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Why did I do that? Another restoration project! Elite 503

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Where do I start?

I've yearned for an Elite for some time now and I always envisaged buying a runner, because another project was far from my mind. Some may recall I have a glacially slow restoration ongoing with my Turbo Esprit.

So when a project came up, I tried to resist (obviously by now you've realsied that my will power is weak). After a couple of days trying in vain not to look at the add repeatedly, I took the plunge and contacted the seller. We had a good chat and I uttered the immortal words, how much would you accept for it?

I was DOOMED! I couldn't stop myself.

 

So here is a description of what I bought...

Its been off the road since 1987 and has been very slowly partially restored by the previous owner (where have I seen that before?). It's got a long way to go! 

The Chassis is a new Lotus galvanised one and it has all new suspension parts, wheel bearings, brakes rebuilt, new pipework and cables. Its had the 5 speed gearbox rebuilt with all new bearings and syncros. The rear diff has also been reconditioned. The engine has been completey stripped and rebuilt with new pistons, rings, valves, big end bearings, seals, gaskets etc as have the carbs.

Still to do is the interior, which is badly worn and moth eaten.
Both door beams are rusted out and the hinge pins seized (It took 2 hours just to get the passenger door open enough to remove it!)
Brake master cylinder and servo needs attaching and brake lines connected and bled.
Electrics need going over to connect everything up.
Headlamps need attention (I have some motors to convert from vacuum operation).
Radiator and pipwork need fitting and a decision on the aircon is required as I think the pump is broken.
Body has a crack by the front-most drivers side mounting bobbin and the mounting holes in the rear passenger footwell dont seem to line up with any attachment on the chassis. maybe they need drilling in situ?
Seatbelts have seen better days and probably need replacing.
Fuel lines need final connections and testing.

A few small parts are missing which I'll be on the hunt for soon.

I never wanted a project and thats exactly what I ended up with.  I'll get it up and running and see if I can get it to pass an MOT. Then I can decde what to do with the rather terrible condition of the interior and exterior paint.

Wish me luck or call me stupid, I won't mind.

I'll post up some pictures soon.

:) 

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Tim,

Good on you Sir! Photos please.

I've had a slightly mental week. Yesterday saw the delivery of a replacement chassis (and other bits and bobs!) and it now looks like I'm off to Bournemouth to pick up a load of bits that I just paid £30 for - cheap until I factor in time and diesel :) but then, it has included a windscreen and 2 doors and loads more!

Mad!

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Tim, 

Fantastic news,  I am exactly the same as you, I yearn for and Elite but have not buckled yet :P   Was this the one on ebay for 2700 ?  The galvanised chassis change by the previous owner is a great thing and will whack a massive chunk of time of your project.  As Ant has said above, still loads of cheap new and used parts out there for these beutiful cars also which is a massive bonus when restoring one.  

Are you going to try and get this one done as a rolling restoration and use it while doing the repairs ?  

Look forward to the pictures,  Lets hope your Turbo esprit does not jealous of its new stable mate :P

Regards Danny

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Congratulations! Will power is overrated anyway ;-) Good luck with your project and please post some photos

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Good Man,

Ive booked an MOT slot for you a week on Tuesday to give you a deadline to aim at....

in all seriousness - well done for picking up and saving another. As others mentioned, the galv chassis and the gearbox rebuild (if done right) put you a good way down the road. 

Someone will have a nice interior for you if your patient.

 

Sounds like a great project - pictures are required!

Dunc

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Quick teaser pic, more to follow...

100_2977.thumb.JPG.608f00d4e478490c73f8052d38dbf8d7.JPG

:) 

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Nothing more exciting than the novelty of a new arrival coming home.........

before reality kicks in :P

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that looks like it could be a nice easy project for the summer! sound like all the hard work is done and the exciting bit - the paint job - is yours to choose! good luck

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I love the blue (is it called Bahama Blue?) with the stripe and the chrome, soooo 70ies! You are a good man to start such a project, Bravo!

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first thing I did with my Elite was brakes, handbrake, differential, ignition, fixing some electrical issues, and ever since it runs sweet as! paint has cracks and blisters, vacuum headlights are slow but working, it's not a trailer queen but a daily driver, I love it, and it get's huge attention anywhere I show up - it's almost frightening :devil:

 

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I definitely intend to have this as a running project. I'll try to get an MOT before I even consider paintwork or interior. I must do it this way as otherwise it'll end up like the Esprit in a million bits.

Why is it so much fun to take things apart?

Car was purchased from  the classified ads on here.

:) 

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Managed to find a couple of hours to look at the car today.

Oh dear, the doors...

Passenger side door beam and window frame. Both are scrap.

597e04f4a0576_Elitepassengerdoorshowingmotor_edited.thumb.jpg.44d9ac66e9e64befd6bbc4fa5fa34213.jpg

597e04ab98c29_100_30001.jpg.91a7ab1f58464c04c2af9a1d8eaa1ea6.jpg

597e04f9c9030_Elitepassengerdoorbeam.jpg.2aaa1fd54af66b55f8d362984db124bf.jpg

 

597e04ec1baa1_Elitepassengerwindowframe_edited.jpg.c1abde410535aced9c11570a100a8760.jpg

I am pleased that the window winder motor works fine and is salvageable.

:) 

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Well done for making a start - looks a little grim at first sight but from what I've read of the rest (from the original ad) you have the makings of a good car. More piccies of the whole car would be great.

 

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A few more pictures of the car as it was delivered.

597e0612eefb1_Elitefron1_edited.thumb.jpg.f5e12908c8adc3c8d2095c4b903e1ac8.jpg

597e05d6a54f9_Eliterear_edited.thumb.jpg.a33050cda99b314d872b2be29b478f8f.jpg

597e05cc94007_Elitefront_edited.thumb.jpg.cdd563bb65fd0f908765668810bc0ace.jpg

597e05e1ce854_Elirepassengerside_edited.thumb.jpg.aa3ff0a42b6b8832ab21472cf97a4765.jpg

597e05e620bc1_Elirerear1_edited.thumb.jpg.465ffc2aa478ec42bf5826dae3289443.jpg

The paint doesn't look so bad in the wet but its is really very poor.

:) 

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And some more when the doors were removed and the contents of the interior were removed.

597e06e9c262b_Elitedriversdoor_edited.thumb.jpg.283e2965dec835102a20206afb1873cd.jpg

appear to have hit a limit for picture uploads, so more to follow when thats sorted.

:) 

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You're a braver man than me, Tim.

best way to add a load of photos is. To put them on a hosting site such as Photobucket or Flicker (Don't have to worry about losing them with a duff hard drive too) and embed them into the post.  There's a help topic which explains how to do that.

Good luck witht the restoration.

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Think photobucket is now finished with free hosting, :cry:

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If you use Windows - try OneDrive that comes with it.

 

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597f9fde91c2b_Elitedriversdoor3_edited.thumb.jpg.d0ecbb168f69bffb94a2b0c193e5f626.jpg597fa09872802_Eliteinterior1_edited.thumb.jpg.d1de1f5729e7bb4e7de71c8e3f9ce1e7.jpg597f9ff585c01_Elitedash1_edited.thumb.jpg.486ae610def0d2899ef5263c99466ac3.jpg597f9ffc80285_Elitedriversside2_edited.thumb.jpg.35f7896848a10dc41b645b480490a642.jpg

:) 

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Great start Tim   What are your plans with the paintwork ?  Are you going to try and tidy it up and live with it while you use the car or get it resprayed once the mechanical and interior etc have been done ?

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looks like a project. Very brave man, bravo! keep the progress & pictures coming :wub:

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16 hours ago, silverfrost said:

What are your plans with the paintwork ?

I'm not touching the paint for now. It's really bad and will need lots of work to sort out. The intention is to get the car running, driving and stopping, then an MOT. Once done I'll see what needs doing with the boywork. :) 

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Had another few hours on the car today. I've turned the engine over by hand and it moves freely.

I connected the wiring back betwen the cabin and engine bay then connected up the wiring to the starter motor. Put a battery in the boot and got a friend to connect it whilst I kept a look out for sparks, smoke or fire!

Luckily none of those appeared and on turning the key, I had a few dash lights illuminate. Another turn of the key had the engine turning over on the starter motor.

I smiled a bit.

The interior clock worked and I had power to the rear light clusters with the light switch turned on (no headlamps as the rest of the engine bay wiring is disconnected).

The rear light bulb holders are all crusty and I couldn't get the bulbs to light no matter how much I cleaned them. I'm going to get some contact cleaner tomorrow and give them a good soak.  I've got no indicators yet but I think they will work with a little effort. Interior light also works but not from the door switches.

The fuel pump isn't fitted in the boot (where I expected to find it) so it must be in a box somewhere and although there is a fuel pipe in the engine bay, I'm not sure how it makes its way to the fuel tank at the rear. I've only got the pipe from the tank in the boot.

Hopefully more progress tomorrow. :) 

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