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1986 S3 N/A Project - Page 3 - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
slewthy

1986 S3 N/A Project

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2 months since that last post and as you all know, seems like an eternity for me.

To cut a long, boring and mentally painful story short, a crash has finished the life of this S3 as we know it. Chassis bent irretrievably and front body section smashed. Kind of prophetic, given my last post!

Have decided to rebuild using a new chassis.

I would like to keep things as original as practical without ignoring obvious improvement.

Plan of action

1. Purchase and ship new chassis (hope there still is one!)

2. Get a suitable engine crane. Wonder if I really need a stand?

3. Build up front and rear suspension using standard kit - not adjustable, just try and recreate the ride and handling as intended. Dont think this needs improving.

4. Get a hydraulic press for bushes and bearings.

Should keep me going. Oh, I'd better tidy the garage!

Edited by slewthy

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Simon

Good to see you are going for the restoration route. Im sure you will enjoy it and be very pleased at the end result. Regarding the engine stand you will only need one if you are planning engine work. Otherwise just lay some board out in the gareg and stick the engine out the way in the corner. Also may be worth doing a basic overhaul while the engine is out. Keep us updated.

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First day of the rest of my S3's life!

Chassis arrived today. NOS from SWLC. Cost

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HI Simon,

yes it's a LHD chassis.

The pedal box is attached to the plate you see on the "wrong" side of your chassis.

The chassis looks fantastic but frankly I can't see how SWLC can sell it saying LHD or RHD with modifications...

to do this, you need to cut out the brackets and re- weld on the righ side...unfortunately this is exactly what Lotus DO NOT approve on any galvanised chassis. (you need a JIG to do a perfect job)

Sj refuse to repair mine as it was galvanised and he told me ...any welding job can't be made on it...sorry.

Yes, you can do that ....but being a specialist SWLC would have to inform you of this before you buy.

I don't know..

Anyway good luck and let us know how you proceede.

ciao

Giorgio

Edited by ghe67

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Hmm, anything preventing me from bolting on brackets on the right side?

Welding should be possible - would have to remove the zinc from the area to be welded then repaint when done.

Could bolt on and weld for that matter

Any thoughts?

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Simon,

I would not bolt -on the pedal box bracket...for your safe.

If it were so simple and convenient, Lotus would have done instead of doing two versions for each frame, saving time and costs.

frankly, I call to hear what they say about it.

Ciao

Giorgio

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Simon

To be honest i dont see the problem with bolting it. Most modern cars have theirs bolted in and the floor of the car that they bolt to is not even as thick. I would think it will be okay. Or have some stronger ones made that are still bolted.

Good luck its a great journey from here!!

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Well, I dont want a weak link this deep in the car - horrible to have to redo it.

I'll most likely bolt on to get the position right, then weld the seams aswell. If I'm careful and use a proper mask, it should be OK.

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Well, I dont want a weak link this deep in the car - horrible to have to redo it.

I'll most likely bolt on to get the position right, then weld the seams aswell. If I'm careful and use a proper mask, it should be OK.

Simon, it is not that much of a problem. Welding on the chassis is difficult as it is galvanised inside and out.

I am bending a plate of 3mm thick over the top of the chassis onto wich the new mounting points are welded.

This plate is going to be glued and rivetted to the chassis.

Good luck Cor

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Done!

Not possible to bolt the brackets on because the cross member is essentially closed!

Cut off the brackets as close to the chassis as possible, then adjusted to ensure the height was the same.

Removed all the galvanising on and around the areas to be welded. Spot welded and then completed the job by welding on some angle iron.

Absolutely rock solid - much better than bolts would ever have been. Need to rust prevent my work now. Excuse to paint whole chassis.

Here is a link to an article discussing Welding galvanised steel.

Welding Galvanised steel

I'll tell you if I get ill from zinc oxide! As Cor said, all the zinc cannot be totally removed because the chassis is coated within.

Edited by slewthy

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No photos yet - got to hide the poor cosmetics of my welds!!!!

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Well doen Simon. Looking forward to the pictures. I have a feeling your car will be entered amongst all the imaculate ones on the forum when its complete. You haver anadvantage to make your car like new since your starting from the chassis up. Looking forward to time going by as it gets underway.

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Didnt get ill!! Precautions must have worked.

I'll post my chassis work later, but started to remove items from the front of the car in preparation for lifting the body.

Removal of the spoiler was not easy since the bolts had corroded within their ?rivnuts? in the bodyshell. Likewise, most of the bolts attaching the radiator cowling had gone and sheared when undone. The lower radiator bolts were also badly corroded. Essentially, if I had been removing these things at any other time, I would have caused immense damage. Just shows you - StSt plus copper grease or similar when going back on.

The radiator had been damaged in the crash but was also on its last legs anyway. The twin fans also caput.

Wondering if its easy +/- economical to convert to triple fans/ upgraded radiator or not. Anyone done this?

Chassis now visible - crumpled everywhere! Explains why the throttle cable was tighter and engine revved uncontrollably. I loosened the cable, reattached battery and tested engine - perfect! Great to hear the sound again, if only briefly. So, engine fine.

The body damage is also more extensive than immediately obvious - extends to offside arch and entire front wing had ripples of gel cracks over it.

Think I need a replacement bodyshell. If my car is a 1986 N/A, what date range of shell can I look for? 85/86?

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Simon. Making good progress by the sound. Welcome to the rusted bolts saga.. im not alone!!!!! Now there is two of us!! Lotus bits have a shell for 500 so may be worth a look.

Regarding the fans. From what i can see the three fan conversion is expensive. My plan is to go to the breakers and remove a couple of modern fans from something like a mondeo, focus, fiesta or something along those lines. Then youl have nice powerfull modern fans. I will be making up a frame to secure them in and then will mould up a shroud also.

Personnaly ithink a better more cost effective route if all done nicely. Oh well off into the garage now to finish painting the chassis!! Back on here latter of course!!

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Finished! Who's the daddy?

Well, first coat that is.

Did all thats been advised in Wayne's 'I hate POR15' thread - degreased, did abit of scouring (hard work that was), mixed, thin coat.

Then I've given it a thin coat of POR15 bottom (dried) then top.

Must have stirred that pot for eternity and still it wouldnt totally mix into itself.

Very pleased with the way its gone on though.

Its interesting, its only on going over it in such detail that I find small areas of deficient zinc coating from small knocks, with a thin layer of rust forming! I suppose the chassis that were immediately assembled in the factory would not have received these little knocks, but it makes you think. Good job I've treated it in the end.

So, having painted a whole chassis now, I can definitively say that it takes exactly 1/2 pint of paint.

Pics tomorrow when dried and before 2nd coat.

Edited by slewthy

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Well done, but shouldn't ALL proceeding coats be done before it fully sets? Or else you have to scuff the whole chassis up again so it will take properly. I'm pretty positive. Also if your going to topcoat you have to dust cover it with primer before it fully sets as well.

The data sheet telling you exactly what to do is on the Frost site, did you take a read first?

If not, get it and READ IT

It could be a VERY late night! LOL

Edited by Simon350S

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Thats not nice to worry me when I'm positive again!

If I was single, I would probably be painting all night, as you suggest but I'm not and I'd also better turn up at work I s'pose.

Well, the can says it can be recoated at 3-4 hours or when dry.

I will look at the data sheet aswell, but I was planning to key it in also.

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Great work Simon. I have nearly finished the chassis now and will prob do the final coat tomo night now. I think it will be okay to leav it and come back to it. Its impossible to get all coats on in one day!!

Looking forward to the pics.

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The radiator had been damaged in the crash but was also on its last legs anyway. The twin fans also caput.

Wondering if its easy +/- economical to convert to triple fans/ upgraded radiator or not. Anyone done this?

You can get your old radiator rebuilt to the same length with a new triple core for about

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Who can remake the radiators? Any recommendations?

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Just look in your local yellow pages (if you can still lay your hands on one) or Yell.com for radiator repair.

I just went to my local place, waved the old rad at them and they said no problem.

All they do is order in a core of the right length and width and weld/solder it to the old end caps.

It was them that originally suggested I could have a triple core to replace the old double core.

Hilly

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Simon. Making good progress by the sound. Welcome to the rusted bolts saga.. im not alone!!!!! Now there is two of us!! Lotus bits have a shell for 500 so may be worth a look.

Regarding the fans. From what i can see the three fan conversion is expensive. My plan is to go to the breakers and remove a couple of modern fans from something like a mondeo, focus, fiesta or something along those lines. Then youl have nice powerfull modern fans. I will be making up a frame to secure them in and then will mould up a shroud also.

Personnaly ithink a better more cost effective route if all done nicely. Oh well off into the garage now to finish painting the chassis!! Back on here latter of course!!

Wayne, if your looking for radiator fans, try using Yamaha R1 fans. I bought three off Ebay and they fit very well, they have a mounting frame already attached and just need some spacers made up to clear the radiator. Mine came from 2005 R1, very powerful and they rotate the right way, ie suck not blow.

Chris

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