Lotus Elan

This is horrible!

PostPost by: Craven » Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:25 pm

Timely reminder for those of us who carry a dry powder extinguisher to give it a good shake, they do pack down.
Most latter cars have secondary containment in case of hydraulic fluid loss, silicone fluid is much much safer as far as flammability is concerned. No brainer in a fibreglass car, however many choose brake feel to safety.
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PostPost by: TBG » Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:01 pm

I have two of these in clips under my legs. Anyone have any experience with them? They are on Amazon amongst other places. They light like a firework apparently. D

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:13 am

I really don’t know why braided hoses were used for the fuel lines to the webers originally.
Plain, good quality, correct SAE specification boring looking rubber hoses are all that’s needed. You can see what’s happening. You don’t need fancy dandy AN fittings with lots of potential leak paths. You don’t need braid. It’s really low fluid pressure we are talking about.
I’ve always found Oetiker crimp fittings great for hoses such as this.

If anyone knows why braided hoses were used originally I’d be interested to hear the explanation.
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PostPost by: HCA » Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:29 am

You re just trying to be argumentative now. Sure the braid does not assist anything in low pressure delivery to Webers, I do not believe anyone has said or intimated that it does. It certainly does not contribute a fire hazard. But there is nothing at all wrong with having something well presented, which, in most cases is what braid is doing. What is your problem with this?
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:28 am

My view is the problem with braided fuel hose is the inability to carry out a visual inspection of the internal ‘rubber’ component’s condition for degradation by age or ethanol.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:30 am

HCA wrote:You re just trying to be argumentative now. Sure the braid does not assist anything in low pressure delivery to Webers, I do not believe anyone has said or intimated that it does. It certainly does not contribute a fire hazard. But there is nothing at all wrong with having something well presented, which, in most cases is what braid is doing. What is your problem with this?


As has been stated here before and I agree with it - you can't see what horrors lurk underneath braid. You can't see what grade of hose lies underneath and you can't see it's condition. It's not the braid that creates the seal. That's not being argumentative. That's just fact. If you don't need braid for mechanical or thermal protection why use it?
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Jun 18, 2022 12:23 pm

2cams70 wrote:I really don’t know why braided hoses were used for the fuel lines to the webers originally.
Plain, good quality, correct SAE specification boring looking rubber hoses are all that’s needed. You can see what’s happening. You don’t need fancy dandy AN fittings with lots of potential leak paths. You don’t need braid. It’s really low fluid pressure we are talking about.
I’ve always found Oetiker crimp fittings great for hoses such as this.

If anyone knows why braided hoses were used originally I’d be interested to hear the explanation.


the way I understand the motivation for that use is the frequency of maintenance requirements : if a setup is to be taken apart a lot (say a race car), then such a system would be safer and more efficient than a 100% rubber with single use collars one finds on a daily driver.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Jun 18, 2022 1:00 pm

Like 2Cams I believe Lotus used it for appearance sake as there is no engineering need that i can see for the braided hose.

The braided hose can hide many problems as observed. Soon after I got my Elan many many years ago I had a weep from one of the crimped fittings on braided assembly. I cut off the braid and hose and fitted good quality fuel hose to the original fittings with screw clamps and have not had any issues for the last 45 years :)

I think I replaced the fuel hose about 25 years ago as a precaution when I moved from 40 to 45's and again in the last couple of years when I installed a new higher capacity fuel pump and fuel line to keep up with the HP and fuel use of my ever developing engine as I was suffering fuel starvation on the long uphill back straight at Sandown

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PostPost by: Donels » Sat Jun 18, 2022 8:33 pm

I had an engine bay fire in a Westfield caused by the banjo union between the Weber’s coming loose. The carbs ran low on fuel and spit back igniting the fuel. Pretty terrifying when you’re sitting right behind it. I jumped out with my fire extinguisher only to hear the electric pump ticking away, back in to switch off the ignition then safely put the fire out.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Sat Jun 18, 2022 10:24 pm

any chance pipe dope, or even Teflon tape might stop this?
I suspect, how the hoses (banjo) are positioned, the vibration and gravity are enemies of this.
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PostPost by: baileyman » Sun Nov 27, 2022 11:58 am

The other day in an old HLR I spied on an Eleven factory prepared racer a fuel hose that was clear. Clear! Maybe it was vinyl? I would say the implication must be that the hose was sufficient to task and not too heavy, but it could also be it was the only bit in left the shop! John
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:01 pm

I was lucky to have my fire start directly across the road from the fire marshalls' station. :shock:

They discharged all 4 9-litre units.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:35 pm

i was lucky to not have a fire when there was a strong petrol smell. The braided hose to the carbs had not been crimped. It was from St Miles who had forgotten to crimp the braided hose to one of the Banjos. I fitted a jubilee clip very quickly. When i sold the 1970 +2S reg APH 252H in about 1990 or 1991 it was still there.
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PostPost by: elanner » Sun Nov 27, 2022 2:32 pm

billmoore42 wrote:My biggest nightmare. I check my carb fuel lines regularly, but am always worried that the Webers often have a bit of fuel residue under the misab washers after a run. I have been told this residue is normal, and to expect a bit of 'fuel varnish' to accumulate under the flexible washers. Maybe time to get two fire extinguishers, one under the seat and another in the trunk!


Just catching up with this thread - somehow missed it before.

I worried about wetness under Weber misab plates/ flexible mounts for years and was also told that it's normal. OK, so it may be very common but, nevertheless, it can't be right.

The flexible mounts (put together properly, of course) do not leak. Presumably, if the mounting were indeed faulty the vacuum in the inlet tract would result in minimal leakage and, anyway, the air leak would cause the engine to run/idle poorly.

So I'm of the opinion that the fuel that collects under the flexible mounts has leaked out of the accelerator pump chamber and/or the starter circuit air intake. As a result I've put some effort into ensuring that the pump chamber doesn't accumulate fuel (by drilling a vacuum releasing hole in the cover plate, copying late model Webers) and adjusting the float valve to ensure that the fuel chamber level is not too high.

The net result is that the flexible mounts are dry, 99% of the time. Very occasionally there's a slight smear of dampness which I put down to a rare fuel slop out of the starter circuit. I can live with this. I imagine for racers the best approach would be to remove and seal off the starter circuit (and, as we know, there are kits to do this).

I've no idea what the fuel level is in the jets but the engine runs very well and doesn't stumble, so I guess it's about right. And hopefully I've reduced the risk of fire.

I happen to have a braided fuel line because that's what Ray sells. I keep a close eye on it, and would do the same if it were not braided.

Excellent tip earlier about being sure to know how the fire extinguisher works. I need to re-read the instructions on mine!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Nov 27, 2022 3:34 pm

Seems like it's always Webers that get mentioned in discussions of Elan fires. Makes me love my Strombergs even more! :mrgreen:
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