Lotus Elan

Sump oil pan advice

PostPost by: SENC » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:09 am

69 S4 FHC

Like a dope, I managed to strip my oil plug/sump threads today - so looking for some advice. From scouring this and other sites, it looks like the best bet is going to be to replace the pan - and that such replacement is possible from beneath.

1 - any recommended sources for a pan?
2 - any mods or upgrades you would suggest while in this process?
3 - any tips or trick you learned?

While gathering parts and waiting, assuming I can get the plug out, I'm wondering about epoxying the plug back in so I can keep working on other odds and ends and drive periodically. Bad idea? Have a better one?

Other ideas or recommendations?
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PostPost by: promotor » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:41 am

Is it a 4-bolt or 6-bolt sump? In my experience the plug usually strips before the sump thread does in 6-bolt sumps so as you say it's getting it out that's the problem!

I removed a stripped plug in a 6-bolt sump recently that would just spin but didn't want to come out - I used a screwdriver to lever/apply pressure under the plug head while turning the plug with a socket to get the thread to "bite" - it was like I was having to re-thread the plug in the parent thread. It worked after a bit of perseverance. However, the sump was off the engine so I could see what was/wasn't spinning! Hard to tell if both parts are moving while still on the car!

The original 4-bolt sumps were far better in that they had a decent threaded section welded onto the outside of the sump and I suppose you could re-thread that type as there's quite a bit of metal in them. Compared to the 6-bolt spot-welded plate it's probably an easier repair on the 4-bolt.

Why fit a new sump? Couldn't you just weld a nut inside/outside the sump? You may need to change the thread pitch and size if you can't find a nut with the same thread as an existing sump plug. It should be straight forward though as it's only a UNF thread as I recall.

All is not lost. I'd certainly not want to pay the price of a replacement sump here in UK as they are silly-money now!

Best of luck! Keep us informed!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:17 am

When i had a problem like this on a +2 Elan i bought a new Sump Plug. Because the new Sump Plug had a full thread it was enough to tighten in the Sump. Of course i fitted a new Washer and put silicone sealant then tightened carefully and didn't torque load.
Good luck
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:14 pm

You can but thread repair kits specifically for sumps (Google sump thread repair kit), if the thread is gone that is what I would start with.

After that I'd look at welding a nut in.

From what I've seen 6 bolt sumps are thin on the ground so that is going to be a tricky solution.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:29 pm

Try a new Sump Plug first finger tight with sealant 8) nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
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PostPost by: SENC » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:38 pm

Awaiting a new plug and definitely hoping to get lucky with a simple solution, but figured I'd start looking for a replacement pan and start planning as I'm not prone to such good luck. Will also look into some repair kits.

promotr - it is a 6 bolt

Thanks for the initial responses, and certainly welcome other ideas, suggestions, or sources for parts.
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PostPost by: SENC » Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:45 pm

I guess another alternative would be to just weld the drain plug in place and change oil from the top until I get around to a more complete restoration in a few years. Any thoughts on that? Anyone use a hand pump to extract oil through the dipstick tube?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:03 am

If a new standard plug does not seal with teflon tape i would look for the next slightly bigger plug size ( maybe metric) and tap the hole to suit the slightly larger plug. Take care to recover any metal fragments from the tapping to the new size by filling the slots in the tap with grease and only tapping a little at a time before cleaning the tap and regreasing.

cheers
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PostPost by: miked » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:16 pm

I successfully did what Rohan suggests on a Plus 2 with the sump in situ'.

Mike :D
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:09 am

Just in case you are still considering one or just interested to see what silly price a sump will go for:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Elan-Ford-Cortina-Mk2-Sump-/232282920871?hash=item36152417a7:g:IkUAAOSwuLZY1rZE
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PostPost by: promotor » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:53 pm

It'll have to go some to beat this one at ?446:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lotus-Cortina ... Sw32lYqfGO
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:50 pm

Not an Elan, but I have in the past successfully brazed a nut to a large washer, then brazed the washer to the sump. Worked like a dream.
I used a washer to spread the load on the relatively thin sheet metal of the sump.
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PostPost by: SENC » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:21 pm

Got lucky and just stripped the plug and not the pan. Getting the plug out was the biggest challenge, but a standard plug screwed right in and sealed it right up.

While underneath I discovered the sump pan is missing a couple bolts on the front edge, which explains the leaking I've noticed. I know there are 2 sizes of bolts - do any of you know which sizes are in front off hand?

Also need to replace the sway-bar bushes that have rotted out - any tips or tricks before I order parts?
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:43 pm

The bolts were originally all the same size. The front ones that go into the Lotus alloy from cover often have strip the threads and larger bolts fitted after the cover has been retapped.

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PostPost by: SENC » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:48 pm

Thanks Rohan - I was under the impression not all were the same length. I'll take another out and match it, then.
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