Lotus Elan

S1 Élan Rebuild - My Story

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:07 am

I smiled at your comment Jon. My garage and wood shop are always in some state of disarray. There is usually some project going on and never enough time to get them completed in one or two days......so things start getting scattered. And then there is the constant collection of "stuff". I just can't seem to throw things away :D
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:30 am

Last night was the installation of the cooling system. Did a dry fit to assure the bonnet would close without problems. Determining the exact location of the radiator wasn't too hard, the swirl pot pretty much dictates where everything will go. As usual, a tight fit.

Drew was cutting the radiator hose in just the right places so the green stripe ran a certain way between the two of them. Of course he also was careful how the hose clamps where tightened and placed. Its the reason we work so well together, its all in the details.

We discussed filling the cooling system with water first to do a leak down test. But the draining of this system is by pulling the lower radiator hose off and we didn't want to deal with that once it was on. After some discussion we determined that there shouldn't be any leaks and poured the antifreeze in.

DSC06671.jpg and
Filling cooling system


I was finalizing some of the electrical connections behind the dash and making some wooden spacers that go between the dash, crash pad and the fiberglass dash molding. The cigarette lighter was in the way of the work I was doing so I disassembled it and let it hang from the wire. While working behind the dash it found a ground and burned my finger. Damn that thing got hot quickly! I disconnected the battery right after that.

We checked a couple of things to insure the engine was ready for start up. I let Drew do the honors and it turned right over and started up. Idle was just about perfect and we were amazed at how well it ran not missing a beat. Once the engine heated up to 70 degrees we gave it some throttle bursts. It sounds really good and runs strong. A bit of white smoke but I'm assuming that is from sitting for a month and the rings etc. need to bed in.

DSC06674.jpg and
Radiator and Swirl Pot installed


The next projects are to install the electric fan and wiring for the radiator. After that its finishing up the dash, bolting down the battery, fitting the airbox and putting the seats back in. Should be on the road by Saturday and then comes suspension adjustments. Sunday's New Hope Auto Show is a real possibility :D
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:07 pm

Certified Lotus wrote:Drew was cutting the radiator hose in just the right places so the green stripe ran a certain way between the two of them. Of course he also was careful how the hose clamps where tightened and placed. Its the reason we work so well together, its all in the details.D


And it looks great, I am always drawn to this attention to detail. By the way, which brake pipe flaring tool did you buy?
Russ Newton
Elan +2S (1971)
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:02 pm

Thanks Russ. I got the K-Tool international Professional Brake Flaring Tool Kit. Works like a charm!
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:29 am

I took my wife out for dinner before I started working on the Elan. Smart man :)

Two things I wanted to get accomplished this evening on the car; finish the dash install with the glovebox and complete the electric fan install & wiring for the radiator.

The glovebox had a broken bracket on one side and I had to epoxy it and let it cure before I attempted to install it. Everything went fine during the install.

DSC06687.jpg and
Glovebox reinstalled


Next came the electric fan install. The schematic was fairly simple to follow for the wiring. What took me so long was the soldering of all the connection spades and then the hookup. I don't like crimp connections so lots of striping of wire and crimp connectors then soldering of new connectors.

DSC06679.jpg and
Soldering Station


The wiring and soldering went without issues and everything connected as it was designed to do.
DSC06680.jpg and
wiring heater thermostat.


Started the car up and let it run until it reach 85 degrees F. Fan came on immediately and ran until water temp went down to about 80 degrees. Watched it cycle a couple of times to make sure it worked and then shut the engine down. Tomorrow I'll clean up the wiring routing and add to the harness.
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:26 am

That's the fanciest solder iron I've ever seen :)
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:22 am

Hi Greg, yes it's a bit overkill for the purpose of soldering spade connectors, but it's what I have. I build scale model radio controlled gliders, boats and F1 cars that require exact temperature control on circuit boards and servos. This soldering iron is well suited for that.
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:48 am

Two steps forward, three steps back. It was one of those days......

I started out early as I needed to button up a few things and wanted to do a couple of road tests to make suspension adjustments, re-torque some bolts and generally take time to sort out some small electrical issues (the fuel gauge needs to be connected and the turn signals don't work and the horn goes on when you turn the steering wheel).

First came the tie down rods for the battery. The PO had large lead cell battery sitting on the floor behind the passenger seat and the carpet was eaten away from battery acid due to not being tied down. I ran thru bolts and installed a bracket to bolt down the battery. I needed to make sure the tie down still allowed the fiberglass battery cover to be used.

DSC06689.jpg and
Battery installation


Next came the installation of the QED airbox for the weber carbs. I drilled a hole for the cover to be bolted on, trimmed the long bolt to size and bolted the backing plate to the carbs. Ran the large airflow tube to the sponge air filter and secured everything. Was a tight fit but it looked great!

DSC06692.jpg and
QED airbox backing plate

DSC06694.jpg and
TC with QED Airbox and hose


Fitting the bonnet. It was clear that the bonnet was not going to go down over the airbox. The side of the bonnet was in the way and would need a significant trimming to clear. Too much fiberglass material would be removed for my liking so I canned that idea and un-installed the airbox, hose and filter.

DSC06699.jpg and
Bonnet wont close the QED airbox installed


I pulled the K&N air filters from my old engine and bolted them on the webers. They will work fine until I figure out what I will probably do.

DSC06708.jpg and
K&N filters for weber carbs


The car was sitting too low so I adjusted all four corners to allow for better road clearance. Very simple now as I have fully adjustable springs.

Started the engine, let it warm up while I washed the windshield and off I went for a test drive!

DSC06702.jpg and
Back on the road after several months of work.


It didn't last long. About 1 1/2 miles down the road the front brakes locked up (both sides) and started smoking. I pulled off to the side of the road and let everything cool down. Once the brakes released I drove back home and put the car back on the lift.

DSC06705.jpg and
Put on lift, remove wheels


After much discussion with Drew we determined the master cylinder was defective. It was brand new so I was a bit perplexed but after removing the master brake cylinder it became clear there were problems. The piston tube was scored and the plunger wasn't returning very quickly. We dismantled the entire master cylinder, cleaned it and honed the piston tube. Re-greased the parts using red grease for brake parts and reassembled.

DSC06710.jpg and
Master brake cylinder


We reinstalled the master cylinder and re-bled the entire brake system. Time for a beer!

Drew and I packed a flashlight, paper towels and some wrenches for the midnight test drive. We made it back safely and no more brake lockup.

DSC06715.jpg and
Road tested at midnight and back in the garage.


Looks like I will be driving to the New Hope Autoshow!
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:02 am

My plan for today was to pack a couple of folding chairs and a cooler with soft drinks in the boot and have a leisurely drive to New Hope Pennsylvania for the sports car show. It's about 30 miles so not too far for my first outing in the Elan after the major rebuild.

My son Ryan and I got in the car and headed to our destination using back country roads. Ryan commented how nice the car sounded and that it pulled strongly on acceleration. We were enjoying the morning air and clear sky's bantering about the car details stopping at the local gas station to fill up with fuel. After refueling I started the car and it wouldn't budge. That's strange.......the car was fine until we stopped and then after restarting the front brakes locked up again. We moved it away from the pumps with great difficultly and waited to see if the pressure would go down. 20 minutes later nothing changed.

IMG_4938.JPG and
Brake lock at gas station


A couple of landscaping trucks pulling in and I asked one of the guys if he had a 7/16" open end wrench. He has a complete tool kit! So I borrowed a wrench and cracked the hard line fitting on the master cylinder and the pressure went down on the brakes and the front calipers unlocked. We drove right back home and I put a couple of wrenches in the car for the next time this happens.

We made it to the car show and while I was waiting for my registration, the master cylinder pressure built up again and no pedal travel. Rock hard pedal. The front brakes locked up again. Released the pressure and parked my car in the Lotus area and decided to inquire about my problem with my fellow Lotus friends. Seems the problem of faulty master cylinders is not unique to me with a number of people suggesting to sleeve the cylinder with either brass or stainless steel.

I decided to enjoy the day and have a relaxing time talking to my friends on all things Lotus as well as look at all the other sports cars at the show (almost 300).

L1140633.jpg and
New Hope Auto Show

L1140657.jpg and
Parked next to a 1967 Mark 51


After the show was over I drove home and within 15 minutes the front brakes locked up again. Cracked open the fitting on the master cylinder, relieved some pressure and drove home.

Now I need to source a Master Cylinder that will work!
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:25 am

Glen
Congratulations on near completion of your Elan project, I can't wait to see it in person. I had a similar brake lock up a few weeks ago and suspect the same cause. There was some recent discussion about those K & N filters possibly leaking fuel on the distributor. But they do look good! Also I am curious as to how you like the sound of the TTR exhaust. Is it louder than you expected?
Later
Chris :)

PS - Looks like a photo finish Oldthumper vs. Certified Lotus :lol:
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:33 am

Chris, the TTR exhaust is perfect sounding! Nice and throaty but not too loud. In cruise mode its a nice rich sound and on the throttle you can tell it means business. Once I get the brakes sorted out I'll post a video.

Congrats to Oldthumper getting his Elan back on the road and looking spectacular!
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: c42 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:20 pm

Just a thought but does your brake pedal allow the master cylinder actuating rod to fully retract along with the master cylinder piston, if not that will allow a build up of pressure in the system.

Good luck!
John
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:16 pm

John, I am coming to the conclusion that my actuating rod is too long. Does anyone have an exact length of the OEM rod with a clevis pin attachment on it?
Glen
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:22 pm

i had this problem on a +2 Elan . I suggest you fit a shim between the master cylinder and the bulkhead maybe 2 mm thick.
Alan
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PostPost by: tvacc » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:47 am

Can you tell me if you bought this car from a person with the last name that starts with a Bu.

If it is, then in belonged to my best friend and I worked on it. Have known the car for more than 40 years.

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