Lotus Elan

2018: A Peterborough Odyssey

PostPost by: 661 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:01 pm

Update, please.
Thanks.


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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:04 pm

You will all have to wait a bit longer. It's 10:00pm here and I was up at 3:00am.. :twisted:
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PostPost by: JohnP » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:09 pm

My gosh! Only 9 pm here in London. Must be worse than I thought oop north
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:58 pm

JohnP wrote:My gosh! Only 9 pm here in London. Must be worse than I thought oop north

Give the guy a break, he moved his watch in the wrong direction on Saturday night! :)
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:57 pm

JonB wrote:You will all have to wait a bit longer. It's 10:00pm here and I was up at 3:00am.. :twisted:


But where is here?
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PostPost by: Peter +2 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:05 pm

Well, I have just refitted my brake servo and i am feeling optimistic for both of us.
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PostPost by: steveh » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:11 pm

Waters broke yet ?, is it a boy or girl ?
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:24 pm

One of each it is a Plus2 after all!
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PostPost by: steveh » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:33 pm

The "suspension" is too much for me
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PostPost by: SENC » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:34 am

steveh wrote:The "suspension" is too much for me

You are twisted.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:36 am

steveh wrote:The "suspension" is too much for me

Come on give it a "Brake"
Here in France we have 1 hour more

I hope you have good News Jon and the problem can be fixed easily.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:53 am

Time for some news, methinks...

You're all right, it was 9:00pm when I posted the last note but I think I could be forgiven having spent 9 hours on the road in a clapped out transporter. I had been accompanied by my 17 year old daughter, who seems to enjoy doing road trips like this. I can confidently say that she has been cured of that particular quirk, at least for now. :lol:

So, anyway...

Andy successfully removed the seized spindle, hurrah! He thought that I'd not manged to do it myself because I had "the wrong sort of gas" - no oxyacetylene in other words. I'd already come to this conclusion after trying everything else bar drilling. Rust was the culprit so my fears of a bent chassis or accident damage were unfounded. He reassembled the front suspension and torqued up both sides (as I had only loosely bolted it all up for transport). Fitted a second new spindle where one of the old ones had a welded-on nut (which I knew about and was going to leave as I thought it wouldn't be going anywhere). Pressed out and replaced one of the brand new bushes that had failed on assembly. Even repaired the damage I'd inflicted on the headlight vacuum pipe ("I had some lying around so I just did it."), although it needs a bit more attention as it is only staying down for a few hours. Then set the front tracking and test drove it to ensure it was all OK.

He also advised that:-

  • Front shock absorbers need to be replaced. Rears are OK but I think they are binding on the rebound and will probably need to do them too.
  • Diff torque rods are fitted wrong way round (need to swap them over). I didn't know they were sided.
  • Tyres are the wrong profile (look small in the arches). Not sure that affects handling greatly; certainly the ride height and look of the car.
When I asked him if it handled like it should, he said it did, but when I tried it (admittedly on some seriously poor road surfaces) I thought it was rolling too quickly on the bends. I'm betting the front shock absorbers are the culprits.

Total elapsed time was about 6 hours; I dropped it off at 8:00am and collected it at 2:00pm. I'm not going to discuss the cost; it was a good chunk of lucre but not as expensive as I'd feared.

The transporter was a bit of a wreck. Really filthy inside with lots of broken plastic panels and covers that had fallen off or out of their receptacles. However, it drove reasonably well for a vehicle that'd been round the clock twice (218,000 miles!!) and I ended up using about £90 of diesel. The main problems I encountered were the dreadful weather (sheets of rain and spray that reduced visibility and made the many badly behaved drivers look even more stupid than usual) and the traffic jams (M1 and M25) which were really nasty. I had a lot of "clutch knee" crawling along, stop/start, etc. There seemed to have been a number of accidents and these led to lane closures and the inevitable miles long tail backs. The journey times were 3.5 hours there (normal time for this trip), 5 hours back (we hit the M25 at 5:00pm) - I won't be doing that again in a hurry!

One of the funniest things that happened was when we stopped in a small service area to take a leak. There was a hot pie station in the building, and as we went into the loos I said, "I smell something tasty!" To which my daughter replied, "I smell piss. And I'm not wearing any shoes." Jolly funny, at the time. She'd walked in wearing her socks only. Serves her right. :D

This morning (Wednesday) I took the transporter back. Getting into the S-Max for the drive home was heaven. What a smooth, refined car it is. Still proper lousy weather, mind. It feels like I have not seen the sun for months.

The Elan is tucked up in the garage and I noticed when I put it away that the handbrake cable has come loose. I hope that's the problem, or I will be looking for a new cable. It's also misfiring but that is to be expected as it's not been out for a blast in ages. I expect there is some fouling on the No.4 plug (see the discussion about the breather for more background).

Normal service can now be resumed. First job will be to inspect the front suspension, then swap the diff torque rods round and refit / adjust the handbrake cable.

What a relief it's over! Almost. I'm now contemplating taking the front apart again, so that I can fit new shock absorbers and springs, I suppose... Once that is done there's not much else to be renewed suspension-wise. Lotocones, diff top mounts, roll bar bushes and that is it.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:13 am

Well done Jon,
don't loose faith
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:13 am

"What a relief it's over! Almost."

Or has the fat lady only cleared her throat? :)
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:25 am

Well, "it" refers to the efforts I have put in to resolve the handling issues. I want the car to feel like a Lotus. At the moment it feels like a particularly badly setup Spitfire (I know, because I've had a few in my time).

@Alan, thanks, faith is about to be restored, I think.
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