Lotus Elan

Stuck Cam Cover

PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:54 pm

Thanks for the replies chaps.

Grizzly - I understand that having a mainly front lift whould be beneficial. If it comes to it , I shall arrange
some dubious device that pulls at both ends but biased towards the front.

Orsom - As it happens I know a chap who fits big screens onto Lorries and Trains! I shall have a word, he owes me a favour.

Plan is to remove the bonnet and radiator so as to get at the front easily and start the attack at the D thingies.

Hopefully a project for winter.

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PostPost by: snowyelan » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:29 pm

Piece of thin stainless wire pulled back and forth starting at a corner? Saw this used to cut a windshield out once.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:49 pm

Sounds like the best idea so far.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:09 pm

i fully agree - the chisel/hammer alternative also solves the problem BUT just toooo rudi mentary sandy
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:10 pm

snowyelan wrote:Piece of thin stainless wire pulled back and forth starting at a corner? Saw this used to cut a windshield out once.

Two things with this, first if the sealer was wet when the cover was tightened up you won't get a wire in without damaging the alloy (especially not cheese wire for windscreens.....there isn't a gap like there is with a gasket in place, think machined surface to machined surface), second the cams / timing gears stop you from going the short way across the cover with the wire (if that makes sense) so you can only really get at the corners if there was a gap.

I've also seen my brother use old school razor blades but again no gap and he had a very near miss when the blade broke as he was trying to move it along. He also tried a lever under the edge but all that did was chip the alloy cover.

Yep i've seen this all unfold first hand ;) that said it was on an Alfa so you may have more joy on a Lotus but remember it's aluminium your fighting with and very expensive parts so gentle as you go.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:12 am

snowyelan wrote:Piece of thin stainless wire pulled back and forth starting at a corner? Saw this used to cut a windshield out once.


I knew the gear lever bits were made of cheese but the camcover comes as a bit of a surprise. Still its another idea to consider so thanks for that.

Grizzly wrote:Yep i've seen this all unfold first hand ;) that said it was on an Alfa so you may have more joy on a Lotus but remember it's aluminium your fighting with and very expensive parts so gentle as you go.


So semtex is out then? It would probably just blow the sump off and leave the camcover unmoved!
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:39 pm

Another route and a long and tedious solution might be to contact the manufacturer and ask what solvent would dissolve the seal. Then it's a while with a very fine paint brush trying to get it into the minuscule gap.

Good Luck

I thought better of it but was going to attach an image of a rod....


For your back :D




Actually just reread the first post and its silicone so the solvent should be acetic acid or good old household vinegar. Presumably you still have some silicone left try a bit of vinegar off the car. Potentially cheap answer?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:51 pm

For the bathroom I bought off Fleabay some of the same ( silicon remover ) and it was rubbish,persevere with a sharp blade..

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:42 pm

At least it does not leak anymore! Well not from the camcover anyway. I've just had a 20 mile blat and the joint is dry. Which is a positive of sorts.

So it certainly works as a sealant. - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291814143925

I had thought of getting some sealant remover from Screwfix - http://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-s ... 0wod0ZQARQ

I do not see how I could get it in the joint.

On am amusing note I found that the spare wheel was deflated. Its also the wrong size (185 X 70) but heyho. Inflated it to the correct pressure and found it would not fit in the wheel well recess. Making it impossible to fit the boot floor properly. So it would appear that the seasoned, professional rebuilders, instead of fitting a correct and matching tyre, simply deflated the original so the floor would fit! Rendering it somewhat pointless in carrying a spare in the first place.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:15 pm

vincereynard wrote:On am amusing note I found that the spare wheel was deflated. Its also the wrong size (185 X 70) but heyho. Inflated it to the correct pressure and found it would not fit in the wheel well recess. Making it impossible to fit the boot floor properly. So it would appear that the seasoned, professional rebuilders, instead of fitting a correct and matching tyre, simply deflated the original so the floor would fit! Rendering it somewhat pointless in carrying a spare in the first place.

At least they didn't deflate it to get it in then blow it back up :lol:

I used to work in a accident repair shop and every so often we would get a car in that the spare faced down and had been smacked in the back collapsing the spare wheel well, we had hours of entertainment watching the apprentices trying to get it out without damaging the wheel or tyre :)
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:40 pm

For prying apart two machined aluminum surfaces, I have used paint stir sticks. Cut them into short pieces and sharpened them like a chisel. Gently tap them in between the two surfaces a short distance apart. The key is not to drive them in too far in the beginning to prevent warping things. The wood will not harm the metal and it is easy to make as many as you want.

On the spare tire, keep it, if it matches the tires on the ground, and buy a can of tire inflater, which you can toss in the spare tire well.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:47 pm

Was thinking about this before, if there is one place that is nearly always warped (so slightly better access) its the front of the cover between the two half moons, you may be able to get a blade in there. Don't try to hammer that area as it's the weakest point of the head, also if you try to remove the half moons be careful not to push the front ones In or they will bugger off down the timing cover (not sure the back ones have enough space to go in but even if they did they won't go anywhere nasty)
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PostPost by: SJ Lambert » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:04 am

heat torch around the area til it get s spit sizzle hot and a couple of gentle taps with a mallet - it'll let go.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:31 pm

elanfan1 wrote:I thought better of it but was going to attach an image of a rod....
For your back :D


Who needs a stick when you own a Lotus? Tried the vinegar, the silicone ignores it. Still it does mask the petrol pong!

Grizzly wrote:Was thinking about this before, if there is one place that is nearly always warped (so slightly better access) its the front of the cover between the two half moons, you may be able to get a blade in there.

Starting at the half moons would seem a sound plan. Can the timing cover be removed without lifting the head. Just out of interest you understand.

SJ Lambert wrote:heat torch around the area til it get s spit sizzle hot and a couple of gentle taps with a mallet - it'll let go.


I had considered that but I'm wary of applying localised heat to Lotus cheese ally. Not to mention I
played it careful and "invested" in super silicone that is safe to 300 degrees!
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PostPost by: Chancer » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:06 pm

Just 'kin hit it!

Use a rubber deadblow hammer and ask someone who is handy on the Tools and has some mechanical sympathy if you are not sure how much of a beating to give it and where.

Any mechanic in the day or at the present time would not allow this problem to take more than 3 seconds of his time, I dread to think of the collective hours that have been spent agonising and posting.

Make it have it! Show it who is the boss!

I will say though that I am at the dangerous stage where I have all the knowledge and techniques but havn(t kept my hand in and find it more difficult to gauge force and the resistance of something than when I had permenantly oily hands, I snap bolts now that in the past I would have felt approaching yield and not gone beyond the elastic limit. An old school cam cover is very strong and incredibly resistant compared to todays fine castings
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