Lotus Elan

Sprint buying guide / advices

PostPost by: Giniw » Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:41 pm

Hello Everyone,

Is there a buying guide for the Sprint FHC?

I have found a car which seems mostly OK to my untrained eyes, but, do you see something strange in that engine bay and underneath?

I think the HT leads should go down in the middle of the intake plenum pipes and the green paint of the engine is a bit weird, and a few bushings need to be changed underneath (anti-roll bar for instance) but apart from this that doesn't look too bad, does it?

Thanks in advance!

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PostPost by: jcocking » Wed Jul 17, 2019 1:55 pm

Here is the link to the published buyers guide: http://www.lotuselan.net/wiki/Category:Buyers_Guide
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:04 pm

Personally my eye went straight to the headlight vacuum tank in the chassis not being used, i assume it has electric headlight lifers fitted but i'd be sticking a mityvac on the tank and see if it holds vacuum. If it doesn't it could mean a corroded chassis front upright.

Also get a thin rod (2mm in diameter by 60mm long) and poke it up through the drain holes in the bottom of the front uprights, they should feel clear (often get full of crud and stones) you shouldn't get any water draining out.

Bit interesting some one has fitted an engine powered fan? i'd also keep an eye on the temp gauge for it getting warm as it may have been done for a reason. The original later (small) radiator is a bit suspect if used in warmer climates and does tend to get scaled up making it even less effective.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:18 pm

Yes the cross-member does look a bit suspect.
I see that there is still a vacuum pipe attached to #1 inlet - presumably for the brake servo?
The vacuum pipes into the cabin still appear to be present. So a check on how headlights lift is needed.
Personally I favour having a mechanical fan backed up with electric for traffic and final cool down at end of a run.
It doesn't look as if there are any wires to the 'thermostat switch' on the radiator - so maybe no electric fan anyway?
Nothing wrong with HT routeing and they have a homemade support.
There's an interesting mix of 'new" and old here. It doesn't look neglected and so.e sruff is quite smart (eg heater valve) but like almost any car could do with more having been done.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:50 pm

A few comments:

1. Looks like this is 5 speed?

2. What does the final drive look like? Rubber donuts: condition? CV upgrade?

3. Generator (dynamo) instead of an alternator conversion

4. Front chassis crossmember very dented and distorted. A lot of improper jacking up. May not be a problem per se.

5. Exhaust looks a bit low. Perhaps a larger bore retrofit?

6. The routing of the temperature gauge capillary may be problematic, subject to stress being put on the bulb/tube joint. Should normally have a number of coils for flexibility and also be secured to the heater valve. Check that the temperature gauge goes up to a reasonable temperature after running. Otherwise there is a leak.

7. What head work was done? As indicated by the odd green paint.


You didn't show the interior/dash or body. Might also indicate some previous owner modifications (always something to look at).
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:16 pm

I wasn't sure about all the ribbing on the gearbox - I've never seen a 5 speed so didn't comment - a good call
Not that many made and the colour isn't that common either.
Could be an interesting car.
Yes some interior and overall photos would be good to have.
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PostPost by: Giniw » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:28 pm

(I am going to write a detailed answer later but I am very happy with the answers already posted, thank you very much!! The community here seems well alive and that is a very nice thing to know! :D )
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:04 pm

Here's a link to details of 5 speed sprint.

http://www.lotuselansprint.com/index.asp?pageid=41830
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PostPost by: jimj » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:54 pm

I would be suspicious of the new shiney paint on the chassis cross member, what is it concealing? What`s the paintwork like? that is the biggest single expense.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:08 am

The vacuum line from the front cylinder intake runner has a check valve. The diameter of the vacuum line is consistent with a line to the vacuum system for the headlights. Unless the brake servo is located in the nose, there is no servo mounted on the left side inner fender. Would be concerned about no vacuum reservoir in the headlight raising system.
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PostPost by: Giniw » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:32 pm

jcocking wrote:Here is the link to the published buyers guide: http://www.lotuselan.net/wiki/Category:Buyers_Guide

Thanks a lot!! :)





Grizzly wrote:Personally my eye went straight to the headlight vacuum tank in the chassis not being used, i assume it has electric headlight lifers fitted but i'd be sticking a mityvac on the tank and see if it holds vacuum. If it doesn't it could mean a corroded chassis front upright.

prezoom wrote:The vacuum line from the front cylinder intake runner has a check valve. The diameter of the vacuum line is consistent with a line to the vacuum system for the headlights. Unless the brake servo is located in the nose, there is no servo mounted on the left side inner fender. Would be concerned about no vacuum reservoir in the headlight raising system.



Thank you, as far as I understand, the vacum hose routing should be from the intake next to the 1st cylindre, then down towards the front cross member, then towards the cabin lever and then towards the depression capsule? (I assume there should be only one since it must be a late fail-safe version.

vacum from intake?
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reservoir
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Image


Also get a thin rod (2mm in diameter by 60mm long) and poke it up through the drain holes in the bottom of the front uprights, they should feel clear (often get full of crud and stones) you shouldn't get any water draining out.

Thanks for the tip!


Bit interesting some one has fitted an engine powered fan? i'd also keep an eye on the temp gauge for it getting warm as it may have been done for a reason. The original later (small) radiator is a bit suspect if used in warmer climates and does tend to get scaled up making it even less effective.

I thought they all had an engine powered fan on the generator/alternator belt?
On the other hand the fan looks modern indeed.
As for the additionnal electric fan in the front of the radiator, apparently they are present on all zenith-stromberg carburetters equipped cars, and were still available as an optional equipment?
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MarkDa wrote:Yes the cross-member does look a bit suspect.
I see that there is still a vacuum pipe attached to #1 inlet - presumably for the brake servo?
The vacuum pipes into the cabin still appear to be present. So a check on how headlights lift is needed.

As for the brake servo, I understand it should be located at the front left side of the radiator?
Where do the vacum comes from when it's properly connected to the servo? From the same hose than the headlamps?



Personally I favour having a mechanical fan backed up with electric for traffic and final cool down at end of a run.
It doesn't look as if there are any wires to the 'thermostat switch' on the radiator - so maybe no electric fan anyway?
Nothing wrong with HT routeing and they have a homemade support.

Is the Elan, when properly maintained, prone to overheating?

There's an interesting mix of 'new" and old here. It doesn't look neglected and so.e sruff is quite smart (eg heater valve) but like almost any car could do with more having been done.
Yes indeed, personnally I always try to avoid too much project creep. Not always that easy to find the right balance, though! ^^






1owner69Elan wrote:A few comments:
1. Looks like this is 5 speed?
It is, indeed! Still hard to know if it left the factory like that, though.

2. What does the final drive look like? Rubber donuts: condition? CV upgrade?
I have a few photos of the rear underneath but it doesn't show the driveshaft properly so I don't know yet. But I will ask indeed.
Apparently a rubber doughnut is about 100€ each, so about 400€ for the rear axle?

3. Generator (dynamo) instead of an alternator conversion
It's not very clear whether any Elan sprint left the factory with an alternator but apparently I have read here that none of them actually had them from new?

4. Front chassis crossmember very dented and distorted. A lot of improper jacking up. May not be a problem per se.
As for the potential leak, is the reservoir incorporated in the front cross member or is it directly the front cross member? (I suspect it is directly the cross member)

5. Exhaust looks a bit low. Perhaps a larger bore retrofit?
No idea, it looks to be a stainless exhaust to me anyway?

6. The routing of the temperature gauge capillary may be problematic, subject to stress being put on the bulb/tube joint. Should normally have a number of coils for flexibility and also be secured to the heater valve. Check that the temperature gauge goes up to a reasonable temperature after running. Otherwise there is a leak.
Apparently it works properly.
As for the temperature, I have a few photos of the dash showing both cold and warm oil pressure at tick over.
Does that look OK? The workshop manual gives an oil pressure but doesn't tell what is the associated RPM so ... ?
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By the way, the cold engine photo shows the tick over is very low, is that typical? Is it an automatic or manual starter?


7. What head work was done? As indicated by the odd green paint.
The engine has been rebuilt. Now, I don't know what it means. Maybe it was just the green paint. Or a complete rebuilt. I already asked what has been done yesterday.



You didn't show the interior/dash or body. Might also indicate some previous owner modifications (always something to look at).

MarkDa wrote:I wasn't sure about all the ribbing on the gearbox - I've never seen a 5 speed so didn't comment - a good call
Not that many made and the colour isn't that common either.
Could be an interesting car.
Yes some interior and overall photos would be good to have.

Here are a few photos of the dash and interior.
I think they cut a bit of the trimming in the passenger footwell to install an "auxiliary radio" (cassette player?) but otherwise I would say it looks very decent?
Is the cut plastic trimming part still available?
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jimj wrote:I would be suspicious of the new shiney paint on the chassis cross member, what is it concealing?

Good call, it could be just regular maintenance to prevent rust but ... could be some plaster as well ^^'


What`s the paintwork like? that is the biggest single expense.
Jim
It looks nice from the photos ... but I haven't seen it in person.
Does the colours overlap on the pushrods near the doors hinges indicate the car has been repainted in the past? (not unusual on a classic car of course)
I think it's not the original paint as it's not a standard sprint colour, but on the other hand I have read that the future owner could ask any colour to the factory, so ... (looks like a Lotus Racing Green to me but I don't know for sure)
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Is that some dirt on the underneath or a rusty outrigger? I don't know if there is some steel there on the Elan ... Is it only a GRP floor?
Image


Also, there is what looks like an additional lock next to the rear light cluster ... Any idea what it could be? I highly suspect it's not standard at all!
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Again, thanks in advance!
Last edited by Giniw on Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: tvr78 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:57 pm

That’s a five speed lotus box
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PostPost by: Giniw » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:35 pm

Yes, indeed it has a 5 speed gearbox.


By the way, I gather the engine was designed to use leaded petrol?
If so, I will have to ask whether the valves seats have been converted during the engine rebuilt ...
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:41 pm

Also, there is what looks like an additional lock next to the rear light cluster ... Any idea what it could be? I highly suspect it's not standard at all!


The battery is on that side of the boot, that lock may be some sort of battery cut off switch? It is certainly not standard.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:51 pm

Exactly!! The pipe that you see I've pointed too in red appears to be the headlight vacuum line that should have a T in it, the fact some one has bypassed the reservoir is what had alarm bells going off for me. If corrosion has perforated the lower parts of the chassis uprights (very common) the cross member won't hold vacuum and the headlights won't pop up.

Also bypassing the tank will make the headlights very lazy.
cross-member-reservoir.jpg and


Yes a fail safe set up only has one headlight pod with a connecting bar between the two headlights.
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