Lotus Elan

Most Difficult Job You Have Done On Your Elan

PostPost by: type36lotus » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:31 pm

Water pump on my ex-Esprit with engine installed (yea, yea, not Elan). So Elan related, the donuts. I have no problem getting them installed, it is the removal that kills me.
Mike Geiger
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:58 am

<!--QuoteBegin-Hamish Coutts+Mar 30 2005, 11:52 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Hamish Coutts @ Mar 30 2005, 11:52 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteEBegin--> The most difficult/awkward jobs in my book are:
1. replacing the top diff mounts with body still on.
2. replacing the waterpump bearings with the engine still in the car (then, after you have rebuilt the engine, realising you've set the wrong gap between the impeller and the casing :angry:, and doing it all over again. :angry: :angry: )
3. removing the entire handbrake mechanism (especially the tree), cleaning and refitting with new h/brake cable with the body still on.

Funnily enough I didn't find the rear calipers all that troublesome. I connected an old footpump to the open bleed nipple and blew the pistons out.

Next job I don't fancy is repairing the paintwork. It's covered in osmosis so will have to come off and be redone. Days of scraping - Boredom city!

Regards,

Hamish. [/quote]
Most difficult job? Good grief....are any of them easy? I bought my first Elan in '74 and my current one, a 71 Sprint in '76. In the last 30 odd years I seem to have done most of the usual jobs more than once, mostly in the first 20 years when it was my work car and I ran up about 200,000 miles. Let me down once, so much for Lotus unreliability. Possibly the only job I have done only once is the water pump which failed very soon after I tightened, ( as in over-tightened ), the fan belt in a vain attempt to solve an undercharging generator problem. Until that time the water pump had never been even the slightest problem which leads me to suspect that an awful lot of fanbelts are running too tight chopping out a lot of pumps way before their time. I had about a 100,000 miles on it before I took it out in 500 miles by over-tightening it in frustration after yet another flat battery.This proved two things.It is possible to push-start an Elan on your own as long as the road is at least level,and, secondly, the final answer to Elan charging problems is to fit an alternator. Especially as the generator control boxes I got from my local Lucas agent were made in India and lasted about a year rather than the 15 the original had. Re taking paint off.....only done it once so certainly a million miles from being an expert but after a lot of reading and a fair amount of experimenting I settled on a method which wasn't too difficult. Put a piece of cloth about 30cm sq. on the body, soak in thinners. cover with plastic sheet and weights, (to prevent evaporation and leave for about 10-15 minutes.Then scrape!!
Best scraper is something that is not as hard as gelcoat.Acrylic sheet (perspex) worked OK. Trace out with a pencil all the spider cracks to get an idea of how big an area of cracked gelcoat needs to be removed. Draw a circle around the whole mess so you know what needs doing. Then remove gelcoat down to glass.I know this sounds a bit like the infamous "reverse process" instruction in workshop manuals, but it isn't as difficult as it seems once you get going.I tried every recommended way in all the books without much success until I hit on using a belt sander. Not the flat part, unless you want a multi-faceted car, but the nose/roller part at the front. With not much practise you can skim a 1-2 mm layer off the body without loosing the contour. Glass with a layer of tissue then finish with filler, in my case Isopon (don't know if it is still available). There are almost certainly better and faster ways of doing this but I did mine in 1991 and I have yet to see even a single crack re-appear.Good luck!!!
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:57 pm

reb53,

Thanks for the advice - which has been noted!

One question. The thinners you mention to soak the cloth in, is this cellulose thinners? Pardon my ignorance but I'm not all that knowlegeable on paint.

Regards,

Hamish.
:)
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:16 am

Hamish,

I have just had a look at the original thinners tin that I bought about 15 years ago to get the paint off my car.Now full of petrol for the mower!!! but original marking is "Acrylic Lacquer A type Thinner". Why I decided that this was the correct thinner for the paint on the car I really don't recall but I think it was a case of experimentation i.e. suck it and see! The car had last been repainted in the UK in about 1974, so whatever was the norm at that time was what I took off. That it needed a repaint after a mere 3 years does raise a few questions about the quality of the original job. The repaint was also a very bad job and used so much spray filler that you could read the layers of paint in the same way a geologist reads strata of the Earth!

Regards
Ralph Barlow.
New Zealand.
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:59 pm

Ralph,

Since you inspired me to have a look at the paint on my elan, it seems that it has been resprayed as there is a line in the paint behind a lot of the pust on rubber trims. :angry: I have scraped off some of the paint on the base of the door (where there was overspray) and at least it is the same colour - let's look on the positive side! Looks like someone has tried to cover up the osmosis on the cheap (I don't think the paint is all that great). The consequence is there is another layer of paint to remove.

Thanks for the advice, coming all the way from the land of Chris Amon (the best driver never to win a GP). Isn't the internet amazing.

Regards,

Hamish.
:)
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Apr 11, 2005 4:55 pm

Elancoupe (Mike)
Please tell use more about removing the transmission (gearbox) with the engine installed, I've heard of this been done (usually by the side of a racetrack)
May be some of us might have to do it someday :( so what is involved? and why have you done it that way?
Brian
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PostPost by: Hegg » Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:25 am

Worst thing I've done is take out that darn pedal box to rebuild the master cylinder! And, I had to do it twice!
1970 Lotus Elan +2, 1991 Lotus Elan, 2006 Lotus Elise, all for sale.
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PostPost by: Jens » Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:47 pm

Definitely trying o fit my rear brakediscs again after soemone else hade removed them. Still trying, at the moment tyoing on a blood soaked keybord, blood coming from my abused knuckles... If I get my hands on the guy that removed the discs in the first place, I am not shure what I will do to him.

//Jens
"Make the suspension adjustable and they will adjust it wrong - look at what they can do to a Weber carburetor in just a few moments of stupidity with a screwdriver..." (CABC)

My one problem is that distance keeps me from my Elan. (36/5395)
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:27 pm

Restoration.....PAYING FOR IT ALL!!!
But it was worth it.
lotus elan 1966 S3 FHC
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