New member - Hi Y'all

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New member - Hi Y'all

Postby TorqueHorse » Wed 29.01.2020, 05:30

Howdy folks! Officially got the title transferred yesterday and am now the second owner of a 78k mile '91 Elan SE in Austin, TX. Its in neglected shape, but I have been inspired to attempt a restoration from the wealth of (accumulated and active) knowledge on this site, the youtube restoration channel dedicated to the car, and a shout out to another youtuber, George Karellas, for making me foolish enough to just go for it. I'm already indebted to this site in particular, so thanks for keeping the dream of this car alive for hopefully another generation of folks to enjoy! I'm trying to keep track of my progress in my restoration thread here, so there should be new stuff every week. Otherwise it means I will have sunk into despair and traded it in for a Miata ;).
Seriously though, having a Lotus has been a lifelong dream, and I know getting into an Elan is easy but staying in one is hard/expensive, BUT I really did need a new hobby and I think this one will keep me busy for years. Plus it ticks a lot of the boxes that I've never spent money on a car before (convertible, sporty, manual, exotic...) so why not start with the best, right?
One of the other exciting aspects of this particular car is the barn find aspect of it. As I've been cleaning it up, I've found all this time capsule ephemera from the mid 90's: mostly receipts. One of the more exciting parts of the past weekend was that I finally got the trunk opened. I'd been working that lock periodically for weeks, and was about to drill it out, but thanks to suggestions from this site, cooler heads prevailed and I just kept trying it every day. Then Sunday night, after I finished my first complete fix (the horn, yay) the lock finally budged. First car that I can say there really was a dead body in the trunk; it was just that of a mouse though, its perfect little skeleton laid out in the bottom of the wheel well. The cool part though was finding the original tool kit.
IMG_20200126_173402.jpg
There were other tools in the trunk too that I don't think were original. Does anyone have a reference of how the tools/equipment should be laid out? I'd love to just get the right stuff in there, where it is supposed to go.
Thanks again for the advice and encouragement!
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Re: New member - Hi Y'all

Postby rip » Wed 29.01.2020, 08:14

It sounds like you have some work ahead? The car will make you smile when you get to drive it though.

I feel the Elan is not really a problem to maintain if it is driven & looked after regularly. There are a few quirks but the drivetrain is a tuned up Isuzu Impulse.
Attitudes like "I won't bother changing the anti-freeze because I've not done many miles in it" are where problems can start.
1990 SE
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Re: New member - Hi Y'all

Postby Rocklobster » Tue 04.02.2020, 21:47

Hi there.

By the sounds of it, you've got yourself quite a project. Well done. You won't regret it as long as you like to tinker. The first year's the worst because you want to do everything all at once and you simply can't.

I bought in just over 2 years ago and found that the two things you need more than anything are time and patience, followed by a little bit of know-how. The Isuzu engine's very strong and reliable, the electrics are probably the best in any Lotus built before the millenium and the mechanicals are excellent.

The rewards to your efforts are great. It's quick and if you read up and teach yourself about suspension geometry, you can make it handle like it should (with a little trial and error) or take it in and get it set up. Awesome handling.

Keep posting and asking.
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
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Re: New member - Hi Y'all

Postby HJ2 » Wed 05.02.2020, 13:33

welcome on the forum! :D
If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got
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Re: New member - Hi Y'all

Postby TorqueHorse » Thu 06.02.2020, 05:59

Thanks guys (folks?)!
Yes, totally I'm biting my nails to not tear the whole car apart, but I think my storage space limitations will be a blessing here that I will need to start putting things back on to make room for taking other things off :)
Long game, long game, gotta remember the long game; thanks!
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