Lotus Elan

my Elan SPRINT refurbishment by LOG36 ??

PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:44 pm

elj221c wrote:
tedtaylor wrote:While working on some things, you always seem to find other things that need attention. For example i found the heater control valve connection to the thermostat housing is leaking. I may have to jack up the motor to be able to spin it in/out to be able to seal it correctly.


The trick for this is to drill out the rivet so that you can dismantle the valve. Once the rivet is out you can rotate the outer part of the valve and it will come off. The inner part into the head can then just be unscrewed. Replace the rivet with a bolt.


THANK YOU!! Now there's a helpful hint! I thought i was going to have to remove the motor mount and jack up the engine to make the clearance. I'm so thankful for hearing from those more experienced. :)
TED
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:47 am

Sunday is supposed to be a "day of rest"! I skipped church this morning and put in another hard long day of work. For whatever reason, i ignored the front brakes today and went directly to the clutch system overhaul.
7-31-16-001.jpg and

you can see the clutch master cylinder was toast. Surprisingly, i was able to clean it up and free the piston and ended up with a nice rebuild in the end.
7-31-16-002.jpg and

Mounting the master cylinder to the firewall involved getting my wife to hold a wrench on one side while i tightened up everything from inside the footwell. The real BEAR was getting that clevis pin back in. Extremely tight quarters for such a simple job. I could not get the pin in since from one side the steering column was in the way and from the other side, the pedal box framework was in the way. Curses were flying around that garage today! :)
Surprisingly the slave cylinder was quite clean and looked rather new. I decided to just bleed the system and see how it worked. Fortunately, the slave was moving freely and did not require a rebuild. The real Devil in the details was getting access to the slave bleeder. The unit itself is tucked up between the chassis side frame, the transmission on the other side, and the exhaust down pipes underneath. I guess in hindsight i was supposed to drop the exhaust to get at it? But i suffered and squeezed tiny access to the bleeder. After being able to loosen with a wrench, i was able to stick a clear vinal tube on the end and just twist the tube to loosen/bleed and twist the tube to tighten. A slow and incremental process. Usually i have the tubing long enough to have the end drop into a can to catch the blood, but i had to cut the piece short in order to do the twisting action i needed, so the messy by-product was brake fluid dripping down over my hands and arms and all over the floor. what a mess! After bleeding with a power bleeder, I still needed to get my son into the driver's seat and pump the clutch pedal to bleed the clutch effectively. in the end, the clutch appears to be working OK. It grabs just an inch or two off the floor, so any final adjustment will have to come later when i road test and figure out how well it functions in regular operation.

It is a mixed bag here and a bit strange, but the clutch Master cylinder needed a rebuild, but the slave cylinder did not. On the other hand, the brake master cylinder appears to be working OK without a rebuild, but the wheel cylinders all need rebuilding. Go figure!

A minor problem occurred when we went to test the clutch. I had to start the car of course, and it fired up immediately, then died out instantly. This happened a couple times. It was running perfectly fine earlier, so I was initially baffled. It was not a gas supply issue, but definitely electrical. I didn't touch anything and couldn't figure it out. So to bypass this dilemma temporarily and test the clutch operation, I used a jumper wire from the coil to the battery junction on the solinoid/starter block on firewall. This worked as it fired up and ran fine. We finished testing the clutch and I pulled off the jumper wire, only to find the car still ran without my jumper/hotwire lead? So I have an intermittent issue I can't figure out at the moment. Don't believe i touched anything. Just tried right now, it started, idled momentarily and died. Able to start and rev high, but dies immediately at idle. Something's amiss.

Tomorrow, Monday, I hope to get the front brake calipers sorted and hopeful for a test ride, but this stalling scares me and needs to be fixed. I might also run to the DMV to get tags/registration for it.
TED
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:01 pm

H E L P !!!!
There won?t be a test drive if I can?t keep it running!!
Something strange, sudden and probably very simple happened. It?s not a gas issue. Car starts, but only runs in two ways, either by high revs (which lends me to think battery charging via alternator) or by hotwire and/or continuous cranking of starter (in other words, key in start/crank position). Perhaps the ignition switch or starter solenoid?

was running perfectly fine yesterday. I checked all connections to solenoid, coil, distributor, alternator. The only work i did was the clutch master and slave cylinders yesterday, so i don't think i disturbed anything knowingly.

Your thoughts please???
TED
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:30 pm

BINGO!
Phil wins the prize! THANK YOU!!! He suggested to disconnect the burglar switch in the glove box.
I didn't disconnect it (yet), but I operated the switch firmly in both directions, and it's now running!
now follow this. I had the ignition key on, and turned the switch in one position, and the red ignition light dimmed, and when i switched into the other position, the red light glowed normally.
of course, now writing this, i don't recall whether it was in the up or down (off or on) position, but regardless, that little switch in the glove box really controls some electrical power.

Should I just leave it alone now, or is disconnecting it the wise thing to do, in other words, is this switch "problematic" ?

thanks again Phil.
TED
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PostPost by: Gray » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:34 pm

Disconnect the switch - it is known to cause intermittent problems.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:36 pm

Glad it worked.

I have heard that the switch can be problematic. So mine is installed with male/female disconnects just behind the dash so I can bypass it easily.

fyi a suitable replacement switch is Radio Shack 275-0403
Phil Harrison
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:04 pm

Gray wrote:Disconnect the switch - it is known to cause intermittent problems.


Gray, I asked about this, assuming it was a simple single circuit, single wire interrupt, but Glen mentioned (having the same issue), that this switch has like six leads attached and it connects to the horn, the lights, ignition and other systems, so simply disconnecting doesn't sound easy or prudent.

For now, it's working OK, so at least I'll know what to look at next time. I'll be monitoring this closely.
thanks again gang for the input/direction.
:D

Now to get those front calipers rebuilt TODAY!!!! :x
TED
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:58 pm

"Expect the unexpected" is the applicable expression here today!
While dismantling the front brakes, I noticed that the rotors seemed really "beefy" fat/thick compared to the rear. While working on the calipers I began to realize that the replacement pucks/pistons and seal kit seemed smaller than what I had. Sure enough, I was right. My calipers are larger than original and are the 16P of a Plus2 Elan. Who would have known?? Now the deadline is approaching and I'm running out of time. No room for error, mishaps, or further problems. Ray was able to ship the parts I need to complete the rebuild tomorrow.
8-01-16-002.jpg and

here we clearly identify it as the larger Girling 16P with 2-1/8" pucks. My rotors are 9-1/2".
8-01-16-005.jpg and

I found a trick in getting the stuck/froze pistons out. Even with compressed air, they wouldn't budge. Since I'm replacing the pucks with new stainless steel, I took my air chisel and with little effort, was able to hammer then out.
8-01-16-004.jpg and

Now after cleaning, I'm ready to install the new pucks and seals tomorrow, so cross my fingers, i'll get that test ride in tomorrow!
While waiting, i installed the plastic 8-blade fan that i found in among the extra parts. Nothing wrong with extra cooling capacity.
8-01-16-006.jpg and

Update tomorrow! :)
TED
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:17 am

Good Luck Ted! :)
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:00 am

Don't try and close the bonnet / hood with the rad cap in that orientation Ted, you will damage it. It wants turning through 90%.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:25 am

Your making great progress Ted! And your right, just when you think you are almost finished something stops you cold because you didn't have a part you need.

I expect to see your Sprint at LOG36!
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:09 am

This picture says it all...
8-02-16-004.jpg and

But not without issues. While waiting for the parts to arrive from Ray, I cleaned and prepared the calipers for the rebuild. I also adjusted the emergency hand brake, and tightened up the plastic fan bolts mounted from yesterday. By afternoon, the parts arrived to rebuild my Plus2 front calipers. I installed them and bleed them with my compressed air hookup:
8-02-16-003.jpg and

I even had my son manually pump the brakes to bleed. I got all the air out of the system, but the brake pedal was low on first stroke. a "double pump" brought the pedal higher, so something was not right and the only thing left in the brake hydraulic system was the master cylinder. While removing, I could see brake fluid leakage from the Master Cylinder push rod here:
8-02-16-001.jpg and

A tear down of the master cylinder during the rebuild process. Notice anything wrong here??
8-02-16-002.jpg and

I rebuilt the master cylinder and re-installed, bled the system, and had my wife pump the brakes while bleeding, and the pedal is still too low and a "2nd pump" brings it up higher. It was too late in the day to do anything about it at this point and I did everything i was supposed to do, so i was determined to get a test drive in to actually feel how everything handled, operated, and better understand what needs further attention.
So with some nervous excitement, the car came down off the jack stands and I mounted the wheels, inflated the tires, torqued the K/O hubs and started the car. It stalled again. Uh oh, back to that security switch problem again. I played with it again, switching on/off/on/off to help clean contacts and this time, the car ran uninterrupted. Again, much determined, I figured I'd start up and down the driveway testing brakes, clutch and bring car up to temperature, etc.
The brakes are definitely impaired and not functioning well, The pedal is too low and it takes a 2nd pump to get them to stop. Even the clutch grabs just off the floor, as if its effective operating range is near the floor. Car was running fine and stopping good enough, that i got up the nerve to take it out on the road to see how suspension and drivetrain were working. Of course i only took it as far as i'd be able to push it home again, just around a block or two of my home. Actually I was quite impressed with how well it ran. Accelerated well, smooth, the memory of Roto-flex surging all came back to me and I had to re-aquaint myself with its nuances. Shifted into all gears and reverse, trans working fine, rear is quiet, the bumps were quiet, the car actually rode over the street/pavement quite nicely, quietly, and comfortably. So I was smiling and my previous memories of driving my yellow Elan 2 years ago all came back to me. It was a blast.
However, I am quite upset with the inferior condition and operation of the brakes mainly and the clutch secondly. The car is OK to trailer to LOG and display, however it is not up to snuff for any road miles yet until I sort out this braking issue.

My question earlier about if you see anything amiss concerning the MC components. I noticed the two chamber reservoir on the MC, and that the front chamber fluid fed the front brakes circuit, while the rearmost chamber fluid feeds the rear brake circuit. Is this correct? or should it be switched? I've seen other cars the other way around.
Or perhaps someone can speak concerning my unique setup of having Plus2 front calipers and original stock rear calipers. The BB book mentions that racers optionally installed Plus2 front calipers (bigger brakes) for racing purposes, but suggested some additional measures would need to be taken, such as compensation valve and booster? I can't find any such valve and I know i don't have a booster. Feel free to share your experience and/or suggestions on how to get my brake pedal to be higher for the first pedal stroke.

see you at LOG!!! :D :D :D :D :D
TED
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PostPost by: LI-599 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:59 am

Hi Ted, you sure are finding some interesting problems and hopefully you get them sorted. I had similar issues getting my clutch to work further off the floor till I decided to bleed the slave cylinder using a long length of clear tubing back up into the master cylinder reservoir. I pumped the pedal at least a dozen times till all the air bubbles stopped and now the clutch is perfect. I did have some initial issues with the brake pedal but after bleeding front and back several times they also came good--not as good as a modern car but acceptable.
Cheers from Australia,
Ian
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:28 am

This has probably been covered a few times but you have Plus2 calipers on the front,surely they have a larger volume behind the pistons ??
Other than that ,are the pistons retracting too much?

John :wink:
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PostPost by: lotustastic » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:31 pm

Hi Ted,

You may wish to try vacuum bleeding the clutch and brake cylinders as opposed to pressurizing. Although Im not to the point of getting to use this on the elan, This was the only way I was able to fully bleed the clutch slave on a 75' mgb because of the orientation and curved hose associated with the slave cylinder which trapped air regardless of how much pedal pumping or pressure bleeding tried. You can buy a vacuum device from harbor freight (made for vacuuming down car Hvac systems) for around 12 bucks which hooks to your air compressor, rig up a catch tank in between (glass jar with fittings) for fluid and it takes seconds to have a perfect pedal.

Good luck

Dave D.
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