June 2004 Activity Log
Was putzing around this morning and noticed that one of the engine cover hinge pins had fallen out. Must have been on the last drive because the pin was still lying next to the hinge. Decided to remove the other pin and pop the engine cover. Surprised to find that the rear lip of the cover is still painted Bahama Yellow (the original color) so the PO didn't remove the cover when he repainted the car. Replaced both pins to secure the cover. Now I know how to get the cover off when it's time to repaint the car.
Finished the exhaust system this morning. Used a muffler hanger from Advance Auto Parts to support the exhaust end of the muffler by attaching it to the transaxle hoop. Tightened all clamps and took it for a test drive around the neighborhood. It's less raspy than the Supertrapp muffler, but still pretty loud under hard acceleration. Don't notice any difference in performance and I like the new sound!
Here's a photo of the old Supertrapp muffler and one of the new Thrush turbo muffler which now exits to the right of the license plate.
Made a sleeve to match the existing exhaust pipe to the muffler input. Cut a piece of 2" 90° pipe to connect between the muffler outlet and the stainless exhaust tip. Using the tailpipe stretcher I bought a few days ago I increased the outlet end of the exhaust from 2" OD to 2.25" OD to match the inlet of the exhaust tip. Drilled three holes around the periphery of the tip where it attaches to the exhaust pipe and threaded the exhaust pipe for #10x24 stainless bolts. Will use the bolts, with #10 star washers to attach the tip to the exhaust pipe. Dry fit everything to be sure all of my measurements were correct.
Bought several muffler clamps ranging in size from 1 3/4" to 2 1/4" from Advance Auto Parts on my way to work. Will loose-fit the clamps when I go home tonight. With any luck I can finish the exhaust this evening or tomorrow morning.
Spent yesterday cutting exhaust pipe and trimming the input side of the Thrush muffler. This morning I fired up the welder and welded the pipe onto the muffler. Did a test fit of the muffler onto the short pipe from the header and the muffler sits where I wanted it so the next step is to sleeve the 1.75" OD short pipe to fit the input pipe to the muffler. Once that's done and the muffler is hung, it's a simple thing to fit the exhaust pipe and stainless tip.
Had to move the Europa so Sears could deliver a new washing machine to the basement. The first time I have started it since removing the Supertrapp muffler. Bet my neighbors appreciated the open header at 9:00 AM!
On closer inspection, it appears that the 90° pipes I bought may have too much radius to be useful so I ordered an assortment of angled pipes from J.C. Whitney. I also ordered a tailpipe stretcher, a muffler and tailpipe cutoff tool, a windshield washer system, and an Equus timing light with digital tachometer. Going to ship via Fedex two day on Monday so I will have it all on Wednesday. Still have to fabricate some sort of hanger for the exhaust end of the muffler but I'll wait until I get the system plumbed to tackle that.
Removed and reinstalled the rear grill and license plate to move the exhaust port to the right side of the plate. This will be the exit point for the new exhaust system.
Started working on the exhaust in preparation for the new muffler and exhaust tip. Found the Supertrapp muffler rusted onto the short exhaust pipe from the header. Pulled out the Kroil and sprayed the joint liberally then let it sit for ten minutes. Took a while but after some wiggling and *&*!#!@ it finally came apart.
The short pipe from the header has a peculiar bend so it can be supported by the bracket attached to the transmission so I will reuse it. The OD of the pipe is 1.75" and the ID of the new muffler is 2" so I bought a 1.75" ID to 2" OD 90° pipe from Advance Auto Parts to go between the two. The stainless exhaust tip is 2.25" ID so I bought a 2" OD to 2.25" OD 90° pipe to complete the system. Hope everything fits when I receive the muffler.
Asked about the Windshield Washer nozzle on the lotuseuropa list and got lots of replies. Some folks have a single nozzle exactly in line with and centered between the windshield wipers and some have one between the wipers and another 17 5/16" toward the driver's side of the car. Will decide which method to use when I find a new washer system. Will probably buy an aftermarket system and modify the wiper control to activate the electric pump.
Ordered a Thrush Super Turbo muffler and a stainless steel exhaust tip from Summit Racing today. Will buy assorted exhaust pieces to plumb the system from Advance Auto Parts so I can measure the pieces before I buy then.
Ordered a fresh air fan from Aardvark International to replace the missing one in the boot of my Europa. Since the car was on the road very little after 1972 one of the PO's apparently removed the fan and didn't replace it. Now that it's getting hot outside I need the air when stopped in traffic.
While I was rooting around in the boot, I found the windshield washer bag and it's not attached to anything. There is no spray nozzle anywhere in front of the windshield. I suspect it was originally on the front boot cover but when the car was wrecked the PO who did the repair did not reinstall it. It's going to take some research to find the proper spot to mount a replacement.
Changed the oil and oil filter today. The PO had changed it just before I bought the car and I have put less than 200 miles on since then, but it's been more than six months since the last change. Switched to Mobil 1 10W30 synthetic oil, which I used in my Porsche for 15 years with excellent results. Used one of the Fram PH-3512 filters I bought in November 2003 then discovered on the lotuseuropa list that they are not recommended due to poor construction. Have 2 more of them so when they are gone I'll switch to another filter.
Tried to locate the Mobil 1 filter, which is supposed to be much better but Mobil does not make one for the Europa. Called the Mobil 1 filter hotline (1-800-882-0890) and they had no listing for any Europa. They could not cross-reference the Fram part number either so their conclusion is that they do not make a filter for the Europa. Have to look for the Purolator filter I guess.
Started the car after changing the oil and noticed the fuel pump (which is located near the oil filter) dripping fuel. Found that all of the screws holding the pump together were loose, some several turns. Tightened all screws and stopped the leak. Maybe this was the source of fuel vapor I was trying to locate last month.
Drove around for a half hour then filled the fuel tank with Chevron 93. Will add some octane boost and lead additive when I get home this evening. The water temperature is lower than before the oil change but so is the ambient temperature. Will wait for a hot day to decide if the oil change made the engine run cooler. Oil pressure is very close to 50 pounds.
Got a surprise today. While I was dressing some drooping wires under the dash with the passenger door open the interior light came on. I thought the lamp was burned out or there was a wiring problem but it looks like the problem is in the door switches. At least I know where to start when I get ready to troubleshoot.
Picked up my lug nut from K & K Machine and took it to Circle Machine in Glen Burnie, Md. If this attempt fails, I'm going to buy a lathe from Harbor Freight Tools and make them myself.
There is some interest on the lotuseuropa list in photos of the Wal-Mart day/night mirror I installed on my windshield. For those of you who asked for photos, here is one of the mounting foot from outside and one of the mirror on the inside. The drooping visor is soon to be replaced and I have pulled the outside windshield trim for replacement.
Called K & K Machine (see April log) about the lug nuts that were going to take 3 weeks. It's been almost 7 weeks with no word. Was informed that they are "real busy" with "war work" and don't know when they might get to the lug nuts. Told him that I would pick up the sample I left in April and find another machine shop. Would have been good if he had called me to let me know instead of wasting 7 weeks. Will not recommend him to anybody!
Found a guy who paints custom drag bikes (motorcycles) and custom cars. He will come out to look at the Europa and give me a quote to prep and paint it. The repaint from the '80's is not too bad so I don't think it will need stripped. A few small spider webs and some chips but nothing major. Think I'll go with the L07 Lotus Yellow rather than the L10 Bahama Yellow that was the original color. Going to suggest the 83526 PPG paint code I found a week ago or 2000-2004 Corvette "Millennium Yellow" (Paint code WA-423G/GM-79). The Corvette yellow is a base coat/clear coat system and will be easier to match if I need touch-up paint. It is also much brighter then L07.
Received the remote battery disconnect switch today. Added it to my pile of goodies to be installed soon.
Ordered a remote battery cutoff switch from www.Julianos.com. The switch includes a remote battery disconnect switch and a momentary contact toggle switch that activates and deactivates the disconnect switch. I can mount the toggle switch where I can reach it in case of electrical emergency. It will also act as a theft deterrent.