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Elite 4.9

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About Elite 4.9

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  • Name
    Richard Norman
  • Car
    Lotus Elite 502, 1974
  • Modifications
    Only factory approved..really ! IF these were done when new the Elite would have sold way more cars. List of mods is in my photo section. check it out and tell me what you like.
  • Location
    United States, Seattle

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  1. With one wiper, at least on my '74 Elite, it certainly puts more wear and tear on the wiper motor. Not sure if your Excel was built the exact same way as early Elites but the joke is they dropped the wiper motor from the ceiling and then built the car around it. And as you found out this part is buried deep inside the beast. Might be a good idea to use rain-X so wipers can be use sparingly. Living in the Seattle area, where we get a lot of rainy days, like you probably do, I don't take out my Elite so I really haven't used the wipers hardly at all. Probably afraid of the above original story I heard many years ago is partly to blame and well, I don't like getting my car dirty. lol cheers, Richard
  2. Interesting topic. My Elite was the 110th built in '74 and had a single vented tube ( connecting both sides of the tank ) running all the way to the engine and into a carbon filled canister before sucking it into the engine which was common practice back in the day. Didn't want that same design so just vented them outside the filler caps on both sides. cheers, Richard
  3. The thing to do is to also buy a headlight relay so that the dash switch only sees the current needed to turn it on, and lets the relay handle all the current that your headlights are demanding. If you have after market more powerful headlights bulbs ( brighter than originals that came with the car and many update headlights for obvious reasons ) then it puts more energy through the switch but with a relay, the switch is protected from excess current it was never designed to handle. This is an easy part to add and saves your switch and maybe even your car from starting on fire. I also put the relay close to the headlights with short wires needed which cuts down voltage drop. I also use this for driving lights and air horns as they many times draw a good amount of current which the relays can easily handle. cheers, Richard.
  4. One should always use new studs and head bolts as these bolts are stretched when first torqued and can not clamp, once again, when re-torqued any where close to what they did when new. NEVER reuse these parts including rod bolts. Ask any pro engine builder and he will tell you the same. cheers, Richard
  5. Originally an all aluminum 1961 Buick engine displacing 215 cid now punched (stroked and bored) out to 298 cubic inches or 4.9L. Balanced and blueprinted making 310 hp/ 360 lbs ft of torque. 3.4 stroke up from 2.8 inches and an over bore to 3.6 inch bore. The lightest V8 ever to come out of Detroit.
  6. All the panels you want to cover in real wood are flat. You won't need new ones and you are only adding a thin layer on top maybe a little more than 1/32 inch thickness. Any competent wood worker could easily do the job once you take all of them off your car. It is also not difficult to glue the thin veneer on. I used an automotive urethane clear finish by PPG as it has UV inhibitors and will last a lot longer than most wood clear coat finishes one would use on interior wood projects for the home, especially if you park your car in the sun. It won't crack like lacquer either. Not a difficult job and not all that expensive either, if you do your part and dismantle each piece. I did all 7 pieces including the 2 middle consul pieces. Well worth the effort when the job is complete IMHO. I did mine years ago in Carpathian Elm Burl which is the exact same wood as the Lotus factory used on the early Esprit. Believe it or not but I picked this wood before Lotus used it for my Elite dash. It is easy to source and readily available. And cheaper and more figure than walnut burl found in many older English cars like Jaguar. Of course you could pick any good number of other woods to do the job. cheers, Richard
  7. The, GM for my car's air con added 135 lbs extra so a stiffer spring was needed. Doesn't sound like much but these cars are softly sprung with almost 8 inches in travel. I would guess it would be better to be a little stiffer than a too soft spring. I removed my air con but added a 4 gallon, 4 core copper radiator, to cool my V8 engine which by the way is almost the same weight as the original 4 cylinder. With the difference from removing the air con and adding some more weight in the front nose of the car, I didn't notice it being too stiff although I think I am lighter. Not sure what kind of driving you do but if you use these cars as they were designed to be driven, then a stiffer spring seems to me the way to go if you had a choice Cheers, Richard
  8. With a 16 inch rim, the widest tire that will fit in front is a 205-45 series. I have even tried a 215 and it rubbed the inner wheel well. Cheers, Richard
  9. I have the 110th built, a 1974 federal Elite, and I believe the side markers are just running lights and reflectors. I didn't like the look or the low quality of the markers so I removed them and fill in so as to look like the European version. Too cheesy for me. For side lights, I have been thinking of hiding some lights inside the wheel wells up high. You can probably see this in the factory manual's electrical wiring diagram to make sure. cheers, Richard
  10. Hey Michael, Working on these cars is challenging at times but this can be done if you can slide the seat back and reclined so then you can access it by standing on your head so to speak. That is, putting yourself in the seat upside down with your head just below the pedals and your feet and legs over the seat. You can then see and change out the end of the cable in it's holder. It is awkward but really not that difficult but it does make the blood run more to your head. If you are a big guy, it may be that you will need to take out the seat first. I wouldn't take out the dash. You may be easier if you get a small kid to do this as there isn't any extra space down there as you already know. cheers, Richard
  11. Elite 4.9

    Ardent Red

    Very Sexy. looks fast and awesome in the color red. (top picture) love the roadster. I would love to drive this one. Last pic...also very nice with the chrome wheels and black trim on red! lovely. I could easily see this as a daily driver where I live, Northwest coast USA. thanks for posting, Richard
  12. Love the look of the PPG paint I used. Looks even better in person. But the real addition is a high tech product for paint protection, in place of wax, is the "Dri-Wash n Guard" product I have used since the mid 80's which is far superior to wax for uv protection as well as ease of application. Not to mention it is very slick and water and dirt fly off in a rain storm. Also great for plastic, chrome and the best window cleaner I have ever found. Has to be seen to believe just how great this product is. Makes a fair paint job look good and a good paint looks almost wet. Great product if you are selling a vehicle.
  13. This is another view which I like very much. I remember when the Elite came out, some of the first photos taken where from this angle. Very aerodynamic with a low drag coefficient of .30..... almost as slick as the original Elite of .29 What is interesting is that the stance, wheel base and weight of this car is very close to the Ferrari F40 and the McLaren F1 which both follow shortly after the Elite was made and both were considered state of the art of high performance. Lotus got it right for fast motoring around corners were this car greatly excels. Lotus factory said it would out handle the Europa by 15%. Basic chassis design was very similar for all street cars Lotus made from the Elan through the Esprit. This chassis even dates back to the racing Lotus 30 which, in the day, broke the track record at Silverstone, even faster than the F1 cars!
  14. Elite 4.9

    Lotus Elite.jpg

    Not sure why the color looks orange but you at least get a view of the Elite in this color. lighting was obvious not the greatest. I think the car looks great from this angle.
  15. Painting all of the original polished aluminum trim around the doors and windshield IMHO greatly improve the lines and look of the Elite and the Lotus factory agreed with the last version of this car, the Excel having this improvement. I accidentally found this to be the answer to my problem of dented trim which was easily fixed when painted rather than the $2,000 dollar replacement cost.
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