Update for the last four weeks:

Due to unforeseen circumstances with my professional life, during the period covered by this diary entry I had a period of four weeks between jobs.

During this period the state of preparedness of the car (and inevitably the outgoing funds) took a huge leap forward. 

To make this entry more digestible and less rambling, I've sectioned it by the tasks which I've undertaken.

Engine Crane Assembly and Old K-Series Removal

It is with a certain amount of irony that I can look back over the last four weeks and say that building a crane and removing an engine (something which would've terrified me previously) was one of the easier tasks of my month off.

The process started with the assembly of the crane from a number of components.

Which was actually very satisfying once assembled!

After attaching the ratchet straps under the sump and through the gearbox end chassis mount it was time to check all the vacuum, fuel and coolant lines to the engine where undone and disconnect the wiring loom.

Once the "engine removal" checklist in the service manual had been reviewed a few times - I started craning the old 100k-mile K series out.  I'm happy to say it went quite smoothly.

Purely by chance there was barely enough room to push the crane between the Elise and the end wall of the house to get the engine into its new home in the garage.

Engine Bay Bulkhead Heat Shielding

Now the engine was removed, the sorry state of the old heatshielding was revealed.

The original shielding was firstly pulled away by hand.  Then using a wallpaper scraper, a rough sponge and a bowl of hot soapy water the remainder of the self-adhesive backing was removed until the bulkhead was revealed.

Over the next couple of hours the excellent Nimbus GII twin-layer heatshield I'd bought from Eliseparts replaced the old stuff with ease.  I found Nimbus to be very easy to work with.  A template was made firstly from brown parcel wrapping paper. 

This was then transferred to the large Nimbus sheet using a permanent marker.  A set of sturdy, serrated scissors was then used to roughly shape the nimbus.  It was then pop riveted into place - before finally a Dremel cutting disc was used for the final shaping.

Brake Hardlines and Fuel Tank Removal

Now I had free access to the area around the engine bay it was patently clear than many components had seen better days.  The brake hardlines were in pretty bad shape for instance:

These would require complete renewal.  However to remove them necessitated the dropping out the fuel tank.  At first this seemed like a bit of a chore.  However when removed from the car it seemed only fair that given its state it should be given the POR-15 treatment too.

And whilst the tank was removed I took the opportunity to refurb the fuel filler branch too.

Rear Lower-Front Wishbone Mounts

This pair of components which are notorious for corroding was now more easily accessible - and inevitably a refurb was necessary.  From this:

To this:

Installation of Safety Devices A-Frame and Petty Bar

Whilst on a visit to London I took the opportunity to visit Sinclaires as they are one of the authorised Safety Devices A-Frame dealers.  After a few phonecalls to the ever helpful Wayne to establish which bolts were used where, I began installation.

The one tricky area of the procedure is the passenger footwell corner brace and sandwich plate.

The bolt with the biggest head is the passenger side front wishbone bolt.  Once the brace has been position and is held in place with the wishbone bolt, the two other pairs of holes can be marked and drilled.  The pair through the floor plate are very simple to do.  The bolts on the side of the car are much trickier!

Once the holes are drilled, one then has to cut a hole in the chassis box section from underneath the car to allow the washer and nut to be positioned on the bolts. 

Once again thanks must be extended to Wayne for showing me exactly where the hole needed to be bored on a car which was in Sinclaires impressive workshops and had a frame already installed.

To get the nut and washer in situ on the bolt - some people superglue the washer to the nut and then superglue the nut to a cheap spanner.  I however chose to use a pair of twelve inch long artery forceps which worked really with my Dad turning the bolts slowly and firmly from the footwell.

A small 2" x 3.5" inch aluminium plate finished the job when it was finally Sikaflex'd over the hole in the chassis.  The photo also shows the sandwich plate which mirrors the shape of the area of the brace on the cars floorplate.

And here's the finished frame:

Installation of New Brake Master Cylinder

This side-by-side comparison of the old and new cylinders should say it all!

Whilst quite an easy change (only two bolts), accessing them is somewhat difficult - requiring a nut to be fitted from the "Lotus Position" (upside-down in a footwell)!  I found the easiest way to do this was by taping the nut to the end of my finger to get it to bite and stay in place on the thread of the bolt, before switching to a socket on a universal joint extender.

Collecting the New Engine and Gearbox

I was fortunate to find just the engine and gearbox combination I'd been looking for (a low mileage Series 2 Elise K-series) for a reasonable price.

Collecting the car from the previous owner was somewhat tricky in my Wife's Ford Puma, as it involved the total removal of the boot hatch!

The engine was on 19,000 miles when removed to make way for an Audi conversion by the previous owner - and will be installed in my Elise along with an Emerald Engine Management System.  The engine is pictured below whilst having new mounts fitted, the air conditioning compressor removed and the alternator repositioned.

Fitting New Engine Mounts

Whilst the engine and gearbox were removed and accessible it made sense to replace (and improve) all the engine mounts regardless of their condition.

The standard Rover bottom engine mount was replaced with the vastly superior Eliseparts adjustable version:

The main engine mount was replaced after the main arm had been previously refurb again with POR-15:

Lastly the Gearbox mount was replaced with another superior Eliseparts item - their tapered sleeve.  The tapering (a slightly larger diameter at the bottom that the top) ensures that when the engine is put into position and the gearbox-end rubber mount engages over the sleeve, a snug non-moving coupling is attained.

Replacing the Clutch Cable

This is another notoriously tricky job amongst DIY Lotus enthusiasts.  Essentially the clutch cable runs through the chassis sill channel on the passenger-side of the car.  The problem being that this channel is inaccessible in the highest.

Therefore the rear-end of the new cable has to be firmly attached to the front-end of the old one - then pulled through the sill channel.  Here I've used cable ties to couple the two.

I then used Duck tape to smooth over the join once the tags of the cable ties had been cut off.  I'm pleased to say that I was in the fortunate minority who manage to complete the job with little resistance.

Assembling and Fitting the ProAlloy Radiator

ProAlloy radiators come without a fan - which once again gives ideal opportunity to fit another upgraded Eliseparts unit. 

Once a new set of brackets and nuts, bolts and spring washers had arrived from Lotus assembly could be completed.  The improvement once again, is plain to see:

And finally fitted into place and reconnected to the main coolant hoses:

Refitting the Front Suspension

Once the new Wishbones bolts, Lowering Damper top mounts, brake hose P-clips, stiffer 5-way adjustable Anti-Roll Bar and bushes arrived from Eliseparts I was able to reassemble the front suspension.

One area of note is the importance of applying Duralac anti-corrosion compound between the mount points on the chassis and the top mounts themselves.

And here's the assembled (but not torqued up) suspension assembly.

Fitting the Front Tow Strut

One final job for the week was the fitting of an Eliseparts strengthened stainless tow strut.