Lotus Elan

Starter motor removal

PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:18 pm

Behold. It?s out. Removed from underneath.

For future reference, 9/16 socket with a 150mm extension bar plus a 80mm extension bar and ratchet. All using a 3/8th drive wrench. My 1/2in drive wrench with extensions was too chunky.

Also place an axle stand underneath the starter motor to support it when undoing bottom bolt.

Now to get the replacement sorted.

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Thanks all
Richard
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:09 pm

Foxie wrote:I changed to a Gustavson /Brize type starter many years ago.

I changed the 9/16" hex head bolts for equivalent thread caps screws.

I made up an exact length extension to reach the upper cap screw from underneath the car.

Makes removing/changing the starter a doddle. :)


Another place on an Elan where a socket headed cap screw is a good idea that I had not thought about. We need a thread on all the places where alternate fasteners are a good idea :D

thanks
Rohan
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PostPost by: mwhitaker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:54 pm

Hello All,
This is my inexperienced take on starter replacement-hopefully it may of use to the novice Elan owner. My car is a 69 S4DHC with a replacement Lotus chassis, rebuilt Lucas starter and ring gear from 30 years-3 owners ago. Fast forward to now, I have had a recent intermittent screech upon starting which lasts for a second or two. After much reading, I decided to get a Gustafson gear reduction starter from Ray at RD enterprises here in the USA (great chap and tremendous help). My hope was to save my ring gear and get improved starting function with less current draw, etc. I have been rocking the car in gear prior to starting as a protective measure.

Upon receiving the starter I noted that while it is a bit smaller/lighter, the solenoid body attached makes it a bit bulky and the fit remains tight. I made a jumper wire for the starter battery -ignition terminals to preserve the firewall solenoid. Getting the bottom bolt out-no problem. The top bolt however is a bitch-9/16 with a 7.5 inch extension with flex joint worked. Since you can't actually see what you are doing and have to work via feel, I put a shop light up top directed on the bolt and frequently checked I was loosening the correct bolt and not the adjacent bellhousing bolt!
Good news- the starter orientation with the adaptor plate was ok-with solenoid at the 4:00-5:00 position. Bad news-the wire connection terminal for the battery wire is now located superiorly and is relatively inaccessible- connect power supply to the starter before bolting to bellhousing. This will be difficult to check for tightness, adding petroleum jelly for protection, etc. I also used adhesive tape to hold the socket to the upper bolt/washer . You can actually jam your hand down from above and place socket on the upper bolt but I couldn't fasten the extension to the socket from above. Took about 2 hours working slowly with tea/coffee encouragement.

Fortunately the car started right up first try-much more quiet w/o the Lucas controlled crash/bang. I probably wouldn't have bothered with this if not concerned for my ring gear-only 15k milesfrom engine rebuild/clutch so not looking to pull the engine anytime soon. The Lucas starter never failed to start or actually seized on me but I am trying for preventive measures here, so I have overcome my purist nature with this choice. I will probably keep rocking the car before starting until I am more comfortable with this whole starting the Elan business.

Sorry for the long novel but hopefully this will be of use to someone contemplating a switch to gear reduction starting either by choice or despair.

Cheers,
Mark Whitaker 69S4DHC-8396
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:20 am

I generally use:
Socket--> Long extension bar --> Universal joint --> short extension bar --> T-Bar
for the upper starter motor bolt.
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PostPost by: potleyu18 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:15 am

Removed my on a plus 2 last night and found it much easier to remove the engine mount as it gives much more room to work in. Just make sure you support the engine before doing so.

Took me 20 minutes.

Steve
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PostPost by: powellsmail » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:13 pm

I studied this thread (and others) before removing my starter motor today. For what it’s worth, this is what I did.

Jacked up car on front cross member using trolley jack and piece of wood to brace across. At highest point slid my wheel ramps under the wheels (they just fitted) and then removed the trolley jack.

Removed cable and cracked off the lower nut to get a feel for the tightness. After reading all the posts on various routes to the top nut (including to make sure you take the right one out), and trying out different combinations of my two socket sets I went for 9/16 socket from my 3/8 socket set, a three inch extension bar, then a 3/8 to 1/2 inch adapter, then a five inch 1/2 inch extension bar. As a unit I could easily manoeuvre it into position lying below the car and then add a 1/2 inch rachet handle to loosen the bolt. This was the right length to clear the starter body and have enough space to apply appropriate force. No knuckle needed.

I also placed an axel stand under the motor to take its weight as I removed the bolt.

Good news is my flywheel ring looks good and the Bendix feels just a little sticky so when the special tool I bought on eBay arrives it should be a simple job to disassemble, clean and get going again. Was tempted to replace but apart from the bendix, the rest seems fine. I will have a look and see if there is such a thing as a bendix replacement kit as there are mild wear signs on it.
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:19 pm

Be aware that Bendixes can be funny things, I had the same problem as you many years ago & with the relevant compressor tool, I removed & cleaned the Bendix umpteen times, including eventually sanding/polishing the bits with fine wet&dry.

It would work perfectly on the bench, but each time I put the starter motor back in the car the Bendix-Sticking problem would recur. Eventually in desperation I got either a new Bendix, or a refurbed starter motor (sorry I forgot which) and the problem finally went away.

I noticed recently that I have a spare Bendix in my odds & sods box, so it looks likely that all I bought was the Bendix itself.
Last edited by billwill on Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Apr 10, 2020 2:13 am

When you have removed the Bendix slide it open to see if it is cracked/broken inside. I have seen many Bendix broken inside.
The last time i removed the Starter on my Sprint i also fitted a new Oillite Bush at the Bendix end of the Starter Shaft. There was some wear in the Bush and now the Starter doesn't jam.
You can get the Starter bushes from AES very cheap.
Alan
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PostPost by: powellsmail » Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:03 pm

Tool arrived. Bendix removed. Nothing obviously cracked or broken, but the helix does have some roughness on it which you can feel when twisting it. I have not tried to disassemble the barrel assembly as I have decided to replace it. Slightly surprised to find a 10 tooth pinion and not 9 but the same number is going back in as its worked ok for over 20 years.

New barrel assembly on order from AES.

On reassembly, what is the recommended lubricant?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:17 pm

I suggest you also order and fit a new Oil lite Bush at the Bendix end. Very easy to fit and they are usually worn and cause the Bendix to jam :shock:
Alan
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