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1979 Yellow Lotus Eclat: My project thread


soldave

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When cold you should be able to feel small play - not much. I think procedure is to tighten till wheel tight, back off until just turning with minimal drag, then a bit more if needed to get the cotter in. (after repacking with grease of course). 

If you can't rock the wheel slightly top to bottom when cold, you'll kill the bearing in no time. 

Tony 

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38 minutes ago, Tony D said:

When cold you should be able to feel small play - not much. I think procedure is to tighten till wheel tight, back off until just turning with minimal drag, then a bit more if needed to get the cotter in. (after repacking with grease of course). 

If you can't rock the wheel slightly top to bottom when cold, you'll kill the bearing in no time. 

Tony 

Thank you, I didn't know that. There's only minimal movement, so maybe I am good there. Which is good on the one hand but bad which means if there is a wheel bearing droning somewhere it may be a rear one!

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, Lordsinclair said:

Hi Dave, having just bought a 1979 Eclat 523 in the same colour as yours I’ve been reading your thread with interest. Looks like you’ve done some great work with your car. Looking forward to more updates. 

Thank you. It's certainly a fun drive, and you just have to be patient with things and realise that a small job may turn into a big one with a 40-year old car. You start taking a few bits off and you find more and more that need replacing. Tools and skills help too!

But it's a great feeling - had a one-hour round trip today to visit my mother (support bubble), and the number of people who were smiling, pointing, looking as the car went past is certainly something to be proud of :)

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  • 10 months later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...
Ugh... wheel bearings. Driving on the motorway today and at about 65mph I was getting a noise coming from the passenger side (possibly rear). Not as deep a drone as I've heard before on cars but it was definitely there, going away when I dropped speed to 60.
 
Will have to get the car on jackstands this weekend and give the passenger side wheels a good wobble to see what's going on. I replaced the rears bearings in 2015 and the fronts in 2018 so if one has failed it's a little premature. Could easily have been brought upon by my lack of skills though!
 
Let's see what a bit of testing brings...

 

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On 06/05/2022 at 21:22, soldave said:

Five months I've not posted up on here. Apologies for it being a long time between drinks, but there are some updates to tell.

The main reason I've not been active on here is that in February I became a father for the first tie (that I know of!), and as you can probably imagine life has been turned upside down a bit. Less time to spend working on or driving the car, and much of my focus elsewhere. But when I have been thinking about the car, the main thoughts have been, "How can I get this little human riding in the Eclat in relative safety?". Massive thanks for @Dunc for sharing his experiences with child seats and finding one that will fit. I'm going to be getting one in the next couple of days, but have the base for it already. My main challenge with child seats was that my Eclat didn't have rear lapbelts or indeed the slots in the material for the belt to feed through. So I set to work ordering parts!

The lapbelt brackets from SJ Sportscars are... let's say don't fit the snuggest, so spacers were needed and it's now as safe as it's going to be I think :). Almost had the belts fitted and then the headlining decided to fall down on me in the car, coating me in 30-odd year old dust and broken down foam! It's fitted back up but I'll be the first to admit neatness isn't my strong suit, and I'll probably get someone professional to redo the interior at some point. But I now have two rear seatbelts and am a step closer to being able to drive my son around in the Lotus. Which for me is a very big thing.
IMG_20220505_222938.jpg.d11419a97916218c41e0e9016170f675.jpg

Then the observant of you may have noticed the appearance of a yellow Eclat at the launch of the Eletre (won't get into discussion of the new car, but I think it's going to be a big success and anything that pushed the brand forward gets my vote). Someone at lotus remembered my Eclat joining the launch of the Evija, and wanted it to take part in the launch of the new model. I'm not one to turn down the opportunity for the car to be involved in another part of Lotus history, so they very kindly arranged for it to be picked up and trailered down to Hethel, and then to BBC Studios for the launch, and back again. My contact at Lotus is a big fan of that generation, and took good care of the car, even taking the time to take some very nice shots of it around the HQ.

165530091_Eclat3(1).jpg.9281601b821fe8bb877f1d1a235b69df.jpg

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FB_IMG_1648976400579.jpg.3724333a8c38c975dacf695c98e01d30.jpg

When I fired the car up on its return, it sounded scarily like a tractor. Got me quite concerned about what they'd done to it whilst it was away, but after a bit of troubleshooting I found out that it was spark plug number 1 that had gone. Not fouled badly, but the car would only idle close to normal when the lead was barely touching the plug. Fully connected and there was no spark at all. Changed for a new plug and all was well again.

And then last but certainly not least I've recently replaced the front brake lines with braided lines, and have finally got a garage to loosen the diff drain plug, which has been just a rounded off bolt for far too long. The oil didn't look too bad, but it's all replaced and fresh in there now.

And I think that's covered it all. if you're still reading then I applaud your staying power! Hopefully more posts and pictures once the car seat is fully fitted. Until then, safe driving :)

Great photos and a nice story to tell re. your Eclat.

What a pity it came back from Lotus in a worse state than it went. Not a good advert  😯 And a pity you didn't get a goodwill service and once over (change diff drain plug etc..) as part of the deal

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Posted (edited)

Thanks dude. The photos came out great. And to be fair it was just the spark plug where..something had happened. It was an easy fix in the end which is the main thing.

Got the back off the car jacked up and it could very well be the rear wheel bearing on the passenger side. With the sound turned up a lot in t video below you can hear the noise, but it makes it sound much worse than in reality. Looks to be a bit of notchiness at 12-6 o'clock. Nothing at 3 and 9. With the tyre on of course it is a bit more pronounced.

https://youtu.be/i23VPd7FoFY

 

Edited by soldave
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Dave, I’ve always been intrigued by the rear seats, they look like they’re really comfortable to sit in, and hold the occupant like a glove, but what are they really like?

Margate Exotics.

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9 minutes ago, Chillidoggy said:

Dave, I’ve always been intrigued by the rear seats, they look like they’re really comfortable to sit in, and hold the occupant like a glove, but what are they really like?

Oooohhh there's a good question. I like them - it's not often you have bucket seats in the rear of a car! For me they're snug and feel alright on the posterior too. However I've not been in the back on a journey. My wife has once and she's said it's alright but a little uncomfortable. There isn't much foam behind the seat back or base, and it helps if you're not too tall.

It is one you really have to sit in to try out for yourself, but if we're ever at the same place at the same time, let me know and you can try it out!

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Yep - sounds dodgy!  The hub/outer driveshaft should have no play whatsoever within the upright.  Have you also checked the tightness of the nut?

Pete

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, EXCEL V8 said:

Yep - sounds dodgy!  The hub/outer driveshaft should have no play whatsoever within the upright.  Have you also checked the tightness of the nut?

Pete

200Lb-Ft / 271Nm is the torque spec! Think I was at a friend's garage last time when I tightened these; my torque wrench doesn't get near that figure. It's a good call though - just to check things haven't got a tiny bit of movement over time.

To feel the movement is barely noticeable with the wheel off, but the noise is there a little.

Edited by soldave
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Well I've managed to find a torque adapter so I can use that to get up to 271Nm. Will try and get hold of that tomorrow. But I was thinking...even if the torque has dropped a little over time (and the nut has the split pin in, could it have dropped enough to turn to the next flat of the nut to get the split pin in again? Not so sure..

Will find out tomorrow though I hope once I can check the torque on the nut.

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On 12/06/2022 at 16:09, EXCEL V8 said:

Yep - sounds dodgy!  The hub/outer driveshaft should have no play whatsoever within the upright.  Have you also checked the tightness of the nut?

Pete

Picked up the torque adapter today. Quite a nice little tool if you don't want to go all out and get a torque wrench that goes up to 300Nm. Took some of the torque off the hub nut and re tightened to spec. Unsurprisingly the movement was still there. It's very marginal but possibly on the driver's side too.

Expect a threat very soon asking i anyone knows where I can get one without having to take out a second mortgage in order to pay SJ!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ok, so a video of me shaking a rear wheel hub carrier like a Polaroid picture is probably not going to be the latest viral TikTok, but bear with me.
 
This sound is the amount of in/out movement the inner race seems to have. Dumb question but is that anywhere near what should be happening?!
 
Everything has come apart easily so far due to it only being apart 5-6 years ago. Driveshaft even came out quite well and didn't need a press. Outer oil seal was no problem but the one on the runner side of the hub doesn't want to come out. And then the circlip may need an act of God to release! Other than that, all good so far.
 
May end up taking it to my trusted garage for the bearing removal and replacement.

 

 

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Also, the bearing came in a sealed bag with some grease in it.. Would I want to be adding more grease before installation or not, do you think?

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9 hours ago, soldave said:

Dumb question but is that anywhere near what should be happening?

No, the bearing should be held tightly within the housing.

I had an Esprit with the same problem & had to replace the housing. :thumbdown:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Assuming the outer race is not moving within the hub carrier shaking it won't tell you anything - the inner races are only held in place when the driveshaft is in place and tightened up.  Take the whole bearing out, separate the three pieces and clean and inspect the races for wear, pitting etc.

Pete

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2 hours ago, EXCEL V8 said:

Assuming the outer race is not moving within the hub carrier

That was the problem with my Esprit :ermm:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Wheel bearing itself changed but am at a bit of a tricky point. Are there any tricks to getting the driveshaft back through the rear wheel bearing? Got the bearing into the housing easily enough with some heat, a freezer, and my press. But the driveshaft is a tough one to get onto the press so I can press the housing onto it.

Driveshaft basically dropped off the old bearing but this one looks like a much tighter fit. Will go to a garage on Monday if I have to but wondering if anyone has any tips for doing it?

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Here's one I made earlier!

 

RIMG0905.thumb.JPG.5649f15d50d34e91cc6ac2de0ff1fe4a.JPG

 

RIMG0906.thumb.JPG.43db79a06b729d32ece1a9e19dced68d.JPG

 

The top photo shows the parts and the bottom one how it is assembled to pull the driveshaft into the bearing.  

Hope this helps!

Pete

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