The Chapman Report
Published by the Golden Gate Lotus Club
PO Box 117303 Burlingame, CA 94011
GGLC 2000 Calendar
April 15 chassis/welding/fab day at Zender’s
30 Dream Machines—Half Moon Bay
May 19 meeting
20 Dave Bean Tour
June 16 meeting
25 Mt Hamilton run by Mike Schlicht
July 21 meeting
23 Woodside ralleye
August 13 Santa Cruz Mountain Drive
and BBQ by the Dubberleys
18-20 Monterey Historics
19 meeting at Monterey Historics?
September 10 ABCM Palo Alto
16-17 California Melee
Meeting at ABCM or WCLM?
29 track day At Thunderhill
Ocotober 20 meeting
November 17 meeting
December 3 Toy rallye
2 Holiday Party/meeting
The President’s Column
by Scott Hogben
We seemed to have kicked-off the year quite well in the month of March with two great events. The first one was Mike Schlict’s run up Mt. Hamilton and I’d like to thank Mike for putting on one great run, we had a blast! The Europa came home with a limp as I blew out yet another Spax shock absorber on the way up the hill, but even with the injury, the Europa performed great.
In addition to the Mt. Hamilton drive, Mike Ostrov had us up to his shop for a drive and a tech seminar. We had a great turnout there as well and my hat goes off to Mike Ostrov for allowing us to come up and invade his shop again!
The month wasn’t all fun and games for me though. I have a tale to tell you that certainly has its ups and downs. It all started off with a simple visit to a friend and ended with ……well….. let me explain.
My brother has a friend who has owned a TR6 for quite a while but it hasn’t seen the road for more than a few years now. He got ambitious recently and decided that it was time to get the car back on the road, so my brother thought it would be nice to provide some inspiration and roll up to his house in the Seven and the Europa. Having a big soft spot for British cars I dragged the Seven out of the garage and we drove down to visit our British car "brother". We had a great day of British car antics and actually got the car running at the same time! It was a great day indeed but the time came for us to leave and so we said our good-byes and rolled away.
On the way back we were minding our own business when we encountered one of those kids with a lowered "hot-hatchback". You’ve seen them, the ones with the shopping cart handle wing on the back and more money in the tires and wheels than the value of the car itself? The boy racer took one look at the Europa, and then another look at the Seven and just couldn’t resist taunting us. As he was in front of us, it was a little difficult to have a one-on-one drag race away from the stop signs, but I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. He kept popping the clutch and rocketing away from each stop sign, and then he’d slow down until we caught up, hoping that he could suck us in to a race. I have to say that it must have been pumped out pretty heavily because no little hatchback accelerates like this one did. So I took the opportunity to let him know that he wasn’t fooling around with some old VW. At the next sign, I revved the X-flow up tight and popped the clutch. Weeeee! After a little smoke and more squealing than you’d ever get at a Grudge Night at Sears, I took off after him. I can say with pride that the little Seven was right on his bumper all the way through second gear. At the next stop sign there was a little more room for the Seven to stretch its legs and I really let the ponies run wild this time. I was all over him through second and was about to grab third when BAMMM! I heard the most awful sound of metal hitting the aluminum skins and my heart dropped down to my stomach. Since I still don’t have the bonnet on the car, oil sprayed all over the windscreen and there was smoke billowing out of the engine compartment as the engine went silent. I quickly put in the clutch and pulled off to the side of the road. I looked in the mirror to see my brother shaking his head with that "I told you so" look on his face.
We got out to take a look at the damage and I had never seen such destruction of an engine, the block had a hole the size of a baseball right through the side. I called AAA to get a tow home and all the neighbors who have watched me tinker with this car for years now came out to see what had happened. It wasn’t pretty, I had put a rod right through the side of the block. That was it, the Seven was dead. I’ve gotten over the initial shock and with the track day coming up, all I can think about is getting the car back on the road as quickly as I can.
That brings me to a website that I just discovered and I thought I’d pass it on to the club members since it relates to my quick fix for the Seven. You’ll see the method to my madness when you run some of these numbers through your head.
I was wondering one day what various engines weighed and I found this site:
Not every engine is listed here but you can get an idea of what a particular engine weighs by looking at something similar. I know I’ve read where a Lotus T/C weighs in at about 250 pounds so I figure the X-flow has to be around there somewhere, perhaps even more since it’s all cast iron. At this point I think you’re getting the picture of what I’m about to do. I know that a rotary engine is quite popular in Sevens, but I think you also know how I like to keep things British. So, looking through the list on the website, it became increasingly clear that THE engine to put in the Seven, if it had to be different from stock, is the Rover 3.5L V-8. It only weighs 318lbs- that’s only a bit under 70lbs more than what’s in there right now!!! And, according to my quick web searches, that engine, when it had its home in the Rover SD1, was putting out 155hp. I don’t know how much torque but I can tell you it’s a lot more than what I had with the X-flow!
I didn’t waste any time and within a week of this happening, I was down at a local British car repair shop looking at a Rover engine sitting on the shop floor. I think you’d be surprised at just how compact that engine is! I made some preliminary measurements and the job is going to be a simple one- as far as motor swaps are concerned. All I had intended to do was take some measurements, but after talking to the shop owner, I found myself giving him a deposit on the engine. By the time you read this, it should be sitting in my garage waiting for a cleaning. I plan on using the existing Cortina gearbox until I can find something that is more robust that will handle the power and will also fit into the narrow tunnel of the Seven.
Well, that’s where I’m at right now, I’ll be filling you all in as I go along but I’m certainly eager to get the Seven back on the road, and with some serious power too! I think John Zender’s flamer Europa is going to have some competition at the track day this year! See you at the next meeting!
Pacific Coast Dream Machines
Sunday, April 30, 10am-4pm
Half Moon Bay Airport
Ok motorheads, this may be the best event of the Lotus year. If you’ve never been to the Dream Machines show before, then ya gotta make it. This is the 11th annual event at the Half Moon Bay airport and has grown to include about 2000 vehicles. This ain’t just cars though. You’ll see helicopters, airplanes, boats, motorcycles, tractors, steam engines, and anything else with a motor (or that some crazy can fit a motor into).
I guarantee that anyone who attends this event will have a great time and see many things that will truly astonish them. How ‘bout a blown, V8 powered, hemi Radio Flyer wagon? Or a Ferrari 308 powered Harley? Or a WWII P51 modified for air
Many GGLCers have already committed to attending this event and it will be great to have a bunch of Loti parked together. The plan is to meet in the Half Moon Bay shopping center parking lot (at hwy 92 and hwy 1) at 9 AM and enter the event as a group. We must enter together to be able to park next to each other. A group will be leaving from the Stanford Shopping Center parking lot (where we meet for the ABCM) at 8AM to drive over the hill up the coast to HMB.
The cost for the event is $25 per car at the gate and all proceeds go to support the Coastside Adult Day Health Center. You can also pre-enter for $20 by going to www.miramarevents.com/dreammachines/.
Half Moon Bay Airport, located on Highway 1, 5 miles north of Highway 92, 20 miles south of San Francisco. Spectator Admission: $ 10 for adults, $5 (age 5-14 and 65+), and free for kids age 4 and under. Tickets are available at the gate only.
Letters to the Ed.
(received via regular mail)
As a club member for over 20 years and a Lotus owner for over 25 years I was not happy when our club dues were raised to $25.00 (per year).
I feel that since the dues are now $25.00 our Chapman Report should be at least 12 pages not the usual 8 or occasional 6. If this is to (sic) difficult on those hard workers who produce our newslet ter (and they do a fine job) then I feel the extra $1200 + should provide more club activities that the club dues pay for not the members that attend the functions. Example: have an all you can eat lunch on a weekend at some place like Sizzler that the club pays for – at the most 60 will show, this would cost the club about $600.00. Keep the cars running.
p.s. Just a tidbit from the past - Geroge Varmusa of Twin Cam Enterprises offered me a Weber head with duel (sic) DCOE 40’s installed on my Europa complete, for $600.00 - this was in the late 70’s.
First of all thank you for the recognition. While it certainly has its’ glamorous aspects, there’s also the thankless late nights with the spell-checlchecker.
Secondly, while we realize that the CR is the only linkage most members have to the Club and thus strive to continually make it interesting & informative, it remains a publication supported by volunteer submissions. The decision to keep it at eight pages was based on not exceeding regular first class postal charges, and as it turns out that’s about the quantity of submissions we receive each month. Should we begin receiving more material we would obviously have to consider making the CR longer, but until then it’ll stay at 8.
Lastly, I’m not certain about the math, but I’d expect to see some benefit of the dues increase this year. As for Sizzler, I’ve forwarded that idea to the Events Coordinator for consideration.
Rasputin Rebuttal, etc.
By Jim McClure
Politically Incorrect Rasputin-style? How about just calling it sophomoric stupidity? How about bigoted and degrading? I think it’s been over two decades since the clichés of San Francisco gays and ‘dope-dealin’ Afro-Americans were found amusing or even tolerated. Weren’t the ‘ Super Fly’ movies in the early seventies? Though I know that articles are needed for the Chapman Report, I would hope that accepted articles not only be ‘politically correct’, but also have some relevance to the common interests of the Lotus club membership.
(Rasputin’s last submission definitely featured choice descriptors that crossed the line of discrimination and good taste. Although I too was taken aback I chose to run this piece regardless assuming that that our members would consider the source, knowing that no offence was meant. I sincerely hope that no-one was offended and will use additional prudence if faced with this situation in the future. Hopefully this month’s installment is more palatable. As for Lotus content, well hopefully no Lotus content is better than white space. Ed.)
On Another Note:
Six steps to making a reliable Smiths Tachometer:
‘VDO’ logo. After all, I am using some of the Smiths parts, so I think that makes it genuine, according to current World Trade Organization ‘partial contents’ rules.
I f you don’t have the time or tools to make your own, Mini Mania, in Milipitas, now offers a VDO tach that looks like the Smiths for about $180, though I’m sure it doesn’t have the Smiths logo, like mine. My ‘custom’ Smiths tach took about 2 hours to modify.
The following correspondences concern a troublesome Esprit window.
I have a 77 Esprit. I was wondering if I need to get my car exorcised.
When I press the button on my drivers side door: nothing happens. Other
times: it goes only part way down and then stops. And still other times:
it goes down but not up. And of course the weirdest situation is that the
passenger's side window goes down and then goes back up by itself. oooo
Do I need to hire a priest??? Do you think that my car is haunted???? Or
should I just start cleaning up all the switches, contacts and check the
frame for alignment? Any help would be appreciated on where to start.
Thank you for your time.
I know of three schools of thought with respect to power window wiring schematics;
1. Window motor is grounded, current flows through the switch to the motor in two paths; up and down (or as the motor sees it, clockwise & counter-clockwise). I believe this to be the most common design when power windows first became prevalent, simply because it is the most intuitive.
2. Window motor is insulated, two hot feeds (key-switched) are supplied directly to motor (one for up, the other for down). In this case the window switch alternatively closes the ground circuit.
3. As # 1, but window switch operates a relay which in turn then switches the window motor. This allows a much lower current to pass thru the switch, increasing it's lifespan. I believe this is the way newer cars are wired.
Power window motors draw a lot of current while moving the window though its range, and in scenarios 1 & 2 this current must go through the relatively small switch contacts. The instant the switch is closed the current arcs across the contacts within the switch, causing a wee bit of metal from one contact to be deposited on the other. (Much like contact breaker points, if you remember those). Eventually the contacts become pitted and burnt badly enough that they no longer can transmit the amperage that the motor requires to operate the window. This is very likely what has like what has happened with your car. And given the way that your passenger window is behaving I would guess that Lotus used wiring schema #2. In this case if the motor has a short to ground, this could cause the motor to run whenever the ground was made.
Having gone through the switches in an Audi many times, I'd recommend taking the switches apart and cleaning the contacts ONCE. If that doesn't make it better then just give the car to me. No, I have enough cars, better just buy new switches.
Hope this helps, & let me know how it turns out, as I'll probably run this in the next newsletter as I'm sure it is a fairly common problem.
Thank you for the information. Being an engineer, some of it is pretty
intuitive. But, I thought that it would make for informative reading and
humor in the CR. (And, was there any obvious things that I might have
missed.) So, I don't have to hire a priest. :-(
Thank you again.
Wassup wit dat ?
By Daren Stone
Claiming he was "never very good at math", GGLC president Scott Hogben recently shocked the local Lotus community by again raising the annual membership dues, effective 4/1/00. According to Scott, the new annual membership fee will be $79.95, payable directly to him in three easy monthly installments. Callers are standing by.
Ira Porter caught up with Scott at Pinky’s Ink Works and Body Piercing to learn the reasons behind this madness. Scott was evasive at first, instead turning the tables by asking Ira to define "membership dues". When pressed further tho he suggested that "79.95 is a nice, round number", but then decided that "no, I guess it isn’t, is it ?". Finally however we learned the truth, that the additional funds will be used to purchase Bruce Weinberg’s long-suffering ’90 Esprit, which will then be used as a Presidential staff car. Any monies left over will go towards having a full front & back, side to side hydraulic system installed in the Esprit, so Da Prez can ryde in STYLE.
(Make sure to mark your calendars when the new dues are due, dude !)
Sprite Spring Cleaning
by Daren Stone
"Why ?" you may ask yourself, "is an Austin-Healey on the cover of a Lotus publication ?". I offer you the following three explanations;
The real reason is a little bit of all three, plus I thought it might make for some good reading.
First let me start by explaining that there wasn’t really anything "wrong" with the Sprite when I took it apart, at least nothing requiring that I take the car apart. As my friend Scott Fisher would say, since I knew what the problems were they weren’t really problems; the torn steering rack boot, a clutch that slipped when carrying a Sprite-plus sized passenger, the intermittent high beam switch that usually required two stomps, all things I could live with indefinitely.
It was their cumulative effect that began nagging at me though, reminding me that in September I’d planned to take this car on the California Melee’, an event that "encourages the use of works in progress" but I would not be happy with a DNF.
So it was armed with this motivation that as soon as I had the car back running after replacing the gas tank an fuel pump (which were problems because they failed suddenly and without warning on the El Camino), I tore the car all back apart.
The plan started out to replace the clutch, install a Nissan 5 speed I bought about 10 years ago for another Sprite I had, rebuild the front end, replace the driver’s fender (accident damage) and repaint everything underhood since the Dreaded Previous Owner had shot everything (and I mean everything) rattle-can black.
Shipwright’s disease set in almost immediately and now I have a box of hardware going to the powderpainters, and I need to decide which color to Jet-Hot the new header ….
Saturday, April 15
Hosted by John Zender
This event will be an opportunity to come and build that fancy bracket you’ve been thinking about, or maybe get that cracked frame welded up. The shop is equipped with most any tool you might need to fix or fab parts for your car including lathe, mill, MIG and TIG welder, hydraulic press, etc. I’ll be available to do welding and basic machining and/or teach you how to do it yourself. If you’re planning a complicated project, please call ahead for advice on materials, tools, and time that may be required. We can also set up for checking and adjusting bump steer and front/rear toe-in.
The show will start at 10 AM and finish when we get bored or someone loses a finger. Please bring safety or prescription glasses if you have them. Phone (650) 368-9105
(or follow the directions to the monthly meeting posted on the front page of n the March ‘00 CR. Ed. )
Annual Dave Bean Tour
Saturday May 20, 2000
This event has turned out to be one of the most consistently attended events of our Lotus calendar. Each year we get 20 to 30 cars in San Andreas for some cool drives and a chance to see the inner workings at DBE. Of course you also get to rub elbows with celebrity Lotus parts salesman like Tom, Ken and Mike who can collectively answer just about any question you may have.
Our tentative plan is to leave the Bay Area in two major groups from the East and North. One group will meet at Geno’s Country store in Livermore on the North side of the 580/Vasco Rd interchange. The second group will meet from a secret location in the North bay that is yet to be disclosed. The two groups will converge somewhere in the valley for the final drive together to DBE. More details will be in next month’s CR.
After hanging out at Bean’s for a couple hours, we’ll head off for a cool drive through the foothills with lunch at an excellent café. For those who still remain after lunch we could have another backroads drive (no fresh tar, I promise, Ed), go wine tasting, or even get a head start to the Dixon British Car Swap Meet on Sunday.
Hope to see you and your Lotus there !
Car-Karma in San Sodom
Vignette No. 2
A mellow wave of relief permeates a weary Rasputin as he hangs a right onto 17h ave. Once again he has eluded San Sodoms’ Kamikazis-on-wheels, and s only four blocks from home. But he has been taught, by several deceased fighter pilots, that it is folly to be complacent when your flaps are down and you’re lined up on the runway and almost home. Therefore he remains alert and immediately notices that a Brand-new-shiny-red-truck is backing out of a garage on the right.
With vigilance and concentration normally reserved for 100 plus, and his foot poised above the brake pedal, Rasputin’s mind focuses on the cab pf the
Brand-new-shiny-red-truck to see if the occupant has any inclination to look up the street for signs of life.
Suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, plummeteth a very large red clay flower pot. It just misses the cab of the Brand-new-shiny-red-truck, alights in the middle of the hood (bonnet) and explodes, enveloping the Brand-new-shiny-red-truck in a speckled Aura of potting soil and vivid forget-me-nots. By th time the Aura has collapsed the truck has stopped and a youngish American male leaps out ans goes bounding into the upper flat as if he were Tarzan with Napalm on his arse.
What happened next ?
Your guess is as good as good as mine; Loving Relationships cover a broad spectrum in this city.
Mike Ostrov’s Open Shop Day
Sunday, March 26th
By Daren Stone
20+ Lotus enthusiasts and 15 + cars (not counting Mike’s) converged on Mike’s shop. Gorgeous Spring weather, beautiful cars; (a very nice S2 Esprit, an M100, many RWD Elans, Sevens, Europas and Elites), and a day of tweaking, tuning and driving. We could not have asked for a better day or a more gracious host as Mike not only offered us the run of his well-equipped shop, but several of his well-kept cars were also made available for those wishing to take an afternoon drive. I opted for the latter and drew the silver Elite (type 14) with only 31k miles. (Oh darn, that car *again* ?!?).
The morning was spent checking over our cars with some of Mike’s "vintage" tools. The Europa owners stepped right up with Jerry Rude taking tailpipe readings & Tom Carney addressing a bouncy front wheel, while the rest of us milled about the shop. Of particular interest was Mike’s latest Elite/Elan project; a stretched wheelbase Elan chassis with a Stromberg-head 1700cc TC and Ford C4 automatic, The craftsmanship and finish make it a shame to cover it up with a body, even one as pretty as a type 14.
By early afternoon Bradley Dea had been volunteered to be our tour guide and so with his very capable Elan FHC he led us on a brisk run through the nearby hills, along the Carquinez straight, past Port Costa & then back to the shop. By then it was definitely lunch time, and although some folks opted to head back home, some of us had a hankerin’ for BBQ. "Catcus Jacks Texas BBQ" in downtown El Sobrante to the rescue (thumbs up), but after that it was time for us to head home as well.
Many thanks to Mike for hosting a wonderful day.
Wanted: Engine and tranny mounts to fit big block Chevy to Type 14 (S1).Must be unbent, prefer chrome plated. Also looking for tractor-pull zoomie style headers for same.
Wanted: four Centre caps for Europa Special wheels. Must be in good condition Steve (707) 644-1651 afternoons.
Wanted: 17 cubic feet of unused air (at 14.7 psi), circa 1973. Must pass gas chromatograph purity test. To be used in absolutely accurate Europa restoration. Also seeking Doobie brothers 8-track tapes from same year. Respondents please reply via personal ad in Chapman Report.
Wanted: complete Turbo Esprit motor and/or tranny. Must be late model fuel injected type and Renault tranny. Also need louvers for rear deck lid on Esprit-any year OK. John (650) 368-9105
Europa parts for sale: Full set of front lower A-arms in excellent condition with new black powdercoat and bushings installed - $100 each or
$300 for the set. John (650)368-9105
For Sale: A small piece of wood, absolutely, positively reported to be part of Chapman’s first car, the Mark –1 downhill racer. Completely with tin foil chassis plate, needs complete restoration. 19k pounds firm. Ring Jules at 019 (3V) X22-917860!!328769%73519&3583615, anytime.
1965 Elan DHC for sale: ex-Orosco car, BRG w/yellow stripes, new top & bows, good condition. Asking $14.5, located in San Jose.
The Chapman Report is published monthly by the Golden Gate Lotus Club, PO Box 117303, Burlingame, CA 94011. The GGLC is a non-profit incorporated car club and is not affiliated with Group Lotus, Team Lotus, or Lotus Cars USA. The GGLC's annual membership dues are $25.00, (effective January 1st, 2000).
Opinions expressed in the Chapman Report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the GGLC or its officers. Technical advise should be used at your own risk.
Submissions to the Chapman Report are accepted and encouraged. Please E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org in MS Word or ASCII DOS text. Submissions may also be mailed to The Chapman Report at 579 Rockport drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94087.
2000 GGLC officers are: President: Scott Hogben, Vice President: Victor Holtorf, Secretary: Jon Rosner, Treasurer: Laura Hamai, Event Coordinator: John Zender, Membership Chairman: David Anderson.
Chapman Report Staff: Editor: Daren Stone, Circulation Manager: Tom Carney, Advertising Manager: Mel Boss.