Lotus Elan

removable water pump

PostPost by: kayenney » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:01 am

IIRC the M100 Elan, the one with the turbo-charged Isuzu engine, has an electric water pump, but I think it's auxillary and comes on when the engine is hot when turned off.

I like the idea of having a pump that runs at normal speed when the engine is idling -specially in Florida summer traffic!

NW Florida
'69 +2, '71 +2 in pieces, etc.

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PostPost by: TYPE45 at aol.com » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:33 am


We could debate all day as to the life expectancy of the factory water pump,
but the truth is nobody knows for sure. I'm all in favor of improving the
car, but I believe one has to consider the cost/benefit.

If the removable pump conversion cost $300, I would probably go for it
because I believe the $300 cost would be off set by what I perceive to be the
benefit of not having to yank the head and replace the standard pump in 20 years, or
even every 10 years. But the conversion does not cost $300. It costs north
of $700. So I draw the line at $300 and Tony draws the line at $700 or
perhaps more, but even Tony would agree that if the price of the conversion went to
say $2,000, he might agree with me and decide that the benefit does not
justify the cost and opt to stick with the original pump.

Or if I was vintage racing the car and tearing down the engine twice per
season, I probably would opt for the standard pump because the head would be
coming off frequently any way.

It all depends on what one perceives the benefit to be for his/her particular
application (i.e., how much and how frequently the car is driven) which leads
to a guess as to how long the pump should last. I just believe that the
benefit that I would derive for my particular application is worth no more than
say $300.

Thanks for all of the tips for preserving the pump. I guess I'll need them!

Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
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PostPost by: tvacc » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:03 am

Yes.what is one man's limit is not anothers..we all have different opinions
on somethings value.

The only thing that makes is worth the $700 (to me) is the fact that the
cars are now worth upwards of 18K for most..some well over 20K. If you use
your car for trips and such.to be stuck somewhere.where the car is at risk..
is worth the extra $600 to have a pump you can replace in less than an
hour. This is especially true if you are on vacation..or on your way to
LOG. What is the "cost" of a bad LOG trip or a cancelled vacation.

For those of you that value your time under the car.as opposed to
driving.there is no better $600 extra spent. To change the water pump with
the stock parts is a 2 day job. Worth easily $400 at a shop..and let us say
$200 your time if you are a half way decent wrench.

Hey.I am as guilty as the next of not wanting to do it. I only did it to
one of my cars. But if I were to do it again.no question...the Bean setup.

Keep them running..Drive Fast..Take Chances

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PostPost by: tvacc » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:12 am

And.Yes. $2000 would not be worth it for me.but it is not $2000.

It never seems to amaze me how the "value" and perceptions of things change
as most people's personal income goes up and down. I have been broke..been
rich..been not so rich and everything in between.and even I..who has been on
all sides of the of the income spectrum..are amazed that I justify buying
these "toys"..and what I consider expensive changes all the time.

But..I have always felt.you cant take it with you.and I don't live to leave
it to my kids..so as long as it does not keep food off the table..or keep a
roof from over my head...heck...spend it!!!!

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PostPost by: poiuyt » Sun Jan 01, 2006 3:58 am

Let me put my 2 cents in on this discussion.

I bought my S4 about 30 months ago and it needed an engine rebuild.
I had someone else do the work and my goal was reliability first,
originality second. It is a given that the water pump is a weak
point on the car, not withstanding any specific car never having any
problems. With this in mind I had the Dave Bean pump installed and
have since put over 7,000 miles on the car since May 2004. While I
do have reservations about driving across the contry in the Elan, as
my wife wants to do (we live outside of NYC) we have entered the car
in shows in Maine, in Stowe at the British Invasion, the Greenwich
Concours, etc. To date the car has not given us any problems and, as
someone else noted, having Bean overnight a replacement pump for a
quick change beats a tow bill and an engine tear down.

It would seem that the cost of the Bean pump is not a that large an
expense when added to to overall cost of a rebuild.

As the GM ads say, you can pay me now or you can pay me later.

Steve B
1969 Elan S4

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PostPost by: Arno Church » Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:19 pm

Well in my case, I bought the Elan after it stood for nearly 10 years in a
warehouse . Car was in a front end prang. There apparently always was water
in the engine but it was pretty damn rotten after all those years. When
restoring the car, I had a good look at the water pump , and reused it as
found, Now , some 5 years later , it still does what it is supposed to do ,
that is pumping without screeching or leaking. Eric Salomon who bought the
car some 3 years ago is now rebuilding the cylinder head- basically new
bronze guides and a valve lap, but retaining the pump!


Yes.what is one man's limit is not anothers..we all have different opinions
on somethings value.

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PostPost by: "Eric Salomon" » Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:58 pm

Sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lie!

The water pump in my Lotus 23b twin cam was in the engine when I
bought it around 1974, and never gave any trouble despite long
periods of inactivity and numerous 3 hour endurance races. In about
1990, when stripping the engine, I decided to renew the pump with a
new one I had in stock (for quite a few years).

Of course, the new one would not last 1 race, and I was forced to re
do the engine.

The replacement one is still running in the 23, but, I suppose, now
that I have boasted about it, it will break just before my next race
in February, which is a big one for us in South Africa.

Eric Salomon
"Eric Salomon"

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