the clearance, not a major problem unless you want to remove the diff at a later date. The alternator fitting bracket and kit had the wrong length bolts supplied, you can only get a replacement pedal box of the later type so more work to machine up an adaptor plate, and so it goes on, slowly but surely I'm getting there.
The car will be 50 years old in early November this year, and it's our 40th wedding anniversary at the end of October so my goal is to drive to our anniversary do in the Lotus, wish me luck!

Simon Babb
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:26 pm

Hi Babb,
That's quite a story and full marks for sticking with the car and finally making it happen.
Best of luck. You'll get some great help from the folks on here...in return, we do love lots of pics :)

Kev.
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Previously - Elan Sprint '71, Excel SE '87 Esprit S4 '90
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PostPost by: S3FHC » Wed May 17, 2017 5:32 am

Hi Simon,

First of all, congratulations on your retirement!
It's obvious that you've lost no interest or determination to continue yet again on the rebuild.
(and it'll soon take shape as you have the skills and machines to manufacture or modify similar parts to fit)
As Kev said, we love lots of pics! :D
Best of luck with the November deadline!

Mark
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PostPost by: Paul Chapman » Wed May 17, 2017 8:39 am

Hello Simon

Welcome aboard, its good to have a new recruit form Lincolnshire. Great story and I wish you every success meeting your deadline, anything you need help or support with then this is the right place to ask. There isn't anything that this crew do not know about Lotus Elan's !
Paul Chapman

68 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:28 am

Simon,
Sorry I used your surname in my reply....moment of word blindness.

Kev.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed May 17, 2017 9:45 am

Thanks for the welcome and good wishes. A few photos attached, showing the car in March just as I got started on it and a few pictures of the engine bay as it is now with the carbs and pedal box trial assembled before I remove them again, overhaul the carbs, set the timing, install the air filter housing and complete the fuel lines and wiring.
Attachments
img_0215.jpg and
Another view of the engine bay
img_0211.jpg and
Engine bay now with most bits in it
img_0164.jpg and
Day 1 of the third attempt at rebuilding it
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PostPost by: S3FHC » Wed May 17, 2017 2:48 pm

Hi Simon,

looks good! :D

Mark
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed May 17, 2017 6:25 pm

Hi from USA!

Sounds like you've got a much bigger project than my Plus 2, and your looks better too at this point! :mrgreen:

Love that blue!
1970 Elan Plus 2 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: William2 » Thu May 18, 2017 11:56 am

Great colour and immaculate engine bay. Good luck with the remaining rebuild. Regards, William
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PostPost by: Europatc » Thu May 18, 2017 12:18 pm

Welcome Simon, if you need to know anything you will find it here, apart that is the 39 steps. Happy motoring
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue May 30, 2017 2:18 pm

Thought I'd add a few pictures of the car as it was earlier in the restoration process.
The body was stripped to bare fibre glass and a temporary transport frame made for while it was away for respraying. The respray was done by a small local company and I'm very pleased with the results.
Attachments
103-0396_img.jpg and
Rolling Spyder chassis
off-to-be-painted.jpg and
Off to be painted
103-0400_img.jpg and
Arriving home after the respray
bare-shell-on-topcoat-1.jpg and
Bare shell in top coat
lotus-in-primer.jpg and
Lotus in primer
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue May 30, 2017 2:28 pm

Is that an optical illusion or is the engine tilted?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue May 30, 2017 3:03 pm

Just been and checked, it is level, its just the angle the picture was taken at.

Phew!!

Simon
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue May 30, 2017 3:09 pm

One more picture of the first time it went off to be renovated, this was last century and it came back unfinished about a year later when the garage doing the work closed down. This was when I think parts such as the servo and brake pedal box etc. went missing. :(
Attachments
lotus-going-away.jpg and
Off for its first attempt of a rebuild and respray.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:28 pm

Behind schedule! Snook off to the Isle of Man to watch the TT for a week, so need to put in more hours to catch up! Waiting for parts to arrive so plan to strip and overhaul both carbs as I have the kits for this and then fit the new clutch slave cylinder. Also noticed offside front wheel is tight to turn, so need to remove and check out the bearings before I fit the calliper and pads.
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