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Recommissioning an Excel

Entries in this blog

 

Damper failed

Well, since restoring this car I've not used it much. That's not much for a car that I planned to be my daily driver. I used the red one quite a bit until I finally traced the misfire issues and so had confidence in being able to get to the destinations and return under the car's own power. I used the Berlingo when the weather was cold as it has a heather that is effective in less than 10 mins of engine running. I've now purchased a Signum as I'm ferrying my elderly parents around a lot and they

andydclements

andydclements

 

Misfire

Ever since taking the car out of the garage (spring time) I had a misfire, slight at tick-over, fine at full throttle but very pronounced under acceleration, although it went away sometimes. I'd tried carb adjustment, ignition system and finally noticed a correlation between issue and fuel level in the tank (I'd initially though it was fresh fuel made it go the first time). In the knowledge the issue only became really noticable at 1/2 full tank and got worse until at 1/4 full it was a real PIT

andydclements

andydclements

 

Still misfiring

I have found that having enriched no 2 (that's the cylinder than showed little change when the plug was pulled during idle at misfire (so assumed that's the one), the idle misfire goes. I have since found that the misfire had pretty much gone at acceleration also, and gone at constant throttle. It did, however, give a misfire under prolonged idle and acceleration following prolonged idle, as though the plug is becoming flooded. I think it may be spark related, either strength or timing. Althou

andydclements

andydclements

 

Grrrrr Misfiring, again

It's been misfiring in certain situations for pretty much as long as I've been running it. The other night (why did it coincide with the night I was due to go to a car meet?) it went form partial misfire under acceleration to full missing on one cylinder under any condition. Spark is good, compression seems good, I've checked for blocked jets and fiddled with the mixture. It's still not right, but that may now be due to a soaked plug while checking out how much the engine speed dips when disc

andydclements

andydclements

 

Window switch- all day

Not strictly true that the window switch took all day. Once I had the door trim off it seemed sensible to investigate the central locking. First thing, no fuse, not blown, just not one in the slot. Fiddled with the driver's door module, no avail. I took it off and apart and found a few issues and eventually got it to respond to the power but that involved pulling the motor apart, cleaning the armature of rust and a few other things. I pulled the passenger door one off, found lots of water but s

andydclements

andydclements

 

Oh for pities sake- another faulty switch.

Having put the car partially back together I discovered that although the wipers then correctly parked when switched off (the original fault) the intermittent wipe feature was no longer, intermittent. It caused the wipers to be on low speed constantly. Having resigned myself to the need for a new switch, time being the awkward bit about it, not the £9 expense, I realised late last night that I had one more switch not in use and easily accessible. Now, having raided the switch from the silver ca

andydclements

andydclements

 

Electrical glitches

It went to Stratton Motor Company last week for the ARB mounting bracket recall work. It was misfiring on the way there and the way back, so bad that they didn't take it for a test run for the work, which was fair enough. The misfire was partially due to the MOT in the winter, to get it to pass the emissions I had to wind the mixture in so much that it ran weak, that was due to a failing (I didn't know that until after I left) AB14. The AB14 failed on the way home form the MOT. So, last week

andydclements

andydclements

 

Response from dealer

A few weeks ago I mailed the local dealer (Stratton Motor Company, Longstratton, Norfolk) asking if there was any chance of a recall activity being done FOC. I had by now assumed they'd either not received the mail or were not getting any info from Lotus Cars. Yesterday I received an email from Ian (Service Manager) confirming the work hadn't been done and so was outstanding and that he would now order the parts. What's noteworthy about this is not what they are doing but how long it is after

andydclements

andydclements

 

MOT test done- and it passed

It went for its second MOT test (since I've owned it) and it passed, one failure point was the RHS rear fog lamp not working but I fiddled with the lamp at the station so he re-tested it and passed it. The car was an absolute PITA that day, started well, drove OK for most of the journey but become troublesome once it got hot, almost stalling as I arrived at the testing station. During the test it refused to run well and refused to start well. I left with the certificate, and it stalled approx

andydclements

andydclements

 

It was June, it's now December....What have I been doing?

Well, I had progressed with the car quite well, needing to finish the leather and that would be about it, or so I thought. I spent a fair bit of my free time doing bits about the garden etc, so with the good weather over I realised I needed the garage as a working space, tidying that has been (and continues to be) hard work. It's fairly tidy now but the plan is to not do much more on the gold one for a while, I do need to dry it out (not happy) and fit new door seals (Hopefully that's the cause

andydclements

andydclements

 

Painting leather

Well, I had a go with the Glyptone stuff and whilst I have no reason to doubt it's better than the current Furniture Clinic approach (G= one coat, FC = colour and top coat)) it doesn't set very firm nor does it adhere very well. i think it's going to have rubbed off very soon. For the green Excel (long since gone to Mike's) I had planned to re-colour the leather to a lighter colour than it was. That never happened (car went) but I had purchased the FC solvent based (cellulose) paint and still

andydclements

andydclements

 

Stomach feeling delicate

Oh well, I forgot I'd not checked / set the tyre pressures after I had the tyres fitted. On the road it didn't feel as sure footed as the other Excel and when home, sure enough, 30-32 PSI in the tyres. Now the stomach bit. I had a coffee and biscuits before setting out, on the ride they were threatening to leave me again. My Turbo Esprit had softer suspension when it was on the wrong springs and so sitting at full extension. I think from that I need to adjust the fronts to be a little softer

andydclements

andydclements

 

Other spat

The second rear spat is not on the car, all four wheel arches have been re-finished in black under body sealant (Shutz type) so it has nice firm edges between the gold of the body and black of the wheel arch areas. The NS windscreen finisher is now back on, I've adjusted its shape by partially filling the void between the two skins with GRP and clamping it while it cured. It's now re-fitted. I think, other than a few areas of paint that need cutting, it's now done on the outside. I still n

andydclements

andydclements

 

Headlight in, out, in, no out again, no in..

I have had the front and rear bumpers sprayed along with the spats, bumpers and one spat fitted (need to move car to fit other) and I now got round to checking the lights work. All going well, little bit of twisting of lamps (bulbs go in the ground to grow into flowers) and the oxidation on the contacts cleared enough for the lamps to illuminate. Got to the front and the front fog lights are not working, take headlights off again, check connections, all seems OK, refit headlight. Still no light

andydclements

andydclements

 

General things

Things have been a bit hectic of late so progress has slowed. Anyway, since last entry: Front bumper has been taken off, damage repaired, flatted, primed with u-pol aerosol primer, existing paint reacted with primer, re flatted with more paint removed, reacted with another layer. Ah, give up on this. Bumperettes have been repaired (one of the securing bolts had sheared off) and painted with bumper paint. B pillar trims have been painted with same bumper paint, found acetone dissolves the vac

andydclements

andydclements

 

Ignition etc

Last time I was working on the car all seemed sort of OK and it was starting except, one final time and when I pulled the lugs I found the spark was awful, even straight out of the coil. With some help (remotely) from Matt I've reviewed, cleaned replaced bits and now the spark at the plugs seems better. Today, the car started almost as soon as the starter moved. Hopefully that's the last pulling the dissy etc for a while. I hope this also solves the problem of difficulty getting HC and CO pa

andydclements

andydclements

 

Differential

I had to make my mind up about the seals change in place, seals change on the bench or LSD. LSD won. I didn't start early on the job (read that as nearly midday) the exhaust and chassis strengthening bracket came off quite well. Most of the nuts were OK to undo, some a little bit tight. The only two that were pigs were the ones that secure from the top rear diff carrier to the subframe, they came off with the help of a power saw. It was a bit of a shock when the diff came out with nothing

andydclements

andydclements

 

A weekend of little progress

This weekend I spent the first half of Saturday helping Owen with his oil pipe, this time the correct one was supplied. Sunday I helped Simon with his TE engine, it is back together (despite me forgetting to take a clutch alignment tool so had to do it by eye) and back in the car although it's just placed in there and everything that connects it to the car is not yet in place. So, what did I do on the E906? I pulled the ignition system apart and found a couple of issues that may have contri

andydclements

andydclements

 

engine back together

Yesterday I helped Owen change an oil cooler pipe on his GT3, not an absolute success (pipe was too short despite coming from a Lotus specialist). Today I fitted the refurbished pump that I've got back having forgotten I'd left it with Terry, and after much wasted time I accepted I had to secure the PAS bracket to the pump before securing both to the car. Anyway, back on, need to re-time the ignition and set belt tension but the rain meant I didn't want to take the dissy cap off and get mo

andydclements

andydclements

 

More done- one damper on, water pump off

I had to get my hair cut this morning so it delayed the start a bit, with breakfast it was effectively 10:00. I started trying to remove the water pump with the bonnet on but very soon decided I'd need if off as it would save time overall. I gave up and removed the timing belt as well. I decided given the choice, struggle with two suborn bolts into cast ali that secure the steering pump bracket to the water pump or remove one bolt from the sump and do those two bolts using the bench vice, the

andydclements

andydclements

 

A bit further back

Last night (having picked the car up from the tyres being fitted to the refurbished wheels) it was missing on one cylinder, I initially thought it must be incorrect choke, pulled in after 1/2 mile and found no 4 plug lead not on fully, put it on and set off again. No difference but I thought the plug could be so soaked with fuel it will not spark, maybe the warmth of the engine will dry it out and it will start to fire correctly. Nearly home and while decelerating for a roundabout I get a coupl

andydclements

andydclements

 

A bit further forward

I couldn't work out why the air horn wasn't working but assumed it was either poor electrical connection or trumpets corroded. After lots of searching I realised there was another cause I'd not considered. The air compressor wasn't fitted. I found anew one that I had and connected it up, still no sound so it appears the trumpets are also failed. It now just has a little diaphragm one until I can get round to fitting new trumpets and attaching the compressor. Daylight Running Lights, I've fitt

andydclements

andydclements

 

Two steps forward one step back

Took it for a short run Sunday and was told I have no reversing lights, having reversed it back into the drive. Didn't go far in test run as was low on fuel. Took it and filled up at Sainsbury's today, only took £35 to brim it (so that's circa 25l). Got in and the gauge was still reading empty- oh well one more job to sort. I did at least find the reversing light issue was simply corrosion on the lamp holders.

andydclements

andydclements

 

It's taxed

Waiting for tax disc to arrive so I can try it on the road. Today I worked on the carbs, balanced them to get air pressures aligned and it does seem to run a little better on tick-over and rev up nicely but the real test will be when it's on the road. I've replaced the otter valve (complete with ali tube) with one I ad in the store and the fans no longer come on as soon as the ignition does, they do however come on when it gets hot so that's a good sign. I've replaced the rusty header tank

andydclements

andydclements

 

It failed

Not much to worry me. Headlight aim- I didn't check as I hadn't moved it. The issues identified late Saturday then Sunday morning, carb needle not stopping fuel from pump, well I think that's most of one of the issues. It failed on emissions, being too rich and I think excessive fuel height in the chamber would do that, I already had it planned in to do a re-build of the cars due to the issue I found Saturday. Advisory on one top ball joint, both will be replaced as I have them just in

andydclements

andydclements

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