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16 hours ago, mikeeech said:

that will be the diff oil! removing the drive shafts to change the seal is a whole new ball game!

Just ordered the bits I need for my rear suspension overhaul - seals are less than a fiver each.


Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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5 hours ago, Testdriver said:

That's a long list indeed. Someone spent a lot of money 20 years ago - 3140£ in 1994 would be 4360£ in today's money... Good luck with your project, I really like your approach :-)

Thanks Daniel. You're right, it was a lot. There must have been a good reason not to re-tax her a year later, after spending that much.

 

 

1 hour ago, Dunc said:

Regarding the aircon - given your previous experience - your probably aware of car builders solutions catalogue?

I wouldn't bother restoring an original aircon system - I would fit one of the kits. I intend to do this on my eclat S2 at some point.

if it is of interest, the original aircon pump was a Harrison V5.

That is another option I considered Duncan.  suppose it all depends on how original I want to go.  A decision for later, I think.

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_DSC0357.jpg

Well that's the back out!  Got a fracture in the bulkhead that will need sorting.

_DSC0358.JPG  _DSC0359.jpg

1970s Upholstery?  Almost 200 staples per seat!!  The foam in the seats is like dust.

 

Anybody know what these gray pieces are. They are attached to each cant rail above the two front seats.  did think the were clips for the sunvisor but they are just  bits of plastic with arrows on??

 

_DSC0361.jpg

 

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The original ac was a GM unit requiring 8 hp to operate (not too good)  and is very heavy (135 lbs ) compared to more modern units. It was so heavy that different front springs were fitted when new. I have scrapped mine and plan on a lighter, newer, more modern unit some day.

The original stereo was a Panasonic AM/FM cassette unit.

I have the 110th unit built. I also had in mind an Esprit before I bought the Elite, like others here, but what you have is actually a better handling car and has a much better balance (50/50) than the mid engine Esprit. 

Some think this is a classic and will appreciate well so a totally stock and original car is a worthy goal to restore. I am not here to argue that point, but, I don't agree and that is why they are so cheap.  Still, they are a Lotus and one of the last cars that Colin Chapman had his hand in and they were built when Lotus was at the top of F1 racing so the racing heritage is definitely in this chassis and has been finely tuned for a really great handling car with amazing road manners. They do have some faults but this is a great time to fix those on your way to owning a very fun car to drive.

I have spend many hours working on my '74 Elite and here is my story if you care to read.

http://www.britishv8.org/Other/RichardNorman.htm

 

I also have a few photos on some of the modifications made on mine, while restoring my Elite . Check it out if you like and don't be shy to add a comment .

https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/profile/15875-elite-49/?tab=node_gallery_gal

 

atb,

Richard

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Thanks Richard,  Interesting info about the aircon, given Mr Chapmans mantra about "adding lightness" all good information.  I have had a look at your car, very nice!  And you have answered something i have been pondering and that was, what does an Elite look like with all it's shiny trim painted, now i know :)

It's going to be some time before i can "test" the handling of my car, something to look forward to.

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Hi Richard

Interesting write up, thanks! You did a completely different way, a V8 in the Elite would not be possible to get road legal in Switzerland... I'm sure it's a fantastic car you've built! It's not a Lotus Elite anymore, it's more like a wedge-shaped,  70's custom car :) I do agree that an Elite will never sell for a fortune, although it is much undervalued in my opinion (and will always be)

However, I completely disagree with what you say about the engine ''  a lousy and unrefined engine. It's noisy, rough, unreliable (the worst part, and typically British)  '' 

My lousy, unrefined and unreliable engine now is perfectly balanced, ignition/carbs etc. superbly adjusted, it's such a joy to drive! It's true that it needs revs if you want the full power, but in my opinion the engine suits the car. It also can be driven in low revs as long as you're cruising, driving on the highway or sitting in normal (crazy) traffic. I believe an Elite is just as reliable as you make it (maintenance wise). Many owners just forgot that such a car/engine needs careful maintenance...

just my 2 pence/pennies/Rappen

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Daniel, I totally agree. It's very much horses for courses. The Elite was never built as a 'super car', unlike the Esprit, or a muscle car. This will always likely impact future values but there are plenty of (IMO) 'unsuper' classics whose value has increased way beyond what I think they are worth.

Richard has undoubtedly created a fantastic vehicle (from what I can see of his blog) and I have the upmost resect for what he has achieved. I personally do believe that an original, well preserved Elite will one day be recognised for what it is - a great car that was way ahead of its time and an important (if not vital) development for Lotus. It annoys me how all documentaries or books about Lotus tend to gloss over the Elite and Eclat as almost inconsequential.

I'm not ignoring the fact that they have a certain reputation as troublesome but as time goes on, the generation that suffered those daily woes will no longer be around and all that will be left are 'good ones' that have been loved. maintained and improved.

Previously, I had a 1933 Rover 10 which was gorgeous to look at and sit in but possibly the most frustrating and slow vehicle I've ever come across - I still sold it for way more than I've seen an Elite fetch - but that still didn't come close to what I spent on it! I suspect that is one reason why I love my Elite - it is a breeze by compariaon, simply because I can source most bits without having to track down a dying breed of craftsmen who know how to line bore and white metal bearings (for example).

Good luck to us all and vive la difference

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Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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Just for the sake of interest!

front.JPG

side1.JPG

Roland - that does seem like quite an excess of packers but I wonder if it is more about reinforcing the holes rather than levelling - being a fibreglass shell etc - not had mine out yet to look.

Good work, keep it up

interior2.jpg

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Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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Nice. 

Here is your weekly update.

_DSC0026.jpg

Rear glass, bumper, tank removed and wires labelled

I have two complaints though.  Who, at Lotus, came up with the idea of using that type of fuel filler neck.  They were an absolute mare to get out! And, who's bright idea was it to put a fifth bolt on the latch mechanism right at the top where you need to be a borrower to get it out!!!  Saving that one for another day.

Pleased with the condition of the tank though

_DSC0027.jpg

Just surface rust

_DSC0028.jpg

Just needs some tank sealerand some TLC. That's the matting that was covering 3/4 of it in the background, in surprising condition.

 

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No.  The filler neck fits into a short hose elbow then into the tank. Getting the elbow off was relatively easy, it was getting the filler necks out that i struggled with.  They were a very close fit in the grommet. Some choice words were uttered :lol:

Your ta

Your tank does look different.

Looks more retangular.

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yet more 'lotus variation' lol

My tank is the same as Mike's - still a **** to remove. The so called flexible connections are that rigid that it made me sweat!

Can't remember the last time that happened!

Roland - good progress none the less. If you get yours running before me I won't be happy! The race is on lol


Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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On 11/22/2016 at 06:22, Elite 4.9 said:

The original ac was a GM unit requiring 8 hp to operate (not too good)  and is very heavy (135 lbs ) compared to more modern units. It was so heavy that different front springs were fitted when new. I have scrapped mine and plan on a lighter, newer, more modern unit some day.

The original stereo was a Panasonic AM/FM cassette unit.

I have the 110th unit built. I also had in mind an Esprit before I bought the Elite, like others here, but what you have is actually a better handling car and has a much better balance (50/50) than the mid engine Esprit. 

Some think this is a classic and will appreciate well so a totally stock and original car is a worthy goal to restore. I am not here to argue that point, but, I don't agree and that is why they are so cheap.  Still, they are a Lotus and one of the last cars that Colin Chapman had his hand in and they were built when Lotus was at the top of F1 racing so the racing heritage is definitely in this chassis and has been finely tuned for a really great handling car with amazing road manners. They do have some faults but this is a great time to fix those on your way to owning a very fun car to drive.

I have spend many hours working on my '74 Elite and here is my story if you care to read.

http://www.britishv8.org/Other/RichardNorman.htm

 

I also have a few photos on some of the modifications made on mine, while restoring my Elite . Check it out if you like and don't be shy to add a comment .

https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/profile/15875-elite-49/?tab=node_gallery_gal

 

atb,

Richard

I agree with a lot you say. Just a thought, do you remember when it was hard to give away an Etype in the 70's, they now cost over 100k LOL.

 

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On 11/22/2016 at 11:56, Trunnion 74 said:

I agree with a lot you say. Just a thought, do you remember when it was hard to give away an Etype in the 70's, they now cost over 100k LOL.

Thanks Charles. I do remember how cheap the E-type was and once I saw 3 different cars, one month, for under $2,000 US. Those were the days when most all British cars were a great deal.

I restored a 1953 Jag 120 FHC. Had to sell it in the early 2000's but bought it for $900.00 back in 1974. Had 57,000 miles on it but needed a total restoration which I gave it. Difficult job. Couple thousand hours plus. Now these cars are well above $100k in restored condition. 

Yeah and the 4 seat Lotus Elite, although very low drag aerodynamically speaking, was just too awkward looking ( rear end ) and is much over looked by even Lotus aficionados. Too bad as I think they are the best handling street car Lotus ever made. Certainly had modern F1 suspension of the day. Can grip to the point of your passengers could actually wet themselves when in a high speed corner. These cars are close to many of the modern day exotics in terms of wheel base, track and weight ( like the F-40 Ferrari, the M-1 McLaren, the Corvette and even F-1 machinery in terms of stance ) which makes for some very fast road maneuvers possible without any stress and actually makes a person a better driver as they are so easy to drive fast.

This car could have easily been a two seater but by cramming a rear seat made it more difficult to make a pretty rear end as easy. Oliver Winterbottom failed IMHO in this area which Lotus later made better by the design of the Eclat. These cars have the exact same wheel base as many Corvettes at 98 inches and close to Niki Lauda's title winning F -1 Ferrari at 99 inches! 

So being so cheap, makes it available to a wider population of people who maybe can't afford to get in a car like an Esprit but still want to experience some of the best handling cars ever made. 

I hot-rodded mine and made it not only way more reliable and improving the performance and fun factor, but I also detailed the finish that Lotus was seeking to do from the start. It was suppose to be the first up scale car for Lotus who had a reputation of a kit car manufacture. The first examples were a big disappoint to many as these cars cost Lotus too much to build so they cheapened the materials in final assemble and took the total drive train from smaller cars unsuited for the much larger Elite. Even the rear end, which is from a fork lift, is unsuited for reliable long term driving. with Inboard drum brakes which could stop the car very well had poor seals which didn't last for more than about 25 k miles before your brake shoes were coated in rear end fluid making them useless. Mine were in this condition at only 28 k on the od. 

atb,

Richard

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Nice reply, 70's, I remember my Dad's MK11 Jag 3.8 wire wheels, high lift cam and a special diff, When he finished with it the banger boys raced it LOL. A special car which would be expensive to buy today.

 

I like my Eclat which I used as a daily driver for 2 years and still have. My poor wife used to go in the bathroom and cry (can't think why) after a trip out, once I could hear her say f****** Lotus, corners, corners , I wonder why? Hint, I never broke the speed limit, but could take most town corners and roundabouts at 30mph.

I like the Elite as much as the Eclat, to me they are what they are (fancy an apple or an orange).

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One advantage you have is that the original engine, modified for the US market was detuned some to meet mog so I know the UK versions have more power than mine.

I really haven't driven another sports car that can handle the way the Elite drives. Soft not harsh, yet progressive suspension so you can push it quite a lot before it starts to slide or drift. Really a tight setup. There is also no play or mushiness like a  '80 TR8 I once had. I really like the way is drives. I like to find the on and off ramps for our freeways. These are very fun short sections of twisty curvy road. Lots of fun!

Driving is the forte of the car for me but I also have enjoyed modifying and detailing mine. Almost no one over here knows what it is. I know of only one other Elite in the local Lotus club. 

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same for me in many ways.. I bought my eclat as a bit of a joke initially...   I always thought they were cool, if a bit odd, I`d wanted an esprit, and had heard many horror stories about the eclat, I thought I`d just tool about in it for a bit and sell it when it became too costly..  I paid less than 3k for it running badly and burning oil but otherwise in decent shape with a good (if not original) interior, but since Ive owned it Ive really fallen in love with how it drives, its so nippy and handles fantastically, gets loads of positive attention...  and i can feel, that when the engine is running right (needs a bit of a rebuild really) it`ll be an absolute hoot.  ive had to do a fair bit of work on it, things have gone wrong, spring collapsed, alternator failed, worn joints and bushes etc, but its not expensive, the engine and trim can be pricy to sort (and gearbox if you have a lotus one), the rest is cheap as chips since its mostly parts bin stuff from mainstream cars of the day.

Edited by Mark Wainwright
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My suspension was set up low and caused problems E.G. the top wishbone has not been moving up and down the amount it should and so the metal tube of the bush on the bulk head side had welded itself to the 'stud upper wishbone pivot' (the bolt threaded at both ends that goes through the suspension mount and wishbone bushes). Of course being on the bulkhead side resulted in lack of room to remove it on that side and the bush tube being unable to slide out the other way. I have it removed now. The springs have been a pig to do as none of my compressors will fit, I might adjust one set that I have, what do other lotus people use? I have new springs to replace them.

 

I use copper slip a lot, but I plan on checking all bolted, studded and any other parts that can seize once a year to stop this occurring again. I would not park one of these cars up and not use it. I think they need driving once a week. I would be interested in what others think of storage and use. While I was running mine a lot it just kept going.

 

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I used copper grease on the rear suspension studs and it stopped them groaning for around a year but they've started again recently. Wondering if one of my winter jobs should be removing and re-greasing them.

I believe the front springs can be compressed with a compressor, although it's not easy. I've heard other people have used ratchet straps too.

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"Never seize" is product from shipyards, that I have been using for years, for keeping corrosion away from important parts that need this like exhaust manifold nuts where water damage could occur . This is a great product that prevents rust and keeps it corrosion free. I don't think you would have to apply this more than once to any bolt or fastener. Great stuff!!!

 

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=never seize

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These cars were made to be driven, that's what i intend to do with mine when she is finished.  Mr Chapman's gift to the world (amongst other things) be a shame to waste it.

Busy morning today,O/S  window frame out, looking ok.

_DSC0069.jpg

 

Door off

_DSC0070.jpg

Got some damage to repair in top corner.  It was already liike this before I took it off.

 

Condition of hinge, bit stiff but not bad, will be replacing the pin

_DSC0067.jpg

 

Inside of beam, looking good and solid, just some surface rust.

_DSC0065.jpg

 

And the outside of the beam

_DSC0068.jpg

Tops and bottom are also sound.  Really pleased so far, was a bit worried that after 22yrs they would be like lace.  lol

 

This is a pick of the check strap.The curved bit fell off and i didn't see where it came from and the strap doesn't seem to have a channel to fit in.  Will have to have a good look at pass side before I take it appart to see what it should look like.

_DSC0066.jpg

 

Next week the passenger side will be coming off, hope the beam is as good. May even start taking the windscreen out, anyone got any tips?

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Trunnion 74 said:

These cars were made to be driven, that's what i intend to do with mine when she is finished.  Mr Chapman's gift to the world (amongst other things) be a shame to waste it.

You are absolutely right here. Our cars appreciate being driven, less seems to go wrong when used regularly.

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