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S4s rolling restoration project


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Drivers seat repaired and back in the car today and I've set about removing the gear lever master unit from the car to renew all the bushes etc. What an absolute pig of a job that was to get out. I ran out of time to complete the last part of the removal tonight, but should have it done tomorrow.

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I've got lots of photos to document how to I've removed and rebuilt which will hopefully save some time for the next person that needs to do it, because its was a bit of a game working out how to disassemble the interior to get to it.

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Been a mixture of mechanical and cosmetic work this past week or so. After several trial fits the rad tray is now installed for what I hope will be the final time. The new wiring loom for the fan

Started fibreglassing in the frunk this morning. Due to the number and nature of the cracks/holes I'm going to have to do the repairs in two stages over the next few days. I've rebonded the first

Back in March 2018 I took what I hope won't prove to be a miguided chance and bought a running S4s in need of tidying up. As one of my good friends aptly described it, the car has been "thrown back to

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Gear lever mech was removed and rebuilt today

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New gear change cables curtesy of the TLF shop

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Old cables being pulled through the backbone with a bit of electrical flex attached as a means of guiding the new cables back through

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Things came to a bit of an abrupt halt when I tried to adjust everything as per the workshop manual specification because the cables didn't line up with the translator as expected 🙁

 

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Sorry to piss on your fireworks Tom, but there might be another job in the offing. With that much rust in there, it’s entirely possible that the tailgate drains are leaking. Mine were.

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Margate Exotics.

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You're right @Chillidoggy and that's something I've already fixed :) well one side at least. When I changed the battery last year I found the drain tube on that side had broken off where it goes out through the floor, so I've fitted a new tube which will hopefully stop it happening again.

When I've got the wheels back on it I'm going to roll it out onto the drive and hose it down to check for leaks.

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That's the fuel tank board on the drivers side properly secured in. Probably accounts for some of the rattling I could hear last time I drove it!

What a pig of a job it was securing the bracket back to the bulkhead in particular. There's a notch in the tank board but its not quite big enough to fully engage a spanner on the two nuts. In an ideal world I'm sure this bracket would be secured before the board and sidewall went in. Either way I've battled through and got it all buttoned up now, replacing all the missing fixings as necessary. Next up is to put everything else that lives in this area back in place.

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Would I be correct in assuming that the sensor with the blue socket at the bottom of the photo is the barometric pressure sensor and its not supposed to have any pipes connected to that pipe barb on it? I couldn't find any loose hoses floating about in the general area of it.

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ECU secured back in place and everything plugged back in. Ram air mod done since no hoses were present in that vicinity when I bought it. Yet another thing a previous owner/mechanic couldn't be bothered to put back 🙄

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I've just set about doing the air filter and thought I'd take a look at the coils while I'm in there. I had previously bought some MSD coils on impulse at the classic car show autojumble last November because they were at a silly cheap price. I'm glad I bought them, the pair on the car aren't looking especially healthy, number 2 tower has some rather nasty corrosion present and there is a crack in its case too.

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Are the coils prone to corrosion like this or have I just been unlucky?

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Yes, that’s the barometric sender unit. Haven’t seen any such corrosion on my original coils, but I replaced them with the Moroso ones anyway.

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Margate Exotics.

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Who thought using M5 set screws with poxy little 5.5mm heads was a good idea to secure the coils packs to the metal mounting plate?!?! I left all four screws to soak in penetrating oil over lunch and managed to get three out, but my god they were tight for such tiny bolts. The fourth refused to play ball and I ended up having to butcher the side of the coil pack with the Dremel to cut the bolt head off and then I had to wind two nuts onto the remains of the bolt to get it out of the plate.

Everything all cleaned up and ready for reassembly

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New rubber grommets fitted on the spade terminals, coils fitted and secured with some new M5 set screws with a slightly beefier head.

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Coil packs back in place on the car with new fitting hardware also. The inside of the number two lead is as rusty as the number two coil terminal but I've refitted all the leads for now. I have some Magnecor leads to fit when I get around to the oil change. That will be one of the last things I do before getting it back on the road again.

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I also cleaned up the airbox cover and fitted my ITG ProFilter and a new filter to airbox seal and secured it with the original clamps which I found a few months back.

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The large breather hose that connects to the airbox had a rather worrying mayo-like substance in it, but interestingly there is no evidence of oil and water mixing anywhere else within the oil or coolant system. I'm hoping its just moisture from the air over winter in that open piece of hose mixing with the oil residue in it; the car has been stood in the garage for almost two years now. The hose itself its badly perished too so I'll probably just replace it rather than trying to flush the mayo out of it.

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Brake master cylinder and A/C receiver dryer both now removed to make access easier for me to attempt the fibreglass repairs tomorrow. Now everything is removed the damage appears to be a bit more substantial than I could initially see, so a bit more fibreglassing to up front than originally planned.

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Fibreglass repairs day, sadly I didn't manage to complete everything, but the rear mount is sorted now.

I carefully cut out the damaged area with the Dremel, taking care not to catch any of the battery cables that run through that area and feathered the surrounding area ready for bonding.

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I used the reverse side of the cutout piece as a form to lay up a template for the repair. My wife neatly covered the underside of the removed piece with masking tape and carboard to bridge the hole where the bobin was missing from it and then covered it in parcel tape to prevent the fibreglass I was going to use for the template sticking to the form.

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I laid a single layer of fibreglass on the template, reinforcing some of the more intricate areas of the template with additional layers of CSM.

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I let it set for an hour or two and then popped the template off the form ready for use on the car

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The newly created template was trimmed and slotted into place on the body and the body lowered down until it was just beginning to rest on the new template to hold it firmly in place. I then shone a torch up throught the mounting bolt hole in the chassis from below so that I could drill the hole out from above in the correct place.

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I then popped the new bobin onto the template and held it in place over the hole with a bolt and started with the epoxy resin and CSM. I think I eneded up using about 7 layers of 450gsm mat over the whole area and then a further half a dozen smaller layers in the vicinity of the bobin to re-inforce it as best I could. WIll see what the end result is like tomorrow when its all hardened fully.

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I thought I'd left the eaiser repair job until last, but as soon as I started sanding back the area around the the two cracks I'd found in the frunk I quickly ended up chasing cracks all over the place. I think I've isolated all the cracks now but I've not started any repairs yet, so that will be deferred until tomrorow.

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Admire your work Tom well done 👍

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Well done. It's going to be a GOOD car, once done completely, with many years to enjoy.

Kind regards,

jacques

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Got both the oil coolers off the car this morning. Given the horror stories I've read/been told about disconnecting the oil cooler lines from the coolers I'm counting my lucky stars today that they all undid without a fight 😀 I don't know if the liberal coating of Plus Gas over the past week had anything to do with it or not.

The drivers side oil cooler seems to have had a 90 degree elbow fitted to its bottom union, but I'm not sure why that is. Pretty sure its not supposed to be there, but that corner has taken a knock at some stage because all the ducts are missing from that side. It also doesn't seem to want to come off willingly, so I might leave that to Serck to deal with when I take them down there to be checked over. Both coolers are stuffed full of debris so it certainly won't have been helping their cooling capability.

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The nearside cooler looks to be in much better/newer condition, in fact once I'd cleaned the ends up I could clearly see the original manufacturer sticker.

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This afternoons task will be to remove all the snapped off jacknuts that the boot floor secures to and then I'll be aiming to paint that and the other areas I've done fibreglass repairs on recently. Slightly stuck for things to do again while I wait for parts deliveries.

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Well done for getting those unions off without shearing them off, Tom 👏 I never managed it, sheared the bloody lot of mine! The hoses as original should be one piece with a 90 degree fitting so that elbow is a later addition, but no reason why it shouldn’t work.

Be prepared to budget for a new pair of coolers, though. They’re not cheap due to the configuration, if they had fittings on the same side they’d probably be half the price.

Margate Exotics.

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Thanks @Chillidoggy. I think I was long overdue a bit of good fortune on the car given the fight its put up so far.

Both my oil hoses have that 90 degree fitting on them and are undamaged. The hose on the offside would easily reach the cooler so I'm not sure why someone saw fit to put that elbow in the bottom of the cooler. Given I can't get that elbow to budge I can only assume when it sustained the front end damage the thread on the cooler was damaged and that elbow was bodged on as a means of restoring the thread on the cheap. The passenger side cooler looks in a pretty good state so I'm hoping that can just be cleaned up and reused, not quite so optomistic about the passengers side one so preparing for having to buy a replacement for that one at a bare minimum. Will see what the guys at Serck say when I call them on Monday.

Activities this afternoon didn't quite go as planned. I removed the remains of the jacknuts for the boot floor and then found another crack by one closest to the nearsided rear body mount, so having said I thought I was done with fibreglassing I was back at it again today.

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While I had all the fibreglass kit out again I decided to repair a hole in the boot floor by the battery tray that a previous bodge artist had made to gain access to their "alternative" exhaust mounting arrangement 🙄 I have already got some new exhaust rubber mounts on order to rectify this.

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I've also sanded back the repaired areas of the frunk floor which is now ready to be masked up and painted tomorrow. The repairs have feathered into the surrounding areas well so I'm pretty chuffed at my first fibreglass body repair attempt 😀

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While waiting for paint to dry in the frunk I've started putting the rad pack back together. First job was to flip the fans up the other way. As I received them from Serck the power cables to the fans were exiting down towards the ground so I needed to rotate each fan by 180 degrees so that the wires exited upwards in the direction of the fan power sub-loom and also at the drier end of the radiator.

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Excuse the state of things in the background, house refurb is still ongoing and lots of building and house junk has found its way out into the garage 😠 I'll be putting that right once the refurb finishes!

 

I had already decided that I didn't want to use the supplied connectors for the fan since they're not weather sealed so I delved into my box of electrical connectors and selected some superseal connectors to replace them. While the fans were off I removed the top mounting frame and drilled three holes to secure the panel mounts for the connectors to secure to.

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I then offered the radiator up to the new tray I bought because my original one was more trashed then I first thought. Given I didn't have a reference point to make the necessary repairs from it seems sensible to buy the replacement.

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The foam at the bottom of the radiator (as per the parts list) wasn't thick enough to fill the gap between the bottom of the rad and the tray. I doubled it up to fill the gap and hope it doesn't cause me issues later when I fit the pack. I'm also going to need to get some thin foam to fill the gaps down the sides of the radiator as well.

Another minor issue I've come up against is securing the chargecooler/condensor radiators to the engine radiator. Serck have put the radiator frame together with bolts instead of the original rivets which means the gap between the two rads is larger than it originally was so the original clips that hold them together are not big enough now 🤔

Those minor issues aside, the pack is assembled enough for me to be able to do a trial fit of it on the car (when the paint in the frunk dries) to rebuild the fan power sub-loom.

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Good work, Tom.

There’s probably some photos in my refurb thread that might help with the mounting, although I do have the aftermarket CC rad. Don’t ask me what page, though!

Margate Exotics.

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Thanks @Chillidoggy. I think your's is mounted differently to mine because I've got the earlier combined radiator setup, but I'll take another look at your thread later this evening to see if gives me any inspiration to solve my fitment issue.

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