Lotus Elan

letter to the love lorn

PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:32 pm

Dear Abby ?.This is the 4 th time I have had the engine out of my Elan in 2000 miles for the same problem . The Ring gear gets flat and bent teeth at the same spot and my starter makes serious grinding noises and wont turn the motor over . I have replace the bell housing and spent much money on triton and other high priced starter motors figuring if I threw enough money at the car and bought the best this problem will go away , I t hasnt worked . 3 ring gears have been turned to junk. What am I to do/ Oh also my wife is sleeping with the mailman ?.yours Perplexed
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:42 pm

Someone once said " I only sleep with the best"

well I'm sorry I expect more....sleeping is no good to me...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:35 pm

Strange to have repeated ring gear failures with modern and expensive preenage starters. i assume you have checked alignment and they are engaging correctly with the right number of teeth on both flywheel and starter pinion and not working loose or deflecting on the mounting in operation?
.
How have you been getting the new ring gear onto the flywheel - are they being overheated in the fitting process and losing their hardness?

Look on the bright side you will continue to get your mail regularly at least

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Rohan
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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:59 pm

Hi Rohan the manual says 900 degrees f ....of course I did cherry red (if some is good more is better). The new ring gear is at the machine shop beng fitted now .I think a new gear must have a new starter to avoid mesh problems . I'm wondering if the hi torque starters are too much in the grunt department when there is a kick back . I will retard both the timing and the driver when it's all together I may go back to the Lucas starter of I can fish it out of the lake . .....mail is late again today ...UPS is on time though......ed
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:10 am

I think cherry red is getting it to hot and potentially softening the ring gear. If the ring gear teeth are worn and bending and little damage to the statrter pinion then this is also consistent with soft ring gear teeth after fitting.

I use the 3 bolt preenage starter that Ford used in the 1970's escorts. In Australia at least it was made by Bosch and they can supply the correct 9 tooth pinion for the twincam. It is a straight bolt in and has been reliable on my Elan and Plus 2 for many years. You just use the 2 bolts that fit the twin cam bell housing and ignore the third bolt in the starter. A cheaper alternative if you can source it than the modern preengage gear reduction starters and no issues with adapter plates.

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Rohan
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:21 am

Yes the 3 mount bolt starter is the latest one I m using . Temper may be the problem both the ring gear and mine :roll: .....I bulk buy my ring gears now ..but I'm down to my last spare one .. :lol: ..things should be together by Monday unless some one stops by with some Fosters . Then priorties change quickly .... :wink: ..Perhaps I should work on a pull start system like a lawn mower ...I have had the same ring gear in my super 7 since 1964 and added a Nisan denseo with adapter plate with zero problems , this ?lan is a diabolical piece in deed , but I will overcome the problems of it being completely disassembled in the 1970 s and reassembled by me :lol: Ed
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:01 am

I am wondering if the fly wheel has been refaced too many times and the distance to the starter has been changed enough to throw off the pinion to ring gear distance ?........what do you think Rohan ....ed :?:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:50 am

Machining the flywheel face should not affect the ring gear position. You would need to machine the shoulder the ring gear sits against or the spigot in the flywheel that the crank fits in

If you are only getting partial engagement you should see a wear pattern on the edge of the teeth. If you are seeing wear across the full face of the teeth and to the full depth of the teeth then you have full engagement

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Rohan
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:59 am

Well I'm wondering if the clutch face is resurfaced too many times will I not require a spacer betweent he crank and the fly wheel to maintain the correct distance to the friction plate of the clutch face thus changing the ring gear to starter pinion distance?..Hope fully it's a temp related problem at the ring gear but it's a pile of work if I'm wrong .....Ed
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:16 am

The spacing between the pressure plate and flywheel that the clutch disk fits between does not change so machining of the flywheel should not affect clutch operation or require a spacer of the crank. The whole clutch assembly moves a little forward but the adjustment on the throw out arm rod can accommodate that.

I suspect the biggest problem if you machined to much off would be the bolts securing the pressure plate housing would bottom out in their holes, or potentially you could have a flywheel failure as you loose much strength.

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PostPost by: Chancer » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:44 am

twincamman wrote:Hi Rohan the manual says 900 degrees f ....of course I did cherry red (if some is good more is better).


And there is your problem, you have annealed the ring gear, did you really do the same thing 4 times?

I have always used a domestic oven to heat ring gears, on the rare occasions at a remote workshop when I have used a gas torch it has alwaws been the minimum amount of heat and constantly kept moving.

I'm not good with temp conversions ?F to ?C but 900F sounds way too high.
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:16 am

900 fahrenheit is 482 celcius.

Mike (know-all, actually I used Google) :lol:
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PostPost by: twincamman » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:37 am

Ok thanks for the help . I'm still in the brown stuff for using the dish washer to clean some carb bits a few years ago so I'm only allowed in the kitchen to eat :D and am under the eagle eye when a part gets in the house past the front door ....hopfully the machine shop knows the way ......Ed
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:06 am

Flywheel maybe bent, causing misalignment at certain spots?
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:11 am

rgh0 wrote:I use the 3 bolt preenage starter that Ford used in the 1970's escorts


Yes I'm always on the hunt for these as well. Got a couple stashed away. Commonly fitted on Kent engined automatic slush box escorts..... But the bellhousings were invariably different if I recall, with starter on the exhaust side. So when used on an ?lan the solenoid ends up underneath, is that you experience as well? Or is there an escort variant with Bosch pre engaged starter on the drivers side that I'm unaware of?

They won't fit on a Corty, the (underneath) solenoid fouls on the chassis rail...I've tried. But ironically there's more room down there on the backbone chassised elans.
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