Lotus Elan

Looking to buy a +2, what to look for?

PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:14 am

Foxie wrote:
JonB wrote:Hi Tim

Sill replacement seems very straightforward. The Spyder sill kits are not too expensive, so I won't lose too much sleep if I find the job needs to be done. I like that you can remove a single cover to inspect them. What is the cover made of (I've seen Spyder ones that are powder coated) and how easy would they be to remove? It looks lik e they're secured with grub screws going into the fibreglass, is that correct? If they are fixed with bolts and (not captive) nuts then the rear seats have to come out.


I fitted Spyder replacement sill bars a long time ago, I highly recommend them. The jacking tubes are mighty !

The closing plates are fitted with self-tappers. :)


Yes, usually self tappers, but I have found them pop riveted also. They are just tin plate, sometimes galvanised, sometimes not, it seems, & will, or should, have some sort of sealer which may well 'stick' them in place quite securely.
Good luck with the viewing & let us know how you get on.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:26 pm

And the news is... I bought it. Here are some notes from my first 100 miles.

  • Paint is good (not totally perfect, few pin holes that are very hard to spot).
  • Engine runs well. Seems to be a bit rich (soot in exhaust) but pulls well and smoothly.
  • Clutch very heavy with a short throw, feels kind of sticky. Gearshift a bit tricky. I suspect clutch needs to be adjusted. Slave and master cylinders both overhauled recently.
  • Throttle cable is very stiff, needs to be replaced.
  • Most electrics work. Failed bulb in one of the instruments and passenger side courtesy light. Passenger door light (red warning light) not working. One reverse bulb out.
  • Headlights have H4 conversion. Come up and down as expected, but there's a problem which I will discuss on a different thread.
  • Driveshafts are Rotoflex. Lots of wind up / wind down. Very difficult to drive smoothly in traffic. Have spare doughnuts.
  • Sill strengtheners look OK. Looks like a Spyder one, I can feel the tube. Jack points present and strong.
  • Tiny bit of play in front wheel bearings, need to be tightened. Also steering.
  • Good at speed until 80mph. Then some vibration - like a propshaft out of balance, or more likely Rotoflex doughnuts. Wasn't able to inspect, they are probably at end of life.
  • Some steering wheel vibration at speed. Will check front wheel balance. Steeting shaft is a little loose.
  • Wheels very good (refurbed) with new tyres all round. Spinners a bit dented from being whacked with a soft headed hammer.
  • Jack and hammer in boot with spare wheel. Jack isn't original Lotus part, it's a scissor with a piece welded onto it to engage the jack points.
  • Needs suspension bushes changing according to owner.
  • Rear lower wishbones : Offside straight, nearside might be very slightly bent (from jacking). Hard to see - I will check with a straight edge.
  • Interior is complete apart from trim where seatbelts come out of B pillar. Needs a good clean.
  • Exterior trim looks complete. Has correct 1972 Championship, ELAN PLUS 2 and 130/5 badges. Front trim moustache present. LOTUS letters presen (on boot). Front bumper in poor shape, needs re-chroming but there's a spare.
  • Bonnet & boot pulls and catches work properly.
  • Handbrake works. Amazing. But the mechanism fouls doughuts if not fully pushed in on release.
  • Dashboard has usual varnish cracking plus some missing veneer above radio slot. Will be replaced.
  • Engine bay very clean and free of oil, mostly. Bound to be some leakage underneath.
  • Has Spyder chassis.. I could see it (painted red) but not make out any rust. Impossible to get under there.
  • Passenger door lock (external) doesn't work. It locked but won't unlock. Can be opened from inside. Driver's side OK. Door key badly worn.
  • Has aftermarket immobiliser fitted (works). Has Kenlowe fan. No other modifications I could see. Evidence of head work (decoked, seats and valves re-ground) done in the '90s. Not Unleaded converted as far as I could make out.

All in all I think it's honest for the money. If we compare to to the blue one for the same price, it is streets ahead. Looks the business, colour is spot on for my taste. Has a spare doughnuts, S/S exhaust system and front bumper. Seems to be very original apart from the chassis and Kenlowe fan. Drive home was uneventful and comfortable, despite heavy rain. Easily kept up with motorway traffic. Wife will not talk to me, is not impressed - but it is £100 a year to run (includes RAC breakdown) and that's all. Would be easy to sell on at a profit if I were so inclined...

Cheers
JonB
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:44 pm

Jon,

The lovely Sue Miller will be able to sort you out with a full set of poly bushes, in my opinion they're very well priced. That will help you on the bends.

And congrats on your purchase, another one survives.

Paul
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:46 pm

pauljones wrote:Jon,

The lovely Sue Miller will be able to sort you out with a full set of poly bushes, in my opinion they're very well priced. That will help you on the bends.

And congrats on your purchase, another one survives.

Paul

Sue or Mick?

When I looked for Sue Miller I got Mick Miller's site.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:24 pm

Jon,

Same deal. Mick was her late husband, Sue continued the business and is probably one of the nicest people in lotus land.
She works hard to keep our joys on the road,i think we should help support her.
Incidently the price is good and im buying a set after xmas. She also sells TTR suspension, id like a set of matching shocks and springs but for now they have to wait.

Back on point tho, hope you enjoy your purchase, how far away from south coast are you? Im in Fareham.
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:13 pm

Orsom Weels wrote:Wife will not talk to me


Ah...the joys of Lotus ownership :mrgreen:

Should be Jon's quote, but I'm sure Orson will agree :wink:
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:03 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:
Orsom Weels wrote:Wife will not talk to me


Ah...the joys of Lotus ownership :mrgreen:

Should be Jon's quote, but I'm sure Orson will agree :wink:


A Lotus bonus...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:11 pm

KevJ+2 wrote:
Orsom Weels wrote:Wife will not talk to me


Ah...the joys of Lotus ownership :mrgreen:

Should be Jon's quote, but I'm sure Orson will agree :wink:


Mrs O is more likely to not talk to me if I don't buy a car I go to look at :shock:
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:21 am

John,
Your wife doesn't read this column does she?
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:12 am

Nope....

John :lol:
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PostPost by: William2 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:48 pm

Well done. Looks like you have got yourself a bargain. I saw the car online a few weeks ago and I'm surprised it didn't sell more quickly.
If it were my car I would fit a pair of Sue Miller's driveshafts as number 1 job.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:29 pm

Well, I have had it up on ramps today and had a good look underneath.

  • Spyder chassis is SOLID. Turrets fine. Some surface rust, but most of it is painted (red)
  • Braided hoses everywhere.
  • Doughnuts looking a bit tired. I have replacements (second hand but far better nick) but can't be bothered to fit 'em. Will see how much the Sue Miller shafts cost first.
  • Bushes look pretty tired. Might actually be original!
  • All suspension arms, joints etc have surface rust, need to be painted.
  • Surprised to find no oil on the floor after yesterday's 100 mile drive home. I see oil leaks but they do not look serious. Also small water leak, again not serious.
  • Engine is in good health. Oil pressure 40 on the gauge. Will check compression.
  • No play in water pump pulley.
  • Gearbox a bit tired. 5th gear noisy at speed (thought it was the wind). Can hear synchros spinning up on downshift. Gearchange a bit difficult at times especially 4th - 5th. Notchy. I don't like it much.
  • Have washed it. Paint is good, not 100% perfect but looks great. No cracks anywhere that I could see. No scratches.
  • Interior is tired. Needs sorting. Cleaning, screwing back together, new dash needed.

Fix that lot and it's a £17k car, easy.

I think it's panned out well...
1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: nwbaxter66 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:51 pm

Congratulations ...
And in a few months you will be wondering what you did with all that free time that you thought you had.
Enjoy the new car, I know I am enjoying mine
N
Nick Baxter
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:50 pm

Pictures please

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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:05 am

If the box is just hard to get out of 5th then it's quite normal. You can fit more/thicker washers under the dome nut on the bottom of the box to improve it. This reduces the pre load of the spring for the 5th/rev detent making it a little less effective.

Also quite normal for 4th synco to be weak and first to fail. It has to spin up the entire input shaft not just the geardo had a higher loading. Probably not help by how hard people gave to jank to get the box out of 5th on a down shift.

There couple of experts who can rebuild the boxes in the UK. One Liverpool, one Norfolk. There also a few mods that can be done to improve the box while it's out.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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