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iambadgerous

Updating a '75 Elite

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Hi All

You may remember that I bought my '75 S1 Elite in August last year, here's a quick reminder of what she looks like:

post-17647-0-28640000-1426374170.jpg

 

post-17647-0-28261600-1426374173.jpg

 

post-17647-0-57513300-1426374171.jpg

For various reasons (that I won't bore you with) I haven't been able to make a start yet and she's sat under a cover since then.

At the time I was surprised how complete and original the car was, albeit in need of a lot of TLC.  I have to admit to feeling a bit guilty about what I had planned for the car, but having had six or seven months to think about it I'm now back on my original path, so it's time to come clean...

I want to build a car that looks almost standard but is updated for reliability, driveability and parts availability.

Step one in my plan is an Excel chassis swap.  With this sort of thing I think it's always best to start with a complete car so you get everything you need, otherwise you spend months chasing down parts.  I wasn't seriously looking for a candidate but when this popped up for just £350 I had to have it:

post-17647-0-33118100-1426374354.jpg

 

post-17647-0-92105400-1426374361.jpg

 

post-17647-0-62825900-1426374371.jpg

Just to be clear, this car was never going to be restored.  The owner had bought it to break and he'd already sold the engine, wheels (I had to put my Elite's wheels on to move it) and a few other bits and bobs.  The interior is trashed, the door beams have rusted right through (the only thing holding the driver's door on was the wiring), the paint is like sandpaper and there's a big hole in the passenger footwell where it's been jacked up on the floor.  If I hadn't bought it it was headed for the crusher.

I'll update when the cutting starts...

Cheers
Darren

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Great project! keep us up to date, its also very good for a lotus owner into the future, how wants to do a

swap with a excel chassis, so you maby can put in all the change's that has been made to fit on a elite body,

should be nice!

 

i Wish you good luck and keep up the good work!

 

Greetings Bauke

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Best of British mate, shame about the Excel but it is well shagged and only going to end up in one place

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Isn't it striking how much the narrow body excel looks like the earlier eclat when it is on the earlier rims ?!?

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Exactly, I was horrified at first when quickly scrolling past the first picture and thought "updating" meant fitting the Excel bumpers to the Elite :sick:

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Darren,

 

Is there any chance of taking a pic of the inside of the excel with the ruined interior?

 

Is it the blue interior with the kind of diagonal texture in the cloth?

D

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Darren,

 

Is there any chance of taking a pic of the inside of the excel with the ruined interior?

 

Is it the blue interior with the kind of diagonal texture in the cloth?

D

 

Dunc, it is a diagonal stripe (like corduroy) but it looks black to me, could be a really dark blue I guess?

 

post-17647-0-64195000-1426771750.jpg

 

post-17647-0-27177600-1426771753.jpg

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Thanks Darren,

Same material, but a different shade.

 

My Ice Blue excel has a small parting in the cloth on the drivers seat, which I was going to sew up, but if you had a section of cloth, I would have bought some off you.

 

Different shade however.

Duncan

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Just a heads up Darren.

If you are considering cutting up the body.... use an industrial angle grinder with a mahoosive cutting disc.

A standard 115-125mm disc will take you a very long time.

 

I am only doing it with a small grinder because it means I can take my time and get a few bags at a time down to local tip without cost of dumping it.

If however you fancy keeping your sanity - unbolt the chassis from body, get it picked up and out of your hair and pay someone else to crush it.

Its hard work cutting up an excel.  MUCH stronger and well built than they are given credit for.

I would also suggest you put up a post on excel.net forum "breaking" as there will be difficult parts to get hold of that somebody will be looking for on there.

 

Cheers

Kieran

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I think from the inside 83, but from the spoiler it looks like a 84 model.. Don...

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If you are considering cutting up the body.... use an industrial angle grinder with a mahoosive cutting disc.

A standard 115-125mm disc will take you a very long time.

 

I've only managed an hour on it so far....

 

post-17647-0-28640800-1426843530.jpg

 

...with my weapon of choice...

 

post-17647-0-26993900-1426843596.jpg

 

...like a hot knife through butter. 

 

Like you I'm taking it to my local tip in bits.

 

I'm going to rescue anything that looks like it might be useful, but there hasn't been a lot so far!

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Darren,

Does it have 3 point rear belts? (they wont fit your elite body as they are 2 point lap belts and are shorter...)

 

The rear 3 point belts were an option when new, and my excel doesn't have them, nor does it have the holes cut and the plastic trim surrounds to allow the belt through the side seatcard - which could be a problem for me as I have kids. Similarly, I would like the cards/trims if you have them.

 

I don't live to far away and would love to pop down for a look and see your project :-)

 

let me know.

D

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Darren,

Does it have 3 point rear belts? (they wont fit your elite body as they are 2 point lap belts and are shorter...)

 

The rear 3 point belts were an option when new, and my excel doesn't have them, nor does it have the holes cut and the plastic trim surrounds to allow the belt through the side seatcard - which could be a problem for me as I have kids. Similarly, I would like the cards/trims if you have them.

 

I don't live to far away and would love to pop down for a look and see your project :-)

 

let me know.

D

 

Hi Dunc, you're more than welcome to come and take a look, and take whatever you need from the Excel (as long as I don't want it!).  Be warned though, the car is a shed!

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PM sent

D

 

:unworthy:

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Spent a few more hours on the Excel today...

 

post-17647-0-11767500-1428184647.jpg

 

post-17647-0-11466300-1428184656.jpg

 

post-17647-0-59060600-1428184666.jpg

 

post-17647-0-28513900-1428184677.jpg

 

post-17647-0-89441800-1428184688.jpg

 

post-17647-0-88826100-1428184704.jpg

 

post-17647-0-27448400-1428184716.jpg

 

...another few hours should cover it!

 

 

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Wow that U-section over the exhaust look really thick!

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Nearly there now...

 

post-17647-0-21887400-1428489387.jpg

 

post-17647-0-77895800-1428489388.jpg

 

post-17647-0-35752000-1428489390.jpg

 

I'm keeping the bit of the body that sits above the diff in case it will help me in modifying the Elite shell in that area.  I've also kept the fuel tank, steering column, pedalbox and all the hydraulic clutch parts.

 

So far the chassis looks fine, the galvanising looks good and there is no rust anywhere that I can see. Bearing in mind the state of the rest of the car I'm very surprised!  I am also surprised by how easily the body mounting bolts were to undo, only the one on the driver's-side front suspension tower snapped.

 

I had planned to have the chassis blasted then either have it re-galvanised or paint it with POR-15 or similar, but if it proves as good as it looks so far then I may just leave it as is.  "If it ain't broke...."

 

Next job is to strip the chassis for cleaning and inspection, then build it back up replacing all perishables as I go.  The budget is tight right now so this may take some time....

 

Cheers

Darren

 

 

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So thats how you get to the wiper wheelbox! :)

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Bang and the dirt was gone........

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Hi All

Quick update, I now have a crusty HC engine from an Excel SE.

20160602_211035.jpg

I can't believe another year has gone by.  Too many projects, not enough time etc....

I'm determined to get this build underway this year!

 

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Ooer that does look crusty! Have you heard it run or checked the compression? Lotusbits can bench test it

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1 hour ago, mikeeech said:

Ooer that does look crusty! Have you heard it run or checked the compression? Lotusbits can bench test it

Hi, not heard it run yet, the car it came out of was last on the road 11 years ago, I was assured it last ran about 6 months ago.

It's a 100,000 mile engine so it will no doubt need a rebuild at some point, but if I can get away without one for now that would be great.  I'll do a compression test but not until I've changed that belt...

 

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Due to a lack of space and time (due to a house renovation, 3 motorbike projects and the imminent arrival of an Esprit) this project is now for sale, I'll post in the classifieds and if there's no interest it will go on eBay.

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Sorry to see you are selling Darren,   New lotus esprit on the way....  pictures or it did not happen :)

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