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JonSE

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Everything posted by JonSE

  1. I had a quick look at the various paint I currently have on the car. This is with a view to very carefully hand sanding down the body to save the eventual painter some trouble and also for me to see what condition the body is actually in to help assess it. I’ve not started this as I don’t have the expertise, but would do if I knew I wasn’t going to damage anything. From what I can see, the flesh coloured layer appears to be the true bottom layer, would that correspond with GRP? If I do decide to tackle this, as I would do it over time by hand (so speed won’t be the driving factor as I daren’t risk going too far), what grit should be my lowest to use? The PO can’t recall but I think he’s stripped the car, maybe applied some grey guide primer then tested some basic colour paints on the car. The car had been black and brown for certain, the black top coat is gone, some brown exists then other layers of varying colour. The door as you can see has some white (build primer or repair?) product in there also....
  2. Cheers, spotted them, will add them to the list.
  3. More of a research day (ie - sofa day). Going to take the fuel tanks, heater matrix and radiator to Northern Radiators in Leeds for assessment / work. The tank in the SE to expand on the previous photo had started to weep from below. From memory I’d sorted the breather pipe which was much broader bore than the S2 type and fixed the rollover valve etc. Still smelled of fuel. Checking the void beneath tanks via the inspection hole (should these have a large grommet in them btw?) and the area was damp with fuel (right next to the manifold area which could glow red hot after a good run on an SE!) Hence the subsequent strip down you see captured in all its glory above. NR took the tank and repaired it, apply the re-nu process after cutting out the rotten metal and welding new back in. Really tough to get those tanks in and out of an SE, not the easiest on an S2 so don’t want to be going back in here ever again! The plasticisation process added a fair bit of thickness to the tank but it went back in eventually and seated well. On an unrelated note, I’ve searched DVLA etc to see if I can get an age related Norwich registration for the car with PPW, but nothing available. Is this still possible to obtain an R / S / T era very run of the mill plate? Car had quite a nice V on it at the moment but would love a PPW reg if they were available......
  4. Not much progress since the last post, but have received the Kangol belts from an MG parts supplier for a reasonable price for the condition. Gave them a good clean to get all the inertia gubbins working OK and definitely did not remove the panel that said “DO NOT REMOVE”. So didn’t then need to spend a happy evening getting the spring back into place, phew. As the above theoretical event would have taken more hands than I had available, no photos, so thought I would share the following after digging some pics out last night after a chat with a forum member. The first is me removing my leaking tank from the SE many years ago, a real pig of a job that required the cam covers off and the engine lowering on the mounts. The next are some images I took at the museum in the Lake District when visiting the Bond cars.
  5. Good luck and welcome in! Take your time, document with photos, enjoy yourself and don’t put yourself under too many deadlines would be my advice. They are just large toy cars assembled imperfectly a long time ago, that with a little care and attention, you can make good (or even better than new again if that’s your thing) as a rewarding hobby. Do you have any other experience of restoration? Given the choice I would probably take the body off the car as whole as possible and fix all the mechanicals first, replace the body then enjoy the car for a while as a scruffy running vehicle that’s sorted mechanically. Return to sort the body and the interior as phase 2 and 3 a little down the line as rust won’t be an issue and you will have added value to your project as you have progressed and then get the chance to enjoy it. A forum member observed that cars that stay apart for longer than a year seem to have a diminishing chance of ever going back together again. You do end up with a bewildering amount of parts if you do everything at once...... If this changes now as the project cars become more desirable is open to debate, but fixing the mechanicals first wouldn’t have you repeating much later on if you do then strip the body, and it would allow you to get to know the car in two phases with a period of driving it in between which is a great motivating factor. It also gives you a break point if required before you attempt the body element of the resto. If you can share the details as you progress on here, that would be a fantastic bonus, the forum has meant I could at least attempt a refit myself that I probably couldn’t have 10 years ago.
  6. Noted on the image size, clicking back through and some are very grainy. Will do on the dash, if I go that deep the loom will be coming out also, which is a bit scary, but reckon I can get it back approximately in place for an auto electrician to sort it properly. Managed to get a set of Kangol belts from eBay over the weekend to reintroduce the ‘seatbelt’ circuit light back onto the dash. Seems a lot of these lights were physically missing behind the legends. Choke / brake etc. I’d like them all working properly when the car is going again. I expect the belts aren’t exact but they seem closer to what I remember than the ones in there at the moment. Had a few chats today regards the front end and if to go S1 or stay S2. Maybe some moulds available that enable a lower wing nose graft to be created more easily than I first thought and experience of doing this. Will weigh it up as I progress and I’m a bit earlier to get to this stage than I first thought (“ha, just wait.....”) Gently placed one rear 3/4 glazing pane into the aperture for motivation and a high res engine shot as the last was grainy....
  7. Thanks Fridge that’s great advice. The wheels are huge at 200mm but I might have to move the body over less than ideal terrain. They have brakes as well. I reckon I’ve been unfastening the crash bar on the dash if that’s the case above, the two bolts each side near the A covers, and not the dash itself. Had hoped to leave the binnacle and instruments in place and just remove the lower dash to access the heater matrix, reckon that’s not possible? Centre console is out, I may end up going all the way and taking the full interior less upper dash out but wanted to avoid this. The only reason I’m taking the dash out anyway is to refurbish the matrix while the car is away other wise it would be staying put. The wiring loom is 70% out, the rear section resting on the engine and the front section loosely laid in the front compartment. If the binnacle has to come off, I might remove the entire loom and get it to your mate to go over at his leisure to rebuild it back. Thanks for info on the sills. I can see most of the rivets but if there are a couple in the tank area these are going to be tough! The sills would be staying put if it weren’t for the need to check the belt mounts buried under there. I may have a full long plate made up to take both the hand brake and and belt mount to allow more strength in that area as I can feel the sill area flex when the park brake is applied. photos below of state of interior strip and amount of trim extracted already resting on engine cover.... I’m keeping the file sizes small to save data on the forum, should I boost the image size though to make them clearer?
  8. Big set of castor wheels arrived off eBay today for £30 delivered, hefty items! I was concerned they wouldn’t be big enough even though they are rated to 150Kg each, but they seem immensely strong.... I’ve a little scrap wood and an old pallet I’ll bash together to make a dolly over the next few weeks. Can anyone help with the question regards lower dash removal please? That and the outer sills to do and then I can get the body booked in somewhere....
  9. Thank you! Any photos of the front end would be great, I’ve screen grabbed a batch from the internet to ensure the curve inwards is correct if I do proceed, this kind of thing...
  10. I wonder based on the rad if the car is quite close to the S1 end of production being circa mid 78? There seems to be a lot more space in the front than I recall and I really don’t like the way the radiator mounts with all its weight on 4X 10mm bolts through the boot floor! It looks to my eyes like a lash up of S1 bits with the S2 valance etc, as I expected the body mod to require mods to this whole area. However it looks just like I need to modify the nose GRP and add the bib spoiler dam and the whole thing would go back together. I know they used whatever was to hand, hope that is the case.... That last image? Another question in that case, are the Speedlines and Wolfrace wheels identical spec regards tyres but just look different when on the car? I always assumed the WR’s were much narrower track. Reason I ask is in case I go the whole hog and buy some down the line, but would like to know if they would seat right for exactly this reason or will stay with SL’s.....
  11. Thank you, Lotusman, that S2 you refer to was actually my old black car that an owner or 2 after me pretty much did the same conversion on. They normally keep the images live for a few weeks on their website but they’ve gone this time. I have some further great details regarding that car if the owner ever tracks me down. I’d produced a file of many of the previous owners during my time with it and hopefully that stayed with the car. It was one of the motivations to start looking again when I spotted it as I called just after the car had been sold to discuss it but it had really gone out of the range I was prepared to pay for it at that time. Will do Fridge on the radiator, it is badly shot and the fans will be upgraded. I’m looking for the “parp-parp” horn sound that I remember from my S2 so I’ll hot wire these to see what they are. The S2 to S1 conversion front end requires a lower front body panel to be grafted on after removing the current structure at the front all the way up to the joint line. It won’t be me doing this but I have a contact hopefully doing the GRP and I’ll check with them if they can do it, as I don’t want any issues down the line. I saw a program the other day on the Submarine Esprit found in a salvage yard in bad shape owned now by the Dezer museum, and the body had dropped at one side on the front where this joint line had failed. I’ll need convincing it can be done properly and may settle for grafts over the current front area if the exact line can be recreated, so as not to cut into any existing GRP. The section is available whole from SJ for the job and it can be done according to them. I’d love to make contact with the last owner of my old car to check on their experience of doing this. I’ll switch all the elbows out if that’s recommended as the rolling chassis is effectively going to be all refurbished. Bit of an impasse now until I build the dolly and lift the body, which means having a body shop ready. Next jobs will be the matrix of anyone can advise the lower dash removal process? Had another hour or so and wiggled the N/S fuel tank free, the body is now so loose. Placed back in the slot for safe keeping but these are ready to go off for refurb now.... Wiring loom all freed up and laid gently over engine bay ready for teasing back into the cabin or securing for the lift. The fuel pipe was badly split around the banjo at the tank mount. The foam was loose in the cavity and the tank is carrying a pressure test stamp so it may have been out already. I’ll get these to a specialist to make them as good as new ahead of fitting them back in. Would have needed the engine dropping if the body had not been loose, have frustrating memories of taking one of my SE tanks out and needing to take off an engine mount and remove the cam covers etc, a real pain.... I’m pretty much at my technical capability limit, hope this all goes back together as I suppose any idiot can take it apart!
  12. Got on with a few jobs today over around 3 hours, in between some emergency house DIY..... Unfastened the radiator which was fixed to to the body and disconnected the hoses. Disconnected the heater matrix hoses, water still came out after draining the radiator so this must be the lowest drain point on the car I expect. Water was still showing a large concentration of anti freeze so that’s a good sign. Should I reuse the aluminium elbows on the cooling system or replace them? The car rolls a lot more easily now the seized brakes have been soaking in penetrating oil for a while, so it’s easier to shuttle back and forth in the limited space to get jobs done. Pulled the rear light loom back through the body. Disconnected the hand brake cables. Disconnected the fuel lines and had about 250ml of fuel drain out of the pipes and lower banjos. One fuel tank in almost ready to lift but I’ll leave in situ until ready for recon. Throttle cable disconnected. A couple of cables on the partially disconnect loom just had basic splices and several of these just fell apart as I was gently moving the loom, raising my concerns about getting the car back together electrically. Disconnected the tachometer (speedo?) drive from the back of the gearbox. The body can be hand lifted now slightly but I’m not sure I’ve all the items disconnected despite following the guide. My thoughts are now to do a partial lift with 2 jacks either side of the body with the force spread using scaffold board to get 6 inch height and check for clearance before employing the services of a few stout chaps to do the lift? I have to delay now as I don’t have a dolly to put the body on nor the space inside to the store the body at the moment, so may direct my attentions to removing the lower sills, fuel tanks and the heater matrix pre dolly. Could anybody describe the lower dash removal procedure? I’d started on this last week believing the space would be useful to free the pedal box up, but I couldn’t free up one bolt or see where / if there were other fixings in the end. I removed 3 of the 4 cross bar bolts but not drilled the side rivets as I just went back to the pedal box to crack on. It may be slow progress but if I hit the milestone of lifting the body soon, the rest I’m certain I can manage here. My concern was getting stuck at a critical point but I’m sure the body is now just resting on the chassis and ready for lifting... The radiator surround is a real mess of loose rivets and rot, I may have a new one made up. I was really surprised that this was connected via the body and was so narrow. One shot shows the underside of the nose looking up. I am tempted again to use the S1 lower repair panel to recreate an S1 front end now there is full access. I’ve a quote for the panel and it means adding around 6 inches of new material to the nose panel under the front area but I’ll be fitting a full piece across the underside front of the car if I proceed as this seems to be the established route. Looking at the 2 body shapes, the S1 nose could be cut back to S2 style later if required and I’ll keep the bib + bits if I proceed with this. I expect a few S1’s were adapted to S2’s back in the day by cutting the GRP to make it flat to accept the S2 horizontal bib.
  13. My thoughts are to blast them then paint matte black with a red primer coat first, so I can make localised repairs if they become stone chipped. I’ve owned cars before where the powder coating gives way and the water then capillaries up under the coating out of view and becomes difficult to fix with removing the item. I’ll probably use some form of POR15 as I’ve used it before and it still seems rock solid years later. I’d like to avoid a heavy painted appearance but I’m more inclined to ensure the items are better protected than being concerned about how they look. So I’ll for for a mix of silver and matte black on everything under the car.
  14. A slight hijack, My bumper looks sound on the outside but has bits of loose ply in the cavity inside. Loathe to cut it open as the mounts seem OK and was just going to clear it out at this stage and reattach. Is that recommended?
  15. Been speaking to this project owner today about retrim options when his car cropped up on my eBay notifications: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-esprit-s3-n-a-1982-copper-fire-/154232527045?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292 (No connection but may be a good project for someone inspired by these threads?)
  16. I think it is the front, I’ll check on the condition later this week. Was thinking of skimming them lightly for use again if they have enough meat left on them....
  17. https://www.motortrend.com/news/zero-labs-launches-modular-electric-platform-classic-cars/?fbclid=IwAR3pa9NR2HoUrj5kyYj3XQohu76jZytPzzjtT6JEapc7-2KKSczX-Ib5eKI I can see this being a thing soon when the price is right, bring / print your own body....
  18. Ha! Recall my S2 not being the lightest car but this is definitely shot on wheel bearings or brakes, takes a lot of effort to pull it / push it back and forth a couple of metres for working on..... Even needed assistance when it had gravity on its side...
  19. Thanks for the replies, I suspect the car was an MOT failure before storage as the handbrake cables and balance mechanism appear very new and shiny to me, so expect they were replaced. Brakes are partially seized though at front (I think) so have soaked in penetrating fluid in advance of strip down..... The last owner did mention something about seizing but we managed to shove the car reluctantly onto the trailer. It is heavier than I remember to pull / push when it’s just me....
  20. Thank you, I’ve just the engine bay wiring and gear linkages / fuel tanks and brakes to sort now in readiness. Regards the hand brake cables - I’m a novice here - how do I release them please from the callipers? Also the clutch hose looks like the new recent braided replacement, reuse this or replace as matter of course? (Thinking with car sat if it’s degraded etc...) Thanks, Jon.
  21. Moved forward through the car towards the front. One bolt missing from the pedal box. Thought I was stumped by the last O/S forward bolt, must have tried every spanner / combination / position over three hours having spent 2 hours on the other two. Eventually got the thing to turn with a 1/4 ratchet and wound it off after freeing it with a mish mash of small extenders etc. Deeply unpleasant mix of pot holing / contortionist / yoga / mechanic. Looked like I was attempting some type of “relationship” with the car at one point as I tried a new kind of leg in / leg out position. Anyway, got it. Freed up the last front body bolt, drained the radiator and removed both pinch bolts from the steering column. The coolant was still quite green, I expected much worse based on the condition of the expansion tank but think the tank must have borne the brunt of the oxidisation with its air gap as the rest of the system was full with antifreeze / water mix..... My radiator is attached to the body, I was expecting it to be held by the front chassis frame tbh..... Not many pics on this one as it was all deeply hidden / unpleasant work today, around another 5 hours in total for 6 bolts at a very steady pace. On a much more pleasant tone, had a forum member drop by to view progress in the week and for a good frame of reference so thank you for that......
  22. Thank you for these, exactly what I was looking for! The S2 on Wolfrace wheels looks good....
  23. Thanks for this, I’ve had reason to need towing in one in the past (I know, shocker), and it felt wrong pulling via the wishbones. Related to this is that the front end is too low for some flat bed recovery trucks (and hi to everyone that saw me on the M1 hard shoulder that time!) I bought an eye from SJ for the SE with back spreader plate that bolted through the boot floor to spread the load (Lotus accessory from memory). My thoughts were to introduce a towing eye screw mount somehow right back near the radiator with a 2 ft tow eye I can thread through the grill to give a hard tow point. I’ll see when I get the car stripped.
  24. Has anyone fit a towing eye to the front under bin during restoration? You could buy a kit for the later cars with a spreader plate to bolt under the front floor. Where do you attach if you have to tow onto a flat bed with out it? In the past I’ve had no choice but to go round the lower wishbones or gently tow on backwards from below the gearbox. Joys of using the Esprit as an everyday car for sometime!
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