Column Stalk Refreshment 
Fiddly is NOT the word. The replacements are for a larger diameter column so...somehow you have to build the column up so that you can clamp it down tightly. First problem. I solved it with a couple rings of large adhesive heat shrink (I use it when I make high-power RF coax terminations on the end of heliax) which makes up most of the difference. I then carefully, with an extremely sharp bit, drilled a pilot hole 180 degrees from the clamp screw, and once the proper diameter was achieved with the heat shrink, and the clamp was tightened down fully, screwed a short stainless #6 sheet metal screw in so that the point pierced the heat shrink and bit into the column. It's tight.

Second problem...the quality of the ostensibly 'Lucas' replacement parts is questionable...I rang out all the leads and except for the horn button, everything was copacetic. Carefully disassembled the new rront plate (which has a different shape than the original... removed the stalk (yeah, there are a bunch of springs, wipers, one ball...I did it upside down in a tupperware container and caught everything), removed the offending stalk from both (the horn worked on the old switch plate...) and thank goodness the old stalk worked in the new switch housing...and the horn button worked, too...reassembled the new switch back end with the old plate (there is a screw hole for the column cover; the new front plate is a different shape, so there would have been no place to attach the cover...) Other issue is that the new turn cancel cam is deeper than the, while reassembling, used the old nylon cam instead of the new one.

third issue: the plug at the end of the wire bundle for the switch is different. So...cut off the old molex (I don't have a pin removal tool for the large .092 pins...only the smaller bad...) with enough wire to splice onto the new wires. Soldered like colors to like color, shrink tube over the splice, and tested before wrapping with loom tape. Everything works as it should.

Put it all together on the column (with the lock screw...), plugged everything in, reattached the ground on the battery...turned the key...can flash the lights, hi/lo beam, turn sigs, horn, wipers, squirters...

Now, to finish with the leatherette cover for the column cover and put it all back with the OEM steering wheel.

I would hate to think about how much it would have cost to have someone do it for me. Lots of fiddling, fitting, and thinking outside the box...

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Interior Cleanout 
Figured during lunch hour...would start to do a few things on the interior of JPS 142 while musing about what to do about the engine...drop and refresh or fiddle around more with her...anyway...stripped out the seats. The passenger side is just fine; driver side seams are torn. Thinking to just see if an upholstery shop can make up a pair (they're mirror images) of the bolsters and replace. I know Europa Engineering ostensibly lists seat cover kits for 95 UKP each...maybe they would just make up bolsters? Anyway...will switch seats for now (and move the sensor and pad to the driver seat when I install on the passenger side...).

Stripped out the nasty insulation from the floor of the driver side, shop vacuumed the carpet vigorously. Came up with some loose change with 70s and 80s dates. Like rummaging through the sofa, right? Will put down dynamat on the floor on that side to deaden the drumming. Looking at the pedal assembly...looks like someone "adjusted" the clutch pedal side to side angle...will take that out at some point and put it back where it belongs...and took out the aftermarket steering wheel. I think the original one looks a lot nicer. Will have to take it off anyway again, and drop the column; the clamp holding the stalk assembly is broken...and RD was able to supply a replacement. BUT, the right side washer stalk is riveted onto the plate...will attempt to CAREFULLY drill out the rivets and attach with machine screws...if not, will just pick up another stalk and be done with it...and probably freshen up the paint on the column and mount. Vinyl covering the stalk cover is beyond use; made a pattern of the old vinyl leaving a generous edge for gluing SO is going to stitch up the pieces, and will recover the fiberglass with fresh 'leatherette'.

And...fiddling around with the center console; I think I'll just leave it original. If I want to add gauges, MOSS sells a radio delete plate with 3 small gauge holes in it that I can use and delete the radio (or mount elsewhere...or not...just replace with an amp and leads to feed from my i-device. Like my selection of tunes better than what's on broadcast anyway...And it will keep the interior as stock as possible.

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Dizzy Issues 
A bit of 'fettling' that needs be done. Getting it started and running would be a start. Right now, it barely starts (with a lot of cranking), spits gas out of the carbs, pops and fluffs...and has a big flatspot from idle to full accelerator pedal down.

Replaced plugs (removed ones are black and sooty...). Thinking of investigating the ignition timing next. And getting the ass end up in the air to get the left tank out and on it's way to Moyer in PA to be sealed.

At this rate, I don't forsee her being ready for the road for a while.


Maybe it would help if the dizzy was timed properly. Just for S&Gs...reached under the carbs (the airbox is off...), and found that the distributor lock plate was not tightened down. Now, Who the F would fiddle with a dizzy and not lock it down when they were done. Not going to blame the PO, since he was a Porsche/Audi man, but, geez, people.

Now, have to figure out where TDC is and get the distributor lined up so I can at least time it. Thinking that was the issue all along with getting it running. We'll see.

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Arrival Insights 
1. Car starts, runs badly. Fluffing, spitting, minor backfiring. Seems real rich. No acceleration when you step on loud pedal. Have rebuild kits, will pick up some plugs and time her. Dizzy had retard capsule removed in the 70s, may pull it out and make sure the advance is working and do the wires, cap, and rotor while I'm at it. Start from known good bits rather than try and make do with what's been in there since who knows when.
2. Brakes. What a complex, too-many-unions, system. Pedal soft, PDWV lit, servos disconnected, but still connected inline. Thinking stripping it all out, smaller bore master cylinder (Triumph Spitfire?) and return it to the S2 configuration which is simpler and less bits to cause issues.
3. Shift lever bushings. The lever rotates a bit. Have Steve's bronze replacements. Fast, simple fix for that (after polishing the tang at the end to reduce friction a bit more...). Bearing on the frame seems ok. Can always get one from Ray, but again, it seems ok.

PO claimed that head gasket was bad, which was why he convinced himself to sell it. Will do a leak down and compression check. Worst is that I have to pull the head, clean it up, and re-gasket properly.

So...not ready for the road, but that's not the point, right? LOL. Too bad Dave has retired...paint is tired. But it adds to the patina. Chrome bumpers polished right up, though. No major pitting or discoloration. So, there is that...

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I Keep Getting Out, But They Keep Pulling Me Back... 
Anyway, moderate the Fakebook Lotus Europa group, was part of the team that digitized all the manuals in '07 that were originally kept on Jerry Johnson's site (and echoed on mine and copied and sold by unscrupulous EBayers for tens of dollars...not realizing there are Easter Eggs in there..;)), and have been a Europa guy since I saw my first one in my buddy's dad's garage (a blue 74 tcs!) in 1975.

Anyway, along the way...have owned 444R (you always remember your first...IIRC, Peter Blackford has her, I think still on the road), 0004R (broken up for parts), 65/2163 (sold so could buy a Jaaaag XJ8), 65/2678 (broken up for parts), 693R, which is the subject of a painfully long restoration journal on my website and was sold in 2019 so I could (stupidly) buy a restored MGB (POJunk).

Got rid of the B. Don't see the fascination, other than you can get most parts readily...but compared to the Lotus (any of them)? Nah.

So...have adopted a 74 TCS, 3291R, ostensibly with JPS #142 badge on the dash, a cert from Andy Graham testifying to same, the original Lotus East documents, and a thick binder of service orders stretching back to the first 500 mile service detailing a car that was, sometimes, ridden hard and put away wet, and others was a garage queen. Not an uncommon story, right?

There should be a 12-step program for Lotus ownership. Hi, my name is Bryan, and I'm a Lotus nut.

Supposed to be delivered this afternoon. Want to publicly thank the previous caretaker...who put a whole 21 miles on the car since he bought it in '19. Needs a bit of fettling...brakes are wonky...that complex TCS boosted system will be simplified back to the S2 formula...carbs are sadly unresponsive...can get it to idle, but step on the accelerator and it just bogs down, perhaps update the distributor and coil to a pertronix rig, and then worry about the interior. That should keep me busy for a while. Been a while since I got my fingernails grimy.

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