Lotus Elan

Have Mot, Have Tax Disc, Will Travel...fast!

PostPost by: Matt7c » Fri May 27, 2005 3:03 pm

I finally got my test and tax squared away today. After a 14 year lay up, and 6 months of fixin' Elan S2 4276 has now returned to the road!

I gave her a blast on the way back (first time over about 40mph!) :) :rolleyes: <_< . High revs, lots of noise, feeling every bump of the road, looking up nervously at truck wheels in a traffic queue - all new experiences for me, but an everyday part of driving a Lotus.

However...got back and noticed the water temp was 105 and the oil pressure was quite low: about 20 at 2000 revs and falling to nil on idle :o I know that the fan currently fitted is useless and plans to replace it will now have to advance. However, could the low oil pressure be related to the fact that I changed the oil pressure/water temp guage the other day? Is there supposed to be some method of priming the oil pressure sonsor, or doesn't it matter if its full of air mostly?

Matt
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PostPost by: type26owner » Fri May 27, 2005 4:15 pm

Matt,
If it's the mechanical type oil pressure gauge then air in the line is okay. It'll bleed itself out of the line in about a month's time with regular use. The air will slowly permeate throught the elastomer seal at the fitting on the gauge. When the oil molecules contact the seal they are too big to seep through and the leak will stop. This does not introduce any gauge reading error though. Try heavier weight oil to stop the pressure from falling all the way to zero. If it's 10 pounds or more at an idle you're okay. Don't panic, it could be your oil pump is toast. If a .005" feeler guage will fit in between the lobes of the pump it's worn out and time to replace it. The manual states .006" is the limit but ignore that but do check out the illustration on where to exactly put the feeler. A new pump should have .003" clearance at most but check first before installing it. You can do this measurement with the oilpump in place in under 5 minutes. Just remove the outer coverplate exposing the lobes and insert the feelers. Pumps are cheap.

Was there old used oil still in the pan for those 16 years?

What was the ambient temperature when it got to 105C? You're okay at that temperature if the cooling system is pressurized to 10 psi like it should be. Boilover is like 115C or a little higher if I remember correctly. Suggest you use your cabin heater with fan on to control the high temperature spikes when caught out stationary and idling for the time being. I can describe to you how to improve the cooling system so it's bullet-proof in 45C ambient conditions and stuck in traffic going nowhere. Do you have the pitiful two-bladed steel fan installed still? Are your carbies hot to the touch?
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Fri May 27, 2005 6:54 pm

Matt,

Congratulations on getting back on the road! If your rebuild was anything like mine there will be a few niggly faults to sort; high water temp for me was because I wired the electric fan back to front and binding brakes were because I'd assembled the master cylinder incorrectly.

I finished my Plus 2 and got my MOT and free road tax last week and my first major trip will be to the Club Lotus track day at Castle Combe tomorrow - hopefully I won't crash it as it's taken me best part of a year to put together and my wife is expecting some work to be done on the house next!

Simon
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sat May 28, 2005 2:20 am

:lol: good for you---I just got mine done and on the road ---then promptly took the dash off to rewire the switches and then re aliened the suspension still rewiring for the rest of the week :angry: ed
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PostPost by: Matt7c » Sun May 29, 2005 12:45 pm

Thanks for the tips. I had been confused about the high temp because I'd been out of the open road (rather than in traffic) so the rad should have been cooling nicely on its own. Something Simon said hit the spot - sure enough a carefully placed hand revealed the fan was blowing air the wrong way. Doh! With the fan blowing air forwards, it would effectively blank off half the rad from the wind rush. Switched the wires and now she's cruising nicely at between 90 and 95 degrees and cooling much quicker when stationary.

Curiously, the oil pressure is better today also. It is now idling at 10lbs, so all seems well. Its actually on its third lot of oil; I ditched the old stuff that had sat with the car and put some Castrol GTX Magnatech in to get her started and running up. Then I swapped out that oil too, because it had gotten black in such a short time - it effectively cleaned the engine out for me! Now re-filled with more Magnatech (don't start the debate about additives again!) and she's been running for a month or so on oil that's still lovely and golden.

I want to spend this weekend out of the garage, so I'll do the feeler gauge check later, but thanks for the measurements.
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PostPost by: Matt7c » Sun May 29, 2005 12:50 pm

Another thought - its quite a nice feeling to turn so many heads while out with the Lotus, isn't it :D
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PostPost by: Matt7c » Mon May 30, 2005 8:43 pm

Well, after a lovely holiday weekend here in the UK, I have put about 250 miles on the clock cruising around the Cotswolds, Malvern and any other winding country road I could find. :rolleyes:

Now begining to think about some issues which I had been ignoring in the rush to get her roadworthy. I am still getting some spit back through the carbs on Cyl 2 only, and am also getting a fair amount of backfire in the exhaust, especially in the overrun. The carb setup seems good, not perfect, but good, and the timing is also good. I am begining to wonder if (as was suggested a while ago) I have some sticky valves, being the ones that had their springs squashed while the car sat idle for 14 years.

Have not yet had a poke around inside the engine, but am now contemplating a rainy day job. Having scanned the books, it seems like sorting the valves is long-winded but quite straightforward. Is this so, or have I under estimated?
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