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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Anyone with experience with one of those that can offer some tips for things to look at when inspecting a car for sale?
 

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There's really very little unique in terms of problem areas with the +2 that isn't covered by the Elan.

Engine - the twin cam will burn oil as the valve guides wear. Typical oil leaks around the front timing cover. Weber or Strombergs? Stromberg parts are getting harder to find.

Gearbox - clutch hydraulics are the weak link

Diff & drivetrain - rubber donuts, look for age, cracking

Brakes - rear pads are getting more difficult to find. Check hydraulics, master and calipers for leaks

Electrics - a sore point, LUCAS!!!! Check switches and general wear on the loom. Corrosion usually means resistance which can lead to heat and then fire danger.

Cooling - cooling problems in these cars typically point to 2 areas: Radiator (undersized) and the waterpump. If the waterpump is leaking assume the engine needs to be rebuilt. replacing the pump requires head and pan removal (to remove the pan you pretty much have to pull the engine)

Body - Spider cracks are the biggest issue. They're tough to repair. Check the headlight lifts. They are activated by vacuum pods that rust out. Also the crashpad is prone to cracking and OEM replacements are un-obtainium. Cracked wood dash can be repaired or replaced easily (throw money at it).

Chassis - Look for rust!!!! Rust around the base of the shock towers (F & R) is especially bad. I've seen the towers fail and literally break off with bad results.

Suspension - Look for rust, bad bushings and damage. The A-arms are stamped mild steel and are prone to damage and rust. Front uprights are Stanparts (Triumph) as is the steering. Springs & shocks are still available.

That's a quick & dirty overview... for more info check out:
LotusElan.net: Your Complete Lotus Elan Information Source.
Index page
and the "tech" section of the Golden Gate Lotus Club site GOLDEN GATE LOTUS CLUB - Lotus Car Club, especially this article that appeared in "Classic Motorsports" magazine - Elan Buyer's Guide

Cheers,
Kiyoshi

P.S. post a few pics!!!
 

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How long since it has been driven?

Proceed like any 60s or 70s English sports car. Unlike the common MGB... many of the interior parts are difficult to source so pay special attention there. Check all the rubber especially the donuts and bump stops. Wheel bearings on the Elan (non +2) are week so probably on the +2 also. The plastic fuel should have been replaced. There are a lot of electrical circuits on the +2, check that everything works. Twin cams are very expensive to rebuild, check wet & dry compression. Check the steering linkage universal. Check the frame for rust especially the bottom cross member and the where the frame angles up to pick up the shocks.

Check with LotusElan.net: Your Complete Lotus Elan Information Source.

Good Luck
 

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Um, er, yeah. I was gonna say that.



I will add, though, that good Plus 2's are hard to find. THey are not keeping up with Elan prices, they didn't sell as many when new, and have not been the darling of collectors so most have been continually maintained rather than restored.

So, if you are looking for one, don't be disappointed when you can't find a perfect one, or a great one for that matter. Focus on the things that would be expensive and time consuning to put right. Interiors and dash are easy relative to fixing gel cracks and painting.

If you are looking and find one you are buying, please post, I'd love to see it.

Kyle
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the references, I appreciate it.

I will spend some time and study to decide if this is the car for me. As soon as I know more - I will post.
 
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