Lotus Elan

Resurection - 1967 Elan SE FHC 36/6900

PostPost by: DeanG » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:35 pm

I decided to start a thread about resurrecting my Elan. It has been sitting for 13 years after I gave up on it when the 5th time I fixed the last mechanical thing to fix on it turned out to not be the last mechanical thing that needed fixing. It was running and even drivable at the time. It just wasn't running as it should. Note that I bought the car in 1979 as a drivable basket case.

Well the last thing that I think needed fixing was replacing the steering box. That was replaced. Now it is time to fix the things that have gone bad in the 13 years since it last ran. So far I have replaced a few front suspension items that had frozen and rebuilt the brake calipers. CV half shafts (from RD Enterprises) is sitting waiting its turn. First I have a physiological need to start the engine and drive around the block a time or two. To that end my next post will be an actual question.
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PostPost by: DeanG » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:42 pm

How long should the engine crank before showing oil pressure?

I am trying to build oil pressure in the engine prior to attempting to start it. The engine has been sitting 13 years. It had good oil pressure when the car was set aside.

I have:
    fitted a new oil filter that was pre-filled with oil
    took off the valve cover and pored oil over everything
    pumped oil into the oil pressure gage tap on the engine until the resistance built up, about 1/2 pint
    oil is at the full mark
    tested the oil gage with shop air
    removed the plugs and added 2-stroke oil to the cylinders

I have cranked the engine for 30 second bursts with no sign of pressure. How long should it take to show oil pressure? What is my next move?
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:04 pm

Dean,

Have a look at this thread.

post113096.html?hilit= oil gauge#p113096

You will probably be advised to prime the pump with vaseline or some other favourite mixture. A good idea.

However I had (& also believe Roger / "oldelanman") found that "bleeding" the pipe to the gauge was a great help. I figured it's an hydraulic gauge, not pneumatic, but no doubt I shifted some "goop" from the line as well as air. After I did it you could see the gauge "pulsing" when being turned over on the starter...so I fired her up and full pressure showed in an instant.

HIH Good Luck - Richard
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:03 pm

I'll add the steering box to my list of jobs. :wink:
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:00 pm

elansprint71 wrote:I'll add the steering box to my list of jobs. :wink:


Avete comprato una Ferrari? Scatola guida e organi di sterzo. :wink:

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/partTable.a ... B=45091&S=

Cheers - Richard
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:14 pm

ardee_selby wrote:
elansprint71 wrote:I'll add the steering box to my list of jobs. :wink:


Avete comprato una Ferrari? Scatola guida e organi di sterzo. :wink:

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/partTable.a ... B=45091&S=

Cheers - Richard

Il mio hovercraft ? pieno di anguille.
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PostPost by: Jens » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:20 am

elansprint71 wrote:
ardee_selby wrote:
elansprint71 wrote:I'll add the steering box to my list of jobs. :wink:


Avete comprato una Ferrari? Scatola guida e organi di sterzo. :wink:

http://www.eurospares.co.uk/partTable.a ... B=45091&S=

Cheers - Richard

Il mio hovercraft ? pieno di anguille.


Io non sono un hovercraft, ma aveva una nave con sterzo rotto. ;)
"Make the suspension adjustable and they will adjust it wrong - look at what they can do to a Weber carburetor in just a few moments of stupidity with a screwdriver..." (CABC)

My one problem is that distance keeps me from my Elan. (36/5395)
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:21 pm

The poor old thing is now sitting on its wheels with the correct style lug nuts. I scrounged up a bunch of old nuts from a place dealing with old Minis. I then tumbled them in media and wire brushed the threads to clean them up. Putting the wheels on became a 3 day job. Imagine 30 years using the wrong nuts. I had suspected something was wrong for about 15 years.

A tumbler is one of the best restoration tools I ever used. It leaves a good finish and makes cleaning up old hard to find parts much less labor intensive.

An Mk1 eyeball alignment is done. The hydraulics for the brakes and clutch have been flushed. A new vacuum Tee has been fitted. Maybe after lunch I'll try and start it. The carburetors are primed with fuel. I still need to check that it has spark and gap a new set of plugs.

I'll spin the engine a bit once again before trying a start.
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:06 pm

Put the outside mirror on. An old plastic JC Witney piece that keeps looking good.

No spark. Time to do some research. - The points had gone bad. I found a spare set still in the plastic but even they are a bit iffy. Time to invest in a couple of new sets of points, a capacitor, rotor, distributor cap... I pulled the distributor out the wrong way so I guess I have to do a full timing. Oh well. Live and re-learn.
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:02 pm

It started for the first time in 13 years. A bit of starting fluid did the trick. Oil pressure, radiator started to get warm and lots of thick smoke!
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:16 pm

The second start required a bit of starting fluid. No smoke today. New seals around the valve cover studs and torquing everything to 5 ft/lbs fixed most of the leaks. The timing chest base plate seems to be leaking a bit. A fair amount of backfire and spitting from the carburetors. Timing light is dead. Temperature came up to a bit over 90 C. Letting everything cool and looking for a deal on a new timing light - hmmm battery powered or digitial rpm
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:42 pm

IT'S ALIVE!!!!!! IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!
Congratulations Dean :D :D Now the question is: Will we see you and the Elan in Orlando?
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:20 pm

Congratulations!! Its very gratifying to bring a Lotus back to life!
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:28 pm

Today I got the front end aligned and received the air box back plate so if the weather cooperates It should be ready for its first drive. With a bit of luck the clutch will break free. Then it is on to the next stage of its resurrection.
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PostPost by: DeanG » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Today I removed the oil pressure hose to gain a bit of access to the distributer. After loosening up the adjustment clamp I started it up and used my new digital timing light to adjust the timing (10 deg BTDC). Pumped about 2 quarts of oil out of the pressure tap. :oops:
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