Author Topic: 3755R  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline 4129R

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3755R
« on: Saturday,February 06, 2016, 08:56:48 AM »
I bought 3755R on eBay as a 3 wheeled car in need of complete restoration. I managed to get another Lotus owner from Colorado to pick up the car on 3 wheels, and attach a 4th, so the car could be pushed onto the huge car transporter, and then into a container, and shipped to Felixstowe.

When the car arrived, it lookled like a PO had started restoring the car, and gave up. Some parts were new, but the engine was siezed, and lots of things had been put back together wrong, or badly.

So I started a nut and bolt restoration, and converting it to RHD at the same time.

At present, the car has been resprayed, with lovely gold pin stripes carefully stuck on by ex Lotus employees.

The engine I pulled apart, and had to literally bash the pistons out of the bores with a hammer, to get it rebored and rebuilt.

I have fitted a new RHD dash from Banks, and also a new crash pad from the same source.

At present, I am testing and fitting all the wiring. I expect none of the motors have been used for many years. So far the heater fan has been coaxed into working properly, with the cooling radiator fan only turning at a slow speed, so probably in need of cleaning.

I have yet to get the window motors, the windscreen wipers and the indicators working. But the hardest thing seems to be getting the dash and all the spaghetti back in place, without moving electrical connectors off the switches.

Working on the dashboard with the screen out is much easier.

Fitting the new oatmeal carpet will be a challenge.

Re-assembling the doors was also a challenge. I had to strip them completely for the respray, so I put them back with new rubbers and brush seals, all from Richard's emporium.

When finished, the car will be a gem. Just how the wiring will go back behind the dash and the steering column refits is the next step.

I have to be in the right mood to do the difficult work or I make a complete cock-up of it, and have to do it again when I am in the right frame of mind.

3755R used to be yellow, so the spray shop told me, and they gave me the opportunity to choose the colour when it was all stripped down and primed.

I think the best colours for a TCS are Black, White or Lagoon Blue, so it went back in black.

Newly chromed bumpers front and back had to be done, and bad bumpers are very noticeable.

My observations on the heater/demist arrangement, are how does it ever work? The plenum chamber has to be sealed all round to get a decent air flow in the right places, and if you are stupid enough to put luggage in the chamber, forget the demist, and expect the throttle mechanism to jam open.

Oh the joys of Lotus restoration. At least I don't have to deal with rusty bodywork, my absolute pet hate.

Alex in Norfolk. 

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #1 on: Saturday,February 06, 2016, 09:26:07 AM »
 :ttiwwp:

It sounds like you're making good progress. I think a lot of those motors that you're having trouble getting to work are available new - such as windshield wipers and window lift motors. It's fun to restore old things that don't work but in the end, but replacements may make more sense.

It's been a long time since I drove my car with a front trunk full in all weather conditions but surprisingly, I don't remember there being any real issues. I took mine on a road trip with a college buddy in the Summer in the Western US when it was new. Both trunks were packed full. Of course, my memory may be foggy (the part I do remember was driving through the Utah desert in the afternoon! That was brutal! :headbanger:), but it's probably not a condition you'll have to contend with very often.

Please share some pictures when you can! Good luck!!

Offline jbcollier

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #2 on: Saturday,February 06, 2016, 02:03:53 PM »
I do not know about TCs but it is pretty easy to fit a Spitfire heater fan to a S1/2 heater housing.  Heck, on the early housings all the holes there.  They just taped them off.

Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #3 on: Saturday,February 06, 2016, 11:22:04 PM »
My observations on the heater/demist arrangement, are how does it ever work? The plenum chamber has to be sealed all round to get a decent air flow in the right places, and if you are stupid enough to put luggage in the chamber, forget the demist, and expect the throttle mechanism to jam open.

Hi Alex,

Demisting isn't quick by any standards, certainly not those of a modern car but it does work. You just don't get that "blast" that we all expect now  :)   But you do need to close the side cold air vents, which effectively doubles the available air going through the heater and it works significantly better when the car is moving.  If the car is still in bits and you want to improve matters, then I think JB's idea is the neatest and most practical in terms of getting the motor close to the screen. 

Incidentally I tried some small motors (12v computer ones actually) inside the heater casing and yes, they did put more air on the screen but they lasted exactly one day. Nope, they didn't fail, I just didn't like the whine when they came on.  I decided fast demisting isn't a problem for me.....     

Brian

Offline 4129R

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #4 on: Monday,February 08, 2016, 02:27:18 PM »
I spent much of last weekend testing all the electrical wiring circuits and motors, before putting the dashboard back in place next week when I find out the secret to the 5th dimension for fitting a large bundle into a small space.

The lights worked with two minor problems, loose connections to one headlight and 1 side light, but absolutely zero main beam.

I had a long look at the dip/main and flash headlight joy-stick on the column, and it seems that several metal nipple lumps make the contacts, but two had been bent 90' away from where they would make contact. 2 x 90' careful bends back into place and the main/dip and flash worked perfectly. Who had bent them and why?

The indicators were a back to basics challenge. In the UK we have orange front and rear indicators, and do not flash the brake lights. So I had changed the rear lights to orange/red, and now had to remove the multi DB10 relay, connect all the wires except brake lights, and get the feed to the indicator joy stick to flash. Cut the ignition feed yellow/green wire, run it to the flasher unit, and then run a wire back to power the left/right choice on the stick. It flashed too fast. Wrong flasher unit. I had used the hazard flasher not the indicator flasher. Change of unit got the lights flashing at the right rate.

On to the motors. The window up/down units draw about 30 amps but both worked OK, but slowly. In warm weather they should speed up.In cold weather, you don't need the windows open !

On to the radiator fan. Worked far too slowly. I shorted out the temp thermo switch on the radiator but still too slow. I took the motor out, twiddled the fan a few times, put it back together, applied the 12v, and after about 30 seconds of a very strange noise, the fan burst into full life with cold air being sucked onto the radiator in large volumes. Success.

On to the heater squirrel cage fan. Why do they call it a squirrel cage? More like a pet mouse or hamster treadmill. Same as the rad fan. Slow to start with, then after a bit of twiddling, it burst into life blowing leaves around. If I can seal the plenum chamber, who knows it might even demist the screen as well as terrifying the hamster.

On to the wipers. Nothing. Tested voltage at the plug into the motor, nothing. Put the plug back in, and hey presto, the wipers went backwards  and forwards but quite slowly. Who wants to drive a Lotus in the rain anyway?

Brake lights, a new wire from the rear lights to the now lonely wire from the DB10 unit worked them. A test at the brake pipe sensor showed 12v, so all should be OK.

On to the starter relay. 12v at the relay when the keys is rotated, and the relay was working.

Ignition. Check for 12v at the white wire feed to the coil. On second ignition position on the key, 12v clearly recorded.

Next the horn. A compressor and air horn. After a few rude noises, the horn burst into life. Sufficiently noisy.

Lastly, the screen washer. Lots of noise, but no water. Disconnect the pipe under the dash at the T piece, into the Lotus position under the dash. A long suck on the tube until water filled my mouth, spit out the water after assuming the standing position, test the pump, and water squirting in all the wrong directions. How exciting.

All lights, indicators, windows, wiper, washer, horn, two fans, and ignition all working. Wow.

Next weekend, fill with rockets fuel, then the countdown, and Houston, we try for lift-off.

Then once I have tested the new heater pipes and all electrics when the engine is working, I start on trying to screw the dash in place, and then fitting the steering column on its new right side.   

Alex in Norfolk.

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #5 on: Monday,February 08, 2016, 03:19:21 PM »
Congratulations on your great progress, Alex!

I would say that the windshield wipers just don't go very fast. When I tested mine after not experiencing them in almost twenty five years, I was surprised at how slow they went but, while I don't drive in heavy rain, I have driven in a steady rain and the wipers performed adequately.

Good luck on your lift off!

Keep us up to date!

Offline 4129R

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #6 on: Sunday,February 14, 2016, 08:51:19 AM »
Fitting the dashboard and steering column this weekend. What a pig of a job. The dashboard is a very tight fit in the new crashpad, so I had to use two clamps to get the dashboard close enough to the end brackets to start doing up the bolts which come from the black vinyl and foam covered metal angle trim strips.

Then fitting the steering column and the steering wheel is far too close to the dashboard. What have I done or what has the PO done to make this happen?

After much head scratching and a quick consultation with the official Lotus Workshop Manual, and it appears the inner shaft of the steering column is in two pieces, with a clamp near the pedals holding the two bits together. Undo the 7/16th bolts on the clamp, pull the steering wheel from the dash, and I get 4 fingers of clearance between the steering wheel and the crashpad, just like my other cars. Panic over.

Fitting the column to the dashboard is a challenge, with the upside down with a 7/16th spanner position adopted again in the tunnel.

Then on to getting the engine started. Fill 4 gallons of petrol, turn the engine over with no plugs in, and the fuel bowl is empty. Attach a long plastic pipe to the "out" side of the pump, suck until the fuel fills the bowl, but before it heads up the see through plastic pipe towards my mouth.

Much turning over, but nothing, so check for spark and timing next weekend.

Time to fit foam around the plenum chamber to make the fan work, but heavy snow and wind dampened my enthusiasm for being outside.

Next week, fit the carpet if it is warm enough, fit all the missing bolts around the dashboard, and get a spark and the timing done. 


Offline EuropaTC

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #7 on: Sunday,February 14, 2016, 09:41:10 AM »
but heavy snow and wind dampened my enthusiasm for being outside.

 :huh:  I'd better not mention then that only a few miles north of you it's been sunny and dry all day.....    it's blooming cold though. It's been a bitter NE wind all day even though it looks lovely out there.

After priming the fuel pump, is it actually pushing petrol up into the carbs ?  I only mention because I can't recall having to prime the mechanical pump - I might have done so, I just can't remember having to do it.

Brian 

Offline 4129R

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #8 on: Sunday,February 14, 2016, 10:47:41 AM »
I had drained both tanks, so the whole fuel system was completely dry.

I have spare mechanical fuel pumps, so if there is no flow into the carbs, that will be easily fixed.

I am contemplating how hard fitting a new Banks carpet set will be. It cannot be as hard as fitting the new dash and crashpad.

Alex in Norfolk.

Offline 4129R

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #9 on: Saturday,February 20, 2016, 06:18:23 AM »
I am fitting a whole new set of carpets this weekend.

The carpet set from Banks is honey colour, not oatmeal, but I remember the carpets Lotus supplied me as spare parts in 1978 were honey coloured.

I have a challenge, how to get the carpet to fit behind the new rubber door trim.

I think you have to lip the edge with black plastic tape to allow the pile of the carpet to fit in the trim groove.

Has anyone been down this path and know the answer?

Alex in Norfolk.

Well, I lipped the edge of the carpet with black tank (duct) tape, fitted the rubber door surround banging it carefully into place with the rubber handle of a hammer, and then trimmed the tank tape about 2mm clear of the surround with a Stanley knife. It looks quite good and looks similar to what was there. 
« Last Edit: Saturday,February 20, 2016, 08:34:12 AM by 4129R »

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #10 on: Saturday,February 20, 2016, 08:58:24 AM »
Congratulations getting it all put together, Alex!  :beerchug:

Interesting that yours are honey color! Even more interesting that Lotus sold you honey colored carpets back in the day! I didn't know they ever had anything other than oatmeal (I think we called it biscuit in the States) and black! Post some pictures when you get a chance!

Offline 4129R

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Re: 3755R
« Reply #11 on: Monday,March 21, 2016, 10:22:20 AM »
Recently I have drilled out the 8 bolts holding the seats in place, as the seats wouldn't move, so access to most of the bolts was not possible. The steel seat shells are rusted beyond repair, so a call to Richard at Banks to order two new seat shells.

The 4 pairs of seat runners cleaned up reasonable well, so I can re-use them. Direct replacements runners are not available.

Then on to the hand brake mechanism. As I am converting to RHD, I had to cut a 3.5" hole in the plenum chamber to access the thread in the chassis which acts as a pivot for the reaction lever, which basically has a large movement to pull the cable tight on the brake shoes.

Then into the black hole where the cable runs. Yuk. It seems something has been dragging in everything to make a comfy nest in here. I had to make a rake out of strip aluminium to get to the far end on the hole, there was so much in there, enough to fill a bucket.

I now know how to fit the brake cable and horse shoe, so next I will try to fit the cable to the reaction lever and the cable from the umbrella to the reaction level. Then on to the pedal assembly and the steering rack.