Lotus Elan

Sprint buying guide / advices

PostPost by: Giniw » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:34 pm

Is it hard to access it like that? Would you say it can be done during a purchase inspection? (just a few screws maybe?)
http://images.lotuselan.net/lel/38474/0/SNV32703.JPG
Even better would be to have an access at the floor part but I suspect it would be much longer with the seat in the car ...

Anyway, this is very interesting to know as both the probably leaking front cross member and the probably rusty frame(s) are very important to be aware of if I offer a price for the car!
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PostPost by: Giniw » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:43 am

By the way and before I forget, is it normal the ignition lamp is illuminated on the dash at tickover?
I imagine it could just tell the generator is not charging enough because the engine is at tickover, but .... ?

And totally unrelated question, but how hard is it to find the original steel wheels? The car has four Minilite wheels but I am not sure whether the rear is the right width or not (front is 155/80 R13 but rear is 175/70 R13 so ...either just the tyre or also the rim, I don't know yet)

... and the last question for tonight: what should be the pressure for each cylindre during a compression test? I have read it should be not less than 11.248 kg/cm^2 in the workshop manual, but I think it's the data for the regular engine with the 9.5:1 compression ratio ... and on the other hand I have read the big valve head is skimmed a bit, so ... Any idea of the pressure to look for on a big valve engine compression test?
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:22 am

The lattice is only covered by a sheet of hardboard held in by a few screws, the seat would need to out to see the floor - but that's only a couple of bolts.

It's not uncommon for the 'ignition' light to be on at tickover.
As you say it's actually a charge light so until output from dynamo rises it won't go out - no problem if it does as revs rise.

Original wheels do become available occasionally but Susan Miller is making tbem again. The issue with wider tyres is running clearance - typically the rear spring seats and wheel arches get in the way.
Smaller diameter springs and seats are the normal fix.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:12 pm

So one of those lid pics was very interesting - a twink on SUs!

And a mechanical fan.

http://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go& ... C_0161.JPG
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:15 pm

Deleted double post
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:29 pm

Giniw wrote:By the way and before I forget, is it normal the ignition lamp is illuminated on the dash at tickover?
I imagine it could just tell the generator is not charging enough because the engine is at tickover, but .... ?



I suspect this is common when you have a dynamo, but not when you hve an alternator.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:50 pm

billwill wrote:
Giniw wrote:By the way and before I forget, is it normal the ignition lamp is illuminated on the dash at tickover?
I imagine it could just tell the generator is not charging enough because the engine is at tickover, but .... ?



I suspect this is common when you have a dynamo, but not when you hve an alternator.

Strangely we had a similar issue with a dynamo equip jag recently, check the wattage of the bulb in the tell tail...... that fixed our problem.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:00 pm

Giniw wrote: Any idea of the pressure to look for on a big valve engine compression test?

Ideally around 200psi (warm with the throttles open and all plugs out) should be no less than 160psi or no more than 10psi difference across the four.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:38 pm

"Strangely we had a similar issue with a dynamo equip jag recently, check the wattage of the bulb in the tell tail...... that fixed our problem."

Neat tip/trick :)
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PostPost by: patrics » Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:19 pm

Hi Giniw
Replacing the side frames is the biggest job you can do on an Elan, I haven't looked at the links but one of the Americans - I think Gary did an excellent job replacing only what was necessary but I replaced the whole thing.
My guess will be the later the car the worse the corrosion will be.
I made my own side frames and I am not sure you can actually buy them.
Any way regarding this car and you, the important thing is you understand the pit falls and pay the right price.
On this car I would remove the seat and remove the carpeted hardboard and inspect the side frames. It is made up of approx 10mm twisted steel like you use in concrete and then 3mm latticework. on mine the 10mm thick steel was only 3mm due to corrosion.

Regards
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PostPost by: Giniw » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:26 pm

Thanks for the latest answers =)


MarkDa wrote:So one of those lid pics was very interesting - a twink on SUs!
Indeed, I had not noticed. I wonder why they installed SU instead of the Stromberg while I understand they are more or less of the same kind? But maybe I am wrong as I do know the SU carbs but don't know much about the Stromberg ... !

Grizzly wrote:
Giniw wrote: Any idea of the pressure to look for on a big valve engine compression test?

Ideally around 200psi (warm with the throttles open and all plugs out) should be no less than 160psi or no more than 10psi difference across the four.

So, about the same compression as the standard engine? and a tighter tolerance! (for the 9.5:1 standard engine it's said it should be in excess of 160 PSI and within 20 PSI of each other in the workshop manual?)

Can the liners of the engine block be changed? I have not found the info in the workshop manual so ... I suspect they can not be removed?



When the engine is warm, is the engine/gear lever shaking a bit at tick over or not at all?

I don't think this has been answered yet so I am quoting myself as I almost forgot about that!
Giniw wrote:Image
By the way, the cold engine photo shows the tick over is very low, is that typical? Is it an automatic or manual starter?







patrics wrote:Replacing the side frames is the biggest job you can do on an Elan

Well, thanks! Shy is it such a hard job? I understand it's accessible under a few panels, and then I would imagine it can removed from the car after cutting through the bonding laminates (maybe at the exception of the rear part over the rear wheel arch and would need to be soldered there? Of course near the GRP it doesn't look super easy!)
I would say I can do that as a winter project but I may be very well missing something very difficult indeed! So, please enlight me! Is it any realistic to not have to paint the car after that lattice replacement?


I replaced the whole thing.
Including the part over the rear wheel arch? Isn't it embedded deep into the GRP? That would be nice if it could be removed without damaging the body shell!


My guess will be the later the car the worse the corrosion will be.
Do you mean a newer car would be worse?







As for the chassis front cross member leaking, in the worst case scenario, if I am not wrong a replacement chassis can be ordered for about 2000€ from SJS? +labour of course. Are these new chassis any good?)




So, if I sum up, so far, here are the observations more or less ordered by decreasing concern (it's the list I will be asking the seller, hence the "questions" — do I forget something?):
- lattice/side steel reinforcement which may be rusted, which means lower side GRP repair and lattice repair/replacement
- engine shaking quite a bit at tickover, worn engine mounts maybe? What is the cylinder pressure in each cylinder?
- leaking front cross member reservoir, probably indicates a rusty chassis. Headlamps still operated with intake vacuum?
- rear suspension / driveshaft: is the car still on the Rotoflex doughnut driveshaft or converted to CV joints?
- brake servo: still present? OEM?
- radiator fan: electric one installed?
- additional lock on near the left rear light cluster: what is it?
- original steel wheels included? I see the rear tyres are 175/70 R13 instead of the usual 155/80 R13: are the Minilite rims front/rear width all 4.5J?
Last edited by Giniw on Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:51 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:42 pm

"Can the liners of the engine block be changed? I have not found the info in the workshop manual so ... I suspect they can not be removed?"

Edit - There are not normally liners in a twin cam - it was designed as a solid block.

I think you were also going to make enquiries about the rear suspension and doughnuts?
Last edited by MarkDa on Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: Giniw » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:47 pm

Thanks! :)
(it's a pity though!)
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PostPost by: Giniw » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:52 pm

MarkDa wrote:I think you were also going to make enquiries about the rear suspension and doughnuts?
Indeed, thank you very much! I just added it! :oops:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:13 am

MarkDa wrote:"Can the liners of the engine block be changed? I have not found the info in the workshop manual so ... I suspect they can not be removed?"

There are no liners in a twin cam - it's a solid block.

I think you were also going to make enquiries about the rear suspension and doughnuts?


Some blocks had liners from new, installed by Ford, to correct casting or machining problems and many more have had liners inserted during rebuilds. They are pressed into place can be removed by machining and can be replaced if needed.

cheers
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