Lotus Elan

4-Speed drain/fill plugs?

PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:53 pm

I decided to change the oil in my gearbox, since I'm unsure of its quantity or age. It took a MIGHTY struggle to get the drain plug loose and almost as much to remove the fill plug. After cleaning them up, I see that they are tapered iron pipe plugs. Are these the correct items?
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1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:10 pm

Yep, look like it to me. Hollow, not solid..
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:51 pm

I’ve got a small leak from my drain plug even though it’s torqued to specs.

I have about 3 threads exposed, is that typical ?

Thanks
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:21 pm

Hi Richard
Those tapered pipe threads really need PTFE tape on them. Did you do that. Back in the day they used a cotton fibre and a sort of putty on those threads. I cannot remember it`s name now but I still have some in the shed.
Eric in Burnley

I`ve just remembered it. It was called Boss White and Hemp. Night, night.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:43 am

Definitely correct, those are them...
Mine were difficult to remove also.
Not sure why they get done up so tight, especially as they're tapered and tend to widen whatever hole they're going into.
I'm always cautious as I'm concerned I'll be giving them that last little tighten and I'll hear, "click", and find the crack in the gearbox casing......... :(

Ralph.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:10 pm

Thanks Eric, I’ll add that to my notes.

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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:58 pm

It helps to have the right tool, which I lack, and my level/fill plug wouldn't shift with non-tapered spanners having suffered that 50 times already. Luckily St Wilkins lent me his proper tool (he's five minute drive away) and also sold me a new plug so now I'm good for another 50.
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:52 pm

I find that my drain plug leaks as well and the square has slightly rounded over the years. I am surprised that no one has come up with a better solution, or if they have, I am all ears. Thanks, Dan
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:17 pm

As it's a standard NPT size, you can source a tapered pipe plug with various head types from many sources. I found an internal hex (allen type) plug with magnet insert to replace mine. From Pegasus Racing Supply, if I recall correctly.
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PostPost by: joe7 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:51 pm

I use an internal hex magnetic for the drain plug and a brass plug for the fill plug. Brass works out very nice as is a bit softer the the steel plugs and won't rust. Also rather than plumbers tape I opted to use plumbers paste type sealer as i fined it easier to use.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:40 pm

bitsobrits wrote:As it's a standard NPT size, you can source a tapered pipe plug with various head types from many sources. I found an internal hex (allen type) plug with magnet insert to replace mine. From Pegasus Racing Supply, if I recall correctly.

.... in the INSTRUMENTS Accessories and Fittings section (Page 272 in the 2015 edition).
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PostPost by: USA64 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:07 am

We are supposed to be having fun, are we not?
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:20 am

Personally I've never had any issue with the standard Ford plugs. No leaks and no teflon tape required. On live rear axle Fords similar tapered iron/steel plugs are used. Again no leaks and no teflon tape required.
Often oil drips appearing at the bottom of the gearbox are from other sources - eg. engine rear main seal or the lower through bolt joining the gearbox to the bellhousing.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Oct 10, 2020 4:34 am

2cams70 wrote:Often oil drips appearing at the bottom of the gearbox are from other sources - eg. engine rear main seal or the lower through bolt joining the gearbox to the bellhousing.


Good point. The drops hanging on the gearbox drain-plug looked brown, but what drained from the 'box was dark grey, a little murky, and stunk of sulfur. Definitely different stuff.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:37 pm

No real problem with either of the plugs on mine but looking at them someone previous had had problems as the corners were a bit chewed up. Probably overtightened at some stage! Quick fettle with a file to restore the square while I was changing the oil and they are fine, no problems with leaks from the plugs themselves.
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