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post #101 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Getting into the front suspension this morning. Going much easier than the rear suspension did. The old Koni shocks are shot in the front; I can literally pull the plunger out with my bare hands.

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I noticed the front rotor was dragging quite a bit against the brake pads when I tried to spin it; it wouldn't spin at all. Took a look and the pins holding the pads were pretty badly oxidized. Pulled the pins, polished them up with steel wool, put some grease on them and put them back in. Now the rotor turns freely by just giving it a spin by hand.

Right now I just want to get the bushings, shocks and springs replaced then get the car aligned. Then I'm taking it in to get the engine tuned, get the body fixed up and painted, and get the interior redone. But after all that I'm probably going to overhaul and rebuild the front brakes.
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post #102 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 01:40 PM
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I think Spax are good - I have them on my car. You'll need smaller springs for the front. They don't take the stock springs. I have a bunch of them, too! And in several rates. If you have any interest, let me know and I'll write back with what I have.
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post #103 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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I think Spax are good - I have them on my car. You'll need smaller springs for the front. They don't take the stock springs. I have a bunch of them, too! And in several rates. If you have any interest, let me know and I'll write back with what I have.
I have a set of SPAX shocks and shortened springs ready to be installed, but thanks for the offer.
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post #104 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 07:26 PM
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BTW, you should be able to pull the "plunger" out with your bare hands. There's something very wrong if you can't!
How old are those Konis anyway?

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post #105 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not absolutely sure but they may be the original shocks and springs. I can pull out the plunger AND push it in with my bare hands.
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post #106 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 03:42 AM
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Sure, you should be able to do that. If you couldn't pull them out and push them in, how ever could you fit them? I'll bet you can do the same with your Spax - I certainly can with mine.
Those Konis are not original fitting, nor are the springs around them.

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post #107 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I understand that, but the Spax are difficult to move in or out; there's quite a bit of resistance. Perhaps I should have originally stated that the Koni I can move the plunger in and out with relatively little effort; hardly any resistance.

I looked over the Koni and I can't see any date stamp or marking that would tell me how old it is. It looks like somebody spray painted it red at some point in the past. I don't know what original ones look like, do you have any pics?
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post #108 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 08:51 AM
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Konis are red, like in your photo which also shows the Koni decal.
They're usually set up to have liitle resistsnce on bump, but a lot more on rebound. So pushing in is quite easy, and so is pulling out slowly.
Pulling out in a hurry should be difficult if they're in good shape, and I'd really be surprised if they weren't. Konis are pretty much unburstable and last for ever, in my experience, though Ii must confess I don't know how to date them. Looks like someone did some serious upgrades to your car in the past.

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post #109 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-16-2011, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well after some minor "inconveniences" I finally got the right front suspension done. Called around to get the metal sleeve bushings pressed out of the control arms and I was getting quotes like "$25 each bushing" which would have been $200 to get all 8. I decided to go to Harbor Freight and found a nice little press for $65 which works just fine. Went to a local steel supplier and had them cut a 2" piece of heavy steel pipe which worked to put the end of the control arm on and press out the bushing into it. The inside was also the right diameter to hold the poly replacement bushing so I could press it in.

Here's the press I got and you can see the small steel pipe on the floor with one of the metal-sleeve bushings I pressed out of a control arm.
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Here's a better picture of the steel pipe and the bushing.
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Here's the front all put together with new poly bushings on the upper and lower control arms, and the new Spax shock and shortened spring.
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On this shot you can just see the edges of the purple poly bushings on the upper control arms.
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Right now it's too hot in the garage to continue. I'll see if I can get the other side done tonight when it cools down a bit.
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post #110 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 06:21 AM
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I have to say, that I really admire your work ethic. Your progress makes me want to get off my lazy ass, & get going. If only the weather would cool down to 95F for awhile...................
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post #111 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 06:55 AM
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Garage
Looks great! Thanks for posting all this. Should be quite useful to many along the way.

One reason I decided to let my Europa go is how difficult it is to get decent online information like this. The mailing list, while much appreciated, is so darn hard to get info from compared to a real forum like this.

Anyone can make something complicated. It takes genius to make it simple. Einstein.
2011 Evora S Racing Heritage Edition (#3 of 4) (Now with alexsharkeyross)
2005 Elise LRG, track prepped ,
1974 Lotus Europa Special 3841R in JPS livery
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post #112 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I have to agree; I've looked through the knowledge base, etc. but it takes forever to find info and without pics it's even more difficult sometimes to figure things out. I'm learning of course as I go along but hopefully some of the pics and info I'm posting will help others with their Europa projects.

Along those lines after much searching on the internet I found a great air filter that's reusable like a K&N; it's by S&B Filters, Inc. model W-7134 and I bought it from realtruck.com:

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It's very well made and fits the stock air filter housing perfectly. Just get a K&N filter maintenance kit from anyplace that carries K&N filters and use the same cleaning spray and filter oil for a K&N.
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post #113 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 07:33 AM
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One reason I decided to let my Europa go is how difficult it is to get decent online information like this. The mailing list, while much appreciated, is so darn hard to get info from compared to a real forum like this.
I ran into exactly the same problem when I was researching Europas. There is an amazing amount of information in the knowledge base, but finding it & connecting it with products and services currently available in the real world was pretty hit and miss.

I ended up registering europaowners.com to hopefully start to capture more Europa specific content over time. While I appreciate the mailing list, I just find forums much easier to use.
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post #114 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 09:16 AM
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2 things:

Anyone near Chester, NJ area who needs it, I have a very stout hydraulic press


Re-usable air filters: These work great out of the box, but we tend to over-oil them after cleaning and they don't flow well.

So, be very stingy with the oil, give it a lot of time to permeate the filter, i.e. use the least possible.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #115 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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2 things:

Anyone near Chester, NJ area who needs it, I have a very stout hydraulic press


Re-usable air filters: These work great out of the box, but we tend to over-oil them after cleaning and they don't flow well.

So, be very stingy with the oil, give it a lot of time to permeate the filter, i.e. use the least possible.
Very true on the filters. I've used K&N for years and I use the spray bottles to put the oil on, it's much easier to apply it lightly and evenly.
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post #116 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Well due to a defective bushing sleeve I'm stalled until next Tuesday. It's on it's way from R.D. but until it arrives there's nothing I can do; I can't finish the front suspension on the driver's side.

I also ordered various gaskets for door handles, hinges, headlamps, etc. in anticipation of those things coming off for the body to be worked on and painted. With any luck, in the next couple of weeks it will be getting painted and the interior redone. If all goes well, sometime in September it should be all photogenic and ready to go!
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post #117 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Decided to do some detail work while waiting for the replacement sleeve to arrive. Finished up the airbox, painted it gloss black and put the decal on it. Doesn't look too bad!
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Replaced the airbox bolts and washers with new stainless steel ones.
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Here you can just see the 1" plastic hole cap I bought to plug the hole in the top of the air cleaner can. Looks like it came that way from the factory!
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I just realized after looking at the above pic that I need to clean the top of the gas tanks lol! But at least it's looking better and better. Just received a new heater valve today so I can replace the rusted one that's on there now.

Making progress...one step at a time!
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post #118 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Stripped all the paint off the valve cover tonight; I'll paint it tomorrow night. I had to use a sanding block with 3 different grades of sandpaper and wet-sand the tops of the ridges so they'd be at least somewhat smooth and shiny. Someone at some point in the past had gone over the tops of the ridges with a large round disk sander or grinder and had put swirl marks in the ridges. None of that was evident until I stripped the paint off.

It doesn't look too bad now after I smoothed them out; you have to get pretty close to see the swirls. I'm going to paint it semi-gloss engine black and sand the paint off the tops of the ridges so they should look pretty good against the black.

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Oh and the gasket was cracked in 2 places; which is where it had a slight oil leak. I'll try that gasket trick with the new gasket and see how it works.
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post #119 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 08:29 AM
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you are doing very nice work.

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

Driving Tips-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...art-1-a-49665/
Moss Emergency Line-https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...cy-line-36631/
Bleeding Brakes- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f10...-brakes-241138
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post #120 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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you are doing very nice work.
Thank you!

Here's a shot of the valve cover primered and ready to be painted.
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Here it is painted; I sanded off just the top area. I had to do some touch-up in the long areas so I'm going to let that dry overnight before I sand those runners. Even with just the top part done it still looks a whole lot better than it did before!
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