Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lotus damage assessment

Week before last I hit a curb while turning left onto Kuhio Street in Waikiki. I heard a loud bang as the car lept into the air, and when it came down the steering pulled to the left.


I went back today to get a photo of the evil curb. Looks innocent enough, but at the time it was a dark and stormy morning. Unpainted, no lights, no reflectors. Left turn from left lane of a one-way street onto a wide street. You can see the island just to the left of the crosswalk. Today I cold see a lot of black scuff marks where cars have hit it. Traffic engineers are supposed to make safer roads, not obstacle courses.

The first thing I checked was wheel movement. LH slight vertical wobble, RH perfect. Could be hub bearing play.

Next came wheel runout. Both prefect. Off came the wheels. The photo sequence shows the damage visible without disassembly. (I usually reduce to 800x600 but I left these full size to allow zoom-in.)


Lotus110129-02 Lotus110129-03

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Anti-roll bar - slight bend near LH end. Looks serviceable.

LH bar mount - badly bent. This is what hit the curb. Also need new bushings.

Both LH lower A-arms bent.

Tie rod boot - torn.

Tie rod end - lose.

The bottom of the LH shock is 2" aft of hub center. The RH side is slightly foreward, could be due to raised front.

Hub bearings - good.

A-arm inner bolts - no sign of damage, check when apart.

Frame - no damage.

Body - no damage, but one photo revealed possible hit inside air intake, not from this.

Trunnions - nothing obvious but should be checked after disassembly. Both sides should be painted.

Should replace those original brake hoses.

Put the wheels back on and parked. Now to find some parts.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A return to E9 nose sculpture

After eight weeks doing something else on Saturday morning I finally got back to work on the E9. The advantage to having this blog and a smart phone is that I could go back and read my last E9 post to see where to begin.

One of the things I was doing was raising some low spots around the center grill opening, using POR-15 Epoxy Filler and Technifill. I had a problem with the Technifill hardener being old, so on my way to the shop I stopped by Redline for a new tube.

As it turned out I never got to use it. I spent the whole morning sanding.

I was afraid that some of the Technifill would not set up. Eight weeks is a long time, but there was a spot above the LH bumper mount that was sticky. It took awhile but I got it off.

Other than that it was a matter of sculpting away the lumps and bumps to reveal the correct shape lurking within.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, January 21, 2011

New cooling fan relay for the van

My 97 Dodge Caravan, the rolling paint locker, had its cooling fans stop working. Since both went out at the same time I figured it was the relay. The relay is located under the air cleaner box, bolted to the frame for better cooling.

The first air box attaches with two bolts. The second part attaches to the third with two spring clips. The last part attaches to the frame with one bolt at the top; two pins fit into holes at the bottom.

The only hard part was removing the connector. When these get old the nifty spring lock piece usually breaks, and this one did. Easier to remove the connector after removing the relay from the frame.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Got the van safety checked

After a week of stormy weather that left parts of Maui and leeward Oahu flooded, the morning was nice enough to finish up the van and take it in for its annual safety inspection. To prepare I installed new wiper blades and a left brake light bulb.

The plan was to do that early, then spend a couple hours on the E9. Got a late start after breakfast with the family at the new Koa's in Hawaii Kai, but what really derailed the plan was the van refusing to start. Sounded like a dead battery, turned out to be corrosion on the negative terminal wires ... long ago I had to replace both connectors with the clamp-on type, due to corrosion.

I mentioned the rain. This week we hosted a conference in Waikiki and since the van was not road worthy I thought it would be nice to give the Lotus a little more road time. Tuesday was beautiful. Wednesday was dark and rainy, so knowing I would get wet getting it started I took my nice clothes in a plastic garbage bag. My plan was working perfectly until I failed to see a traffic island while turning left onto Kuhio. Bam! Bent something in the left front suspension. So, work on the E9 will be interrupted some more.

Remember the shower? The epoxy patch is working perfectly. Tomorrow work begins on the upstairs bathroom renovation, to continue through Monday.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Home Repairs

Yesterday I finally finished the van's windshield wipers. Picked up a brake light bulb and wiper blades from Larry's Auto Parts. Not enough time for a safety check, so the van stays put.

Drove the Lotus around as bit, so it's ready for next week.

Spent all day today looking for the source of a water leak in our town house. I thought it was a crack in the foundation, but it appears to be coming from the shower.

I mention the leak because for a temporary fix I used POR-15 Epoxy Putty. It has a one hour cure time, vs. twenty-four for plumbing grade silicone sealant.