Lotus Elan

The Road to LOG 30 or how I managed to arrive

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:44 pm

I think I mentioned how I had a great time at the LOG in Gettysburg and I guess I better write down the events so that all of you can have a good laugh. I guess I should go back to Tuesday evening. At around 10:30 the phone rings and its Ross Robbins and the first question is “did I wake you up?” and my answer was Yes, so what’s up? Anyway the right hand cantrail on his S2 had a bobbin fractured away from the fiberglass and he was looking for one to get the Elan home with his wife driving. I was now awake so I went downstairs to make coffee and look to see if I had anything that was serviceable. I found one and it still had the lost cantrail spigot eye on it so that was a plus. I figured that it would work but I also thought that it would be better to fix the one that Ross had. I started to round up a fiberglass repair kit. I had everything but the resin so I went to bum some from my friend Willy Hough. I found willy at home and got 4 or 5 ounces of resin and completed the kit.

I had a bit of a problem with the Elan on the preceeding Saturday and fouled a plug or two, I got it started but could not clear the engine so I decided to give it a bit of an Italian tune up.
It seemed to work and I got it running nicely, up to around 80 on my street so I turned around and went home thinking I would get it out again to check things out a bit better the next day. Well it was a damp day and put that off but the weather only got worse as the week progressed. I never did get a chance until Thursday morning at 5 a.m. when I was planing to leave for the LOG. The Elan was packed with stuff I was going to bring. I was a bit hesitant about a 500-mile jaunt but the Elan fired right up and I was gone at 5:30 to meet up with Bill Fralick. We were to meet at the Sturbridge rest area on the Mass Pike to caravan the rest of the way. Bill’s Elan Coupe had a total of 250 miles on it and he had it on his trailer for the trip (Bill trippled that in the next 3 days). I got onto the Mass pike and at the first rest area I stopped for fuel and got another 15 miles down the road when fate started to tell me the day was going to be one that I would like to forget about. We had some small hills on the pike and I was starting to loose speed going up them, at first it was only 5 mph and as Beau and I traveled a bit further it was hard to maintain 50 mph on the flats. Well it didn’t get any better and I was off into the breakdown lane driving 30 mph for a bit and then as low as 20 before I pulled over before it died some place that would be very bad. I was about 3 miles short of the Sturbridge rest area and after looking for possible problems I put things back in place. It started up and I got it up to 50 mph but no higher and as I approached the rest area we were down to 20 mph again and just as I pulled into where Bill was waiting the Elan died and wouldn’t re-fire. My friend Carl Whitney arrived and we looked at it again briefly and the conclusion was to unload Bill’s Elan Coupe and push my dead Elan on the Trailer and investigate further once we got it down to Gettysburg.

We took our time and stuck to the original plan that was to drive on the interstate until we got to Pennsylvania and then got onto the state highways and drive the remain 230 miles. It was 12 hour drive and should have been 10 but we took it easy. Once at the motel we went and had dinner and after some talk and a bit of a think we decide to take quick look at the spark in the dark. Well we had a spark but it seemed to fire one fat spark then a week one then no visible spark from there on. We called it a night and I got on Bill’s laptop and emailed Ross Robbins about the current problems and left a phone number to call. In the morning I gave Ray a call at R D Enterprises. It was 7:30 and he was closed but I thought he might at least turn on the answering machine and listen to his messages before leaving for the LOG himself. I also got a phone call from Ross and he had some tune up parts in the glove box so that gave us a place to start. Bill and I drove over from Hanover to Gettysburg a distance of 17 miles and parked the trailer in the back lot. We spotted Ross’s Elan in the parking lot and proceeded to get the tune up kit and the cantrail. No one was around so I just helped myself. Over in the trailer parking lot we parked and I took the bonnet off of my Elan and commenced with the tune up. First was the condenser, then the rotor, the plugs came a bit later. Well the points were old so they were tried next, nothing seemed to work and we were running out of parts to swap at about lunch time so I figured it was a good time to look at Ross’s cantrail and fix that, I needed to get something done. I got the fiberglass repair kit out and started in on the prep work, I had most of what was needed so I mixed up a bit of hardener (I think it was 5 years old) with the resin and placed some 1 ½ oz. Torn mat around the bobbin. I left it in the sun to give it that added boost of heat that may be necessary to get it to kick. I walked off to get some pictures of the latest arrivals and talk to some people. When I returned the cup was solid and that assured me that the repair would work.

So back to my dead Elan, it had been 13 years since I built the car and I’d put about 10,000 miles on it, I hadn’t touched the car much so the problems could be almost anything. I was kind of out of idea’s so when someone stopped by and offered a hand or other idea I readily accepted it. Mike Kennedy offered about an hour of his time and he left with no success. At around 2pm Mark Doubet pulled in from Iowa and offered some help, like 3 hours worth and we had tried almost everything we could thing of. I ran into Mile Braun and he had a spare cap and wires so we tossed that on it too but the results were the same.

Ray from R D showed up with a coil so I bought that too. It was getting late and time for the opening reception and we called it a day with the Elan still dead on trailer. Mike, Mark Bill, Carl and myself along with others continued to talk about it and others things till about 10:15 that evening and when we were just about to leave we decided that the culprit had to lie in the exhaust. Bill and I were just about to head back to the motel and I said lets take out the baffles on the Supertrap muffler. We looked for the correct Allen wrench but only could find the larger sizes, not to be deterred, I got a pair of vice grips out and pulled the 6 screws. When the baffles came off there was a large pile of carbon crud that fell out and I got in the Elan and gave it a couple pumps of the accelerator pedal and turned the key. It fired right up and with several blips of the pedal I let everyone know it was fixed.

I'll add some pictures when I get to look at the 130 that I took and cull the crap ones out.

I want to thank everyone that I met and talked with. I don't remember everyone’s name and not likely to remember all of the faces the next time. I saw folks from the last log and they looked familiar but getting old sucks and needed to look at the badges to catch the names.

Ramble on...

Gary and Beauregard
Last edited by garyeanderson on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:37 pm

Gary

Nice story and well sorted! Thanks for sharing it with us. Oh, and I can't let you off with talking of getting old - you and I are the same age and ...... that's not old!

Tim
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:46 pm

I guess we answered the question that no one is asking, how many bald guys does it take to make a recalcitrant Elan run? :D

I could have used one or two of them on the ride home when mine decided to act up --- in the pouring rain, of course.

There was a great photo op, Gary's Elan on the trailer, parts and tools scattered about, and Ross's Elan pulled up on the trailer ramps behind it, with two pairs of legs protruding form underneath. Did anyone....... :twisted:

I swear I saw Beau with paws covering his eyes. :D :D
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PostPost by: spanner » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:36 pm

Thanks for the story, Gary. Here's a safety back-up for some aircraft exhaust systems:

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/e ... erbail.php

Jim
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:59 pm

Tim

We may be the same age but I have led a hard life, I have been on bonus time since I was 20 and tried to make up for lost time.

Mike

I couldn't post the photos even if I had taken them, after three days of ball withdrawal, Beau made up for it today. 8:30 am he ran until the pool on the deck invited him in, then after lunch the tide came in and the backyard had 2 feet of water and it was time fetch the slime ball.

Jim

the Elan is a 1700 with 45 mm Webers and 33 mm chokes, mains are 135's and it always runs rich. The supertrap diffuser baffles had to be scrapped with a flat blade screwdriver to get the carbon build up off. I had to ware ear protection on the way home, I guess that should have been the second clue that I missed, the first was the exhaust leak on number 3 cylinder. In any event it gave us all something to do while waiting around for the event to start and gives us more to talk about now. It's really funny how when folks with Lotus cars get together how everyone pulls for one another to get the job done. I guess it’s just the best side of human nature that one doesn't see much of unless an unexpected problem arises. Again thanks to all that lent a hand or a suggestion. You are all great folks to know.

Gary
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PostPost by: memini55 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:40 pm

Well Gary it was great to finally meet you in person, but after driving for the 800+ mile trip I did not think I would find you in such a state. Tools everywhere and parts scattered all over Bills trailer. Made for a great picture as Mike said earlier and can't fiqure out why none of us had the smarts to take a picture. Well I guess it is just going to be left in our minds forever.

Lotus folks are the best! Working together to fix problems small and large, some easy some very hard, but still in the end very glad to see things work out. Lots of opinions and free advice and in the end results that work.

All should get a big thanks and happy to help.

Mark and sons
Oh yes daughter in law also included

Great Fun!!
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:58 pm

How right you are Mark how everyone deserves a big thank you and Bill Fralick deserves the biggest thank you. To take his car off the trailer after 250 break-in miles and then to drive 750 or so that he didn't plan on, to run around getting parts, to work with me as I turned the key after each component change, etc, etc, etc. I owe him big time. I hardly mentioned his contribution in the first post but he was with me the whole way and without him I would never have made it unless I had started out in the F250 doghouse and what fun would that have been. I guess I am buying lunch for Bill tomorrow and owe him much more.

Thanks again to everyone.

Gary
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PostPost by: nhhiker » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:10 am

I had a great time on this trip. Getting to drive my Elan down to Log was a real treat. I would of not tired it, but after that drive. I would take the car anywhere. I ran with no problems and was very nice to drive, It ran 65 - 70 mph the whole way, with a top speed by GPS of a quick up to 83 mph!

Thanks, Gary for sharing the trip and your story. And more important, Thanks for answering my questions and the loan of parts to see what I needed to finish the S3.

Bill
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PostPost by: rennbaron » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:37 am

...

Great Story in The Morning

Christian
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