Lotus Elan

Early Elan

PostPost by: GLB » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:26 pm

dscn4604.jpg and
Well, there is no going back now. I've been sanding off 5 coats of paint for the last month and separated the body and chassis unit today. Chassis is much better than I thought. Much extra gusseting and evidence of a roto-flex failure. I'll know more when it is stripped. Unit number is 26/0045 and I can find no other numbers. What does the group think or know of this differential casting shown with my photos? Gary
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dscn4613.jpg and
dscn4606.jpg and
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PostPost by: paddy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:25 pm

The diff casing with non-script lettering was fitted to the first 100 or so S1s - mine is the same. It's mentioned in the schedule of changes here: http://www.type26register.com/spec_changes.html

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PostPost by: GLB » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:04 am

Thank you for the reply and reminding me of the reference to Type 26 registry. I knew the block script and lack of an A prefix was normal for early cars but had forgotten about the other lettering below the part number. I think my output shafts and axles have been changed as the pitch diameter of the holes is the same as on my +2, uses usual roto-flexes. Don't know about the seals as it is not leaking and I don't plan to change it now. Gary
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:57 am

Hi Gary

You obviously have a very early car and keeping it original is a great idea (my car was built in late '64 and went to Lotus East). The black paint implies that this is not perhaps its first restoration!

I think your question is mainly about the chassis. Could you should post photos of the engine bay area and the front chassis turrets ?

My chassis showed signs of chassis torsion and possibly a small shunt, but the turrets were in surprisingly good confition. Unlike cars that have spent their lives in GB, there was little serious rust.

Good luck with the rebuild!
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PostPost by: GLB » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:13 am

Making a little more progress. It took five of us to turn the body over. We tipped it up on its side, resting it on some lawn furniture cushions, then turned it the rest of way over and set it on the dolly. No creaks or cracks. I'll weigh it when it goes back over. I have a crack under the nose from a parking curb, on the floor, probably from a jack and access holes for the steering rack to repair. Clean and decide to paint or if the Bourne resin looks okay just leave. There are many voids in the gel coat but I think I will leave them for posterity. Gary
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dscn4634.jpg and
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:27 am

I thought the early chassis where painted a red oxide? This might be a replacement?
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PostPost by: GLB » Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:31 pm

Glenn, I think it probably is a replacement, but I can't tell much about it. no numbers and it has been gusseted. The finish feels like something rubbery, not paint and not undercoat. The rear looks much better than the front. The unit seems straight as I measure it side to side and corner to corner. The washers on the lower pins have bugger welds and leak so the tank won't hold vacuum. I think I can fix it but won't start to work on it until it gets too cool to do body work. Here in west Texas that won't be until sometime in Nov. I'll post more pictures when I get it apart. I think we have meta several LOGs and I have seen your posts about your series 1 Elan. I hope to make at least a recreation of what an early car should be like and appreciate the groups input.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:32 pm

GlennI it probably has a number, but they are often very difficult to see.

I will check on my chassis of the same generation and send you a more precise location.

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PostPost by: GLB » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:05 am

here are some pictures of 0045 after an afternoon with soapy water. The majority was never painted, just Boerne gray resin. Some white overspray which was the original color. On page 19 of Ian Wards book about the Elan, a picture shows two gents building an Elan in kit form and the wheel wells appear to be white body color. My car, which is in no way original, has had some heavy undercoating sprayed on, but where I have removed it to replace the wide flairs it had when I bought it I have found traces of white. I also found some under the 50+ tears of oil when I cleaned it up. I'll attach a picture. My question is what would be correct? Any help appreciated. Gary
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dscn4651.jpg and
dscn4646.jpg and
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:06 am

Gary, Cirrus White, Lotus paint code LO4, was available throughout the Elan's production life.

I have attached a photo of a body, just out of the mould at Bourne.

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PostPost by: fj55mike » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:06 pm

In that 2nd and 3rd photo of the rear wheel recesses it looks like there's white sprayed in the wheel well all the way up to the frame. I wonder if it was masked or just free-handed up to that line?
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:45 pm

Thanks for the very useful pictures. All very useful especially when they deal with otherwise invisible locations.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:49 am

Gary, good to know that we have met at a previous LOG. Any idea which one? Glen
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PostPost by: GLB » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:16 am

Here are some more pictures of my ongoing restoration of 26/0045. I have cleaned up the wheel wells of undercoating. About 12 hours, 1/2 gallon of lacquer thinner and a roll of paper towels plus much scraping. Under all of this was white cellulose lacquer which dissolved off of the original Bourne gray gel coat. In the top of the wells is what appears to be a yellowed clear resin that was then painted or undercoated black. A very hard material and pretty thick. From the runs and drips it appears to have been put on with the body upside down. Maybe to protect the top of the wing from stone stars? Also note the lattice tail in the upper rear wing is installed with fiberglass cloth. The lattice surrounding the door is also installed poorly with one layer of cloth. Since the tail of the lattice cannot be replaced with the rest of the lattice and the resin is gray, I think it is original. There was also some cloth on the rear of the front wheel wells and the front of the rear wells but it was so poorly attached to the underlying gray gell coat that it peeled out when I replaced the huge and equally poorly done fender flairs. As I asked before about the color of the wheel wells, I think the answer is that they were not undercoated but painted body color, on this car cirrus white. What does the group think and has anyone ever seen cloth used instead of mat for the lattice bonding? Gary
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PostPost by: fj55mike » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:22 pm

I'm curious to hear if anyone else has seen woven cloth to hold the lattice in place or in the wheel wells. My car (45/6116) doesn't use cloth in those locations, but it's a much later car.
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