May 2004 Activity Log

Took 0716R out to have her picture taken next to my Dakota. The size difference is really apparent.

Today I made a lot of progress. Installed the new GT500 mirrors where the old mirrors were. Should have probably bought the GT540 mirrors with convex surface since I couldn't get the passenger mirror adjusted properly. Went to Advance Auto Parts and found two 3 3/4" convex stick-on mirrors ($1.98 each) that were exactly the correct size to cover the GT500 mirror surface. Stuck the convex mirrors on and was able to see much more that with the GT500's.

Completed installation of the re-covered crash pad today. I'm really happy with the French seam on the front of the pad. Didn't attach the demister escutcheons to the dash. Simply passed 6-32 screws through the escutcheons and attached to the crash pad with washers and nuts. Did not attach the crash pad to the dash, as the pad is a tight fit. Drove around for almost two hours and the crash pad stayed put. Even better, now that the license plate is moved out of the grill the temperature stayed below 90°C.

Moved the front license plate from inside the grill to increase airflow to the radiator. Shortened the throttle spring about 1/4" to reduce idle from 2,000 RPM to about 800 RPM. Always wondered why there was no airflow when I turned on the heater switch. Probably because there is no fan! My workshop manual was missing section "P" so I was unsure of where the fan was located. Finally obtained the missing section and it's now obvious. Will trace the wires from the heater switch and find the ones that are supposed to control the fan then find a suitable fan and install it. Removed the 40-Watt stereo amplifier installed by a PO since the radio mostly receives static from the ignition system. May eventually install a CD player but presently, I'm enjoying the Lotus song!

Removed the plastic chrome trim around the windshield today. Top and sides were relatively easy to remove but the bottom was totally trapped by the windshield. Cut the trim flush with the windshield to remove it. Haven't decided if I'll use the new trim I bought in January or some of the Prostripe M372402 flat black trim instead. The car looks much better without the old faded trim. Removed the drilled caps I had installed on the coolant and fuel overflow adapters as there appears to no longer be a fuel odor problem. Ordered two GT-500 mirrors from RD Enterprises today. Will install where the cheap black morrors that will not stay adjusted are presently located.

Drove the Europa to work today. Outside temp was 91°F and the temperature gauge stayed under 100°C. Have noticed the last few times I drove that idle has crept to about 2000 RPM. When I returned home I left the car idle and checked the throttle linkage and return springs, which are slack at idle. I can reduce idle by pulling on either of the springs so it appears that the spring tension needs adjusted. Will wait until the engine is cool then make the adjustment.

Very interesting development. After leaving the Europa outside for a week while the new garage floor paint cured, I took it for a drive yesterday then parked it in the garage. There is no fuel odor at all! Looking back through this log, the fuel odor problem started when I filled the tank with Exxon fuel. Maybe some of the fuel splashed out of the tank and was evaporating in the garage. At any rate, the fuel odor problem is gone.


The garage project is finished but the Europa is still living outside while the Epoxy floor paint cures so I took this opportunity to terrorize the neighborhood this evening. Every time I drive the car I become more familiar with the shift pattern and it's becoming second nature now. Paid particular attention to the problem of my triple E's getting caught between the brake pedal and the tunnel. It looks like the offending part of the pedal is just the bottom right corner so I may be able to remove it and solve the clearance problem.

Reconnected the new catch can system and took the Europa for a spin this very warm afternoon. Drove around Laurel for about an hour and the temperature gauge settled in at just under 100°C. Will relocate the front license plate from inside the grill to the right of the grill as soon as I devise a suitable mounting bracket. All other gauges seem to be working properly. Need to replace the outside mirrors, as the one on the passenger door will not stay adjusted. Interesting that after an hour drive and parking in the garage while the car was hot, there isn't much fuel odor.

Well, sealing the fuel filler was a red herring. Still have fuel odor in the garage. Removed the tape and reinstalled the filler cap. Connected a piece of the old fuel overflow hose between the filler vent and the tank overflow ports effectively closing the loop so there should be no ports to leak vapor. Will check for vapor again tomorrow. Thinking back, the fuel odor didn't become very noticeable until I filled the tank with Exxon fuel last week. Prior to that I had only used Chevron fuel. Maybe the Exxon fuel simply smells worse than the Chevron.

Picked up the re-covered crash pad from Kevin's Auto Upholstery today. Took longer than expected due to an equipment failure at the upholstery shop but it looks good. I especially like the French seam the front edge. The re-cover job was $90.00 as opposed to several hundred for a reproduction.

Still a very noticeable odor of fuel in the garage. Only thing I haven't plugged yet is the fuel cap. Removed the cap and the rubber sealing ring appears in good condition. Left the cap off and taped over the fuel filler neck with blue masking tape. Added two layers of plastic electrical tape over the masking tape. Three hours later, there appears to be a real reduction of fuel odor in the garage and the plastic tape is slightly swollen like there is pressure in the tank. This proves to me that all of the tank orifices are properly plugged. Will watch the tape closely to ensure that the pressure does not become too great. If I can seal the fuel filler cap to prevent vapor leaks then I can attack the venting situation through the catch can system.

Disconnected the catch can system and plugged the fuel tank overflow to see if I can eliminate the odor of fuel from the garage. Ordered an assortment of fuel line (red, blue, purple, orange) and fuel line accessories from The red line I used from Jeg's is not rated for fuel and I think vapor may be leaching through it, as even with all orifices plugged there is still a very noticeable odor of fuel.
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