1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Restoration threads may be posted here. I can move them from any other topic if you wish.

Moderator: Board Moderators

User avatar
Alan_M
Senior Poster
Posts: 855
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 01:17
Model: Excel SE, Excel SA, Elan SE
Colour: Red, red, white
Location: South Wales

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Alan_M »

Mike C Sailor wrote:
Sun Oct 02, 2022 09:49
I was thinking of adaptors but now I will most likely get a brake pipe flaring tool (£17) and fit the right bits for the new cylinder. Pipes are cunifer so should be workable, but I will check feedback about the brake flaring tool.
With my slow rate of progess I can see all this brake work taking most of this month but that's OK if I get a good results
Be careful with cheap brake flaring tools, the flare they produce can be a bit hit and miss. I would stick to something like a this -https://www.toolstoday.co.uk/sykes-pick ... rake-pipes

I have the previous version and it’s a great piece of kit. Will do SAE and DIN, single and double flares. Will even do steel brake pipes.

Mike C Sailor
Junior Poster
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:59

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Mike C Sailor »

Time for an update, helps me keep going.
Progess is slow; hit a problem; lots of things half done, nothing finished.
But it's OK! Progress is good and I've had a major success.
The problem is that I do need to drop the diff (as advised), but it's going OK. The handbrake cables are disconnected (easy via access holes), all the nuts are free and the long bolts are not seized. I have made a cradle, and a platform lift has arrived today so the job may be much easier than last time.

With the good weather, I've been working on the paintwork. Loose areas have been chiselled out back to solid attached paintwork, sanded to feather the edge and give a good key. There were two small cracks in the paint, I made a shallow V and filled with epoxy filler. All these places have had a few coats of paint and are getting close to becoming level with the existing paint.
The objective is twofold. To get a result that looks OK in photos, to get a reasonable agreed value before I (possibly) drive it to a dealer for the engine work. And to prepare it well for a respray.
Well in fact the results are very encouraging. Where the existing paint was sanded down, the match to the new paint is very good. Not 100% right, but close enough for me. So I had a go at a panel, upper rear quarter, sanded it wet with 2500 grade, then finishing compound and results are good!
With a bit more of the same and 2 grades of compound I think I can do better, to get close to the quality of a respray. So I'm carrying on and now taking even more care.
In the picture you may detect that the upper right region looks a bit better than the rest; in real life it is more apparent.

The roof is not good so will need good preparation and a repaint; I plan to do this by brush. Don't pull funny faces, I've done my boat by brush and people thought it was a spray job. To do a good brush job needs good preparation with very fine sandpaper, the paint needs thinning right down, use a top quality wide brush (costs about £15), spray the paint in the kettle with thinners now and then, work quickly, and change the brush after a few square yards (should not be necessary for the Lotus roof).

The plan for the next week or two is to drop the diff and do most of the work (one adjuster needed, will take a while to get it, covid at Lotusbits); and get the roof prepared ready for its topcoat.
Image

User avatar
Hawaiis0
Senior Poster
Posts: 3787
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 18:39
Model: Excel SA (No 3); Elite 504
Colour: BRG; Dirty White
Year: 1986
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Hawaiis0 »

Brush can be done like you say. My dad did my beetle roof and it came out like glass. Unbelievable.

Good luck
Nothing is fool proof. Fools are clever!

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3243
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Pete Boole »

Great progress Mike! I've brush-painted motorbike tanks in the past - once polished they come out perfect.

Pete

User avatar
Alan_M
Senior Poster
Posts: 855
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 01:17
Model: Excel SE, Excel SA, Elan SE
Colour: Red, red, white
Location: South Wales

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Alan_M »

This guy brush (coach) painted his restored mini. And shows what can be done.

https://youtu.be/b549CTPZ76E

Mike C Sailor
Junior Poster
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:59

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Mike C Sailor »

Thanks for the encouragement about painting, helps me keep going.

I note the warning about brake pipe flaring tools, but as it's just the one job it is not worth getting the expensive tool so I'll try the cheap one; there is some slack in the pipe so I can try it more than once if necessary.

The diff is now out. The long bolts came out easily, just light tapping with 'Lotus service tool number one' as we used to call it.
Still tricky to get it to drop, and awkward to get it out. I'll raise the car a bit more before putting it back in.

I have a thought about the brake shoe retaining pins. The rear ones seem tricky to get at and I guess difficult to put in / hold in when fitting the spring and clip. I'm considering retaining them, say with a small plate over the head on the outside of the back plate so they don't fall out and do not need to be held on assembly.
So now it's some comparatively easier work on the cylinders (if they are OK) and the self adjusting mechanisms.

Steady progress on the paintwork, filling in the low places, nearly done; it's slow as I leave 3 days between coats. The roof has been sanded, defects have had 2 coats, nearly ready for a full coat and a good sand down.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3243
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Pete Boole »

You need to be able to stop the brake retaining pins from rotating as well - perhaps weld a tab to them and rivet in place.

Pete

Mike C Sailor
Junior Poster
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:59

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Mike C Sailor »

Good thought; the pin needs to move a bit so I guess a dab of silicone sealer on the head might just hold it enough to stop it rotating, as well as the retaining plate. I'll try this and report back in due course.

Mike C Sailor
Junior Poster
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:59

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Mike C Sailor »

This project will be on hold for a while and its future is in doubt, even though progress on the paintwork has been fairly good.

I've just had a minor heart attack; home now, stable, doctors are pleased but I have to take it easy.
It wasn't a major attack and at first they found nothing wrong, but further tests showed some damage that seems to have been long term; I've been a bit short of breath for a while now but put it down to possible chest problems. Breathing was not good in May then improved, was OK over the summer and when I started work on the Lotus, but got a bit worse over the last few weeks. I put it down to possibly covid in May followed by a degree of long covid and didn't consider a heart problem. Now I think I've had the heart problem for perhaps a year and still managed boat maintenance, substantial gardening, some hard sailing, DIY ....

Sunday evening, while getting rubbish together, it caught up with me; moderate pain in the chest, paramedic called (he was great), into hospital.

I'm OK mentally!
I'm pleased the problem has been found, it is responding well to drug treatment, it is fairly minor (no question of surgery), I'm already actually feeling better, and the doc says I should, in reasonable time, be able to go sailing.
But for now I'm taking things very easy; no work on the Lotus. Later, I may consider getting a mobile mechanic to put the diff back, then I might manage lighter work. But that's possibly for next year.

There is a lot to be positive about.

User avatar
bash
Senior Poster
Posts: 1915
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 15:34
Model: Se, V8
Colour: white
Year: 1986
Location: Doncaster
Contact:

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by bash »

Sorry to hear that Mike, but just to give you some light to aim for I am in two walking clubs, its surprised how many have had heart issues and many are in thier 70s and 80s walking 10 miles + up the biggest hills in the peak district, I cant keep up with some of them and I havnt had any issues.
Im sure the lure of playing with your car will be too much soon, treat it as therapy.
Bash
On a mission to find the airspeed velocity of a european swallow.

Mike C Sailor
Junior Poster
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2022 11:59

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Mike C Sailor »

Sincere thanks!!!!
Best regards, Mike

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3243
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Pete Boole »

Yes - very sorry to hear! Get well soon!!

Pete

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 1047
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by MetBlue »

Speedy recovery to full health Mike and back to the lotus.
These things always best known about so they can be watched.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

supraholic
Verified Poster
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun May 29, 2022 21:47
Model: Excel
Colour: Blue
Year: 1986
Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by supraholic »

We men tend to just power through and not let anything slow us down. I'm guilty, I wouldn't ever dream of calling in sick except when during Covid they made a fuss if we even sneezed on the job. Of course by a certain age, seems like everything hurts once in a while so its hard to know what to pay attention to and what you can safely ignore.
Phil - 86 Excel SE

User avatar
Alan_M
Senior Poster
Posts: 855
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 01:17
Model: Excel SE, Excel SA, Elan SE
Colour: Red, red, white
Location: South Wales

Re: 1976 Elite 'The UFO' Restoration

Post by Alan_M »

Wishing you all the best. The good thing is, now the problem is known it can be managed and your health will hopefully improve so playing with a Lotus (rather than weaving baskets) will be good therapy

Post Reply