New member - Excel SA

Restoration threads may be posted here. I can move them from any other topic if you wish.

Moderator: Board Moderators

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3764
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

That's similar to what I had to do to get my doors to align - spent weeks on them. Hope they still fit when I finally get round to assembly!! :roll:. Good progress though! I don't recall ever seeing so much bodywork done on a car!

Pete

richardw
Moderator
Posts: 2231
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 15:06
Model: Elite S2.2 Automatic
Colour: Essex Blue
Year: 1981
Location: Worcestershire

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by richardw »

Seriously impressive work Neil!

(And Pete!)
Image

User avatar
bash
Senior Poster
Posts: 2240
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 15:34
Model: Se, V8
Colour: white
Year: 1986
Location: Doncaster
Contact:

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by bash »

My door skins have never quite fitted the hole properly, nor have many others Ive seen. Your work will really be worth it in the end.
Bash
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

User avatar
Excel SA
Senior Poster
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:11
Model: Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1987
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

The body work has escalated in scale way beyond what I ever expected, but I've decided that as I'm at it, I may as well try to get everything fitting together as best as possible, with the minimum of body filler. I will nee some filler to clean up smaller imperfections though.

I just received this, kindly delivered from Scottsdale, Arizona by a friend who lives fairly close to the place that makes them, and who has come back to South Africa for a visit. It is to replace the original oil filter adapter (which ended up putting the oil filter in the same place as the steering rack) , and lines will run from this to a remote oil mount. It also has a couple of ports for sensors, I'm just not sure if there is space for the ones I have when it's fitted, or they will need remote mounting too.

Image

Image

Neil.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3764
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

That's a nicely made bit of kit!

Pete

User avatar
Excel SA
Senior Poster
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:11
Model: Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1987
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

The adapter is nice - hard anodised in an interesting colour.... It will still be hard to spot when installed.

A good deal of the front of the car suffered damage - it's still a matter of finding the damage and repairing it bit by bit.

Below is a collage of another repair - to the section that sits in the engine bay just below the back of the headlight pod. The pictures are mostly taken form the left side of the car looking toward the front.

A. is what I found when I removed the paint - I am not sure what the white trails of filler were made of (red arrow), but taking no chances, they were ground out (B) - this is before final grinding - you can still see some cracks/damage if you look carefully.

C. was after epoxy filler was used to fill the larger holes, and the section was sanded down, D is with 2 layers of fiberglass cloth and resin. I then covered the surface with more filler (E) to ensure I didn't just sand down the fiberglass I'd put on, and F is pretty much the end result.


Image

Neil.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3764
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Nice work - that part of the body has so many complicated contours that it's hard to work on.

Pete

User avatar
Excel SA
Senior Poster
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:11
Model: Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1987
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

It's been a while since I last posted - work is still progressing....

Inspired by Bash's aircon revamp, I thought I'd get stuck into my own aircon project.

A few major changes were required - firstly the Lexus a/c compressor is on the left hand side of the engine as opposed to the right on the Lotus, and secondly there's not much space left in the engine bay, so the drier needed a new home.

I had to turn the condenser around so the input and output were on the left, and move it to the left - easy enough to flip the condenser, but the radiator cowl is designed for the condenser to sit on the right, and is molded around that - more fiberglass work was required to get it to fit.

The drier is originally located low down on the right of the engine bay, space that is no longer available to me. As everything now sits on the left, I had to find space on that side - the only place I could fine was in the headlight cavity, so that's where it has been relocated to.

I got very lucky and found an aircon shop very close to my office - they had everything I needed. Being close was useful as I went there many times to buy bits and to get parts made and then crimped. I ended up replacing almost everything except the evaporator (the "radiator" bit ensconced behind the dash that makes the coolth for those, like me, that are not fully aware of all the bits) and the compressor which came with the engine. I don't believe the condenser was original, and for the cost of a new one, wasn't worth taking chances on, so that was replaced. The low pressure switch and expansion valve were also replaced with new - I have no idea whether the old ones work or not, but they are buried deep in the dash and I wasn't taking any chances. A new drier was also bought and all the seals were changed.

Due to the changes in positioning of some of the major components, all new piping had to be run - these are made up of aluminium and rubber tubing with all the various fittings on the ends.

Below is the new layout:

The yellow arrow is the new low pressure line from the evaporator to the compressor - in the picture it had the wrong fitting on the end - this was replaced with a hose barb, and then a rubber hose does a half loop down to the compressor.
The orange arrow is the line running from the compressor to the condenser - this can also be seen in the second picture going into the radiator duct.
The pink box is the new position of the drier, the connection to this, from the condenser is the aluminium and rubber line in the second picture.
From the drier there is a rubber hose that runs through the body over the wheel well (blue line), and this connects to a bulkhead fitting (green circle), which links to the last pipe back to the evaporator - red arrow.

Image

Below is the whole radiator ducting section which has now had many modifications and repairs (and is missing its air-filter).

Image

Neil.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3764
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Excellent Neil - I'd been wondering where I could fit a drier! My original drier space is occupied by a remote oil filter head. I love the idea of hiding some of the pipework inside the wing - good lateral thinking :D

I'll be getting a rad pack sorted out soon so must remember to consider the "pod position" of the drier when ordering the condenser - regarding it's inlet/outlet arrangement.

Pete

User avatar
Excel SA
Senior Poster
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:11
Model: Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1987
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

Thanks Pete - I saw a cut-away of a drier at the air-con shop, and I'm surprised that they are as big as they are - it's pretty much an empty vessel with a layer of desiccant balls taking up maybe 15% of the volume. Apparently some cars come with very small driers - I think they mentioned the Merc "A" class. I do have zero clue as to whether the extra volume is required though....

I had removed the softboard piece that blanks off the space under the wing from the cabin, so access to the back of the bulkhead fitting is easy.

I also still need to find a place for the remote oil filter and the windscreen washer bottle (that space needs to be taken by the expansion tank) - it might end up in the other headlight pod!

An updated pic below of the finished low pressure line along with the fill ports.

Image

Neil.

User avatar
Excel SA
Senior Poster
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:11
Model: Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1987
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

I have done a bit more work on the radiator ducting - I need to have access to the new new air-filter arrangement which is mounted on the top half of the duct. The only way I could work out how to do it was to split the bottom tray in half and make it removeable, giving me access to the top half.

The fit of the lower duct try to the body and upper duct was also very poor - there was a large gap when everything was joined together as per the pic below - this was also corrected, and you can also see the edge of the cut where I split the bottom tray.

Image

Here is a picture of the whole fitting, with the cut line at the red arrow, and the new fixings in the front to hold it in place - circled in yellow.

Image

I added a fiberglass lip to the cut edge of the front portion - that hooks over the back edge and it rotates into place. Here it is balanced on a jack, mostly open. The front edge needed to be trimmed back a bit to clear the front bumper.

Image

The fiberglass is fairly thin and flexible along the line I cut, and with it all in place there would have been a bit of a rattle between the new lip and where it rested on the back half. I thought about adding in another fixing, but then decided to add on a small fiberglass lip that locks to the two halves together instead. This pic is from below the front of the car, looking back and shows the additional rectangular tab.

Image

All the changes to the ducting should all have been completed now - just a clean up and paint to go. To change the air filter will require the removal of the two bolts holding the lower tray in place, dropping the tray out, removing 3 more bolts/screws holding the air-filter housing in place, dropping that out, then another 3 screws holding the filter cover/bracket in place, pull out the filter, put in a new one and reverse the process....not the easiest chore, but by no means the hardest air filter replacement I'll have done (that goes to an E90, 320D - by far.)

Neil

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3764
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Love the little tabs on the panel edge - nice work! It doesn't matter that the air filter is tricky to get to - you don't need to access it very often.

Pete

User avatar
bash
Senior Poster
Posts: 2240
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 15:34
Model: Se, V8
Colour: white
Year: 1986
Location: Doncaster
Contact:

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by bash »

Very tidy Neil

Bash
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

User avatar
Excel SA
Senior Poster
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2020 06:11
Model: Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1987
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Excel SA »

Thanks - those were my thoughts - air filters only seem to get changed every 30,000 kms or so these days....could take a while :lol:

Another picture below to clarify the tab and lip - the white fiberglass is the new lip, it does help stiffen up that edge, and once together seems to be relatively solid.

Image

That was a lot of work to modify the intake - but I do now have a cold air intake system and some space around the engine freed up - there's not a lot of that.

Another item requiring attention was the "Plenum chamber, fresh air intake" that is mounted to the engine side of the firewall. A small repair had been done to one corner, but it hadn't stuck on too well and peeled off easily.

Image

I dutifully cleaned the area and re-fibreglassed the patch, and that also just peeled off, so I cleaned it up some more and tried again - with the same amount of success as the first time...I then took out the Dremel and started grinding the area - it has a rubberised coating on the surface (which makes sense in hindsight), and that need to be removed - the third time worked.

I also needed to change the design a bit to clear heater pipes, bits were cut off, and a template made:

Image

Then held in place:

Image

Fiberglass cloth and resin added:

Image

I also changed the drainage system - both sides now drain out the bottom (previously one chamber had a drain out the side) and I made up some fibreglass tubing to connect the drainage hoses to - at least this way all water should drain out, not leaving a pool of water inside as the original system with rubber bung and tubing stuck through it would have... A few other gelcoat voids, minor cracks etc. were also patched and repaired. The final result below:

Image

I won't be able to install this piece before the engine goes in as it is in the way, and once the engine is in, there's no space to get to the bottom fixings, so a plan B will be required....

Neil.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 3764
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1974
Location: Nottingham

Re: New member - Excel SA

Post by Pete Boole »

Excellent Neil. I completely removed the right hand bit that you've been working on on my Excel - still worked fine.

Pete

Post Reply