Choosing a UK M100 guru

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Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Saltire » Wed 22.11.2017, 12:37

I'm looking for someone to do some - mostly mechanical - work on my S2 in the New Year. I need a suspension overhaul, the brakes looking at, and a bit of rust treatment on the underside. A couple of weeks ago I emailed three of the closest specialists to ask for estimates and likely lead times.

South West Lotus replied straight away with a phone call and a long discussion resulting in a verbal estimate; two of their staff own and use M100s :D

Paul Matty (the closest by some distance) responded after a couple of days; we had a phone chat and they've subsequently sent an email estimate which says nothing about the suspension work :banghead:

Lakeside didn't reply at all :chair:

I have also considered Sportomotive (good reputation but a b****r to get home from on the train), and SJs, although I think their specialism is Esprits.

Does anyone have any experiences - good or bad - of these firms? Should I be considering anyone else??

Thanks in advance.
Jonathan

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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Jamie N » Wed 22.11.2017, 13:09

None of the 3 main things you mention are very difficult jobs Jonathan, as long as you have somewhere to work on it and a reasonable toolkit you can do those things yourself, plenty of info on here if you get stuck with anything.

The most important aspects of doing the work yourself, its your car so you will put more effort into getting it spot on as opposed to someone doing it for a fee and probably having a heap of cars to get sorted, then there is the labour cost!, what you save on that by doing it yourself you could probably buy some brand new shiny bits instead ! :D .
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Bern » Wed 22.11.2017, 14:19

I've only used SJ for parts, however I can see from the invoices that came with my car that they have worked on my Elan in the past.

And Andy recommended them to me, though also said they are often very busy with large lead times.

Though I'm with Jamie regarding the effort and care that goes in to getting it right, in the last 30 minutes I've just had new front springs and dampers arrive from SJ which I hope to try and fit this weekend. So far I've been quite surprised by how easy it's been to do any work on the suspension. Though in my experience the thing that makes suspension work difficult is rusty nuts and bolts, my car is low mileage and it looks like the suspension has been rebuilt previously anyway, as all the nuts and bolts are greased and undo!!
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Saltire » Wed 22.11.2017, 17:12

Chaps

Thanks for the encouragement. I was mildly tempted to do it myself. I can - and do - do some stuff. Basic servicing: no problem. Auto electricals: fine, BTDTGTTS. Straightforward stuff (e.g. I replaced the radiator on the Alfa Spider) is reasonably OK too. And I have a pretty good set of tools.

However, I know my limitations. And what I need is borderline in terms of confidence in my own ability to do it safely and to the standard I would wish. Would I order the right bits - and all of them? Could I get all the bolts out and the thing dismantled safely? And what happens if it all goes pear-shaped, because then I have a car stuck on stands in the garage which I can't easily transport to a better qualified person who can fix it. Added to which, I don't have the stands, ramps, lift etc. which I'd need to do this safely and comfortably. Hence the search.

I also want to keep the car as original as I reasonably can. That means I'd like a sensible discussion with whoever does it about - for example - whether it's preferable to keep the OEM brakes and make sure they're regularly maintained (which I can do), or just go down the PNM route and accept the originality compromise.

I know there are folks on here who have carried out full restorations on their Elans, on a set of axle stands, outside, in the driving snow, in the winter, in Scotland. And I salute you :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown: But I've never done that kind of refurb before, and unless I'm convinced I can, I figure it's best not to start. After all, I'm not 25 any more, and I don't have the insufferable confidence of youth :lol:
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby John_W » Wed 22.11.2017, 18:14

Jonathan,

I can’t help with a recommendation of a specialist in your neck of the woods, however I agree with you about suspension work. It’s about the only mechanical stuff I leave to the professionals. They have heat torches, impact tools, hydraulic presses, hydraulic ramps and all the kit needed to get rusty suspension apart. I’ve learned that lesson on previous cars when my youthful confidence told me that I should do it myself.

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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby dapinky » Wed 22.11.2017, 18:31

(Un)fortunately my 'youthful confidence' has been replaced by 'adult stubbeness' and scrooge-like 'tightfistedness'...... so I'll usually have a go at anything :? :?
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby John_W » Wed 22.11.2017, 20:50

dapinky wrote:... scrooge-like 'tightfistedness'...

You really must come up to Aberdeen - you, me, Stevo and Archie would get on fine!
:lol:
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby alan e » Wed 22.11.2017, 20:53

dapinky wrote:(Un)fortunately my 'youthful confidence' has been replaced by 'adult stubbeness' and scrooge-like 'tightfistedness'...... so I'll usually have a go at anything :? :?


:agree: just like me but the only thing I don't have now is time the rest I have.
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby lotusflasherman » Thu 23.11.2017, 02:27

alan e wrote: :agree: just like me but the only thing I don't have now is time the rest I have.


Easy to find time... just cut out sleeping, it's a waste of your life. :lol:

(Just been reading Andrew Ferguson's 'Team Lotus - The Indianapolis Years' and the hours the Team Lotus mechanics worked were unbelievable. Jim Endruweit joined Team Lotus and immediately worked 3 days and 2 nights without a break. Later he spent a similar time preparing a car for Innes Ireland for a race at Silverstone and when it won an exhausted Jim broke down in tears. Chapman put his arm round him and said 'Your tired Jim, have tomorrow off". Only later did Jim realise that 'tomorrow' was a Sunday.)
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Saltire » Thu 23.11.2017, 08:49

Thanks all for the advice and reminiscences!
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Giniw » Thu 23.11.2017, 12:24

lotusflasherman wrote:Only later did Jim realise that 'tomorrow' was a Sunday.
:lol:
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Kathryn » Thu 23.11.2017, 20:14

Sportomotive can provide you with a courtesy car if you ask. I always have one. Had it for two weeks when I had the recent work done. (A rather tatty Rover 200, pretty powerful though!)

I'm thinking of taking mine to Paul Matty to get the geometry done as the local garage I took it to recently couldn't adjust the front nearside so really I only had 3 wheel alignment! I've since hit a super massive pothole and it really needs doing again. I know they do valuations too, and I really ought to get an agreed value on my insurance. But I'll still go to Sportomotive for everything else. :D
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Re: Choosing a UK M100 guru

Postby Saltire » Thu 23.11.2017, 21:44

Kathryn wrote:Sportomotive can provide you with a courtesy car if you ask. I always have one. Had it for two weeks when I had the recent work done. (A rather tatty Rover 200, pretty powerful though!)

I'm thinking of taking mine to Paul Matty to get the geometry done as the local garage I took it to recently couldn't adjust the front nearside so really I only had 3 wheel alignment! I've since hit a super massive pothole and it really needs doing again. I know they do valuations too, and I really ought to get an agreed value on my insurance. But I'll still go to Sportomotive for everything else. :D


Thanks, Kathryn, that’s really helpful.

“A rather tatty Rover 200“ Is there any other kind?
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