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My latest project is to get my Elite Riviera back on the road. I aquired it in 2008 after rescuing it from where it had been sitting in a garden for god knows how long.

This is the current condition of the car, with the rear up on axle stands while I do some head scratching about the rear brakes.

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I will take some pictures of the interior when I have a chance - lovely read leather.

I spent some time working on it today, and managed to sort out a few problems - at least now the sidelights and the hazards work.

There are still however quite a few other things to sort out:

Rear wiper does not work

Front Washer does not work

Fog lights do not work

Rear screen heater does not work

Headlights do not pop up

Interior fan does not work

Radiator fans do not work, and 'Fan Fail' is displayed on the instrument panel

Should probably replace the cambelt

Rear brakes stay on once applied, and handbrake does not work

I don't have a workshop manual at all - is there anywhere that provides a digital download?

I spent quite some time trying to get the lights to pop up. At the moment if I wind the motor by hand through the access hole, once it gets to a point, the motor turns on and moves the lights back to the down position. I just can't get it to activate when I turn on the lights. I have played with the relays under the offside light pod and they work, and there are a couple of relays down in the drivers footwell, but I am not really sure what they do. The one furthest from the driver definitely works, and it clicks when the lights are turned on and off, and when the flasher is activated - and the lights all still work with it removed - is this part of the lift circuits?

The rear brakes have defeated me - I can't really work out what is wrong, but they are not really working!

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Long overdue update time! New sunvisors have been located (tatty - but will send them to be retrimmed: Plus, headlining has now been redone, so no more gaps at the back:

Thanks for the tip about the BMW sunvisors. I will check it out because I still can't find mine!   The fuel pipes were a concern of mine so I've swapped them all out for fresh ones and always carry

Minor update as I've done a little work on the wiper which was looking really tatty.   Before:   After paint stripped off:   After:   I'm also getting it sent back in for the headlining

Cripes that's quite a shopping list, it's niggly things like that which break your spirit rather than the bank. Just about the worst job there sounds like the rear brakes, I'm sure someone here mentioned the diff has to come out to work on them. Looks like you have your hands full with other projects there too. Best of luck.

PS even under an inch of dust it still looks great!

Edited by LooseCannon

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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HI Henry

the rear brakes are quite simple in that they have a single piston cylinder that slides on the back plate, if you remove the drive shaft from the drum and remove the drum, you can check to see if the piston in the cylinder is siezed, if so then the diff has to come out as its impossible to get at the two piece clip that holds the cylinder to the back plate, It could be your handbrake cable that has siezed, not sure how this is set up as mine was fine, so I left it well alone! anothe cause of binding brakes can be a colapsed flexible hose, the symptoms are brakes that operate, then refuse to free off, if you crack the bleed nipple off then squeeze the cylinders with a large pair of grips, the piston should return freely, with fluid coming out of the nipple, Diff removal isn't that bad if the mounting bolts aren't siezed up, just remember to support it on a decent sized jack and have a helper to stabilise it. I found dropping it an inch then tackling the handbrake clevis pins and the flexible hose connection made access easier for my big mitts. The lower diff bolts that go through the suspension lower links need to be undone and driven back till they are flush with the diff housing, undo the prop bolts and the two front/upper diff mounts, slide it forward and inch and it should drop free!! As said a decent trolley jack and a helper is a good move. I used a large jemmy bar to push the diff forward off the bolts.

I have a digital copy of the workshop manual and parts list..... somewhere!

Give me a call if you want to discuss further

regards

Mark

07511284461

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Hi Henry

Welcome to the wonderful world of Lotus Elites, just when you think you have sorted everything you can be sure another little niggle will come along, but apart from that, looks a cracking car, hope you enjoy working on her and solving the isues one by one. any how you would not have bought it if it was too easy, cos can see another little project in your garage.

Have just removed my diff to replace wheel cylinders and shoes give it a refurb and replace the rear gasket, after strugling for many hours to get to the brake clevis pins and the flexible brake hoses, I gave up and cut two access panels out behind rear seat, not my idea was another member who pointed me in right direction, and can get to both quite well now. Can post photos and give you dimensions of mine if you wish, or will help.

But would do as previously said and drop the drive shafts and pull drums off first, because bet they are so rusty they have probably partialy siezed, at least that way you will be able to see if wheel cylinders are working and what state the shoes are in.

Hope you have many happy hours working and restoring her.

Regards

Mike

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Hi Henry, the Riviera looks Fab. This is one seriously scarce car! I have prob looked at 10-15 Elites over the last 10 years but never seen a Riviera before. Well done and good luck, the only advise i can give you is that Mike Taylor at Lotusbits will have any part you require and sound advice. Look forward to seeing the interior pics.

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I have only just realised it's an Elite Riviera, brain assumed it was an Eclat,

Henry its an 'orible worthless thing that you should donate to my collection..... honest, just think of the heart ache I will be saving you!!! :shuriken:

Joking aside, great car and I'd love to see it when its up and running, only around 7 Elite Rivieras were made, theres a blue over silver one lurking out there some where!! I believe one has been broken up, theres a couple that have gone overseas, chances are yours and the black one with yellow leather in the Classic comic the other month arent far off of being the only remaining ones around...... I've sourced a bonnet and love to get hold of the roof moulds to re create the Riviera... the ultimate Elite..... :P

Mark

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About your headlights, if they are the same as an Esprit of the time, there is a switch mechanism in the gearbox on the end where the spindle comes out. Inside is a springy copper strip moved by a cam so that when the lamp is down the circuit for lifting it is closed and, when the lamp is raised, the circuit for lowering it is closed. Think of them as limit switches. The motors run only one way so these switches stop the motor when the lamps are fully up and when they are fully down. A relay changes which switch gets powered so it all works. Of course, water can get in the gearboxes and stop the switches working. I can't remember which is the lower and more likely to get corroded, switch but it's probably the up switches.

So what I would do is check the changeover relay is working. Get a multimeter and check which pins of the connector to the motor are live. Turn on the lights and see if that changes. If it does, pull out the motor and remove the plate from the end where the spindle is and the switches and, under them, the cam should be revealed. Be careful when cleaning off any corrosion as you don't want to bend the copper strip up too much or it won't press on the terminal properly.

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S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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Henry, as you are new to the forum you may not have noticed, near the top of the page will be a little black button with a number in it, you have a personal message waiting bud, just press it! :thumbup:

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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USAndretti42 - Thanks for the tip about the motor limit switches/ copper strip, I was starting to pull my hair out about that, and you were exactly right, the switch for down was perfect, and yet the up switch was badly corroded - nothing a little wet and dry couldn't fix!

LooseCannon - I would never have spotted that, and I will reply in just a moment :)

So to give a slight update:

-Headlights now pop up and down!!!

-Have managed to get a manual from eBay with all the S2.2 info in it which will be a huge help.

I have not yet been able to face doing the brakes, and while I am on a bit of a roll I want to try to sort out all the electrics. (haha fat chance)

I will post some pictures of the interior when I have finished sorting out the electrics as at the moment there are panels and trim everywhere, and I have also just bought some lovely red leather restorer which makes a fantastic difference. I will also try to give the car a proper clean when I get a chance!

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Mark

Did you find your digital copy of the factory manual, or point me in the direction of another?

yes I have, however being a complete numpty I cant "zip" it or what ever and its a tad large, PM me your address so I can pinch your Riv,,,,, :whistle: er I mean I can post you a copy on CD :thumbup: That copper colour really suits the Elite by the way.....

Regards

Mark

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  • 4 weeks later...

Henry, next time you check in look at your private messages, I have some info regarding riviera chassis numbers I need your help with to hopefully establish a full production list.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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  • 1 month later...

I have been busy sorting out my other car, which I have now finally done, so I can give a bit of an update!

I have managed to get the pop up lights working - there was corrosion in the contact switch, so thanks for the tip about that. I have also manged to sort out the brakes - the handbrake adjuster had jammed and this had popped the handbrake lever out of the back of the rear drum, which forced the pad against the drum - I just took it all apart, put the lever back where it should be, and now the brakes work properly, although probably need to have the fluid replaced as they do not inspire much confidence! I also discovered that the speedo does not work.

Still getting the 'fan fail' message on the dashboard, but cannot work out what is wrong - any ideas?

Don't know whether the message has been passed on to Guy, but this Riviera was originally registered as NYF686Y, so Guy, it is indeed your old Lotus :) Many thanks to Mark for all his hard work to discover everything.

I have also scanned in the pictures of the car from when the previous owner bought it. I still have the original steering wheel and the original silver wheels, but I personally prefer the yellow wheels and sportier steering wheel. If you click on the pictures they will take you through to the album with many more.

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Hmmm, album link does not work when you click the pictures, so here it is individually:

Photobucket Album Link

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Henry

thanks for those photos - they bring back some memories I can tell you. I really must come down and see you at some point to take a look in person if you don't mind ? Mark did send on the message and as you say, well done him for tracking all this down.

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Didn't that look good! Thanks for posting the images; it seems to have remained immaculate up until the PO, even the clips and things under the bonnet were shiny. These cars do last with a bit of care, but neglect them and that's it really. I'm a bit concerned though, the yellow centred wheels are growing on me, but the steering wheel is ghastly 80s stuff. If you fancy a sporty wheel Henry the Nardi Personal 3 spoke item from the Excel will fit with an adaptor, and it was styled by Giugiaro same as the Esprit interior so it goes nicely ;). I picked one up for 30 quid nearly new on Ebay and machined a boss to fit, although you can get off the shelf items for an MG Midget.

With the help of the Andy Graham at the factory and a couple of hardcore owners it now looks like there were 9 Rivieras, 3 being retrofits like the one above. According to the build books 2 of them at least hung around the factory for a staggering 2 years before being fitted with the sunroofs presumably in the hope of shifting them

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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