Elan fever - am I delirious?

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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Wed 08.01.2020, 14:51

TorqueHorse wrote: Plus the gas tank leaks heavily, when turned on (sound familiar?), but good news is that it hasn't had the '02 recall service yet, so I'm hoping to make that the local Lotus dealer's problem.

Sorry, but that recall has been cancelled for MANY years now and Lotus doesn't have any gas tanks available anywhere. They found a stash of tanks "put away" in a corner around 5 years ago (probably for the FED recall) and immediately sold them off as the recall has not been active for a really long time.

They went obsolete in February of 2018

You will have to source a good used one somewhere or get yours repaired.
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Simon_P » Wed 08.01.2020, 15:27

Hi John,
Recalls get cancelled but the liability remains.
From the UK Government advice:
" It must be remembered that as far as the producer and/or distributor is concerned the Safety Recall stays open indefinitely and a customer’s recall work should be undertaken free of charge regardless of the length of time that has elapsed after the notification letter. "

I can't imagine US legislation being more relaxed.

On the other hand taking an accident damaged scrapper that you have just bought and claiming under an old recall where new parts don't exist is unlikely to yield results. The vehicle is clearly already unroadworthy.
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Wed 08.01.2020, 16:20

Unfortunately, when there are no more parts available to satisfy the recall, the car could end up being forced to be scrapped.

Lotus UK is not going to have new tanks made. That much I have discussed in great lengths with the "Head of Parts" at Lotus. Chris and I "discuss" M100 parts on a regular basis and they can't offer any solutions beyond "sorry for your problem".

I don't have the financial strength to legally force Lotus to make new tanks and the US Fed recall system is a joke since there is no mandate that the problem absolutely has to be repaired. I have a call into Lotus US to talk with the Parts Manager to see id there is anything that can be done to satisfy the Federal recall.
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Wed 08.01.2020, 17:38

I have just been in contact with the head of the Lotus US parts department and he is now working with Lotus UK to see if the tank details are still available and if tanks can be produced. Both organizations care about the problem, but are faced with the cost of a difficult part to manufacture that MIGHT be doable, but would anyone really be willing to pay $5,000.00 for a new tank? Small quantity orders are never affordable and it would be cheaper for Lotus to buy back the car rather than put up an order for a very expensive but critical part.

I am not at all "lawyer knowledgeable" but I don't want my car to be "bought back" for a "stupid fair price" because there are no more fuel tanks.

I don't know if the NHTSA has any authority to force the supply of repair parts, but Lotus US is hoping to assist in making the cars safe to drive again.

Has ANYONE ever looked into a "generic" rectangular replacement (aluminum?) as a possible solution?
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby uk08462 » Wed 08.01.2020, 18:50

Good luck with the project, keep us informed as to how it went.

Just watched online the Wheeler Dealers program from 2018 about the red US Elan they worked on so full of enthusiasm now to look at cleaning up the interior of my car.
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Simon_P » Thu 09.01.2020, 01:00

John,
I think that you are over analysing the fuel tank (non) issue.
For the car in question it is already unroadworthy so trying to claim for a fuel tank is trying it on.

At 30 years old any new finds are surely end of useful life. Anyone finding one now surely appreciates it is buy a good used one or get it repaired. In the fullness of time I'm sure someone will come up with a purpose made replacement. There are plenty of specialist that will make bespoke tanks but strictly aftermarket as different rules apply.

I don't think there is much worry of scrappage or buyback.
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby esprit888 » Thu 09.01.2020, 01:18

Am i the only one who thinks starting an Elan and driving it around on a 20+ year old, long time sitting in one position, timing belt is kinda like Russian roulette with 5 bullets in the chamber ? :lol:
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 09.01.2020, 01:19

I think it is almost impossible to determine the value of the car based on the horrible pictures provided.

I NEVER suggested that the new owner should claim the tank failure although if the tank mounting area and straps aren't damaged, the condition of the car's exterior has nothing to do with the bad tank which should be replaced. It is possible the car was "parked" due to the fuel tank failure and was allowed to degrade a bit, but had the tank been not cracked, it might be a pristine, well maintained example today.

There are several other owners in the US that have had a fuel tank start to leak and they were in good condition and deserve to have a replacement tank available. Lotus UK HAD a a stash of new (bare) tanks but decided to sell them so now there are no more. Ted and Richard are recent examples.

HDPE is not an easy plastic to weld and at the very least that area of the tank will have been compromised if someone just used a soldering iron to melt and seal the tank's crack. There was a "notice" regarding the mounting pads that should have been handled by the Lotus Dealer, but probably wasn't.

I recently bought a poorly maintained M100 and if my health permits, I hope to return it to a useful life. Maintenance has nothing to do with a HDPE tank cracking and leaking (dangerously). It should be fixed.
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby dapinky » Thu 09.01.2020, 13:37

esprit888 wrote:Am i the only one who thinks starting an Elan and driving it around on a 20+ year old, long time sitting in one position, timing belt is kinda like Russian roulette with 5 bullets in the chamber ? :lol:


When you add in the old tyres as well, not only is it using 5 bullets, but it's using an automatic pistol!
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby PJR-Elan » Thu 09.01.2020, 19:35

.......of course, if this was an MGB, E-type, TR5 etc etc, this would look like a very solid project indeed.... :D

I’m really interested to see how this one turns out- lots of pictures please!!!
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby sideways » Thu 09.01.2020, 20:18

My (miniscule) concern here is that the buyer goes ahead on this, as the car for 3 years, during which time he discovers that this is more reject than project and then is put off these cars for life.

I can just hear the comments as well "just bought the car, had only driven it 12 miles and the belt let go on me! And if that wasn't bad enough, when the car was being towed to the garage, the gas tank fell out!!" :D
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Thu 09.01.2020, 23:54

I can't imagine anyone driving around with a leaking fuel tank. That is pure suicide. So, that has to get rectified first :shock:

And then there is the small problem of a full engine recommissioning before you can drive it. Not to mention the seized calipers, stuck wastegate and knackered rubbers

Rust probably won't be an issue like back here in the UK but the Texas sun certainly will be (full respray, knackered binnacle, seats etc.....)

As I mentioned earlier...........
Rambo wrote:Unless you have deep pockets and can do all the necessary work yourself I'd suggest giving it a bodyswerve
but I would love to see this project come to fruition and, if it does, I'll eat Geoff Smith's Y fronts :smt078
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby TorqueHorse » Fri 10.01.2020, 04:57

Wow! I'm new to the site, so I didn't realize I had to advance to the next page of comments, and didn't see that I've piqued a lot of folk's interest :). Yeah, I'm not crazy (just delirious) and I'm not turning the engine over again until I replace the timing belt and fix the fuel tank...probably. Looks like recalls in the US are 'enforced' for 10 years or until the company goes bankrupt or the parts are gone. Hmm maybe that explains why the Lotus dealer service department won't return my calls ;) Thanks for checking into the possibility of new parts getting supplied though. This does put a wrinkle in the plan, BUT last night's job was putting in a new battery and tonight's improvement was changing the fuses for the radio. Sweet sweet tunes jamming out of the classic Eclipse ECD-410 head unit while the dash panel lights came aglow for the first time, like looking out over LA at night. Little wins!
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Saltire » Fri 10.01.2020, 09:03

Rambo wrote: I would love to see this project come to fruition and, if it does, I'll eat Geoff Smith's Y fronts :smt078

I would love to buy a ticket for this spectacle; can we have a LIST? :twisted:
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Sat 11.01.2020, 07:24

For info....viewtopic.php?f=8&t=27674

PS ticket prices start at £100 Jonathan. All proceeds to testicular cancer research
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Saltire » Sat 11.01.2020, 08:32

:lol:

I’m IN!
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby GeoffSmith » Sat 11.01.2020, 12:33

BOLLOCKS!
Calypso Red S2 #417

USB ElanScan interfaces - £60 incl. UK P&P & £65 incl. ROW P&P
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby TorqueHorse » Sun 12.01.2020, 08:24

Well I don't know about that spectacle ;), but I appreciate the challenge, and if you want to follow along on what I'm doing with the car, I'll post in this thread viewtopic.php?f=80&t=27847#p357570
Thanks again for the welcome, help, and good advice! Hopefully I'll listen to more of it in the future. :lol:
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby Rambo » Sun 12.01.2020, 16:04

I don't want to clutter up your project thread but, before you started the engine up did you check there was any coolant in the tank (same goes for oil in the engine/sump etc..) It's just that, from your project thread photo's, the coolant rank looks empty :roll:

It also looks like you have some rare Texas bird species nesting under your passenger side headlights :lol:
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Re: Elan fever - am I delirious?

Postby TorqueHorse » Sun 12.01.2020, 21:41

Awesome, thanks for the tip (and the challenge for a good cause)! No, the guy I got it from turned it on to demo it and I turned it off as soon as I could. The other fluids look decently topped off, so I think he put stuff in before he put the ad up. I'm just assuming everything needs new though and will check for leaks as I do the service. And yes, I've found a couple of wasp's nests and some snail shells, but no surprised birds or mice...yet :)
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