Lotus Elan

Help with My Zetec Spyder Lotus Elan

PostPost by: Robzildjian » Wed May 10, 2017 4:15 pm

Hi all,

I'm currently driving my beloved zetec Elan through France on holiday from England. We have been traveling a few days now with no problems. Today however, the car has started to lose power if I go uphill or try to accelerate hard. It kind of stutters. Runs fine on flat or if I accelerate very slowly. It has just come on. Any ideas for a solution whilst traveling? Do people think it will get me back home or am I looking at a recovery job?

Advice appreciated!

Rob
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed May 10, 2017 4:56 pm

Rob,
It sounds like crud from the tank is blocking the fuel pump, the same thing happened to me a few years back. The car ran fine on the flat and when manoeuvring in traffic but lost power and died uphill or when pushing on.

The solution is to clamp the fuel pipe between the tank and the pump, then remove the pipe from the pump and using a couple of wires connected to the battery connect them to the pump terminals in reverse to make the pump run backwards (it will) to eject the crud that has built up. You need a bowl for the fuel that will be ejected and or spilt when you remove the pipe and someone standing by with a fire extinguisher for safety. Trust me it works and you will be running fine again.

Good luck

Bon Courage!

Alan

Edit: Rob it should get you home okay, all that's happening is that the inlet to the pump is restricted by crud from the tank, there is a gauze type filter inside the pump inlet to stop large bits of rust or whatever from the tank getting into the works. The car should run fine in a sort of limp home mode, great for fuel economy :D
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Wed May 10, 2017 9:33 pm

Thanks Alan. I will have a go at fixing in the morning. Your description of the problem seems to fit perfectly. It was slightly disconcerting.

I will let you know how I get on!

Here is the car in Roscoff just as we got off the Ferry.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu May 11, 2017 8:17 am

Great Picture!

If you have the original steel tank converted for fuel injection then it's most likely rust particles, it only takes a flake or two and it should be obvious when you run the pump in reverse for a couple of seconds.
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Thu May 11, 2017 8:57 am

Alan,

Btw I also notice that the fuel pump became a bit noisier a couple of days ago and sounded like it was straining. I wonder if that is a sign of the blockage? It seems to have an inline canister filter, the same size as the pump and then the pump. Do you suggest backflowing through the filter or direct from the pump?
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PostPost by: pauljones » Thu May 11, 2017 9:43 am

My Elan has a filter before a hp pump and a second one straight after it. If that sounds like yours then you should be able to seperate all components and back flush them. A good clean in fresh fuel and leave to dry. Id imagne good to go afterwards. My hp pump is 044 bosche and instructions say not to let run dry and have pre filter as its easily damaged by debris.

Paul
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu May 11, 2017 10:08 am

Rob,
Yes definitely, if the pump is noisier it's becoming blocked.

If you have a filter first, then the pump, the filter will be blocked. You can clamp the pipe between the filter and the tank and reverse the pump, which should hopefully clear the blockage.

If you have the original steel tank and your Zetec conversion was done by spyder the pump will be connected to the tank then a pipe will run to a swirl pot then a filter that goes to the injectors. if you have a filter first, then this will be clogged and not the pump

Instructions if you have a Spyder converted car with steel tank. (improvise as needed)
Clamp the pipe between the tank and the pump.
Disconnect the pipe from pump and get ready to catch the fuel from the swirl pot, probably some debris will come out.
then
Using a separate 12v power source (or disconnect the battery and use that, but under no circumstances leave it connected!) run a + to the - terminal and vice versa on the pump to make it run in reverse, it will suck the rest of the fuel and eject the debris.

If in doubt ring Andy at Spyder +44 (0)1733203986, he's there today and I spoke to him earlier on your behalf.

Here's mine which is an aluminium tank (I changed from a steel tank after the debris incident). 1st pipe from tank goes to the pump, then next pipe goes to the filter, the swirl pot is inside the tank.
2017-05-11-10.38.49.jpg and
but whatever system you have it's almost certain you have a fuel blockage given the symptons.
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PostPost by: Robzildjian » Fri May 12, 2017 9:41 am

Alan, Paul,

In preparation, I picked up a replacement filter from a very helpful Peugeot garage 2 minutes from our hotel in Treguier who also volunteered to help me resolve the fault if I went in at 9am this morning - they volunteered to reshuffle their appointments. Sebastian was the young chief mechanic who was keen to help.

We ran the pump in reverse as Alan suggested - it pump out clear...
Change the filter - tested the old one and it ran through easily.

I lifted the spare wheel out to get a better look and noticed that the fuel pipe was folded and crushed underneath the wheel. This was clearly causing the blockage probably worsened by the weight of the luggage in the boot on this trip (mainly Kate's shoes!) We performed a minor rerout by cutting the pipe and shortening by 2 inches to run next to as opposed to underneath the spare.

Voila - problem solved the car runs perfectly again and has a new filter. A generous tip for Sebastian and 20euros for the filter seemed like a bargain.

A big thank you for your help and advice Alan and Paul.

The French Elan adventure can continue...

Rob
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PostPost by: pauljones » Fri May 12, 2017 9:47 am

Fantastic,

Very happy for you.

Paul
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri May 12, 2017 9:49 am

Rob,
That's a great outcome, it's good to know the inside of your tank isn't rusty, mine was affected by condensation from 20 years standing idle.

Also good to know that younger motor mechanics don't just plug cars into the computer to find out what's wrong, well done Sebastian.
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