Lotus Elan

Getting 0248K Back On The Road

PostPost by: steve lyle » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:21 pm

I bought this car pretty much sight-unseen off of eBay 3 years ago. Everything was there, the chassis was good, and it ran. But there were issues:

- the voltage regulator was shot, to the extent that it wouldn't charge the battery or run the car
- several electrical circuits had issues: headlights, turn signals, horn all were inoperative
- the steering flex joint was shot
- the doughnuts were shot
- the cooling system could not handle idling in the Oklahoma heat, it would overheat in a few minutes
- the distributor and carb settings were questionable: there were flat spots during acceleration. The car as new had Federal emission controls, and some of those were gone, but the PO owner couldn't say what the current state was
- it sounded terrible, basically had no muffler, just a Cherry Bomb welded on and cantilevered out past the tail pipe
- the steering column housing rotated in it's mounts

I made a long list and started ticking off the items as I could fit in the time with the rest of my life.

- addressed the regulator by replacing it and the generator with an alternator from Dave Bean
- spent a lot of time under the dash to patch the wiring, and lock down the steering column
- replaced the steering flex joint with a universal joint
- replaced the Cherry Bomb with the stock Sprint muffler
- rebuilt the clutch hydraulic cylinders after I went to start it up one spring and saw hydraulic fluid all over the floor.
- replaced the doughnuts with CV joints from DBE
- replaced the stock radiator with the 26R version from DBE
- replaced the throttle cable after a barb on the end caused the old one to stick and over-rev the engine for a bit.
- clamped down the hard plastic fuel line onto the short rubber line just in front of the tank. The original wasn't clamped, and somehow came out, causing a no-fuel situation that confused the heck out of me for a time.
- sent the carbs off to Joe Curto to be refreshed and set to home market specs
- sent the distributor off to British Vacuum Unit to be recurved to home market specs
- installed a set of exhaust headers from DBE

Now that all that is done, the car is very reliably driveable, vs barely driveable. It starts easily and accelerates strongly. Here's a few shots of the results so far.

dsc_2880.jpg and
In the middle of dealing with the driveshafts - the originals are out.


dsc_2881.jpg and
Hard to believe it was drivable like this, but certainly not smoothly.


dsc_4363.jpg and
Radiator, alternator, headers, and refurbished carbs all in.


dsc_4375.jpg and
Carb linkage - is this the best I can do with the throttle return spring?


Still lots to do before I start taking it on longer trips. The top snaps on the windscreen pillars are missing, I've got to figure out how to attach replacements. The driver's door window isn't in it's tracks, so doesn't raise up - that has to be sorted out. Several electrical issues still left - the brake, handbrake, indicator and courtesy lights are all inoperable. The radio doesn't work. The bonnet fitment isn't the best. And the driver's door needs a bit of adjustment.

But now I can tool around locally in good weather - it's a blast to drive!
Steve Lyle
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:52 pm

are there "Lotus roads" in Oklahoma??? :)
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:37 am

tedtaylor wrote:are there "Lotus roads" in Oklahoma??? :)


Yes, but we have about a 50 mile drive to get to them.

For the past several years we've taken a road trip through eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. Great roads. From Talihena, OK to Mena AR over the Talimena Scenic Parkway, which is a very good Lotus road. Then up US-71 to AR-23 to Ozark, then up AR-23, known as the Pig Trail, which is a GREAT Lotus Road. AR-16 to Fayetteville, then US-62 and OK-59, both very good Lotus roads, back to Tulsa. About 450 miles in total.

But my Elan isn't quite ready for that, until I get the top and window sorted. We're planning on making that trip next Saturday in our MGB.

Here's a link to some pics of our initial drive of that route: https://www.mgexp.com/journal/Steve+Lyle/13589
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:22 am

I've motorcycled those roads, friend of mine used to live right off the Talimena Scenic Drive. Good times.
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:15 pm

Nice Car Steve! You have solved a lot of deferred maintenance and now you need to drive it and leave the MGB in the garage. I am willing to bet that after you put some miles on the Elan the B will be up for sale :D

And my wife and I drove the Talimena Scenic Parkway and the roads in NW Arkansas in our Plus 2 on our way to LOG 37 in Birmingham AL and found them to be absolutely wonderful in stark contrast to the lousy roads we found in New Jersey at LOG 38, Ted :lol: :lol:
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:56 pm

Steve, good to see this Federal Sprint appear again, looks like you have been busy since the eBay auction back in June 2015 when the car was in Scottsdale AZ.

I run the Federal Sprint register, so I'll send you a PM to get contact information.

Regards
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:34 pm

Ross Robbins wrote:Nice Car Steve! You have solved a lot of deferred maintenance and now you need to drive it and leave the MGB in the garage. I am willing to bet that after you put some miles on the Elan the B will be up for sale :D

And my wife and I drove the Talimena Scenic Parkway and the roads in NW Arkansas in our Plus 2 on our way to LOG 37 in Birmingham AL and found them to be absolutely wonderful in stark contrast to the lousy roads we found in New Jersey at LOG 38, Ted :lol: :lol:


Ross,

Well, the B will definitely get fewer miles as the Elan progresses. But it would be a tough to sell it - it was a 5 yr, nut and bolt restoration. It's kind of a member of the family now. And it's a bit more calm and sedate on longer trips, with the OD, cruise control, and a bit more room. But definitely not as much fun as the Elan. Getting into the B after an Elan drive, you feel like you're sitting on the car, not in it.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:16 pm

Hmmm, with my S3 elan, I usually I think I am not so much getting into it as putting it on like an overcoat.

:mrgreen: :shock: :D
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:36 pm

billwill wrote:Hmmm, with my S3 elan, I usually I think I am not so much getting into it as putting it on like an overcoat.

:mrgreen: :shock: :D


Good point, you're right. To the extent that I probably wouldn't fit in my Elan if I was wearing an overcoat!
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