Lotus Elan

Cooling Issues

PostPost by: Cadence » Sat Aug 05, 2023 12:36 pm

Thank you - that’s what I’m hoping as I’m at a loss to explain where that 750ml has gone ?

I know the previous owner had a leak from the heater hose jubilee clip a few weeks before I bought her and I’m certain I’ve checked the water level a couple of times during my ownership - mostly from the checking the overflow bottle which I now know isn’t a bulletproof method.

I plan to run her up tomorrow and check the otter switch / fan is working OK, check again for leaks and top up if necessary.

Fingers crossed it’s fixed without any expensive consequences.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Aug 05, 2023 6:02 pm

I hope you had the Heater on full when you filled the cooling system.
For the bottle where the tube goes through i put a clip/cable tie under the cap, so it can't pull out.
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PostPost by: Cadence » Sat Aug 05, 2023 8:26 pm

Thanks - Yes, Heater on full.

The tie wrap on the overflow tube is a sound idea - I’ll do that in the morning. Cheers
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PostPost by: GLB » Sat Aug 05, 2023 10:10 pm

the photo of your cap looks good but I had this problem once. The depth of the cap to seal at the bottom of the radiator is slightly deeper than modern cars, hence the cap needs to be a little longer than the cap I just bought at the parts store. Yours looks correct to me but it is something to consider. Gary
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Sun Aug 06, 2023 10:06 am

Cadence
If you fancy a drive over to Abingdon sometime. I will get the kettle on and give you all the advice and various options for keeping Elans cool.
PM me
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PostPost by: Cadence » Sun Aug 06, 2023 10:44 am

Thank you Gary - I’ll check that too.

I’m now certain I have a recovery pressure cap - the brass plate at the bottom is independently sprung which fits in with previous descriptions.

I’ve just run the car up in a lull between showers. The car ran smoothly and no signs of leaks which is a comfort. I took it to just over 95 on the gauge and the fan didn’t cut in.

I know the electric fan is working when I jump the contacts, so that points the finger at the Otter switch the previous owner bought from SJS a year or so ago. I’ve checked the markings (this forum is so good for detail) on the otter switch and it’s stamped 92C 87 (might be 82). The same part number is still current at SJS.

92C seems high for the fan motor to cut in? I’ll do a proper road test tomorrow after the defector plate is fitted and the bonnet back on to verify the fan switch operation. If it remains the likely villain, I’ll swop it.

What Otter switches do other forum members use? Can you still get an 84C variant still?
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Last edited by Cadence on Sun Aug 06, 2023 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Cadence » Sun Aug 06, 2023 10:46 am

cliveyboy wrote:Cadence
If you fancy a drive over to Abingdon sometime. I will get the kettle on and give you all the advice and various options for keeping Elans cool.
PM me
Clive

Cheers Clive - PM on the way
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Aug 06, 2023 10:50 am

for the cooling fan i like to fit a sensor that slides inside the bottom rad hose. Always in contact with coolant.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Aug 06, 2023 12:34 pm

Cadence wrote:Thank you Gary - I’ll check that too.

I’m now certain I have a recovery pressure cap - the brass plate at the bottom is independently sprung which fits in with previous descriptions.

I’ve just run the car up in a lull between showers. The car ran smoothly and no signs of leaks which is a comfort. I took it to just over 95 on the gauge and the fan didn’t cut in.

I know the electric fan is working when I jump the contacts, so that points the finger at the Otter switch the previous owner bought from SJS a year or so ago. I’ve checked the markings (this forum is so good for detail) on the otter switch and it’s stamped 92C 87 (might be 82). The same part number is still current at SJS.

92C seems high for the fan motor to cut in? I’ll do a proper road test tomorrow after the defector plate is fitted and the bonnet back on to verify the fan switch operation. If it remains the likely villain, I’ll swop it.

What Otter switches do other forum members use? Can you still get an 84C variant still?


Before you start worrying too much…. My Sprint generally runs at 90 and swiftly goes up to 95 in traffic, but the fan doesn’t kick in until 97 or so ….. according to the gauge. Elan ether gauges may not be 100% accurate. A test can be to boil a pan alongside the car on a camping gas on a stool, include an accurate kitchen thermometer in the pan - remove the sender from the cylinder head and pop it into the pan and compare the reading of your gauge to the thermometer.

Other tips….
1) when you topped up the coolant did you raise the front of the car to expel any air ? You want the filler neck to be higher than the thermostat housing and squeeze the top hose whilst filling
2) When I installed my blanking plate, my radiator actually sits on top of it a little, so be prepared for some fettling of the radiator brackets when fitting it. Just make sure the radiator is low enough when you are done so that the cap doesn’t impact the bonnet

Let us know how you get on

Regards
Richard
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PostPost by: Cadence » Sun Aug 06, 2023 1:16 pm

Thank you Richard - I was thinking the gauge could be off, so a longer road test tomorrow should finally determine whether the otter switch is actually switching .

If it ‘works’, the tests suggested will sort out whether it’s within range.

Good to know that my sprint isn’t unusually hot in traffic under normal circumstances

Pleased to report that the water level hasn’t budged after the first warm up in the drive.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Aug 06, 2023 7:15 pm

I tested my gauge as described above, and it reads 4 degrees C higher than the thermometer at a nominal 80 degrees C.

Hope this helps

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PostPost by: Cadence » Mon Aug 07, 2023 10:28 am

Many thanks Richard - this all helps.

I put the car up on ramps this morning and was able to tease another 300ml of antifreeze mix into the system.

Can’t get my hands on a lower rated Otter switch and it seems parts dealer stock is now limited 92 / 87C which is what I’ve got.

For other Sprint owners looking to fit / replace the lower radiator air deflector plate, I discovered that Sue Miller makes a fibreglass version for around £23 - sounds a better bet than the bitumen impregnated cardboard original that I’m expecting today.
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