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1976 Elite 504 Light Restoration - Projects & Restorations - The Lotus Forums - Lotus Community Partner #ForTheOwners Jump to content


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1976 Elite 504 Light Restoration


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I got in touch with Andy Graham @ Lotus in the hopes of getting hold of the providence certificate for the car, and it seems like it's a bit of an oddball! There were some Esprits shipped down to South Africa as CKD (car knocked down) format, I imagine for tax purposes. They were then built up by Intermotormakers in Cape Town. The theory is that this Elite was also sold in such a fashion! This would explain some oddities such as the out of spec distributor and a couple of other things.

Does anyone know of any details about the CKD process such as in what parts the cars were usually shipped?

I am going to see if the original owner or the then owners of IMM have any more details.

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No joy yet on the providence info, but will keep digging. I was able to get a value appraisal recently, so now I can get the car insured, which has been worrying me every time I take the cover off.

The next major issue to solve is rumbling in the rear as I get up to about 70 km/h. I'm taking a methodical approach and in order of least expense.

First was wheel balancing all around which I got the results of today. The fronts are okay, but the shop refused to balance the rears as they say the (Bridgestone) tires are kaput, which was really sad to hear. You can only get rubbish tires in this size here in South Africa. In any case, ordered some Powertrac City Tour tires (best of the worst) for the rear, we'll see what happens there.

The next step is the driveshaft UJs which I know are bad - all sorts of clacking and play. I ordered some Landy S3 UJs which are very available here - a win. I am going to attempt to replace them myself, and while at it clean up, plate and paint any bits that come off in the process.

Wheel see where we get with that, and then most likely move on to the wheel bearings.

In parallel, some cam cover sealingware is on the way as well as a belt, so those will probably be done too while the rear is in pieces.

Speaking of which, does anyone know offhand what the cambelt tensioner bearing code is? Would be nice if I can source locally replace those while at it.

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Does your timing belt tensioner have the type with a separate steel outer shell that presses over the pair of bearings?  If so I think I have the old boxes for mine somewhere - should be able to find the number.  If the universal joints you have ordered are a heavy duty type although they are dimensionally the same as the Lotus items the "body" of them is larger and the inner yokes (next to the diff) have to be machined for them to fit.

Pete

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Thanks Pete, I will check the dimensions of the UJs - holding thumbs they are the correct ones, otherwise will have to see what I can find here and hope the ones I have can be returned. I should probably have removed them and taken them to the supplier to double check!

Re the tensioner bearings, thanks for the offer to check. I imagine I will have to take it apart to find this out or will a close up photo do?

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A close up should show the difference - also the bearing with the steel sleeve displays a distinct "crown" on the periphery of the sleeve.  Also the tensioner bearing mount is differently constructed - it's in two parts rather than one, with a different hexagon size on the outside. 

If you can be bothered to trawl through my restoration thread "Elite Restoration Begins" on the Lotus Grand Tourers site you will find more details of the difference between the u/js.

Pete

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UJs have arrived. They appear to be the correct size?

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I will see if I can get a decent shot of the tensioner, thanks also for the pointer to the other thread - I'm always willing to trawl, but usually forget where to find things.

Edited by makepeace
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I just had a chat with the original owner. He reckons that after he had propshaft UJs replaced, the vibration started. So that now points in a completely different direction that I was probably going to save for last or 2nd last.

Are there any tips or tricks to work out where a vibration is coming from?

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The propshafts are a "tube-in-tube" design.  If the u/js go out of alignment because the rubber in the propshaft fails then that would lead to vibration.  Worth checking the alignment of the propshaft u/js - unfortunately easier said than done!

Pete

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Thanks Pete. I dug around a bit underneath the car to try and find the ends of the propshaft - it's quite difficult to get at! I was hoping to try and do a manual method of adjustment by adding a jubilee clip and finding the balance point, but doesn't seem like I will be able to get to the centre of the shaft. I got the details of a specialist here, so I think I will do it properly and take it there. Hopefully it's relatively easy to balance. I don't think the UJs will need replacing again as the car hasn't been driven much since they were.

Rear tires were shot, and unfortunately we only have garbage here in the size, but I got the Powertrac City Tour tyres installed on the rear and some noises have disappeared. They don't seem too terrible for normal road use.

In other news, some parts arrived for the cam cover and belt refresh:

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Excited to sort the cam covers out to get rid of this oil leak and also clean them up a bit. Belt also worries me every time I start the car.

Along with these issues, another priority is to get a new SS exhaust made. The current one is very tatty, clogged up inside and full of holes and the configuration is also a bit wrong. There is about half the amount of air coming out the right side outlet than the left.

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More soon!

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Ref the cam belt tensioner bearing, not sure if this would interest you but I used a Ford focus cam belt tensioner bearing with plastic belt wheel.

I had to disassemble the ford (cutting required) unit to get to the belt wheel with bearing and then slightly turn down the two ends of the Lotus bearing carrier to fit the centre boss of the Ford bearing.

Result is a much better bearing set up and the ability to replace it in the future for peanut's!

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