Lotus Elan

removable water pump

PostPost by: "JOHN KENNER" » Mon Dec 26, 2005 2:13 am

Happy Holidays,



I have my motor out because I want to re-wire the mess left to

me by the PO and clean up some nasty oil leaks. I saw in the Dave Bean

Catalog the removable water pump kit.



Has anyone tried to install this? What should I know? Was it worth

it? Seems like the same labor as rebuilding the existing water pump,

which I assume I should do while I have the motor out.



Thanks,



John Kenner

66 or 68 Elan
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PostPost by: TYPE45 at aol.com » Mon Dec 26, 2005 2:49 am

John,

First, taking care of the water pump is mandatory during a rebuild.

Second, as far as your question as to is it worth it to fit a removable pump,
I think it depends on how many water pump rebuilds you anticipate. Last time
I looked, the cartridge was a $700 proposition while purchasing a rebuild kit
and paying a machine shop to take it apart and press fit the new parts in is
in the neighborhood of $100 total. I figure the pump should last 50,000 miles
and at the rate I drive the car, it should last 20 years at which point I
will have to remove the head and shell out another $100 for a water pump rebuild.
The engine will probably be ready for another overhaul at this point anyway.
For me, I guess I'd rather have an extra $100 in my pocket for the next 20
years and $500 in my pocket for the rest of my life than the convenience of an
easy water pump change in the year 2025. Further, the only way I'll have to
change it a third time is if I reach the age of 92. No question it is better,
but at what price. If the cartridge cost $1,400 would I do it? No. If the
cartridge cost $700 would I do it? No. For me, I think I would convert to the
cartridge pump if it was priced closer to $200 or $300. But that's me. If
you plan on putting 15,000 miles on the car per year for the next 20 years,
then you will need six $100 water pump rebuilds and you should consider
converting to the cartridge pump right now. Also, don't forget to figure in the cost
of the six cartridges. It will still cost more than rebuilding the original
pump, but the convenience of being able to replace it at the side of the road
should be worth that.

Just my opinion.

Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
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PostPost by: tvacc » Mon Dec 26, 2005 4:00 am

Having owned 5 or 6 Elans over the last part of my life (pre Elise as I like
to call it.)



I think the real dependent issue on water pumps is how much you drive the
car. If you store it over the winter..and do not turn it every few
weeks..the pumps take a set in the seals and then will go bad faster.



I have NEVER has a pump last more than 20K mies.. I have had mine put in by
machine shops..done it myselft..had friends do it.



It is always the same. I blew a water pump on the way back from Seattle
when I bought my car back from Bill Rabel. We made it from Seattle to
Kansas City. Had I had a cartridge pump.we would have replaced it and been
on our way back to Buffalo, NY. That water pump only had about 5 K miles on
it. But Bill only drove it about 3K miles in the 5 years he had the car.
Again.lack of use.they go south.



I have full pictures of that trip..including the water pump going.on the
www.lotusowners.com <http://www.lotusowners.com/> website.



I think that is the real issue. If you do blow one.one is a pain and very
difficult to replace.other is a piece of cake. Sometimes..that is worth the
extra $700 , especially if you are far from home when it goes. It cost me
$800 to get me car back from Kansas City.



Again..I have always had to replace them in the 5K to 20K range. But
knowing what I know now.to keep them rotated..even in storage.I might get
more.



Tony Vaccaro

www.lotusowners.com
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:16 am

Good advice from Tony here, the less you use your car, the more often
the pump fails. Expecting it to last 50k miles or 20 years is
"optimistic" (I'm being polite here. ;-)
Changing the pump is pig of a job so whilst the engine is out I would
invest in the capsule pump. I fitted one from Burton Power in the UK but
this is from what I seen in the Bean catalogue, more or less, the same
thing.

Cheers,
Pete.
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PostPost by: "e s" » Mon Dec 26, 2005 3:12 pm

I put one of the old bean kits in ~15 years ago. It gave me trouble in the beginning, but I should stress that they do not use this vendor anymore. That said, it has been trouble free for some 12 years or so, and if I have to replace it, 3 screws beats the hell out of 'remove cylinder head'

Unless you are trying to get out on the cheap, just do it.
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PostPost by: TYPE45 at aol.com » Mon Dec 26, 2005 4:19 pm

In a message dated 12/26/05 09:12:53 AM, ***@***.***es:

<< it has been trouble free for some 12 years or so, >>

Let us know if the pump makes it to 2013 and if so, how many miles at that
point. I think a lot of us would like to know if my 20 year/50,000 mile
estimate is realistic. Any Elans out there with 20 year old water pumps that work
and do not leak?

Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
TYPE45 at aol.com
 

PostPost by: Bill » Mon Dec 26, 2005 5:42 pm

Mine is still the origional pump, 48k miles, it rotates weekly. The last engine redo, bearings et all, was 8 years ago, I think I replaced the cover seal and bearing.

I flush and treat the coolant annually

Bill ('63 1600, 26-0538)
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PostPost by: "Sean Murray" » Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:01 pm

Frank,

My original engine in the +2S, which I replaced with a 711m block and Burton front cover with capsule waterpump, was 30 years old when I removed it. Never a problem with the water pump. Not having a metal fan attached may have helped.

Sean Murray
"Sean Murray"
 

PostPost by: Steve Crook » Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:48 am

If the drive belt is kept as loose as possible the pumps easily last 50,000
miles with regular use. If the belt is over tightened 500 miles is probably
all you will get. The engine should make 80,000 to 100,000 miles with good
air filtration and if the oil and filter are changed every 6,000 miles. Oil
consumption should be about 1pt per 6,000 miles or from max to min on the
dipstick.

Steve
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PostPost by: tvacc » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:51 am

Not to disagree or be argumentative, I still think it is the exception
rather than the norm to get anything more than 20K out of a water pump..no
matter how tight you have the belt. My pumps only had the very smallest of
tension...barely turned the generator.

When I spoke about this with Jeff at JAE...he said that a lot of the pumps
fail because of loose generator mountings. I can certainly see how that
happens. On mine...it was not the case.

I think more fail to lack of use than anything else,

As to the Twin Cam lasting 80K miles...I think 50 to 60K is what I have seen
as the norm.....with all oil and filter changes per spec.

I have personally never seen one use only 1 quart of oil per 6K miles.

Tony Vaccaro
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PostPost by: Steve Crook » Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:55 pm

Tony
I am just giving my experience of having owned Elans for 32 years now. My
first Lotus was a +2 in 1973 bought with 24,000 miles on the clock. I still
have the car, now with about 370,000 miles under its belt. I also have a
series 3 DHC with 212,600 miles to date. One of these cars is always my
daily driver and gets used like a modern car with about 30,000 miles per
year being done. I am currently using the S3 and I change the oil at 6,000
mile intervals, I do not expect to add any oil between oil changes on either
car, or water for that matter. I am not sure when the water pump was
replaced but it was a long time ago. The +2 was replaced about 7 years and
many miles ago and then only because I lent the car to someone for a rally
who thought the belt was a little loose and then over-tightened it. The
loose generator mounting (in my experience always the bolts into the block)
can be fixed by using loctite. At 20,000 miles per pump I would be taking an
engine out every 8 months. I recently replaced the clutch plate and thrust
bearing on the S3 as they were worn out, the only other thing I did was
remove the sump and bash out the bottom as I had run over a large stone
which had pushed the sump up against the oil pick-up and restricted oil flow
and therefore oil pressure to 20 psi. I ran for about 6 months with the
lower pressure with no problems even if with some anxiety, this has
convinced me that the high pressure/flow oil pumps are not required for
normal use even with the occasional track day thrown in for fun.
The only thing I check on assembly of the water pump is the amount of
"squash" the seal is subjected to as this seems to vary from kit to kit or
car to car and is sometimes so great that the seal assembly is way over
compressed which will shorten the life of the seal. The bearing will
obviously fail shortly after the seal fails and the usual trick of plugging
the vent hole in the casing is very definitely a get you home only mod.
The seal used is a standard type of mechanical seal (but a non standard
size) and would be expected to last for many hours in an industrial
application. It should not significantly deteriorate with age although over
heating would not help the seal or bearing much.
The bearing does appear undersized for the application, look at the shaft
diameter and bearing outer diameter, the balls are very small, no smart
comments please, and if the vent hole is not clear the slightest leak will
put water into the bearing with not very good results.
Just my experience but any comments welcome. Of course on the way home
tonight the water pump is going to fail and the generator drop off because
of loose bolts.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: ***@***.***lto:***@***.*** Behalf
Of Tony Vaccaro
Sent: 27 December 2005 01:52 PM
To: ***@***.***
Subject: RE: [LotusElan.net] removable water pump

Not to disagree or be argumentative, I still think it is the exception
rather than the norm to get anything more than 20K out of a water pump..no
matter how tight you have the belt. My pumps only had the very smallest of
tension...barely turned the generator.

When I spoke about this with Jeff at JAE...he said that a lot of the pumps
fail because of loose generator mountings. I can certainly see how that
happens. On mine...it was not the case.

I think more fail to lack of use than anything else,

As to the Twin Cam lasting 80K miles...I think 50 to 60K is what I have seen
as the norm.....with all oil and filter changes per spec.

I have personally never seen one use only 1 quart of oil per 6K miles.

Tony Vaccaro

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PostPost by: tvacc » Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:35 pm

Like I said..we are just discussing....no arguments here...

You use your cars A LOT..so that gives credence to the theory that lack of
use is the culprit.

I still have never had an Elan that oil tight...shows a good builder and
engine.

Mine are my experiences as well...and everyones is different.

Regards

tony
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PostPost by: cbguerrajr » Tue Dec 27, 2005 6:25 pm

Hello everyone,
I am new to this list, although I have owned an Elan
since 1968...has anybody owned an Elan (the same
car)longer that?
In almost 40 years, I had only one water pump fail,
happened about 15 years ago, it got noisy but never
leaked, was able to drive it home and did the "remove
head and lower the oil pan" routine to change it.
Before that, there was one other precautionary pump
change during an engine swap.
The belt was always kept as loose as possible and most
of the time I did not have the fan attached to it.
The car regularly sat for long stretches (Connecticut
weather) and early on it was driven very hard at times
(autocrosses and time trials). So, I guess I have
been lucky.
Plan to start restoration soon. I have a couple of
questions...
Does anybody know of an oil filter adapter for spin-on
cartridges?
How about any advice on high output oil pumps? (to
leak more oil on the floor?)
I think Bean sells a small alternator, has anybody
installed one? Do you have to reverse the system
polarity?
Thanks in advance
Carlos G.

"a wet bird never flies at night"
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PostPost by: "e s" » Tue Dec 27, 2005 7:04 pm

----- Original Message -----
From: "carlos guerra" <***@***.***>
To: ***@***.***
Subject: [LotusElan.net] Re: water pumps
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 10:24:40 -0800 (PST)


Hello everyone,
I am new to this list, although I have owned an Elan
since 1968...has anybody owned an Elan (the same
car)longer that?
In almost 40 years, I had only one water pump fail,
happened about 15 years ago, it got noisy but never
leaked, was able to drive it home and did the "remove
head and lower the oil pan" routine to change it.
Before that, there was one other precautionary pump
change during an engine swap.
The belt was always kept as loose as possible and most
of the time I did not have the fan attached to it.
The car regularly sat for long stretches (Connecticut
weather) and early on it was driven very hard at times
(autocrosses and time trials). So, I guess I have
been lucky.
Plan to start restoration soon. I have a couple of
questions...
Does anybody know of an oil filter adapter for spin-on
cartridges?

You need a new oil pump, not a lot of cash

How about any advice on high output oil pumps? (to
leak more oil on the floor?)
I think Bean sells a small alternator, has anybody
installed one? Do you have to reverse the system
polarity?

Has to be negative ground


Thanks in advance
Carlos G.

"a wet bird never flies at night"




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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:37 am

As before I'm with Tony- all the folks who say pumps last a long time
USE their cars, it's not a function of clock time or mileage, it is
related to regular use.
Keep the belt slack (or better still, fit a toothed belt) and it will
last for a very long time but only if you exercise it every chance you get.

I managed to get my engine back together so that it did not drop any oil
but two years later I notice a few spots on the garage floor, however, I
suspect these are creeping out of the bottom of the bellhousing, so
could be either engine or gearbox oil.

Would be interested to hear from Brian Buckland on this issue, he has
probably done more Elan miles than anyone on the planet.

Cheers,
Pete.
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