Lotus Elan

Catastrophe on Elan ownership day one!

PostPost by: paddy » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:01 pm

Steve G wrote:Got a backfire from the exhaust on one try and one from the intake on another.


I've had that happen before when my timing was 180 degrees wrong.

Remove the oil filler cap and you will see the valves on #4 cylinder open and close as you turn the engine through TDC. That's the one where you want #1 to fire. If you see the cams pointing upwards, then turn the engine through an entire revolution.

Steve G wrote:I also noticed that during a jack slipping incident I have damaged the protrusion that connects the vacuum hoses to the chassis, I have since learned that the Elan uses the chassis member as the vacuum reservoir for the headlamps! Could a vacuum leak here cause the engine to not turn over? I am going to metal bond the crack in the metal here to fix it as it will be too fiddly to weld.


It won't help, but I don't think it would stop it from running altogether. But remove the hose from the crossmember and block it off until you get the engine running.

Definitely don't try welding the crossmember ... there is petrol vapour in there and you might be rebuilding your engine all over again :)

Good luck.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:19 pm

Steve G wrote:Got a backfire from the exhaust on one try and one from the intake on another


.......AND WHILE YOU ARE TRYING TO START IT HAVE A NICE BIG FIRE EXTINGUISHER NEXT TO YOU!
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PostPost by: Steve G » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:25 pm

paddy wrote:I've had that happen before when my timing was 180 degrees wrong.

Remove the oil filler cap and you will see the valves on #4 cylinder open and close as you turn the engine through TDC. That's the one where you want #1 to fire. If you see the cams pointing upwards, then turn the engine through an entire revolution.Paddy


That's good to know, I have a feeling it is 180 deg. out. Thanks for that tip, why didn't I think of that? I was going to remove the spark plug on cyl. 1 and try and see what the valves were doing! :roll:

paddy wrote:Definitely don't try welding the crossmember ... there is petrol vapour in there and you might be rebuilding your engine all over again :)


Thanks for that! I would never put a welding torch near my Elan anyway, don't have the knowledge, skill, confidence or wealth. It's a small crack in the bottom of the protrusion (where the trolley jack cradle won a fight with it) so it should fix with a careful application of JB weld or whatever it's called.
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PostPost by: Steve G » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:26 pm

types26/36/74 wrote:
Steve G wrote:Got a backfire from the exhaust on one try and one from the intake on another


.......AND WHILE YOU ARE TRYING TO START IT HAVE A NICE BIG FIRE EXTINGUISHER NEXT TO YOU!


OK, you've scared me now. :lol:
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PostPost by: paddy » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:54 pm

Steve G wrote:OK, you've scared me now. :lol:


I thought after what happened on the first day you got the car nothing would be scary.

Having to tell your wife you trashed the car, that is.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:00 pm

I'm not trying to scare you just take precautions......check for fuel leaks before starting, no tins of petrol or oil around on floor,garage door open with space to get car out, fire extinguisher handy ........it happens believe me!
If you have seen a Lotus on fire now that is scary :shock:
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PostPost by: Steve G » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:23 pm

types26/36/74 wrote:I'm not trying to scare you just take precautions......check for fuel leaks before starting, no tins of petrol or oil around on floor,garage door open with space to get car out, fire extinguisher handy ........it happens believe me!
If you have seen a Lotus on fire now that is scary :shock:


Thanks, I checked for oil and fuel leaks before starting, I have an electric fuel pump so I let that run for a bit to make sure it wasn't pumping fuel all over the place before turning the starter. I also started the car on the drive. In fact I did all of the work on the drive except hoisting the engine in as I prefer working outdoors in the sun! The fire thing does worry me which I why I moved the coil from directly below the intake trumpets! I saw the video of Roger Green's Exige catching fire at the Nurburgring, that must have been a scary few moments. There's also a picture of a burned out Elan in the Brian Buckland manual, the cause of which being an incorrectly torqued Banjo bolt. These are enough to make sure I am careful. Are fires very common with Elans or is it just that you don't want to be in any GRP car if it does catch fire?

As you say Paddy, no fire compares to the wrath of a pregnant wife who's nursery fund you just spent on a small, red and white pond on the driveway.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:32 am

sounds like you have the cam timing and ignition timing not lined up correctly.

cheers
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PostPost by: Steve G » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:31 pm

Ok, I'm standing over the car now, crank pulley at indicated TDC, distributor rotor arm pointing at HT lead pick-up No.1 and looking through the oil filler the exhaust valve cam on cyl. No. 4 is pointing to the outside of the car, dead flat, i.e. 90 degrees further on that pointing up. I'm confused, aren't there two revolutions of the crank for every four stroke combustion cycle? It's getting dark, a quick answer would be greatly appreciated!
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:52 pm

Steve, are your sure your notch on the crank pulley is correct? The pulley's edge gets chipped over time and many notches appear.

Confirm by pulling #1 plug to observe the piston at tdc. I think you're going to have to pull the cam cover to Rohan's suspicions

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:01 pm

Steve G wrote:the exhaust valve cam on cyl. No. 4 is pointing to the outside of the car


That's wrong - the cam lobes on #4 should point towards each other when #1 is at TDC on the firing stroke. You are 1 crankshaft rev out and #1 is on the exhaust stroke.

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PostPost by: Steve G » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:47 pm

Got it! Turned the crank one more revolution, number one definitely at TDC, number 4 cam touching exhaust valve pointing inwards (just about to close valve which is correct isn't it?) and the distributor rotor is on 4! So, through no fault of my own, I've timed the distributor 180 degrees wrong. I say it's not my fault as I was told it was on 1 to fire, but I should have checked. Anyway, ran out of light but will spin distributor around tomorrow, I would do it now but with the twin 40s on I can't get to the retaining bolt.

Chassis vacuum reservoir inlet has been Araldite Rapid Steel'd and seems to be pretty strong.


Thanks for your help. T minus 21 hours I hope!
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:44 pm

>I would do it now but with the twin 40s on I can't get to the retaining bolt.

You can, but it is difficult. a small open ended forged spanner should work, though you can only turn it about 1/6 turn per go & have to flip the spanner over for the next 1/6th.
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PostPost by: Petter Hval » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:53 pm

Just move the HT leads 180 dgr. on the distributor cap.
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PostPost by: Steve G » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:24 pm

Petter Hval wrote:Just move the HT leads 180 dgr. on the distributor cap.
Petter

My god, that's genius. Either that or I'm incredibly stupid, probably both.
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