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1979 Yellow Lotus Eclat: My project thread


soldave

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  • Gold FFM

Obviously your choice but engine oil and filter, read diff oil and gearbox oil were all changed no more than 2 months before you bought her, in saying that I used to change the oil every year anyway, I always used Millers oils as most of the guys on TLF recommended it and I used an oil additive, none of the common stp or whatever cheap crap I used Forte which is always recommended by most good car garages, from memory it's about £12 for a bottle and the engine oil was about £18 per Lt.

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  • Gold FFM

I think if you look through the files there should be a receipt for engine oil and filters about a month before you bought her and the gear oil and diff oil was changed just a couple of days before when I did the half shafts seals. oil/filter change would have been about end of August with the new cambox gaskets being changed end of September.

 

John.

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Good stuff :)

 

One thing I do have to go back and look at I think is my mixture screws on the carbs.  With the Gunson Colortune I richened things up a bit until I got a blue flame with a couple of yellow flecks.  I found cylinder 2 wasn't showing any combustion at all initially (only the plug spark).  But I think since then when I start the car cold it will idle, but will idle low and if left long enough with the choke in it will sometimes drop below 500rpm and then die.  Once the engine's warm and choke is released, it idles fine.  So I'll check the choke and be sure my mixture screws are all adjusted right.

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Noticed something this evening I'll have to keep an eye on.  Spark plug one had a little oil pooled around it.  Only a bit so I'm not worried about that per se.  But then I noticed when I started the car straight away I could see it bubbling.  Fitted new Champion plugs recently so will pull that one out and make sure it's seated correctly.

 

Will post a pic once my phone's got enough power to upload today's photos.

 

EDIT: Here we are...

post-17588-0-13125300-1421536422.jpg

Edited by soldave
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The area looked pretty clean although I will confirm that over the next week or so.

In other news, brakes now work at full power, with new servo installed :-). Won't double post so my solution is in the Esprit technical forum. All I need now is a servo nut - one of the nuts securing it to the pedal box fell into a black hole somewhere. Anyone know the nut and thread size? If not I'll take it with me to a garage or 2 and try to find out.

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On 16 January 2015 at 02:25, soldave said:

Roger that.  I'm guessing the bolts are built into the seats, and will need drilling/cutting out and replacing completely?

Might wait one extra weekend and wait until the wife's car comes before doing that - just gives me that transport should anything go wrong.

Oil might have been changed recently, but I'll probably do a change myself and change the filter, so I know when exactly it's been done.  Will do the gearbox too and see how the oil in that's looking.

The seat bolts you will find are standard loose bolts and a quite long meaning that the threads extend into the elements under the car. This was a standard BL type of fitting continued into the Lotus. I have never understood the concept where welded studs would be so much better as per Ford and others.

Removing them is an art in it's self as ones arms are not long enough to reach both spanners.

A simple solution is the use of mole grips on the bolt head as you will find the seat rails are recessed and will stop the jaws turning whilst using a 13mm, or possibly 1/2", socket and ratchet under the car. My standard Mole grips fitted the recess perfectly with no damage to the rails.

I am planning a touch of Mig weld on each bolt head to the runners when refitting with new bolts and the penny washers are a good plan. Not really needed on the inside of the car if you have the original 1/4" spacers under the carpet unless you want ro raise the seat slightly. A dollop of grease on the nuts and threads will slow corrosion to make removal easy next time. Nearly forgot shorten the bolts, an inch of thread extending into the elements serve no purpose what so ever. 

Look out for a PM I have a suggestion.

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Thanks for the thoughts.  I'll see what I can do with a long socket and ratchet this coming weekend.  Got a couple of other jobs and once I start something I usually break more things so they take a lot longer than I imagine!

Need to get some Copaslip too for use on... well, most bolts I take out!

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My discovery with the fixings in the seat rails was that the head of the bolt fits snugly enough in the the rail that you only need to get a 13mm socket onto the nut under the car to get them out. So you might be lucky...

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Regular restorer. Rather less reliable forum poster!

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You were lucky, mine just turned hence the need of Mole grips. When new the theory was that the rails would stop the bolts turning. Unfortunately the designers did not think 30-40 years ahead and rusty threads.

On 19 January 2015 at 22:04, soldave said:

Thanks for the thoughts.  I'll see what I can do with a long socket and ratchet this coming weekend.  Got a couple of other jobs and once I start something I usually break more things so they take a lot longer than I imagine!

Need to get some Copaslip too for use on... well, most bolts I take out!

Copper grease is one of the best things invented not cheap but does the job better than anything else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I'm entered in the Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend this coming summer up in Yorkshire.  Will have a lot of very nice cars and competition in there, but it's all about taking part and showing off the car and it's history.

http://www.hebdenbridge-vintageweekend.org.uk/index.html

Any more Lotuses in the North East or North West want to join me for this one?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got a couple of little finishing touches for the Lotus today, even though it's not really "finished" yet. First up is a very cool and authentic-looking road tax sticker, courtesy of Creative Tax Discs​ in Barnsley. Correct colour and details, right down to the original date it was registered down in Norwich by Team Lotus.

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The other one is a replacement rear "Eclat" sticker as the one I've got was starting to peel off. Only a tiny thing but was really bugging me.

Need to give the car a hell of a wax over the next couple of days, as well as cleaning the wheels up. I've got a date on Saturday with one of my best buddies from Japan who's also a pro photographer and need everything nice and shiny.

Edited by soldave
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  • 2 weeks later...

A few pics from last week's photoshoot with good friend Chris Willson (www.travel67.com).  Very pleased with how they've come out.  Can't wait until I get into the new house in a month or so.  Once I'm in I can get stuck into the car and some jobs I want to get done.

 

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  • Gold FFM

Looking good Dave. Do you want Wendy to come and show you how too clean those wheels LOL.

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Good point, well made. Wheels were the only thing I couldn't get around to polishing leading up to that, due to a bunch of things coming up and taking up my non-working time. Next time I'll have them nice and sparkly.

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Nice looking machine there Dave!

Looks great in yellow.. and I must say, by reading all the way through your project on these posts, that you seem to be the perfect man for owning one of these classic GT cars and keeping it running.. I think Lotus is right up there near the top of the most difficult cars to work on. At times I found that to be true. But they are also near the top in road manners so I hope you get some good road trips out of your beauty. Mine has put smiles on my face that reappear when I think of driving experiences I have had with my Elite.

Not sure if you ever sorted out your head light pods leaking ( they all do a little, but some vaseline on each connection will help slow down any leaks ) but I replaced mine with Electric units from a TR8 years ago, but if I had to do it again, I would use a set of pulleys with cables to pull the pods down with a handle much like an emergency brake, where the pods would be sprung in the up position and pulled shut by a lever under the dash so they would stay down as long as you want. No doubt lighter too which Chapman would have approved. lol

Thanks for posting your project !     very enjoyable read 

Richard

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  • 1 month later...

Well, it's the start of show season next week with a Classic and American Car Show here in West Yorkshire.  Am a way of being a contender for a prize, but for me it's all about taking part and showing what you've got to like-minded people.  Got a few things to do this week if I have time:

  • Respray wheel centre caps
  • Get one replacement centre cap badge
  • Respray valve covers (either flat black or wrinkle paint black)

And then I've got to decide whether to go completely stock & authentic by going for the airbox on there, or a little non-standard but with extra bling of having the air trumpets.  Suppose it'll only be a factor if I lift the bonnet anyway!

Finally, my Carbtune came in yesterday so was tinkering with the carbs today, as per www.espritfactfile.com/carbbalancing.html.  Found one barrel was pulling much more vacuum than the others.  Once I'd got them balanced it was idling a fair bit stronger and higher so I think I've done some good.  Just did it with the Carbtune though, determining mixture by vacuum.  Might do it again with the Colortune to be sure I'm getting the right spark inside the cylinder.

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  • 1 month later...

Not had any time to work on the car over the past few weeks.  Trips abroad, work on the new house/garden, and much more important family matters have needed priority attention.  I did manage to get the valve covers painted in wrinkle black, and am reasonably pleased with the way they turned out.  The "after" is closest to camera/bottom, by the way ;)

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Did go for a drive out to the Pennines today to let the old girl see the sun.  Very enjoyable although I noticed a vibration over about 40mph.  Can't quite remember but possibly more than the normal driving around vibration, which I guess is normal.  Will have to go over things like tyre pressures, and then look to all my suspension bushings etc to see if something can be improved.  Still have to sort out those 4 studs at the back and get them greased.

 

Lots to do, and little precious time to do it in.

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  • 1 month later...

Some of you have probably seen my trials and tribulations with the rear suspension in the technical forums, and know that I'm buying new shocks, springs and lower link bushes.

Have gone for Gaz shocks which should hopefully be here in a few days. Got the springs today though and was a little surprised at how different they look to the one that was on there.

IMG_20150715_191537_zpsby1wxrgv.jpg

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