Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:11 am

as if life isn't complicated enough --in a weak moment I have purchased a derelict europa ----as the motor in not of British manufacture there is a slight odor of garlic and snails in the engine compartment AND a definite Gaelic APPROACH TO THE AUTOMOTIVE ART ---and so now I am 3 time loser --the motor is seized and I am trying brake fluid and time in the bores ---failing that some cheap wine a bad cheese down the holes may help or I could beat the pistons loose with a day old beget ----any ideas form the list????? :roll: ---ED
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Apr 25, 2006 10:59 am

Give the pistons a white flag to wave, they'll probably surrender to that :lol:
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:10 pm


In the late 60/early 70's I used to help a guy build beach buggies using VW beetle floor pans and mechanicals. If an engine was seized or 'a bit stiff' he used to sear by a mix of WD40 and penetrating oil down the bores and left for a day or two.

Certainly did the trick as far as I can remember.

Could also use some garlic oil and vinegar salad dressing - its dead easy to make up. :lol:

Now then, and engine from a Gordini Renault 8 would prove interesting. :)

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PostPost by: Ry_Willi » Tue Apr 25, 2006 12:33 pm

sounds a bit of a crazy one but have used pepsi/coke on a couple of bike engines in the past, probably easier only having one piston tho.

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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:19 pm

Ry_Willi wrote:sounds a bit of a crazy one but have used pepsi/coke on a couple of bike engines in the past, probably easier only having one piston tho.


Works a treat as a degreaser too - hate to think what it does to your stomach!
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PostPost by: chrishewett » Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:57 pm

Ah the french. Always there when they need us! :lol:
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Tue Apr 25, 2006 11:06 pm

Hi there,
A mixture of diesel and penetrating oil should release them. If not sump off disconnect big ends and taps upwards with a piece of wood

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:57 am

Someone I knew swore by hot oil,get it as hot as you can,it expands the bore/piston when dropped down the bore,leave it to cool and it should have penetrated down the bore?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: M100 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 1:03 pm

Don't be in too much of a hurry. The rest of the car will probably take years to sort out so a few weeks or months soaking the engine is neither here nor there. Stripping everything off and dumping the whole block in some diesel or kerosene for a few months would be my approach.

One place I know leaves complete blocks (usually motorbike or marine) in the return tank of their degreaser. Everything is filtered for the regular work and the solution is regularly changed so there is no real impact on normal usage other than the displacement of a few gallons of fluid. After a few weeks especially with the heat cycling caused by the pumping even the most stubborn engines just come apart with just finger pressure.
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PostPost by: Alasdair » Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:11 pm

As this engine has sleeves, just give the pistons a sharp knock DOWN with wooded drift, then tap up from the bottom making sure sleeves do not come with the piston.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:41 pm

A word to those considering expanding into the Sx Europa from Elan-land: It has not been established that the seizure is piston-related. If instead it is the oil pump rotor (not uncommon), any force applied may cause damage to the camshaft which drives the pump.

I have a seized pump rotor in the original block of my Europa and it has not succumbed to any penetrating potion as yet. Part of the problem is that the driven rotor of the Renault pump is a bearing-tight fit in the bore sleeve, so there's no place for the penetrating oil to work in from.

The solution is relatively straightforward: Drop pan, remove pump bolts, and drop inner pump rotor. The inner rotor doesn't seize. At this point, you've disconnected the cam from the seized outer rotor and can proceed to any piston-related seizure with much less fear.

If the driven rotor is seized, you'll probably need to pull the engine to play with it.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:23 pm

I'm just finishing the restoration of an E Type found sleeping in California for 25 years...no rust in the body but a mechanical hell. Diesel sorted out the frozen pistons in a couple of weeks, but the crankshaft oilways took another couple of weeks soaking in some pretty aggressive stuff at the engine shop to begin to soften the hard 'tar' that had formed. So if the engine has frozen because it's stood for a large chunk of a century, rather than just ingress of water, check out all the oilways too.
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