Ongoing Improvements

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Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 10.04.2015, 12:25

I have had my car for nearly 3 years and thought I had better document the various jobs/upgrades I have done in that time. Previous owners had already fitted Everest chip, 2 1/4" exhaust and gas struts. So here goes: first the jobs done (aka the list)

1) Wilwood front brake upgrade
2) Electric remote boot release
3) Electric remote fuel flap release.
4) Put silencer on blow-off valve :!:
5) Fit combined radio/stereo/sat nav/Bluetooth Xtrons D-714SG
6) Amp for above Auna 2800 95w rms
7) New speakers all round Auna 5.5" at rear Juice 4.5" at front
8 ) Repaired broken slider on window
9) Group buy separate hub/disc on rear brakes
10) New cam belt/idler/tensioner/water pump
11) VW Golf relay for variable intermittent wipe

Edit add item 12
12) Fitted BCN gear change cables and short shift linkage.

Now the jobs to do:

1) Fit new dial faces to funboy 3
2) Replace elastic tensioners on hood
3) Fit gas struts to boot lid
4) Fit Samco water hoses
5) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to wheel arch liners.
6) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to headlights.
7) Refurbish seats and fit heated seat panels
8 ) Clean out proportion valves
9) Check functioning of rear calipers

I have this week done items 1-4 as you can see from pictures below. Am particularly pleased with the hood tensioners: looked at the various ways here on LEC and did a combination of them: no stitching required, but drilled and tapped the frame hoops to fix the clamps (M4 12mm bolts) and made up 2 clamps for the rear hoop. For the front I made a flat buckle, bolted it to the original holes in the hood plate, looped the elastic through a slot and then slid a metal bar through the loop to hold it in place. Quite simple really, and it all allows easy future adjustment or replacement.
I re-attached the Velcro padding using PVA glue: I've used this to seal kitchen worktops and glue on kitchen worktop end trims: never yet had a failure. Although white it dries clear. I will also use it to glue on some seatbelt webbing to the usual worn patches on the hood. Let you know how it works out.

The gas struts for the boot (thanks to lotustonybassplayer): I did not use self tappers but attached the strut bracket to the hinge bracket fixing, and drilled through the box section where the hood cover hinges and put a drilled and tapped steel plate inside for the M4 bolts. Works well but creates a problem: my remote boot release won't work because the pressure on the catch is too high :roll: Working on a solution :!: The 2 gas struts are 50mn each: not enough to raise the lid when unlocked, but OK to hold it up.

The dial faces were a pain: very fiddly but now done. The dash lights are on with the ignition so I turn them down in daylight to save the constantly blowing bulbs. But the luminosity in the dark is very good: much better than the main dials. Might change those too in the future IF I have to remove the unit.

Fitting the new hoses took just one day: harder to remove than fit. All the jubilee clips now face in an accessible direction, unlike the old spring clips. I fitted a new heater control valve whilst in there: the old one was full of hardened bits of rubber which stopped it closing (see photo of the bits!) I had an airlock in the heater, which initially blew cold, but after cycling the cooling fans on and off and leaving the car to stand for 4 days, the water level dropped 2" in the header tank. Topped it up, recycled the fans, and yipppeee a hot heater. Fortunately it seemed to just "bleed" itself and saved me the hassle of trying to sort it.

Image
Debris in valve

Image
Funboy 3 dials

Image
Elastic hood tensioner front

Image
Elastic hood tensioner rear

Image
Samco hoses

Image
Boot stut

Image
Boot strut

Items 5-9 to follow in due course, plus others when I get told to do them or think I'd better do them. Or it's an MOT failure......
Last edited by Fredjohn on Fri 10.04.2015, 23:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby HJ2 » Fri 10.04.2015, 14:06

:clap:
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby maz_r » Fri 10.04.2015, 22:38

Top stuff John. I can see I shall have to call on your skills and experiences in the near future.
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Jamie N » Sat 11.04.2015, 08:59

Excellent work there John, well done. Good CD in your player as well. :D
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Sat 18.04.2015, 00:15

Fredjohn wrote:The gas struts for the boot (thanks to lotustonybassplayer): I did not use self tappers but attached the strut bracket to the hinge bracket fixing, and drilled through the box section where the hood cover hinges and put a drilled and tapped steel plate inside for the M4 bolts. Works well but creates a problem: my remote boot release won't work because the pressure on the catch is too high :roll: Working on a solution :!: The 2 gas struts are 50mn each: not enough to raise the lid when unlocked, but OK to hold it up.


Sorted :!: :D Oiled the latch, adjusted the release solenoid a bit and fitted 80nm ilo 50nm struts. The boot lid now opens fully when released either from inside the car or from the alarm remote. And doesn't blow down when windy.

The PVA glue has held the Velcro nicely in place on the hood hoops, as well as the seat belt webbing repair to the hood. It dries slightly stiff, but will I think hold. It is a water proof glue, so the 2 worn areas shouldn't leak: time will tell.

I've also ordered some seat heated panels, so am now committed to repairing the seats.
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 24.04.2015, 18:20

Jobs done:

1) Wilwood front brake upgrade
2) Electric remote boot release
3) Electric remote fuel flap release.
4) Put silencer on blow-off valve :!:
5) Fit combined radio/stereo/sat nav/Bluetooth Xtrons D-714SG
6) Amp for above Auna 2800 95w rms
7) New speakers all round Auna 5.5" at rear Juice 4.5" at front
8 ) Repaired broken slider on window
9) Group buy separate hub/disc on rear brakes
10) New cam belt/idler/tensioner/water pump
11) VW Golf relay for variable intermittent wipe
12) Fitted BCN gear change cables and short shift linkage.

More jobs done:

1) Fit new dial faces to funboy 3
2) Replace elastic tensioners on hood
3) Fit gas struts to boot lid
4) Fit Samco water hose
5) Refurbish seats and fit heated seat panels
6) Check functioning of rear calipers



Now the jobs still to do:

1) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to wheel arch liners.
2) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to headlights.
3) Clean out proportioning valves
4) Fit gas struts to bonnet

Have had a busy week this week. The heated panels arrived (ebay this one), so I dived in and fitted them. Removed both seats, dismantled the squabs and discovered 2 splits on the driver's outside bolster (no surprise really its gets loads of abuse). The foam was in reasonable condition so spray glued the splits together rather than rebuilding with new foam, and swapped over the passenger/driver foam squabs. (Sorry passenger!!) Inserted the heater panel then rebuilt the squabs. I had removed the small metal ring clips with wire cutters, so I used cable ties to re-attach the leather covers to the foam.

When doing this, do the 2 that go across the seat first, then the ones down the side. (Removal is the opposite: sides first then central last). The squabs are also clipped to the diaphragm on either side by the backrest hinge. I changed this by pulling the 2 flaps underneath and tying together: this gives the cover tension and also means the squab can be easily removed in the future without disturbing the rest of the seat.

Both diaphragms were stretched a little (inevitable after 23 years), but were not torn or damaged. Got some new clips to replace broken ones and once all attached it tightened up nicely, but it was very easy to get the clips on, so I suspect the diaphragm will need replacing in due course. As they are no longer available, I intend to use Pirelli webbing side to side and front to rear, attached to a stiff wire at the sides as current arrangement, and to the frame at the front and rear.

Fitting the backrest heated panel was easy: just slide it up the gap between the leather and the foam: nothing in the way at all. I removed the backrests from the frames and this made doing the whole job a lot easier.

Re-assembled the seats and put them back in the car: all in all it took 1 1/2 days to complete.

The wiring was pretty straightforward: the kit came with all the looms made up: all you have to do is connect to a live feed and earth, and connect to a switched feed and a panel light feed. I positioned the controls in the A/C blank hole: fitted almost perfectly: the original multi-pin plug for the A/C was pushed back behind the dash and used for the switched feed and panel light feed. Fuse and relays were all part of the supplied loom. Wiring took another half day.

I have also done a quick adjustment of the rear calipers, so the handbrake is much better. However, the sliders were very stiff so spent an hour or so freeing them. As a result of the stiff sliders, one brake pad was pretty badly worn: the other 3 still had loads of wear left. Did a quick road test and brakes were good and pulled up dead straight, however I will fit new pads and while I'm at it a new caliper hardware kit and seal kit. SJ's do all 3, providing they actually have them in stock. I am proposing to use EBC Greenstuff to give a bit of extra performance to "balance" the Wilwood conversion upfront.

Sorry no photos: was rather busy doing the work!! Dapinky's WikiLEC entry, with photos, on fitting heating panels to the S2000 seat was very useful. Although a different seat, the principles and basic construction are the same.

Although the brakes are OK, I will be replacing the pads shortly, so the rest will be done at the same time.
La vie passe vite: vivez la avec elan(s).

Elan S4 DHC 1969
Elan SE turbo 1992
MB CLK 320CDi 2007
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby HJ2 » Fri 24.04.2015, 18:27

Good progress!

As a sidenote: I am replacing my greenstuff (the only ones available when I needed something quick) blocks on the rears as i don't like them at all. I think they don't get enough heat to perform as they should. I will replacing them with a set of Mintex high perfomance ones.
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Rob P » Fri 24.04.2015, 19:42

My My John you have been a busy boy, she's going to be like new for the trip to Italy :-)
simplify and add lightness
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 24.04.2015, 23:10

Rob P wrote:My My John you have been a busy boy, she's going to be like new for the trip to Italy :-)



Thanks Rob: but also going to Ypres very shortly so that'll give it a small run out and feel for all the changes :D :D
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Elanlover » Sat 25.04.2015, 13:41

Some thoughts on the boot struts you installed. I'd keep an eye on the lower mounting points - particularly the fibreglass "bumps" they are attached to. When I replaced the bar springs with struts I noticed that the "bumps" were flexing a fair bit. A lot depends on the force of the struts you've installed but any force will eventually weaken that area as its not meant to be load bearing. I ended up reinforcing that area with extra fibreglass and an aluminum plate. I also found that with the torsion bars removed the hinges had a lot of lateral play. I inserted a bolt into the slot on the hinge arm (where one end of the torsion spring went) to keep the two arms together (with a nylon washer in between) which reduced the movement.
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Thu 30.04.2015, 18:17

Thanks Elanlover, I'll keep an eye on the boot strut mounting, however I haven't removed the torsion bars and I have used a steel plate to attach the lower bracket, as can be seen in the next two photos. The hood lid attachment can be seen at right angles to my (small) backing plate.

Image

Image

Excuse the rather oversized bolt: ran out of 12mm long ones and that was all I could find at the time: to be replaced when I get another correct one.

I have also fitted gas struts to the bonnet: I know there is a kit available, but I made up my own bracket and got some gas struts off eBay: first attempt used 50nm, second 80nm (from boot), final successful attempt 150nm. So that's another job done from my list :D :D

Whilst doing the bonnet stuts I discovered the foam tube for the heater intake (wing to plenum) was a bit mature, or shall we say aged, so will need to replace it. Fortunately SJ list it and presumably have it.

Jobs now to do:

1) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to wheel arch liners.
2) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to headlights.
3) Clean out proportioning valves
4) Replace foam heater inlet tube.
La vie passe vite: vivez la avec elan(s).

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Boardman Elite SLR Endurance 9.8 carbon road bike
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Sat 09.05.2015, 12:05

Had a sneek project creep and decided to fit a 3rd brake light. Thought about a neat fitment in the spoiler, but after due consideration didn't want to touch the bodywork.

So my take on it......the back face of the wind deflector frame!

Bought a 30cm self-adhesive ultra bright strip of 5 blocks of 3 lights, wired it in (with a connector if I want to remove the deflector) and here is the result:

Image

The wiring goes inside the steel frame of the deflector, out at the bottom centre, through the bulkhead and picks up supply/earth in the battery compartment. The top frame is about half way up the rear screen.

The eBay item was £12 for 2, so I have a spare if this fails.....or if someone wants it??
La vie passe vite: vivez la avec elan(s).

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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Tuga2112 » Sat 16.05.2015, 19:57

Nice work John,

Its funny how LEC members implement a third brake light differently, I believe i have now seen 4 different approaches, only proves there are hundreds of different ways to accomplish the same goal.

I'm getting some inspiration from your post now :D
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Wed 05.08.2015, 22:36

Update on progress with the jobs in hand.

I removed the rear callipers, proportioning valves and all the pipework in between. Stripped the callipers and fitted new seals and sliders (from SJs). Opened up and cleaned out the crud from the valves, then re-assembled it all on the car with a single s/s braided brake hose each side from the valve to the calliper....less joints! Had the pipes made up by Nuneaton Hose and Fittings: they have a car dept called Racing Lines.

Then bled the brakes using the Eezibleed kit. Brakes still soft with pedal travel to the floor. So bled again. No change. So bled again and again and again. Still no change. Sheer frustration :( :( so rang Paul Matty for ideas and see if they could sort it, but they couldn't fit me in till October!!! Then tried Lotusbits: same timing though, but in the conversation found out they are breaking an Elan with Hi-Spec front and PNM rear conversions. Went over to have a look and decided to buy them. In very good condition, with hardly any pad wear. Cleaned them up, copperslipped the sliders and fitted to the car once I had removed the original calliper brackets (see my other thread on this problem!!)

Then had the problem of the Jeemy disc/hub conversion not sitting centrally in the calliper jaws. Lotusbits skimmed 1.5mm from each disc and problem solved. Assembled it all, adjusted the handbrake cable, then bled the brakes about 3-4 times. I had brakes. Quick sorry slow road test, all seemed OK, but pads/skimmed discs need bedding in.

Had a gentle drive to Evesham and back - about 60 miles - to help bed them in (and see my better half!). Handbrake very good and brakes a lot better, but still need a bit more bedding in and perhaps another bleed. MOT due on Friday will show up any issues.

I have also fitted the stainless steel kit to the wheel-arch liners (but subsequently lost one bolt!!)

So that leaves 2 jobs on original list to do, but will no doubt add some others, such as repaint the wheels, suspension and chassis cleaning and anti-rusting and anything that comes from the MOT: hopefully nothing!

To do
1) Fit stainless steel fitting kit to headlights.
2) Replace foam heater inlet tube.
La vie passe vite: vivez la avec elan(s).

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Elan SE turbo 1992
MB CLK 320CDi 2007
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Re: Ongoing Improvements/MOT

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 07.08.2015, 12:11

Yipppeee 12 months more motoring in the Elan. MOT passed, no advisories too!

Brake readings were good too:

F 280/290
R 90/90
H 120/120

They've bedded in nicely after the drive and feel OK. The MOT tester did the test himself, rather than me helping out, so readings are "real".
Emissions good too: 3.15, pass level 3.5, also the same as last year.

Now to look forward to the Stelvio/Lake Como trip :D :D
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Re: Ongoing Improvements but Failed MOT

Postby Fredjohn » Wed 03.08.2016, 18:20

Not a good day today. :( :( :( Failed its MOT on leaky front damper and emissions(4.3).

So stripped down and removed damper: "original" Lotus one: B100C0123F stamped on it. I assume the other one is the same.

But whilst removing the yokes to get the damper off the anti-roll bar sheered in two!!!! Left with a ball joint and short bit of tube attached :(

Have got a used ARB from Lotusbits for £60 and will go to Paul Matty on Friday to get a pair of Gaz dampers. May need to buy 2 new ARB to bottom link ball joints too if I can't remove the nuts from the joints. Car is currently in my garage on an axle stand with one suspension unit off. I can't get at the other side as the garage wall is in the way. Once driver's side is fixed, I will get car out of garage and do the other side and replace the ARB at the same time.

The emissions still need to be tackled though. Have bought 4 new plugs and a filter service kit to clean the K&N filter. Hopefully this will have the desired effect. I did run the car up to temperature and cycle the fans on and off a couple of times, but it didn't help.

Pleased with brakes though:

Front: 330/320
Rear: 70/70
H/brake: 110/110

Ideally maybe rears should be c100/100, but at least they are all pretty even.

Hey-ho it's a Lotus. At least the ARB snapped in the garage and not on the road!
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby par » Wed 03.08.2016, 18:27

Have a read of this thread before buying new anti roll bar balljoints:-

forum.lotuselancentral.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=22991

The good work done by Dave in figuring this out saved me a few bob so always pleased to be able to pass it on :D
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Saltire » Wed 03.08.2016, 19:48

:agree:
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Re: Ongoing Improvements but Failed MOT

Postby Rambo » Wed 03.08.2016, 21:09

Fredjohn wrote:Not a good day today. :( :( :( Failed its MOT on leaky front damper and emissions(4.3)


You were very high last year at 3.15%, close to the 3.5% limit so probably not surprising ?

When I got my engine up to temp and cycled the fans a few times the emissions dropped dramatically. Sadly not for you :cry: When was the last time you checked your base timing Fredjohn ?
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Re: Ongoing Improvements

Postby Fredjohn » Wed 03.08.2016, 22:15

Thanks for the tips everyone. I thought I had seen an article on ball joint replacement! Having now read it in context it makes sense. I have ordered 2 ball joints from Fife and the bolts nuts and washers from massiveattack007 as recommended by Dave the Pink. Thanks too to Dave for your usual in depth research. Just under £25 the lot with a few nuts/washers to spare.

Rambo: I haven't checked base timing for a while as car was running well and seemed OK (apart from emissions!!). The fan cycling worked for me last year as last year's reading was lower than in 2014. I tend to work on the "if it ain't broke" philosophy. Will give it a check whilst I am fitting new shocks and ARB though.

LEC to the rescue once again :D :D :D
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