|Gotta drop the Porsche engine again to finally fix that top end
|Found a set of 841 pistons and cyls on ebay - can use the liners in the
|Dave welded up the Europa seats - nice save. Thanks Dave.|
|WORK. I need a source of unlimited money to allow me to quit my
job. Not much done on cars other than completing one successful
gearbox rebuild. Not bad really.|
|Shop completely paralyzed again.|
|Found out that one of my 843 engine liners was cracked.
|Mike gives me gack the 914 with the engive intstalled, but everything else
still apart. |
|Really gotta get the Europa engine fitted to the chassis!|
|Track day with Porsche - great fun, leaked like a sieve - water in, oil
out. Ended up with an ominous valve train noise.|
|Tore down the Porsche. Engine out for a new oil cooler and gearbox
apart for a rebuild. That began a journey...|
|Made a list of needs for the Porsche - two full pages. Not bad for a
car that I considered finished. |
|Not much happening on the Europa other than getting wheels and gas
tank sandblasted, and seats repaired. Gathering the last of the engine
|Engine oil leak solved in Porsche. Valve noise worse. Getting
scary. Engine has to come out again. Aargh.|
|Gotta get the engine fitted to the chassis!|
|Found the 843 looked pretty good. Nice engine choice maybe - more
modern, good for this car.|
|Had Rob check the 843 head - VGC!|
|Bought two sets of NOS Gordini pistons and a pile of other stuff. Tx
|Located an Austin Marina powertrain for the Locost project if it
|Bought a pile of other parts.|
|Went to the PCA driver's ed day in the Porsche - what a laugh - I learned
why race cars are so carefully prepped. Developed a minor top end
|Worked on the Webers - found that all the stuff they say in books about
cleanliness of fuel, fuel pressure and float level are true. A bit of
tweaking pays off big.|
|Gotta get the engine fitted to the chassis.|
|Last day of March break. Doors done, new door pins made of SS, head
off the 843 - off to the machinist, rear hub carriers blasted, helicoiled
and back, chassis parts back from being painted - I can reassemble the front
and rear hubs now, need brake parts. |
|First day of March break. Repaired the last of the fibreglass issues
on the doors. Removed the spare 843 from the hatch of the dead fuego
without injury and with my neighbour's help. Later, while putting a
15lb steel thang in the back, the hatch slammed on my right hand.
Possibly fractured, very nasty bruises at least, work done for the day.|
|Ever generous, Ian sent me his rear lower link mounting bracket to
|Checked the frame and found that while it is 1/4" too narrow at the
back, it is at least straight.|
|Found that Marcel Dube's frame is not quite to spec.|
|Body shop wants doors back so they can get the car out. The body
will be done WAY before the chassis. Hardly ideal.|
|Lots more ebay.|
|Lots of small ebay purchases.|
|Thinking more on engine options after I realized that the 843 has complete
engine management and ignition control. |
|Trial fitted the engine and found that the rear hoop has to go.
Drank plenty of coffee and pondered till I decided on how to attach the
gearbox using those GM mounts. |
|Asked fellow hockey Dad Jim about simple engine mounts and he suggested GM
V8 tranny mounts. $14 ea at Napa.|
|After having fitted the doors we found that one is a bit off, and will
require the lower front edge be brought in a bit. A PITA, but the
price of the non-adjustable doors. Lots of prep required.|
|Painted the steering rack.|
|Bought a Fuego Turbo, NG1 box, and a complete 843 engine.|
|Dave the hot rod builder dropped by asking for my help to make some
fiberglass parts for Mustang LX based Lotus 7 replicas he's making.
He's a whiz at metal fabrication, chassis making and fitting. We
started talking barter and I'm considering this.
Got Harald's help and found that the Austin Marina rear axle shares the
Europas bolt pattern so I could use my stock lotus wheels, and the many
other Europa parts I have lying around. Hmmmm.....|
|Feb 28 - hit 98 paid hours on the body. Without the doors.
Have to fit those as the POs adjustment system precludes adjustment, and
some fractures were found once the paint was removed. Rather ironic
that my hours and hours of paint stripping created hours and hours of
bodywork. The car does look straight though.|
|Cleaned up the trunk box in preparation for repair of its the many cracks.|
|Primed the engine mounting brackets and steering rack.|
|69 hours in the body so far, plus my 100 or more!|
|Feb 23, moved this site to a real server. Posted a bunch of new
stuff. This month I have salvaged the pedals and rehabbed the steering
|Repaired fiberglass in the doors, trunk lid and front boot. |
|Disassembled, stripped, cleaned and painted the steering rack.|
|Getting closer to a strategy for gearbox mounting. |
|Updated this site.|
|Received ebay engine bearings advertised as "Std." that were
.030 under and clearly marked that way. Second time an ebay purchase
was not as represented, though I'm sure through ignorance rather than
|The body has been filled and straightened and is now ready for primer.
Wayne the bodyman tells me never to attempt to strip the paint on a Europa,
it should be sanded by the bodyman. I exposed pinholes and gouged the
gelcoat enough to create more work than it would have taken to sand the car.|
|Paid for a further 44 hours on the body. Not done yet.|
|Feb 19. body has been primed, doors stripped of hardware and
disassembled. The aluminum door hardware was broken. Every part
of this car is broken.|
|Disassembled the steering rack, trying to cure a 'clunk' once per pinion
rotation. Every part of this car has issues.|
| Realized how much grease I've played with and how little I know
about it. Looked it up in the web and found the NGLI website, and
noted the fascinating courses they offer on the subject. Perhaps in my next
|Dug the chassis out of the snow, moved the it into the garage and stared
at it a lot, trying to figure out an elegant way to mount the new
5-speed. Decided to mimic the 914 gearbox mounting
|Recalculated budget. Coming in at around $12,500 CDN net of the
parts I sold, including the TC engine. Has the potential to go higher
than that. Yikes!|
|Body looking good. Beginning the refurbishment and reassembly of the
hundred small parts of the project - feels like I'm just starting out, not
hundreds of hours into it.|
|Removed the front suspension bushings with a bolt, socket, and
blowtorch. Replaced them using the vise. Easy.|
|Mike welded the elongated holes on the front wishbones, and now have the
chassis bits in for paint. |
|Found that my rear trailing arms were quite rusted. One is beyond
salvation for sure. The other looks useable. No reason to assume
it is rusting badly inside like the other did... right? I'll probably
buy a new set from Marcel Dube. What did I say about the budget?|
Glad that sorry year is behind us...
|Worked to clean up my pig-sty of a workshop, and succeeded, also got my
ALL of my engine parts to Rob the machinist. |
|Disassembled all of the front suspensions that I have and cobbled up the
best of all parts. Will use the TC wishbones, S2 rest. |
|Gotta get some of the other parts out of the attic...|
|Afraid to recalculate budget. Will do that when all engine costs
become clear. This will be soon.|
|Jan 11 Visited the body at the shop - 25 hours so far with at least
another 40 to go. Now I'm really afraid.|
|Tore apart the rear suspension, found lots of problems. Mo' money.|
|Bought some engine parts on ebay. Met my first crazy ebay seller -
Mental Mike from Cambridge. He probably likes me even
|Despaired of using either of my stock pedal clusters, spent hours
determining how to implement a $500 Wilwood setup. (very nice)
Then salvaged one of the stock set. Budget Bonus Points!|
|Heard of another Europa S2 for sale. And a Series 1 E-type.
And a cheap Porsche 944. All in rough shape. All tempting.
Will I never learn?|
|Dec. 5 Nearly bought a donor Toyota MR2, couldn't quite agree on
price. Then found out that John Pels doesn't have a TO bearing
adaptor for the 395 gearbox, and that Ian's crank is good, making the
Renault option that much more feasible. I'm really glad Ian traded
that engine for Wilkins's book. I still think the Toyota option
is probably one of the best, but am not prepared to get into that
level of fabrication and messing around. Hung the doors and entombed
the body in a tarp. Rec'd a scary estimate on body and paint.|
|Dec. 12 or so. Ordered Ebay "as used in Lotus Europas and
Renault..." pistons for 695 for what appeared
to be a reasonable price, and found that there are two locating base
diameters. The liners aren't compatible with any of the three cases I
have, and were never used in any Lotus. Doh! Start investigating Renault options very seriously
and created engine page with Renault data. |
|Got the electrical bill for November. Ouch! Running that 1000w
heater continuously outside.|
|Dec. 18 Rec'd new triplex windshield from Brown's lane Jag in
Markham. Expensive, but competitive.|
|Dec. 20 Body is off to the body shop!|
|Spent most of December travelling for work. Totally exhausted.
Xmas holidays and a badly needed break, working methodically to organize the
out of control piles of parts and other junk that had paralyzed my shop.|
|Nov 1, 2, 3 Miserable damp rainy weather, but warm enough to
fiberglass. Installed the firewall, or at least part, then stopped to
consider where to put the battery. Hemmed and hawed, consulted with
the Lotus faithful and found the smallest batteries to be the
inexpensive generic U-1 used in scooters and lawn tractors, or the fancy
Odyssey 680 type, which is half the size and thrice the price. of the
U1. Mocked up both in cardboard and determined that they won't fit in
my 'trick' location between the gas tank and the seat back. Oh well,
one real nasty fitting job avoided. I did discover that they will
fit handily behind the rear fender, an area I had already reinforced.|
|Also tangled with the shoulder belt mounting points and snapped one off,
requiring that I remove its mounting plate as well. I'm now also
considering seat belt options, and am leaning toward a four-point harness.|
|Nov 7, 8, 9 2003, secured the firewall and returned the car to the
stand. The body is really stiff! Still have to finish glassing
in around the perimeter of the firewall from the engine side, but the result
even now is impressive. Removed the shoulder belt plates and the
broken screw. Luckily I have a spare screw. Plates are
still useable. I have been fiberglassing in temps just above
freezing and using the small heater, tented with a tarp, to cure the
fiberglass. Hardly ideal, and I'm going to have to call it quits for
the season soon.|
|Nov 15. Really cold. Marked the stress cracks and will take
advantage of a few warm hours if I get them, but I may be done for the
year. I am very close to my objective of having the body repairs
done this year. Just another afternoon.....|
|Nov 18, 19 Warm nights, got the veil done! Fixed a few more
things too, still have the doors and luggage box, but have met my objective
of glasswork done before winter!!!! An hour with a grinder and a die
grinder cleaning up the glasswork and its ready for the body
shop. Spoke to Rob Burbine (Machinist) and he tells me the
Gordini's valves are shot but the crank is good. Its gonna be
expensive. Still tempted by the 4AGE Toyota...|
Began frantic fibreglass
repairs, racing against the
onset of winter. Will they never end?
Learn that it is easiest to repair a Europa when it is
Rad tested, appears fine, will need some sheet metal
repair – rust.
Engine is at Port Perry Engine and Machine. Rob
will give me a verdict soon.
Realize that the D-Jet EFI hardware may not clear the
stock bonnet and I may need to bulge the bonnet to clear. Gotta trial
fit everything to see how.
|Exhausted and sick with a cold, built this site. Made a note
on one of the pages that leaving the windshield in place is a good idea to
retain the car's stiffness and avoid crunching the A-pillars.|
|Oct 14 - Took a week's vacation to do 20hrs worth of glass work. 30-40 hours later,
I'm almost done...the underside.|
|Knocked the car off the jack stands. It landed on the roof and
popped the windshield out. Very funny.|
|Friday Oct 17 Cold. Too cold to work with resins and filler
efficiently. Still glassing, built the Lotus Erect S2 (stand for
working on the body.) The bottom of the car is done. I will work
on the firewall tonight, sanding it first, then applying resin and
very fine glass cloth. After that the shell can be righted.|
|Oct. 20 Shell is righted, finished all structural glassing.
Laminated a layer of cloth and mat to the rear fender boxes and chassis
flanges below. Immensely strong! Too bad the whole car
wasn't built like this.|
|Still have to fill the crunched snout and grind and glass stress cracks...|
|Oct 22. Changed my tack on the firewall, and will cut the old one
out with a zip disc and replace it with a polypropylene honeycomb cored
fiberglass composite panel - made of a product called nida-board.
4 oz cloth, >1.5 oz mat,> .25" nida board, <1.5 oz mat.< 4
oz cloth. |
|Weather has gotten very cold and I couldn't make the first firewall
panel. Cut out one piece of the firewall though. |
|Am contemplating tarping the body shell and leaving the body till
spring. If the weather stays cold I'm done. But all I need is
aboout two more days of decent weather....|
|Oct 24 This is gonna be a big job, and I'm debating whether to remove the entire
firewall, or do it in two stages, lower 2pcs then upper piece. This would
prevent any distortion of the body once the firewall is removed, however I do
have to wonder whether it will move much after all of the stiffening I';ve
done. The other problem is the cold. I laminated part of what will
become the lower pieces tonight in temperatures just above freezing, then tented
the sandwich under a tarp with a heater. We'll see how it works out.
Perhaps tomorrow I will get some more glass (I'm running out) and some more nida-core for the main firewall. |
|Oct 25 Removed the entire firewall. Nasty
job, but a zip disc is perfect. No body parts severed from either the
car or myself. Still have to work it over with a grinder. Out of
mat, cloth and nida-core. Finished the cored board for the lower
firewall panels as well. Cut out the opening in the underside
for the second tank too.|
|Oct 26 have the firewall area nearly prepped. Amazing how
careful you can be with a grinder. The body doesn't appear to have
shifted much after the firewall was removed, though I may brace up the floor
to make sure it isn't sagging there. No big deal.|
914 is finished, Lotus Restoration Begins in Earnest
Investigating labour cost to have engine rebuilt.
Mike has agreed to do body ‘on the cheap’ at his
convenience to keep his body man busy.
Now we’re getting somewhere.
Total cost est about $11500 CDN, hopefully that won’t
prove to be a joke.
Get pricing on Gordini
rebuild parts. Worried about budget.
Find out that lots of
small pieces are missing from the Gordini.
Learn from Harald about Marcel Dube's beautiful
chassis, made in Canada.and at $2000 Cdn much less expensive than UK
alternatives. Decided to order new chassis and be done with it.
Worried about the budget.
Find out that Dave
the garage fabricator would have fixed my old chassis $800.
Speaking with Mike Clarke from the Europa list.
He just finished a very similar project, lives near here and is a
mechanic. Amazingly helpful and a very nice guy. Europa list
members are a terrific help and very willing to offer assistance. How
did people do this before the internet?
Stripped entire car with methylene chloride and
acetone. 3 gallons each. Not cheap
Thinking of eBaying that Wilkins book for funds against
the project cost.
Found out that Miles Wilkins book is now back in
print. Much less expensive.
Ian still wants to trade my copy for his dead R16
engine, which will hopefully have the parts I require to finish either the
incomplete Gordini or the incomplete 697. What a help Ian and the
other Europa listers are!
For Fathers' day, Doris tracks down and pays dearly for
a brand new hardcover copy of Miles Wilkins Lotus Twin Cam Engine - the
absolute bible on the subject, long out of print. I tell her I
sold the engine months before.
Feeling neglected, 54/1871 again attempts suicide by
inverting in driveway during strong windstorm.
Roof, door post gets crunched. Found
lying on roof in driveway, looks like dead frog.
Gas tank now drained and easily accessible.
Gas runs under house….
Lucky! Purchased R17 Gordini 807-13 and 395
gearbox from Barry in Barrie, sold Lotus Twin Cam to desperate international
super spy for a decent price. Net
into car now about $1000. Never
a better time to get out from under this project, maybe even make some money
Thinking of Toyota 4AGE engine conversion. John
P. sounds like he's onto something and I like that engine. Needs
John's adapter plate which at this point is made of unobtainium.
Gordini (807-XX) engine now,
need bell-housing from R17, R18 or Fuego regardless. Nice to have the later NG-3 ‘box as well. Gordini
- 129 lbs vs TC 240lbs….
Removed more parts and discovered that the rad piping
is cut down stuff from the twink, and could be improved by using the
drawings in the twink service and parts list, trial fitting the engine to
determine the bend required to get one of the pipes close to the neck for
the water pump.
Also, the small pipe to the swirl pot could be revised
or attached to the chassis. It was just hanging there. Just like
the brake and fuel lines.
Discovered even more corrosion in the front chassis
box, and found cracks in the base of the T.
They all break there. Replacing
at least the bulkhead if not the whole chassis is probably required.
Chassis must be imported from the UK and are very expensive.
More research on the Twin Cam engine is
discouraging. Very romantic, it says Lotus on it. Heavy,
expensive to service and mine has a Stromberg carb-only head and manifolds.
A bit discouraged.
Spares are clogging my workshop.
Must sell some parts…
Stripped chassis completely and got carried away.
Cut open rusty suspension console and decided that I can repair it
after all. Will need a new
Twink is on the engine stand and the clutch looks new.
I get the lowdown on the block from a very helpful and humourous Harald from
the Lotus list. It is a 'rare and desireable' block. Hmm...
Will need to investigate removal of secondary throttles
and tubes, and to convert to header.
Around this time I comment to my Father about his
greater-than-normal interest in this project. He thinks the Lotus is
cool. I suggest he pick up 1/3 the restoration cost in exchange for
use of the car till he tires getting in and out of it, at which point I get it
back. He is a very fit, very young 62. I am a sore,
weather-beaten 40. Not sure it this was such a smart idea... At
least I have a goal now. The car must be on budget and reliable.
I will resist the
temptation to upgrade everything.
Hooked up with PO and discovered that TC engine s/b
good, and that original engine was toast and tossed. He had parked the
car in disgust after he realized how badly the engine conversion had gone.
Worked on suspension box.
Got it clean and prepped for repair.
Noted on Europa list that stock rad may be adequate for
Determined that the Rear x-member should probably be
found cracks in rear of chassis. Engine
not centred in chassis, mounts welded to frame, forward bulkhead appears
flimsy, quite a bit of flaky rust inside.
Considering learning to weld. This has to be the worst
engine transplant ever.
Discovered that water pump bearing is shot.
Steering rack mounts seized, damaged screws removing.
Bought tie-rod tool.
Stuart from NZ sent excellent detailed info on his TC
conversion. Beautiful job.
Reading up on the TC's reliablility record makes me
realize I should simplify engine removal....
July & August 2002
Traded old McIntosh Stereo and some cash for 54/1871,
plus remains of a crashed twink. Rear wheel bearing got hot while towing home on a borrowed
car dolly, so I pulled over and called a flat bed. $200.
More spares purchased July ’02 including wheel
bearings, stock 697 engine in pieces, a Weber carb, lights, swirl pots
c/w mouse nests, gaskets, buckets of hardware, a crank for some other engine
and a promised gearbox that failed to materialize.
More spares purchased including spare gauges and a complete
set of lights, plus copies of the twink and S2 parts AND service manuals.
Rebuilt Stromberg carbs . Attempted to start engine. Car attempts suicide by
dousing itself with gas from a chafed fuel line. Fortunately, there
was no spark nearby, including anywhere in the ignition system. I was
unable to ignite any fuel, anywhere. Cold compression check and 18psi cranking oil
pressure suggests engine may be
I notice water pump pulley is wobbly, meaning water
pump needs replacement. This is the TC's Achilles heel, and might
explain that extra rad... Repair means removing the head.