Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

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Re: Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by Scimher » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:20 am

....If it had been a +2 Elan you'd have been able to borrow SAR's, Geoff.......(Well done - all your hard work & dedication has paid off yet again.....)



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Re: Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by Coco La Blanc » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:39 am

Geoff,
I've got to say this looks absolutely superb and congrats on producing yet another example of excellent workmanship - not bad for a youngster !!! HaHa
Regards,
Viv



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Re: Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by GeoffTE » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:12 pm

I've finally got round to finishing off the hardtop for the Elan, so I thought you might like to se what it looks like fitted.
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Original hardtops for the S2 Elan are quite sought after I'm given to believe and thus command quite a premium. My first S2 in the 60s had one.
Looks good, but boomin' (sic) noisy though at any speed :) I do think that ss exhaust systems contribute significantly to the noise though, but it seems they're the only sort you can get these days :roll: :D


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Re: Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by MikeyBikey » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:38 pm

Looks great a fantastic job Geoff, well done.
I use those small orange earplugs for just about everything. Flights, trains, camping at festivals and driving the scimitar (when she's actually working !!)


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Re: Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by GeoffTE » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:06 pm

MikeyBikey wrote: I use those small orange earplugs for just about everything. Flights, trains, camping at festivals and driving the scimitar (when she's actually working !!)

:lol: :lol:If ever the was a better example of "the symptom rather than the cause" I'd like to hear it! :lol: :lol:

Reminds me of the old Tommy Cooper joke. "Doctor, my arm hurts when I lift it like this". Doctor: "Well don't lift it like that then" :lol: :lol:


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Re: Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by Roger Pennington » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:28 pm

The car looks great Geoff, the Elan is a rare example of a convertible that looks as good with the hardtop on, as with the hood on :D


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by GeoffTE » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:12 pm

Thought the engine gurus (and any one else whose interested) amongst you might like to hear of the shinanigins (?) I have had with the Elan engine. Bear with me, this might be a long post :lol: I had the twin cam head originally refurbished by a local company who had a good reputation. New inlet valves,inlet seats recut, new exhaust seats and valves and a couple of new cam followers (buckets). The twin cam has shims inside the buckets to adjust the tappet clearance. On getting the head back with the cams already fitted I checked the shim gaps and all was well, all gaps well inside permitted tolerances. Assembled the whole and got on with the rest of the restoration. Finally finished and began to use the car about 18 months after having the head back, so in use for about 18 months and just over 1000 miles. Increasingly niggled by a slight stumble with increasing throttle opening, but this cleared with revs over 2000. However it seemed to be getting worse with time so I took the car for a tune up at a local performance car centre nearby. It took them 5 minutes to diagnose a mechanical issue with cylinders 3 and 4,( the Lotus TC is fitted with two, twin choke, Weber carbs. Took off the cam cover and checked all clearances. Inlets were all over the place with NO clearance AT ALL on 4 and 3 :shock: No alternative but to remove head to find out what was going on. We found a catalogue of problems....!!!
First, all inlet valves had been topped (ground off the tips in order to get adequate tappet clearance with reasonable thickness of shim), this caused the tips of the inlet valves and the collet grooves to deform, (on 4 and 3 particularly), so that the gaps disappeared and the inside of the cam followers to rest directly on the valve springs, scoring the inside of the bucket. Consequently inlet valves 3 and 4 never actually fully closed, as witnessed by burnt on carbon on the inside of the valves. The imminent danger was the collet groove would increasingly distort and the collects could become displaced with horrendous consequences. Also there were no spring platforms fitted to the base of the exhaust springs, so that the springs were bearing down directly on the aluminium head, which was scored as a result. Also the tops of the exhaust valve guides had been ground down because the inner of the double springs was too long. Hence why the platforms were left out. Needless to say I was shocked and just a tad upset. :roll: :evil:
Anyway, to cut a long story short ( much too late for that :mrgreen: ), the new guys have redone the head properly. Recut inlet seats, new slightly shorter valves, new inlet buckets, proper thickness shims. New, shorter, exhaust valve springs and replaced spring platforms. Now assembled the engine now performs so much better (how surprising !!)
My original bill was for £670 and the later one £880 :shock: :shock: , but bear in mind that a new TC cylinder head is £ 3500 bare !!
Anyway, the latter garage has listed all the issues they found with the head and what they had to do to correct them. I've presented this to the original engine man for his appraisal. Of course he is also shocked, and can't believe that a TC head in this condition came out of his workshop ( he didn't personally do the work, but maintained the man who did is very experienced). His main revealing comment was that this ( the original condition of the head) is a total f*** up. Couldn't agree with him more.
I've left the written appraisal and the bill with him so that he can investigate further. Not sure I can expect too much out of this, although a refund of the original bill would be nice. Depends on how much he wants to defend his reputation. His only defense so far was to suggest that someone messed with the head after it left his premises, although he did drop that as clearly a daft suggestion
What do you think ?
Apologies to those who stuck with the story, if indeed you did :lol: :lol: Sorry it was so long, just thought some of you may have been interested, sowwy boss!


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by oilrag » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:54 pm

Ouch ,may be a daft ask ,but did you get the same head back as you left with first machine shop ?


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by Roger Pennington » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:54 pm

That's a bit of a blow :( - if you're paying that sort of money, you expect the job to be done right. Hopefully they will be aware of the potential damage to their reputation, and will decide to do the decent thing.....


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by GeoffTE » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:36 am

Update. The guy refuses to do anything to recompense me for the work that was done on the head. Basically he will not accept that his workshop was responsible for the c*** up. I can't believe his assertions that someone else must have made all those mistakes :twisted: Anyway, what to do now? I have little appetite for the aggro involved in taking him to the small claims court and forgetting all about it and moving on is an option which galls me. What do I do ? Anyone any experience of the small claims procedures? BTW the guy is Paul Inch, Engine Services in Plymouth. Steer clear :w :wink:


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by Nick » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:22 am

Geoff,

Really sorry to hear of your engine problems, having built a couple of twinks.

Possible action:

Local trading standards?

All and every club dealing with Lotus engines, copy him in.

I have used a number of reliable engine builders,but all in the Midlands so not much help. Providing it is now right in the overall scheme of things total cost is not excessive.
Last edited by Nick on Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by Roger Pennington » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:36 pm

Sorry to hear of your problems, Geoff.
One thought - I notice from his website that he claims to be a member of the Federation of Engine Remanufacturers and uses their logo. They, on their website, say they offer a conciliation or arbitration service to handle complaints against members. Obviously I have no experience of using it, and I don't know how it would be viewed in relation to the small claims court (i.e. if you failed to achieve a deal, or they ruled against you, could you still go to court?), and I don't know how you would feel about their neutrality, but it might at least be worth considering, and further investigation?


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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by AnotherTim » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:56 pm

Sorry to hear about this. It reminds me of a similar situation I had with a classic car expert in Sussex. I paid a lot of money for cylinder head work and new carbs fitted and then found problems shortly afterwards. At the time, my personal circumstances meant it was the better decision for my mental health and my family's general wellbeing to just let it go and write off the additional costs, vowing never to return to the specialist... and that may well end up being the case for you as well.

It's one thing to be absolutely right and justified in pursuing a claim, but it's another thing entirely to go through that process. There are many sliproads that the 'accused' can take, and in particular the lapse in time from receiving the work and then discovering the problems is a big one, but also the discovery of the problems happening via another specialist entirely, rather than you returning directly to the first person with your concerns. It's not so much that you could prove nobody else caused those problems, it's more that you can't prove they didn't. His defence will be 18 months elapsed, during which another garage have worked on it who claim to have uncovered the problem... "so it's not my problem".

Imagine you bought a TV from Currys, but it developed a fault, so you took it to John Lewis and they took the back off to diagnose. Currys aren't going to honour any explicit or implicit warranty afterwards. That's pretty much the situation here I suspect.

i think it comes down to a personal philosophy matter at this point. You can feel aggrieved, mis-sold, mis-serviced, and downright angry about it... but that anger is likely to amplify ten-fold as you try to get justice, and the further you go, the more frustrating it will become. Your heart, nerves, and state of mind are more valuable than the cylinder head. In my case, I decided to swallow the bitter pill and alleviate blood pressure as quickly as possible. That was just me though, at a difficult time.

Even now though, I'd probably chalk it up, write a letter offering one last opportunity to make a gesture of goodwill, and inform him that otherwise you will be factoring your experience in to every discussion you have on the car scene thereafter whenever the subject of reputable specialists comes up. You can't actually say "I will be slagging you off to everyone for the rest of my life" but you can allude to it diplomatically.

For legal reasons I would suggest removing the cad's name from your post up there. It may not help you to be naming and shaming at this point in proceedings.



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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by AnotherTim » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:04 pm

I have to say this text on their website is a bit of a worry. It's under their 'Engine rebuilds" tab...

===
Engine Rebuilds
....we will strip the engine, carefully removing all ancilliary parts, removing the engine from the car if required in order to gain better access....
===

is there any other way to rebuild an engine aside from removing it from the car???
Granted he might be referring to just the top end, but if I was asking for an engine rebuild rather than a cylinder head rebuild, I'd bl**dy well expect the engine to be taken out!



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Restoration of 1965 Elan S2

Post by *JP* » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:13 pm

I would say small claims court.
It's not daunting,you don't have to stand up in front of a judge in a wig.
You do a written submission with your claim,if not disputed you win,if disputed the judge considers the written submissions from both sides,asks one or two pertinent questions and then gives judgement.
From what you have said it's hard to think you can lose.
He then either pays up or the bailiffs go in!

From a technical point of view I thought it was bad practice to grind the valve stems because it destroys the hardening...with new valve seats they should be within the shim range and even if not better to grind the shims themselves?



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