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65 Lotus Seven S2


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Installed a new tonneau cover from Redline today, looking more and more like it did in 1966...

 

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And finally got my little yellow car home and out of hibernation, after making some space in the garage.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Took my Seven out for its first drive of any length, a shakedown drive on the suspension and carb work - a little over 80 miles and a couple hours of smiles. Also took the opportunity to experiment with a GoPro - next time think I'll mount higher and a bit forward. The video is a 7-8 mile stretch in the middle of my drive (I need to learn how to cut/trim). We don't have much in the way of "twisties" in ths part of the world, but this little piece of road had been recommended to me (and to a couple of motorcyles I came up on at the start). A fun little jaunt.

 

 

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Other than a little rattle I haven't been able to locate, yesterday's shakedown drive was a major success, with no significant issues identified until I pulled back into my driveway. On attempting to backup into my garage and on my ramps, I couldn't find the reverse gear. It had been a little wonky at a stop 15 miles before for a hot dog (the world famous Paul's Place, if you're ever in Rocky Point, NC - and a stand I've been stopping at for well over 40 years), but had worked. So , I pulled in forward and let her cool over night.

 

A preliminary assessment of the reverse problem was job 1 for today - and I knew I got lucky as soon as I opened the tunnel - the dome/cup that holds the lever in place in the remote had worked its way free, so lifting the gear lever was pulling it out too far. A little cleanup and a dot of blue loctite on the threads and I should be good to go - may even have been some of the rattle I was hearing!

 

I changed the gearbox and engine oil to give me a chance to inspect, both looked pretty good. A few brass specks in the gearbox oil, but very minimal debris of any sort. The engine oil wsa a bit dark, but no metal or debris. I'm debating pulling the engine and transmission this winter to take a good look inside, but with what I'm seeing plus how she drives I'm not sure I'll need to. I'd like to get a few hundred miles on it this Fall then see how both look to decide.

 

Looks like a rainy week to come, so will take time in the evenings to check and retorque nuts and bolts on the suspension and brake systems since this was the first meaningful or stressful mileage since rebuilding them - but otherwise feeling more comfortable with this little old car on the road.

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Took my Seven out for its first drive of any length, a shakedown drive on the suspension and carb work - a little over 80 miles and a couple hours of smiles. Also took the opportunity to experiment with a GoPro - next time think I'll mount higher and a bit forward. The video is a 7-8 mile stretch in the middle of my drive (I need to learn how to cut/trim). We don't have much in the way of "twisties" in ths part of the world, but this little piece of road had been recommended to me (and to a couple of motorcyles I came up on at the start). A fun little jaunt.

 

 

 

Beautiful road and even came with its own two-wheeled deer-sweepers.

 

Seven looked like it runs smooth and doesn't wander around at all.

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Beautiful road and even came with its own two-wheeled deer-sweepers.

 

Seven looked like it runs smooth and doesn't wander around at all.

 

:rofl: Always good to have two-wheeled deer-sweepers! Actually, these 2 passed me about 5 miles earlier, headed for this same stretch of road. They were just getting off their bikes for a quick break when I turned in - so we had a good long chat as they wanted to know everything about the little car they hadn't quite shaken.

 

I was pleased with how it handled. I did the front end alignment using the string method and based on how it felt I'd say I hit pretty close. I'll recheck it after checking all the fastenings to confirm. I think the engine is running a touch rich, so will tweak a bit more on the jets, but overall it pulls extremely strongly and smoothly.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been tweaking on the Webers a bit the last few weeks as weather permitted - Colortune confirmed I was a bit rich at idle and through the range, yet I was needing a larger idle jet and accelerator pump jet to solve the slight popping on overrun and the slight hesitation from low RPM to WOT. My latest tweak was to try one of Keith's w45 idle jets. Since I don't have a way to measure manifold vacuum on these old manifolds and carbs, I took a guess that they'd be on the weak side with the slightly more aggressive Cosworth cams and chose his w-jets over his hypo-jets (for engines with stronger vacuums). The idea behind his idle jets is to allow a more consistent and predictable mixture from the idle jets throughout the rpm range, as from his perspective and testing one has to use richer jets than necessary at idle/low rpm to make the desired smooth transition to the main jets. His w-jets are themselves tweakable with exposeable air holes to adjust mixture at a small scale. Testing yesterday was a nice leap forward for me, with a much smoother transition, further reduction and maybe elimination of the popping (will need to drive more to confirm), and continued strength and power above 3k rpm, where this engine is clearly happiest. Also got to take a close British friend and car guy for a ride yesterday and for him to give it a drive - fun for both of us.

 

Thought I'd also share the following recommendation I posted on lotuselan.net, as some of you here might find it useful, too.

 

Like many, I've become accustomed to digital navigation aids and most of my old road maps have found their way to the circular file. I use my phone and either Waze or Google almost exclusively in my daily vehicles, but there is something about the simplicity of the Elan and Seven that won't let me mount a big, ugly, modern phone even temporarily. These cars also beg to be driven by road signs and conditions as seen through the windscreen rather than digital alerts. Having said that, there have been several times I've wished for a simple nav aid rather than stopping to pick up my phone to look for directions, general or specific.

 

I watch indiegogo and kickstarter from time-to-time, and a couple years ago noted a neat system for bikers from a british company, called Beelline Velo. They've since released a version for motorcycles called Beeline Moto, and I picked one up a month ago to trial - and think it is as good a fit for our cars as anything digital can be.

 

It is a small puck-shaped device that simply points in the right direction and notes the direction and distance to the next turn. It works via an app and gps on your phone, and you can download the app and try out the functionality without purchasing the device. As a bonus, the relatively basic app allows a simple way to plan a multi-waypoint (up to 23 I think) trip if you're trying to take the scenic route.

 

I haven't yet determined where I'll mount it on the Elan, but in the Seven it peeks out just below the dash and through the wheel - out of the way, inobtrusive, but easily visible when I want or need it and easily removable for use in another vehicle or on a bike. Thought some others here might find it useful.

 

https://beeline.co/pages/beeline-moto

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  • 1 month later...

Pulled the cam cover this evening to check valve/tappet clearances, do another compression test and a leakdown test. Though running strong, had some notchiness at idle and low rpm/low load running and idle mix adjustment just wasn't working right on 3 and 4.

 

 

Compression test was perfect, 175s across the board, but leakdown test showed some air loss on 3 - then discovered weak valve springs. This likely explains the challenges I was having adjusting idle mixture screws on 3 and 4. So, will start the search for valve springs and will pull the engine in the next few weeks. This will give a good opportunity for a more complete inspection, and to pull the gearbox for a good cleaning and rebuild.

 

valves.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

A primarily photo update, but pulled the engine and gearbox in recent weeks - currently sorting the gearbox and prepping case for painting (along with a spare I've had on the shelf). Internals look great. Have also dropped the rear axle and removed dampers and springs all the way around - having them checked and, if necessary, rebuilt.

 

engineout1.jpggearbox.jpgstrippedgears.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

In addition to the weak valve springs, teardown revealed some minor scoring in one cylinder, a touch of pitting in another, and some scoring on a couple crankcase journals and bearings. Since it is the original engine, plan is to have it pressure tested and inspected with hopes of boring out the cylinders 1 millimeter and installing new pistons, then regrinding the crankshaft, skimming and decoking the head, etc.

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A few pictures for @escondidoron...

 

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Ron - I measured the engine end fitting - it is M10-1.0 (EDIT: thinking on this further, it does not make sense that this would be an m10 fitting, it is more likely a 1/8 BSP). I'm betting this end is the same, but I didn't want to force it.

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Edited by SENC
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Adding a few more. This end also M10-1 thread (EDIT - correction that I believe this is actually 1/8" BSP, as noted above), and I got some close-ups and measurements of the fitting for you.

 

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Edited by SENC
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  • 1 month later...

It's been a while since an update, but slow-going right now as I search for and gather parts and make decisions about what to invest and do.  I am having the cylinders bored (to 83, as we found them to have been previously bored and sleeved) and am working with Tony Ingram on having some pistons made.  The engine still had the early 116E rods, and knowing their reputation I'm strongly leaning towards updating/upgrading them.   On the head, I'll be replacing valves and springs.

 

The gearbox externals are cleaned and painted and innards disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled - so all bagged up and ready to go back together when the engine is ready for it.  I was fortunate to find a NOS 7.25" AP clutch housing/pressure plate and separately the correct 7.25" clutch plate for reasonable sums so will replace what I had even though there is good life remaining in them (will be good backups).

 

The dampers and springs tested out remarkably close to original spec - a good thing as the dampers are the sealed Armstrong variety, which I've learned aren't rebuildable.  I did get new eye bushes from the Armstrong successor (Harvey Bailey Engineering - very helpful folks), and otherwise am cleaning them up for reassembly and reinstall.

 

I hate having everything apart as we've had some spectacular weather recently, but know this teardown was the right call and that I'll enjoy it when done.

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Spent some time this weekend prepping my sump for painting...

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... and beginning a refresh of the generator.  The one on the far right came with the car, a replacement, an Australian made Lucas C40 from 1966 that I'll redo as a spare.  I had 2 spares - one from 1964 that I'll likely use and one from 1960 for parts.

 

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Finally coaxed out the woodruff keys with a bit of Kroll, heat, and a mole wrench.  The armature all look lightly used and in good shape, and the brushes on the 64 and Aussie generator barely worn.  After cleanup, paint, and replacing the bearings and bushes should be good as new.  The red 64 unit is so clean, it was either lightly used or rebuilt and set aside to gather dust.

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  • 3 weeks later...

2 rebuilt and running smooth (bench tested as a motor, to bed in the brushes), and plenty of bits left over for the parts bin - though it is hard to imagine enough miles to burn through 2 generators.

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Next job, while waiting on pistons for engine rebuild, is getting the coil springs back on the dampers.

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10 hours ago, SENC said:

it is hard to imagine enough miles to burn through 2 generators.

 

Don't jinx yourself!   I said that once until Christmas Eve 2020 in an Oregon logging town....it can be done  :classic_blink:

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