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Elite 4.9

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Posts posted by Elite 4.9

  1. Tire ratings are not just about speed.


    The ratings on a tire, is indicative of a tires' overall integrity and the higher the integrity, the higher the rating, which is directly proportional to the top speed rating.


    My '74 Elite came with VH rating which was just below the top ( at the time ) Z rated tires. Why did Lotus put such high rated tires on when the car will only go 119 mph on a good day and when no one really drives that fast anyway? The answer is because of the high corning speeds these cars are capable of and the heat that is generated on the tires when doing so necessitates the higher rating.


    Of course if you never drive hard into the corner, you won't need anything close to a Z rated tire like I have on my Elite. Now that I have 2.5 times the original power, top speed is dramatically increased but I got them for cornering fast which is how I like to drive when possible and I wanted the best tire I could find because, isn't that why people buy Lotus cars? It is true for me.


    Lotus builds high performance cars have always been at the top of the field for handling and cornering so why anyone would want a cheap tire on their Lotus, simply, is kind of amazing to me. I just don't understand anyone putting inferior tires on their Lotus. Well, that is unless they just want to look good and pose and don't car to explore the limits of what many consider the top handling cars in the world. 


    I am somewhat confused by anyone using anything but the best and highest rated tires. These Lotus cars aren't cheap so the tires should match IMHO. Would you put retreads on your Rolls?






  2. I say, give them wider tires that last and enable them to drive hard the whole race. Get rid of stupid rules like having to use both sets of a given tire.  Saving tires is such a stupid way to go and is simply not racing. Other things need to be added that make more passing is just a must like making sure the venue is a track that has that characteristic. This is one reason why Monaco is such a bore and really if they want to race there, they should drive go-carts or a much smaller car as the current F1 cars don't fit the narrow track. 


    And get Bernie out of there.... the old crusty, good for nothing dude who has just filled his pockets and ruined the sport year after year. They keep talking about cost cutting while changing the whole format often which obviously does the opposite. Too much fishy stuff going on behind the scenes.


    I also think giving the big teams the most money is a sham. Why do you think there are teams at the bottom who struggle each year because of lack of funds while the big boys, who don't need help, wine that the slow cars get in the way. 


    I would like to see them have to shift gears ( not paddles on the steering wheel ) like old times, and heal and toe the throttle. You know, drive the cars. Too many drivers aids and not enough wheel to wheel racing.


    And bringing back re-fueling is just too stupid too. Why did they get rid of it in the first place...because it was too dangerous. I guess it is about the show, like NASCAR which is another stupid thing and one reason I don't watch that series.


    It is also not covered here in the states very good at all. Many are in the middle of the night and are not broadcast later for the viewing public.  NOT GOOD!


    Been following F1 since 1963 when Chapman and Clark were at the top of the game. innovation was the key to success then, not just a big influx of money.


    I also would like to see the qualifying go back to two hours where the fastest lap recorded gets the pole and give a point for it as well. 

    F1 used to be the fastest class of car racing and the most technologically advanced. Too many aero wing-lets and gizmos. 




    • Like 1
  3. I posted this the other day and it is all about cooling.



    Not that it will solve your current problem but these are ways I found, to lower operating temps and they worked for me. 


    Almost sounds to me that your radiator isn't up to doing its' job any more and it may be time to get a new one or re-core the old.






  4. Well, if you are having cooling problems, it may be a good alternative. On the other hand, there are other ways to help reduce high engine temperatures and to prevent corrosion. 


    I have an all aluminum engine in my Elite, the Buick 215. They say you can feel a drop in HP by just 10 degrees rise in temperature. If it is too hot and you over heat this engine, the heads tend to warp and your engine is basically toast. Makes me worry some so I wanted to eliminate that possibility. So I put in a 4 gallon, 4 core custom radiator, plus two 14 electric fans I can turn on any time.


    I also put in a remote oil filter. It is a "system one" 


    which has a stainless steel mesh to trap dirt and debris which can be easily cleaned and reused over and over. Its' cast aluminum housing is ribbed and provides almost as much cooling as the radiator according to the manufacture. It also expands your oil capacity as you have extra lines and the housing itself which increases an extra quart and a half of oil. This also enables to hold more heat with the extra capacity.


    For more corrosion protection, I bought a zinc plug to screw into the block.



    All boaters know that they need to change their zincs or at least check them yearly to make sure they are still there. Zinc is the lowest metal ( almost ) on the galvanic chart and the FIRST to corrode saving the other metals in the whole of the object like your brass prop or aluminum engine parts.


    Zinc is a lousy coating for anti corrosion as it simply corrodes very easily.



    I also use Redline water wetter with ethylene glycol ( 50/50 with water ) together with everything else works for me. 


    I modified engine produces more hp thus more heat and the necessity to get rid of it so one must find other ways protect their investment. 


    And, I use a synthetic oil ( Royal Purple ) as well for better lubrication, more hp, lower emissions, better gas mileage and longer engine life as well as lower engine operating temps. 


    Just my experience on the matter.



  5. Not sure about that but I have never heard of anything like that here in the states.


    If you have to know right now, I would call the dmv ( department of motor vehicles ) here in Washington state and find out.



    Or, visit their web site for more information.



    I looked around and didn't see anything related to your question but if here, you go to the bottom of the page, you can  ask them a question.


    hope this helps.

  6. Well, if you are going down 101, then you are in for many curvy, twisty fun corners ( best to have a Lotus here ) so I would pass on the truck and get something that has good road manners like maybe a Ford Fusion ( best selling medium size car in the US and at the top of the class too). There is a huge market of cars here in Seattle so there should be no problem finding a good car to buy and then sell.


    The only problem you might find is that California has stricter smog laws so you don't want to buy a car that passes in the state of Washington, that won't meet CA regulations so no one wants to buy it in CA. So just make sure it will meet CA laws.


    I probably would not buy a car in B.C. as there may be extra charges like duty coming across the boarder and their cars, many times are different, being made in Canada than the USA. 


    Just something to ponder. Sounds like a great trip. hope you have a good one!

  7. are not talking of buying a Lotus, ( I read the word cheap,  lol  ) or are you?


    Sounds like a great plan and a lot of fun.  I see no reason why you couldn't do it. It is, of course, a great trip of a life time, although I would probably end in San Francisco as going into LA isn't all that great unless you want to do something special in the LA area. Traffic is the worst and the roads are terrible and beat up.


    But if you drive another hour or so to San Diego, there are many beaches and sites to visit and it is a much nicer place to see. I lived there for a few years. I would think you may also want to see a car race while in the area so planning it accordingly might be fun as well.




  8. You are obviously not getting power to the fan or it is not grounded. 


    At times, electrical components stop working and many times, it is just a loose ground so check and make sure the fan is grounded.


    You can do this with a meter or a test light as Ian just mentioned.


    You can also just run a temporary wire from any place that you know is ground like the engine block or head to the fan. You can also do this with a temp 12v power source. Simple and fast.



    When it becomes difficult to find the problem, I, many times, just run a new wire from the fuse box and start over.


    Wiring is quite simple but not easy at times to figure out and usually there is only one problem to fix at a time.


    I found many wires under my Elites dash that were fried and had over heated and melted. So this is also a place to look.







     There does seem to be a growing appreciation for the cars and there was only ever about 1500 made wasnt there?



    I had to look this one up at least on the earl type 14 Elite. According to Wikipedia, "When production ended in 1963, 1030 had been built.[10] Other sources indicate 1,047 were produced" 


    And the type 75: 


    2535 made

    Interesting facts about each car is that the drag coefficient is almost the same for both cars, the early Elite being .29 and the type 75 .30. Both cars were attempted to be produced without a frame but for the same reason the early one didn't measure up all that great as a comfortable driver, because it was like riding in a drum and quite noisy so the sheet metal frame similar to the Elan and actually the Lotus 30/40 group 7 Can/Am race car along with the Europa and Esprit all have basically the same layout as the type 75 and it was one of the last cars that Chapman had his hand in the design.


    I really like mine but sadly, it is a car that few appreciate like other Lotus cars, especially here in the US, which is great if you want to buy one . 





  10. Neil,


    First job before you try to start it is a new cam belt, if its stood for 15 years your asking for a very expensive problem if the belt fails.

    Its a very simple job to change them.



    I agree.... although it must be adjusted correctly ( not too tight and not too loose ) to be reliable or it will slip and when this happens, the valves run into the pistons and bend.


    I bought mine Elite in this condition and had to replace all 16 valves. Expensive. What was noticeable about the situation was a good amount of rubber filings were piled up just next to and below the belt. No doubt a bit too tight it was and finely slipped a tooth or two.





  11. This product is high tech and no, believe it or not, the paint isn't scratched. I didn't believe it either at first but seeing is believing in this case.



    There are something like 46 different ingredients in Dri Wash and when applied correctly with a terry clothe towel, the dirt is encapsulated in a sphere and then that sphere is also encapsulated and hides in the loops of the clothe.


    I have tried it on black paint and it does not scratch. However, one doesn't need to wash his car with it when really dirty and the best paint looks even better when a coat of Dri Wash is on it.


    The best way to use this product is with a polisher and then a coat by hand after that. It is so slick, that one can hardly ever burn the paint, even if you try, like one could easily do using other products when using an auto body polisher.


    I have used it for many years and will never go back to waxing my cars. The dirt doesn't stick on the stuff much either so your car always looks good and cleaner. A good rain storm actually cleans your paint of dirt and bird droppings.  

  12. The best paints are now Acrylic Urethane and almost no one uses lacquer any more and certainly not with Urethane for new cars. Lacquer is far inferior and old school as it dries harder and harder and cracks. 


     However, all paint in time will not only fade but come off any exposed car fender unless it has a protective uv coating which is found in some waxes and polishes.


    I use Dri-wash n guard which is a water-less car wash. It has won many concours ( best paint ) events including two of the most prestige's car shows in the world.   Pebble Beach, here in the US and Louis Vuitton classic car shows which it won top honors using Dri Wash.



    It is far superior to any wax and ultra cleans the paint putting two, uv protective coatings. It is guaranteed to keep paint from oxidation as long as one uses it on a continued basis.


    Also it is so easy to use and can be applied almost anywhere even on dirty cars without scratching. 


    I became an independent distributor ( not found in stores ) just to have a good stash of my own and all my car buddies love it. 


    IMHO, it is simply the best there is in paint protection for your car and makes the paint look better, and many times, better than new. Even when it is dirty, it is shinny. Not being compatible with water, you don't want to put it on any surface that gets wet and that you may walk on. Slick as ice.


    Bernie Little used it on the Miss Budweiser to increase his top speed by an estimated 3-5 mph for his unlimited hydroplane!


    It also is the best window cleaner and plastic, lenses as well. Chrome too. Great stuff. Love it!!!







    • Like 1
  13. Hey Duncan,


    I believe I am already on this list but just wanted to check with you to see for sure.


    Bought mine in 1982 and has to be one of the lowest miles with only 28,800 on the od. It is a '74 and a 503, I believe, with a/c but no power steering.

    Being on the NW coast of the US, no doubt wins the farthest west car lol..........or at least one of them.  






    would be nice to see the complete list of cars world wide that still survive till now.  :D

  14. Your paint sounds like it is quite old if it is cracking or pealing or..?? The problem with lacquer is that it gets harder and harder until it cracks and peals off. One good reason why almost no one uses it any more even though it is much cheaper than urethane.


    Urethane paints stay softer, are easier to work with and are more shinny and durable but cost more for all those reasons. They don't end of cracking but you can rub off all the paint on your car if you spend too much time rubbing.


    I wouldn't worry trying to fix it with sanding it down. 2,000 grit is only used for the final step in flattening of new paint which, if you had planned to color sand and rub out for a premium job, one needs to put more paint on so you have room to sand and polish some of it off which you obliviously do in this process.


    Your paint is probably too thin to sand and rub out and .........once you go through, you're done as the next color underneath is no doubt a different color and primer. Been there done that ugggg.


    Paint is very expensive so a new paint job will be in the thousands if you want a good job, that is unless you do it yourself. I spent over $1,000 US, in materials painting my Elite years ago with the best PPG urethane and primers. Still looks great and not one crack 25 years later! I hate working with lacquer as you simply can not get the same quality as with a urethane.





    • Like 1
  15. I bought my Elite with only 28,000 miles on the od. The rear brakes shoes were fully greased with oil from the rear end as the seals fail after about 25k miles and leak fluid all over the shoes. You have to split the steel ring (done with a cold chisel and hammer) that holds the seal in place. To replace the seal, it is best done with the rear end dropped out completely. Of course, you need to totally dissemble the brakes to get to the seals. 


    The first time you drop the rear end is kind of a pain but I could do it quite fast after that. Not sure you could even do it without dropping it down. Not real easy for sure and time consuming but unless you don't need rear brakes this quirk comes with this car.


    I used an air powered hammer ( rivet gun ) and punch to drive out the long suspension bolts on each side which is very easy to do with this tool. Not sure how to get them out without damaging them another way.


    The other pain, that comes with this job, is disconnecting the emergency brake cable and it would help if you were Houdini. Not fun !



  16. The 5 speed transmission is built by Tremec (Borg Warner), and is now a major player here for both Ford and GM cars as well as many other exotics like Aston Martin, Dodge Viper and the Mustang Cobra. It was an after market design, on the outset, for drag racing in 600 hp Mustangs who would drop the clutch at 8,000 and could do a 10 second quarter mile. The original 5 sp in the Mustang simply wouldn't last but a few passes before second gear was toast. They made 170 passes without breaking down so this is one tough transmission I won't even stress with my power and weight.


    Tremec TKO is what I put in and they make both a five speed and six speeds that I know of. Mine is the

  17. Thanks Dave.


    I spent around $20,000 including $5,000 for the car. And that is for parts only as I did all the work myself with the exception of stitching the leather interior together which I took to a professional and only cost me around $5,500 and I had my engine built by a pro as well for about the same.


    It took a good number of years of work so it wasn't like that much out of my pocket at once of course. After a while, these kind of projects, one doesn't want to keep track. And I made this for myself to drive, not to sell and make a profit.


    And for me and probably most who indulge in restorations like this, it was and still is a passion, not only of excellence but pleasure and a way to escape reality for a brief time each session I spent on the car.  Helps me to keep some kind of sanity. lol But of course, the end result it gives far out weighs the trouble as these cars are so fun to drive. My car can out perform most so called high performance cars especially in the handling department which is the best part about it. Now my car has the quickness that compliments the handling.


    What kind of car can perform like the Elite for $20k? You would have to spend a lot more to equal this kind of performance.


    I think that Lotus cars are some of the most difficult to work on but they also give more smiles per mile.


    I would have posted a picture of my engine but I can't seem to find how to do that just yet.

  18. yea, unfortunately, many items on the Elite are quite flimsy and need some attention as they won't stay in place long. Long time Lotus problem on all their models.

    The drip trough around the rear glass is drained through the tubes that run from the bottom of the window trough to the lowest point on each side of the trunk ( boot as you call it ). Mine were clogged and most of Elites no doubt are too.

    There is a hole the same size for the tube to fit although it is so small it is difficult to keep open. You may want to enlarge the tube and hole to make it less susceptible to dirt debris etc. Not sure there is a better way to drain the water coming off the rear glass but a shorter tube would be better if only slightly. Best solution is to keep your car dry but that is nearly impossible if you drive it much.


    If you glue them back in place, some compressed air blasted through the top entry hole occasionally will keep them clear.

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