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Change from early to late radiator mountings

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 16:13
by MickW
Early Excels could have a problem of hard cornering causing the radiator to leak, due to flexing of the chassis & body.
As I'm having to replace the (highly corroded & leaking) radiator on my '84 LC shortly, I would like to update
the mounting arrangement to solve this problem.
The Lotus advice was to have the work undertaken by a Lotus Dealer,
but does anyone know what the new mounts are like?
Surely this must be possible as a diy fix?

Do any of you with engines out have a pic you could post?
AFAIK, the 'early' arrangement used a series of studs that simply had securing nuts to a long lip on the body
between the headlight pods.
Are these bits in the parts catalogue?

Any advice welcome.


Rad mounts

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 19:39
by Skeggy
pm me your email address and I'll send picture from parts manual.

Or if your close enough to Skegness you are welcome to come round and have a look at my car ('86se) and have a chat :lol:


Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 21:18
by chrisw2811
Kind advice given by Gerald Turner when I wrestled with my radiator was to replace the 10mm nuts with nylock versions and not to tighten them up all the way. This should stop the body flex reaching the radiator and causing a leak. So far, so good.

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 22:25
by MikeC
One method to get a free radiator replacement is to let your Lotus dealership's owner drive your Excel at a trackday. Peter Day drove mine round Snetterton faster than his own S3 Esprit (!), and sadly 1 sec faster than me. At the end of the sessions the radiator was definitely weeping, and he replaced it FOC. Must have been guilty conscience because he spinned it three times and I only did once ;-)

It could well have been Gerald Turner who did the replacement work because he was Peter's workshop foreman at the time. It was definitely Gerald who put the most recent radiator into the car, while he was still working from his garage at home.

Yes, radiators are a weak point with early Excels.


Change from early to late radiator mountings

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 23:30
by MickW
Hi Mike,

Nice to hear from you.
I think I must have seen you & your car when it was new - at a 'Days' open evening in Cambridge. Would that be right?
At the time I only had a rally mini.

The standard of work that I saw at Days left me in awe. Even before
getting to the Reception Desk, you passed an immaculate JPS Europa and Elan.
The workshop was so tidy & clean. I think it was Peter Day, or perhaps the workshop foreman, who told us about a black Esprit
on the workshop lift. It was almost new, but had been crashed into a tree and had "inertia damage".
The standards & that workshop left a lasting impression on me!



Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2006 22:56
by MikeC
If that was the open evening where we were in the workshop for about three hours, then yes that was me. In fact I organised it, as the Area Rep for Club Team Lotus.

My car was far from new by that time, I think the Daytune building was on its third rebuild by then. When I first went to Daytune, with a Type 14 Elite, they were on Beche Road in a large lockup. Peter made it clear that he knew nothing abut old Elites, and didn't want to :-( Eight years later, when I had my first new Lotus, the Excel, Peter was on Coldhams Road, but there was no showroom. The entrance was a corridor going past the stores cupboard. Paul's paint shop was at the end of the track alongside the building. At the time of the meeting you went to, I think there was a 2-car showroom (with white gravel under the cars, and the stores were in a mezzanine over the workshop. Later still the stores took the whole of the upper floor above the 5-car showroom and separate restoration area, and Paul had his preparation area and spray booth inside.

Time for a plug! Paul Newman is still painting Lotuses to the very highest standard (better than Sue Miller IMO), and is at AK Bodycraft in Fordham, Cambs. Phone 01638 721112.

Funnily enough, now you've reminded me of this bit of history, last weekend I found a new 1980's Club Team Lotus T-shirt in boxes of stuff removed from my parent's old house a couple of years ago. I suppose that my mother bought it to give to me, but never got around to it. And 20 years later I have unearthed it. Wrong size of course, my mother never, ever got sizes right.