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tomcattom

S4s rolling restoration project

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I reckon I've got two full threads left at best. There is a right side UN1 case half on eBay at the moment but it's not quite the same as mine looking at the photos. There is an extra switch on it and I'm not sure how feasible mixing case halves is, so I might be taking the box off, splitting it and getting it repaired I suspect. Not sure who has the capability to do that local to me without a bit of research first though.

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10 hours ago, tomcattom said:

I reckon I've got two full threads left at best. There is a right side UN1 case half on eBay at the moment but it's not quite the same as mine looking at the photos. There is an extra switch on it and I'm not sure how feasible mixing case halves is, so I might be taking the box off, splitting it and getting it repaired I suspect. Not sure who has the capability to do that local to me without a bit of research first though.

If you're talking about the Renault UN-1 on eBay, I don't think they're the same as the Lotus UN-26, so definitely check beforehand.

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Margate Exotics.

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16 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Ah brilliant, thanks. I didn't expect to be able to get a new case so never even thought to look for one.

Now to research rebuilding a UN1 and what else I could/should replace while it's apart. I plan to do this the once only!

 

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Up to you Tom, but you could try a repair first. I reckon a careful plug tap down the hole to make sure you’ve got as much thread available as possible first. Then roughen up the casting around the broken part, wax up a suitably sized stud (ooooh, Matron!), and build up the damaged area with, say, Devcon, Bellzona or some other plastic aluminium metal. Once it’s cured, unscrew the stud.

At the end of the day, you might find it will hold, and even if it doesn’t it’s not an expensive job.


Margate Exotics.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I decided to go with the new case from SJ Sports Cars because the price didn't seem unreasonable and given I plan for this car to be a keeper it made sense to replace with new long term.

Once the box is apart I plan to try and repair it through some means as a spare.

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So I've already decided to change the indicator stalks I fitted back in January, and I haven't even driven the car with them fitted.

These are the stalks I as they were in January.

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I'm not normally this fickle, but I happened upon some TVR Tuscan stalks and felt their slightly more angular appearance was more in keeping with the wedge asthetic of the Esprit, so decided to give them a go. They fit pretty well, with the only slight issue being I can't get the second speed on the wipers because the stalk fouls the top cover of the steering column. This should easily be resolved by chamfering the top edge of the alloy stalk, but that will have to wait until I get the power sorted to the garage to run a bench grinder.

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I also have a large package en-route to me containing a lot of bits to keep me busy over Easter, including my new gearbox casing, so I hope to have some more "function over form" style updates soon. I really want to get the car in a fit state for an MOT in the not too distant future - whether it will pass is another matter entirely!

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House stuff has been getting very much in the way of progress still, but I have since my last update acquired a brand new gearbox case and an assortment of associated seals and other bits and bobs for when that jobs reaches the top of the list. I've also got a full set of new brake disks ready to put on once I get around to refurbishing the calipers.

In the meantime I spent a little time in the garage again today and revisited my temporary lash-up on the reversing lights. I was going to simply fit new right angle spade connectors, but I decided that it was a stupid idea to not have weather sealed connections in such a location. So I dug about in my stash of electrical connectors and found a set of 2-pin Sumitomo HW connectors. I soldered a short section of wire directly to the terminals on the reverse switch, covered them in adhesive lined heatshrink and then put a boot over the whole lot. I then fitted the male half of the sumitomo connector to the flying leads I'd soldered on. I didn't do a brilliant job of the boot, but its functional and will do for now until I can be bothered to redo it.

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I then chopped what was left of the badly corroded spade terminals off the car loom and fitted the female half of the sumitomo connector. Much better even if I do say so myself!

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I still need to obtain a clip to secure the connectors to the metal rail on the right of the picture, but it won't do any harm where it is until I do.

Next I refitted the MAF (I think) sensor back to the body above the now redundant resonator box.

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Then to finish off I was going to fit my nice new shiny gear gaiter ring to the interior, but upon removing the trim from the top of the centre tunnel I found this.

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Can't say I'm surprised, but I will need to find a replacement before I go any further.

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Look on eBay for a triumph rubber boot for that gear gator

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Only here once

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Unless it’s the angle of dangle on the camera, your gear change cable retainer looks out of line. Or is it my wonky eyes? Oh, and one of the cable boots is split, which will allow shite in.


Margate Exotics.

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2 hours ago, Chillidoggy said:

Unless it’s the angle of dangle on the camera, your gear change cable retainer looks out of line. Or is it my wonky eyes? Oh, and one of the cable boots is split, which will allow shite in.

You weren't supposed to point that out 🤐

The car, as I'm sure you're aware from the original sales thread, was a cat C write-off in 1999. Unfortunately I have basically no information about the extent of the damage other than I know the damage was concentrated on the rear offside corner. I suspect this and various other bits of damage are all related to that write-off and have never been repaired properly if at all. The top bolt on the gearbox for example, aside from the fact the casting has broken, doesn't actually line up for a bolt to go into it even if there were threads and I think that is because the bolt through the gear change bracket has bent as a result of whatever knock it had. I'm sure that's not going to be the end of it either...

Cable boot things are already on the growing list of things to order next.

 

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20 hours ago, tomcattom said:

You weren't supposed to point that out 🤐

The car, as I'm sure you're aware from the original sales thread, was a cat C write-off in 1999. Unfortunately I have basically no information about the extent of the damage other than I know the damage was concentrated on the rear offside corner. I suspect this and various other bits of damage are all related to that write-off and have never been repaired properly if at all. The top bolt on the gearbox for example, aside from the fact the casting has broken, doesn't actually line up for a bolt to go into it even if there were threads and I think that is because the bolt through the gear change bracket has bent as a result of whatever knock it had. I'm sure that's not going to be the end of it either...

Cable boot things are already on the growing list of things to order next.

 

Ah, I must have missed the original thread, sorry!


Margate Exotics.

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That's okay. I hadn't realised I hadn't mentioned that key piece of information about the car's history in this thread.
 

Working on the car feels a little like an archeological dig as I peel back the layers and try to piece together what damage the car sustained in its write-off. I'm beginning to wonder if the write-off had something to do with the damaged body mount or if that broken just through normal fatigue.

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38 minutes ago, tomcattom said:

That's okay. I hadn't realised I hadn't mentioned that key piece of information about the car's history in this thread.
 

Working on the car feels a little like an archeological dig as I peel back the layers and try to piece together what damage the car sustained in its write-off. I'm beginning to wonder if the write-off had something to do with the damaged body mount or if that broken just through normal fatigue.

Probably accident damaged, because the frame is not what might be called 'structural', it doesn't carry any real weight apart from helping to support the silencer. That's the reason why I suggested having a go at repairing the stud first.

If the frame's been bent by impact, it may be bent back into shape as long as the distortion is not too bad. As you can already see, it lines up on the sides and rear of the gearbox, so you have good reference points. The gearchange could well be affected if the cables are out of line, that would alter the angle at the translator, but it may be that the gearchange has been adjusted to take the bent frame into account when the car was repaired.

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Margate Exotics.

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I fitted a replacement gear shift gaiter today. I ended up buying one from a Triumph GT6 following @Barrykearley's suggestion. The boot fitted perfectly without any modification required at all, which was an added bonus to saving £20 over the Lotus part.

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I then fitted my new alloy gearknob. Sadly I then discovered that I'd managed to tell my wife the wrong size so it didn't fit. Thankfully PNM were able to quickly turnaround an exchange for the correct part 🙂 The replacement ended up being a touch too loose, so I packed it out on the shaft with some foil tape.

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Then to finish off today's session I fitted the alloy gear surround. This took a little bit of thought because two of the holes happed to line up with the existing studs on the leather gear gaiter, so I ended up not using the fittings at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions. The screws you can see there are just the heads cut off a bolt and placed in the recess.

All the parts combined make for big improvment and complement the alloy heater controls.

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That ends the form over function things on the to-do list for now. This weekend I shall be tackling my first major mechanical job on the car - the brake overhaul.

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4 minutes ago, Chillidoggy said:

Let me know if/when you get fed-up/frightened/shit your pants with the Delco Moraine system.

Its certainly on my list for consideration. I'm holding fire on any additional big spends on the car at present until I've got it through its first MOT in my ownership in case that throws up any costly surprises.

Once its MOT'd again I'll be working out what I want to spend my money and when.

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With the help of a friend we got all four calipers, discs and brakes lines off the Esprit today. It started off relatively well in the run up to lunch getting the calipers off, but when we got to the brake lines after lunch it fought us all the way. The nuts holding the lines onto those metal tabs on the chassis were done up ridiculously tight.

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I think I shaved a good few kilos off the kerb weight of the car by cleaning on all the dried out crap from the chassis in places!

Having got all the necessary parts off the car I called it quits and downed tools. The joys of having a garage and being able to tidy up another day 🙂

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While I had the car up in the air for the first time I was able to get a proper look at the underside of the car and found several intersting, and in some cases alarming things, some of which I'm not sure how I missed when I bought it, but hey ho.

I'm not sure if this damage is associated with the cat C, or something else happened on another occasion. I'm pretty sure that crossmember (if that's is proper name) is not supposed to look like that or if it can be replaced, so any thoughts from the collective on here will be appreciated.

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This may hav something to do with the fan override situation, either way I feel a Spal fan conversion coming along.

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And to cap off the day I managed to break my compressor 😞

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Your missing a fan 😂 the ford ones are pretty rubbish to be fair. The cheap kit car fans are just fine 👍

that front member isn’t replaceable - it’s a real part of the chassis. A big bar and a selection of bits of wood and a hammer will have it looking much better in no time.

get all your brake lines knocked up at Pirtek or a similar hose place and save yourself a load of dosh over the specialists


Only here once

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Looks to have had quite a wallop to the front end at some point. 

You'll need to remove the lower valance and drop the cooling duct to access the radiator mountings, as you only have half a shroud and no mounting points for a third ford fan, a Spall upgrade is the way forward. 

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I took the advice of @Barrykearley and upgraded the radiator from 2, to 3 core when doing mine but I kept the original fans, if your rad is good the Spall fans should be sufficient.

These little maintenance jobs have a habit of escalating with each sheared nut and bolt, if your car has had some recent front end work that may be a blessing in disguise. 

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Yeah - it’s time to enact operation mission creep 👍F6F405E8-DA3B-4067-91F2-C07BEBB88E38.jpeg.b9a1e38226963360370957baf1e1feb7.jpeg

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Only here once

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7 hours ago, Steve V8 said:

Looks to have had quite a wallop to the front end at some point. 

Indeed. I reckon some previous owner has tried to Dukes of Hazard the car, probably preceded by the exclamation of "watch this!" 

The radiator itself doesn't appear to be in bad condition so I'm not sure it will need any work, but if its all got to come out to sort the fans I'll be able to get a better look at it.

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11 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Yeah - it’s time to enact operation mission creep 👍

I think that started the moment I bought the car 🤐

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