Elite restoration begins!

General Excel discussions. You may also post Eclat and Elite information here. If there is enough call I will set up new categories or even a new BB for them.

Moderator: Board Moderators

User avatar
Lotus-e-Clan
Senior Poster
Posts: 3901
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 13:25
Model: Excel SE - EWP/Waterless!
Colour: Not Blue or Green
Year: 1989
Location: Swaledale

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

Oooo yes I forgot about the dreaded VAT - so that's £12K! :shock:

Hmmn, I could manage to get £6K past the wife but not much more given how she thinks the classic car's days are numbered, unless perhaps they are all given a Nissan Leaf transplant!!
Peter K

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 2175
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1982
Location: Nottingham

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

£6k (+VAT) would probably buy you the "basics" - crank, rods, pistons, CNC-ported head with new valves/springs. Just estimating though - I bought my parts two years ago.

Pete

User avatar
Lotus-e-Clan
Senior Poster
Posts: 3901
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 13:25
Model: Excel SE - EWP/Waterless!
Colour: Not Blue or Green
Year: 1989
Location: Swaledale

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

Even when put it into perspective (Britain's automotive industry decline), it's still hard to swallow shelling out a big fat £12K when you hear that they pay just $7K for quite powerful turn key 'crate engines' on programmes like "Fast and Loud" (Gas Monkey). :|
Peter K

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by MetBlue »

££££££ You guy's have some deep pockets £££££££ :Envy: .
I could only dream of spending any of these numbers just on the engine. I've not plucked up courage yet to tell the other half that my entire car rebuild could soak up £6K.
Thinking best strategy is spend little and often, and maybe it'll go under the radar :roll:
What goes together.... Must come apart.

User avatar
Lotus-e-Clan
Senior Poster
Posts: 3901
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 13:25
Model: Excel SE - EWP/Waterless!
Colour: Not Blue or Green
Year: 1989
Location: Swaledale

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

MetBlue wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 08:18
££££££ You guy's have some deep pockets £££££££ :Envy: .
I could only dream of spending any of these numbers just on the engine. I've not plucked up courage yet to tell the other half that my entire car rebuild could soak up £6K.
Thinking best strategy is spend little and often, and maybe it'll go under the radar :roll:
Chunks of dough don't come without sacrifices in other areas ... at least not in our household. :( But yes, getting it under the radar, little, often (but random), sometimes having to use deception, and always by using distraction, is the main ways forward here too! :lol:
Peter K

User avatar
Hawaiis0
Senior Poster
Posts: 3064
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 18:39
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Hawaiis0 »

MetBlue wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 08:18
££££££ You guy's have some deep pockets £££££££ :Envy: .
I could only dream of spending any of these numbers just on the engine. I've not plucked up courage yet to tell the other half that my entire car rebuild could soak up £6K.
Thinking best strategy is spend little and often, and maybe it'll go under the radar :roll:
A standard engine rebuild will be at least £4k
Umm! What to do next?

User avatar
rbgosling
Senior Poster
Posts: 1019
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 22:55
Model: Lotus Excel SE
Colour: Midnight Blue
Year: 1990
Location: Northampton

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by rbgosling »

bag wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 18:08
MetBlue wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 08:18
££££££ You guy's have some deep pockets £££££££ :Envy: .
I could only dream of spending any of these numbers just on the engine. I've not plucked up courage yet to tell the other half that my entire car rebuild could soak up £6K.
Thinking best strategy is spend little and often, and maybe it'll go under the radar :roll:
A standard engine rebuild will be at least £4k
My rebuild (about 3 years ago) cost c. £1,200, to rebuild to standard spec. A little under half of that was on machining (skim head, re-cut valve seats, polish bearings on crank, balance crank/flywheel), the rest on parts and gloops etc. ALL labour done by myself, and I was lucky to borrow a few specialist tools I didn't have (engine hoist, liner extractor). This has to be the absolute minimum I'd say - I even re-used the old valves (re-grinding them) rather than used new. So for a home-made upgrade you could take that price, and add the purchase price of all the improved parts, but maybe subtract the cost of machining head/crank if those parts are going to be new.
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2004 Jaguar X-Type Estate

User avatar
Hawaiis0
Senior Poster
Posts: 3064
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 18:39
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Hawaiis0 »

rbgosling wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 22:12
bag wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 18:08
MetBlue wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 08:18
££££££ You guy's have some deep pockets £££££££ :Envy: .
I could only dream of spending any of these numbers just on the engine. I've not plucked up courage yet to tell the other half that my entire car rebuild could soak up £6K.
Thinking best strategy is spend little and often, and maybe it'll go under the radar :roll:
A standard engine rebuild will be at least £4k
My rebuild (about 3 years ago) cost c. £1,200, to rebuild to standard spec. A little under half of that was on machining (skim head, re-cut valve seats, polish bearings on crank, balance crank/flywheel), the rest on parts and gloops etc. ALL labour done by myself, and I was lucky to borrow a few specialist tools I didn't have (engine hoist, liner extractor). This has to be the absolute minimum I'd say - I even re-used the old valves (re-grinding them) rather than used new. So for a home-made upgrade you could take that price, and add the purchase price of all the improved parts, but maybe subtract the cost of machining head/crank if those parts are going to be new.
Quantity the extent of your rebuild - if you dont mind
Umm! What to do next?

User avatar
rbgosling
Senior Poster
Posts: 1019
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 22:55
Model: Lotus Excel SE
Colour: Midnight Blue
Year: 1990
Location: Northampton

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by rbgosling »

bag wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 16:46
rbgosling wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 22:12
bag wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 18:08


A standard engine rebuild will be at least £4k
My rebuild (about 3 years ago) cost c. £1,200, to rebuild to standard spec. A little under half of that was on machining (skim head, re-cut valve seats, polish bearings on crank, balance crank/flywheel), the rest on parts and gloops etc. ALL labour done by myself, and I was lucky to borrow a few specialist tools I didn't have (engine hoist, liner extractor). This has to be the absolute minimum I'd say - I even re-used the old valves (re-grinding them) rather than used new. So for a home-made upgrade you could take that price, and add the purchase price of all the improved parts, but maybe subtract the cost of machining head/crank if those parts are going to be new.
Quantity the extent of your rebuild - if you dont mind
Clearly I have a cr@ppy memory. I think this was maybe what I thought I'd spend in parts before I started....

Total cost of parts and machining was £2,495. Including consumables, and new tools I didn't already own (but excluding the steering rack I replaced at the same time) the total was £2,920.

BUT that included £341 on some rare main bearing shells that I tracked down in California, because my block was line bored over-size in the factory and the matching extra-thick bearing shells are now totally unobtainable. If you don't have that issue, knock of £200. If you do have that issue, good luck, I may have tracked down the last over-size bearing shells in the world!

Also I went with the option of having my cylinder liners re-coated with fresh Nikasil, which was the single largest expense. Possibly not the cheapest option (but then saved the cost of acquiring oversize pistons).

Total cost breakdown is here.

Apologies for the totally misleading initial cost - selective memory syndrome!!
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2004 Jaguar X-Type Estate

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by MetBlue »

Thanks Richard
That's all very enlightening. I'll study your costs in a bit more detail later ( pulled it into an excel sheet).
It will be interesting to see what state my engine is in when I get round to stripping it. It has only done around 60,000 miles, and I'm reasonably confident that is correct. It was running fine when I took the car off the road many years ago, and originally didn't intend to strip the engine. Now though, seeing as it's coming out of the car, it seems crazy to not have a proper look around.
At least this sets some expectation management for me as to where the costs could end up and I can be confident it is money and effort well invested.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

User avatar
Ray-s
Regular Poster
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 15:04
Model: Excel se
Colour: calypso red
Year: 1988
Location: Grantham (close to)

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Ray-s »

:( And here's me worrying about £550 on a front end respray :roll: , I would not get away with it :idea: unless I move on to wife No4 :wink: Ray...

CHRISYD
Senior Poster
Posts: 810
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 19:53
Model: excel se
Colour: white
Year: 1986
Location: TAUNTON

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by CHRISYD »

Or no wife at all! :lol: Me and my wife dont share an account so she has nooooooo idea what I spend ( apart from the 7.5k repairs last year. :oops: least said about that :lol: .
Idid wonder myself about the "sense" of spending 6k+ on an engine rebuild if a few years when it needs it, especially if usage may be restricted or even banned in years to come. Hopefully im thinking b*****ks!!!
I REALISED YOU CANT LIVE WITHOUT A LOTUS!!!

User avatar
DavidOliver
Senior Poster
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:18
Model: Excel
Colour: Calypso Red
Year: 1985
Location: Malaga Spain

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by DavidOliver »

Surely the biggest item on an engine renovation is Labour.
Our engines are fully DIY renovations except for crank machining or exceptionally valve seat recutting or head skimmimg.
A quick look at the prices that Lotusbits offers, as an example a reground crank even cross drilled, pistons or even liners, I
prefer non-Nikosil, and you can get a very good engine rebuild which most people can do in their garage (or kitchen!!).
But you need to spend many loving hours to get it right, measure everything, and the result is very satisfying.
Every 100 hours of labour time costs 3000 pounds depending which garage you use.
And we have no electronic wizadry to worry about or to be confounded by.

Dave the cog.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 2175
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1982
Location: Nottingham

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Now, some of you may have noticed that I like modifying things :D, and some people probably really like their trunnions, but I'm not one of them - so they've had to go!

I also wanted to be able to play with the caster settings when I fit my electric power steering, and you can't do that with trunnions, so I've fitted trunnion-less uprights and converted the lower arm accept a spherical bearing to suit:

Image

Image

Brand new hub spindles and I still had to hone them to get the bloody bearings to fit on. Get a bit fed up with the quality of after market components sometimes!

I also took the opportunity to make some attachments for my spring compressor to make getting the springs/dampers in place a little easier:

Image

Image

The pilot on top of the damper rod guides the rod into the chassis more easily and can be used to pull the rod into the centre of the hole to centralise the bushes while tightening the nuts. I've also enlarged the holes in the chassis to accept the spigot on the rubber/poly bushes, and fitted the same bushes top and bottom.

Pete

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 2175
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1982
Location: Nottingham

Re: Elite restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Milestone reached yesterday - got the body back on! :D

Image

This is the low-profile lifting gantry I built - it's clamped to the RSJ that holds the bedroom up :shock:

Image

Image

Just managed to get Kylie in again :lol:

Pete

Post Reply