S2 #378 (Steve) - hopefully only light fixes

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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sat 16.01.2021, 02:36

Hello Cliff - excellent to meet you, we sound like we’ve stolen each other’s identity!

I do love those in-line splices, I recommended them to Matt of the Rosie fame a little while ago. That being said I don’t have any myself, whenever I sit down to fix something I’ve forgotten to order a box and the roll of solder I’ve been using since around 1996 still has another 200 years left at this rate.

I hear you on the problems fixing bodge jobs and I separate them in to the excusable pile of things done at home (not everyone has a background in electronics) and the ones an unsuspecting owner has paid a ‘professional’ to do. In the case of Steve the fuel cut of bypass was an appallingly bad job in execution but outright dangerous in design. Similarly the radio installation was pretty inexcusable. I’ve got the invoices for both jobs I don’t have much time for the garages who did the work. I’m grateful the fixes play to my stronger areas, and that I haven’t had to take he head off or anything like that (yet!).

I’ve been really lucky with Steve, just a couple of mechanical gremlins in the cooling and brakes, apart from which I’ve really struggled to find anything wrong at all.

I’m using it as our second car, so that means a few trips at the weekend and one or two drives to work each week.

On the white dials... I’m replacing my faded dash dials with new Lockwood’s but I could only get black. They are backlit in white which I much prefer to the red, but my ‘three sisters’ will not match so I need to solve that problem. Actually I must get round to putting in the new Lockwood’s but I keep putting it off. It’s working, messing with it seems high risk!

Nice to meet you
George
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I need to get round to installing these. Does anyone know where I could source a set of accessory gauges to match?
Last edited by 378S2 on Sun 24.01.2021, 03:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sun 17.01.2021, 08:05

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They’re faded, cluttered, and the main scale is in the wrong units so it had to go.


Cliff - you motivated me!

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With the cover removed you can see the fading, not sure why the Speedo has faded the most.


Disassembly included some scope creep, not sure if I did it or it was broken already but I had to epoxy the Mount back on. I put some metal reinforcing in there too.

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I don’t like the bubbles... and it didn’t turn out as neat as I would have liked but it is strong as an ox and it’s the sort of thing you’d have to be very keen to find.


The connectors were in a mess, particularly the long one. I used double sided tape to glue it back down and then kapton tape on top, cutting out the contacts to redo it.

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In a bad way...


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Stuck down


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The finished connector - not perfect but solid and will last for a good few years I think.


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Cutting out the masks - love kapton tape.


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I used acrylic polish to refresh the cover glass


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My Lotus Easter egg!

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Looks much better I think.


Top tip if you’re doing this job - you’ll need to go for a test drive to check you got the Speedo and tachometer needles in at the right angle as they are not keyed. However, inserting and removing the cluster involves so much swearing you won’t want to do it. What worked for me was to put it back in without the black plastic top and glass assembly - that is very quick and easy. I went for a drive like that, recalibrated my main gauges using my GPS (and a bit of guess work for the revs) and then put it all back together.

Top tip #2, it’s a right pain putting LEDs in as you need to know which way round they go. I figured out the pinout of the three connectors and then used a 12V source to check each one on the bench. The copper tracks are old and easily damaged so I don’t recommend mucking about with them if you can’t see what you’re doing properly, as you have to when it’s on the car. If you want a copy of that pinout let me know.

With it all done I think I looks great. Very simple, and uncluttered. The LEDs are very noticeably brighter than the old bulbs and the backlight is now a very pure white rather than a dirty yellow. I’m not a fan of the red on black, so this is a compromise for my otherwise completely stock S2.

Now - I have one hundred trillion Zimbabwean dollars for whoever can help me source a set of the 3-sisters to match. Lockwood don’t want to print them. :-(
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby TorqueHorse » Fri 22.01.2021, 16:04

Nicely done! My contacts looked about the same condition and you mean I shouldn't have shoved it all back in there? :oops: That job may actually have been one of my lowest points because it was a million degrees out and I could not get the geometry right of how to get the instrument cluster back in there and attach the speedo cable. I admit I will probably need to get back in there to do a proper fix like you have (with the same broken piece of plastic - was it me who broke it :roll: ) and I didn't think of calibrating the speedo needle at the time. Nice tip!
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sun 24.01.2021, 03:25

Hi Matt - personally if you’ve got it back in there and it’s working then I’d leave it alone until you need to fix it. The work I did on the connector was purely to prolong its life and really that just means the number of times it can be reconnected. If yours has gone back as it should then the spring pressure of the connectors will hold everything where it should be. The Speedo isn’t very accurate anyway... almost seems nonlinear based on my measurements so I set it to be correct(ish) and 60 and 100 and that’ll do. You’ve got bigger fish to fry!

The step in the WSM that tells you how to remove and replace the unit are laughable. I am 99% sure I broke mine and scratched it getting it out. I had the same experience as you, it was hot as hell here that day and obviously as soon as I got it stripped out I needed to use the car so it became a stress to get it back in. Such a smart choice for a second car! :-)

While I had it apart I took the photo of the felt pad / heater switch mod that I promised...
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This was the best photo I could get, sorry!! Self adhesive felt pad stuck to the heater valve flappy thing so it makes better contact with the vacuum micro switch and closes the valve when not in use.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby TorqueHorse » Sun 21.03.2021, 16:36

:D Don't think we forgot...
378S2 wrote:PS I’ve ordered one of the Holden Turbos - I’ll let you know how it works out.

:poke:
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Tue 23.03.2021, 00:01

Ha ha - I cancelled the order! It got delayed, and then I got to thinking... do I really want the cheapest parts known to man anywhere near my car? And the answer was, “No, I’ll find some decent ones.”
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Tue 23.03.2021, 00:07

Update:

1. I’ve ordered a nearly complete set of Samco hoses from Hans in Holland, they should be here soon

2. I’ve had some very nice 3D printed wheel centres done by a local engineering student. The ID is 52mm for the decal and I couldn’t find and Lotus badges that size so I have two sets of Union Flags on the way - proper colour and greyscale. Will decide which one I like best.

3. I still haven’t done the brakes but they are a bit pants and winter will be here in a couple of months so I’ll do it then.

4. There is play in my gear linkages - I’d say about 20mm lateral and 10mm fore and aft. Am I right in assuming that I can strip that down and replace the bushes? I’d go for a set of short shift but they will cost me USD650 + postage. I’m sure they’re wonderful but I don’t mind the (sloppy) original so for now I’d like a cheap fix.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 23.03.2021, 09:38

378S2
The price you quote is for both the short shift kit AND redesigned cables. However, I believe the short shift now available does not fit the standard cables.
When you look at the price for just new 'original' cables from a Lotus dealer, $650 starts to look good value.

However, there could be slack in your current set-up, so I would suggest taking a look at the gearbox end and see if anything has come adrift.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Tue 23.03.2021, 09:50

Hi FredJohn - yes exactly that’s both cables and short shift kit which I would need for that reason. They look great, but if there’s a worn out bushing or two in the system changing those will be a fix that won’t cost much. I had a poke around last night and my theory is that when I do the hoses I’ll have better access so will get it apart then.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Tue 23.03.2021, 13:54

My Samco parcel has arrived (thanks Hans) - which means I now have all the parts needed for a brand new cooling system with the radiator and thermostat already done and a two year old water pump. I do have a water pump in my box of parts but I’ll leave that well alone.

My set of hoses came at a great price but I am missing the turbo hoses (TB1836 and TB1837). If anyone has those in stock I would love to take them off your hands.

The Samco hoses are beautifully made and I see now why they are so highly rated. My existing hoses are original and showing signs of coolant seeping down the fibre inserts, so it’s time for them to retire. I don’t fancy the job of changing them much though.
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By my calculations, it’ll take a full weekend and all the skin on my knuckles to change this lot over.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby TorqueHorse » Sat 27.03.2021, 00:29

378S2 wrote:My Samco parcel has arrived...but I am missing the turbo hoses...

Hmm, cancelled an order for a new turbo and now don't have the hoses for one either? I think the Turbo gods are mad; forcing you to failure sooner. Get the new turbo
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sat 27.03.2021, 00:46

Well it’s definitely possible - I’m normally a man of science but on this occasion correlation must = causation.

But no, I assume Hans had used the turbo hoses for something and gave me the rest for a song, well a longish song, but shorter than the full opera with intermission and dinner afterwards that they cost from the Samco agent here.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Tue 27.04.2021, 10:58

Another huge update from Perth - new wheel centres. I lost one of the Elise ‘Lotus’ centres and didn’t want to replace with the same badly fitting ones so I had Toby’s design 3D printed and waited approximately 15 years for some union flag stickers to arrive.

I think I prefer the Lotus centres! The union flag options fit beautifully though, if only I could find some 52mm Lotus badges.

Next update will be something meaty I promise.

EDIT (+1 day) - they are growing on me. I don’t like that they’re not stock, but as ‘mods’ go they’re hardly difficult to reverse. I quite like the splash of colour, and being that I am overseas a little bit of me likes flying the flag in some small way.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 30.04.2021, 15:05

Now the real reason I haven’t done my front brakes yet is because I needed a workbench (which I have now built) and because I have a rational fear of jacking the front end up. When I did the radiator my friend the all knowing car guy helped me so it was not a stress. But I’ve been looking at it for months now and making plenty of excuses.

We’ve had a mini-outbreak of COVID here (sorry for my UK and US friends, we had one case that leaked out of quarantine) so I’ve been working from home and I finally ran out of excuses. The callipers are now off, stripped ready for clean up and paint over the weekend. The sliders were really stuck in there, needed a hell of a lot of persuasion to get them out so I am expecting big things.

I’m open to paint suggestions. I have half a can of black from the rears and I bought a can of yellow because I thought it would look cool. What’s the consensus? Understated black, stop-faster yellow? Tesla white? Red? Gold? Silver? I will eventually have them blasted and gold passivated per the OEM spec so I don’t mind a temporary detour from an otherwise bone stock car.
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Should look a bit fresher with rotors, pads, hoses and a full calliper rebuild. The key question though is what colour to paint the calipers?
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Needed a workbench - man it makes life a lot easier. Still have the drawers to go.
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Stripped down and ready for clean up and paint. The pistons and sliders were well jammed in there, and the pads were unevenly worn so I am expecting a big improvement.
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I grew a pair and jacked it up using my hydraulic jack on one side and the OEM jack on the other. Jackstands on the secondary points. Maybe my fear was irrational…
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sat 01.05.2021, 14:25

Paint selection competition is closed - I sprayed one of the old rotors yellow as a test. The shame I would feel doing that to the car means temporary or not, they’ll be black!

EDIT: some photos so far
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The cylinders needed a tickle with metal polish but they came up really well.
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New everything will make a huge difference. The old moving parts were so well jammed in there I suspect they were original.
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I used the old seals for masking the paint work, they did a good job.
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Painting is hard - so glad I didn’t make these yellow.
Last edited by 378S2 on Sun 02.05.2021, 14:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Simon_P » Sat 01.05.2021, 15:12

Was just about to say black because it won't look dirty.
With the OE front calipers it is worth taking the piston out and making sure that there isn't a rubber tide mark on the sealing surface - it can make them sticky.

Nice bench!
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sun 02.05.2021, 14:55

Simon thank you, yes I pulled them out and cleaned them up. Just finished fitting all the hardware - wish I’d waited a bit longer to let the paint harden.. few chips to touch up now. Doh!
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Mon 03.05.2021, 02:18

Quick question for the Collective please: I lubricated the sliders with plenty of silicone grease but in the cylinder I only used brake fluid. Is that correct? It’s an easy fix right now but will become a pain once I refit them. Thanks!
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby TorqueHorse » Mon 03.05.2021, 04:59

Yep :)
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Mon 03.05.2021, 14:42

TorqueHorse… I will just leave this here:
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Not as hard to fix as a main shell but an extra dumb mistake given the reminder you gave me a few days ago!
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