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Elans elans elans !

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#1 Elanman12



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Posted 29 July 2020 - 06:24 AM

Hey guys new to this forum kinda, been reading reviews and what not for years just never needed something in specific answered so badly. I have a buncha tundras ranging from 90 to 99. Now I have the elan bug and am wondering I have a chance at buying 6 from a “barn find” some tunnels are rusted some are in good shape, some in excellent shape. I am located in Ontario so i would be offering Canadian currency. I see on kijiji and what not people are all
Asking 1,000 + dollars for decent at best sleds ? Is this true have any of you sold these little guys for that. Also other then the chassis being weak structurally in 71 and the brake changing in 74 is their a real difference ? most of these sleds I’m getting a chance to buy are 71/73. Any in put on what to look for in terms of a real pain to fix or a secret spot that rusts which only a veteran knows about.

Thanks for your time

#2 turbopete


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Posted 29 July 2020 - 05:55 PM

I just got my first Elans last year, so others may have more info, but I have been around old sleds in general for a while. I have one that is rusted on the rear part of the belly pan, under and close to the running boards, so that one place to look. Likely under the seat another place to look.



As far as prices, they are all over the place and basically a lot will ask as much as the can possibly get and then some. That being said, I have seen really clean Elans bring good money. I would bet a good running, fairly clean sled would bring $1000 + Canadian easily in peak season. Cleaner, original fairly low mileage ones more for sure. SS models as well. 

The ones you mention “ decent at best”, you mean cab may be damaged, seat etc. Maybe a “runs but needs tune up or carb work” etc. Track so and so etc. Anything like that, I wouldn’t be paying more than somewhere around half of that $1000. 


Lots of people like the Elans, and they are neat light little sleds, but personally, owning your Tundras, I would not be going crazy over Elans, I much prefer a Tundra 2. You will find the Elans tippy and you really need to use your weight to steer them.  Elans are unique and can be fun as well though, to each his own. Tracks, drive sprockets will be things to look at, but are readily available. Going back from your Mikuni carb, CDI , Tundras will be a “learning curve” ;)

Edited by turbopete, 29 July 2020 - 05:56 PM.

#3 SafariDude


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Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:42 AM

I'm in Ontario as well, near Owen Sound. I don't know much about elans but I do know that used sled prices seemed to have taken a jump in the last few years. I've sold a couple Safaris in good ready for the snow condition for $1000. I remember when you couldn't get 500 for them. Enticers, Bravos, Citations same thing. There's a demand for kids because you can't buy anything nowadays that doesn't go like stink. Ice fishing as well and a lot of guys like the old sitdown sleds because they're easy to work on. There are still deals to be had however and the prices on Kijiji don't reflect what things are actually going for. Someone will look on Kijiji and see a Safari like mine and think theirs is worth the same. A tactic I find works is I make an offer based on reality which is usually a lowball. Sometimes this works right off the bat. Sometimes the seller feels insulted. So I explain like a boat motor I bought recently, seller wanted good running price for a motor that "ran when put away" . So I showed him parts prices, carb kit $42, coils 42 each, points 12 each condensers, water pump. Next thing you know you have 300 bucks in parts plus all your time. A lot of the time I am able to buy projects for what they're actually worth. Long winded response. Lol. Hope it helps.
Oh and check out Kalinowski Power for used parts. Friends of mine and they have one of the largest sled boneyards in Ontario.

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#4 Dirt Mover

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 09:22 AM

Ultimately what causes the demise of an Elan is a broken hood. Most component parts can be found with a little searching of the classified ads, but if you want a hood you need to buy a whole sled. All the wear parts such as bearings, pistons, tracks etc are still available in the aftermarket. All that’s needed to repair anything on the trail is a 13mm wrench, flat screwdriver, spare sparkplug and a little haywire.

Little items like the OEM kill switch and dash pad are now un-obtainium and many Elans are missing the plastic cowl cover in front of the operator, but the sled still operates and looks fine ... without a hood they go to the boneyard

#5 Barter



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Posted 31 July 2020 - 09:51 AM

Wish I knew the Elan would become so popular. We had a at the time ‘beater’ 1972 elan which was rough but had a intact cowling, straight tunnel, and all the body panels and padding. It was sold for pennies on the dollar and I miss having it around to bomb through the woods.

#6 Kingsville Doo Nut

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 12:49 PM

I still need to get my first Elan! Guy at work has two, and says he will eventually sell one to me. So I've got that to look forward to, LOL. Circa 1979/1980, my brother had a 74 Elan 250SS. We would sometimes ride in the local little league ball park and one day he hit a fencepost. And there went a big chunk of the cowling. That's when we learned the "fun" of fiberglass repair. I wish he still had that sled, but he sold it so he could upgrade to a slightly used 79 Blizzard 5500. That sled is still in my parents basement where it has sat for the last 15 years or so. A future project of mine. Sorry, I digress... back to the Elans Elans Elans!

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#7 john170950


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Posted 01 August 2020 - 10:25 PM

Buy them all.  If you have to you can sell the ones you don't want and may come out ahead.


Things to look out for, what was mentioned already above, and also:


The bogie suspension, can be a pain if it was not maintained.  you can rebuild the bogie wheels with new rubber and bearings, its a lot of work but not too difficult.  The aluminium cross shafts can get worn out of shape, not likely critical, but I think you can find some new OEM ones online.  Ebay etc...


Bearings and seals on the axles, all can be replaced if necessary, and surprisingly easy once you've done it once.  Leaky drive shaft seals are not unusual at a few table spoons a year, usually in the hot weather, but if the chain case oil drains within a few day you'll have to replace the seals..



Look out for the seat on the 73, if I remember correctly that was the only year the elan came with a glove box at the back of the seat where the tail light is. A rare nice to have feature.


Track tension, the tracks are likely functional, unless they shrunk a lot over time due to not being used, and are really tight (could damage the drive cogs).  New tracks can be bought.


Cracks in teh gas tank, can be mended with a soldering iron (google "plastic welding") but it may not be the best fix.  I have tired this a few times with mixed success.


Bonus if they have the tool box, and extra bonus if the tools are also there.


These motors have tillotson carbs, not a big deal, but not as efficient and tunable as the Mikunis.  they will run upside down though.


Service manuals can be found on Vintage snow website.

Edited by john170950, 01 August 2020 - 10:28 PM.

#8 66rider



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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:07 PM

@elanman12 - Im in Ontario aswell and ill buy the 71 elan off you if you end up buying them.

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