For future reference, 9/16 socket with a 150mm extension bar plus a 80mm extension bar and ratchet. All using a 3/8th drive wrench. My 1/2in drive wrench with extensions was too chunky.
Also place an axle stand underneath the starter motor to support it when undoing bottom bolt.
Now to get the replacement sorted.
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Foxie wrote:I changed to a Gustavson /Brize type starter many years ago.
I changed the 9/16" hex head bolts for equivalent thread caps screws.
I made up an exact length extension to reach the upper cap screw from underneath the car.
Makes removing/changing the starter a doddle.
Another place on an Elan where a socket headed cap screw is a good idea that I had not thought about. We need a thread on all the places where alternate fasteners are a good idea
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This is my inexperienced take on starter replacement-hopefully it may of use to the novice Elan owner. My car is a 69 S4DHC with a replacement Lotus chassis, rebuilt Lucas starter and ring gear from 30 years-3 owners ago. Fast forward to now, I have had a recent intermittent screech upon starting which lasts for a second or two. After much reading, I decided to get a Gustafson gear reduction starter from Ray at RD enterprises here in the USA (great chap and tremendous help). My hope was to save my ring gear and get improved starting function with less current draw, etc. I have been rocking the car in gear prior to starting as a protective measure.
Upon receiving the starter I noted that while it is a bit smaller/lighter, the solenoid body attached makes it a bit bulky and the fit remains tight. I made a jumper wire for the starter battery -ignition terminals to preserve the firewall solenoid. Getting the bottom bolt out-no problem. The top bolt however is a bitch-9/16 with a 7.5 inch extension with flex joint worked. Since you can't actually see what you are doing and have to work via feel, I put a shop light up top directed on the bolt and frequently checked I was loosening the correct bolt and not the adjacent bellhousing bolt!
Good news- the starter orientation with the adaptor plate was ok-with solenoid at the 4:00-5:00 position. Bad news-the wire connection terminal for the battery wire is now located superiorly and is relatively inaccessible- connect power supply to the starter before bolting to bellhousing. This will be difficult to check for tightness, adding petroleum jelly for protection, etc. I also used adhesive tape to hold the socket to the upper bolt/washer . You can actually jam your hand down from above and place socket on the upper bolt but I couldn't fasten the extension to the socket from above. Took about 2 hours working slowly with tea/coffee encouragement.
Fortunately the car started right up first try-much more quiet w/o the Lucas controlled crash/bang. I probably wouldn't have bothered with this if not concerned for my ring gear-only 15k milesfrom engine rebuild/clutch so not looking to pull the engine anytime soon. The Lucas starter never failed to start or actually seized on me but I am trying for preventive measures here, so I have overcome my purist nature with this choice. I will probably keep rocking the car before starting until I am more comfortable with this whole starting the Elan business.
Sorry for the long novel but hopefully this will be of use to someone contemplating a switch to gear reduction starting either by choice or despair.
Mark Whitaker 69S4DHC-8396
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Socket--> Long extension bar --> Universal joint --> short extension bar --> T-Bar
for the upper starter motor bolt.
36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
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Took me 20 minutes.
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