Progress and setbacks on the 1974 Elite
So after getting the keys made for the ignition and doors, I got the car to a shop where I could work on it. I first set about inventorying what was and was not with the car. As can be seen from the prior photos the car did not have the US emissions ZS carb setup. Instead at some point someone had installed 40DCOE Webers on a european intake manifold. This was good but some bad news followed. When I tried to open the rear hatch, I discovered that the release mechanism was frozen. Most likely due to the extreme moisture problem of where the car was previously stored. Since I could not open the rear hatch, I could not reach anything in the rear trunk like the fuel tank, fuel pump, battery box or battery cables. After consulting with Tim Engel and Robert Rickner, I decided to carefully use a grinder to slice off the heads of the latch bolts that protrude down through the hatch glass and into the actual latch on the back of the glass. Once I had the hatch open I was able to determine that the main hatch cable that runs from the interior of the car, in the interior panel behind the driver's front seat, was frozen.
After getting the rear hatch open I was able to continue with the drying out process for the interior and rear hatch area. While that continued to dry out, I started investigating the engine to see what would have to be done to get it running. After pulling the plugs and squirting some marvel mystery oil down in the cylinders, I use a 19mm socket on a 1/2 drive ratchet to turn the crank. Fortunately the engine seemed to spin over just fine. With a new battery, I tried the starter and that worked well but the the engine backfired rather than starting cleanly. After some examination, I determined that the cams were out of time. After sharing the photos of the cams with Tim, he suggested that it looked like the crank had jumped time by about three teeth. Since I had no knowledge of the age of the timing belt, I decided to change that while I was resetting the cams. So I disassembled all of the v-belts off of the front of the motor and removed the timing belt covers to access the cams. To get the timing belt off, I had to remove the belt tensioner assembly. Once I had that off, I discovered the tensioner bearing was singing when rotated by hand so it was past it's service life. A new belt was obtained from JAE and the tensioner bearing from RD Enterprises.
Simultaneously with the engine work, I was also draining the old smelly gas from the tank and replacing a non-functioning fuel pump. Luckily I had an identical working fuel pump that I had removed from the modified Jensen Healey when I converted it to electronic fuel injection.
1974 Jensen-Healey w/Lotus 2.0L 907 with EFI & crankfired Ignition conversion
1985 Jaguar XJS 4.0L w/Getrag 5spd
1990 Lotus Esprit SE w/AWI monoblock wheels (wrecked)
1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo w/SE bodywork and burnt pistons
1988 Lotus Esprit Anniversary Edition w/Megasquirt EFI (NO CIS!)
1974 Lotus Elite (12th USA car off line)