1991 Pacific Blue SE - Nottm area (SOLD)

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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Thu 17.04.2014, 20:17

Thanks for the feedback. As long as people are interested, I'm happy to keep the audience informed of progress.

Steve, I was chatting to Phil about Elans and his view is that those that can be saved should be, and those that can't should help keep the rest going.
I think his standards may be higher than mine - I'm a sucker for a basket case! However in this case I feel I've been a bit lucky.
Although this car had suffered in the last few years, it certainly wasn't worth sending off to the scrap heap.
And now it's starting to become quite a viable proposition.

Jim, I may wish that my Elan jobs were tame too, but if they were then it would be reflected in the purchase price. You don't get owt for nowt!

I took a couple more pics this evening, to show how it's coming on.
There's still a lot to do, but it can sort of be considered to be a car again now.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby rip » Thu 17.04.2014, 20:45

Back on the road soon?
1990 SE
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby inkitin » Thu 17.04.2014, 21:27

What a pleasure it is to see new life being breathed into an Elan again. Great stuff Neil! :clap:
91 SE Calypso Red

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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Jamie N » Thu 17.04.2014, 23:30

Great transformation in a short time Neil, looking like a different car altogether now!. :smt004
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Fri 18.04.2014, 09:17

rip wrote:Back on the road soon?

I think it has to be - too nice not to.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby nicowalker1 » Fri 18.04.2014, 22:52

Great work Neil, whats the plans with this one? Its seems ages since you had your little mis-hap in your number one.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Sat 19.04.2014, 00:05

nicowalker1 wrote:Its seems ages since you had your little mis-hap in your number one.

Yes Nick, it'll be 4 years ago next month.

nicowalker1 wrote:Great work Neil, whats the plans with this one?

Thanks. It's a very good question, and TBH I'm still not sure.
I bought it with the idea that it would be straight enough and complete enough to be able to use as a pattern to get my original one back together.
It looked easy enough for me to be able to repair to a point that it was roadworthy. With an MoT it would instantly double in value. With a respray it would treble.
But I didn't do it just to make a profit. As I got more into it I found that there was a really good car underneath the rough exterior. It came with a box file full of paperwork showing how much has been spent on it in the past.
So I thought why not keep it for Ben, like Polymathic's story? In 15 years time it will be a bona fide classic, and what an amazing thing to have for someone new to motoring. Having said that, petrol may be in short supply, legislation may have changed, insurance may be sky high, and young male drivers still have way too much testosterone! Could be a recipe for disaster.
I can't decide. But for the moment I don't have to - I've still got a lot of work to do on both it and on my original one.

Today was productive. After helping one neighbour get their car started, and then fixing another's lawnmower, I got to work on the Elan.
I took the N/S/F wheel and wheelarch liner off and cleaned and painted all the suspension, then replaced the headlamp motor's bushes.
That went pretty well (see pics), so I took the other front wheel and wheelarch liner off, replaced the knackered CV boot and cleaned and painted the chassis and suspension on that side too. The front wishbones were in pretty decent nick - I hope the rears are as good.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby muley » Sat 19.04.2014, 07:55

..well it looks a lot cleaner and tidier than mine underneath :(


Keep 'em coming.


Jim


p.s. somewhat jealous - I loved the days when the management allowed me to have 2 Elans!
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Jamie N » Sat 19.04.2014, 10:37

You are just like me Neil! , I cant stand to see rusty running gear, got to get it all off, ive got a great thing for that, its a milling tool made by Bosch looks like a huge Dremil and you can use all manner of bits with it, one the best things I ever bought, and a grinder with a flapwheel is brilliant.

Just be careful with the dust you are creating when doing these jobs mate, always wear a mask of some sort, even an old t-shirt tied over your mouth/nose is better than nothing, too many people just don't appreciate the risks of breathing in particles of toxic car dust, we only have one set of nasal passages / lungs. :wink:

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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Mon 21.04.2014, 21:55

Today it was time to take a deep breath and nervously tackle the horrors that may lurk underneath the back end! :shock:
If I were to find rotten wishbones it could totally change the direction of the car back from restoration project to basket case.
So it was wheel off, wire brush out, and let's see what's down there...

The result could hardly have been a more pleasant surprise:
There was a bit of flaky paint and some surface rust, but nothing too bad at all.
The first picture was taken after all I'd done was hose out the wheel arch and brush down the wishbone.
I was so happy with what I found I practically jumped for joy!
After that I used some anti-rust paint and black Hammerite on the wishbones, grey Hammerite on the chassis, and finished off the brake disc and caliper with some silver (just to tart it up a bit and hide any unsightly surface rust).
The other side was just as good.
It may not be the ideal treatment for the car long term, but any protection is better than no protection, and seeing as I had this stuff to hand I figured it was good enough.

I could do with getting the whole back end nice and high, then cleaning off and re-painting the chassis, but for the moment I'm just happy to have had a very positive day.
Now there can't be any more nasty surprises. I've been round the whole car from top to bottom, and it's sound.
From now on, with the exception of a respray after the car passes its MoT, the jobs should all be small ones. :D
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Wed 30.04.2014, 12:35

Things have slowed down slightly since my last post. There have been a couple of unrelated bits and pieces to sort out in or around my home, and now that the new Elan is nearly ready to be MoT'd, I can start to use it as the "here's one I did earlier" example to get my original sorted.

I was reasonably happy with how things were starting to look (and go) underneath the bonnet, but the thing about underbonnet cleaning is: the more you do, the more you see. The more you see, the more you do. And so it continues until you disappear up your own backside.
Having once been about the best looking things under there, the intake plenum (and particularly the injector rail) were really starting to look the worst, and were letting the whole thing down. So I decided "let's get 'em off, thoroughly clean 'em, and paint any associated bracketry at the same time".
Less than half way in, and at 4 1/2 hours into an estimated 3 hour job, I was starting to question the wisdom of that decision! :roll:

Last night though, I was substantially rewarded. So far I'd stayed well clear of the gearbox. I was just happy that it all worked properly and thought "be gentle with it and don't upset the cables". As I was de-gunking the back of the engine, my brush clattered past some familiar metal fittings: the car already has AB gear cables fitted! I couldn't believe my luck. Feeling re-invigorated.

One of the things on my Shopping/Nice To Haves List was a Bailey DV30 recirculating dump valve. Yesterday I found that Saabs have what looks like a similar OEM one. I managed to pick up one for a tenner, and will report back with my results.

Meanwhile, the updated job list now looks like this - note the bias in numbers towards the Completed Jobs section:

Priority Jobs:
* Repair Horn
* Check/Adjust Headlamp Beam Alignment
* Replace A-Panel Fasteners (N/S)
* Repair Broken Wiring (behind instruments, from ign barrel, & seatbelt)
Replace Intake Plenum, Injectors & Throttle Body

To Do List:
Check/Adjust Emissions
Fit Recirculating Dump Valve
Repair Alarm & Immobiliser (inc top cover LED)
Replace B-Post Cap (N/S)
Replace Fascia Fastener
Replace Door Trim Fasteners (Inc Orange Clip)
Re-paint Radiator Grilles
Repair Radio Aerial
Port Wastegate
Clean/Re-paint Chassis
Replace Oil & Filter (after port wastegate)

Shopping List:
* Number Plate (Front)
* MoT Test
* Anti-freeze & De-ionised Water (after port wastegate)
Car Cover
Sikaflex & Seatbelt Lengths to repair roof
Wheel Arch Liner Fasteners

Nice To Haves:
Repair Clamshell N/S & Wheelarch O/S/R & Full Respray
Refurbish Wheels
O2 Sensor
ESM S2 Everest
Stereo & Speakers
Toolkit & Jack
Aircon System

Completed Jobs:
* Check/Adjust Alternator Belt
* Check Bulbs
* Check CAS bearing
* Check Coolant Pump & Fans
* Check/Clear Fault Codes
* Check Oil Pressure & Level
* Check/Adjust Timing
* Check Turbo (& free Wastegate)
Clean Bodywork & Hood & Rain-X Windows
Clean & Re-paint Brakes & Wishbones
Clean Engine Bay (WD40), Interior (Cockpit Shine), Seats & Boot
* Clean Screenwash Bottle & Check Windscreen Wash/Wipe
Clean Wheels (Cleaner), Replace Centre Caps, Fit Wheel Nut Covers
Fit K&N Air Filter
Fit Wind-deflector
Re-paint Windscreen Surround
Repair Centre Console Latch
* Replace Coil Packs
* Replace CV Boot (O/S)
Repair Door Handle Escutcheon (N/S)
Repair Door Trim (O/S)
Replace Dashboard/Fascia inc Blown Bulbs
Replace Fusebox in Passenger Footwell
Repair Headlamp Mechanisms & Motor (N/S)
Repair Light Outer Cover (N/S/R)
Repair Mirror (N/S)
* Repair Seatbelt Retract & Latch Mechanism (O/S)
Replace Carpet (inside boot)
* Replace Headlamp Control & Delay Modules
* Replace Indicator Repeater
Replace Light Covers (inside boot)
Replace Number Plate Plinth
Replace Speaker Grille
Replace Throttle Cable
* Replace Water Pump
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Mon 05.05.2014, 10:12

Yesterday I finally managed to get the intake plenum assembly all back together. While in the area I'd already loosened a few fasteners in preparation for the wastegate porting job. I also wanted to test if the alternator repair that I'd attempted had been successful from parts that I'd found in my garage. So I tried starting the car. My GOD the noise! It blew through the separated exhaust gaskets and revved to about 4,000rpm from cold - bloody horrible. :shock:
Not only that but the battery light stayed on, which was depressing. If anyone has had an alternator sieze up on them, I'd be happy to take it off your hands and would pay the carriage. I'd just like to swap rectifier parts over - to make mine work if possible.

As for the mad idle speed, I'm hoping that disturbing the exhaust assembly has had some sort of adverse effect on the idling, so best just to crack on, get it all over and done with - back together and complete, then concentrate on makng it run properly.

The afternoon's work work went so much better. Not a single sheared fastener while getting the exhaust manifold and pre-cat off. Even all the heat shield bolts and turbo to pre-cat nuts came out intact, AND the O2 sensor bung! After such a smooth run I was convinced that I'd get in there to find it had already been ported, but no. So I finished by cleaning up the big hole in the engine bay, then moved onto polishing up the impeller housing and heat shields. This morning I'll go and get some more grindstones, bore out the wastegate orifice, and hopefully it should be all back together by this evening.

I'd normally recommend setting aside 2 weeks for a wastegate porting job. To have it done in 2 days is just mind-bending.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby epipete » Mon 05.05.2014, 10:35

How did you lift the turbo/manifold and down pipe out? Does it need a hoist?
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Mon 05.05.2014, 11:08

The key thing is to get all of the exhaust manifold studs out, because there isn't room to pull the assembly off before it hits the clamshell with them in.
I found that you can get a couple of the nuts, lock them together and then unscrew each stud. There was only one that didn't have enough thread showing to be able to use that method, and after the rest (see below) was free, I just pulled the assembly forwards and then got some molegrips onto the stud. Once it had started moving, it was fine.

The one that's partially obscured by the PAS pump is the worst, but the manifold has a slot rather than a hole anyway, and in my case it didn't have a nut on (which made everything easier) - once the others were off the assembly would just slide sideways off that one. Of course everything will be copper-greased before it goes back together. It may burn off, but I'll have peace of mind!

I unbolted the downpipe where it joins the pre-cat housing at the 3 bolt flange, and unbolted the pre-cat from the engine - there are just 2 bolts which attach it to the front of the block. In hindsight I'd have been better off removing the entire bracket from both the engine AND the pre-cat because it made life difficult getting it all up and past the clamshell with it still attached. In the event I ended up removing the bolt out of the middle of the engine mounting next to the cam-belt cover, and then jacking up the engine on that side by a couple of inches.
The only other things to remove were a couple of water pipes and an oil banjo. Oh, and the dipstick!

Then, although it weighs upwards of 10kg, it can just be lifted out.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby dapinky » Mon 05.05.2014, 12:29

Pete,
If you've got a set of 'star' sockets, then the E8 size is the one to fit the exhaust studs - they aren't fitted overly tight and should come out quite easily.

(look at the wiki page.

Neil,

I had a seized altenator, but no idea which box it's currently in - how much of a rush are you in? I'm not currently up to jumping arround on a set of step ladders, but if you can wait a week or 2 I'll try and dig it out. (it had the windings expand due to excess water, but the reg pack etc should be okay).
Dave

Just the one now, but this one's mine! - and it will be finished eventually.....

go on - click this link - you know you want to!
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Mon 05.05.2014, 12:42

Dave, that's perfect - thanks! I can work my way around it, swapping things back and forth but the sooner the better.
Happy to arrange carriage if you can just stick it in an appropriate box. PM me to let me know your details and how much you want for it.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Tue 06.05.2014, 23:31

Doh, spoke too soon. :(
It all went horribly wrong shortly after my last post - porting the wastegate went OK, apart from giving me a nasty headache. Maybe that's what caused me to lose concentration, but I was just reassembling the turbo and pre-cat when I snapped one of the studs. :evil:
So it all had to come apart again, and that was the end of the job. I thought maybe the best thing to do would be to try and drill it out, but only having hand tools made that impossible.
Today I've taken the assembly to a local engineering specialist, and may not see it again until the end of the week. Hope it doesn't cost too much to put right.

I knew I had a spare turbo buried somewhere in the garage, so I spent this afternoon tidying it out. I'd forgotten just how many Elan parts I'd collected. But I found a siezed alternator amongst other things so will have a go at repairing my original one with it. There is plenty that I can still be getting on with - it's just a shame that I am unlikely to be able to get the car MoT'd this week after all.
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby epipete » Wed 07.05.2014, 12:53

Neil, Dave thanks for your comments/advice.

Neil, your experience is similar to my own in as much as the cars seem troublesome to work on due to various factors; design, age, spares availability, tools etc etc.

My main frustrations are, because of age, issues arise that take a relatively straightforward task into realms beyond the amateurs ability to resolve. In my case, age/abuse has taken its toll on turbo coolant threads necessitating removal of the turbo, which will require removal of the manifold, which in turn will risk further broken studs! Consequently, I have been driven into the hands of an experienced and well tooled mechanic, the car goes in next week.

Anyway, sorry for hijacking your thread; a great job that you are doing and continued success

Pete
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Thu 08.05.2014, 03:17

Pete,

I take your point, but would counter that this isn't an issue purely limited to Lotuses. ANY old car would put up a fight after having fasteners in the hottest part of the engine roasted into place for over 20 years.
The engineer that I took my turbo to in order to have the snapped stud removed was giving it all of the usual "well, you know what LOTUS stands for don't you" - I nearly walked out. He shut up when I pointed out to him that the car was 23, had over 120,000 miles on it, WAS running fine (and would have continued to do) until *I* buggered about with it and then made a ham-fisted attempt at repair!

Oh and there's certainly no need to apologise for thread hijack - the idea is to promote a bit of interest and discussion, and it's nice to know that I'm not just talking to myself! :lol:
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Re: 1991 Pacific Blue Elan SE - journey back to former glory

Postby Enright » Sun 11.05.2014, 22:29

Well, the engine is pretty much back together, and even if I do say so myself, it looks great!
Unfortunately, how it goes is a different matter altogether: Erm, I seem to have upset it a bit. :oops:
Fuel, water, and (I suspect) air - all leaking.
When the car is started, it instantly revs up to about 4,000 rpm and will not drop - it just stays there, bawling at me.
The fuel leak was fairly easily fixed - one of the O-rings which seals the fuel pressure regulator had dropped out.
The water leak is from one of the pipes that feed the turbo - I think it will soon seal properly.

It's the mad revving-its-spuds-off that is baffling me.
I had a TPS fault code. It turned out that I had inadvertently swapped the original for a dodgy one, so I swapped it back and have had no error codes since.
The throttle body seems to be operating correctly, as are the secondary throttles.
Everything is connected (other than the alternator and power steering pump).
The engine is so loud at 4,000 rpm that I simply can't hear any hissing - if there are any air leaks to hear.

Being as there are no fault codes, I'm guessing it must be a mechanical problem, but can only think that either the idle air control valve or maybe even an injector has got stuck open. Perhaps I'd be best off cleaning up the original components and putting them all back on in place of the ones I've recently refurbed. They had after all been a long time in storage, so could have deteriorated and stuck.
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