November 2003 Activity Log


Drove 0716R to work today since it was a nice day and I needed a fix. Here is the first picture since I removed the SCCA decals. Throttle hung when I was shifting from first to second. Probably shouldn't have been pressed so far down (grin) but sometimes you just have to blow it out. Will add "Check and lubricate throttle cable" to my "To Do" list.

Found a note from Fedex on the front deck stating that they left a package "behind the flowers" on 11/25/03. Checked behind the shrubs and, sure enough, there was a package from Summit Racing. It contained two items (the battery tray and a hold-down kit) that I ordered on 11/21/03. Found that, although their literature states "Needs our wing nut hold-down kit to complete installation", the tray came with the kit, so now I own two hold-down kits. Added it to the growing pile of goodies to be installed once the garage is done.


Bought a new air compressor today. It was a package deal at Sears consisting of a 30 Gallon 6 HP vertical compressor/tank combination with a 1/2" impact wrench, 3/8" ratchet, air hammer, 25' coiled hose and all necessary quick disconnects. Did the entire purchase on the Internet then drove to my local store to pick it up at the side door. Didn't even have to fight the Holiday crowds!

Bumped into the protruding Supertrapp muffler while I was working on the garage lights. Reminded me to add "replace the Supertrapp muffler" to my "To Do" list.

Keep forgetting to add "get a spare tire, jack and lug wrench" to my "To Do" list so added it today. I have spare steel wheels so when I get around to it, I'll get a spare mounted on one and put it in the car. Have to find a suitable jack and a lug wrench that I can leave in the car.

Drove 0716R to work again today. Every time I drive it, I get more comfortable. Noticed a pronounced clunking in the left front. Will jack it up this week to check the ball joints and all other front suspension parts. Will also check the brake pads and rotors while I have it up.

Threaded the antenna stub with 1/4 x 28 threads to match the replacement antenna. Screwed on the replacement antenna and tightened everything. The replacement antenna is a single piece of stainless steel about 30" long and looks like it belongs with the car. Now the radio works.

Tried the Mothers Clay Bar system and, although it really smoothes the surface and the provided polish looks great, it did not remove the discoloration left by the large black letters on the door. Will try the rubbing compound next. Will also use the clay bar system on the entire car when I am ready to get serious about polishing it. Except for a very few spider webs and one small ding in the left front wheel arch, the paint is really in pretty good shape.

Took 0716R to work today. The Dakota was full of roofing supplies and the Porsche was under cover, so decided to drive the Europa. Lots of looks from folks at stop lights. Filled the tank for the first time. Used 1/2 bottle of octane boost and 1/2 oz of lead additive in 5 gallons of 93-octane Chevron gas. Drove for ten minutes or so after fill-up and seems to run well. Discovered that the Ammeter gauge light is intermittent. Tried wiggling the gauge and pulled it right out of the dash. Obviously TPO worked on the gauge at some point and did not attach it. Will add it to my list of to-do items.

Today I removed all of the SCCA-related decals from 0716R. Heated them with a portable heater and they peeled right off. The large black "A SP" letters appear to have bled into the paint and turned it light tan. I tried removing it with cleaner/wax, but no luck. Bought the "Mothers California Gold Clay Bar Paint Saving System" and a can of rubbing compound. Will try one or both to see if either will remedy the situation.

Since the previous owner (PO) had installed a larger battery and the original hold down strap no longer fits, I ordered a stainless steel battery tray and stainless steel j-bolts from There is plenty of room for the new tray and I don't mind the additional cold cranking capability of the larger battery.

Bought an antenna mast from Advance Auto Parts to replace the broken one. The replacement has a threaded end and the original has a broken stub with no threads, but maybe I can put threads on the stub. Will get out the tap and die set and see what happens.

Received the stainless steel door hinges (see 11/14/03 log entry) from Norm Vandal today. The hinges are so nice it will be a shame to hide them inside the Europa doors! I heartily recommend him to anybody who needs new hinges.

Took 0716R out for my first after-dark foray this evening. Drove around Laurel for about 30 minutes with the lights on and everything behaved well. Noted that the Ammeter light is burned out and there are no interior lights so will add these to my to-do list. The heater cable or heater control valve appears to be frozen, as I was unable to move the knob.

Replaced the rusted screws that hold the screen to the engine cover vent holes with #8 x 1/2" stainless pan head screws, nylon washers, and new speed nuts from Home Depot. The old screws were too long and the old speed nuts were simply a piece of steel with a hole in it. The new speed nuts slide over the fiberglass so they are captive and will not fall off if I remove the screws.

My Europa is equipped with a Hermes intake manifold and a Weber 45DCOE9 side-draft carburetor (Serial # 24849), which has 2 1/2" air horns and no filter. Ordered a K&N filter from Dave Bean Engineering "Bean". Their part number is 908S-3308. Also ordered a can of spray oil to renew the filter when I clean it. Ken at Bean recommended cleaning the element with "Simple Green".

Got up early and tackled the driver's window switch connection. Couldn't sleep thinking about it. Armed with forceps, a flashlight and a mirror I crawled up under the dash far enough to see the empty terminal on the switch. Of course the terminal I needed to connect to was the one to the inside of the switch and therefore hardest to get to. Finally managed to slip the terminal onto the switch and checked to make sure it was tight enough not to fall off again. Tested the window and it works.

Since I got only one set of keys with the car I decided to go on a quest for a duplicate set. Went to my local lock shop (Murray Lock & Security), which looks like it's been there for a hundred years. There are three keys for my Europa, a really big one that opens both doors, a medium sized one for the ignition, and a small one for the front boot and engine cover. Thinking the shopkeeper would laugh at me, I presented all three keys and explained what they were for. To my amazement, he walked over to a pegboard wall covered with keys marked MG, Fiat, Triumph, etc. He pulled three keys from the wall and went to the machine. In less than 10 minutes I had duplicates for a total cash outlay of $6.30.

Received my Bean catalog in the mail today. I can see a lot of money headed toward Bean as I experience the joy of Lotus ownership! Also received 3 oil filters (Fram PH-3512) and 4 spark plugs (NGK BP7ES) I ordered from Will change the oil to Mobil 1 as soon as possible. I have used Mobile 1 in all my cars for the past 15 years and have had good luck with it.

Put the Europa on jack-stands and took the wheels/tires to "Just Tires" who mounted and balanced the new tires. Put the wheels on the Europa and adjusted the tire pressure to 28 PSI rear, 18 PSI front (according to the Europa manual).

Fixed the problem with the driver's window. Found that the 'UP" wire from the window switch to the driver's door was disconnected at the switch. Applied power to the wire but nothing happened. Measured the continuity between the wire and ground and there was none. Had to be a bad winding in the motor or the other end of the wire was also disconnected. Took the door pad off and found the wire to the motor was disconnected. Moved the "down" wire to the "up" terminal on the motor and when I pressed the "down" switch the window went up. Connected all wires properly in the door and tested the system then reassembled the door. Did not connect the "up" wire to the window switch, as I haven't yet passed my contortionist test! One day when I have a lot more energy I'll crawl up under the dash and connect the wire, but for now, I'm just leaving the window up. By the way, I inspected the door hinge pin while I had the pad off and it looks very clean. No rust I can see from inside the door.

Installed a new rear view mirror from Wal-Mart on the windshield and put both front and rear tags on. Also picked up some lead additive and octane boost as soon I'll have to fill the gas tank for the first time. Nothing to stop me from taking a short drive now! Fired it up at idle for a few minutes then headed out. Because of the heavier springs, shocks and sway bars, it rides like a roller skate (no real suspension on a skate either) and I felt every bump, but I was smiling all the time! The car shifts like a dream and I never missed a shift. I'll have to do something about the Supertrapp muffler since I gained the attention of a cop in the next lane, but he didn't stop me. Put in about 15 minutes and the Temperature gauge seemed to behave. The only gauge I noticed a lot of fluctuation in was the Ammeter, but it was always positive. Will put in a few more miles next time.

Ordered stainless steel door hinges from Norm Vandal today. The hinges on my Europa seem good, but didn't want to miss the opportunity to have them "just in case" since he is talking about ceasing production.

Really windy day today. Gusts in excess of 50 MPH. Blew the car cover off the Europa so I weighted it down with bricks on the ground. Supposed to be better tomorrow.

Too much wind for the bricks (cover blew off 3 times) so have "hog tied" the cover onto the europa. Wound 100' of rope over the cover and has been holding for 6 hours now.

Found turn/brake lamps for $0.79 each (better than $5.49 for 2 from Advance Auto Parts, but I needed them in a hurry) from GT Classics and ordered 10 for stock. Also ordered the plastic chrome surround strip for the windshield and 4 spark plugs.

The Fedex man arrived with the new Yokohama tires from "Tire Rack". Probably won't get around to having them mounted until next week as I'm now geared up for the garage project. Will put the Europa on jackstands, pull the wheels and take them to "Just Tires" to have the tires replaced. Really don't want them to put it on their lift.

Got the title and Historic tags today at the MVA. Took two hours waiting in line and three minutes to process the paperwork and receive the tags.

It's raining today so I won't put the tags on. Since the driver's window is stuck down and the tires are bald I can't drive it in the rain anyway.

Arranged for agreed-coverage comprehensive Insurance with my State Farm agent. He needs to take some pictures once I get the Europa on the road.

Interesting development - Turns out that Maryland does not require state inspection for a Historic vehicle and will register my Europa (or any vehicle over 25 years old) as one. Will go to the MVA tomorrow and apply for a title and tags.

Ordered Yokohama Avid T4 (175/70TR13) tires online from "Tire Rack" today. My local "Just Tires" dealer will mount, balance, provide new valve stems and discard the old tires. I have used Yokohama AVS Intermediate tires on my Porsche for the past 15 years and have always had good luck with them. Will see how these stack up.

Replaced two burned out turn/brake lamps. Now the turn signals and brake lights work. The originals were type 380 and I used Sylvania 7528's, which are a direct replacement. They are 12V 21/5Watt lamps from Advance Auto Parts.

I have been looking at Europas for over thirty years, but didn't think I would fit into one (I'm 5' 10" and weigh 300 Pounds), Surprise, after some contortions to get in I'm really pretty comfortable. It'll take a while to get used to the tiny pedals and their placement so close together, but it's manageable.

11/08/03 and 11/09/03
Today I go to pick up my new Europa! It's a four owner 1970 S2 with 5095 actual miles. Serial number 65/0716R.

Left Laurel, Md. At 2:30 AM Saturday with an empty U-haul car carrier in tow.

Drove to DuBois, Pa. to pick up my son (and co-driver) for the trip to Birmingham, Mi.

Left DuBois at 7:30 AM and arrived in Birmingham at 1:30 PM, Took a short test-drive then loaded the Europa onto the U-Haul and left Birmingham for the return trip at 2:00 PM.

Arrived in DuBois at 8:00 PM after an uneventful (except for watching the lunar eclipse) trip. Amazing how many people slowed down to stare at the Europa on the Interstate. Left a lot of folks at traffic lights because they were looking at the Europa when the light turned green!

Took a short nap and left DuBois for Laurel Sunday at 2:00 AM.

Arrived in Laurel at 7:00 AM and unloaded the Europa in my driveway.

Total trip was about 1200 miles.

Immediately covered the Europa with my Porsche car cover. Guess my priorities have changed!

Here are a few pictures of the trip.

A couple of issues that need addressed before I can drive far:

The turn signals and brake lights do not work.

The driver's window is stuck in the down position. The ammeter indicates current draw when I push the down button but no current draw when I push the up button. Maybe it's a bad switch or broken wire.

The car needs new tires. The ones on it now are dry rotted and there is almost no tread on them. They are Hoosier 205/60R13 racing tires, probably installed in the late 80's when the car was autocrossed.

I need to get the car Inspected.
Lotus Cars Webring
[ Join Now | Ring Hub | Random | << Prev | Next >> ]