The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

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MetBlue
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The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

Finally got around to starting my restoration thread. Only one problem. I know how you lot out there like a photo, and when this restoration began, there were no digital cameras (and no internet come to that) !!!!. So I've improvised and photographed photo's.
First, one to prove it was actually on the road once. taken at Grafham Water probably around 1986 ( I bought the car in 84).
Image

And now a couple from 1990, when the chassis was repaired by Spyder and much of the running gear was refurbished.
Image

Image

Through the years, there have been countless restarts, most of which have lost inertia after a week or two, but as you'll have guessed from my recent activity on the forum, this restart has a couple of months under it now, so I'm taking the plunge and coming out by stating this time will be different. Oh I do hope I don't regret that statement :!: :!: :!:

Got to go now. Got some door beams soaking in Bilt, wrapped in cling film in the garage waiting for a clean down.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Ray-s
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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by Ray-s »

Great keep up the good work been there got the tee shirt did a TVR S1 can be a long old job...Ray

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by Pete Boole »

Great to see another restoration thread! I like your spring compressor. I've just made some adaptors for mine to fit the available space. Keep the photos coming :D

Pete

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MetBlue
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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

Pete. Spring compressor worked great when the chassis was separate, but obviously no use if I needed to (or indeed need to) remove the shock with the body on. 30 years on though and I've still got it - never throw these things away. You never know when they might be useful and as my Dad used to say, "they don't eat anything".
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by Pete Boole »

If the door beams are something you can do in a few weeks time I have a trough the right size for submerging the beams in Deox-C. I had it made last year. You're welcome to borrow it.

Pete

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MetBlue
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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

Thanks for the offer Pete.
Not knowing how long we'll be confined to barracks, I'll get the outside painted up and do best I can with the surface rust inside for now. The beams fortunately are really solid and even if I'd left completely alone would have seen me out.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by bash »

I filled my door beams with plumbers foam, it stops any more water getting inside it and makes it a composite structure adding strength.

Bash
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MetBlue
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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

OK. A picture from 2004. Returning from a 3 year sabbatical in Germany.
Image
Took the car along for the duration in the foolish belief I'd have spare time to actually make progress. How wrong could I be. Reality was things went into reverse. A few minutes after this photo was taken, there was broken fibreglass under the front valence where the side lip of the ramps hit the underside of the car (front wheels were on the ramp and the rear still in the lorry - No clearance - OOPS). It crushed the A/C condenser lowest pipe at the same time ( but A/c never worked since I had the car so was likely damaged before this). Worse, in the guy's enthusiasm to line the car up, they tried jogging the car sideways by taking hold of the bumper and bouncing. Not the best idea, but made worse because I only had 2 fastenings holding the bumper on temporarily. - Tear of fibreglass - Ouch, and although it didn't come off completely another job added to the TO DO list.
Notice the bumper is blue (ish). Wasn't in finished coat, but more of that in my next post.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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MetBlue
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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

Back to that blue bumper. Most of the resto work done to the car was done around 1990 / 92, Body coloured bumpers were becoming all the rage, and with the anodised screen trim being in a right state, it seemed the right thing to do at the time to take the whole car to the same colour, much like the Excels were. Completely non standard, but that didn't worry me at the time. We are now best part of another 30 years on ( making the car nearly 3 times older - has it really took me that long :oops: , and with the car being one of the earliest, I decided some time ago that visually at least it needed to look like it did the day it left the factory. I was happy to add things from the 76MY car I had, the doors being a good example as the internal shells are a lot neater ( and were far better condition, so a lot less work :D ). Externally though, you can't tell the difference, So that was plan B, being followed since 2010. To look at ( internally and externally), it will look as factory, but behind the scenes, I'm happy for a few differences, especially if they enhance the car ( and even better if they save me some work along the way).
A few weeks ago in the early days of lock down, I spent a day (yes - it took that long) clearing the stuff from around the car in the garage and pulled her outside to see daylight for the first time in 10 years. Following photo's give a flavour of my starting ( sorry, re-starting) point this time around.
Image

Image

Image

And the Inside :
Image

Image

Idea of main work to be undertaken :
* Cooling system - Main reason I hadn't pushed on the get engine running earlier
* Doors - Complete rebuild on O/S, Full change to red car door on N/S
* Engine out / free clutch ( don't KNOW it's seized on, but most likely after so long) / Strip & Rebuild engine - Was running and no known issues, but now's the time if ever.
* Fuel lines and boot area complete
* A bit of electrical work !!!!
* Interior trim ( it's OK, but needs good clean and a small furry thing has made home on one of the rear seats at some point long past, and got a little hungry :evil: :evil: )
And I'm sure there'll be alot more along the way !!!!

Thats it. Were back to 2020.... Will start on some real progress next time ---Hopefully...

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by Pete Boole »

It's a lovely colour when it's clean! What are the wheels off? - are they from one of the "Sprint" cars?

Pete

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by pompey ice »

Hi Tony ,Before you whip the engine out for the clutch ,just try wedging the clutch down with piece of wood or similar
you can use the seat bolster [protected] put into third gear ,hand brake off then start to jog the car backwards as much as poss.
give it a few forward jogs in between ,with a bit of luck you will hear a clunk and it will start to free wheel, being on my own had
to use this method a few times always with success
Good luck Ian

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by DavidOliver »

Clutch release best done with a timing belt installed.

What does the box of none installed parts look like?

Dave the cog.

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by pompey ice »

Well spotted sir :oops:

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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

Agreed an excellent spot on the cam belt. :o Eagle eyed Dave. :o
Thanks for the thoughts about rocking the car to free the clutch Ian, but I'll be taking the engine out anyway. I've read enough items on the forum about what gets found in the sump and condition of oil pick up and oil ways, so since I've never had the bottom end apart, it's going to happen. Add to this that Mike at Lotusbit's advised that there could be stuck ring syndrome after 30 years not running, with danger of trashing the bores, and even if he was just touting for business, apart it will come - by me, not LB though). On the plus side for the engine, I have turned it over by hand (before the belt was took off Dave) and pretty sure there is nothing seized, although it maybe 10 years since it went round 2 full revs.
The wheels Pete came off a....... Scrap yard..... The same one I found the red crashed body shell at many years ago. They are a complete mishmash. The only thing they have in common with lotus wheels is the stud PCD, and that they are round - almost. We'll, when they are pumped up anyway.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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MetBlue
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Re: The longest Elite Resto ? - probably

Post by MetBlue »

Whilst the car was out of the garage recently, I took the chance to remove the passenger door. Following week was spent stripping it down ( most of that time was spent removing the quarter light glass as the Solbit circuit was broken :cry: ). It was at this time that I realised just how big the differences were on the beam strength and the inner door skin between the 2 sets I had (prompting my posts on Kaizen differences). The heavier, stronger door beam off the original car were in far better condition, so a no brainer to use these. Seeing as it would be obvious what vintage the door shell came off ( with door open) I then decided that perhaps I had to just accept the extra work and refurbish the original doors.

Result : Plan B is dead --- Long live plan C ( Plan B, but substitute latter red car doors for the original doors) - Confused? I'm not surprised.

After spending all day on Friday and Saturday with Wet 'n' dry and elbow grease on the doors ( inside and out) I needed something different today, so decided on a dry rebuild of the O/S door and hinges to help get skin re-bonding right. I'll do a separate detailed post on what and how I'm doing it, as i needed to go right back to first principles. It could well be useful for anyone rebuilding a barn find with doors already off, so just to summarise here a couple of headlines.

Very quickly I concluded the factory build idea of clamping the Vac accumulator plate with the same bolts and at the same time as the door hinge was too much trouble ( and judging by how dished the washer shims I removed were, it doesn't work anyway). I'm clamping the door hing bolt initially using M10 half nuts, placing 3mm thick washers either side. I can then fit the accumulator any time in the future, using Nylocks.
Image.

Having previously shimmed the pin to the beam. I next fitted the bottom hinge plate to A post, fitted top plate to the hinge pin and inserted through beam, then offered beam and top plate up to car. No way were the top bolts going in. More shims were needed between the beam and the hinge plates ( I'm sure there were no shims in this position when I dismantled, and the workshop manual makes no reference to them). Maybe this is because I'm still mixing a bit of red car and Blue thinks I, so redid with other parts - no change. Forgetting the door beam for now, I fitted the pin in bottom plate, and mounted top plate so I could measure how many washers were needed.
Image
It looks wonky in the picture, but that is the camera angle. Next I fitted washers, then offered back to car to be sure there would be a clean fit of all 4 bolts .
Image
Finally I had a result. Note the top hole now perfectly aligned.

Now to offer the skin over the beam. Another weakness from original build was the 2 x M6 Nylock Nuts and bolts on the door leading edge to the angle plate ( the thick washer on the inside was cut flat almost to the hole. There was barely room for a socket to fit around the nylock nut. I made a tapped plate to share the load over the fibre glass better.
Image

Over the course of the afternoon, that door shell was on and off more times than I could count, but the plate made life a lot easier as at least once the front bolts were started, you don't need to be holding a long reach extension on the Nylok. You now don't need that 3rd hand. One on the spanner and one holding the door shell in the position you want :D :D . A mod well worth the effort. When I do the final build, I'll put an additional nut on the back, just to make sure it all stays tight.

That's as far as I got. Like everyone knows, doors just fight you every inch of the way....
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

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