Lotus Elan

my Elan SPRINT refurbishment by LOG36 ??

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:16 pm

After reading Glen's rebuild blogs on his S1 and now S4 projects, I've been inspired to write my own. I just bought a '73 Sprint DHC #0297K from its original owner!!! It has 39K miles and is very complete and in overall excellent original condition with beautiful original interior and great patina original paint. It is blue over white with gold stripe and bumpers. It has been sitting in his garage for 25 years untouched. I have the original title, original bill of sale (window sticker) and owner's manuals, service voucher books, and paperwork and receipts.

All sounds too good to be true, and so yes, it does have some issues. Apparently 25 years ago, he had rear issues with a collapsed shock/strut. He had it jacked up and took the rear suspension apart, dismantled A-frames, pulled rear diff out, rear brake calipers out, roto-flex, etc. So the rear was completely out of the car and life took some turns for him and he never got back to finish repairing it all. He said it was running fine when parked!

20160205_141111.jpg and

as found stored last 25 years in his garage w/o rear end.
20160205_134125.jpg and

beautiful interior, only very slight cracking of dash veneer
20160205_141209.jpg and

tidy engine bay with matching #'s big valve TC w/ Strombergs

The owner temporarily bolted A-frames on and rear wheel struts in place in order to be able to roll the car out of the garage and for me to winch up onto the trailer.
pickup-008.jpg and

original owner saying goodbye and ready for my 4 hour trip home.

So my goal is to keep it as original as possible, retaining great original patina, and doing a soft restoration in order to make it safe and road worthy. My deadline i'm shooting for is LOG36 in Princeton, NJ this August. So hopefully I have enough time to do all the repairs needed, rebuilding the hydraulics, assembling the rear suspension, getting it running, sorting fuel supply issues, and so on. I feel keeping this blog going will be the incentive i need to get the job done and you all can hold me accountable. I'll also humbly accept your suggestions and guidance along the way.

So let the fun begin!!!!
TED
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:44 pm

Fantastic find - this will be interesting.
Steve

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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:57 pm

Very cool!
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:15 pm

Nice find! Looking forward to seeing it in NJ
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:29 am

Ted, I know you will get your Elan Sprint done in time for LOG36! Congratulations on your very nice garage find. This forum is always helpful and without it I could not have completed my cars. You know you have my support and help.
Glen
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69 Elan S4 - 45/7941 - Sold
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379 Restored
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart - Sold
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:01 am

And definitely bring it down to LOG 37 next year! :D
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:22 am

What a terrific find, and I really applaud you keeping it as original as possible, avoiding the temptation to make it 'perfect'.
It's only original once!
Mark
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:09 am

Superb!!!!!! :D
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:45 am

Good find Ted! I believe Lagoon Blue over White was a rare colour for the Federal Sprint. It's good to be able to add yours to our list of Sprints still around.

I too applaud you for keeping it as original as possible. Best of luck for making your deadline.

Tim
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PostPost by: ken ob » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:29 am

What a great find.
Slightly confused by everything since the invention of the wheel.
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PostPost by: archigator » Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:35 am

Where is LOG 37 going to be, BTW?

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:28 pm

Putting the rear end back in is about a weekend of work, assuming the diff actually fits in the chassis ! what else have you got planned for the car :lol:

cheers
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PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:57 pm

archigator wrote:Where is LOG 37 going to be, BTW?


EDIT: Limited aren't liking some of the details in our proposal, so 37's location may well be TBD at this point.
Last edited by The Veg on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:24 pm

Thanks to everyone for all the positive and encouraging comments! I'll need it along the way, especially when i run into trouble.

So the car is home, safe and sound and in the garage getting a full assessment. A big part of my problem is that although i have all the component pieces of the rear assembly, i am missing all the hardware fasteners! This scares me since i much preferred to have original nuts and bolts and from their original locations. I read over a lot of the forum postings looking for the subject of fasteners and only found so much. The general consensus is to use Grade 8 bolts and nyloc nuts. The shop manual has fairly detailed pictures showing their location and direction for insertion so that is a big help. I've also been told that Brian Buckland's book has exactly the inventory of nuts/bolts and their application/location I need, unfortunately, i don't have a copy. Does anyone want to sell me a copy of the book if they're done with it?

The other issue I found while looking over everything is that the rear differential appears to be "locked" in that i can easily turn the end shaft yokes (going to wheels), but the drive shaft yoke (going to trans) only turns a fraction back and forth and is obstructed in some manner, so I took it to my local mechanic for a breakdown and inspection. I'm told they're easy and straightforward, but I've never done one and didn't want to start now. I'll have peace of mind knowing the expert will be doing it. I'll report back on the diagnosis later.

So in the mean time, i will be sourcing the fasteners and ordering bushings for the A-frames, diff housing rubber bushes, and taking on repairing/replacing the shock struts. I may also direct my focus onto the engine bay when time allows to sort out getting the engine back into service. That will entail oil in cylinders, hand turning engine, sorting through the carbs, cleaning, and so on.

So again, thanks for the compliments and encouraging words. i'll update on progress.
examine-017.jpg and

nice original set of tools
examine-018.jpg and

nice original jack, handle and bag
examine-006.jpg and

trunk area nice and tidy, first time i found a gas tank with paint on it instead of rust covered!
TED
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PostPost by: john1180 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:15 pm

Try Ray at RD or Dave Bean, either one should be able to make a package of all the appropriate fasteners. John
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