View Full Version : The Elite arrived today!

Lotus Fan
02-13-2004, 07:51 PM
Well folks, the 80 elite arrived today and came with a few surprises right away. First off it wouldn't start, and I wasn't here. So my employees tried to push it off the transport. Only to find out that it wouldn't roll. So they basicly had to drag it off the transport.

When I arrived, I went looking for the battery, I found it. It said "lawn and tractor battery" on it! Okay, I wasn't expecting that! So I get some jumper cables and after a shot of ether it fired right up. It runs strong and I was soon doing dougnuts in the parking lot!

But then I parked it, and when I came back to it, I could not get it into reverse. And it will not roll! The parking break is not set (doesn't seem to work) But it shifts in the forward gears fine. I tried pushing down, pulling, and forcing to get it to engage reverse and it sounds like it clicks, but it's aways in 1st.

As to the milage. 18500 I just don't know, the body is very good, even the bumpers. The front seats look good. The rear is somewhat dried out but not split. The dash and console are in bad shape.

The engine and drive train looks aged, but not bad. A few things missing or broken, but mostly compleat. I see fresh gasket silicon on the head and manifolds. Someone has been into the engine. Maybe blown head gasket from over heating? I don't know.

If anybody can advise about getting this thing into reverse, it would be a big help.

02-15-2004, 05:31 PM
Hey at least the car got home in one piece. I am not sure where reverse is on the stick but make sure you are going to the right place.. The pattern on the knob could be wrong. If the clutch is dagging that could give you trouble engaging reverse as well, but it sure sounds like reverse is not where you think it is..unless of course reverse was working for you before. Take the shifter off and figure out what needs to happen inside on the shift rails to get reverse. Usually the problem will become clear once you study it for a bit..

The brake release may be off, but the emergency pads could be siezed up from sitting. You may have to get the car up and have a good look at the linkage back there to be sure. I have had rear disc calipers seize up after a short drive also on a car that has had little recent use, you may want to check all the calipers for this..

Carefull with those donuts, when something breaks it makes a very expensive sound.. ( listen to me.. Its not like I never drifted my Elan around some long sweeping corners..Ha ha.. ) coolgleam.gif

[ 02-15-2004: Message edited by: TypeRboy ]</p>

02-15-2004, 07:02 PM
I think reverse is to the right and back on your car. Does it shift into fifth ok?

There's an excellent web site that discusses this transmission in the context of adapting it to an early Elan but there's some other good info also. If you search w/ Google on "elite transmission shift elan 5 speed" I think it'll be at or near the top.

Lotus Fan
02-16-2004, 11:09 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by coldplugs:
I think reverse is to the right and back on your car. <hr></blockquote>

I heard from the seller this weekend. Turns out the pattern on the knob is wrong. To the right and back is the correct position. It shifts fine. It didn't occur to me the knob could be wrong. Duh!

As far as the breaks go, they still drag in reverse. I'll get under it and have a look when it warms up later this week.

I understand that overheating is an issue with these Elites. Is there a way to increase the cooling capacity of the radiator

Super 7
02-16-2004, 06:01 PM
good for you!

You must feel like you dodged a bullet!

Those are very refined feeling cars for their weight. I hope it treats you well.

02-17-2004, 02:52 AM
I just love it when I'm right..( happens so rarely).Good luck with the brakes..

03-03-2004, 10:27 AM
Congratulations on your car! https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2454928011&category=6312

3 grand and such an exotic ! Have fun with it and glad its all working out..

Keep us up to date on the goings on..

Hows it look in person? Do you have any more photos...


03-15-2004, 11:47 PM
Any updates? How's it going?

03-19-2004, 12:33 PM
Is the car running ok?

03-19-2004, 02:41 PM
hopefully he is too busy driving it to be posting images/icons/smile.gif

03-30-2004, 08:28 AM
Hope to hear hows he's enjoying this new ride soon..

04-23-2004, 05:34 AM
Does any one Know what shocks are avilable for the 1974-1982 Elite ? I would like to use something like the KYB AGX adj. if I can find a table of shock sizes and perhaps a few dimensions.
Thanks !

04-24-2004, 09:56 PM
Dave Bean lists OEM, adjustable gas, adjustable gas with spring perch, and competition shocks. ( probably not a lot of people racing these i'd say..)

He doesn't list what brands, but my guess is Armstrong for the stock and adjustable ones. There must be very little choice by now..

Just normal gas adjust will stiffen things up quite a bit on a light car like yours.. You could also do what I did for the straightforward inserts and shocks, match them by dimension to something a little more modern. If it turns out to be a Japanese car, then your shock choices go up dramatically..

Super 7
05-02-2004, 07:11 AM
What inserts are you using, Type R?

My '67 Cort has Datrsun 280zx KYB inserts. The '68 has Koni Classic inserts, which blew out. new replacements were expensive, at $200 each. For the same money, I got them revalved, rebuilt, and converted to externally adjustable.

Lotus Fan
05-19-2004, 10:51 AM
Hello Ben;

If your not in too much of a hurry, I might be able to get us some good info on shocks. My shop is next door to Ohlins suspension. Their stuff is really expesive (if you don't know them, they do serious racing supension tuning on both race cars and motor cycles), but they may be able to give me some advise on cross overparts. I will try to get with them later this week. I had hoped to have them put my car on their shaker to get it setup big time. But they told me it cost about 5 grand to have that done! So I guess not!

To Everyone Else;

Sorry for the delay in getting back here! I have had a number on little problems come up with the car and my iMac died on me!

The most serious problem with the Elite was with the suspension. When the transport company tied it down to the carrier they hooked on to the lower front suspension arms and bent them. Just a little bit. I had the car for about a month before I found out. Well, I wasn't too worried about it. But I was turning around in the parking lot (big slow circle) and when I straitened out, the steering wheel was 90 degrees from center. It was pretty clear something had failed. When I realized what had happen, I was surprised that it hadn't failed at high speed and done some serious damage to the car or me!

I checked with Dave Bean and got a price for a new one (ouch!) and decided to try and straiten the old one. I understand these fail due to rust but this one had no rust damage. So I got it straiten and had some bracing added to it. I just finished reinstalling it this morning and drove the car to work. It seems fine, but it will need an alignment.

I have a bunch of little things to work out with it. The worse of it is the dry rot on the dash. Does any one know how hard the dash is to remove?

I'll try to get some PICS up, maybe tonight!


05-20-2004, 09:42 PM
Thanks Steve for the update.

Glad you got the car running and its having only small issues.

This is an exciting adventure for those of us watching on the net.

Looking foward to hearing about how the car drives..

and how you go about correcting a few of the issues to increase your enjoyment of that great car.

Have fun