The Project Begins - Page 7 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #121 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Here it is pretty much done. Just have a bit of detailing to do in those areas on the ridges where there are slight depressions and swirl marks.

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post #122 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 06:25 PM
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Very pretty!
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post #123 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Didn't do a whole lot tonight. Got most of the old valve cover gasket scraped off the engine block. Got tired of doing that so I switched to replacing the old rusted heater valve with a new one.

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The only area where the valve cover gasket seems to be stuck on pretty good is of course on the side that's 2" from the firewall so there's almost no room for me to get in there to remove the old gasket. I've still got about 4" of it left to remove so tomorrow night I'll see if I can get that done and get the valve cover back on. I'm kind of anxious to see what the newly painted cover is going to look like on the engine compared to what it looked like before.
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post #124 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 01:04 PM
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Looks Great!
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post #125 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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The replacement sleeve for the front bushing was waiting for me when I got home from work and I got the front suspension completed and the car is back on the ground tonight!

Here's a shot of the front driver's side before I started.
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And here's what it looks like now.
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The package waiting for me also included a new light-weight alloy alternator pulley. It weighs just under 1 lb at 15 oz. The factory pulley weighs 2.5 lbs so this upgrade pulls slightly more than 1.5 lbs of rotational weight off the engine. I went ahead and put that on tonight while the valve cover was off since it's much easier doing that without the valve cover in the way.

Here's the old pulley weighing 2 lbs 8 oz.
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Here's the new one weighing only 15 oz.
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Here it is on the engine. Can't wait to see how this will all look with the new paint scheme on the valve cover!
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I also got the rest of the old valve cover gasket scraped off the engine but I didn't put the cover on yet; I'll do that tomorrow. Slowly but surely it's coming along....
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post #126 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 10:19 PM
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That engine bay is starting to look great, you are doing some fantastic work.

I'm new here and have read this thread from the start and it really does inspire folks to see what can be done with a little hard work.

Incidentally, I've never seen an alloy pulley before and apart from the advantage of being lighter, it also looks the part. Where did you get it from ?

Brian (UK owner)
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post #127 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAB807F View Post
That engine bay is starting to look great, you are doing some fantastic work.

I'm new here and have read this thread from the start and it really does inspire folks to see what can be done with a little hard work.

Incidentally, I've never seen an alloy pulley before and apart from the advantage of being lighter, it also looks the part. Where did you get it from ?

Brian (UK owner)
Thanks Brian! I purchased the pulley from Ray at R.D. Enterprises (rdent.com). Ray has been a great help and resource for parts. He responds quickly, ships out your order right away and doesn't hesitate to take care of you if there's any issues.

Here's a screen snapshot of the pulley I purchased, plus he has an even lighter one available.
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post #128 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Tonight I made a bit more progress. Got the valve cover on; tried the "slow tighten" trick. It's interesting because you can feel the difference in compression every 30 mins when you go to tighten it a little more. You tighten until they're all snug, then 30 mins later they're slightly loose feeling when you go to tighten them again.

I also replaced the pink zip ties that were on the plug wires to mark which plug wire went to which cylinder. I put green zip ties on which are kind of like British Racing Green. I may change them to black later on, or even gold if I can find some gold ones. At any rate these look a lot better than pink!

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I just wish the engine had been grey instead of Fisher-Price blue. But, since I don't feel like pulling the engine just to paint the stupid thing, I'll just have to live with it. At any rate, the engine compartment certainly looks better than when I started!

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I have a replacement hose to replace the one connected to the thermostat housing, so that's next and I think I'll pull the thermostat housing, check the thermostat, replace it if necessary, and strip the blue paint off the housing and either polish it as a natural aluminum or paint it grey.

Test drive tomorrow; hopefully there aren't any leaks around the valve cover!

Last edited by EuropaFan; 08-25-2011 at 12:51 AM.
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post #129 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:02 AM
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Nice idea with the ty-wraps to number your spark plug wires. You can get numbered plastic labels (I forgot where I got mine. I did find one kind at JC Whitney: Mallory Numbered SHRINK SLEEVING spark plug wire markers - JCWhitney). You might try an auto parts store or speed shop.
If the picture comes through, you can see mine on my wires. They are numbered plastic "collars":
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post #130 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:05 AM
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It worked!!
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post #131 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 03:44 PM
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I for one, am glad to see a little Europa activity on this forum. Keep up the good work!

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post #132 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Started right up tonight. Everything ran fine; no leaks. World of difference in the road feel now that the front is done. The bouncy, jolting feeling in the front is now gone. Drove it around a bit and the suspension now feels snug and smooth; no jolts. The steering is tight and precise so I won't need to do any work there. Got some squeaks and rattles in the body that I need to track down but a lot of that is probably old worn rubber seals and such.

Is there a way to adjust the brightness of the instrument lights? They're too dim. If they aren't adjustable I might have to come up with a way to make them adjustable, or replace the bulbs with brighter ones.

It feels good though to drive it around and realize the big heavy stuff is done. Now it's refinement, fit and finish; upholstery, carpeting and paint.

Last edited by EuropaFan; 08-25-2011 at 10:57 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #133 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 09:41 PM
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Instrument lighting - I think you're hoping for too much from Lotus, most folks are ecstatic if all the instruments light up at all !

Being serious, I've never seen a method of changing the illumination levels on the early Lotus cars, but to be fair they are normally bright enough for normal nighttime driving. It might be that with modern cars having lighter instrument backgrounds and coloured illumination our expectations have moved on from white needles on black backgrounds.

The first thing to try is that all the instrument bulbs are secure and not dislodged. Some of the bulbs are in separate holders and might not be shining into the back of the gauges. After that it's just down to checking for good earth connections, I made up a heavier gauge earth loop with soldered connections for behind the dash on my car.

Brian

Ps - thanks for the info on the pulley, that could well become one of those "essential" parts I need to buy. As for the squeaks and rattles, that's just confirmation that you have a real, genuine Lotus. If you find water leaks as well, then it's 100% positive confirmation
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post #134 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAB807F View Post
Instrument lighting - I think you're hoping for too much from Lotus, most folks are ecstatic if all the instruments light up at all !

Being serious, I've never seen a method of changing the illumination levels on the early Lotus cars, but to be fair they are normally bright enough for normal nighttime driving. It might be that with modern cars having lighter instrument backgrounds and coloured illumination our expectations have moved on from white needles on black backgrounds.

The first thing to try is that all the instrument bulbs are secure and not dislodged. Some of the bulbs are in separate holders and might not be shining into the back of the gauges. After that it's just down to checking for good earth connections, I made up a heavier gauge earth loop with soldered connections for behind the dash on my car.

Brian

Ps - thanks for the info on the pulley, that could well become one of those "essential" parts I need to buy. As for the squeaks and rattles, that's just confirmation that you have a real, genuine Lotus. If you find water leaks as well, then it's 100% positive confirmation
LOL well thanks, now I feel like a "genuine" Lotus owner!

I'll check the instruments and wiring. I wouldn't doubt there might be a weak ground as there's been oxidation all over the place in the car. I've gone through almost a full package of steel wool just cleaning up various metal pieces as I come across them. The bulbs themselves might even need cleaning. I'll probably look into replacing them with LED equivalents if I can find them though.

Got pics of your car? I always like to see what others have and have done to their cars.
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post #135 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 06:45 PM
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My car had a dimmer switch that was on the passenger side near the radio - basically the mirror image of where the headlight switch is. I don't know if they had those in '72. I took mine out and put an oil temp gauge there and I think I just bypassed it thinking that would give me the brightest dash lights but mine are very dim. Much dimmer than I remember when the car was new. There was a discussion on the lotuseuropa group about led instrument gauge lights and that sounded promising.
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post #136 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 06:52 PM
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I put in the brightest LEDs I could find, each "bulb" had I think 5 individual LEDs. Only a little better. I had the tach and speedo rebuilt and that helped them some, just cleaner I guess? This did result in being able to see these gauges reasonably well, but no more than that.

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post #137 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ok when the temps here drop below 100 I'll look at the dash lights and see what I can find out. It's been miserably hot here and the forecast is more of the same for the next 4 days.

The dash lights are all the same dimness on mine so I'm guessing it has to be something electrical. The sidelights on the car are plenty bright and they're running off the same 12v as the dash lights so there has to be something in the dash circuit causing them to be so dim. I've looked at the documentation and wiring diagram and my car does not have a dimmer; they added that the next model year when they revised the dash.
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post #138 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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So how do you get the gauges out; is there an easy way to get to the bulbs?
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post #139 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 12:12 PM
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My experience is Elans only, but on that car the dash wire harness was tied to passenger side of firewall. Loosening that gave one enough room to pull dash away and get behind it (vs. working upside down under dash).

Too many yrs ago, but I think new, clean bulbs were all I needed for lights there.

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post #140 of 212 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 03:23 PM
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Caution: "Shipwights Disease" WARNING

Pulling the dash may result in other previously unknown discrepancies to become evident, which MUST be corrected.


Adventures in British Motoring?: Shipwright's Disease: Stage 1
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