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Both door frames and window motors are now in. Doors are hanging well and the locks and latches are now all set up. That's a pain staking job. I also dismantled the wing mirrors in preparation fo

Uplighters and downlighters... Only downlighters... Cool

Can't get my wing mirrors to play ball! The drivers side works on only 3 solonoids so I get some movement and the passenger's side stopped working altogether as I was testing it! This brings me back t

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I put vasoline on my wheels to keep them from oxidising whilst it's sitting around BTW. They tend to pick up the dirt but at least that's on the surface...

The body on pics will be a big let down since it will all be covered up - bit of a shame really - but the only thing that separates yours and mine is the colour of the chassis.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well that was a bit of a surprise. My wife went out for the day and I thought I would potter around to get ready for the big weekend next week - we had arrange for some friends to come over and help me lower the body - and one thing just led to another.

So as they say assembly is the opposite of dismantling right...

Chassis under the body all ready to go!

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Over the summer the wood that the body was siting on had bowed and so the chassis would not fit under so I had to borrow more bricks from my neighbour... don't try this at home folks.

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It all looked a bit precarious up there but was actually much less of a problem after I had learnt from the lift.

still a bit high in this photo but now at a much more reasonably height... now was there something I've forgotten...

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that was it... the bolts holding the antiroll bar on... remembered them just in time. That only lulled me into a false sense of security. The handbrake got forgotten and when I realised, I couldn't open the doors to get at it... that must have been related to where I was holding the body up

Anyway after a bit of creaking and groaning as the body went, on and the suspension settled, it was on!

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This is the only bit that I will see I guess. even that will be hidden by the engine.

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oh yes the handbrake...

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I guess I will cut this hole bigger to get the handbrake through the body unless there is a good reason for it to be so small!

Anyway once I get it back in the garage the body will need bolting on and the strip down begins. I thought I would start by removing the sills and fixing the rear seat belt mounting points (I think that's what they are - A metal angle around the rear of the body) since these are as rusty as hell. Brushed stainless seems like a good idea... 

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yep, just go the body strip down, prep, respray, engine rebuild, gearbox rebuild, and interior retrim, and reassembly to go! (converting the headlights to electric, fitting coils packs and ECU, and redoing the dash along the way...)

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Looking great Mike!

When I put my body back on I hooked up the handbrake cable to the lever before lowering the body down and guided it through the hole. Then all I had to do was manoeuvre the lever in to position and put the four bolts in.

Think it'll be tough to get the cable on to the lever with the body on but you may prove me wrong!

Keep the pictures coming.

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This was exactly what I had in mind and had unbolted the handbrake in preparation for this very manoeuvre. I guess I could lift the body again to free it but the hole I cut will be covered by the centre consol.  

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I dont know if the S2 is different but i had no prob's with the handbrake. The handbrake has two steel L brackets and a pivot pin, if you push the pivot pin out you can put the hand lever down the chassis hole connect the cable, then pull it back up, place the brackets either side and push the pin back through.

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After a bit of reflection I'm going to lift the body again! I'll do this once the whole car is back in the garage but it won't have to go the whole way up and will allow me to paint the underside properly. I'll get the underside sorted, remove the sills, replace the seat belt mounting's etc then I have a few jobs to finish on the front hubs before I get the body seated and bolted down for good. Sounds like a good plan before the body prep starts!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I picked up some new stainless steel rear seat belt mounts from Lotusbits today. Mike seemed surprised when I asked him on the phone yesterday if they were brushed or polished finish! :huh:

Seemed like an obvious question to me but it looks as though I will have to get them polished myself! :happy dance:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found out last week that my firm is to reduce headcount by 20%. Today I have been informed that i'm in a group that will be affected and that the number of people in the group is... 1 :huh:

On the plus side the major spend on this restoration was pretty much complete until I go for the respray and I have many things to do that will not take much cash (only time) before that needs doing and so I may have all the time I need shortly. :thumbsup:   

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looks like I've found seats for my elite - in red leather no the less - so I guess the inside is going red! these are coming from my 1st gen insight which died on the a14 yesterday and Honda want £10K for a new engine. So the colour scheme will be red on the inside and white on the outside I think...

these things come in 3's I'm told... what's next?

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I found out last week that my firm is to reduce headcount by 20%. Today I have been informed that i'm in a group that will be affected and that the number of people in the group is... 1 :huh:

The way you put it is funny, but it sounds depressingly familiar! Employers have caught on that mass redundancies cause walkouts, but picking you off slowly one at a time just brings relieved exhalations from your workmates. Hope things work out to suit you, whether that be more time on your hands or a new job.

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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So are you slowly but surely going away from originality, I thought you wanted to keep it a stock as possible? What are you doing with the insight, new engine? 

To some extent that's true - the exterior will be stock. The interior was always another thing since it's in bad shape and, to match the exterior and the underside, it will really need to be good quality. I was concerned with the interior, that parts of it would be retrimmed (front seats would be a prime example) and would show the other parts up so the whole lot would have needed redoing and whilst I was keen to keep the faded black marcasite "emerald" green and black velour theme it would have all been replaced anyway - just made to look like the old colour. The red interior and white exterior was very 60's and I know I have a 70's car but it doesn't seem too wrong with my ideas for the reworked dash and a retro look.

The interior of my insight cost a lot of cash - the seats were done really well and look fab IMO so it makes sense to reuse them and it saves me buying mx5 seats.

ECU and coil packs are just another step in from electronic ignition and removes the distributor which is a pain to get to.

re; The insight

Honda are quoting £10K for a new engine for my Insight - amazing for a 900cc 3 cylinder engine - and there are no second hand ones kicking around. I would love to keep it running and would spend the money in a heart beat if I had it.

I've been toying with either a full electric conversion or dropping in a type r engine but another project is not what I need right now and that would change the car completely anyway. I may just leave it in the driveway until I've done mourning!

The way you put it is funny, but it sounds depressingly familiar! Employers have caught on that mass redundancies cause walkouts, but picking you off slowly one at a time just brings relieved exhalations from your workmates. Hope things work out to suit you, whether that be more time on your hands or a new job.

 To be fair I had pretty much had it with my current employer. I know you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you but I was not learning from my experience and no one was interested in making the changes that needed to be made that would have stopped the company from getting into it's current predicament.  but I'm over that since I figure that I'm better out than in and, up until the election I reckon the jobs market will be good... after the election will be another story I think.

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The red and white gets my vote, that'll look fantastic, I've seen a few esprits with that combo, looks awesome. A type r in an insight, love the sound of that! Hope things work out for you, it's tough I know but it'll be worth it in the end. Charlie :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Planning at least 1 full day on the Lotus this weekend... before the body prep starts my to do list looks like...

1.   Lift body
2.   Relocate handbrake
3.   Underseal
4.   Drop body back on
5.   Bolt down
6.   Remove sills
7.   Fix seatbelt mounts (front and rear)
8.   Do front hubs and brakes
9.   Bolt up rear suspension
10. Fit spare tyre hanger
11. Gearbox mounting
12. Redo Foam over gearbox
13. Dashboard...

To be fair this is the list for the winter but would hope to get 1-4 done this weekend assuming I got enough underseal - in white of course!

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Well I removed the sills and found that the front seat belt mounting points are in very good nick. I'm guessing they have been off before but the sill covers need some repairing since the edges are in bad shape on the near side especially so a glass fibre repair kit in on it's way along with some flange head stainless self tapers to hold them on.

I have undersealed (in white) both sides of the tub to the rear seat belt mounting points and the off side wheel arches but have now run out of the wonderful stuff - more on order for the difficult to reach parts around the rear suspension and the spare wheel well. This will mean the car will have to be facing the other way in the garage in order to get more access so the body will have to be dropped back onto the chassis and lifted once again...by the time all this is over It'll have been up an down more times that a bride's nighty!

I've also cut the transmission tunnel in the end in order the get the handbrake free. The weight of the body had cracked the tunnel and now it has a good handbrake sized hole that certainly makes it easier to get the body up an down with the handbrake in situ. Once all the trim is in place this won't be noticeable at all so no big deal.

I've also polished the rear seat belt mounts that I got from Lotusbits :smoke:

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  • 2 weeks later...

After getting a job offer I now have two weeks to work on the Lotus. I should make some good progress on getting the remaining jobs of the body refit done in this time and can then strip the engine bay ready for painting.

I have spent some more time polishing up the rear seat belt mounting plates from lotusbits...

Behold...

post-16070-0-54146600-1416071098.jpg

I'm fairly pleased with this. I have some adhesive backed silicon that will provide a soft mount between the body and the metal and they need laquer to keep them shiny but they will be fitted next week.

Getting the car out of the garage and turning it round so I could work on the back end meant I could have a look at the seat belt mounting points in day light. The manual implies that they are bolted to the roll bar but mine are nowhere near and there is no spreader plate to mention. The photo is of the near side with what looks like a nasty crack around it.

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I'm guessing there should be more to the mounting points than this?

I will post pictures of the underside once all the shiny bits are done... more undersealing in the next few days though and then I need to get the body properly positioned since it's sitting too far back at the moment.

post-16070-0-25296900-1416071100.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

Time to bump this thread to the top of the list again. Since the weather has turn fairer the fair weather restorer kicks off again... :animier:

To update on progress over the dark and cold winter months - the £100 gearbox brought on ebay has gone to a rebuilder in london for a dust down. This will include the case being bead blasted to restore the "new aluminium" look but won't be ready until mid may I guess.

I have finally moved the engine/'box combo from it's oily pool on the garage floor by splitting the 4 speed box that came with the car and and getting the engine on a stand for dismantling.

When I split the engine and box I was initially impressed when I looked through the clutch spring plate to see the shiney centre of the friction plate... perhaps this was a part finished restoration after all..

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taking it out however shows that there is probably not much more than 2-3mm of friction material before the rivits :thumbdown:

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Is this normal? I was expecting more to be honest! and why would anyone repaint the clutch plate if it was worn?!

So engine is stripped down with inlet manifold, starter motor, power steering pump acoutriments, alternator, dizzy and exhaust manifold removed ready for the short block to go to a local engine rebuilders. At the very least the head gasket needs replacing. It will also be bead blasted to match the new look of the gearbox.

Overall it's going to be an expensive year since I was hoping to get the car under it's own power again by the year end for an MOT. The engine bay will need a repray before that. Then I can tinker around with ECU's to my heart content...

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Your friction plate looks brand new in respect to the plate I found in mine!

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Found a photo of my flywheel, this is what I discovered when I split the engine and gear box, I hasten to add I promptly changed the seals as you can see it was covered in engine oil.

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Edited by CharlieCroker
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