Lotus Elan

bell housing missing bits

PostPost by: davidc » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:56 am

so close and something else crops up to deal with!

a few long turn overs to get some oil around and drag fuel through have thrown up latest problem to deal with :oops:

though't I'd bust the ring teeth or something as starter made terrible racket and engine stopped turning over.

hoped it was simply jammed starter so did the usual tricks but still just terrible racket and no turn over.

worried that I'd destroyed flywheel teeth or starter I set about removing starter. loosened bottom bolt and thought I'd sussed problem as starter came loose too easily. missing top bolt I presumed..... nope cracked top bolt fixing and missing bolt!

20180605_202612_resized.jpg and


it is then obvious that i have a few issues around this area.

it looks like i'm missing the upper plate but have the lower plate?

20180605_202720_resized.jpg and


how critical is this? I really don't want to take engine out if i can avoid it or can it be done in situe?

also it looks like i'm missing some cap to close hole at end of where starter cog goes as i can see right through.

finally what am i missing here as i can see flywheel through bottom of bell housing?

20180605_202949_resized.jpg and
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:03 am

The soft steel spacer plate between the bell housing and engine block I believe was to provide some "give" between the two cast iron components and reduce the risk of cracking due to any slight non flatness in the two surfaces.

You have a 5 speed box with an alloy bell housing so less critical as the aluminium is softer and more flexible than cast iron. How critical it is to replace the steel plate is hard to say but modern engines with cast iron blocks and allow bell housings don't have a steel spacer.

The steel spacer also centered the starter accurately in its location rather than relying on the bolts to locate the starter. Whether this is critical depends really on does the starter engage Ok without it.

I have never been sure if the 5 speed boxes came with a cap on the rear of the starter as i have seen some without and some with. Of my two 1 has it and one does not. The one that does not is probably more original than the one that does

cheers
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Last edited by rgh0 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: davidc » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:22 am

thanks for input
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:30 am

When you refit the starter don't forget the spring washers on the starter mounting bolts , or they come loose as yours have.
I've never seen a similar hole in the bellhousing , could be some DPO wanting to check his timing ( if fitted with a Europa flywheel?.
Just purchase a rubber blanking grommet for there , if I'm not wrong the usual ford starter cover ( end cap ) fits in your hole and will tidy things up a treat...

Ditto Rohans " The steel spacer also centers the starter accurately in its location " , you not having one will not help matters

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PostPost by: davidc » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:25 pm

was planning nyloc nuts would these be OK or do i need spring washers?

you might be right about hole as it looks a bit rough like a hole saw was used rather than original cast item.

maybe the end cap is missing as a mirror or something was used to help align starter motor cog due to lack of plate!?

can't even get upper plate and cut to fit without splitting engine as temp measure as the holes will probably be as in accurate as without if only set by the 2 maybe 3 remaining bolt holes.
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PostPost by: Mick6186 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:10 pm

Hi,
I had the same problem on my 130/5. The part of the engine plate that mounts the starter was missing and the torque of the starter was twisting it (starter)and breaking the flange. New replacement starter flanges are available on eBay. I fabricated a part plate and also shaped a piece of wood that snugly fitted between starter and block, fixed to the starter by tie wraps. Without it, with a dodgy engine plate, the starter can flex quite a bit when starting. Since carrying out this repair ( bodge) no more problems!! All this done without removing the engine. I've done quite a bit of rallying back in the day and 'jungle repairs' like this were the norm to get going when all else failed,
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:08 pm

New back plates are available from the usual suspects - however because of the dowels between engine and gearbox you will have to split them to some extent.
If you are prepared to attempt to wedge the engine solid somehow and prise gearbox back far enough to disengage dowels and wiggle plates in and out somehow you may not have to remove the engine.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:46 pm

Do all the alloy bell housings have studs for the starter motor instead of tapped holes for the correct bolts?

The photo shows studs and my tired old eyes are no experts but the studs look to be a smaller diameter, any movement of the starter is going to result in a broken lug.

I would want to be sure that the studs were the correct diameter, the correct pitch between them and correctly placed to ensure correct alignment of the starter.

Just the omission of the plate is enough to cause problems but there may be several others with that set up.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:23 pm

My tired old eyes missed the stud issue.
In which case in situ work is going to be pita.
On the basis that studs are in correct place presumably sleeves will ensure no movement of starter?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:56 am

I believe bolts not studs were standard on 5 speed boxes (at least that's the case on my two) . Studs certainly make handing the starter in place easier though

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PostPost by: davidc » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:11 am

top one is certainly a bolt as i popped it out after that photo was taken.

can't recall if bottom one is stud or bolt but looking again at my photo in hi res that is a gap not shadow on the bottom bolt so looks like hole may have enlarged or have been enlarged at some point.

hadn't considered the torque levels shifting the motor on its bolts but i guess thats where my problems stem from.

I'm liking the idea of packing it against sump to both fill gap and assist with reducing stress on bolts. :D

sounds like whilst bolts will be a little bit trickier to work with the sandwiching effect of bolt rather than stud will be better in long run to reduce stress on studs in bell housing?
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PostPost by: mbell » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:30 pm

Mine also had bolts to fit the starter, was missing upper parts of the spacer, has the starter cap but no hole in bell housing.

I refitted my (none std) starter with Cap head allen bolts to aid future removal.

I'd suggest:
- refit the spacer to at least the starter motor area
- closely examine the threads in the bell housing for condition and location, if in any doubt heli-coil them
- switch to using some form of bolt, with a shank long enough for depth of locking washer and most of starter flange.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:49 am

My top plate was missing, I obtained one and to save completely removing the engine to fit it, I cut the plate in two at the top and found I could then relatively easily slip the two halves of the plate into place with the engine loosened and moved forward about half an inch with the gearbox and engine supported from below. Mine is a four speed box and has unc bolts securing the starter motor.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:32 am

David,

I am not absolutely sure of this, but have convinced myself that the purpose of this plate is to locate the starter motor pinion with respect to the flywheel ring gear so that these two gears will mesh correctly when we turn the key. The bolts or studs fit through clearance holes in the starter, but the diameter of the aluminium section at the front of the starter (shown broken in your photograph) is good fit in the plate that is sandwiched between the engine and gearbox. This plate is also a good fit onto the two dowels that locate the gearbox to the engine.

I believe the reason this plate is sometimes missing is that when gearbox or engine needs to be removed the person doing the work has forgotten to refit it and does not want to do the job again just to install a component the purpose of which is poorly understood. Alternatively the damned thing keeps slipping off its dowels when joining engine to gearbox, and again as the purpose is poorly understood, it is left out to ease the work.

I come to this conclusion for the reason that I don't believe Ford would manufacture and install a component that they did not think necessary. I have worked in engineering all my adult life, and one of my employers operated several large ball mills, the drive is similar, a small pinion is engaged with a large ring or girth gear. If we didn't get the clearance correct between these two gears, the mill would sound like a Lancaster bomber, and gear life would be short.

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PostPost by: davidc » Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:55 am

Upper plate ordered and as luck would have it they have rubber grommet for back of starter case.

Just need to measure hole in bottom of bell housing and source grommet for that.

Thanks for all the input. :D
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