Lotus Elan

Disaster!

PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:25 pm

I think I've really made a mess of it this time. I went back at the Elan to try and fix the engine stalling problem. I pulled the fuel hose and with a freshly charged battery, I was only getting a very small flow from the fuel pump. That may have been the cause of a lot of my problem. I knew I'd got the timing wrong so I tried to reset the distributor and found it was loose - not seated in the clamp. I pulled the whole lot out and removed the clamp from the block to fit it onto the distributor body as I couldn't get the dist to seat with the clamp in place. Thant's when disaster struck. I dropped a washer and couldn't find it. Thinking it might have gone down the distributor hole in the block, I pushed a magnet down the hole to retrieve it if it was there. Nothing came up so I put everything back together and reset the timing statically. When I tried to start the engine it was a little noisier than I remembered it (grinding). It diodn't start and then the starter wasn't engaging! I ran out of patience and was running out of daylight so I pushed the car back into the drive and buttoned it up. I'm really depressed now. Anyone know a good Lotus mechanic in the west of Ireland - preferably near Galway? :oops: :cry: :cry:
Mechanical Engineer, happily retired!

'67 S3 SE FHC

See Facebook page: W J Barry Photography

Put your money where your mouse is, click on "Support LotusElan.net" below.
User avatar
Galwaylotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1357
Joined: 01 May 2006
Location: Galway, Ireland

PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:37 pm

Don't panic just yet. I think that if the washer had jammed the distributor drive from the jackshaft (about the only thing it could affect, I would think) that would not cause the starter not to engage. I think you have a separate problem with the starter, possibly due to all the torture you've put it through trying to solve this problem.

Can't help you with a Galway-area mechanic, but I do wish you good luck!
Andrew Bodge
'66 Elan S2 26/4869
I love the sound of a torque wrench in the morning. Sounds like... progress.
User avatar
RotoFlexible
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 681
Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Location: Eastern Massachusetts

PostPost by: peterako » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:15 am

Hi Bill,

Sorry to hear of your continuing woes....

It was VERY cold on the weekend.....I know my starter struggled first thing on Saturday morning (- 5C)....

Would tend to concur with teh diagnosis on your starter.

Is the starter turning??

If it is then....

It's possible that you may have:

- damaged the starter ring
- damaged the starter

but before you get too worried about this check that the starter is still firmly bolted to the bell housing.

I had a noisy/crunching and then non-engaging starter at one time that turned out to be just loose. I.e. not bolted well to the bell housing.

If it's not turning.....

- battery?
- Bendix stuck (rock the car back and forth while in gear to release the bendix)
- starter fried?

If it does turn out to be the starter the standard starter is just an old Lucas starter as used on Fords etc. (Jon Miller, Killaloe, or Paul Cobban, Athlone, may be able to source one if you can't)

Regarding the washer, again I agree, if it was going to cause damage it would have by jamming the jack-shaft.

If it hasn't done this then it should have fallen to the bottom of the sump...

(Is this correct 'much more experienced Lotus Twink Guys'?)

I won't be in Galway till late January (and then in a suit :shock:), but....time allowing I wouldn't mind having a quick look.

Take care,
Peter
I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
'73 +2S 130/5
Opel Zafira, Some bicycles, Wife, Kids, Cats, Dogs....chickens....cluck cluck...goldfish...ducks flew away!
User avatar
peterako
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Location: A (windy) bog in Ireland

PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:49 am

peterako wrote:Hi Bill,



Is the starter turning??

If it is then....

It's possible that you may have:

- damaged the starter ring
- damaged the starter

but before you get too worried about this check that the starter is still firmly bolted to the bell housing.

I had a noisy/crunching and then non-engaging starter at one time that turned out to be just loose. I.e. not bolted well to the bell housing.

If it's not turning.....

- battery?
- Bendix stuck (rock the car back and forth while in gear to release the bendix)
- starter fried?

The battery was fully charged inside over night.
The starter does spin. It just fails to engage. I let the car roll forward slightly in 4th gear and then tried again and it engaged briefly but then spun freely.
I was told by the person who built the car that he installed a high output starter but I haven't looked closely to see.
When I recover from my depression brought on by last Saturday's issues, I'll pull the distributor again and see if the gear is damaged. As I said, I thought the washer might have fallen onto the frame adfter I put the magnet down the hole in the block a few times and came up with nothing.

Thanks for the input.
Mechanical Engineer, happily retired!

'67 S3 SE FHC

See Facebook page: W J Barry Photography

Put your money where your mouse is, click on "Support LotusElan.net" below.
User avatar
Galwaylotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1357
Joined: 01 May 2006
Location: Galway, Ireland

PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:55 am

peterako wrote:Regarding the washer, again I agree, if it was going to cause damage it would have by jamming the jack-shaft.

If it hasn't done this then it should have fallen to the bottom of the sump...

(Is this correct 'much more experienced Lotus Twink Guys'?)


That was my first assumption, that if I didn't get the washer with the magnet it had either not gone into the engine or had gone to the sump. I'll have to look at an expolded view of the block to see if this is likely but I now think that there may be no drain channel in the jackshaft tunnel which means tha washer - or what's left of it and the gears - must still be in there! :oops: :cry:
As I said earlier, pulling the distributor again should verify.
Mechanical Engineer, happily retired!

'67 S3 SE FHC

See Facebook page: W J Barry Photography

Put your money where your mouse is, click on "Support LotusElan.net" below.
User avatar
Galwaylotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1357
Joined: 01 May 2006
Location: Galway, Ireland

PostPost by: peterako » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:15 am

Hi Bill,

When I got my +2 it came with a standard Lucas starter.

The Starter was damaged (mounting points) so I got a replacement from my local 'motor man)....a Lucas starter :)

Then the incidents with the starter not engaging and accasionally sticking started...so I ordered a high torque starter. (Later finding out that teh Lucas Starter was just not tightly installed...previous post)

High torque starter received and installed. Worked ok for a while....then wouldn't engage, finally giving up in a puff of smoke (still spun but no engagement).

I put my older (2nd) Lucas starter back in and haven't looked back since (touch wood).

I did receive a replacement High Torque starter (under warrantee) but have not bothered to put it in yet. But have kept it as a spare.

Also, the previous high torque started had chewed up the ring gear :eek:

It is possible the phase where your high torque starter pre engages is not working....

Hmmm....

Peter
I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
'73 +2S 130/5
Opel Zafira, Some bicycles, Wife, Kids, Cats, Dogs....chickens....cluck cluck...goldfish...ducks flew away!
User avatar
peterako
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Location: A (windy) bog in Ireland

PostPost by: paddy » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:44 am

My experience is that if the starter has a new bendix gear and is securely mounted it work well almost no matter how badly worn the ring gear is (provided no teeth are missing altogether of course).

The standard starter has easily enough torque to turn the engine over well, so if it is sticking it indicates some other problem. A high torque replacement will just be throwing more energy at whatever's sticking rather than fixing the underlying problem.

Paddy
1963 Elan S1
User avatar
paddy
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1191
Joined: 27 Oct 2008
Location: Woking, Surrey

PostPost by: andyelan » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:58 am

Hi everyone

Aren't inertia starters a bit prone to sticking if the Bendix gets dirty. I seem to remember years ago, when this type of starter was more common, my Dad was always taking them apart to clean them.

Also, with talk about swopping starter motors around, don't Lotus units have different numberes of teeth on the pinion than standard (Ford) items?

Just a couple of thoughts

Regards
Andy
andyelan
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 555
Joined: 28 Feb 2008

PostPost by: peterako » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:15 pm

andyelan wrote:Also, with talk about swopping starter motors around, don't Lotus units have different numberes of teeth on the pinion than standard (Ford) items?


I could be wrong (probably am! :)) but I think they have teh same number. Eirther 9 or 10 teeth, the 10 being the later versions, and much more suited (from torque transfer point of view) to the Twink.

I was told in no uncertain terms by my respected Classics Guru NOT to grease/oil or otherwise lubricate the Bendix, just make sure it's clean.

Take care guys!
Peter
User avatar
peterako
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Location: A (windy) bog in Ireland

PostPost by: billwill » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:53 pm

andyelan wrote:Hi everyone

Aren't inertia starters a bit prone to sticking if the Bendix gets dirty. I seem to remember years ago, when this type of starter was more common, my Dad was always taking them apart to clean them.

Also, with talk about swopping starter motors around, don't Lotus units have different numberes of teeth on the pinion than standard (Ford) items?

Just a couple of thoughts

Regards
Andy


I used to have a bendix gear on my starter motor, which would stick just sometimes (it didn't fly forward to engage the gear on the flywheel) I cleaned it and oiled it and tried it dry and with graphite lubrication & no matter what I did, though it looked perfect it still used to stick. One had to tap the starter motor shaft with a hammer to free it.

Eventually I gave up & bought a new Bendix gear for the starter & there hs been no problem of sticking since.
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
billwill
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 4721
Joined: 19 Apr 2008
Location: London UK

PostPost by: Jon Eckman » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:21 pm

I had similar symtems with my starter a while back and discoverd that the ring gear on the flywheel let go. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to pull the starter, then you'll see right away if there is a problem.
Jon Eckman
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 23 Sep 2003

PostPost by: Frank Howard » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:41 pm

peterako wrote:Also, the previous high torque started had chewed up the ring gear :eek:

Peter,

Are you sure? My experience indicates that it is the original inertia starters that chew up ring gears because unlike the pre-engaged starters, (otherwise known as high torque or gear reduction starters) the inertia starters are spinning before they engage the ring gear.
Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
Frank Howard
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 994
Joined: 30 Mar 2004

PostPost by: peterako » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:40 pm

Hi Frank!

How are you?

I thought exactly the same as you state (that the older starters chew up teh ring....the pre-engage would not). It was one of the reasons I decided to get a pre-engage one....

But....it did chew up teh (new) ring gear I had installed. While my Lucas which I have now replaced teh pre-engae with, does not.....Lead in's correct on both sides of my ring gear.

I guess I've just been unlucky with the teh pre-engage one and lucky with the bendix....

I know plenty of owners who swear by the high torque starters. I'm happy with my low torque one :)

Take care,
Peter
I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
'73 +2S 130/5
Opel Zafira, Some bicycles, Wife, Kids, Cats, Dogs....chickens....cluck cluck...goldfish...ducks flew away!
User avatar
peterako
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Location: A (windy) bog in Ireland

PostPost by: Frank Howard » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:48 pm

Hey Peter!

I'm freezing here in Minneapolis. Thanks for your response. Just some information for the list.

I ordered a Gustafson Super Starter (high torque, pre-engaged) a few years ago. The starter is based on a Nippondenso starter. Before I installed it, I had to yank the transaxle from my Dodge Caravan. I was under the impression that most Chrysler, Plymouth, and Dodge minivans came from the factory equipped with Nippondenso starters. When I removed the starter from the minivan, I compared it to the Super Starter. With the exception of the pinion gear and the mounting plate, they were identical.

These minivans are very popular, at least in the US. They represent 50% of the total minivan market here. If these starters were chewing up ring gears, believe me, a lot of people would know about it and Chrysler would have made Nippondense correct the problem decades ago. Either that, or they would no longer be producing minivans.

Unless Gustafson gave you a starter with a poorly machined pinion gear, I don't see how it could be the culprit. I agree with you that you must have been unlucky with it. Good luck in the future Peter!
Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
Frank Howard
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 994
Joined: 30 Mar 2004

PostPost by: ebc699 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:32 pm

With pre engaged starters, I would check that the pinion is engaging fully with the ring gear.
I installed one of these starters on my Plus 2 and within a few weeks the ring gear was so stripped that the pinion would no longer engage.To be fair, the ring gear was already partly worn.
While installing the new ring gear, I did some measuring to check how far the pinion was advancing into the gear and discovered that it was only engaging across about half the width of the teeth. This was confirmed by the faint index marks on the pinion teeth.
I finished up by making a complete new mounting face for the starter to bring the assembly about 5mm closer to the ring gear. The bearing housing is part of this which complicates things a little.
It's a bit strange, since there are obviously a lot of these starters out there giving good service, so it probably worth checking.
Mind you, thats just my O pinion!!
Cheers,
Wylie
ebc699
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 37
Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Location: New Zealand
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests