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Another resto...


mikeeech

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hmmm. Just been totting up my costs to date; :no

post-16070-0-32380400-1438721301.jpg

and I still have the labour on the engine rebuild to pay for and the engine bay respray before I MOT..

So I would have gone from wreck with no MOT to wreck with MOT for £10K!

:o  :shock:

So next year will be just dicking around with the engine then while my finances recover

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Hi Mike

Yes it all soon adds up ! But the way I always convince myself is the love

Car, you get a hobby and car out of It with hopefully a good few years of happy motoring out of it.

Just think what the total would be if You added your labour !

Good luck with the final push !

A

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My second gearbox got brought today... a s2 getrag box complete with prop shaft clutch etc etc. that ws expensive. I also got myself a white interior! so the red is out of the window but i'm sure this is the sensible option.

looks like my insight type r conversion project wont be happening and this will now need to be sold...

fuel tank sealer done today. I will finish this off tomorrow with photo's

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Not cheaper than lotus bits but closer and they picked the engine up! It needed a fair amount of parts to be fair which added to the cost. £1800 for parts alone but i'd rather this than getting an second hand engine.

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So I did my tank over the weekend. I got a ropey photo of the inside after cleaning and metal prepping

post-16070-0-25947600-1439327126.jpg

Despite the hot whether over the weekend the tank was difficult to dry out and a surprising amount of water was left sloshing around in the bottom despite my best effeorts to drain it. Leaving it in the sun all afternoon didn't do it so a hot air gun for an hour or so, moving the tank constantly was the only real method... I thought the camping stove idea a little limiting in the end - particularly since I picked up a hot air gun for £10.

Once dry though the por-15 covered the inside really well. I got most of the tin back out again but was left with the same problem of completely empting the tank of the remainder of the sealant so I just ended up rotating the tank every 30mins or so while it dried, hence the drip marks...

post-16070-0-78901900-1439327126.jpg

Looks good enough I think. You can just see the baffle hole in the top left hand corner of the pic.

My closed cell foam turned out too thick in the end - I should have measured it first. I went for 20mm thick but have now ordered 10mm. I also brought some cork bungs for £1 each to plug the filler tubes which worked much better than duct tape (circled in the photo. A very worthwhile investment to keep the stuff in the tank where it should have been.

post-16070-0-59197100-1439327127.jpg

20mm stopped it fitting under the rear bulkhead.

post-16070-0-30139000-1439327128.jpg

Final job done this weekend was to jet wash the gearbox which came up rather well

post-16070-0-04637600-1439327669.jpg

My brake caliper kit finally turned up so next weekend will be to finish the tank off and get the front hubs done finally.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a week off work next week... Happy days so am planning a fairly full week on the car. So more of a note to self on stuff that needs doing;

Pipe in near side front brake caliper,

Visit Earls performance products in silverstone for fuel tank/pump unions

Get the fuel tank in and piped up

Fit the rear wiper motor and wash bottle

Remove the 4 speed prop shaft and fit the getrag prop

Fit the getrag gear box mount

Adjust uj on steering column (binds a bit!)

Turn car around in the garage and refurb off side front hub and caliper

Remove brake master cylinder

Fit the front suspension body mounting bolts

Remove head rests from old rear seats and visit elite coach trimming to cover in white

Remove front drivers seat (actually the passengers seat) which has been a bitch so far.

Refurb the excel seat runners

Replace the grey material on the new interior with new beige

Fit new interior

And if I finish all of this then I will start preping the engine bay for the respray

or alternatively walk away!

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Hi Mike, have you looked at think automotive for the pipe fittings, these are the people that I normally use. If you go to their website you can do a catalogue download, there is a lot of info in it and it lists an awful lot of fittings and types of hose amongst other things.

Regards Dan

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Thanks for the tip Dan. What I have realised about this car is that the chassis threads seem to be unf and everything else is a bit of a guess. Earls is only 30 mins from me and I can take the tank fittings with me to get the right thread size rather than ordering on-line. I was going for AN fittings to sort out the rats nest of pipe sizes I seem to have

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Hi Mike another place at Silverstone that is good is Trident racing supplies, very good for fixings etc worth popping into for a look and also to pick up a catalogue if they have any left this time of season. From memory they also carry an amount of hose and fittings.

I know what you mean about going in with the parts to check you get the right bits.

Regards Dan

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Pipe in near side front brake caliper, - DONE

Visit Earls performance products in silverstone for fuel tank/pump union - DONE

Get the fuel tank in and piped up - DONE

Fit the rear wiper motor and wash bottle

Remove the 4 speed prop shaft and fit the getrag prop - DONE

Fit the getrag gear box mount - DONE

Adjust uj on steering column (binds a bit!)

Turn car around in the garage and refurb off side front hub and caliper

Remove brake master cylinder

Fit the front suspension body mounting bolts

Remove head rests from old rear seats and visit elite coach trimming to cover in white

Remove front drivers seat (actually the passengers seat) which has been a bitch so far.

Refurb the excel seat runners

Replace the grey material on the new interior with new beige

Fit new interior

 

A few things off the list. I have found that the rear wiper motor fixes into captive nuts held within the body and these have pulled out so I will have to fill these holes with resin and will have to come up with another way to fix the backet. The wiper motor wheel box has been a pain too but I have found that I can buy new for not much money so I will have to get one of these on order. :comp:

by way of pictures - got these from Earls today

post-16070-0-51635400-1441639535.jpg

In the top of the picture are the replacement hose adapters for the pump with the original in the middle... apparently the original part was a compressed air fitting!  :huh:

Got a new tank banjo also (at the bottom of the pic) which has a barbed fitting for an 8mm id pipe.

post-16070-0-69766400-1441639536.jpg

The pump is a stromburg unit - not original and I reckon probably won't last too long - but new fitting added - 8mm in 6mm out to avoid confusion!

post-16070-0-86701300-1441639537.jpg

A careful previous owner thought that packing tape would be a good fix for the earth feed to the pump. Bearing in mind that the tank leaked at this side i find it something of a miracle that this car is still in one bit. So some heat shrink on order for some solder repair to take place.  

The wiring to the wiper motor is in a similar condition to be honest with splits and cracks in the insulation. This car will need rewiring at some stage perhaps even before the respray...

post-16070-0-22726200-1441639539.jpg

Fuel pump in! Tank is also in. At least when the engine is ready the other parts of the system will be up to scratch.

Prop shaft is in - by chance the guy on tha counter at Earls did his apprentiship at the London Lotus centre and told me how Lotus issued a recall for the Excel since the prop shaft bolts would come loose and, with the battery cable and fuel line running down the chassis a prop shaft coming loose could be entertaining. So plenty of loctite on these!

Will do the offside hub tomorrow. All the mechanicals will be done and I will be down hill to the engine bay respray.

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Hi Mike, love what you're doing here - could well become my 'instruction manual' :)

Just one question - I fully appreciate cost/cash flow etc but in planning any future project of mine I am thinking along the same lines as you - ie work through everything and replace (as necessary or even just for the sake of peace of mind!) To that end I would think it better to strip the shell and have it resprayed and then refit/replace/upgrade everything onto a shiny new shell.

Apart from the inherent risks of damaging paintwork along the way, are you taking your decided route to perfection for any other reason than finances?

Hope this doesn't come across as picky or critical - that is not the intention - just interested in individual approaches.

Good luck - hoping to join the Elite resto ranks very soon

Nice little story about the tip regards Excel recall - funny how easy it is to come across random links to Lotus - had a meal with a friend on Saturday who found out I'm after a Lotus and said "my brother used to work for Lotus at Hethel" (now works in Abu Dhabi!). Guess living in Norfolk helps on that front lol

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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No critism taken and it's not picky at all. Any restoration will have to fit in with a number of constrainsts of car condition, owners circumstances etc etc

My logic went something like...

I would strip everything down to the body and get it sprayed but a stripped down car takes up a lot of space and Lotus didn't go down the route of inside and out paint (the pic's of my boot show the pink primer). I have a double garage but with the engine and box on the floor space gets limited quite quickly. So I figured that the best place to keep the parts safe were on the car.

Also moving the body around becomes a challenge. What's really required is to make a frame with some wheels on so it can be moved to the body shop. Bigger wheels makes it easier to push and pneumatic tyres are even better. In fact the chassis is the most practical and safest option IMO.

Cash isn't really the issue here. I would like to get an MOT once all the mechanicals are done and see this as a half way point where I know the first half is done and dusted.

I then wanted to get some miles on the engine at this point too (1500 or so) since the head will need retorquing and then I hit the rolling road since I want coil packs and ECU to make it more drivable and to get to the manufacturers power output and really make it hum. Nothing extreme

Since I have never driven this car the mechanicals are a bit of an unknown and the bits I haven't changed (albeit the accessable ones - such a wheel bearings) will still be an unknown. Even my Getrag box is unknown despite the high price. So before I take it of the road to strip the body down I thought I would shake it down a bit first.

Mike at Lotusbits pointed out that spraying the engine bay separately may leave a masking mark around the bay under the screen and is a sign of paintwork having been done (he said this pointing to a kawasaki green eclat which had just had a full respray - nothing shouts louder that paint work has been done than a non original colour!)

I'm sure it will all come together eventually, maybe just in an unconventional order.

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My "new" rear seats have gone off to be patched up at the trimmers. Only one needed work where something had gone through a corner and exposed the foam underneath but this will involve putting in a new panel so both will be done to get a matching set - 30 quid each... these seats came without headrests too so my black ones will be retrimmed in white while they are at it.

Should get them back in 3 weeks or so which will give me time to do other bits and bobs to tidy up the "new" interior with my new headlining material that arrive a few days ago. I will post more pics on saturday night.

While I was there I enquired about the costs of a retrim in leather since they had a red elite in a month or so ago. My Gen1 Insight was 4.5K, their guess at the Elite was 10K! I need to work much smarter clearly.

The off side hub came apart o.k. but the pistons have seized in the caliper. They have moved a little but what should have been a quick job has turned into a days work which has now resorted to me plumbing the master cylinder directly to the caliper to push the pistons out with the foot brake while keeping the caliper in a bucket to prevent the brake fluid going everywhere - at least that's the plan. Everything is now hooked up but I have timed out for a few days!

Ordered new rear wiper wheel box and stuff (including a heavy duty solenoid for my electric boot opener) and some rear lap belts. I will need to get the solenoid positioned such that I can still use the hand release (in case the battery goes flat) before I tackle the boot wiring...

and so the list gets longer.

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I have an airline blow gun modified so that I can connect it to a brake calliper and blow the Pistons out with compressed air, with multi piston calipers loose pistons have to be held in to enable sticking Pistons to be blown out.

Regards Dan

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Hi Mike, sorry for the slow reply, if it is of any help, I could do early Saturday, ideally 9am as I have to go out not long after 10am. Hopefully it would not take long, I'll have to check the kit as to where it is and get back to you tomorrow evening, I think it is in a box in my garage that is not currently easily accessible, I'll have to move the race car to check it is there after work and message you

Regards Dan

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After Dan's help with getting my pistons out of my offside cliper I have junked the pistons and have new ones on order - I guess the benefits of running type16pb calipers is that the parts are cheap! so I will get the hub done next weekend.

This weekend was spent retrimming the "new" rear quarter panels and the surround around the internal rear window which I had to do twice. fitting new rear lap belts, removing the drivers seat (which was a real pain since I had to cut one bolt with a hacksaw blade) and replacing the rear section of headlining - lotus was certainly sparing on the adhesive which explained why it was sagging.

Removing the rear quater panel with the boot pull also led me to investigate how I will mount the solonoid for the rear hatch release and found that this will be much easier than I had imagined and will result in me having several hatch opening techniques since I will leave the original handle in place and simply drill another hole in the lever in the boot to attach the solonoid. Since this has a 5 kg pull then leverage shouldn't be too much of a problem. Having and electrically opening boot will enable me to hook it up to an alarm system so i can pop the boot with hands full of shopping... who needs a new car!

I will post photo's of the interior (rear only for now) once I get the seats back from being repaired in three weeks or so.

photos of the rear seats before cleaning look like....

post-16070-0-85902800-1442157960.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

ooeerr... my engine will be ready next friday...:animier:

My seats won't:cry:

So plenty of things to be getting on with. The off side hub is rebuilt and ready to go on after I have replaced the ARB bushes on this side since I damaged them during the chassis rebuild. The getrag box will be trial fitted this weekend so I can get new mounting bolts and free up my engine stand for the engine. I need to route the new speedo cable also and clean up some of the engine ancilaries so I can get them all on next weekend. 

 

So much to do now and so little time. I have written off an MOT for this year now but plenty to keep me off the streets! photo's if my carbs come up shiney

Edited by mikeeech
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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a while since my last update... Engine builder has found cracked cam followers when he was shimming the head so basically every moving part has been changed for new now! Will be a few more weeks before I get this back.:(

Rear seats are repaired, cleaned up and in situ so once I get the front hub back on and the car can take my collosal weight there will be more work on the interior.

My fair weather habit means that progress will slow significantly now since I don't like working in cold rain... More updates next spring I guess.:P

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's a really good question and one I'm afraid I can't answer since I took the bits to a trade counter of my local Motorsport trader and he rummaged in his stores and came back with the bits. My car has a mix of metric and unf treads but I believe this is a bsf thread but I can't be sure. The receipt was also non specific.

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