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1981 Lotus Eclat


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Looks great George. So just a recommission? Any major known issues? And whereabouts in NSW are you? I drove my Elite 502 up from Hobart a few years ago, but it was originally a Victorian car.

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George,

welcome to the ownership club here in Australia. Despite the rain it looks a very tidy card. I am in Victoria and am currently working me way through recommissioning a 1976 Elite.  Who did you purchase the Eclat from? 

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Hi Clive and David,

Thanks..The fellow I bought it off purchased it (i think) in 09 then stored it. It's not really running but does start  and run lumpily. It's unregistered and needs a bit to recommission - a new steering wheel, ignition barrel, i think a steering rack, shocks, tyres .. tracking down an electrical drain, new timing belt and general service. The front seats are a bit worn and  the paint is not the best, (It looks better in the picture because it's wet) particularly around the boot. It doesn't drip any oil or other fluids so that's a good sign. It's a complete car which is great..I  am in Wollongong, about 80 kms or so South of Sydney.

.  

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  • 1 year later...
Posted (edited)

They say Rome wasn't built in a day... it seems getting my Lotus Eclat back on the road is going to take almost as long. I have been distracted by other matters over the past year but have replaced the ignition and steering lock with a second hand unit from Lotus Bits and that seems to have largely resolved the issue I had with a parasitic leak draining the battery.

I have had my first experience of a "flaming Lotus" when I tried to fire her up yesterday to take her out of the garage to show a skilled restoration and mechanical specialist. Sadly I flooded her while kicking her over and the next think flames were licking up the windscreen. Fortunately I had the bonnet off at the time so I suspect I saw the fire as soon as it ignited and more fortunately, I had a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. Note to self: ALWAYS carry a fire extinguisher in the car.

There doesn't appear to be any significant damage but I won't know until I can get it to the mechanic's workshop and up onto a hoist. The body is okay but I suspect some electrical wiring may be damaged. 

Hopefully the Flaming Lotus experience won't happen again. The fire started at the firewall end of the motor so I will be keen to find the source of ignition.  

Edited by WhatHaveIDone
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The dizzy (and it's associated sparks) is directly below where the petrol drips off the carbs.  Maybe the culprit?  Really sorry to hear about the fire.  I still own the (quite large) fire extinguisher that came with my first Excel nearly 20 years ago - it had had an under bonnet fire before I bought it.

Pete

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Thanks Pete. Is there a modification to prevent that from happening or do most owners just take great care not to flood the carburettors? I am considering buying a larger fire extinguisher as an alternative to refilling mine just in case it happens again. 

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In theory the carbs should never over-fill if the needle valves are working correctly and the fuel pump pressure is correct.  I'd start by checking the float heights, renewing the needle valves and checking the fuel pressure.  A new fire extinguisher also sounds like a good idea!!  You can remove the distributor risk by going to mapped ignition with coil-on plug/wasted spark ignition coils (expensive!)

Pete

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As a sanity check, I always make sure the ticking of the fuel pump stops when I first start the car, only takes a few seconds. I have had the occurrence of a sticky needle valve cause one of the carbs to leak fuel. It only happened once, and a simple tap on the carb fixed it, and never again. 

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Thanks Peter and Clive.

Sounds a like a sticky needle valve is a good starting point. I doubt the twin Dellortos have ever been serviced and as the car has not been driven since 2009, some of the old fuel may still be in the system to the detriment of the fuel system. Will let you know what we find when it goes up on the hoist (hopefully in the next four weeks).  

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