Lotus Elan

Catastrophe on Elan ownership day one!

PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:07 pm

Steve,

Buy them both :D Consider it an "investment"! The old one is the factory manual and invaluable if you can only afford one. The new one is an acceptable substitute with a different take and not as detailed in my view. I have both and it is nice to consult each as the picture becomes that much clearer.
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PostPost by: Steve G » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:10 pm

Ross Robbins wrote:Steve,

Buy them both :D Consider it an "investment"! The old one is the factory manual and invaluable if you can only afford one. The new one is an acceptable substitute with a different take and not as detailed in my view. I have both and it is nice to consult each as the picture becomes that much clearer.


OK Ross, That's good to know, I will get them both.

Thanks

Steve
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PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:46 pm

Hi Steve I have emailed you.
I have both books - don't buy either until you read my mail ....

Sorry I missed your mail, often I only log on during the working week .....
I have put my work email in my reply, use that and we can get things set up
Regards
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:34 pm

Steve G wrote: in the way of an update for those of you following my tale of woe, the cylinder head is with an engine builder now, he rebuilds race engines (and vintage motorbikes for Goodwood) and used to own an Elan. He is going to fit new valves, balance and polish the head all at cost (around ?80) so I'm very chuffed about that.


So Steve, what can you tell us about the head before it went off to the rebuilders? Did you examine it?

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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:10 pm

well steve the motor -tranny WILL come out in a very easy morning with a hoist ---- I dont know about there but here there are companys that rent them for few bucks a day [ or bobs or quid or what ever ]and to buy they are about 200 bucks CDN but then you have to store it [unless you have friends into racing or restoration then its constantly going from shop to shop ] I Purchased one because there was a need as I was doing 3 0r 4 motors a year ----- I dont understand why the chain replacement but if it makes you feel comfortable go ahead --I doubt it stretched -but do the water pump for sure --I did valves on the last rebuild and continued on to rebuild everything -bottom end -chain etc it didnt need it but I have confidance in the motor now for another 50 k miles before the next rebuild ---good luck ---ed
Last edited by twincamman on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: Steve G » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:19 pm

I did examine it and do a leak test, I found five of the valves were leaking after only half an hour, one inlet leaked almost straight away. There was no visible damage to the cylinders, pistons or valves, the head gasket wasn't fitted very straight though and had some trimming around the pistons. I'm going to have the engine out in two weekends time (moving next one) and see what's happened to the crank, conrods etc. I suspect it's the flywheel/crank interface. I'm going to get everything crack tested and use new parts from QED for anything that doesn't pass muster. I want this engine to last me a good few years while I save up for a John Wilcox 2.2!

Can't wait to get it running again, I'm going to be doing lots of other little jobs while it's out of action. Interior, electrics and engine bay/bumpers respraying. I've also decided to lose the Spyder roll over bar, I'm keeping the SIPS though. I need the legroom and at 6'7", if I turn the car over The roll bar is going to hit the road after my head.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:55 pm

STEVE YOU CAN DROP THE PARTS OFF AT THE LOCAL MACHINE SHOP --mark everything in sets 1- 2 -3 -4 -pistons- con rods -big end caps in one direction to avoid confusion -they will check and advise you as to the condition of the parts and supply bearings for the crank and con rods --and resurface the fly wheel and check your block -you will need a gasket set -rings - [have them do the water pump ]- the most difficult thing will be the end float measurement and thats simple ----save you a fair bit of scratch --then trial assemble a few times and get real familiar with how the motor goes together -the bottom end is pretty simple -and theres enough help here on the site to get the job done ---you need a torque wrench some sockets [all you will eventually need any how] -clean everything to hospital standards and have at it ---if you back out it will be easier for the mechanic to assemble and cheaper for you ---get a manual and follow it -----simple -- ed
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PostPost by: Steve G » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:06 pm

As it's been over a month I thought I should do an update. I got the engine hoist rigged up yesterday by cutting away the firring atop one of the 50x125mm timber beams under the garage roof and securing a ratchet strap around it. The hoist I borrowed is the cable winch variety with a rather long pole coming down from the top hook that has the winch mechanism at the end. It has a removable crank handle which you can put over two separate crank spindles for different winching speeds. I tested the integrity of the set-up by sitting astride the hoist and using it as a swing. I weigh 100kg and the hoist must be 30 and the beam didn't flex appreciably so it seemed pretty strong.

I've removed everything from the engine except the eight mount bolts. I didn't get the engine out as I had no one to help me yesterday but I will be doing this tomorrow.

I have the Brian Buckland Manual which says to remove the engine with the gearbox because it is easier but I don't really want to do this. What are the complications involved with removing the engine and leaving the gearbox and bell housing in the car? I have removed the six bolts on the bell housing (I think there are six as I couldn't see under the car very well, there looks to be six in this picture too: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/242 ... 57f4_o.jpg ). If I lift the engine with the hoist will it pull away from the bell housing or do I need to move it forwards first?

Oh, and should I be removing the engine mounts with the engine (so removing four bolts) or leaving them attached to the chassis (removing eight)?
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PostPost by: paddy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:21 pm

Steve,

If you remove the starter bolts and the starter, and you remove all of the bellhousing-to-block bolts, and the small screws that secure the cover plate below the bellhousing, then the engine and box can be separated.

First take the weight of the engine with the hoist, and completely remove the engine mounts (ie remove them from the block and from the chassis). Next support the gearbox and bellhousing underneath (eg with a small scissor jack), and then you can move the engine forwards. The engine needs to move towards the front of the car by 4 inches or more so that the gearbox input shaft completely clears the clutch cover.

They should separate quite easily. The only part where it sticks is at the very beginning where the bellhousing can be a bit stuck on the dowels but it should still come apart with a bit of gentle tapping here and there.

Both engine and gearbox will need to be raised slightly so that the front part of the sump clears the chassis crossmember as you move it forward. Make sure that the engine and box remain aligned until they are completely separated so you don't bend the input shaft.

Overall, quite easy and (in my opinion) no more difficult than removing engine and box together.

In your case, watch out for the flywheel falling out as you lift the engine clear :)

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PostPost by: Steve G » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:44 pm

paddy wrote:Steve,

If you remove the starter bolts and the starter, and you remove all of the bellhousing-to-block bolts, and the small screws that secure the cover plate below the bellhousing, then the engine and box can be separated.

First take the weight of the engine with the hoist, and completely remove the engine mounts (ie remove them from the block and from the chassis). Next support the gearbox and bellhousing underneath (eg with a small scissor jack), and then you can move the engine forwards. The engine needs to move towards the front of the car by 4 inches or more so that the gearbox input shaft completely clears the clutch cover.

They should separate quite easily. The only part where it sticks is at the very beginning where the bellhousing can be a bit stuck on the dowels but it should still come apart with a bit of gentle tapping here and there.

Both engine and gearbox will need to be raised slightly so that the front part of the sump clears the chassis crossmember as you move it forward. Make sure that the engine and box remain aligned until they are completely separated so you don't bend the input shaft.

Overall, quite easy and (in my opinion) no more difficult than removing engine and box together.

In your case, watch out for the flywheel falling out as you lift the engine clear :)

Paddy


Thanks Paddy, I missed those screws you mentioned attaching the cover plate. I have a Spyder chassis so have already removed the cross member and ARB (even though I don't think it's necessary if you're leaving the gearbox in the car). I put my trolley jack and a piece of wood under the gearbox to stop it dropping. So, four inches forward before any vertical movement. Well Done for reminding me about the flywheel, that would have been a nasty surprise! I have a feeling I have a broken crankshaft though as someone on here said if the bolts were all sheared the flywheel would be rattling around, which it isn't. :(

I will keep you all posted and may need some emergency advice tomorrow evening!
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:12 pm

neilsjuke wrote:http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157605202952079/

This may help you
Neil




That's an amazing set of photos, I'm glad you had the patience to take all those.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:35 pm

I hope you have the manuals by now.

I've always had to tilt the engine sideways slightly to clear something while getting it out, but I've forgotten what for and which way, but it means that the rope slings you make that goes around the engine for the hoist to fasten too has to be slak enough to alow you to tilt the engine sideways. I think the manual mentions the tilt.


It's lighter & easier to do of course if you take the head off first (which I think is your case) but then there are less places available to make sure your rope sling doesn't slip along the engine.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:03 pm

Looking at your root message & wondering what could cause no compression yet all the bits look OK I'm reminded that I once wrecked the engine of a VW caravanette & got those symptoms.

The fan-belt snapped and I foolishly drove it a few more miles thinking only of no electricity being generated. I had momentarily forgotten that the engine on the VW is air cooled. It got so hot that the oil was boiling, Yup.... Imminent danger of a big bang oil explosion. Anyway I saw smoke pouring out the back in the wing mirrors & pulled to the side. Then when it had all cooled down I tried to start it again having rigged a temporary fan belt, but it wouldn't start, the engine just spun with no compression, i.e. same as your symptoms.

I had to be rescued by RAC.

It turns out what had happened was the piston rings had got so hot that they had de-tempered and were no longer springy so they had 'retreated' into the piston groves and the compressed fuel & air mixture just went down the side past the pistons.


So perhaps the same happened to your engine from over-revving.

============

PS Not sure if the original rev-limiting distributor rotor arms are still available at all. Has anyone else seen them in the last 20 years or so?
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PostPost by: rcraven » Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:15 pm

billwill wrote:PS Not sure if the original rev-limiting distributor rotor arms are still available at all. Has anyone else seen them in the last 20 years or so?


Yes, there were a few for sale at Malvern. I assume they were all second-hand.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:08 pm

>The fan-belt snapped and I foolishly drove it a few more miles thinking only of no electricity being generated.
>I had momentarily forgotten that the engine on the VW is air cooled.

I should rephrase this for accuracy though it doesn't change the essence of the story.

I remembered that it was air cooled so I thought "Ah no water circulation problems so it should be safe to drive slowly"
What I had forgotten was that it is FAN cooled!! Without the fan spinning there is nowhere near enough airflow to keep the engine cool.
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