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Another resto...


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Spent a busy day over the weekend painting the underside of the body which involved getting an angle grinder to the rear seat belt mounts inside and out... what a dull job. :sleeping:  I'm pretty much there now with just the body above the diff to paint. No doubt this will get covered in crud from the drive shafts, the first time I drive it but it satisfies the OCD.

Compare and contrast old with new. I think it's fair to say the old ones had past their best!


He's probably thinking why on earth does it matter! No one will see them anyway! I'm with you though, nice and shiny is good!

And who said no one will see the new ones  - although the photo is with the body lifted from the chassis again! :smoke:


These will need some of the viton sheeting I used for my dash panel behind them so will come off again to make it look right. New stainless steel bolts, washers and rubber washers are on order to get the body all bolted down finally - I need to set myself a target so next sunday it will be on for good which means making sure the body is in the right position with regards to the wheels!.

On a slightly different note;

I had a call from the gearbox guy today who has finally stripped it all down for the rebuild...

it needs a new 1st and 2nd gears and shaft, a new 3rd and forth and shaft and new bearings.So much for a low milage cheap box! :no

Now what are the chances of finding new maxi gears! And a quick search of ebay finds a low mileage maxi vaden plas for sale for £300! Still been there done that. It had better be a good 'box when it's finished although I'm still hoping to come in under £1000!

The engine goes off for it's rebuild too on friday... well to be more acurate it is being stripped down for an assessment much like the gearbx was. Boy am i not looking forward to the next few months. :scared:

Engine mounts, water reservoir and power steering fluid reservoir are also off for power coating with the exhaust manifold for shot blasting... yee hah

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  • 1 month later...

Got a call today from my engine guy and got a parts list to price up.

The news is that the engine has over heated in the past which explains the head gasket problem. So i need new pistons and liners, new valves and guides, head gasket and timing belt kits obviously and i might just splash out for a new water pump given the evidence of over heating. The crankshaft is OK so just need new bearings.

Its now or never to decide to dump the engine and go for a modern six cylinder... This would be nice I think.

I will probably stay original though since I don't have much time to finish the engine bay if I am to stay on track for an mot this year. I can keep it rat looking until I have done à few sessions on a rolling road with ECU and coil packs to chart the differences in power output.

Only other progress to note is that the brake callipers have been taken apart for refurbing and painting ready for new seals to arrive from sj.

Photos tomorrow...

Edited by mikeeech
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Another option might be to get the cylinders and liners from this with a stroker crank and build two engines from one... But by my reckoning this is a 2.0 engine and not a 2.2? Am I wrong?

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I don't know who's rebuilding your engine, but if you are spending all that money, I'd recommend fitting one of these stainless bolt sets:


They look great.  

Kemp High Performance also make very nice rubber-faced gasket kits.  

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Hi Mike, I would suggest that you talk to Garry Kemp of Kemp high performance, he is very knowledgable and would be able to give you advice on which parts you would need, I got all the parts to rebuild and upgrade my race engine from him, bearings, seals, lightweight con rods, cp high compression Pistons, valves and springs etc and a host of advice on what precautions to take during the rebuild such as an oil restrict or in the head to protect the bottom end of the engine as the head is over oiled in standard form. If you do a search on Gary Kemp, you will see he is highly regarded for work on Lotus 907/12 engines in both Lotus and Healey circles.

Regards Dan

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With regards to the ebay ad.  Unless I need glasses?  I would say that the letters stamped on the block are 907.  Unless there is evidence to back up having a different crank fitted.... it's a 2.0 907 not a 2.2 912.

Liking the progress by the way.  Just read through it all which took a while  :book:  :thumbsup:   The Elite has definitely become more interesting to me in recent years.  

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A grand on the gearbag and goodness knows how many more on the engine!, I'd just fit a more modern, more powerful, more economical etc etc engine/box combo. Keeping it all original won't get you any more if you sell unless it's all pristine.

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I get that this is a fairly big call and pivitol in the history of this car. I've just priced up the parts for the engine and, with the box i will be all in for the best part of £5K :o - pretty much what I spent on my twin turbo RX7 engine when that went bang. so pretty much inline with car costs generally.

A modern second hand V6 would cost me a tenth of that, until, of course, it needs work - I know since my 100mpg 3 cylinder insight engine is £10K to fix!!! not to mention £3K for a battery. Same with a modern gearbox. I did turn down a free Excel so if I had wanted to modernise the body concept I guess I would have swapped to rear outboard discs rather than inboard drums and be looking for an engine to swap in with more zeal. I will save this for the Insight I guess (which will come after the Elite)

This is not about recouping money spent though. I know that situations can change and thank my lucky stars i'm more finacially secure than some, although by no means rich!

The problem I had with my RX7 was that it was so quick and such fun to drive that I was always on the back of the queue and it took me a long time to figure out that speed was not everything.

I'm still deciding which way to go though... just don;t tell the wife :no

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  • 1 month later...

Just by way of an update...

Gearbox man in london couldn't locate the gears required for the box but Alan voight has them so I have collected the bits today (since it has been dismantled) and packed the box up for collection on monday to be transported to liverpool as a pile of bits.

Engine parts have arrived at my engine rebuilders and I pick up the water pump on monday from them in order to get an exchange from sj since there are two different types.

Got some odds and ends to take care of tomorrow on front hubs and steering column but progress has been slower than i had hoped due to life getting in the way.

To MOT this year I should really be into stripping the engine bay back by now...

Edited by mikeeech
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Painted my brake calipers with the paint from Frosts which is 'sposed to give the anodised nickel look.I thought I would give it a go beofre I do the master cylinder. not a bad finish but not quite like the real thig 




In the process I found I have the wrong caliper seal set from SJ as these calipers appear to be type16pb from a ford granda.so couldn't replace the seals.

After removing the front hub (which I had not closely examined until now) I found that a previous owner had coated everything in a liberal dose of black hamerite without cleaning all the road gunk off first. And I thought I would just change the trunnion seals! 

I have now stripped the hub down to it's component parts, cleaned and repainted them so will need new bearing now. none of this is particularly expensive - the new seal kit is £10 - but it's been an annoying day with another job not being that straight forward. :realmad:

Note to self... now need trunnion seals (which didn't come as part of the set from SJ), type16pb caliper seal set, wheel bearings, m10 bleed nipples.

on the plus side I found a europa rebuild project on youtube the other night. made interesting viewing!


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Your car had a 4 speed box when you started, and the calipers are 2 pot ones from Ford?    a'la éclat 520?

What size are your front discs?

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I know where your going with this... perhaps a replacement chassis at some point from an eclat 520? reg number was defo an elite 501 according to the heritage cert. i'll measure the discs

update; disc are 245mm

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Since i now have a 5 speed box and a s2 galvanised chassis, are the front brakes the only other indication that the chassis was from a different car altogether...?

I find piecing this cars history together quite interesting. now i wonder how i find out what 520 it all came from. do you suppose lotus would have a record of the gearbox number?

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the hubs were usually different (ford pcd to use Lotus Cortina 13 inch steels), but as this was easy to change, many 520 owners did.

I think thats the only difference. I very much doubt Lotus could identify a build from its gearbox number, but maybe?

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I know the wheels are not original since, when I had them refurb'd they had a sale price marked on the inside in marker pen. I understand the diffs on sprints were 4.11 ratio and my diff had a tag of 3.7 on the casing which I'm guessing suggests it's a 3.7:1. this just leaves the anomolous engine number of dc7760712899 - which is a 1976 engine if i'm not mistaken. Correct for a sprint?

I have e-mailed Lotus to see if they can tell me if the engine number was originally fitted to a sprint. if so this would suggest that my elite, with a knackered chassis, was combined with a body damaged eclat?

it would be great to find the reg number of the donor car so I can put an RIP note to fallen comrades on the window perhaps - although not much remains of it now...

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not all 520's were sprints. The model range included:

eclat 520

eclat 520 "sprint"

eclat 521

eclat 521 "sprint"

eclat 522



the 520 existed as a model in its own right which could be had with a 3.7 diff.

The engine number doesn't tell us much either with regard to it possibly being a 520.

Lotus archivist is the best bet if you are feeling suitably curious, but not sure what data can be used.

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I've been in touch with Andy Graham at Lotus. short of searching the records for all '76 and '77 eclats (which number about 600ish and assuming the engine came with the chassis) I may not be able to find it. I may have made a note of the original chassis number (or rather subframe!) which may help.

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Something of a rewarding day spent today. I changed the UJ's in the steering column which was a real pain in the backside but I now have steering again.

Whilst I'm waiting for bits for the hubs I have turned my attention to the fuel tank which I have removed and will clean out and seal. No point in getting rust into the rebuilt engine. The fuel tank has seen better days but it looks as though the hessian wadding wrapped around it has done a good job of keeping water (or something in contact with it!


Looks as though whatever it was has removed the paint...!


On both sides.


The tank seems to have just surface rust but I guess the tank cleaner will be the test of that?





The carpet in the boot was really tough to removed - what on earth was that ever stuck with? I did find the end of the rear wiper tube which I hadn't really given to much thought to. I guess this is mounted next to the fuel pump?


Guess I need  new wiper motor... with a park on it! does anyone have one by any chance?

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A busy day on my tank today... I brought a fuel tank cleaner and sealing kit from Frost to put my mind at rest which started with a degreaser to remove the gunge from the inside of the tank... This wasn't the biggest bottle of cleaner and most of it leaked out of the holes in the bottom of the tank. Hence the peeling paint in the boot I guess... :huh:

Following up with the metal prep got most of the inside of the tank clean and made some of the holes more obvious. On closer inspection of the inside revealed that the inside was not clean enough for the sealer so this will be repeated once I get some of the degreaser and metal prep... and it's not cheap stuff.

The tank has been repaired at some point in the past too and I suspect some rework at the factory. this was the existing repair


and of you look at the central seam to the right of the picture you'll see that it has been rewelded!


A good go at the outside with a wire brush got it to this...


And since I had flushed the tank with many gallons of water I decide to break out my butane torch and solder the holes in the bottom which should be enough to stop the tank sealer from coming out of the bottom making the tank as good as new. Don't panic I tested that it was fume free with a match first :blob fire:


Not quite invisible mending - especially since the rust converter turned the surrounding area black making my solder repair more obvious


I have some closed cell foam to wrap the tank in rather than the hessian sack cloth which kept it moist enough to rust the outside.

To use the sealer the tank has to be bone dry. I will purch it on a camping stove to boil the water out once it have recleaned it!! if there are any fumes left that might keep the neighbours entertained :blush:

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Job well done!

Most places blow through with inert gas before welding,

In the past I have seen many people in third world countrys

Run a pipe from car exhaust and attach to tank to purge all

all fuel vapour that way uses exhaust gas pressure, then braze the tank!

Edited by silverfrost


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