Lotus Elan

What would you do..

PostPost by: s28ven » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:53 pm

My elan is at a restoration company who will remain nameless to complete some jobs that were just too big for Me with a young family. Effectively the final section to get the car driveable not showcase by any mean just drivable. We had set a budget with them of £5/£6k to complete a number of jobs. Rewire, covert to alternator, fit brake servo and so on.

They were working through the jobs and had spent £5k so we asked them to stop and came up with a final list which the agreed was around £1k of work. We got an invoice 2 weeks ago for £500 with a few items still to do which seemed ok.

Today I got an invoice for £800 and all of the works detailed on the invoice the garage were not asked to complete with the exception of fitting the carbs to the engine(just attachment) and bolting the dash to the body/chassis.

They also have a note about fitting the brake master cylinder which was also detailed as being installed on a previous invoice.

I called them today rather unhappy because £1k of works has suddenly turned into £1400 with a further invoice still to come to complete the last of the works Which I’m guessing will be another £600 plus.

I’m fuming and almost ready to turn up with a trailer!
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:39 pm

My advice would be to prepare your notes for a discussion and state how disappointed you are.

By far the best argument will simply be, there is no more money...

If matters are not addressed amicably, it is time to move on.

Good luck.
1965 Lotus Elan S2 26/4022 (originally Dutchess Lotus East, PA and NJ Area, USA)
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PostPost by: s28ven » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:20 pm

Thanks, after a couple of refreshments I have calmed a little. I plan to gather all the information together and sit down with the owners next week and as you say try to agree amicably. During my conversation with the owner I advised that there is no more money this afternoon. I will see how they approach the situation next week.

They have spent a fair bit of time reinstating the vacuum system which wasn’t on their to do list. When questioned on it this afternoon they said they cannot tune the engine without doing this. I disagree in that they could blank off the manifolds, am I correct?


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PostPost by: LaikaTheDog » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:24 pm

If you can google it or ask here about the last bits, take your trailer to Cambridgeshire... ( just guessing)
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:59 pm

Hi Steven.
you are correct, the vacuum system in not necessary to tune engine or carburettors.
It just needs blanking off. It should take about 5 minutes max.
They are making excuses without the correct lnformation which shows their reasoning is weak.
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1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:38 am

Just get your car outta there. Having been very badly let down by more than one ‘well known expert’ in the past I should have listened to my heart and to a few folk who turned out to be right.

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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:01 am

In defence of the garage which I don't know, most garages won't do a half job or bodge job

If you ask them to fit a brake servo they will need the vacuum chamber working and if that's reliant on the engine running good enough to drive daily then connection with no leaks is also a must

Labour time on an elan can vary enormously as you don't really know until you start what problems you will find

My advice is to get the car back but be rational about the bill

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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:43 pm

Concrete-crusher wrote:.......If you ask them to fit a brake servo they will need the vacuum chamber working.....


Presumably, on some cars both are fitted to one inlet runner? My car, an S3, the servo vacuum is off number 1 inlet and vacuum chamber is off number 4 inlet.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:57 pm

Get the car back then tell us who we need to avoid (but I can guess well enough).

If service providers are not publicly called out they’ll have no incentive to improve.
Late 1972 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Unit 50/1115L
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:56 pm

It took me 3 years to undo the mess a +2 "specialists" had done to my car. You can find them on the web. There is always an excuse.

Get it home and assess the condition.

Re the vacuum take off. Of course they can block it if they bothered. See Image.
970-oct.-26-15.52.jpg and
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