On The Road?  Not Yet…

The process of getting the car on the road for the first time after 20 years has been an experience.  I completed the installation of the engine and all of the plumbing that needs to be reattached, fresh fluids and belts… But, I noticed liquid on the floor under the car.  Hmmmm.  I hadn’t even attempted to start the car and it’s leaking from the head gasket.  Well, what the heck, I’ll try to turn it over anyway.  It back-fired… Well, that didn’t go as planned.  In that the engine was assembled by someone else I decided to take the car back to them for ‘adjustment’.  So, the first trip on the road for the car was on a trailer.

The garage found a couple of things to adjust/correct and gave me a call.  ‘The engine runs great, but the brakes aren’t working correctly’.  Sounds like the normal Lotus Europa Brake Challenge.  It seems everyone has challenges with Lotus dual servo brakes.  The guys did everything they could to get a firm peddle.  Pressure bleed, vacuum bleed, cuss, etc.  Today they got a set of new flexible hoses.  Since the originals were now 42 years old they may be rotten and clogged.  The guys, of course, are not looking forward to replacing the rear hoses that I should have changed when the engine was out of the car (OOPS, my mistake).  The connections are almost impossible to reach without arms like a chimpanzee and strange looking tools.  I’ll update you on their progress if they don’t give up before it’s done.

Overall I felt good about the work I had done.  The brake servos were installed correctly, the cooling system didn’t leak from the hoses, one of the carbs that I rebuilt worked… oh, the second carb had a cunk of something in one of the fuel paths so the engine only ran on two cylinders.  That was easily fixed with another cleaning of the system.  Overall, not bad for a weekend mechanic.

I’m hoping to have brakes soon.  Summers here and I’d like to STOP at a couple of car gatherings.

And I mean literally STOP.

UPDATE: Jun 23, 2016

I just got back from Van’s, in Leland, where they are working on the brakes.  They discovered that a previous repair person had used the wrong o-rings on the pistons of the front calipers.  Van’s said the piston almost fell out of the caliper when they took it off the car.  There was no resistance between the seals and the bore.  So, the small seals allowed air to be sucked back into the system EVERY time someone put their foot on the brake and let up.  That meant the brakes would never have a good bleed so no good peddle.

Well, I now have a refreshed brake system on the car.  Re-bored master cylinder, new flex hoses, servos, and rebuild calipers. That’s actually good news for me.  I feel good about being able to stop…

© Donald Shikoski 2011