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1979 Yellow Lotus Eclat: My project thread - Page 15 - Projects & Restorations - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
soldave

1979 Yellow Lotus Eclat: My project thread

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Well my plan was to take the driveshaft off this weekend and at least get it all apart for new U-joints, but as usual the script always gets flipped! Went to loosen the wheel nuts and noticed that they were very easy to break free and loosen. I mean, I know they aren't torqued that tight, but that was ridiculously easy. Torqued them up to spec and pushed the car back & forth; no sound. I only had time for a short 10 minute drive today but even after that, no sound.

So one of the following is happening:

  • I've found the cause of my clicking and fixed it.
  • It's an intermittent problem.
  • It only clicks when everything's hot.

Hoping for number 1, but will see more next weekend when I can go for a longer drive.

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

You may well have found the problem. With alloy's, I always check the wheel nut's again after a few miles if I have had them off, it wouldn't be the first time  have found one come loose. Finger's crossed that's it cured.

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I had that with an RX7 once... there was a knocking noise from the front wheel and I just turned the CD player up! I though I would take it to my local garage and they said the suspension was too hard and could find anything wrong with it. I took it the the main dealer who said the wheel nuts were loose and tightened them free of charge :blush:

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Headed to the Skipton Car Show yesterday and there was a really good selection of cars there, including 3 Lotuses/Lotii. Along with my Eclat was a beautiful Evora S GP Edition and a Lotus Excel (all pictured below). I had plenty of people coming to ask questions about the car, one of whom was a rather old gentleman and his daughter. We were chatting about my Eclat and the history of it (Team Lotus using it as a PR car etc), and it turns out he had a LHD Elite which was owned by Mario Andretti in the day. Apparently Mario had a new car every year and this chap bought it from down in Hethel. He said when they got it, it had one of Mario's cassettes in it, along with a couple of photos of him that he'd left in there. Really friendly chap and came back later in the show asking if he could have a photo standing next to the car :)

I believe I was also a hair's breadth from winning a prize as well with the car. Alex Riley (of The One Show and The Classic Car Show fame) was a guest judge there and has supported the show for a number of years. He came over and was asking all sorts of questions about the car, saying how much he loved the design & everything about the Eclats and Elites. Left by saying that my car should win, but that he chose a white Lotus Elite last year to win the prize, and there'd be complaints if he chose another old Lotus again. A little disappointed to hear that, but an absolute top guy and really good to talk to someone with that much passion about these types of cars.

Great day and got back home just in time to hand my fashion back to the 80s after borrowing it for the day!

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2017-06-04 11.55.19.jpg

2017-06-04 17.31.10.jpg

Edited by soldave
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 Can't believe I missed this!!!   Am currently on hols in a cottage 5 miles from Skipton!  looks like you had a good day, car looking good, was it a pleasant trip?

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Dave, you continue to impress by putting some distance on your car.

Your latest trip is particularly poignant for me as we lived about 10 miles from Skipton (near Ilkley) for 5 years before moving to Norfolk.

A truly amazing part of the world - made all the more beautiful by this collection of cars.

Your photos also remind me of how often it rained up there too!!

Well done

Ant


Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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12 hours ago, soldave said:

Headed to the Skipton Car Show yesterday and there was a really good selection of cars there, including 3 Lotuses/Lotii. Along with my Eclat was a beautiful Evora S GP Edition and a Lotus Excel (all pictured below). I had plenty of people coming to ask questions about the car, one of whom was a rather old gentleman and his daughter. We were chatting about my Eclat and the history of it (Team Lotus using it as a PR car etc), and it turns out he had a LHD Elite which was owned by Mario Andretti in the day. Apparently Mario had a new car every year and this chap bought it from down in Hethel. He said when they got it, it had one of Mario's cassettes in it, along with a couple of photos of him that he'd left in there. Really friendly chap and came back later in the show asking if he could have a photo standing next to the car :)

I believe I was also a hair's breadth from winning a prize as well with the car. Alex Riley (of The One Show and The Classic Car Show fame) was a guest judge there and has supported the show for a number of years. He came over and was asking all sorts of questions about the car, saying how much he loved the design & everything about the Eclats and Elites. Left by saying that my car should win, but that he chose a white Lotus Elite last year to win the prize, and there'd be complaints if he chose another old Lotus again. A little disappointed to hear that, but an absolute top guy and really good to talk to someone with that much passion about these types of cars.

Great day and got back home just in time to hand my fashion back to the 80s after borrowing it for the day!

2017-06-04 08.53.13.jpg

2017-06-04 09.47.20.jpg

2017-06-04 09.47.41.jpg

2017-06-04 11.47.40-2.jpg

2017-06-04 11.48.00.jpg

2017-06-04 11.55.05.jpg

2017-06-04 11.55.19.jpg

2017-06-04 17.31.10.jpg

The Éclat looks fantastic , can I ask what size tyres it is running . It looks to have quite a chunky stance ( A good thing ) . it might be the colour combination or a trick of the light ? , but it does look well planted . The Elites seem to be claiming the glory at present , but your car is amazing  

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13 hours ago, Trunnion 74 said:

 Can't believe I missed this!!!   Am currently on hols in a cottage 5 miles from Skipton!  looks like you had a good day, car looking good, was it a pleasant trip?

Really good trip thanks. A passing shower during the day but other than that excellent weather. Car running well with the only current niggle the voltmeter dropping off at idle when I turn the fans on. When I raise the rpms a little it goes back up to normal. Hoping not the alternator as that was only replaced a year ago.

12 hours ago, oilmagnet477 said:

Dave, you continue to impress by putting some distance on your car.

Your latest trip is particularly poignant for me as we lived about 10 miles from Skipton (near Ilkley) for 5 years before moving to Norfolk.

A truly amazing part of the world - made all the more beautiful by this collection of cars.

Your photos also remind me of how often it rained up there too!!

Well done

Ant

Thanks man. I've got the car running so want to enjoy it! As I told a few people at the show, I'd much rather be driving the car around than parked up at a show, but I make some exceptions during the year :)

1 hour ago, biggee said:

The Éclat looks fantastic , can I ask what size tyres it is running . It looks to have quite a chunky stance ( A good thing ) . it might be the colour combination or a trick of the light ? , but it does look well planted . The Elites seem to be claiming the glory at present , but your car is amazing  

Appreciate the kind comments. The car's running on 205/60 R14 tyres. I've got Nexen CP641 tyres at the front and I think a pair of Nankang NS-2 tyres on the back. Neither are going to set the world on fire, but I believe they're the right size for my Eclat and I'm trying to keep things as original as possible.

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Nice!! is 205 the original size for the Eclat? I remember that my Eclat has a different tyre size front and back... but the tyrebrand is also different, so maybe later changed.... 

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25 minutes ago, Berend72 said:

Nice!! is 205 the original size for the Eclat? I remember that my Eclat has a different tyre size front and back... but the tyrebrand is also different, so maybe later changed.... 

Just looked in the factory manual. Eclats with 13" wheels should be on 185/70 tyres; 14" should be on 205/60. Same front and back for both.

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Thanks!! Didnot know there were 13" available? But I have 14" so thanks a lot!

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Sun is out so went for a little drive this morning. Seems like a while since I've had any issues or concerns so probably due one. First time since I replaced the alternator 12 months ago that I've seen the voltmeter on the car consistently show under 13V while driving. It was just under 13V and didn't shift when putting on fans, lights etc. I also checked the voltage at the battery with the engine idling and it was registering just over 13.5V.

Belt doesn't seem too slack, and have tried tightening it up as much as I can. Not a crisis just yet, but something I'll probably need to keep an eye on in case it drops further. Got one month left on the alternator warranty so hoping I can confirm the issue quickly.

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Have you run a new, independent wire from the alternator to the gauge and a separate earth from the gauge (easy to say!!)? Just wondering if it's famous Lotus wiring at play rather than the part you've already replaced?


Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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1 minute ago, oilmagnet477 said:

Have you run a new, independent wire from the alternator to the gauge and a separate earth from the gauge (easy to say!!)? Just wondering if it's famous Lotus wiring at play rather than the part you've already replaced?

I haven't done that yet, no. May try that, or at least try to tap into the alternator output wire with my multimeter to see what kind of voltage is coming out.

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Fan off versus fan on voltages across battery again today. Also felt like there was some ignition breakup at low rpms, especially with the fans on. Might try and get the alternator off and bench tested in the next week or so.FAN%20on%20off_zpsb1eq8zao.png

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Done a bit of reading about and talking to people and quite a few things came up that could be causing the issues (battery, alternator, grounds). One thing that has been mentioned quite recently though is fuel vaporisation. Has anyone experienced this before, and if so do you know how I can check if it's causing my issues?

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Hi Dave

This link gives a good explanation of vapour lock  http://www.mgclassics.org/single-post/2014/10/31/Vapor-Lock-The-Cause-Prevention-and-Cure.

I used to get it on very hot days on a VW Beetle I had, but the fuel pump on a Beetle sits directly on the engine.  If the eclat is the same as the Elite then yours will be in the boot, I suppose it still could get very hot in there.  My experience with vapour lock is the car stops and won't re-start, the vapor needs to re-condence, this can be accelerated by putting an ice pack on the pump to cool it down (worked for me) then it will restart. 

worth investigating, but, personally I don't think it will be vapour lock, but, hey, I've been wrong before. :)

Worth having a closer look at the alternator.  I've had one before that had a dodgy terminal (loose) struggled to put out correct voltage. Check all the connections and your earths make sure they are all tight and clean

 

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Ahhh... in that case it might not be the vapour lock then. Ah well, was worth a thought!

I've tried running a separate earthing strap direct from the battery to the alternator housing and the voltage didn't change at all, but I might try cleaning the earth leads. Will pull the alternator and get it bench tested, along with the battery. If they all look good, then I'll do all the wiring from the battery to the manual switch and back to the fans.

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The drop in voltage is normal, the fans pull a fair bit of current. What RPM is that at? Anything below 1500 and the alternator will probably not be able to keep up so a gradual drain is not surprising.

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That's at idle. I've not tried it at higher rpms.

I guess I'm asking for two reasons:

  1. The voltmeter gauge in my car has started showing voltages slightly lower than weeks ago (i.e. when idling and driving I was a needle width or so above 13V in the car; now it's sitting at just below, and dropping a little more when the fan comes on.
  2. I'm still having that issue of stuttering at low rpms once the engine is hot and I've been standing for a minute or 2.

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If the alternator is working well, your multi-meter should read somewhere in the vicinity of 14 volts (typically 13.8-14.2).  If it is reading excessively higher than 14 volts (greater than 15 volts) it is possible that the voltage regulator on your alternator is faulty or going bad.  If it is reading lower than 13-14 volts, there are a number of possibilities as to the reason.  First, it is possible that your engine idle speed is too low for the alternator to put out sufficient voltage/power.   Try revving up the engine to 2000 RPM or higher and take a reading.  If the voltage is still too low, check to be sure all the connectors on your alternator are tight and that the alternator belt is not slipping and is spinning on the pulley correctly.  If it is still not putting out sufficient power, then the alternator’s voltage regulator could be bad or the alternator itself may need replaced.

Firstly, going by your pic with the fan off you are showing 13.8 so it is sitting at the lower end.  I checked my Astra this morning and, at idle (800-900 rpm) got 14.2v.

Secondly, if the idle rpm are too low the alternator will struggle to put out enough power, could this be the cause of your stuttering problem?.

The best way to check the alternator would be to connect the red meter probe to the red alternator cable and the other to engine or nearby earth bolt, that will tell you exactly what the alternator is actually putting out.

The gauge will not be as accurate as the meter itself, and is there to tell you if something is very wrong or something needs further investigation.

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Thanks for the thoughts. I understand your point about if the idle rpm is too low it could cause my stuttering problem, but when everything is fully warmed up it can occur after standing idling for a few minutes at anything up to 2,000rpm.

Did a quick couple more tests today and will do a few more tomorrow night too when I have more time

Voltage across battery with car off overnight and through the day: 12.47V

Started car up

Voltage across battery with engine not fully warm and fans/lights of: 12.8V @1,200rpm

Voltage across battery with engine not fully warm and fan on: 12.45V @1,200rpm

Revved the engine up to 2,500rpm and the voltages didn't change in the slightest. Will hopefully report more tomorrow.

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Idiot thought - how's your alternator belt for wear/slackness?

Is it possible in the (excessive) heat that it expands?

After a conversation with someone last night where their engine had jumped a tooth on the timing, leading to rough running but they failed to spot this until late in the diagnosis (luckily with no engine damage). Just to highlight the point of checking the bleedin' obvious........


Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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Firstly, I made a mistake in my last post with those voltages. They should have read 13.8V and 13.45V, not 12 volts. Made the post while half asleep and apologies for that. Would still expect to see some change in voltage though when revving the engine above idle, and there was none whatsoever.

Belt doesn't seem worn and even when hot doesn't seem to be slack, but will check again once the car's up to working temperature.

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