Lotus Elan

Why restore an Elan

PostPost by: gordont » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:21 am

Jens
Great looking car, I especially like the 2nd pic with teh Jag and Elan side by side - really emphasis's the compactness of teh Elan.
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DSC09359.JPG and
Gordon
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:55 am

Keith at Legacy is making good progress on joining the two halves. Today we did some addiitional trimming of the body at the seam area. Once completed Keith ground the exisiting fiberglass down almost paper thin on an angle toward the seam itself. Then he started to lay up multiple layers of glass today starting with strips 1 inch wide and continuing until he was using strips 6 inches wide. This was done on the inside only. Later we will turn the body upside down and will repeat the process on the under side. Good fiberglass work is lovely to look at. The fiberglass repairs done on this body in 1976 were giant globs of resin and mat. That also explains why all the repairs in many of the area were so HEAVY!

I might also say, Keith wrapped the frame in parchment paper so if any of the resin dripped through the seam it would be caught by the parchment paper and would not bond itself to the frame. Good idea!

Keith also trial fitted the doors. They look pretty good! We'll see how much work they'll need after we get the underside of the body bonded up.

I've started to give some attention to the headlite buckets. One has a corner broken off and the other has GLOB repairs done in 1976. I don't think that headlight was ever opened, ..........it weighs a ton! I have a couple of extra headlite pods but they too have minor damage. At least they don't weigh a ton. Although one I don't want to use if I don't have to as it still has the teck inspection stickers on it from the 60's. But if I have to, I will. It will give its previous life of racing history to restore life to Serial #5738.

Anyway, the glass work is starting. There is a possibility of it may come back home this weekend for me to start installing holes in the front clip, repairing small fiberglass reapirs, and trial fitting numerous parts. Then it will go back to the shop for final body prep and paint.

Famous Frank
Attachments
Body with Legacy sign.jpg and
First body bonding tunnel.jpg and
Initial tunnel bonding
First bonding R side lattice.jpg and
First bonding of R side lattice
First bonding L side lattice.jpg and
First bonding of L side lattice
Paper over frame test fit.jpg and
Parchment layed over frame to keep any dripping resin at the seam from attching itself to the frame.
Headlite buckets 9.jpg and
The ones I might use
Headlite buckets 4.jpg and
Guess which one is filled with huge globs of resin and mat? Correct, the left one.
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PostPost by: gordont » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:59 am

looks good Frank, be on the road for your summer?
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:21 am

Thanks Gordon. I doubt this summer. The economy here is the states is horrible I work three jobs to make ends meet. Right now I have my evenings and weekends free for the most part. But come February, my concessions business comes back to life and will take up a couple of my evenings a week and also Saturdays and Sundays. Plus my 12 year old son's Lacrosse season starts up. That will always come first. Now if I could only get him interested.

The secret to completing a project is to do something everyday, even if it's only one hour. Leave it too long and it becomes dead. But maybe not long past summer. I can't wait!

Frank
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:23 pm

Frank,

I made a die set to form new top spring mounts for small diameter rear springs in the early 80s. It is much like the prototype dies our model shop was making from a company I worked for back in the 80s. I made 3 mounts and 2 of them are on my S3-SS. It was restored and back on the road in 1985 and the re-restoration will be complete some time this year. I still have the die set but need a healthy press to be able to make more blanks. I cut the D shaped hole in the platforms with a jewels saw.

When I did the initial restoration, I restored the calipers and repainted them with Ditzler urethane kicked enamal. Today I would do the same but I would use their straight urethane (purple label). This is the paint I have used on the frames of both my Eleven and 20/22. Both have had brake fluid spilled on them and it is wiped up and cleaned off with spray-can brake clean. No adverse affects. Easy to use.

I personally detest powder coated finishes. One little chip or scrartch and the baked on powder then delaminates and rusts severely under the powder until the powder just flakes off showing severe rust. The trailer hitch on my Explorer is a prime example.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
'76 Modus M1 F3
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PostPost by: zog » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:27 pm

It's looking good Frank! As to the 5-speed, I'm in contact with John from Quantum mechanics for a 5-speed for my T/C Cortina Wagon. I sent him a Merkur trans as a core and he has all the parts to convert it. He just has to get around to doing it. He moved his shop to a bigger facility during one of the big snow storms and he is still diggin out.

When I'm all done with my Tina and also my Elan S2 project, I will start work to rebuild my S1. I have a Spyder chassis and I will see if the Quantum modified T-9 will fit.

As to te t-5, Gregski's old autocross Elan (now owned by Paul Quiniff) has a T-5 with a short shift kit and it is terrible to shift.
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:30 am

Work on fitting and then bonding the two halves together continues. Keith worked on the the Right Side Rocker, the top of the tunnel, and the Left Side Rocker. All of todays work was on the inside of the car and down the sides on the outside. Tomorrow or Monday, we'll pull the body off the frame, turn it upside down, will grind the halves on an angle toward the seam and will start bonding the bottom. It's looking so, so good. Replacing the entire front was truly the right move to make. We'd be woking on repairing the body forever had I tried to fix the original.
Attachments
Rocker L side bonded.jpg and
Left side Rocker bonded
Rocker L side bonded inside close up.jpg and
Left Side Rocker bonded
Tunnel Top bonded close up.jpg and
Close up of bonded tunnel top
Rocker R side close up.jpg and
Close up of right side Rocker.
Rocker R side with tunnel in background.jpg and
the right rocker bonded with the tunnel inthe background
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PostPost by: RedS4 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:12 pm

I've seen some of those caliper paints. Always was concerned that the paint may be too thick to allow proper heat dispation


Frank
The paint is remarkably thin. It comes in an aerosol can, which I sprayed into a small bottle and brushed it on so (no masking required and more control of the paint...). The coverage was fantastic, and as it is so thin, it did not interfere with any cast details on the caliper. That said, it is also very opaque so only one coat was required. I also used it on parts of the hubs (eg the webbing). No issues with brake fluid etc so far.
Evan J
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PostPost by: Lotus14S2 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:19 pm

FYI
Although this is not actually following the thread as it is written, I think that if I was to answer the question Re: "Why Restore an Elan?" right now, it would be because an Early Elite just sold at auction for $99,000 (US).
The ripples that this will have throughout the Early Lotus owners could be significant, and I would expect that to include the Elan and even possibly the Europa; at least the early models.
Thus good clean original, or restored cars could increase in value, thus making it worthwhile, and maybe more economical (in relation to value) to do restorations of these cars.
Tim
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:25 am

Evan, On your recommendation, along with the recommendations of Bob Herzog and others, I'm going to rebuild the calipers myself and I'll give painting them with caliper paint a try. What's the worse that can happen? I'll have to redue them again later.

Tim, that is one good reason to restore an Elan. $99k for an Elite! Wow!.....another car I can no longer afford. It must have been a nice one. I want to restore this one becuase it's the one I have, and I want mine to drive like an Elan! Nothing else on the market is like an Elan. How many cars 40 plus years old provide the performance of the Elan. Even today, not many. I'm looking forward to it!
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:52 am

Luckily, work keeps moving forward. We took the body off the frame and turned it upside down. It is so nice to look down on the bottom of your car. Normally, when you are looking at the bottom of your car, your neck starts to hurt from looking up. This is so refreshing. And you get a wonderful veiw of all the defects and uglys! But while it is upside down, it's so easy to repair these little malidies.

Keith kept working on the joining the body halves. Again grinding the glass down almost paper thin and beveling it toward the center of the seam. Then starting with narrow strips of 1 1/2 oz fiberglass strips and gradually, as the layers build up, widening the strips intill they are almost 8 inches wide.

Next week, we're putting it on its side to glass in the lattice work. By working on its side, the resin and fiberglass mat doesn't drip down.

Does anyone have the S2 SE diff scoop that is not damaged? I'm looking for some pics so I can correcly repair mine.

Famous Frank
Attachments
Underside bonded at L seat area.jpg and
Underside under Left seat area bonded.
Famous Frank

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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:02 am

Next step this week end is for me to work on repairing the headlite buckets. Previous repairs produced a bucket so heavy with globs of fiberglass and resin, I don't think the headlites ever opened.
Attachments
Underside Diff scoop.jpg and
Does anyone have a picture of this type of diff scoop without the damage?
Underside total car.jpg and
Underside looking down tunnel.jpg and
Underside R Rocker being bonded.jpg and
Underside looking at R rocker
Underside bonded tunnel area.jpg and
Underside of tunnel
Underside bonded at R seat area.jpg and
Underside under R seat area bonded
Famous Frank

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PostPost by: gordont » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:08 am

underside diff scoop? do I sense a 26R clone coming on? :D
Gordon
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PostPost by: Famous Frank » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:45 pm

Gordon, No, no 26R clone here. That picture is of the diff scoop that came on 66 S2 SE's. Was there one like that on 26r's? I thought the 25r scoop was on the outside of the rocker. The one on the outside of the rocker is what Tony Thomspon sells. I am not sure as I have not seen many bottoms of 26R's that have not been modified or molested by a string of previous owners.

This definitely is the diff scoop that came on 66 S2 SE's. Whether it was used on 26R's, I don't know. There are two problems with this scoop. 1) There were not very many 66 S2 SE's, and 2) As you can see, every single one of them got torn off the bottom. I have two, and both are pretty mangled as can be seen in the picture.

I am driven to repair mine properly. What do you think? Do you have a pisture of one that is in one piece? Was this standard equipment on 26R's?

Famous Frank
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PostPost by: gordont » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:35 pm

Do all S2 SE have a flat floor and the scoop? My 66 S2 5416 was (I believe) an SE but has a ribbed floor and no scoop. Any ideas?
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