I was amazed to look at my web site and realized that the last update was February 2008. A lot has happened in the home life since then but not much Lotus work. I got the back yard of the house completed sans some landscaping during my second sabbatical from Intel, which I took 3 years late again this past summer. We had a few great parties using the yard as well. I also poured the foundation and slab for a new attached 3-car garage (24'x38' no posts). During the lull in direct work on the Lotus, I procured the majority of the parts that were needed to put the car back together. This included buying the incorrect right rear hub carrier from Douglas Valley Breakers (unworkable) and the incorrect right rear hub carrier from Malc at espritism.com (workable). I also needed this part:
Now I had that part unscathed from the original blue '97 car but after an exhaustive search that uncovered many wishbones that were not the one I needed, I started pestering Larry Marsala as he had plans to replace his with new ones containing a conical anti-sway bar bushing and that would make one available for me. A few weeks ago, I decided to work on the frame and once again called Larry and after some search he thought he found my wishbone, which I had forgot I had given him so during my weekly Wednesday trip to San Jose I visited Larry and found that he had indeed been given and found my old '97 car wishbone - right side (sigh). But since so much time had passed, Larry had replaced one of his wIshbones and lucky for me it was the left one. After a quick visit and tour of his new business (http://www.natalchemy.com/), I was off with my last needed part to get things rolling (literally).
The plan for the black '97 car was to just get it back together. I am not a perfectionist nor a radical restorer. I do like to fix things and to get parts cleaned and coated so that they do not rust however... I find the appearance of the galvanized Esprit frame less than appealing so...
With lots o' clearcoat too!!! You may love it or hate it but I think it's unique and this starts our black and gold theme.
It's a pain but true that you really need to take everything off the frame and then build it back up as the assembly order can bite you. Brake lines *then* steering rack.
This is the wrong hub carrier but it works. It is from an S4 and does not have the hole for the hand brake cable in the flange, which is also slightly less wide. It also has two sensors on it (fiik?) instead of just one for the ABS. It will do.
Hey Guy, in the pics of the black car damaged, all the wheels and tires are toast so where did you get these wheels and tires from? These are from the original blue '97 car. I had Oz replace the rims on right front and got a new tire for it perhaps 6 years ago. The blue car is wearing the Chrono Magnesios from the Sport 350. I just dusted them off and bolted them on (if you need a Futura modular center hub let me know).
Notice that a half shaft is missing. It got ripped out in the wreck and needed a new inner boot. You really need a three-leg puller to disassemble the half shaft. So with the half shaft rebuilt...
I moved the remaining surface bits over including foam, electricals, and the new power steering lines.
In order to lift the car to install lines underneath we use Special Tool #G28 for this task. See if you can spot it in the following photo (hint: it resembles a wooden block).
Despite all the Lotus parts around my shop, I found that I could not come up with enough of the padded brackets to attach the power steering lines. Luckily, Pico makes a similar part and I was able to buy a pack lat the local Baxter Auto Parts store.
I paid $8 for the bag of fifteen.
The next steps were to move everything over in the tunnel. So this means it was time to remove the engine. Disconnecting the oil cooler lines is tricky as you cannot get a wrench on the right one without first removing both the left one *AND* the insert.
This brings us to removing the transmission mount bolts. The left side mount was broken in the wreck and I had bought a new one but after taking off the right side bolt...
Wait... let's take a look in Guy's Lotus store. Well lo and behold - I bought two right mounts when the Lotus factory was blowing them out for pennies (shillings?) - there is a God!
So let's get that engine out (at night).
The car spun down a ravine and it played havoc with the underside including bending the frame up and collecting this debris. After cleaning this all out, I removed the coolant lines and shift cables etc. from the tunnel. And with that, we say goodbye to our bent little friend.
When I took out the shifter I found that some of the grommets were toast but Guy's Lotus parts store had some in stock.
The burned Sport350 wanted it's parts to be used. Next I cleaned and coated and inserted everything in the tunnel. FYI, you put in the grommets first and then force the pipes through them. Unless you have the arms of a small Asian woman, when you are through you will have bruises and scrapes on them.
So after spending a lot of time cleaning crap off of the engine...
Did I mention that I loathe the smell of gear oil? After all this work, the floor is covered with grime and the shop smells of long dead fish. I got rid of the rags, cleaned the floor and got Colin (now 16 and still thinks he may drive the car one day heh heh heh) and his friend to help move the rolling chassis over one bay behind the body during a break in the rain.
That's enough for now.... Next steps are to reconnect various lines, the anti-sway bar, and other things and then move on to fixing up the bottom of the body.
That's the end of the update as of November 8, 2009
Click here to read the next chapter in the saga Next