Lotus Elan

Stranded

PostPost by: DJThom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:50 pm

Well, I can officially join the club of those left stranded in their Elan at one time or another. Had to flatbed her home.

I haven't had time to get heavy into my diagnosis, but I did take the top of the Weber off to see if my electric fuel pump was actually pumping or just sounding like it was pumping. It was pumping strong, so my problem is probably spark.

In the process I dropped the Float Pin (Weber part number 52000.001) and can't find it anywhere. Is there anything special about this pin? Is it just a straight piece of rod? Does anyone know the diameter?
thx
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:57 pm

Ouch, it's a closely engineered fit isn't it?

Well it certainly is on a Dellorto, where it has to be tapped in an out with a punch pin and lightweight hammer.
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:18 pm

Hi Darren, when I set the float level on my webers, the brass pin was not that machined and easily pushed in. You might look at the other float pin for size.

Good luck, Sarto
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PostPost by: DJThom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:23 pm

I was going to check the other pin tonight. Maybe miraculously I'll find it. I had hoped to pop in somewhere on my way home and get something. I'll start investigating the ignition system tonight.
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PostPost by: DJThom » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:45 pm

If you can believe it, I found it ballancing on an outcropping on the block.

I have a bigger problem though. My problem is definitely electrical. The distributor shaft turns freely trough about 180 degrees, and after removing the bolt holding the pinch plate to the block, I can't get the distributor out. It comes up about 1/4" and then jams abruptly. No combination of distributor body or shaft rotation configuration is freeing it up.

Am I missing something obvious?
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:41 pm

Ouch.

That sounds as if the cog on the bottom of the distributor shaft has broken or been severely distorted.


If so, I expect that is an engine-out job and major dismantle of the bottom end, to get the pieces out. though other members here may know better as I've never had to do anything like that.

Only glimmer of hope that I can think, it that it might be the pin that fastens the cog to the distributor shaft has moved sideways in some manner.
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PostPost by: DJThom » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:21 pm

I also now fear the worst. There is no way that distrubutor is coming out no matter how much jiggling and wiggling I've done in combination with manually turning the crank around.

I can pull it up about 1/4" and then it hits something solid inside as if the pin has come out. However, when all the way down there is no engagement with the jackshaft.

Out she comes. At least I was close to home.
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PostPost by: Gray » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:27 pm

Hi

I have known of the pin holding the distributor drive gear to shear on similar Lucas distributors, casing the engine to stop, but the distributor came out easily.

Regards Gray
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:13 pm

Does anyone know if he is going to be able to get such bits out from inside the engine?

The broken bits (if it is broken) might prevent the pump/disti shaft from being taken out of the front of the engine.

Is there a hole in the block casting between the crank area and the pump/disti shaft "tube" ?
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PostPost by: DJThom » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:43 pm

maybe through the hole after taking off the oil pump? I'm in denial! My MGB is down with brake issues too so I'm dead in the water at the peak of driving season :(
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:50 pm

Hopefully the oil pump will come out. Will the engine turn over by hand?

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PostPost by: DJThom » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:58 pm

yes, turns freely and no "bang" when the engine died. Although to be honest it's hard to hear over top of the 3" straight pipe exhaust!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:50 am

It sounds like the pin has moved or the shaft has bent. The clearances inside the block are small and 1/4 inch lift is about where the pin or top of the gear would hit the block if they had been damaged in some way and were projecting out radially from the shaft centreline even just a little from their normal position.

There is no useful access through the oil pump shaft hole as the jackshaft gear is in the way. However pulling the oil pump first and looking in the hole will at least tell you if you have major damage to the jackshaft gear so you can order one before you get on with removing the engine!

Unfortunately it sounds like an engine out job. You will need to pull the sump and remove the jackshaft to get at what ever is wrong on the gear end of the distributor and cut it off or straighten it so you can get the dizzy out and fix whatever went wrong. Even with the sump off you cant get at the dizzy shaft without removing the jackshaft as it is pretty much enclosed between the block and the jackshaft gear.

cheers
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:19 pm

If you can get the oil pump out, and this means removing the engine mounts so the block can be pushed over to the left side of the car, then you could hold a mirror down between the frame and the block to look in at the offending parts. But if you've damaged thje gear on the bottom of the dizzy, the jackshaft is probably damaged too and will have to come out. So, you may as well pull the engine.

My heart bleeds for you at having both your Brit cars down!!! This time last year I had three running Lotus, but blew up the engine in my formula car on track, then took out a deer with my Elan last October which left me with just the Eleven. Contrary to what the guys trying to sell Westfields would have you think, driving a real one on the road is no picnic. With a F2 cam in the FWE, it will hardly idle, the cooling system has to have air going through it and that means constant motion and a ducted in and out radiator means no fan. Too tall gearing and a race clutch are no fun either.

So, I have my Elan in the garage next to the special Sprite I've owned for 39 years working on one, then the other in a desperate attempt to get them both whole again for next year. But this is the first summer since 1974 that I HAVEN'T HAD AN ELAN TO DRIVE!

Roger
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:33 am

It sounds like the pin holding the gear to the end of the distributor has moved out sideways, in it's self not too major an issue, just getting it out is going to be a problem, I think you are probably going to have to remove the oio pump and drop the sump with the crank in the right position you should just about be able to work from underneath.

A final worst case scenario may be to destroy the distributor by cutting the shaft (Drill through from the top) below the balance weights such that you pull the body out leaving just the shaft behind, it will probably then come out (able to move further sideways).
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