Lotus Elan

Mods you have done - Hits winners, misses and loosers

PostPost by: collins_dan » Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:18 pm

Bob, To answer your question, the cv axles on my car are very similar to what Ray sells today, but are about 20 years old at this point. Some covers have been replaced over the years, but otherwise they have held up really well. Dan
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PostPost by: RichC » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:37 pm

Rob, more info on the carb/ inlet isolator from nissan pls ... sounds interesting
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:52 pm

There is a mod I do to the bumper that takes the curse off the factory gap that is supposed to be filled with the trim strip. I posted the method used on Tingles race car body about 2/3's of the way down the first page. Many photos and little text.

elan-f14/tingles-production-race-elan-body-t16586.html


The strip looks good but so does a fine radius on both nose and bumper. I paint the bumpers body color, I like it, many don't and that ok with me.

blended body colored bumpers.jpg and
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PostPost by: cabc26b » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:06 pm

Useful mods -

No question you do the starter - BTW Ed , my Chapman Mag bell- housing interfered with the Gustafson starter ( cocked in the hole) - once the belhousing was trued the starter was spot on , just like the one on the other cars and has worked fine...

Electric radiator fan and or big alum radiator

Wider tires and alloy wheels -

Solid shafts - peace of mind, and ease of maintenance, they don't in my opinion work better than the donuts...





Semi off topic -for
what components Chapman & Hickman might have used for the Elan back in 1962 if money had been no object, but without altering the whole concept of the car.


I think if cost were no object he would have gone whole hog on lightness and eliminated all the cast iron in the car and use aluminum and mag where he could have.

On the motor - he would have gone bespoke using either the Coventry Climax guys , Cosworth maybe BRM ..- ( and for the engine I would like the FVA please . iron block is fine , yes , I know a lot of customers like the FVC for ease of overtaking ...)

five speed gear box from Hewland or ZF - encased from bell housing to tail shaft

Dual Master cylinder for the brake system ( alloy pedals and brackets , save the ounces)
alloy calipers all around
LSD -
Alloy bodywork by W&P -
Len Terry on the project ?
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:32 pm

Mine was modified when I bought it. Had been a race car in California then returned to UK and ground-up restoration in Scotland around the beginning of this century. Dry sump race engine exchanged for 145 bhp wet sump unit, 26R rear arches, Plus 2 rims on the rear with 175 R13 tyres and 155 R13s on 4.5 inch front rims, electric cooling fan by manual switch beneath the dash, high torque pre-engaged starter. Since I've owned it I got rid of the servo and put on a AP Racing tandem brake master cylinder, steel braided brake hoses, Green Stuff front pads, pedal mounted brake lamp switch (after I broke the hydraulic switch by dropping an oil filter!), replaced dynamo with alternator and converted to negative earth (just this week). I have a new 8-position blade type fuse panel to install. Will go with electronic ignition, Halogen headlamp conversion and cv jointed half shafts in the future.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:53 am

Hi Cab ,the problem was with the starter gears , the teeth were worn 1/16 of an inch plus so they just engaged and when under stress gave up and scuppered the ring gear. The new starter had a new drive gear and works just fine and nothing was needed in the trueing of the bell housing -I just got burned on that deal -the Toyota Nisson Denso starter I machined for the super 7 works fine but this one I purchased was indeed JUNK -ed
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Jul 24, 2011 5:52 am

Have many of the mods mentioned already and am happy with them, including the Facet pump in the spares bag. :) A few small one's that I think have worked include...
  • On the Plus 2 front parking / turn signal lights I added double filament bulbs in the main sockets. This makes the lights bright enough for usable running lights.
  • I added a pressurized coolant expansion tank and Clivey Boy thermostat housing, eliminating the overflow bottle that was not working correctly.
  • A decent modern radio with four speakers.
  • Moved the seats back a couple of inches. Perfect for me and still adjustable for someone else who is shorter.
  • Re-enforced the trunk floor boards and raised about 3/4" or so. Prevents interference with the tire & battery posts.
  • Moved all the fuse box and relays to the glove box. All dry and safe.
  • Fabric Weathershield sunroof. Quite a job to get right, but really great to use.
  • Minilite 5 1/2" wheels. Balance up well and look great compared to the stock black ones. May even look better with the Nader Nuts.
  • Motalita steering wheel. Really like the size and feel. Hung the Chapman wheel up for display.
  • Battery Brain main electrical cut-off with remote control. Great for minor electrical repairs.

On the 'didn't work so well' list...
  • I installed some PIAA driving lamps behind the grille. It's been a pain to adjust them behind the grille, and they are so low they don't really add to the available high beam lighting. They do provide an easy 'flash to pass' feature though. The pod halogens on their own are pretty good.
  • Almost laughable now, but I actually installed a dimmer for the dash lights. :roll:
  • I tried electric door locks. When they were working they were great, but perhaps my mounting efforts were poor. I actually fried the motors. Have another set and might try again.
Stu
1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
2000 Esprit V8 TT
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:08 am

One mod I want to try is adapting an aftermarket power window motor. There are many kinds on the market suitable for the hot rod guys and the prices are coming down on them. Many of them simply push a ledge along a track, suitable for flat glass that ride tracks straight up. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:17 pm

Slight aside to previous posting. I'm currently stripping an Audi A3 and I notice it has the same system (crossed wires) for its power windows as an Elan. The more things change......
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PostPost by: worzel » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:01 am

Hi

Where to start!

Best mod (in terms of the amount of improvement for one alteration) was the 5 speed box, others- no servo mated to a plus 2 system and allied to genuine early pads, bigger plus 2 rad with a Citroen BX19 fan (doubles up as a miniature hovercraft if you lay the fan on the floor and supply current), silicon fluid- definitely fit and forget (almost), an alternator (no more erratic indicators), electric headlight lifters, fitting multiplugs to the dash (now removeable in about an easy hour), custom bracket for securing the steering column to the body (no more slop in its location or shake), getting the thing leakproof- I moulded in "drip strips" on the door apertures that channel water away from the interior (they replace the riveted rubber strips originally fitted). Not a crib on the basic design of the car- but everything made(almost) is built to a price. Most of the significant mods involved little things eg the drip strips but they make a sizeable difference in use.

Regards

John
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:31 pm

Seems to be two (maybe more) reasons that these mods are done. Much it seems has to do with perceived reliability issues (and yes there are definitely a few), the other is Performance mods. Some try and cover both with mods that are somewhat of a compromise to both performance and reliability. I have been there and sometimes it works and other times, well its tough to beat some of the factory mods most times.

I guess one of the other reasons is cost, everyone has to consider what is acceptable.

Please state the intended purpose, I wonder if the duel purpose mods are sometimes the most regretted...
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:48 am

Denso Starter
Bean cassette water pump
Cortina fan
sealed rear wheel bearings
Sprint cams & big valves, street ported head/intake runners
Bean 4 into 2 into 1 headers
Keith Franck's hypojets and emulsion tubes
Panasport KO wheels
Blaupunkt Receiver/CD deck
negative ground conversion
Heat treated diff output shafts
Luisi steering wheel
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: worzel » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:04 am

Hi

Forgot to add- about 10 years ago I replaced wheel bearings both sides. Drilled out the casting and fitted a grease nipple plus a smaller hole on the opposite side allow excess grease to escape (fitted with a loose split pin), removed the inner seal from each bearing, half filled the bottom of the alloy uprights with fibreglass resin until just below the bottom of the bearing. Provided the outer seals don't rupture should be a long term repair. Any others tried this one- apparently used to be common at one time.

Regards

John
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:47 am

worzel wrote:Hi

Forgot to add- about 10 years ago I replaced wheel bearings both sides. Drilled out the casting and fitted a grease nipple plus a smaller hole on the opposite side allow excess grease to escape (fitted with a loose split pin), removed the inner seal from each bearing, half filled the bottom of the alloy uprights with fibreglass resin until just below the bottom of the bearing. Provided the outer seals don't rupture should be a long term repair. Any others tried this one- apparently used to be common at one time.

Regards

John


That's a blast from the past! See thread from 9 years ago:
elan-archive-f16/strut-mods-t6697.html?hilit=grease

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: ripley » Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:44 pm

More winners:
- aluminium fuel tank
- motorbike battery (smaller & lighter)
- dry sump
- double throttle linkage (Weber)
- aeroquip brake & clutch lines
- ...
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