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  • Name
    Tony Poll
  • Car
    Lotus Excel SE 1992
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  1. How old were your tyres? You can work out the age from the small ellipse which has 4 digits. The first two digits are the week of manufacture, the second two are the year. If there are only 3 digits then the tyre was manufactured before 2000, so they certainly should be replaced. See
  2. Since the brakes are Toyota you may be able to find this bolt at a local Toyota dealer, or online.
  3. Great series of pictures. Thank you. I'll also be interested to see how it goes. Tony
  4. The main place to look for bad chassis rust is between the tops of the rear suspension. This is hard to see, but the horizontal section is often completely rusted through, so you'll need the body off and a new chassis. I suspect it will cost you a lot more than Euro 4,000 get it running, and for a total cost of around Euro 5,000 you could find a running Excel - not the best example for Euro 5,000 but a quite usable example.
  5. It is certainly much easier to change the belts with the bonnet removed. On my 1992 Excel (not sure if the Eclat is the same) the bolts holding the bonnet simply unscrew from captured nuts in the body work. Tony
  6. Lotusbits have produced a document on how to improve your Elite/Eclat/Excel On page 44 you can see a picture of the oil restrictor. I've not done this, but I seem to remember reading somewhere (Gary Kemp?) that the flow of oil to the cams is quite high and during heavy cornering the sump can be drained, resulting in a sudden and damaging drop in oil pressure. Fitting the restrictor ensures the sump retains enough oil at all times, whilst not damaging the cams due to low oil flow. Great pictures on how to do this at Just found a bit more info on the specifics for the restrictor at According to Garry, he has built JH blocks to 215-220hp without doweling, with no problems. The root of most of the bearing problems are due to oiling problems, not flex. The biggest fix to start with is using an oil restrictor in the block to limit the overall flow to the head. Stock, that is about a quarter inch hole. I am using a stainless 5/16 set screw with a .100" hole in it, tapped the block, and screwed it in. That keeps from over oiling the top end, and ending up with a quart or more oil retained in the cam covers. If it is going to be a real high rpm build, I have been recommended to consider going as small as .060" on the hole. Tony
  7. If your plywood panels are shot and you need new ones you can get them from Lotusbits
  8. There is a good article in the July 2018 Club Lotus magazine, page 40, on how to do a proper repair on the clutch cable. It seems it is a weak original design and the article explains how to fix this so it should never fail again. Basically replace the inner cable with a stronger and more flexible cable (3/16" stainless steel wire rope as used in boat rigging) so it easily bends over the pulley, and being more flexible it should not fail due to the tight curve.
  9. If I remember correctly, I managed to jam a large screwdriver into the channel and that stopped the head of the bolt revolving. But it wasn't easy.
  10. See where this very subject has just been tackled.
  11. At Castle Combe yesterday I spoke with MarkX (Or was it MikeX?) who said he might have a Dellorto DLHA45D (or pair) for sale. Since I damaged one of mine last week could he PM me about this. Thanks, Tony
  12. I have both parts and workshop manuals, and use both on a regular basis. Torque settings, wiring diagrams, valve clearance, timing etc. are only in the workshop manual and not in the parts manual. However, when taking stuff apart I find the parts manual to be invaluable - well worth £20. Tony
  13. Another possible source of a loud ticking noise is the brake servo. It has a vacuum non-return valve and this can sometimes make a loud clicking noise when idling.
  14. If the tyres are very old, be careful. Any tyre over 10 years old is well past it's sell by date and should be junked, even if it does have tread depth.
  15. Cam shaft seals are not usually (if ever) replaced. The tensioner bearing (if you have a later version - I don't know about the earlier self-adjusting tensioner) is usually replaced at the same time. Tony
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