Lotus Elan

Making an Elan reliable

PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:04 am

TBG wrote:"In my case:

The water pump. (Of course.)"

Totally unnecessary if you fit the twin pulley system I have!! :D


Agreeing with Tony here.
I've replaced 1 waterpump in the last 45 years, ( caused by over tightening the fan belt in an unsuccessful attempt to overcome a failing dynamo).
If you guys stopped over tightening your fan belts you'd also have as few problems... :)

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PostPost by: TBG » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:08 am

"If you guys stopped over tightening your fan belts you'd also have as few problems... :)"

Absolutely correct!! Also if you have two belts you don't have to!! :D
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PostPost by: elanner » Mon Oct 12, 2020 11:46 am

TBG wrote:"If you guys stopped over tightening your fan belts you'd also have as few problems... :)"

Absolutely correct!! Also if you have two belts you don't have to!! :D

Good points. I keep my fan belt as loose as possible when the car is in use. In winter it is disconnected completely and I turn the pump by hand every few weeks to stop the seal from getting stuck.

I think the water pump was about 15 years old, which is reasonable.

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PostPost by: MrBonus » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:45 pm

prezoom wrote:The closest I ever became to being stranded in a Lotus, was on a 1500 mile tour, titled a Drive to the Center of the Earth, as Death Valley was included. Driving on Hwy 395 between Bishop and Lone Pine, I suddenly smelled the sweet smell of coolant hitting a hot surface, the exhaust, and immediately hit the clutch, shifted to neutral, and turned off the engine. For those not familiar with the area, it is half way between Nowhere and No Civilization. The rubber diaphragm in the heater valve had ruptured. In a stroke of luck, I was near a running stream, and with a pocket knife and a close to proper sized branch, I was able to carve a plug for both the hose and the valve. The knife proved useful along with the knock off hammer to destroy the rivet holding the valve together, which allowed me to disassemble the valve to insert another plug into the valve. A bit of barbed wire fence was used to secure the plug in the valve. A water bottle provided the means to make several trips to the stream for water. The plugs lasted for the rest of the tour, about 500 miles, and got me home safely. After getting home and looking for another valve assembly, I found that all of the valves of a similar type have the same internal guts, so any of the valves can be used to repair the old one. This is handy because you do not have to remove the main body of the valve from the cylinder head to make the repair. More bits have now been added to the repair kit in the trunk/boot.

Well this story definitely trumps mine! That's great ingenuity.
1967 Lotus Elan Coupe - Super Safety
2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance
1973 Ford F100 4x4
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PostPost by: persiflage » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:33 pm

A lifetime ago my Sprint was my daily drive for 6 or 7 years.
45 mile round trip to and from work, daily run around and numerous trips to Wales. Apart from a very distressing hot start issue ( now cured ) and the usual issues of wheel bearings and spark plugs, oil leaks etc.. requiring attention the only "failure" was the drivers window cable.
The car may be fragile by today's standards but " of its era, care and maintenance" and use, should provide a reliable car.
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:31 pm

If you have a 5 speed you need to make sure the gearstick is tight and doesn't work lose, allowing the stick to come out and the selector rods to disconnect in the gearbox.

My car had its first trip on a tow truck last week due that issue. Wasn't the nicest way to spend an afternoon but all fixed now.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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