Lotus Elan

Lotus restoration consultant-is there one out there?

PostPost by: mjbeanie » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:12 pm

Hello,

Still working to figure out first steps on the Lotus Plus 2 I purchased on Ebay. I've a lot to do to bring the car up to speed and I am personally stuck in first gear. I've done restoration work before, but not to this extent. I would like to get this job done right to original spec, and wondering if there are any South Florida Lotus gurus or hobbyists for hire. I would try to do most of the work, (except chassis, suspension, brake rework stuff). There is no paint or bodywork needed.

However I would like a guide thru the process, to advise what bits are missing, what to buy, any tips and techniques, and to physically lend a hand here and there. Occasional access to a lift would probably be a bonus. I am in Broward County Florida. A current Lotus Plus 2 owner would also be ideal, so as to compare cars.

Any available technically savvy Lotus enthusiasts or mechanics out there, that would like a occasional weekend job as an advisor for some extra $.. If so, please Private Message me and we can get started getting this Plus 2 back together.

Thank you!
Mike
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ebay6.jpg and
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PostPost by: Davefettback » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:54 am

I’m in the back end of a restoration of a 72 Plus 2. I’ll gladly send you a parts supplier list.
Your first job is to figure out a budget. Stock is less than the path I went. Don’t underestimate the condition of nearly 50 yr old parts. Everything rubber will have to go. Taking the body off is easy and a good place to start. Chassis work is easy and with the body off it simple to pull the engine, transmission and rear end.
The RD Enterprises web site is invaluable and a good source of parts. http://www.rdent.com/manuals/index.html
I’m in Vancouver BC so I can only provide you info.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:21 am

Here is an alternative suggestion...why not start a mini restoration blog on here as other folks have done.

These are very useful as all sorts of weird and wonderful subjects get brought up and you will get the benefit of world wide brains ! In addition to contributions you will get some humour which is essential.

I will be a very glad reader as I would love to rebuild a LHD +2 when I have finished project number 1. They are very fine cars indeed.

I am rebuilding a '65 Elan GTS car (for the definition is FIA GTS10, but also road and rally usable) from a very unpromising start involving sourcing 90% of the car before being able to really start...

I will do a mini blog when I am "ready to assemble". It will probably be similar to that of the useful one done by David Rose.

In the meantime, I have also spontaneously contacted a few members for parts or advice on threads they have forgotten that they published and have been delighted to report that everyone has replied helpfully.

Good luck with your project.
1965 Lotus Elan S2 26/4022 (originally Dutchess Lotus East, PA and NJ Area, USA)
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:26 am

Hi Mike,

I am a snowbird, wintering near Flagler Beach, where I'm restoring my pre-airflow Coupe. I can help some, and looking at my Coupe's re-assembly may also assist you.

Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
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'70 Elan +2S RHD
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PostPost by: mjbeanie » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:47 am

Thank you all for the great suggestions. I will start a restoration blog, I think that would be a lot of fun and help me out of the weeds on this project.

Frogelan, look forward to your blog. What is the David Rose reference. I would like to look at what he's done..Thank you

Roger thanks very much for the offer. Nothing beats looking at the hardware and assembly. I will keep in touch and once I get a bit further along I would enjoy the opportunity to meet with you and go over the restoration activity with you. I'll bring the beer.

Dave in Canada,Thank for the good wishes.Would like to see the supplier list you've put together. It would be appreciated! Your car looks great, would love to see a functional Plus 2 in person that drives and everything...

I think I will start with electrical harness and switches, then fuel delivery system. Most of the bits are there just need to put some order to this. I am anxious to put 12v to the electrical but it looks a bit sketchy. Trying to source the right harness with SJS Sportscars, but they have not responded as yet. Then I'll hand it off to the pros for any chassis work, CV joints, brakes, and glass installation.

I also may look into those portable hobbyist car lifts for $2k. If anyone has experience or can recommend one please let me know. Thanks all, for the feedback and help. This forum is awesome.
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:46 am

I have one of these:
https://www.kwik-lift.com/

Has made life much easier, and since my car will always be on the lift I'll be more likely to check underneath regularly.
Henry
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PostPost by: Bombay Racing Green » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:17 am

Hi Mike,

That’s a great looking project. It might be worthwhile posting for help on the Lotus Europa forum. I know of two Europa owners very near you. http://www.lotuseuropa.org/LotusForum/index.php
They are just as friendly and just as mad about Lotus as we are!

Good luck.
Pete
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:47 pm

I have a quick Jack bl5000. Pretty happy with it.

Max Jack would also be good but didn't really work for me and my garage setup.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: mjbeanie » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:56 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, I just purchased the QuickJack BL5000 on sale at Home Depot.

Just wondering, are their any concerns raising a fiberglass car using the Quick Jack lift rails. Is the car sufficiently reinforced at the lower door sill areas?

There seems to be little structural material to work with, its more like a plastic bathtub...
Thanks.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:52 am

There is a steel still member that runs wheel attach to wheel Arch. Before lifting you need to make sure they are in good condition. Theses are normally the first thing to rust in the car and common for them to need replacing.

There are strong section of the body just at the rear of the front wheel arch on the corner and the box section in front of the rear wheel.

I made up some spreaders to use with my bl5000. These are basically two lengths of 2*4" about the length of the sills (and pick up points on my daily), fastten together with 2*4 that sits in the lift locations on the lift. I also covered them with harbor freight floor foam as protection.

The other mod I did was to add some caster balls on the side and that lets me slide them around on the floor easier but as soon as it lifts they lift off the floor too.
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'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:15 pm

Welcome aboard Mike. All the best with your project.

The Plus 2 rockers are reinforced with replaceable steel rails. They are bolted to the body along the bottom edge of the rocker. They provide the four stock jacking points. Note the rails are often badly corroded, in which case the jacking points will not have any strength.

You can easily inspect the condition of the rails by removing the four inspection panels located at each wheel well.

For jacking the car up prior to rail inspection/replacement, a platform jack can be used acting directly on the fibreglass floor. Use large plywood pads, say 12” x 12” minimum to spread the load. Do not position the pad under the vertical portion of the body tub at the rear seats, as compression load can crack the glass. You don’t have to ask how I know this!

There are lots of good threads on jacking the car that you can check out. Just wanted to get out the warning to not rely on Plus 2 rocker strength until you have carefully inspected and replaced as required.

The way I usually raise the car...

  • Platform jack on one side of the front crossbeam / vacuum tank to raise a couple of inches.
  • Second platform jack with block(s) centred on crossbeam to raise front of car.
  • Usually place large 18” x 18” blocks under the front tires to securely hold the car up in the front.
  • Two custom made slotted plywood pads placed under the rear wishbones. The slots accommodate the rear brake discs, and the pads spread the load over the entire wishbone.
  • Two platform jacks to simultaneously raise both sides of the car rear.
  • Usually place large 18” x 18” blocks under the rear tires to securely hold the car up in the rear.
  • If required, individually jack and block each corner of the car by using pads on the fibreglass floor or the stock jacking holes.

Be very careful placing a jack under the rear frame below the diff. This can distort the frame, making future diff removal difficult or impossible; when I replaced my frame I actually gave up and cut the old frame apart to get the diff out.

You mentioned no paint work is required on your car, so the rocker beams may already be replaced. If you are not sure, check their condition.

HTH

Stu
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PostPost by: mjbeanie » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:07 am

Thanks guys, this is extremely useful information. I will examine the support beams in the rocker area after the incoming Hurricane passes thru South Florida. Lots of other work ahead ...cars will have to take a break until after the storm...ugh!!
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:16 am

Mike,
It looks like you have a +2S built in the 1971/1972 range. The round hole in the center console just aft of the gear lever suggests it had the Lotus East air conditioning option. Lotus East was the distributor in Millerton, NY at the time. What vehicle identification number do you have?. Mine is 0500170N which also came through Lotus East and had their AC option. I can see lots of non standard bits in your photos. I am just outside of Boston so in-person help is not much of an option. The suggestions of running a blog here are a good idea. I can pitch in via the blog.
Russ
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PostPost by: mjbeanie » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:19 pm

Thanks Fellas,

Going to examine the rocker sill areas and make sure they look ok. Tomorrow will assemble the quick jack and give it a test drive. Looks like a well conceived design. Was wondering if there is an advantage of using Auto Trans fluid over Hydraulic Fluid. The specs seem to imply either is ok.


Russ, My car is 9 cars downstream from yours. Yes it came thru Millerton NY as well.
Serial number 0179N. !
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:15 am

I THINK I used atf in mine but pretty low stress use for the fluid so don't think it's too important.

Did you get the 110v or 12v?
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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