Lotus Elan

Wheel Brace Question

PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:16 pm

Why is there no wheel brace in the Elan tool kit for cars with bolt on wheels?

It's not listed in the "Service Parts List" either.

I bought an early Triumph Herald wheel brace (see picture) to complement my tool kit.

(Later Triumphs used a larger wheel nut - so late wheel braces don't fit the Elan)
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001.jpg and
Steve
'64 S1 Elan (Owned since '73)
'69 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce (Owned since '77)
'70 Morris Minor 1000 (Owned since '85)
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:33 pm

IMHO, the original Lotus tool kits of the period were too minimalist to be truly helpful if you experienced trouble on the road. They're a bad joke. If you're trying to complete the car's 'originality', then put together the most original 'looking' tool kit you can, using period tools... brace or no brace.

Then buy a larger tool roll, and fill it with a useful selection of tools to make-up a 'working' tool kit. Something with which you can actually repair real world failures. In that case, don't worry about the brace, just include in the kit a proper 1/2" drive ratchet handle, extension and socket to fit the wheel nuts.

My 'working' tool kit for the boot includes a portfolio-style kit that's about the size of a hard-bound novel, with a tool roll of Gear-Wrenches strapped to it. It's easily carried with one hand. The portfolio kit was generic, so I replaced some of the non-car items with things I thought would be more useful... like the two Crescent wrenches (adjustable spanners), socket wobble extensions, sparkplug socket, Xacto knife, utility knife, small ratchet bit driver with a selection of screwdriver bits, roll of electrical tape, several hose clamps nested one in another, some electrical wire, proper British fuses... etc.

In addition, I have a set of heavy gauge jumper cables in a fitted canvas bag with carry handles. It's easy to grab the two items and toss them into whichever car I'll be driving that day, so there's no need to make duplicates.

Not shown in the photos is the previously mentioned 1/2" ratchet, extension & socket that is 'resident' to each car, regardless of where the 'working' tool kit is at the moment. I really dislike those PITA braces.

All that could be quickly grabbed in two hands if you wished to remove the non-original bits from the boot at a car show.

The combined kit & tool roll is complete enough that there isn't much I can't fix that doesn't require putting the car on stands, removing major assemblies from the car, or waiting for mail order parts to arrive. I've replaced someone else's 907 timing belt on the shoulder of a road during a club drive and another at a LOG Car Show, adjusted the belt tension on several others, installed an electronic ignition system in an autocross paddock (in the rain), removed/ cleaned/ balanced carbs, replaced front wheel bearings & brake pads/shoes, repaired bad electrical wiring, and R&R'd starters, alternators, fuel pumps, coolant hoses, thermostats, etc; all with the tools in that small, one-hand-size kit... on the road.

Regards,
Tim Engel
Lotus Owners Oftha North (LOON)
Attachments
Tool Kit - Closed, with hand for scale.JPG and
Tool Kit - Open.JPG and
Tool Kit - Closed.JPG and
Last edited by Esprit2 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:36 pm

hi there: watching TOP GEAR as lots of us: you need a pretty elaborate selection of tools - after 31 yrs of living with my baby I know
exactly WHAT i may need - i even drive to italian islands (elba, sardinia) and don´t worry about not getting home -- i know evey f screw and bolt and the original tool kit is a joke cheers sandy j s3 dhc
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:54 pm

The Top Gear guys are "special". I don't think there's a 'portable' tool kit that wouldn't require a trailer, that's elaborate enough to cover the trouble they manage to get into... especially Jeremy.
;-)

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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:59 pm

Sandy
Can you tell where it goes by what it looks like?
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:21 am

Essential inclusions are a mobile phone and breakdown insurance!
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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:18 pm

robertverhey wrote:Essential inclusions are a mobile phone and breakdown insurance!
If you're going to suffer something major, like blow the engine (ie, things for which repair requires removing a major assembly from the car), then perhaps a cell phone and breakdown insurance is essential as a secondary back-up to the primary back-up, a useable tool kit. But for the less major annoyances that can sideline a car, I can have most repairs completed in less time than it takes for a commercial rescue service to arrive, and it ends with me driving home instead of looking for a ride.

There's no alternative back up that's as satisfying as completing the journey you started, even if it takes a small detour. It's better to dance with the girl you brought to the Prom.

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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:19 pm

Esprit2 wrote:
robertverhey wrote:Essential inclusions are a mobile phone and breakdown insurance!
If you're going to suffer something major, like blow the engine (ie, things for which repair requires removing a major assembly from the car), then perhaps a cell phone and breakdown insurance are essential as a secondary back-ups to the primary back-up, a useable tool kit. But for the less major annoyances that can sideline a car, I can have most repairs completed in less time than it takes for a commercial rescue service to arrive, and it ends with me driving home instead of looking for a ride.

There's no alternative back up that's as satisfying as completing the journey you started, even if it takes a small detour. It's better to dance with the girl you brought to the Prom.

Regards,
Tim Engel
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