Lotus Elan

Bank holiday pottering

PostPost by: JonB » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:58 pm

As today is Bank Holiday Friday, I thought I'd have a bit of a potter about in the garage. I got quite a few little niggly bits done.

  • Fitted a new choke knob. The old one wasn't locking into place, but the PO had retained the broken original, so I ground out the remains of the cable from it using a Dremel, then soldered a bicycle brake cable into it. Pulled the old cable and popped in the new and it is done. I think the knob is correct as it has the same shape as the headlight and fag lighter, and it locks properly. No more rusty screws needed to hold the choke on.
  • Had a look under the driver's floor mat. Absolutely soaked. I ripped out all the soundproofing and threw it away, then put a fan heater in the car to try and dry the carpets out. Meanwhile, I put a load more flowable silicone around the pedal box under the bonnet. If I'm really lucky the major leak is (temporarily) fixed. If not, it's "pedal box out" time. What fun, eh?
  • Adjusted the handbrake calipers. Now, when I pull the "umbrella", it stops half way and the car cannot be moved. Looks like the handbrake works now!
  • Did a bit more "Oatmeal vinyl washing". This time, using a paintbrush and Muck-Off, a proprietary cleaning solution for muddy mountain bikes. It's nasty stuff, so you need to rinse it off and dry the vinyl. I thought the results were ok. Even the grime trapped in the Oatmeal grain came out, after a few repeated applications.
  • Washed the carpet inserts in the door panels. I think these are never going to look clean. I wonder what they looked like new? I've cleaned the mats but they didn't come up too well, so I chucked them in the washing machine to see how well that works, along with garage towels, polishing rags and a few pieces of carpet (by way of experiment - I can see a new set of carpets in the not too distant future).
  • Lubricated the passenger door latch, rods and levers. I'm not sure this is going to cure the very annoying squeaks coming from the door when I'm driving, but that was the intent. As it has pissed down all day, I've not been out to test it.
  • Lubricated the horn pencil, which has started squeaking again. God, I hate squeaks in a car. Drives me mad.
  • Checked the engine breather pipe. I took the air box back plate off, pulled the rubber pipe and fitted a bit of petrol pipe, then sprayed a load of highly volatile brake cleaner down the pipe and blew it for a while. Seems to be clear now, but it's been bodged with a length of rubber petrol pipe and this is restricting the flow of crank case air a little. The old breather fitting (plastic) looks like it snapped off. Will need a new one I think.
  • Had a go at polishing the bumpers, for a laugh, with Autosol. They came up OK, where there is chrome, but the rest of it is dull. I have a spare front bumper but it is quite badly pitted and I think it's been pulled off an Anglia as it has evidence of the bumper overriders showing in the chrome. I might be able to get away with the rear bumper for now, but it's marginal. The front has had it.

Now I'm sitting in front of the fire with a beer, waiting for the washing machine to finish. Remarkable how long these little jobs take!
1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: JimE » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:43 pm

All in a day. Not bad going.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:03 pm

The weather down here is awful.
Ive been out all day yacht racing in it. I dont think its stopped raining all day.
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:31 pm

You must have a remarkably tolerant family... Most of us would be strung up by the dangly bits if we spent so much time in the garage or online let alone using the washing machine for grubby car bits.

Do you reckon you will make Castle Combe at the end of May?
Steve

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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:00 pm

Is that a Club thing? Not sure I have the dates.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:09 pm

Last Saturday in May with a Bank Holiday the following Monday.

Great day if the weather is good, loads of cars, auto jumble, track action, banter with the other owners and free as a visitor.
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:11 pm

I'll check the calendar!
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PostPost by: S3FHC » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:38 am

Good morning all,

is Castle Combe a Club Lotus event?
I would like to attend as a visitor but perhaps I should join?

Mark
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PostPost by: niallf » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:14 am

I'm sure they'd welcome a new member, but it's not necessary to join to go to Castle Combe. The event is advertised as a track day, and members can book track time. Apart from the track activity there's usally a car park full of Lotus of all shapes, sizes and ages. It''s probably the most diverse gathering in the UK and if the weather's kind it's usually a great day out.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:39 am

What's the official name for this event? If I ever get over there for a visit I may have to time it to attend. Not this year though.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:22 am

JonB wrote:[*]Had a look under the driver's floor mat. Absolutely soaked. I ripped out all the soundproofing and threw it away, then put a fan heater in the car to try and dry the carpets out. Meanwhile, I put a load more flowable silicone around the pedal box under the bonnet. If I'm really lucky the major leak is (temporarily) fixed. If not, it's "pedal box out" time. What fun, eh?
[*]Washed the carpet inserts in the door panels. I think these are never going to look clean. I wonder what they looked like new? I've cleaned the mats but they didn't come up too well, so I chucked them in the washing machine to see how well that works, along with garage towels, polishing rags and a few pieces of carpet (by way of experiment - I can see a new set of carpets in the not too distant future).


Hi Jon,
Are you sure that's where the leaks is, door seals are another candidate as are any other holes in the cabin (wiring grommets and even seat mount bolts. While you have the carpet and felt out, I would try using a garden hose on any suspect areas - not too aggressively though.

Not sure how you cleaned your carpet inserts but proprietary carpet cleaner (e.g. Tesco/Rug Doctor) works very well. The trouble with door cards, of course, is that you don't want to get the card itself wet. Washing machines are great but be careful the machine has rinsed clean, no bits left behind for your wife's prized.., well whatever she washes next.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:17 am

Hi Mike

The grommets are already sealed with flowable silicone and roofing flashing. No guarantees of course! I'm pretty sure it's the pedal box leaking because the carpet stuck to the side of the footwell was wet as well. The leak occurred when I was washing the car. I tend to chuck a bucket of water over it, and can imagine it all sluicing down onto the scuttle where the pedal box is. Plus, the gasket is clearly deformed and needs to be replaced. The flowable silicone is only a temporary measure as I'm not ready to tackle the pedal box yet.

I washed the mats in the washing machine. They came up clean, but the original carpets are way past redemption and need to be replaced. I'll probably renew some of the soundproofing too as it's 45 years old. Not yet, though. The priority is the mechanical health of the old girl.

The door inserts were washed with a foaming upholstery cleaner, then rinsed off with a sponge. I used a wet & dry vacuum cleaner to suck excess water from the carpet panels, then dried the car out with a fan heater on low. seemed to work OK but the inserts still look dirty. I think the colour has faded too much.

Cheers
JonB
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:17 am

(Duplicated post)
Last edited by JonB on Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:39 pm

JonB
Just worth a check, on my car the heater air intake box below the windscreen had not been correctly bonded into place from day 1, and any water getting in there could trickle into the car and make the footwell carpets wet. The previous owner had just removed the carpets and sound deadening mat and eventually the heels on his shoes had worn a hole through the floor so the water drained away!
Some fiddly fibre glassing in the heater air intake box soon stopped the water ingress and a simpler bit of fibre glassing repaired the floor - job done! Needed to be careful not to block the proper drain holes in the intake box so the water could drain out into the engine bay area, otherwise it fills up and comes in through the heater!

PS I have a brand new pedal box reinforcing plate going cheap if required, I bought it thinking it would fit, but mine is the early wider pedal box and this is for the later narrower pedal box.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:29 pm

The heater box is on the list of jobs, never fear!

I tested the pedal box seal, it is ok, but you're right, I need a new door seal as it's coming in there. Nowhere else, for now!

Today I serviced the lawn mower "on pain of death!" and found time to wash and dry the Elan as it was filthy from the Peterborough trip. Sparkly clean now. I would've polished it again but it's too late. Need to build up the polish, make it really shine.

Roll on sunshine!
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