Lotus Elan

No Oil Pressure Sometimes, Other Times Fine?

PostPost by: ed_vh » Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:48 am


The oil pressure on my Elan +2S130/4 , when working is fine, top of the gauge on cold, in the middle when warm and running. The problem I have is sometimes when I start the car I do not get any oil pressure, this happens randomly both when it is cold and when it is hot.

My guess is that the pump is not sucking the oil into the pump to get itself started. Once it is started it is fine. Any ideas why this could be? Options I can think of are;

Wrong oil grade (what do people in the UK fill their cars with these days)
Worn pump

Any advice or stories of similar appreciated.


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PostPost by: Jon Eckman » Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:48 pm

Hi Ed:

My 66 S3 S/E has done exactly the same thing in the two years I've owned the car. This is an S/E rated TC with Webers that has about 60,000 miles on it. Somewhere along the line, someone converted the oil filter to a spin on type, but I can't see why that would cause anything like this to happen. Since mine usually comes up to pressure within thirty seconds or so, I just let it idle until it gets there.
Maybe something is wrong with the guage, but I haven't really checked it out yet.

I'd be curious what others think.

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PostPost by: saarhus » Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:14 pm

Ed and all,

If your pump is the original canister type or has been converted to spin-on by means of an adapter plate, check the spring loaded check valve in the pump body. This valve prevents oil from draining out of the galleries when the engine stops. If this check valve is bad, the pump should be replaced.

If the pump is a later spin-on filter type, another possible cause might be a spin-on filter that has no anti drainback valve or the valve is defective. Find a quality filter with an anti drainback valve and you should be ok.

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PostPost by: JACKJABBA » Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:40 pm

Wish I could see top of the gauge, I only get about 30 psi when cold and this drops to about 25 when it has got up to temp, but stays there all the time. I would like to get more pressure, but don't know where to start. Is there a higher pressure pump available?

I was reading in one of the Lotus books that cleaning the pressure sensor out can clear some intermitant problems.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sat Nov 01, 2003 6:28 pm

There are both hi pressure & hi capacity pumps available, check out www.burtonpower.com If you just want to increase the o/pressure and not the capacity they used to keep uprate kits 65lbs and 80lbs, it consisted of a spring and retainer you fitted in your pump. I Don't know if they still keep kits, you may now have to buy the compleat pump but they are not expensive.
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PostPost by: JACKJABBA » Sun Nov 02, 2003 1:37 pm

Thanks Brian for that, I checked out the web site and its ?55 for a HC/HP pump. I will probably order one up this week.

Ed, the story I read was from a review of the +2 when new. Its in the Elan Gold Portfolio, page 164. The sensor was blown out with an air jet and then it worked fine.

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