Author Topic: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R  (Read 1589 times)

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Offline racurley

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Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 11:03:11 AM »
Hello everyone!

This June, my son and I purchased a 1974 Europa TCS  (#44615R) as a father/son project car.  My friend's dad purchased it new in 1975 and my friend got it 8 years ago after his father passed away.  I have a service receipt from 1995 at around 65k miles.  It currently has 71k miles on the odometer.  Not much driving the last several years.  My friend had it outside covered for 5 years and then in a garage the last 3.  Needless to say, it's showing the affects of the weather and from sitting.

Sitting in my garage the day it came to my house...
IMG_3882

I do most of my own car maintenance and maintain my motorcycles.  We are pretty handy with wrenches but, we have not done an older car restoration.  When we were thinking about cars to restore, it was recommended I not start with a British sports car.  So, naturally, we pick a rare one with pretty low production numbers!  :P

After we got it home and went through it, we realized this was not going to be as simple as replacing some rubber bits and firing it up.  After consulting some who are more knowledgeable than I, we decided to remove the body and go through the chassis to really clean it up and get it into acceptable working order.  So, we have embarked on that.

- The body is in good condition other than the paint is faded a bit.
- Passenger window was broken but I have the replacement parts.
- Interior needs refurbishing.
- Dash looks like most that have sat out too long.
- Fuel system needs new hoses.  Not sure about condition of gas tanks.
- Stromberg carbs needs cleaning.
- Distributor was previously converted to electronic ignition - Piranha Ignition.
- Engine seems to be locked up.
- Not even going to bother with the servos.
- Shocks are all leaking.  Rest of suspension looks ok but I'm sure rubber bits are questionable.
- Seems like a seal is leaking where the axles attach to the transmission.
- Radiator is questionable.

Other than that, it's a cream-puff.   :o

So, I thought I would start this thread to introduce myself, to show progress, and ask questions as they arise (normally about every 11 minutes).  I've enjoyed reading through all of the helpful information shared on this board and am looking forward to our journey.

Cheers, Andy

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #1 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 11:39:37 AM »
I'll be watching with great interest.
I'm a little ahead of you with a Renault powered S2.
You guys are going to have a great time with your car!

Offline BDA

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #2 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 12:36:09 PM »
 :Welcome:  Andy!

I think this will be a great father-son project! A frame off will be quite a journey, but these cars are pretty simple. I'm sure you're up to it. If you have questions, people here are ready to help.

I think you'll find that parts are available. Some are improved faithful reproductions and some are redesigned and then there are always modern substitutions.

Check out http://www.lotuseuropa.org/LotusForum/index.php?topic=1389.0 for some useful links.

And don't forget to Post Pictures and keep us informed about how you're doing!

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #3 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 01:00:26 PM »
I referred to this a lot when removing the body of my car.
http://www.lotus-europa.com/manuals/misc/body/Body_Removal.html

 

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #4 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 02:16:11 PM »
Hi Andy and another  :Welcome:

Soooo.......     a bit of polish and it'll be good to go for the weekend then  ?    :)

Ok, ok, maybe next weekend ?   

Being serious, it does sound like you're well on the way and this is going to be a good project. I shall look forward to updates and I'm sure you're going to make good progress ticking off that list.  As BDA says, these cars aren't that complex - there's nothing that a bigger hammer can't sort out !

Brian

Offline andy harwood

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #5 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 02:23:29 PM »
Hi from another Andy, in NC. With '74 TCS4397R in pieces in the garage.
And welcome to the madness...
 :Welcome:

Offline 4129R

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #6 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 02:50:40 PM »
I have nearly finished a complete rebuild from bare chassis and bare bodyshell on 4688R, so if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Someone on her will know the answer or point you in the right direction. That is the whole purpose of this forum.

Alex in Norfolk UK

Offline racurley

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #7 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 02:51:53 PM »
Thanks for the warm welcome.

BDA, thanks for the very helpful list.  I've looked at quite a few of those but your list is great.  Was very sorry to hear about Dave Bean.  Sounds like we lost a great guy and a great resource.  Sorry I didn't get a chance to speak with him.  And, I do appreciate the simplicity of the vehicle.  My wife has a Mini Cooper and I can't imagine trying this on that car when it's 40 years old.

Skippo...  Thanks for the link.  That has indeed been the basis for my plan to remove the body.  I set up a project on Trello.com to keep track of what we need to do and to record notes on each.  Kind of nice to just go grab a task and work it.  My son has been using it when he works on it without me.


Offline racurley

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #8 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 03:07:03 PM »
So, I do have a couple of questions based on where we are right now...

I've been using the instructions for body removal from lotus-europa.com along with the diagrams and parts manuals.

It says to remove the coolant lines between the engine and the coolant pipes running from the front.  I've removed the radiator and the hoses to/from it.  It looks like everything else is running though the chassis so I don't need to unhook these to remove the body.  Is there a reason to remove them?

Secondly, I'm not sure what needs to be done with the clutch cable, throttle cable, and hand brake cable. 

Throttle Cable - cut tie to frame and leave as is?
Clutch Cable - pull this one all the way out?
Hand brake - push back into frame?

I probably just need to crawl around under the car a bit more and look at it but anything to clarify this would be helpful.

Thanks

Offline BDA

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #9 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 03:07:55 PM »
Just wanted to remind you to check jbcollier's list (below mine), too!  :)

Offline Certified Lotus

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #10 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 03:25:02 PM »
 :Welcome:  Hi Andy, you landed in the right place, the people on this forum are an immense help as I am also in the midst of a complete rebuild of my 72 Europa TC (and its yellow too!). I'm documenting all my trials and tribulations on this site under Garage (Restoration of 2358R) so hopefully some of my own experiences will be valuable to you.

Will you have your Europa completed by LOG38 (Lotus Owners Gathering #38) in Ohio? I'm hoping to have my done by then and take it to the weekend event.

Glen

Offline jbcollier

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #11 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 03:43:11 PM »
If you can, just polish and wax the paint.  Painting a fibreglass car is expensive and time consuming.  Right now, cars that look original are commanding more interest than pristine trailer queens.

A rad shop can dip your tanks and coat them if they are not too bad.  Replacements are available.

Buy some acetone and Dex 3 automatic transmission fluid.  Mix it up 1:1 and pour it in the spark plug holes.  Wait a week.  Put into 4th gear and rock it back and forth and see if it will free up.  If it frees up, drain the oil and fit fresh oil and filter.  Spin it up with the spark plugs out.  10 seconds at a time until you have oil pressure.  Now check your compression.  Good?  Drained oil wasn't full of unmentionables?  Pull the valve cover, check the valve clearances and set the timing chain tension -- you can replace the chain in situ if it's worn.  Now you can start it and evaluated it for smokiness (not unusual: valve guides are short).

Strombergs are very straight forward.  Probably time for a new jet needles which are a tad tricky to fit.  You need a press and a vernier caliper or depth micrometer.  Not a bad idea to fit adjustable dashpots from a TR6 at the same time.  You can fit the proper needles to the adjustable holders.

I'd fit a newer electronic ignition system like Pertronics.  The older electronic systems often get flakey with age.  Clean and lube the advance mech while you are in there.

If you remove the servos, commonly done, fit an 0.70 master cylinder as otherwise the pedal will be too hard.

Rad shop can advise on the rad.  It uses a high density core which is not easily found.  Alloy replacements are available cheap out of China via ebay.

Transaxle side seals always weep at least some.  If it is just weeping I would be tempted to live with it.  To do it properly you have to remove the tranny and bell housing and make sure the diff freeplay and bearing preload is correct.  It is very common for people to replace these seals without removing the tranny and get the diff out of correct adjustment.

Suspension rubbers will be toast at this mileage.  Adjustable shocks are a nice replacement and allow you to lower the somewhat high nose.  Get new springs at the same time.

-----

Mine is an S1 which is different but I think:

You have disconnect the throttle cable as it is "inside" the body while the engine is "outside".
Disconnect the clutch cable at the pedal, take it off its abutment and pull it through.
Disconnect handbrake arm on the frame (access hole in the front luggage area).

Cheers

 





« Last Edit: Monday,August 21, 2017, 03:46:40 PM by jbcollier »

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #12 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 09:57:36 PM »
I've been using the instructions for body removal from lotus-europa.com along with the diagrams and parts manuals.

It says to remove the coolant lines between the engine and the coolant pipes running from the front.  I've removed the radiator and the hoses to/from it.  It looks like everything else is running though the chassis so I don't need to unhook these to remove the body.  Is there a reason to remove them?

If you mean the steel tubes running front to back, then yes you can leave them in place once the rubber hoses are removed. Remember there's also the heater matrix inside the car. That's fed by 1/2" steel tubing running inside the central spine and coming out inside the car directly behind the dash. The steel tubes stay in place but those rubber hoses hidden behind the dash will need to come out IIRC.

The oil gauge on the TC is mechanical so there's also an oil feed line which I forgot all about when I removed my chassis, and they are remarkably strong.  ::)

Brian

Offline EuropatcSPECIAL

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #13 on: Tuesday,August 22, 2017, 03:27:20 AM »
 :lotus:    Welcome Andy

Offline 4129R

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Re: Restoration of 74 TCS - 044615R
« Reply #14 on: Tuesday,August 22, 2017, 08:47:55 AM »
The clutch cable will get in the way when you lift off the shell. Remove it completely.

Pull the throttle cable into the seat place.

Hand brake cables are fixed only to the chassis.

Cut the two rubber pipes feeding the heater behind the dashboard, and when you replace them for new, use longer rubber tubes and cross them over for easier bends.

I could only find 4 nuts and bolts holding the shell to the chassis. A pair in the front plenum with the nuts at the top of the front suspension, and a pair at the extreme rear near the rear lights where the gearbox cross member tube joins the rear on the chassis.