Lotus Elan

Tc Stored Without Coolant

PostPost by: Matt7c » Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:32 pm

Hi all. I realise I've only been here a short time and am asking a lot of questions. Hopefully, I'll be able to add to the debate in future as I learn a thing or two. :rolleyes:

My twincam has been stood for 13 years without any coolant. I have no experience of this, but wondered if anybody else had encountered any problems as a result of a similar issue. I'd like to believe that this won't have caused much corrosion as its a closed system so there shouldn't have been much air in there to oxidise the components. But I can't help but worry that unseen lumps of rust will have developed, which will then break free and block up coolant runs or damage the pump. The radiator is actually water-tight but has yet to be pressure tested.

Is this anything to worry about and is there anything I should do about it?
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PostPost by: type26owner » Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:18 pm

Matt,
If you don't know the history of the car then don't be discouraged but the likely reason the car was sidelined originally was because the waterpump started leaking. Mine sat for this reason for 25 years in a garage with only 69k miles on the odometer after it sprang a leak. Many cars suffered that fate and if you're lucky you can find a rough jewel still intact in need of restoration. Fixing the waterpump is doable for the novice. I don't have any of the reference books everyone mentions so I can't say whether or not they are useful.

Fill it up with water only and fire up the engine. If the waterpump leaks it will be from beneath the pulley. No harm running it to do the diagnostics. Good luck!
-Keith
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PostPost by: 1964 S1 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:52 am

Hello, has the crankshaft been rotated in 13 years? If the engine turns over ok, achieves correct oil pressure, I'd follow Keith's advice and get it running. Drain the coolant after "warm up" into a container and see what you find. If it's been stored in a friendly, maybe warm dry climate all those years then probably no harm done. Eric
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PostPost by: flyinggellyfish » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:48 am

My engine had been left in the car in open space for 18 years with no rad , hoses etc . On inspection all I found was alot of scale on the inside of the block waterways . I will fill mine with coolant , run it up and possibley use a flushing agent in it to remove any scale/loose stuff I could not see or remove whilst stripped .
I will also re fill coolant with de-ironised water (as I live in a hard water area) and 40% antifreeze .

Rick
1968 Elan +2 . Now going back together after 18 years , you just can not rush these things .<br>Rick
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PostPost by: type26owner » Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:42 pm

The iron block and aluminum head when exposed to water and oxygen react by oxidizing. Once this happens intially and there is a skin of corrosion formed then the reaction process slows way down. Having the the cooling system dry and opened for many years should not be a problem for the Elan. Except for the elastomer seal in the waterpump is propably hardened into a rock hard state with cracks and doubtful it will work properly. The only car I've had that suffered damage from that kind of treatment was my 62 Corvette. The aluminum radiator continued to corrode from the inside out until it was riddled with water outlets. The brass radiator will not corrode like that though and should still be in the same condition the day it got parked.

Be aware there is a possible problem lurking for you which is not easy to diagnose. If the glycol based anti-freeze used was neglected by the DPO then the phosphate additive can react with the aluminum head forming a salt of aluminum phosphate. That salt will precipate out of the coolant at the lowest temperature area of the cooling system when it's at operating temperature which is the surface of the cooling tubes in the radiator. Reportedly just a few thou of buildup of this stuff will cut the cooling capacity of the radiator enough so it will be prone to easily overheat. I've looked it up in the Physics Handbook and there is no solvent to dissolve this stuff so a radiator flush is useless. I'll bet lots of folks have this happening to them out there in Lotusland. I had it happening too.
-Keith
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PostPost by: Matt7c » Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:19 pm

Thanks for the replies. Its largely as I thought it might be - fire her up and deal with anything that arises. But I'll certainly drain the coolant soon after just to check.

I bought the car from a relative who I still see regularly, so I know the provenance of the car well. The reason why the car was parked up in the first place was because his house burnt down!! Sorting that out, he was a little too busy to drive the car, and by the time he noticed he hadn't moved it for years, he was too busy to get it going again...

Regarding the water-pump, he tells me that he replaced the original with a later Ford version which brought the advantage of not having to take off the front panel to change the pump. Apparently, this one just unbolts and pulls out, though I haven't tried it yet...

Matt
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PostPost by: type26owner » Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:04 pm

Matt,
Regarding the water-pump, he tells me that he replaced the original with a later Ford version which brought the advantage of not having to take off the front panel to change the pump. Apparently, this one just unbolts and pulls out, though I haven't tried it yet...

Lucky lad. IMO the best practice engineering design was not done when the final engine configuration was settled upon with regards to the twincam waterpump replacement procedure.

Ask as many questions as you need to get the project done. Really dumb not to use the expertise that is available here since it's free. This forum is great since you're required not to post any ugly attitude stuff here.
-Keith
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:59 pm

Burton Power make an aftermarket waterpump housing with a removeable water pump unit. It's not cheap (about ?350 + VAT) but there again neither is getting the water pump replaced.

<a href='https://www.burtonpower.com/' target='_blank'>https://www.burtonpower.com/</a>

I remember hearing stories in the 80s about another UK company making an aftermarket front cover with a removeable pump, horror stories!! Misaligned, crooked holes etc.. (I have a copy of a letter sent to Graham Arnold in my files describing this unit and the problems an Elan owner had fitting the pump and front cover.

I would trust Burtons one. I think you have to buy the front cover, a new back plate, a water pump, fitting kit and the water pump capsule

I didn't think Ford ever made a replacement front cover?
Carl

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http://www.lotuselan.co.uk
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