Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Air Conditioning Project - now complete!

PostPost by: mbell » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:50 pm

Again thanks for sharing the update and photo's. It's looking good!

Have you sealed external air supply for the original heater? From it photo looks like some additional space could be had by removing the plenum area from the body as wouldn't be needed if re-cir only. Is that right?
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:09 am

mbell wrote:Again thanks for sharing the update and photo's. It's looking good!

Have you sealed external air supply for the original heater? From it photo looks like some additional space could be had by removing the plenum area from the body as wouldn't be needed if re-cir only. Is that right?


I blocked it off with some ally sheeting and rubber stick on seals. Covered it in some noise deadening to stop it reverberating. More room could definitely be found by removing the plenum - I wasn't keen on cutting the body however.

And good news! The shop finished it off today and I just picked it up. The aircon bloke did a great job and piped nearly all of it in hard ally lines which look great and go through a bulkhead fitting which neatens it all up really well. Bill for his labour and gassing up and all the fittings was a slightly eyewatering $1287. So in total that puts me at about $4k including the rewire and the new dash. Not too bad I suppose.

I haven't given it a proper run yet apart from the drive home which was a few k's in traffic. It blows nice and cold and the engine had no troubles with cooling. The revs drop down to about 500rpm at idle with the compressor on, so might need a idle up switch. Still pulls quite strongly when engaged as well, certainly doesn't feel like a slug. My old 4AGE corolla felt like you left the handbrake on when the AC kicked in on that, this is nowhere near that bad. Of course the real test will be in summer to see if it can deal with both the heat and the traffic.

I'll put some more photos up tomorrow.
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:36 am

Some pictures!

Please excuse the messy wiring - still tidying it all up. The AC shop has a very nice mandrel bending unit which I doubt most shops would have. Made for a nice job. He also only used existing holes for the P clamps which was a nice touch, though there was a few around the place from the previous owners. If anyone else in Australia is interested it was Ben at Mr Cool Automotive in Milton, Brisbane. Thoroughly recommend his shop and services, top bloke and lots of nice classics and modern cars going through.

enginebay.jpg and


Bulkhead fitting, allows nice easy removal for when the engine has to come out next. Bit pricey, but nice and neat.

bulkhead.jpg and


And the dash side, makes getting to my relays a bit tricky - but they can be moved if needed. Haven't tried to put my glovebox in as yet. If it doesn't fit I'll trim it down or just remove entirely. I haven't cut out the flap on the dash as yet.
underdash.jpg and



I've given it a few more runs and it's been running very well indeed. So far very happy with it and it's running as good as I could have hoped. Fingers crossed I say the same thing in 6 months time when it's proper hot :lol:
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:41 pm

Looks a very nice job, very much like the hard lines and bulk head fixing. Very much along the lines I want to go with mine. I am guessing line routing was driven by access and available fixing holes?

Impressed with how quick you've turned this around, its quite a bit of work to do to get it all done.

Hopefully it will be fine in the hotter weather but will be interested to know if it can keep up with the summer heat and doesn't cause any engine cooling issues.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:53 am

Just noticed the forum has done it's usual trick of spinning my pictures around :?

I didn't specify where I wanted the lines run, I left it to the installer on how he wanted to do it. I think I would have tried to run them on the right hand side so the lines didn't have to go behind the evaporator. But that would have been quite a lot of work removing carbs and all that and it's pretty busy under the dash there already.

I'm lucky enough to work FIFO out west, so I'm off work for 2 weeks every month. Lots of time for projects!

I was a little worried with the engine temp today running around, it was showing over 100degC on the gauge while giving it a bit on the freeway. Got home and checked the gauge vs a PT100 temp probe and my gauge is off by 15deg or so - which means the actual coolant temp is running pretty much spot on. I've got a steady state voltage regulator but unsure if my sender and gauge are correctly matched. My fuel gauge is spot on.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:13 pm

I am thinking of running the lines just above the chassis above little ledge with some of the wiring loom on the exhaust side. Not the easiest place to run it if the engine is in place, especially with brake boosters.

The 2 weeks off a month must be very good for the projects, not so good for other things thou. 9-5 + 2 smalls kids certainly isn't good for getting projects done!

Whats have you done for engine cooling fan control? Looks like you have a single larger pusher fan, so simple AC=ON, Fan=ON or do you have some sort of fan controller?

I have dual puller fan setup on my car, so planning to do some kind of multi-stage fan control do it but not decided exactly what/how yet.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:51 pm

Since doing my +2 several years ago and now finishing up an Esprit replacement combined AC/heater, I used Airequip “reduced diameter“ lines that are much easier to manipulate than the crimped on lines and a $70 tool lets you secure them in situ which is much easier when it comes to running the lines. They are more expensive than the similar R134 barrier hoses. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:41 am

My fan control is very basic. I have a switch on the dashboard (the old interior light switch) which turns it on and off, and also the trinary switch on the AC drier which turns the fan on if the system pressure gets too high.

The car cam with one of those awful davies craig thermostat switch things which you insert up into the top hose and always weep coolant. I threw it in the bin. Looks like my radiator had the otter switch port welded up for some reason. I'll make some sort of thermostat control for it down the road. I'm paranoid with the engine temp so always have one eye on it.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:48 am

Chrispy wrote:......
The car cam with one of those awful davies craig thermostat switch things which you insert up into the top hose and always weep coolant. .....t.



I have used this for 30 years without problems on my S4 when I fitted an electric fan !. A smear of silicone sealant where the capillary tube goes through the hose clamp and it seals fine. Davies Craig originally supplied a small rubber pad with a groove in it to seal the tube through the hose clamp and most people I suspect discard these but some silicone sealant does just as good a job.

I have never been keen on the otter switch held into the radiator by a rubber bung and the usual bodge of wiring them in location , though I do it myself on my Plus 2 which cam with this setup oirginally

cheers
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PostPost by: nrwian » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:58 pm

Hi Chrispy , great post !!!! Been following with keen interest . I also live in Brisbane and am rebuilding a S3 baby Elan Fixed head . It's an early one pre airflow so has no ventilation apart from the Windows and the floor vent thru the heater . Not great for summer in Brisbane . I had been looking at electric air from Madd air here in Brisbane . A few issues I can see with that is need to run a 125 amp alternator , and will need a second or bigger battery . Will have to put the electric drive compressor in the boot along with the second battery. Also fitting the evaporator in the aft bulkhead of the car blowing forward . Losing a lot of boot space and can't really afford to do that .

Really like your set up , do you have any drawings of the alternator / compressor mount ? Also the twin belt pulley ? Would probably still fit the evaporator in the boot . Don't have the dash space to fit any vents and will have less space behind the dash with the smaller car . A friend had fitted aircon to his XK150 Jag and has fitted the evaporator aft and it works well . The Elan has a much smaller cabin than the XK or the Plus 2 .

Tried to PM you but the message failed to send . The Cars and Coffee photos , is the the one at Turbo drive ? I get along sometimes but have not been for awhile .
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:31 am

Another Brisbanite!

I looked at the electric compressors but the cost and complexity put me off a bit.

I also considered the boot mount units, but the +2 boot isn't much larger than the little Elan. Lots of tube running as well to get to condensers. I've seen the vintage air unit mounted behind the dash on the Elan's here before. Seemed to fit quite well.

I don't have any drawings for the brackets or pulley. For the pulley, I gave my machinist the old pulley and the drawing of the compressor and said I just want another pulley on the front and he worked it out. Unfortunately he no longer works for me - blew numbers at pre-start! Naughty boy...

For the compressor bracket I cut up some 8mm plate which copied the old large alternator mount. I then made some measurements and squared up a few ears to mount the compressor to and through trial and error got it all in the right spot. I'm a Mechanical Engineer, but certainly no fabricator!

And yes, Cars and Coffee at Coorparoo. I normally go to the Jindalee one as it's closer to me at Toowong. I'll probably be at Coorparoo next time as it's the 5th anniversary. I've always had issues with PM's here, paid my subscription and it never worked...
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