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Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/29/21 8:05 p.m.

Was thinking of those a-arms and the bushings you poured.  Boxing the a-arms in might be a good solution? 
The bubbles for the bushings, you might be able to solve that with a vacuum chamber to degas it and pull the bubbles out.

This vid is resin casting, but same thing with silicone or whatever else you're working with.  We do the same process at work for cast-in-place gaskets.


TurnerX19 UltraDork
9/30/21 3:39 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Spitfire calipers and discs on Elan and Europa. Elan +2 uses the GT6 pieces. They go right on and should be Challenge priced too, because the Lotus people are upgrading to Willwood calipers.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/30/21 5:31 p.m.

This compatibility chart lists Spitfire and GT6 as interchangeable with the Europa, but those are different sizes. I measured due to confusion. Looks like mine has 9.1" rotors, which seem to match Spitfire, while GT6 would be 9.7" according to this site. These look too deeply pitted to turn, so I'm just buying new replacements, thus completing my abuse of the Burchett rule for refreshing stock brakes with no budget impact. I can always upgrade later. 

Also these lug studs. Look how teeny tiny - only 3/8-24! No need to mess with perfection, so new ones are also in the same order. Should be my last purchase before front-half rolling chassis, I hope. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/30/21 5:38 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

The Amuhzohn stuff has a working time of only 7 minutes, so I don't know if that's long enough to vacuum bubbles. I am looking into a vacuum chamber though. I found a real supplier I can try if it doesn't work out. 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/30/21 6:40 p.m.

Looks like they use a lot of small bore Triumph stuff, those 3/8th lugs are one of the first things I change on a Spitfire or GT6. May be light, but not up to today's sticky tires.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
9/30/21 7:09 p.m.
dherr (Forum Supporter) said:

.......May be light, but not up to today's sticky tires.

Those were my thoughts too. 

I think wheel studs are budget exempt.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/30/21 7:35 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

In reply to Mr_Asa :

The Amuhzohn stuff has a working time of only 7 minutes, so I don't know if that's long enough to vacuum bubbles. I am looking into a vacuum chamber though. I found a real supplier I can try if it doesn't work out. 

At one place I worked, we set up molds that would fit inside the vacuum chamber.  Possible option?

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/1/21 9:22 a.m.

The problem with the lug studs is budget strategy. The car came with a set of 13x5.5 wheels, therefore free in budget, and you can still buy sticky rubber for this size. These wheels are designed for stock lug studs using "mag style" lug nuts, like this one below. The wheel lug hole diameter is 0.625", matching this type of lug nut. Since I have a set of 4, 2 could be race tires and 2 could be street tires. I can also keep using stock conical nuts with the stock steel wheels as rollers during the build.

2nd option: I have found off-the-shelf lug studs M12-1.50 that will fit perfectly in the Lotus hub holes, even without drilling. This is the same size as the Toyota stud, so that's nice. The problem then is how do I fasten these wheels to a M12 stud? There would be a .15" diametrical clearance between stud and wheel hole, which is not enough for a mag-style lug nut. But if I use a flange nut, there is still a lot of air between stud and hole, and the overhang on the flange of the nut concerns me more than the strength of a 3/8 stud. Plus, wheel centering.

3rd option is step up to 5/8" lug studs, but that requires re-drilling the hubs. 5/8 flange nut might actually work on these wheels. But if I'm re-drilling hubs, then why not just go to 4x100 lug pattern (which is possible), but I don't want to commit unless I already have a good cheap set of wheels in that size, and then there are budget concerns with that move too. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/1/21 9:33 a.m.

The set-up in the Spitfire/GT6 world is the 7/16 or 12mm Land Rover Freelander studs.  They fit in the same hub hole, but are stronger.  

More info here: Upgrading Triumph Spitfire Wheel Studs (auskellian.com)

TurnerX19 UltraDork
10/1/21 3:18 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Drill the wheels to take a 12x1.25 mag style lug nut is the easy solutiion here. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/3/21 6:35 p.m.

Last major pieces of the front suspension puzzle are the springs and shocks. This one came with genuine Spax adjustable coilovers, which are one of the few you can buy for these cars. Springs are probably stock 110ish lbs/in. Howeve my shocks are in pretty bad shape like the rest of this basket case. There were actually vines wrapped around the springs.

The springs are so small, I couldn't get the u-bolts of my compressor around them. I had to fab some hooks to adapt.

The real deal - made in England

Amazingly, I got the lock ring and collar to unthread! There is hope! Until I see this shaft rust. Yikes. The other side is even a little worse. 

I still I think I can use these, at least for the Challenge. Otherwise we're looking at over $300 hit to the budget. I exercised them a bit (without going into the rusty regions) and they are definitely not blown. Adjusting them has the expected effect in each direction, so that's good. I'm going to try knocking the rust off the shaft, filling the pits with epoxy such as JB Weld, then wetsanding and polishing. I read about that trick on a snowmobiling forum for getting more life out of expensive shocks. 

Backup plan is universal motorcycle rear shocks. The dimensions are very close to some cheap options and I could use my original springs.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/7/21 7:51 a.m.

I tried pouring polyurethane again in the sway bar links, this time with a DIY vacuum chamber. Even with just 60 seconds or so of vacuuming, results are 100% better. Complete night and day difference. More about that in the "Make your own bushings" thread: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/how-to-make-your-own-delrin-an/140312/page2/#post3341828 

Fully cured sway bar bushings

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/7/21 9:35 a.m.

I love this. Getting everything back together on the cheap. Like "the classic motorsports $2k restoration challenge".


maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/7/21 10:02 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

I love the variety of this project. 50% classic car restoration,  50% custom fabrication, split pretty much in the middle of the car. 

Brotus7 Dork
10/7/21 12:37 p.m.

There's something nice about being able to do your own thing, pretty much guilt free.  The car can only get better vs it's starting point.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/12/21 8:14 a.m.

Back on the lug hardware problem- do those wheels have enough meat to them to do a countersink like most modern wheels have and use normal conical lug nuts?  Should be fairly easy to add, machining wise.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/12/21 1:16 p.m.

There really isn't much material on these wheels. But I did source some mag-style lug nuts that fit both these wheels and the stock Lotus lug studs. Of course they're coming all the way from Yurop. That way I can use conical nuts for the stock steelies as rollers, and the "wide" aftermarket mag wheels for my street and race setups. So that's 6 wheels in my collection which only fit 2 places on this car - about right for a Challenge car. 

Speaking of lugs, here they are installed with the new brake rotors, which are 9.1" same as Triumph Spitfire, which are NOT the same as GT6!

In other news I 3D-printed a centering spacer for pouring the control arm bushings. It works pretty well! Only problem is my vacuum chamber imploded about 5 seconds into the de-gassing step, so I'll need to sort that out again. I think I'll replace the plexiglass with a steel plate and cross my fingers the Pyrex container isn't next.

RACEC4R New Reader
10/12/21 1:22 p.m.

Wow, nice work, love the bushing info.

Learning a lot of tidbits and processes from your threads.  Much appreciated.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/12/21 1:56 p.m.

Can I suggest you fab a lid with the printer?  Vent tube is recommended with this design. 




maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/12/21 2:27 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I had a similar thought when I first went down this rabbit hole. But after seeing the quality from pouring open-face on the sway bar links, I think that's the easiest way to go. It's thick stuff like chocolate syrup, so it holds a good surface tension when it fills to the top. Now the bushings between sway bar and links may be a different story. Those have to slip over the bend of the sway bar, so they will have to be cast separately. I may use a plaster mold, which I can make with 3D printing and include sprues and runners and all that fancy stuff.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/12/21 5:11 p.m.

I was thinking pour most of it in the mold, fill the top, use the vacuum to ensure its all inside and uniform.

modernbeat Dork
10/14/21 4:50 p.m.

History of this car started in San Francisco. It was owned by the RE of the local SCCA region, and had been setup for autocross. He moved to Houston and stored it for years. It got pushed out of his garage for some reason (to fix a water heater or something) and never went back inside. After another batch of years being stored outside it was in bad shape.

I was finishing the restoration of one Europa, and had been watching for some vintage Cosmic aluminum wheels for it. A Craigslist ad popped up that had this car and a pile of parts for sale. I went and looked at it with a pal and we bought it. It took two full size trucks both towing trailers to haul off the car and all the Lotus parts, including a large illuminated sign.

My bike motored Lotus Seven had recently been kicked out of D-Mod SCCA autocross, so I had been collecting a bunch of parts to build a better D-Mod car. I had built up a Hewland Mk9, bought a 2-liter Ferrari V8, had an adapter made and had stripped this car down to build it out. Instead, the SCCA did something to piss me off and we built cars for other events like Pikes Peak, rally, and Time Trial, ignoring the Lotus.

Eventually a pal down the block that drove a 2nd gen MR2 asked me for the scabby body and frame, so I gave it to him. I sold the V8 and adapter to a racer in California. The Hewland and all the gears went to Australia, and the wheels I had made for it were sold to a Miata racer.

The windshield and original drivetain went into the spares pile for a friend that races a Europa in vintage racing.

I kept track of it for a while, as it passed to a second and third owner, but lost track of it after a few years.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/15/21 7:46 a.m.

In reply to modernbeat :

Really cool! Thanks for completing the history. It seems this car has always been destined for a crazy engine swap. If you are 2nd owner, I think that makes me #6.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/15/21 8:41 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Pencil me in as #7 please. 

RacetruckRon GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/15/21 8:51 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Keep me in mind if you ever need to get rid of the DSM

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