Lotus Elan

Can you recover a damaged clutch pipe?

PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:44 pm

After rebuilding my engine over the last two months, when anything that could go wrong usually did, it started almost immediately and ran smoothly enough to take it for a short drive. Unfortunately I hadn't noticed that the plastic clutch pipe was touching the newly installed 4-branch, which caused melt down and complete loss of fluid and clutch.

burnt-clutch-pipe-153_4908.jpg and
Ferrule clamp (over pipe) not shown. The metal pipe has been re-bent to a single curve.

I have a couple of inches (6 cm) spare pipe from the master cylinder so can the 50 year old plastic be softened in some way to re-engage with the metal? The whole pipe is now off the car for convenince and I have considered using a hot-air gun but should I heat the metal pipe too, and should the ferule be pushed over the pipe while it is still hot? Or will boiling water do the job? etc, etc.

Anyone's experience will be much appreciated, thanks.
Meg

26/4088 1965 S1½ Old and scruffy but in perfect working order; the car too.
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PostPost by: steve.thomas » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:25 am

When I had a similar problem recently I fitted a braided hose direct from master to slave cylinder, not original but in my mind a much better solution. Available from Sue Miller. I wouldn't want to trust whatever is left of a 50 year old plastic pipe.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:01 am

I've done this before. Made one up for an Escort from the clutch pipe from a Morris Marina (as an aside - they had these available with 6 cylinder engines in Australia, voted as one of the worst cars ever. If you can imagine Morris Minor underpinnings with a 2.6L in line 6 cylinder engine overhanging the front you get the picture) which used a similar plastic pipe for the clutch. It was a long time ago but I thing boiling water was sufficient. Secured with an "OTK" clip it's still in place without leaks! Hot oil should be OK too if higher than 100 degrees C is required. Vegetable oil should not harm seals, still clean thoroughly afterward of course. Do not use a heat gun, you will find all a heat gun does is blister the top surface of the hose before heating it all the way through.
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:24 pm

I don't think there is much point in repairing the old one, you can still get equivalents, I think, and they are not ridiculously expensive.

Sue Miller has been mentioned above, I see.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:21 pm

Thank you all for your ideas. I attempted to soften the plastic with boiling water, unsuccessfully, and similarly with brake fluid which I heated in a small metal tin with a 2 kW hot-air gun (which smoked but I don't think reached 100? C as a little water in a floating tin cap didn't boil). I did not want risk using vegetable oil in the kitchen as we have gas burners (as well as domestic dissent).

So I sold my soul and asked Mr Wilkins to make me up a kit which, hopefully, will be ready tomorrow. To fit it means taking off my Webers again and the rear lower nut is giving me more than the usual problem.
Meg

26/4088 1965 S1½ Old and scruffy but in perfect working order; the car too.
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