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A "better than new" Éclat restoration

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Accidentally found some Eclat Sprint wheels...(soooo lucky!)

As written in title, I found some of the most rare factory fitted Eclat wheels.
The problem was, the seller knew that too!


Even though I had to buy them - and paid what he was asking for :huh:


And now I' m able to give some new knowlege about these wheels...




Special entry for Paul...

Hi Paul,
I hope these pictures will help to answer your question...

As original






After refurbishment


With best regards




Refurbishing light lenses

In an other step I tried to fresh up all my light lenses.

I tried some products and found finally a good one, but there is still a huge amount of work needed.
Meguiars PlastX

A comparison before and after...

the final result!




Impressions of progress

Some more pictures to show, how it's going on... ("click" for bigger pictures)

input shaft

some ready gearbox parts

front hubs reinstalled

reassembling of rear brakes

drum brakes on chassis

front part of chassis

installing the fuel lines through the chassis

Now i'm working on the engine.




Loctite for engine rebuild

I asked Loctite Germany (Henkel) for the correct products to use on the 907 engine, because the products mentioned in the manual are not available anymore.

Maybe useful for some others too...

Loctite RC 40 = Loctite Retaining Compound 40
is now Loctite 648

Loctite RC 35 = Loctite Retaining Compound 35
is now Loctite 638

Loctite AV =
today called Loctite 603

Loctite Primer T
is now Loctite 7471




no need to change a cooling fan!

As you see I had two fans installed (like all US cars, because of the closed front body).
So I decided to get only one of them overhauled.

I took everything apart and figured out how to clean and treat them to keep the original look.
The internals I cleaned and oiled only, and the shaft got painted with some zinc color.
All other parts were sandblasted.

The fan motor housing I let galvanize in zinc blue.
The fan cover was powder coated in black.
The fan itself got galvanized with zinc black, because of the weight distribution.

I have now one fan left - so if it is needed somewhere just ask!




Some Eclat related documents

[color=rgb(0,128,0)][size=5][font=arial][b]!!! only for enthusiasts !!![/b][/font][/size][/color]

Because I'm always after original documents for my cars (and usually couldn't find them somewhere in the Web) - I decided to offer you, what I have...

[attachment=24912:Eclat_Leaflet_(75).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24931:Eclat_Leaflet_(76).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24898:LOTUS_UK_Dealers_(76).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24897:E-E-E_Price_List_(76).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24910:Eclat_Owners_Handbook_(76-UK).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24914:Eclat_Brochure_(77).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24915:E-E-E_Leaflet_(78).pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=24899:GIRLING_PDWA_Service_Kit.pdf] (source lotuspoint)
[attachment=28376:Ad_Eclat_Sprint_77.pdf] (source lotuspoint)

If you have something to add, please drop me a line...!
(in particular I'm looking for some color charts?)

I hope you enjoy that.




Overhauling the rear differential

Another step was overhauling the rear differential. Our Eclat diff is a Salisbury 7HA so if you need any spare parts look for that. It was used in many british cars.

Even though the oil smelled like hot fried cooking oil, the interior was still looking good.

For this time I was not in the mood to do the internal revision by my own. So I brought everything to a specialist nearby and when emptied, I sandblasted the outer hull.

Because the later fit breather in the cover was just not good looking I tooked it out and closed the hole with some welding.

After that, everything got powder coated again. And thereafter I brought it back to the specialist to put back the internal things.

I had now to refit the original breather which was used only on early cars. I found that on [url=""][/url] because I knew that this Salisbury 7HA was used on many other british and some US cars as well.

And that's it...




The steering rack

One of the more difficult things was the overhaul of the steering rack.

I still had the first original Burman-SA steering rack built in. The color was identifiable under the rack bushings as a Ford-blue (RAL 5001). The rack is interchangeable with Ford Capri racks. Later ones were built by Ford or TRW but then painted in black (You need that one with the LONG pinion shaft).

After dismantling I used a small grinder to remove all the rust from the rack. All other parts were sand blasted with a fine corundum sand. This gives a good surface for later paintings.

The other parts needed were easily to find all over the internet. The only difficulty was to find new bearings. Finally I had to clean and reinstall the old bearings.

Helpful for to complete overhaul was [url=""][/url] (German only - Sorry!) But in Fact it was not a big deal the get the parts reassembled and adjusted properly. I didn't use any torque tools for that.

The final result: [attachment=24853:P1040323.JPG] (The pinion shaft was later painted as well.)




Where to get a gearbox?

Because I like to upgrade my US Sprint (like a 520) to a EU 521 I had to find a 5 speed Gearbox.

After a post here in the Forum, 'Tocus' was writing me an Email, that he stored what I'm looking for.
I asked for some more details and he answered quickly. So we made this deal.

But how to get the Parts to Switzerland? I won't double the price just to become it shipped to Switzerland, so I decided to drive to the Netherlands to collect the parts in Person.

[attachment=22388:Bildschirmfoto 2013-01-07 um 20.29.53.png]
The result was [b][color=#ff0000]1900km in 23h,[/color][/b] including fuel-stop, coffee-break, handling parts and 3h powernapping!

At least we were two drivers, so it was not that dangerous as you first thought. :B)




How to straighten the brake pipes

I won't screw crooked and corroded brake lines on my restored frame. They have to be straight and shiny as original.

Here you can see the result of a self straightened brake line.

I found an instruction on a webpage of how to build a little straightener...
You will need:
- 5 small rope pulleys (Dia ~30 or 40mm)
- 1 L-shaped iron (∼40cm in length)
- 5 smaller bolts, locknuts and washer as axle for the pulleys
- 2 bigger bolts, locknuts and washers to stick the irons together
⇨ in total around GBP 12.-

Make two L-shaped iron pieces and cut it in ∼20cm length each.
Then you have to drill two bigger holes to clamp the irons together and 3 smaller holes on one side and 2 smaller holes one the other iron. These have to be perfectly aligned for the pulleys.

And this is the final little tool...and it works!!!
With two bolts you can now also adjust your tool for different brake pipe sizes.

This tool can be found to buy, - but you will have to pay astonishing USD 300.-- :harhar:





Chassis repair

I pondered a while whether this chassis is worth to be restored or not... I was not sure but I decided to do it!

I checked the dimensions, to know if the geometry is still in the normal range. (Al the datas are given in the workshop manual.)

Even tough the lower front section needed some attention. I decided to change a deformed sheet. A friend did the welding and it finally looked close to the original.

In the next step I decided against "sand blasting" the chassis. I found an expert company which does derust with chemical agents. They are located in the northern part of Switzerland and are well known in central europe (also working for the historical museum of BMW e.g.).


For this result I had to pay about CHF 900.- (GBP 600.-)

Next step was to add a contemporary corrosion protection in a bath and powder coating to get the final and original look. The Paint-Styling AG ([url=""][/url]) was the best company I found for this job. This was the only company, capable to handle a whole chassis nearby.

For the whole treatment I paid a further CHF 300.- (GBP 200.-)

So for the complete overhaul I paid about GBP 800.-. A good price compared for the chassis offered to buy elsewhere and much better and nicer too!




Restoring the springs

I'll skip some chapters of dismantling the car.

I said the car should become "better than new" I'll show you what I mean.

Front spring as they were.

I got all parts sandblasted by my own. I used a quite coarse aluminum oxide to blast rust and old paintings away.

After blasting I got them powder coated in RAL 9005 (black with silk gloss). Now they will last for ages! [img][/img]
For the marking stripes I used a simple brush and enamel colours.

They look as if they were made this morning!




Getting the right engine

Because engine and carburetors are totally different in U.S. and in european version, I bought a second engine.

The Idea is to strip both engines and then to use the outer parts form the U.S. engine with the internal parts of the european one. Simply for keeping the "matching numbers".

By my knowledge of today I wouldn't buy this engine again. It came with the wrong gearbox on (4 speed instead of 5) and the Lucas 23D Distributor and the fuel banjos where missing. Have you once tried to get the original single 45 degree banjos?... [img][/img]

At least It had the right cams fitted (type "E" or "103"). These are needed to become road legal in Switzerland, because we adapted the newest emission laws quite early.

Ahhh - did I mention already that the carburetors were jetted totally wrong... [img][/img]




Start dismantling (boot)

It was rather clear, that the car needs to bee totally dismantled. I thought I begin at the rear end... I spent one day dismantling the boot and the rear located fuel installations.

The S.U. fuel pump. In the US version from 1976 was already a catch tank and a charcoal canister fitted (above pump). I won't reuse these. Then I couldn't find out where the fuel filter between the tank and the pump was gone. I found one alongside of the gearbox, screwed on the chassis. Maybe that's another U.S. alteration. If you use a workshop manuel you will realize that my pump was bolt in the wrong way round.

All the metal parts are awfully rusty - like this boot lock.

Boot carpeting, good enough to take measurements or pattern.

Taking out the fuel tank.

I pondered quite a time how to renovate this. I think I found a good solution. I'll explain that later...
First I will take everything apart.




The plan...

[b][I'm not an native english speaker - if you find any mistakes - PLEASE IGNORE !!!] [/b]

I saw a nice LHD Eclat on Ebay-Germany for a bargain, but it was a US re-imported Eclat.
Built in 76 No 202E and painted in "ugly-red".

The Idea is to get that car back on the road - restored in a REALLY "better than new" condition. And the most ambitious target is, to convert the Eclat fully to european standard.
I know already that the costs will overcome its future worth, - but shit happens!

Some pictures from the seller!

I was shocked when I saw it in real for first time... It looked worse than ever expected - but I bought it anyway.

A lot of work...