Lotus Elan

Fuel tank removal and workshop manual 1970 Plus 2

PostPost by: TomMull » Sun May 05, 2019 2:30 pm

The lack of a proper manual necessitated this query so I'll ask about the workshop manual. In trying to source same, I find several used Factory Manuals at about $150 - $200 with shipping. I also find one at half that selling price described as a new reprint by Lotus in the 1980s. Is that legitimate and is there any reason I should not buy it or can anyone suggest another source?

So then the second question is how do I get the fuel tank out. Here's what I've done:
Drained tank as much as possible.
Disconnected straps and pulled them up out of the way,
Disconnected the rubber fill elbow
Removed banjo fitting from fuel line at tank bottom.
Disconnected sender wires
Disconnected vent tubes also
Everything seems ready but I cannot get the fitting that accepts the banjo and seems part of the tank to lift clear of the hole in the body. I can lift the tank about 1/2 inch with wedges but that is about the same amount that the fitting protrudes from the bottom of the tank. It looks like it would come out if the upper padding were removed but I cant see how to get that out with the tank in place.
I think there was a prior discussion on this topic that indicated that this removal was difficult but possible but no specifics.
Any advice will be appreciated.
Tom
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun May 05, 2019 4:43 pm

Mine was fairly easy but I had the interiour stripped at the time, so no rear seat or shelf in the way. How much do you have out of the way?
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PostPost by: Donels » Sun May 05, 2019 5:10 pm

Have you removed the brace that runs behind the seats to the suspension turrets, see attached picture.

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PostPost by: TomMull » Sun May 05, 2019 7:25 pm

Thanks very much for both replies. I took out the rear shelf today and that allows me to move the tank all around in its compartment but I still can't get it out. It looks like the bracket that holds the boot floor and the tank straps has to come out. I'm not looking forward to that since the bolts look pretty nasty.

If I took the back seat and bracket out as Donels suggests, it looks like the tank will come out through the interior. I did not remove the rear seat yet as it appears to me that the upholstery is pop riveted to the floor and all of the upholstery is intact. Any tips on getting the seat out? I had not planned on re-doing the interior.

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PostPost by: draenog » Sun May 05, 2019 10:04 pm

I removed the fuel tank due to a leak about 5 years ago. Yes, it was a pig to get out. As you say, taking it out through the back seemed to be impossible due to the boot brace in the way, and taking it out through the interior required removing the rear seat (and how do you get that out without removing the front seats?).

In the end I managed to get it out through the back. After removing the parcel shelf and centre console I was able to push the rear seat forward (in my case there was nothing else holding it in place). With the turret brace removed, this gave just enough room to rotate the tank, and with it side on I was able to get it past the boot brace. I didn't want to remove the boot brace, as this required removing the boot carpets, and the bolts were all very rusty.
Last edited by draenog on Mon May 06, 2019 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: draenog » Sun May 05, 2019 11:08 pm

draenog wrote:After removing the parcel shelf and centre console I was able to push the rear seat forward (in my case there was nothing else holding it in place).

It wasn't just a case of pushing the seat forward a couple of inches. I pushed it forward and tipped it so that the back of the seat went over the front seats (from which it hung). This gave quite a lot of room. If your front seats have headrests there may not be enough room to do this.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun May 05, 2019 11:25 pm

TomMull wrote:The lack of a proper manual necessitated this query so I'll ask about the workshop manual. In trying to source same, I find several used Factory Manuals at about $150 - $200 with shipping. I also find one at half that selling price described as a new reprint by Lotus in the 1980s. Is that legitimate and is there any reason I should not buy it or can anyone suggest another source?

Tom


I got a reprint of the Lotus Manual in two hardcover volumes from Germany some years ago. It's all there, I've no problems with it ! :)
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PostPost by: draenog » Mon May 06, 2019 12:06 am

TomMull wrote:The lack of a proper manual necessitated this query so I'll ask about the workshop manual. In trying to source same, I find several used Factory Manuals at about $150 - $200 with shipping. I also find one at half that selling price described as a new reprint by Lotus in the 1980s. Is that legitimate and is there any reason I should not buy it or can anyone suggest another source?

I'm sad enough to have several copies of the manual which I got off ebay for reasonable prices (cheapest £20, most expensive £50). September 1969, September 1974, and the Lotus 1982 reprint of the September 1974 version. The 1982 reprint has slightly thicker more textured paper than the originals. The content is the same, but the wiring diagrams are printed on a single A4 page, whereas the originals fold out to two pages (this makes them hard to read which is why I got an original).
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PostPost by: draenog » Mon May 06, 2019 12:38 am

TomMull wrote:The lack of a proper manual necessitated this query so I'll ask about the workshop manual. In trying to source same, I find several used Factory Manuals at about $150 - $200 with shipping. I also find one at half that selling price described as a new reprint by Lotus in the 1980s. Is that legitimate and is there any reason I should not buy it or can anyone suggest another source?

This is what the September 1974 manual says:
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon May 06, 2019 12:45 am

What variant of the +2? (+2, +2S, +2S130)

I got the tank in and out via the boot with the brace still in place but parcel shelf and seats out on my +2S130. It was tight squeeze and involved a bit of cursing....

On my car the parcel shelf had a large ish angle iron running across it that takes most of the space between tank top and parcel shelf. So suspect you'll need to remove it to get enough wiggle space.

On my car it's 4 (easy to remove, harder to refit) screws to remove seats, two in center front of bases and two in to brackets on the bottom of the rears. The rears can then be lifted out. Then the parcel shelf can be lifted off the brackets and slide out. Giving you lots of access. I suspect that's this might be quite different on earlier cars with different interior thou.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon May 06, 2019 12:08 pm

mbell wrote:What variant of the +2? (+2, +2S, +2S130)

I got the tank in and out via the boot with the brace still in place but parcel shelf and seats out on my +2S130. It was tight squeeze and involved a bit of cursing....



To comply with FIA regulations I have fitted a permanent aluminium fire wall between the cabin and the fuel tank /boot space. The firewall extends rearward under the parcel shelf.

(The rear seat pack is sitting in my attic for the last 15 years or more, I fitted 2 small plywood lockers with a bench seat lid in their place )

The few times I removed the tank to access the diff mountings bolts, I found it necessary to remove the rear brace which supports the bootlid. I also cut a slot in the fibreglass behind the tank outlet to allow it to slide directly rearwards.

Looking at it today, maybe removing the tank strap rear brackets rather than the boot brace might facilitate tank removal.

The most recent diff swap I was able to access the diff mounting bolts through an 18" x 4" access panel in front of the tank without any problem. :)
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon May 06, 2019 2:30 pm

TomMull wrote:I did not remove the rear seat yet as it appears to me that the upholstery is pop riveted to the floor and all of the upholstery is intact. Any tips on getting the seat out? I had not planned on re-doing the interior.


Riveted to the floor? That doesn't sound right at all.
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon May 06, 2019 2:52 pm

The rear seat bottoms are each attached to the vertical part of the floor by one expanding shank plastic rivet. At least on my '70 +2S, they are. They aren't called out in the parts manual however.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon May 06, 2019 4:36 pm

Bud English wrote:The rear seat bottoms are each attached to the vertical part of the floor by one expanding shank plastic rivet. At least on my '70 +2S, they are. They aren't called out in the parts manual however.


I'm finding it difficult to visualize your set-up.

Any chance of a picture ?

:)
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PostPost by: TomMull » Mon May 06, 2019 6:17 pm

Tank is out and lessons learned:
I realize that these cars vary and mine might be an exception but after several hours with this project and a lot help from this forum I am convinced that the instructions from the manual that draenog kindly sent me are incomplete.
The boot cross brace that goes under the boot lid hinges must be removed.
The parcel shelf must be loosened or removed. (Unless a slot has been cut under the outlet fitting as Foxie did.)
These should be added to the instructions. With the brace removed, and the parcel shelf loosened the tank comes out easily.
It is not practical to remove the bottom bracket that supports the boot floor and secures the straps, as I suggested, since the bracket cannot be removed with the tank in place.
I'm still wondering about removing the rest of the rear seat. Will post picture as soon as I figure out how to do that.
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