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1979 Yellow Lotus Eclat: My project thread - Page 23 - Projects & Restorations - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


1979 Yellow Lotus Eclat: My project thread


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Bit of an impromptu photoshoot happened during a shakedown drive this morning. Quite pleased with the results.

I don't know how old your ride is Dave, but I find that the old "double pump" should only be carried on a monthly basis, due to the relief of pressure in the system you may find you have a soft pedal.

One more picture for tonight and it's one I'm quite pleased with. Obtained during last week's trip to Team Lotus, I now have a signature and comment from Clive Chapman in my Eclat Owners Handbook, wri

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Another day and a tiny bit of progress. Didn't get steering rack out of the car but I did get the intermediate shaft off which took a fair bit of effort. Looking at the u-joints and one of them looks to have a bit of red around the joint (see photos). Am wondering if it might be seeping grease and needs replacing. The other looks dirty but good, but maybe I should do both at the same time.

Plan is hopefully to get the rack out tomorrow, and I'm hoping I can pull put the wishbone stud too using a spacer and nut. Wish me luck as I'll probably need it!

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Not sure whether it's because the exhaust runs on that side of the car so it'll be hotter, but taking apart the suspension on this passenger side has been a pain. The damper will come off this weekend once I have the tool kindly lent by @Trunnion 74, but I've come to a grinding halt at the lower link pivot bolt, which has become seized to the metal distance tube inside the bush. So I can get about 45 degrees of movement (and can even see the rubber bush moving) and then it just goes tight and I can't get any more rotation out of it.

Can't get a dremel or grinder in as there's not enough space. Once the damper's off I could get a reciprocating saw blade in and cut down through the bush, distance tube and bolt either side of the link, but will a carbide reciprocating saw blade even have much effect on this hardened bolt? Am thinking something like this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Irwin-10507365-800RG-Carbide-Blades/dp/B007ZYJUTQ

Or possibly:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bosch-Carbide-Reciprocating-Blades-S1256XHM/dp/B00OC88YSG

Edited by soldave
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A high speed steel blade should cut it OK - keep the speed down & cool it while cutting with something like WD40 or soluble cutting oil in a sprayer.  Don't let the bolt turn while cutting.

Pete

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Finally the front suspension and steering is all apart. All it took was a breaker bar, a crowbar, a heat gun, a blow torch, and a carbide saw blade, plus the usual set of tools.

Need to take the lower links to a garage to get the outer race of the bush out; managed to kill the rubber bush with fire(!) but am replacing with poly bushes so need the outer out too.

Another order going in with SJ today or tomorrow for some final bits but then we should be ready for putting things back together. Only other decision to make is whether to have the springs powdercoated. Yes, it'll look nicer as the paint is flaking off them right now, but is it something I need to do? Possibly not.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got the power steering rack back and with a brand new track rod. Apparently the whole rack is Granada Mk1 but the power steering track rods are rare as hens' teeth. In the end my garage managed to source a brand new one from Germany!

Now to get the thing back in the car. I'm guessing it'll slide in from the driver's side, but any tips on getting the bulkiest part in? Looks like there's gonna be a lot of wiggling it around trying to make it fit through the gap!

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Well, damn. Just got back from the garage after my alignment and they confirmed what I suspected; the track rod isn't the right one now on the passenger side and with everything else set up the passenger side is toeing way out. Garage is going to try and set up the passenger side first and then align the driver's side and steering wheel once the passenger side is in spec. I may lose a little bit of steering angle but it looks like the only solution right now.

Nothing's ever easy! One thing I'm pretty sure of though; the power steering rack may be Ford Granada but the passenger side track rod isn't.

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2 hours ago, EXCEL V8 said:

That's a real bummer Dave!  Remind me what was wrong with your original track rod, apart from ripping it up a bit with the stilsons.

Pete

Passenger side track rod end was pretty much welded to the rod itself! Torque, blow torch, penetrating fluid... nothing had an effect. Cut into it in the end and then stupidly cut about 2mm into the track rod thread , so my own damn fault :(

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15 minutes ago, EXCEL V8 said:

Do you know how different they are to the manual rack - also a Ford item (Burman)? 

Pete

Yeah they're different; at the very least thinner track rods on the manual rack I believe.

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11 hours ago, dmottram said:

Can you source a non-assisted steering rack as some of the earlier cars used?

I could, although I'd rather not go from power

11 hours ago, dmottram said:

Can you source a non-assisted steering rack as some of the earlier cars used?

I could, although I'd rather not go from power-assisted to manual steering. That would probably be a last resort.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Right, I'm back on the road! What a mission that one. So after deciding I'd replace some front suspension bushes, I ended up getting the steering rack rebuilt after damage to a track rod. A new track rod was almost impossible to get but a Ford Granada Mk1 rod was sourced from Germany. That track rod turned out to be too long so the steering was toeing out like crazy. Finally got a garage to cut the track rod a little to make the wheels face in vaguely the same direction! Seriously though, it feels much better :)

I did find the rear wheels are toeing out and so I need to move some spacers to bring them back to where they need to be. The garage did highlight a couple of things that I might want to take a look at:

  • Bellhousing seems to be missing a couple of bolts for some reason.
  • Droning coming from the car, and the mechanic was wondering if it's wheel bearing. The Eclat seems to go through a set of front wheel bearings every 18 months so I'm hoping its those and not the rear ones. Might just get the garage to do them next time to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong when installing them; surely their lifetime should be longer than this.

Weekend task is probably going to be bringing the rear alignment roughly into spec, and then checking rear wheel bearings.

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Glad your on the road. Brill feeling! 18 months does seem a bit excessive even for an Eclat. I have to change mine on a regular basis but not after 18 months!

What make are they? Make sure you get the ones that have a grease nipple and grease them regularly. Happy motoring.:driving:

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8 minutes ago, williamtherebel said:

Glad your on the road. Brill feeling! 18 months does seem a bit excessive even for an Eclat. I have to change mine on a regular basis but not after 18 months!

What make are they? Make sure you get the ones that have a grease nipple and grease them regularly. Happy motoring.:driving:

Thanks dude.

Wheel bearings with a grease nipple? Mine are just standard bearings like this: https://www.sjsportscars.com/parts-and-accessories/SJ036C0002.htm

Actually I looked back and my last ones were bought in June 2018 so 2 and a half years old but not many miles. I bought Firstline ones from eBay last time.

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One of the main problems with the front wheel bearings is that the inner races revolve on the stub axle.  You can a get a Triumph kit (2000, 2500, Stag, GT6) that adds a spacer between the inner races to prevent this.  The spacer comes with shims to set the end float accurately.  This stops the wear that occurs on the upright and stub axle.  Look for the seller "triumphstuff" on fleabay.  I've got one of his kits - it's good. 

Pete

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23 hours ago, soldave said:

Thanks dude.

Wheel bearings with a grease nipple? Mine are just standard bearings like this: https://www.sjsportscars.com/parts-and-accessories/SJ036C0002.htm

Actually I looked back and my last ones were bought in June 2018 so 2 and a half years old but not many miles. I bought Firstline ones from eBay last time.

Just forget my post. Must have been having a senior moment! Even thought you were talking about wheel bearings, --- I was talking about UJ's! Sorry about that. :wallbash:

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Will definitely consider it. Just checked the front wheels and there's a bit of 12 and 6 play on both sides (driver's side a bit more); will see if I can nip them up just a little and without the wheel starting to drag. Would be a very quick fix if it was but I don't think I'm that lucky!

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