Emissions Gubbins: Comment from Brian 
Brian Robbins had this observation:
"I'm not going to say "aaaagh, no, no, no !" on reinstating emissions gear, but why not simply duplicate the UK spec cars by blocking off the extra holes ?

I can honestly say I've never had fuel smells inside the car or even the engine bay come to that. Venting is by the filler cap and I would have thought that what comes out of the cap is nothing compared to what comes out of the exhaust pipe with no catalyst fitted ?

Random thoughts.... if it's a charcoal canister trapping vented fuel, does this have a life cycle and replacement interval ? Do they get "full up" at some point ?"

I Opined:
Our gas caps aren't vented (different part numbers for both the flip cap and the filler neck per the parts manual), hence that long canister at the front of the engine compartment ostensibly to capture raw gas (#14 on TC parts page LA) the vapors of which were to be drawn through an activated charcoal filter (LA #16...remember Lark cigarettes here in the US?) by the vacuum in the carburetor through #19 in diagram LA...and the pressure equalized by part #18, which was connected to the airbox. All very Rube Goldberg, but then, the US EPA was never known to impose regulations that were based on hard science rather than what was fashionable at the time.

Yeah, the do have a life limit; current thinking is somewhere around 100K miles, but may be wrong. The systems have gotten more and more complicated as time has gone on, and no doubt, the pollution has markedly decreased where they've been implemented, and these initial halting steps were the beginning of what we have today. (remember 5mph bumpers? What they've morphed into? How about the interstate 55 mph speed limit? 85 mph speedometers? WIN buttons?)

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Upholstery replacement covers came in from lotus-supplies! Except…they sent 4 (!) headrest covers and no kneerolls. lol. guess that is meant for the 4-door Europa saloon. Sent an email off…offered to send 2 back in trade for the kneeroll covers.

With the new pattern for the facings…had a spare basketweave arm rest left over from an S2 (the original in the car was the ambla pattern); swapped that in, since the new upholstery is basketweave (which I prefer).

Quality seems nice; and the price is most agreeable, even figuring in shipping.

Recovered one of the bottom pads last night “just to see”…pretty pleased how it turned out. I think it will dress up the interior just a bit, no?

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Tach Woes, Continued 2x 
Too bad the streets here in Fall River are mostly reminiscent of photos of Berlin after Army Air Forces did their urban renewal flights in '44-'45. Only when you get on the interstate or MA 24 towards Boston (Bahstin?) does it smooth out and you can enjoy the music. Thinking a nice set of headers and free flow muffler would sound even nicer, but have other fish to fry on this resurrection before thinking of tweaking exhaust systems.

Biggest hurdle of getting it on the road, running decently (I pulled the plugs and the carbon deposits have mostly been burned off and the insulators on all four are tanish color. So...) in a straight line for short distances is done. Now comes the "OK, I know it works, now let's clean it up" phase. That includes pulling the lump, dropping the gas tanks, putting in newly restored ones, cleaning up the rear of the chassis and body, as many of the seals and gaskets as I can get to, new clutch, and putting it all back together. I have a punch list I'm working from...but the order (and length) changes day to day. Not in any serious hurry, but not wasting time obsessing over order or methodology to get it fixed. Guiding principle: do it right the first time, and use locktite where needed...lol

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Tach Woes, Continued 
Back when I was starting down the road in February...the original tach would go crazy with the normal point system, too. I think it's just time to send it out to West Valley and have it gone through and converted. I won't be driving the car much except for around town. A contact in the UK advised me that based on the photos I sent him of where it's leaking...it's probably the pan gasket, so, I'm going to try replacing that (and the front seal) first in the next few weeks. Give me a chance to strip and paint the oil pan, too, before going deeper into deconstructing the engine room. Will send out the tach this week and just 'do it'.

But going to drive it around a little more. Love the sound of pressing down on the loud pedal...and the resonance of the exhaust system through the existing muffler... :D

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Tach Woes 
Luckily I picked up a spare tach (same prefix, different suffix on the notation at the bottom of the dial; probably has more to do with the yellow/red markings than a mechanical or electronic change to the unit) from a fellow participant a couple months ago...while out and about leaking oil over the streets of Fall River...the original tach at normal cruise speed suddenly bounced a couple times and went right to red line (and I was only doing 60 in 5th gear and the tempo of the mill did not change. Damn.

So...went home, assumed a partial Lotus position (if you take out the steering wheel, it's a lot easier on the driver side), disconnected the old tach and removed. Will send out for repair/calibration later...installed new old shelf spare (it's good to have spares, right?) tach (which is from an S2, albeit with a lower yellow at 6K vs 6500 on the TC) after burnishing up the connectors, a little penetrox anti-corrosion goop on the cleaned fittings, and reinstalled. Fired up the engine (with my garage handheld tach/dwell meter hooked up to the coil), and calibrated the new old tach to the reading on the dwell meter. Must be lucky, had set the idle by ear when I was syncing the carbs...and the idle was at 1K on the dwell meter...it now reads 1K on the Smiths tach after tweaking the adjustment pot on the back of the tach.

OK, so it's an S2 tach in a TC. lower yellow/red. That's ok. Says I'm idling at 1K agreeing with the dwell meter. I can live with that.

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Some Miles, and Some Observations 
Did 50 miles in 3291R this afternoon...Not totally dialed in (occasional clutch judder on starting off in 1st gear...haven't changed the clutch yet, and I know the adjustment is way off...but, will deal with it), lots of leaks to address (out comes the lump and tranny when I'm finished (or fed up) with the issues, but want to drive it a little), heater valve likes to open while driving along (will replace it when I pull the engine..for now, will just wire it shut). But, it's busy marking its spot in my driveway right now, cooling off after a spirited run along the back roads of Bristol County MA, with some interstate to get home. Pretty sure in this area that it's not a common sight from the number of stares I got at stop lights and folks passing me on I-195.

"Nice Ferrari, man...". LOL.

Brakes work fine (reservoir is topped where I left it after bleeding), shifting is pretty OK...have to consciously keep it in the 3-4 line when downshifting...topped up the 365 with MT90 (it was down close to a quart...funny how the shift and synchros work better when the oil level is where it should be, and notice that the shift shaft seal is in need of replacement), but, oh, the sound when I turn the wick up while accelerating...wonderful note for an old steel muffler and cast header. Bet a new tubular header and stainless silencer would not be a bad upgrade when that time comes.

A good Europa day (even with the niggles to take care of before the next run...it's not a destination, but a journey...)

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Radio or Not? 
Thought I'd mock up the radio-delete gauge panel on the new dash for 3291R. (I have a bluetooth/line input amp for the door speakers that will get mounted in the front plenum...don't know anyone that listens to OTA radio...sad to say, since my degree was in communications and worked as a DJ and radio production engineer for the first 15 years of my career...:(). I know, delete the ammeter and replace with the voltmeter...but...want to keep the changes as simple as possible rather than hacking into the harness or changing the stock connections. This additional panel only has 3: switched +12 (yeah, you have to reset the clock..big deal, since when I put her away, I pull the ground off the battery so even with constant current, clock would stop..and yes, I know about putting a 1/2A fuse in parallel with the ground to keep some trickle voltage there for radio memories etc. No radio, no memories....:)), ground, and gauge lighting, all of which are accessible without major surgery on the harness. KISS principle at work.

When I get to that stage, I'll either veneer the panel with something close to the burl, or just paint it a satin brown and be done with it.

Oh, what the hell. I installed a radio a was done with it.

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Clutch Questions, Part 1 
couple questions (TCS, 1973/4, 365 box):

1. I'm replacing release bearing. What kind of fit is it in the carrier..and how is the carrier fit to the fork? In other words, to replace the bearing, how far do I have to pull down; how hard is the bearing (#6 on page QA) fit into the carrier (#5)? If it is more than 'pull it out', what have folks found that works? Or am I overthinking this?

2. Once I get it all down...assume clean up the flywheel with 400/600 and brake cleaner to get a good surface? Normal process I've used in the past; want to get almost the same texture on the face as a brake disk...no grease, oil, rust..and check for grooving or discoloration.

3. Assume lightly grease splines on input shaft. Have new spirol pins. Be careful not to loose the shims.

4. have the proper centering tool (same one as the S2 used), torque wrenches, sockets, etc. So, good with tools.

5. Removing the box in situ. Any hints or gotchas? Manual is pretty lean on exactly how...a bunch of put on stands, remove stuff, unpin drive shaft (I'll mark relative positions so it theoretically goes back same way...), unbolt starter, drop. It's a Lotus...can't be that easy; can you really pull it all the way out with the engine remaining in the frame?

Insights welcome.

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Sealant Thoughts 
I'm partial to the aviation goop; I've used it successfully on a number of lycoming and continental rebuilds between the case halves...and besides having a BIG can of it, it somehow lasts for 2000 hours (most of the time, if you follow the case sealing directions religiously). On aluminum, I prefer the non-acetic acid RTVs that they have out there, and of course, there is proseal (which we use on wet wings to seal the joints and fittings) and high-temp RTV for areas that get hot. I know Wickens doesn't like Hylomar anymore (there are better solutions).

I think the key is use it sparingly, thin bead, smooth out...it's just meant to seal, not make up gaps where precision manufactured parts should require minimal sealing; that's what the neoprene/cork/synthetic stuff is there for (of course, that includes the head with its copper cylinder seals...)

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More Ruminations 
In fairness, the PO of 3291R didn't do anything during the 3 years he owned her...except bring to a couple shops north of Boston to attempt to get it going, and finally admitted he was in over his head about the car, which, after calling around to other lotus owners he knew after I expressed my interest, he was willing to sell her to me (I guess I have a reputation in the Europa world...lol). But, before him? 70% of my time thus far has been backing out the bodges and hacks that others (whether they're "D"POs or just POs is left as an exercise) performed in a misguided attempt to get her running properly.

For instance...the common belief that you start at the rear to bleed brakes...unless you think about it and realize that the furthest cylinder in the fedspec TCS is actually the one closest to the MC because of the spaghetti routing of the piping...you will never evacuate the system. But, a couple minutes spent looking at the parts diagram will tell the whole story. In fairness, a production shop will not have (or not want to) the time to research...time is $$$, and no one wants to spend (or charge if they're honest) more than they need to in order to get the thing out the door and roll in the next patient. It's up to us that have an intimacy with the Europa formula to set it straight.

I'm at the stage now where I know 1) age and probably leaks have roached the clutch (it's either on or off, and very little, if no, 'mid point'), so, time to pull the trans and rectify (along with prophylactic replacement of the rear seal) with fresh plate, pressure, throwout, return spring (iI installed a new cable yesterday...no difference in the actuation...figure a head-down weekend should do it...2) 'While I'm in the area'...with the tranny out, pull the lump and attend to the multitude of leaks from aged gaskets and seals and refresh the head (I made a virtual handshake deal with someone who listed one in the for sale section...no $ changed hands yet, still waiting to hear back...)...and clean out the years of accumulated schmutz in the engine compartment and put it all back together...I like a clean engine room.

If it's not one thing, it's a dozen others, right?

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