Lotus Elan

Timing chest cork gasket - head off?

PostPost by: JonB » Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:34 am

Might be an odd question but I'll ask it anyway.

I need a new gasket for the timing chest to head seal. It's peeing oil everywhere. I've had a look at the parts diagram and it appears that I could replace it by taking the water pump casing off. I'm reluctant to remove the head as it has excellent compression and I fear that "while I'm there I might as well do XXX" thing.

Am I talking out of my hat, or is this possible? Note, I didn't say "easy". The other question is "if possible, how likely is it that I'd get a good seal?"
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:22 am

Possible yes - but you have to also drop the sump and if you do it the chances of a good seal are not great.
I did it once when I needed to replace a water pump but never again
Easier to take the head off.

cheers
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:15 am

Hi Jon,
the question is do you want to do a proper job.
Where do you have other Oil leaks, for sure there are other Oil leaks (it's a twin cam normal).
Imho it would be better to remove Engine and change all Gaskets and Seals over Winter.
Take your time and when the Engine is back in you will be so pleased :wink:
Alan
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:39 am

The cork gasket is half over the rear of the timing chest and half over the front, so you would also need to take off the rear of the timing case, which in turn implies the chain, the upper sprockets and the layshaft sprocket. As mentioned you also need to lower the sump, but it won't come off completely with the engine in situ, due to the bar on the chassis.

All too much effort (and possibility of things going wrong ).

I have twice done the waterpump without taking the head off, but I only removed the front cover of the timing case! I then cut a new cork gasket in half to fit the front half and refitted the front cover using some extra sealant at the cut edges of the cork. It did sort of work but there was still some oil seepage through that joint
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PostPost by: tvacc » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:12 pm

Honestly, Take the head off. Lots easier. You will never get it to seal right. That cork gasket is compressed once you get it in place. Don't see that happening with any reliability from the bottom pushing upwards.

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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:22 pm

Ok, engine out then...

I meant to do this anyway as I have lots of other things to do (including seals). But I wanted to see if I could stave off the evil day by repairing the worst leak.

So, head gasket sets. Where is the best quality set to be had? I'm not taking chances...
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:17 pm

Good choice. Do it right and once. My humble opinion only but I think the Cometic head gaskets are very good.

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:03 am

JonB wrote:Ok, engine out then...

I meant to do this anyway as I have lots of other things to do (including seals). But I wanted to see if I could stave off the evil day by repairing the worst leak.

So, head gasket sets. Where is the best quality set to be had? I'm not taking chances...

+1 good decision Jon and you can clean up the Engine Bay at the same time :mrgreen:
Alan
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:07 am

So where do you see the leaks Jon ?

I think I?m experiencing similar, as I have oil on top of the generator, a small drip on the middle of the front cross member but no real trails on the front of the sump below the crank seal, and some oil at the back of the sump where I think it?s blown back.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:27 am

Hi Richard

I have oil p1ssing out everywhere from the looks of it, but I think most of it is getting blown back from the timing chest seal. It's got so bad, I have had to put lino down in my garage. Then I have to clean the lino periodically, because it gets covered.

:(
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:53 am

Hi Jon,
it's the same on my Sprint and i put an old Plastic Table Cloth under the Car.
When SWBO buys a new Plastic Table Cloth she passes the old one on to me. :lol:
At the moment i just mop up the Oil and try to convince myself that it's like a constant very slow Oil change. :cry:
But it doesn't seem to be working so i must do the same remove Engine to change all seals and Gaskets :roll:
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:04 am

I only have a few random drips but find a strip of cardboard to be a good way of protecting the floor.
The oil soaks in so that there is no liquid oil on the surface. I change the cardboard when a new piece becomes available. No cleaning up to do.
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:49 pm

ericbushby wrote:I only have a few random drips but find a strip of cardboard to be a good way of protecting the floor.
The oil soaks in so that there is no liquid oil on the surface. I change the cardboard when a new piece becomes available. No cleaning up to do.
Eric in Burnley
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+ 1 for the carboard, with a 1 metre grow bag tray on top.
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:42 am

Hi
Most imporant is the sealants you use with the gaskets
There is plenty of info on here esp Rohans comments, it makes all the difference
Do it right
Regards

John

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