Lotus Europa Restoration

Post your car-related project and restoration stories here!
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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:41 am

The fuel injection install has transformed the car. I am very happy. On the 4th of July run, it didn't hesitate, spit or backfire once. The only problem was a report from Nate that he could not see my rear brake lights...

Now, I have to admit, I wasn't using them very often, but when it mattered, I would like them to work and work properly. The brakes are operated by a Lucas in-line pressure switch. First thing I tried was to see just how much foot pressure it takes to turn on the lights. It is significant, so I can see how Nate never saw them. They probably never came on.

At home, I swapped the pressure switch for another and the results were the same. There will be no tapping the brake pedal to warn someone with a pressure switch in the circuit. The cause is likely the fact that the pressure switch is plumbed into a tee that serves brake fluid to the rear calipers. I am using a Wilwood adjustable brake bias master cylinder setup, and I have been slowly tuning out rear brake bias to keep the rears from locking up.

So, I could either move the pressure sensor to the pointy end of the car or, install a mechanical switch on the pedal and bypass the pressure switch all together. I choose to install a GM switch and made a bracket shown here in this photo.
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To ensure I had the brightest lights, I tried a set of LEDs. Two sets actually. Both were exceptionally disappointing. The most expensive LEDs ($24/pair) are in the right side. A standard 1157 bulb is in the left.
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I went back to 1157s and upgraded to 2157 (slightly higher wattage).
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I do like the new results. Lights are clean and bright and trigger with the slightest push of the pedal. Thanks for Nate, knocked another project off the list!

Dean

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Larry Kluss
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Larry Kluss » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:54 am

That must have been fun working in the "big' footwell of the Europa :)

I need to do the same thing on the MGB. The brake lights used to work good with the original pressure switch, but since that one gave up a few years ago, I've tried multiple replacement units with poor results.

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:08 am

Before I gave up on the pressure switch, I ordered what I thought was a good replacement from the UK - Lucas part No. SPB-401.

It came in the mail yesterday. I have not used. I could save it for the Peerless or if you want it let me know, but you may want to just do ahead and convert to mechanical as I have been reading that quality issues with the new Lucas SPB-401 switch have earned it a rather poor reputation.

Dean

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Larry Kluss » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:40 am

Thanks. The plan is to replace the entire pedal assembly with new revised pedals, masters, and balance bar products due out soon. I'm going to incorporate an electric switch at that time.

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Stewart » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:01 am

For the brake switch I've switched over to the Ron Francis switch. It's worked better and lasted longer than the last 2 Lucas switches combined https://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=SW%2D32

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Steve Simmons » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:31 am

Agreed. The Ron Francis SW-32 is a much higher quality switch. It activates with a light touch, and lasts far longer than the current Lucas reproductions. They don't look original but fit right in the car with only a connector replacement necessary because it uses a modern plastic connector instead of spades.

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lhttp://www.vintagemotoring.net/forumotus Europa Restora

Post by HealeyBN7 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:01 pm

I too looked at the Ron Francis SW-32 switch. I was ready to buy it, but I wasn't sure how to use SW-32 as it would require an adapter to go from 1/8 NPT to the Lotus/Jag "tee" which is 3/8-24 with a flat sealing (copper) washer.

The mechanical switch I am using is exactly like the Ron Francis SW-76 ($15.95)

https://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=SW-76

or the same switch GM has been using forever on their non-cruise control cars. Available at Rockauto for a whopping $2.21.

Now I paid a little more then $5.00 to get a name brand switch (Borg Warner) over the counter, but yous gets da' point...

Dean

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:40 pm

whitebuffalo wrote:That makes the motor look more exotic, now plump down the cash on one of those Ford BDA rocker covers you will have the punters thinking you have a rare Ford race motor :lol:
See what you did. A last minute business trip to the UK and a few hours to kill, caused me to pack something heavy and suspicious in my return luggage...

Image

Adds 20hp :)

Dean

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by whitebuffalo » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:53 pm

Yes, it does complete the car! Now it looks respectable :) Enabler, yes that's me :lol:

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:35 am

I often think about all the things I should have done the first time, which would have resulted in getting the Lotus to an operational state years earlier. The Peerless is also taking forever.

Then I read these words in an American Classic Car interview and found them rather fitting.

"...you really can't restore a car in 10 days. I don't want to watch a race where people have to restore it in a week. It's not going to drive, and those cars never work. In real life, it takes years to get it right. " Jay Leno.

http://www.americancarcollector.com/new ... h-jay-leno

I may have to make a plaque and hang it in the barn.

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:07 pm

Chasing project car demons could be a forever job, but I feel like I am getting a handle on the ones that have daunted me for years. This one was a high speed shimmy. The speed is classified:)

Perfecting the wheel balancing still didn't eliminate the issue, so a fresh look was needed. A spin up of the hub assembly revealed several issues.

1. The disc/rotor was machined off center. It took three 1/4oz stick on weights to make it close.
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2. The wheel studs were not centric to the bearing. I can take the blame for this one as 10 years ago, I hogged them out with a drill to install longer studs. ugh.

3. The hub centric ring I fabricated to center the wheel, was really not hub centric as the outer flange on the hub was not a cleanly machined surface. yikes

All three issues pushed me to consider to a new set of hubs and rotors. Joe at Checkered Flag had a set in stock that just needed to be drilled for my bolt pattern. His guys did it the morning I called and I picked them up after lunch. I made a new set of hub centric rings, which took forever as I am still learning how to screw up metal on the lathe. Installed the bearings which required heating them to 350 degrees.
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And put them on the car.
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Put a fork in it. This problem is FIXED.

Dean

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Larry Kluss
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Larry Kluss » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:42 pm

We're all guilty of sometimes thinking we don't have the time to do it right...but we always manage to find the time to do it over again. :)

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by VWNate1 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:12 pm

VERY nice ! .

Keep at it , this is fascinating .

I used to to restoration works decades ago but for my own use , either I have to be able to drive it or I lose interest quickly , why I'm always driving those old beaters :drive .
-Nate

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:13 am

Image

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Steve Simmons » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:26 am

Ok, now you're just showing off. And get down from that roof before you hurt yourself.

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:29 am

I am smart enough to send Austin up for the risky photos. If I shot that it would be low resolution and out of focus:)

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Martin Keller » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:50 am

Nice photo Dean of your Lotus.
I am still amazed at your brick work from the photos I have seen.
:drive
Martin Keller
Ventura, Ca.

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HealeyBN7
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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by HealeyBN7 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:05 am

Thanksgiving morning provided the opportunity to replace a few Europa rear suspension parts...

From the moment I took my first drive there has always been a funny spring sound. I wrote this off as part of the minimalist Chapman features as the long rear springs ride on the coil overs without rubber pads.

Well, the sound changed to a more regular scraping creaking sound. By holding onto a rear track rod, it felt like it was coming from one of the rod ends. Makes sense as these weren't the best quality (steel on steel) and I haven't lubricated them. The upper and lower links consist of left/right threaded aluminum (sprint car) stock. It always made be a little nervous having those links in aluminum. There are two on each side. Should one fail, it would be a mess.

The new links are a light weight alloy steel. Rod ends are QA1 Nylon/PTFE self lubricating. Overall the links weight just about the same as the old ones.

The creaking sound went away, but a funny scraping sound remained. There was just the slightest amount of play in the rear driver's side wheel. I checked the rear hub nut - 150ft lbs - good. Paint marks good.

With Steve's insight we removed the hub and nut, just to see what might be causing the play. The nut was indeed tight, but it bottomed out on the threads against the tapered axle. It wasn't going to come loose, but it wasn't doing it's job holding the hub firmly to the bearing races and inner spacer - NOT good.

Removed a few threads on the lathe and reassembled the hubs - NOW good!

No noises, and no excuses not to keep sanding on the Peerless.

Dean
Attachments
Original track rod
Original track rod
FullSizeRender.jpg (113.79 KiB) Viewed 5299 times
new track rods (there are four all together)  You can't see the one behind the axle
new track rods (there are four all together) You can't see the one behind the axle
rear suspension.jpg (104.24 KiB) Viewed 5299 times
hub - you can see the uneven contact - eventually cleaned the dirt out
hub - you can see the uneven contact - eventually cleaned the dirt out
IMG_3887.JPG (146.01 KiB) Viewed 5299 times
threads to the end of the flange nut
threads to the end of the flange nut
IMG_3888.JPG (90.36 KiB) Viewed 5299 times
lathe handy work to relieve the threads
lathe handy work to relieve the threads
IMG_3889.JPG (113.27 KiB) Viewed 5299 times

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Re: Lotus Europa Restoration

Post by Fifty Six MGA » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:57 am

Dean,

That shot of the lotus from above is awesome. Gorgeous engine. It makes me think that you should use your fabrication skills and make an engine cover with a clear window, like some of the Ferrari's have. =)
____________
Geoffcj@gmail.com

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