Lotus Elan

drain hole query

PostPost by: davidc » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:46 pm

Should there be a drain hole of sorts at the bottom of the front turrets?

I've started trying to trace a vacuum leak on headlights and have narrowed it to the cross member.

whilst examining this I note (see attached image below) that years worth of [email protected] have got in gap where blue arrow is. I've cleared it out and treated a bit of rust but it clearly is a place to harbor damp stuff to sneakily eat away.

should there be a drain hole where red arrow is?

chassis-query.jpg and
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PostPost by: Pastapesto » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:07 pm

There should be two small "drain holes", one on the left, one on the right. They are more eliptical than circular and are made by just stopping the welds before the corner. They need to be cleaned out of any debris on a regular basis. Keep them clean & then any water just drains out. Some people occasionally tape them up then fill cavity with old engine oil & then remove tape & let them drain out onto a tray. Keeping them "oiled" should also help with the moisture that may get trapped in any muck that collects there. Look in the corners of the bottom of the turrets & they should be there.

Good luck

A
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PostPost by: davidc » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:24 pm

thank you. :D
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:56 pm

YES!

And it is VERY IMPORTANT TO KEEP THOSE DRAIN HOLES CLEAR. Water accumulating in a turret is possible the most frequent reason for chassis failure as the turrets rust away invisibly from the inside.

Prod the lower sides of the turrets with a screwdriver; if it is paper thin the screwdriver will go through and you know for sure it is time for a new chassis (subframe).

See:
lotus-suspension-f42/how-repaired-rusty-front-suspension-turrets-t16727.html?hilit=weld

http://www.datahighways.co.uk/photos/og ... repair.htm

for the full grissly details.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:43 pm

Pastapesto wrote:They are more eliptical than circular and are made by just stopping the welds before the corner.


There may have been some variations over time, however the original chassis in my +2 has semicircular reliefs in the outboard vertical panel of each front tower. The drain holes are quite a bit larger than would be achieved by simply interrupting the seam weld.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:02 pm

+1 the drain holes were a quarter round, 2 at the bottom of each Turret.
If the leak is in the Chassis Cross Member where it is welded to the Turrets then very bad news and you need to save up for a Lotus Galvanised Chassis :cry: :cry: Imho a Lotus Galvanised Chassis will be a very big plus for your car in the future.
To change a Chassis is a nice Winter project and if you do it yourself + only change what is needed imho it's not too expensive. You only need very basic Tools and don't need to be a specialist.
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:46 am

I've been meaning to ask: does the Spyder chassis have this problem, too? I think not, but it's wise to check.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:50 am

The top of the turrets on a spider chassis are sealed so it does not have this issue. One of the many detail differences that improve on the original ( and dirt cheap) Lotus implementation

cheers
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PostPost by: S2Jay » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:42 pm

Pics....
p1060913.jpg and
Initial Disassembly...
p1060916.jpg and
Condition...
p1080967.jpg and
Turret after cleaning, w/Crud extracted / drained.
p1080968a.jpg and
Portion of the crud from Turret [saved for pic, original amount of similar crud was maybe 3x this, but not as bad as others, this being a Cal car all / most of its life, afaik].
p1210250.jpg and
Finished, painted inside & out, drain hole open, no modifications to Turret for strength or to seal out elements. Expected to continue to be a Cal Car for [mostly] street use [ok, mountain roads & maybe a track day].
just looking for clues at the scene....
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:55 pm

How did you scrape and clean to bare metal inside the bottom part of the Turret :?
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PostPost by: S2Jay » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:38 pm

p1100744.jpg and
Before the fun begins....

Well yes, ?scrape and clean? pretty well describes the process; ?bare metal?, however, may be a bit optimistic.
p1080955.jpg and
first cleaning

As I recall it now, it went something like this.
?scrape and clean? with the usual crude implements to scoop out the major hunks of debris, Open the drain hole with pointy things.

Vacuum as much a possible with the smallest attachment I had that could fit the turret & get near the bottom.
I started with various small files that would fit, to scrape & break off any rusted, stuck & coarse bits. I had one really small & v pointy file [almost dental sized] that helped in the creases & corners. An assortment of wire brushes helped get into the vertical corners better. The files helped to smooth the sides so that sand paper could be used w/o tearing. Started w/ 80 grit, 100, 120 was about as smooth as I could go without getting obsessive.

Small brushes were used in the corners, vacuum again & blow out w/compressed air.
Flush w/alcohol [b/c it dries quicker & more thoroughly than water], brush & wipe w/clean rags until a white rag came out relatively clean. Fortunately, I did not log the time I spent in this operation, although I am reasonably certain that it was more than 12 min [& would more appropriately be measured in hours & occasional loss of rational cognition [no idea what that means, but it sounds clever]].

Brush & flush with POR-15 ?Marine Clean?.
Then ?coat? with POR-15 ?Prep-n-Ready? to [hopefully] ?convert? any rust lingering in the corners otherwise unreachable.
Finally spray copious amounts of Rust-O-Leum Rusty Metal Primer, 2 or 3 coats used here, to [again, hopefully] seal out any air/moisture attack.

p1210252.jpg and
Finished, wide pic

dsc_0374.jpg and
Finished, close-up


A Krylon ?Red Oxide? primer top coat was used over that just b/c I think it more closely resembles the ?correct? frame primer color. Opinions welcome on that, pics attached although it is understood there are diffs in camera, angles, light, screens, etc. I think that the Rust-O-Leum is more ?brown?, the Krylon more ?red?. I can only judge the ?correct? shade from the various pics seen here & other places & the remains of the coating on scattered portion of my frame.
dsc_0369.jpg and
Rust-O-Leum Rusty Metal Primer

p1210250.jpg and
Krylon "Red Oxide Primer"
just looking for clues at the scene....
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:33 am

+1 nice job and thanks for the info about products you used
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:10 am

From your description of the crud in the towers are you absolutely sure that the metal at the bottom of the towers is safe. Did you try poking a sharp screwdriver through the metal at the bottom like I suggested above?

The metal can look fine from the outside and yet be paper thin from corrosion on the inside.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:32 am

One way i have found to check the Chassis getting weak is to measure the Camber on each Wheel.
Lots of Camber = Chassis past it's sell buy date :shock:
I hope not for you.
But the cost of a Chassis if you do it yourself is not toooooo expensive and it is for sure a big plus when selling.
Imho an Elan which has had a Lotus galvanised Chassis will demand top prices. Plus peace of mind and driving pleasure
Alan
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PostPost by: S2Jay » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:19 pm

RE: potential corrosion

For those of you who may not be familiar with Don Garlits, he was a very successful ?Top Fuel? drag racer from the 1950s thru the 1980s here in the colonies. Now legendary, he developed a number of engineering innovations in the sport & racing techniques in general. One such technique was a method to determine if a crankshaft was suitable to re-use when rebuilding one of the Dodge Hemi engines with which he became best known, and used by most racers in that fastest class in the sport at that time. This was also b4 much of what we now consider ?modern? technology was available or was used at the time. He would hold the crank by the nose & then strike it with a ball peen hammer at various points along its length. The ?tone? produced by this [much like that of a wind chime] would tell his now-practiced ear if the shaft was still structurally intact or defective and possibly cracked.

It is this highly advanced technique that I applied to the Turrets during my rebuilding project. Applying a 28 oz. Craftsman ball?peen hammer at selected points in a pre-laid grid pattern based on a formula created by noted physicist Neils Bohr to determine structural integrity of uniform metals in a welded unit with a thickness no greater than 0.336? of mild steel & a Rockwell hardness no greater than 71 HRB.

Uncertain that my untrained & inexperienced ear would be adequate to detect the differences in tonal quality, or that I was able to apply a consistent amount of force to each strike to generate a uniform tone, the chassis was taken to a facility in Burbank located in an obscure wooded location that has since become part of an industrial complex not far from Jay Leno?s garage & formerly used by JPL prior to the development of a similar facility of their own for in-house use within their campus, all of which was paid for by tax dollars from a double secret black-ops program to hide its existence and purpose from Soviet intelligence personnel [and I use that term loosely ? intelligence, not personnel, but they prefer this to being called ?spys?]. Focusing on the lower portion of the front Turrets, this metal was subjected to NDT tests of both sonic and radiography types developed for ensuring the hull integrity [their term, not mine] of space shuttle capsules and SR-71 intelligence gathering aircraft prior to final construction and approval for off-book military missions over China & North Korea.


Test results from this suggested that while they would not recommend this chassis for top secret military use of any sort or type [as these are different levels of use in their jargon], they did suggest [off-record only] that the strength of the lower 1/3 of the Turret ?should? be ?sufficient? to provide a potential survivability of approximately 63.41% & maintain hull integrity [that term again] in frontal or near-frontal impact of no greater than 22.5 degrees [because I can?t find the ?degree? symbol to use on this computer] with vehicles such as a Tatra 600 up to 1952 or DKW F89, through 1954. When asked if they could be more specific, they said that they could include some early Morris models, but would not list models & years without further test results. They were willing to add that conflict with any Hummer or Humvee of any year or model is ?contra-indicated? and not advised.

It is therefore with some trepidation, but with some relief, that I proceed with this project.

It could also be noted that I have likely had waaaay too much caffeine, and/or could possibly be bored senseless.
Further I would like to apologize for what has apparently become a UTH [Unintended Thread Hijacking]. Apologies are also offered to anyone who may have been offended, but be advised that no animals were harmed in the production of this post.
It was only my intention to show some pics of the front Turret drain Hole. I do appreciate the advice & concerns noted by others.
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