Lotus Elan

Twink BVH Engine Oil Change & Rocker Cover Gasket

PostPost by: yosini » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:31 pm


I had the twink in my Plus 2 rebuilt by a well recognised UK Lotus specialist a couple of years ago. It was good for the first 100 miles then lots of problems starting and running meant that I never had the opportunity to get it back to them, or drive it much. So consequently the 500 miles running in has taken 2 years....I was never wildly impressed with their service so would rather avoid the 200 mile round trip for them to change the oil and filter and probably charge me for it as well so thought I'd do it myself. With a little help from people on here.....

So, firstly what oil and filter do folks recommend, and also the rocker gasket is leaking - even sticking out loose at one point so I'll certainly have to change that - are there any recommended suppliers or types/brands to avoid/buy? When I asked them on the phone what they would do it was just change the oil and filter but is there anything else I should tighten/check/do?

Thanks in advance

1974 Lotus Elan Plus2 130/5
1962 Daimler Dart
1968 Jensen Interceptor Mk1
1969 Rover P6 3500
1972 TVR Vixen 2500
1972 Maserati Indy 4.7
1980 VW Camper T25
1988 Toyota Hilux Pickup
1996 TVR Cerbera 4.2
2003 Smart Roadster
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:31 am

After a 500 mile running in period and assuming you have done enough full throttle accelerations to properly bed in the rings I would do the following:

1. Change oil for the best quality full synthetic 20W/50 oil of your choice
2. Change the filter for a name brand quality Cortina filter. I would not buy a "Lotus" branded filter of unknown source from anyone
3. Check the head bolt tension if you have a torque wrench and know how to use it
4. Go over all the other external bolts on the engine you can reach ,especially the sump to ensure they are still tight.
5. Check the ignition timing
6. Check the carb balance
7. Check the V belt tension, it should be loose enough when the engine is cold to be able to just slip the dynamo ,/ alternator pulley by hand. it tightens when the engine is hot
8.Wipe down the whole engine to clean it and closely inspect as you do it for oil leaks and water leaks and any other issues such as rubbing cables or hoses. Helps to have hoist to do what you need to reach from the bottom.
9. Get out and drive it and enjoy


PS good to see you have at least one reliable car in the Hilux :lol:
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PostPost by: pauljones » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:44 pm

Oil filter from Halfords HOF203
Oil from Halfords, classic 20/50
Plugs, from Halfords. I use super 4.
Swap to electronic ignition. No, not from Halfords. Im a big fan of Aldon ignitor 2 and flame thrower coil.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:13 pm

Hi Joe

Hope all is well and the TVR is still OK :-).

Re oil - I'd use a decent quality branded oil filter as the op have said. I'd be inclined to go with a decent classic 20/50 rather than synthetic but change it yearly and/or every 1500 miles whichever comes up first.
The cam box gasket, get a decent replacement from Sue Millar or Matty's. Refit iaw the manual, but chack the cam cover isn't bowed. If it blows out again then it may be you are getting excessive crankcase pressure due to a blocked breather or worse worm rings or valve guides....
Matthew Vale - Classic Motoring Author
1968 Plus 2 - Somewhat cosmetically and mechanically modified
1969 Plus 2S - Currently undergoing nut and bolt restoration
Visit me on matthewvale.com
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:23 am

If the cam cover gasket is loose in some places while secure in others, either the cam cover nuts have not been tightened evenly to the correct torque or it's been over tightened and distorted at some time in the past. If you have a good flat surface - glass plate is good - remove the cam cover and see if it sits flat on it. If it rocks at all it's distorted, hold it in one position and check around it with feeler gauges to see just how bad it is. The gasket should take up small amounts, probably .010" to .015" should be ok but more is cause for concern, especially if it is where the gasket was loose. Selective tightening of the cover bolts might cure it but really it will need machining if it's distorted much more than that. Don't be tempted to fill the gaps with some sort of gasket goo, bits can come off on the inside and travel around inside the engine and end up who knows where!
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:45 am

If you have a rocker cover, your rebuilder put a pushrod engine in place of your Twin Cam. I'd sue if it were me.
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1967 Elan S3
1972 Europa Twin Cam
2005 Elise
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:56 am

The Halfords HOF203 filter is the standard Ford type & is fine for the T/C engine - cheap as well!

I would use a high quality fully synthetic 20/50 oil - must have a high zinc content for the best protection. This isn't cheap!

I fitted a Cometic cam cover gasket a few years ago & it has proved to be perfect so far (though I have not yet tried to reuse it) The fitting process is key & it is vital to ensure that all surfaces are flat & very clean. You should use a gasket sealer - sparingly - under the D plugs..

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PostPost by: elanman999 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:15 pm

As it's a fresh-ish engine the other thing I would check is the tappets. Checking is easy but adjustment is a tad more work.
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