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alastair_james_cox

JPS Elite Project [Double Trouble]

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Greetings fellow sufferers.

 

For those of you who like to mix religion, science fiction and car restoration I've renounced Mercerism in favor of a JPS liveried Elite. Bought on a whim (of course!) and now the subject of a "restoration".

 

Some of you will have seen the Elite in previous posts which was on e-bay earlier in the year and bought in good faith with 12 Months MOT and delivered to my door.

 

The rational. There has to be one!

 

Considering all the cars that spend there lives on axle stands I thought this would make a good project. One I could bomb around in and enjoy while doing some cosmetics. Sound good? 

 

Unfortunately the oil leak (I know ... Really I do know!) turned out to be a fried engine and the strange and untraceable "tink, tink, tink" from somewhere under the dash was actually more of a PINK! 

 

Anyway. That's that.

 

To dig myself out of a hole I've looked at a new engine rebuild and a replacement from Lotus Bits but in the end (with van hire etc) it turned out to be cheaper to buy the Eclat that was also on e-bay on the premise of it having a decent engine ... time will tell.

 

So please follow along and hopefully there will be a happy ending. The plan is to end up with two cars (no scrapping!) although the immediate (long term) goal is to get the Elite back on the road and see what can be done about the engine once it's out. 

 

Updates will be sparse for a while as I'm in London and both cars have gone up to my parents as my 6 month old boy "Monty" is project number one ... and there's was me thinking the Elite would be a fun sideline on a sleepless Saturday morning.

 

Thanks to all those who have posted before ... it's great to read your threads and I'll share whatever will help others in their quest.

 

First job. Engine swap. Hopefully in one day. Any tips?

 

Al

 

P.S. I've got the manual and will read cover to cover.

 

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Wow, a new born and an Elite project, you sir ate a gluten for punishment! Good luck, you're gunna need it ;-)

Edited by CharlieCroker

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Alistair, well done. Now just get stuck in and you will soon see they are ok to work on and with this forum you will find it's the best there is of any of them. Standard issues when you have the engine out is clutch, water pump, belt tensioner, oil seals, bloody good clean down and of course the belts themselves, may also be a good idea to give the carbs a once over especially if they have been sitting about for a bit, the needles and jets tend to build up a bit of varnish and can be a bit off. Loads of info on here if you are unsure of what to tackle next. I dont want to pump money into Bibs account but you will also find that full membership of the forum is more than recouped with the discounts you get on the likes of insurance etc. I can honestly say its the best few quid I have ever spent on a club/forum/magazine.

Good luck and have fun.

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Good luck on the restorations...! if you can get both cars side by side swapping the engines around should be fine in a day. having to move the engine over rough ground would be a pain. do the swap complete with the gear box. disconnecting it should be easy enough and there is very little that needs removing to get it out. - power steering pump makes it easier... but leave the carbs and dizzy and the gearbox on and it's straight forward.

 

Best of luck with them!

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Watch your knuckles on the two top bolts on the bell housing and if you do take engine and gearbox out in one then remember to put it in 4th gear before removing the gear lever.

Good luck with the resto's

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Thanks for all the support and tips.

 

I'm looking to spend some time with the cars next weekend so will let you know how I get on. I'll take a look into the forum membership too ... as I like to pay my dues in one way or another!

 

Looking at other posts in the forum the interior of the Elite is the same as in this thread:

 

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/61743-eclat-521/#entry541184

 

Looking ahead (confidently!) what's the best way of approaching the interior? Are these fabrics still available?

 

Or is it going to be better to swap the interiors over too ... as the Eclat is better / leather.

 

Al

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There is a material like marcasite which is discussed in a rebuild on the esprit projects part of the forum. The problem my car has is that the black marcasite has faded to emerald green so difficult to match. Personally I would stick with the leather since this will be easier to patch and repair or recolour. You will have some issues with eclate into elite some of the elite parts will need retrimming. Another reason to stick with the leather.

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Re engine swap.  Most people recommend taking the engine out without the gearbox, Contrary to the manual.  

 

I did it like the manual, and found it hard to stop the engine swinging forward into the fibreglass nose.  Two things I think would help prevent this:

 

1. Make sure you get the lift-point just-right when using a hoist.  There are some suggestions elsewhere on the forum.

2. Having the car jacked to ramped as high as possible to let the gearbox swing down.

 

Having done it in one-piece, I'd probably go the other way now:  move the engine /gearbox forward a tad in the engine bay and then unbolt the bell-housing.

 

Also remember that the nose is very long, so a hoist needs a really good reach if you want to position it at the front of the nose.

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I had my engine crane extended by 2 feet to give enough clearance but I had to use the higher spec crane to give the capacity at the reach I neaded so I went for a 2 ton crane, I also had a couple of household bricks under the front wheels of the car which seemed to give just enough angle and alowed the crane to clear underneath the chassis, it worked a treat and I have used it several times since, it's even long enough to reach and lift my S3 engine in and out without problems but then I did make up a jig to hold the tailgate high enough to clear which obviously means you don't have to take it off.

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Thanks for all the support and the feedback.

 

Really looking forward to getting stuck in and I'll be up at my parents this weekend to make a start. Taking Friday off!

 

I'm not sure what the engine hoist we've borrowed is but hoping to get everything done on Saturday. If not it will be a scouting mission ready for the Christmas break. Presumably everyone will be under their cars?

 

I'll take more photos of both cars and look into full membership too :-) 

 

Best, Al.

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I used a standard hoist from a local hire shop and had no problems with reach. A load leveler was an essential item since you can change the angle of dangle as you go. I also had the front of the car at least two inches from the ground with no load on the front suspension so fairly high.

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Take the front bumper off to gain an extra 2" reach on the hoist, it makes the difference.

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Happy new year!

 

Over Christmas we found two days to get to grips with the engine swap and managed to get both engines out without too much trouble. The only real issue was one of the nuts holding the down pipe and exhaust together. Possible to get a spanner on. Not possible to actually move the spanner ... due to the size of the bead of weld and width of pipe.

 

The only other surprise was the sheer weight of the air conditioning unit on the Elite. I'm not going to refit this and will be moving to a manual steering rack. So I'm already saving more weight.

 

The list of jobs is growing though. There's some time needed to remove the air conditioning pipes and to clean up the engine bay and chassis ... plus there are two small plywood bulkheads holding the radiator on. Just inside the light pods. For now I've closed my eyes and am pretending not to see.

 

Then there are the actual light pods. Which will need sorting (while the engine is out and there is good access) as they "stay up". But there may be some good news with the Eclat as these "stay down" so may have been upgraded. But that remains to be seen ...

 

Apologies for the poor photo. We were "on the clock" but I'll do a better job next time. Between now and the next session. Is there any advice of how to terminate the air conditioning pipes so that the remaining heater mechanicals work? 

 

I noticed there is a similar post in this section so will join that thread too :-)

 

That just leaves planing the interior and what sewing machine to buy. So as you can see. Heading for divorce in 2015 ;-)

 

Al

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Ah now you see you have started the "whilst its out" argument. Defo for divorce I'd say. Only question would be what month B-)

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The plywood blocks at the radiator could be the standard built in wood sections in the nose, i thought it was a bodge in my car till i found out it was meant to be like that.

 

There should be two metal brackets either side of the top of the rad securing it to the headlight pod bolts, these were misssing on my car, only thing holding the rad was the top hose, they are easy to make though, just flat bits of steel plate.

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So we've not moved forward very much. Even though there were three of us on the job. This is a shot of me getting the Eclat engine ready. 

 

We have got the Eclat engine into the Elite although it's still siting on the cross member and not yet located on the drive shaft. 

 

We just ran out of time.

 

Interestingly the hoist we borrowed was long enough to take the engine out with the pumper on but the new one we bought wasn't. We found that out too late :-(

 

So more work to do. 

 

Loving the work being done by everyone else. Not really enjoying mine... I guess that will come. Probably a state of mind.

 

Al.

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the fabric can be restored with Indian ink! dilute it and dab on with a sponge, done 2 Esprit`s, both black faded and turning green.
Works a treat! good luck with the rest of it!

 
 
 
 
 

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Great tip Rob - now I don't feel like a bodger - I did a car like that 20years ago!!!!!

And it looked great after


Only here once

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Did this thread really start in 2014!?

Apologies for the very slow updates. Since my last post our daughter was born so it really is double trouble as we now have a boy (3) and a girl (1). It's been very hard to find or justify being out under the cars but at the weekend I managed to find some time to start getting things back on track. A brief summary:

  • I bought an Elite with a long MOT but the engine blew almost straight away
  • The most cost effective solution at the time was to buy a local Eclat and put that engine in while I investigated or rebuilt the Elite engine.
  • The Eclat engine is now in the Elite and this weekend was the first time available to try and start it ... with no joy

To keep things simple (?) we kept the electronic ignition setup from the Elite along with the vacuum advance distributor. There was a week spark. Then no spark. As this is the only change we've made I'd like to put the Elite distributor back on so everything is as it was when it was running.

Before jumping back in. Are there any changes I'll need to make to the Elite setup to move FROM electronic ignition and a vacuum advanced distributor TO points ignition with a non vacuum advanced distributor?

The Eclat cap and rotor look new (ish) but I'll also buy some new leads and plugs.

My hope is that I'm making it as easy as possible to either get it started with the same setup as when it was last running ... or to fault find if it doesn't.

I'll be back up home where the cars are in a couple of weeks so aiming to have it started on my next trip up and then work through an MOT list.

Any words of wisdom about how best to move forward?

Best wishes,

Alastair

 

 

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