Lotus Elan

Replacing core plug on block

PostPost by: el torro » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:26 pm

It's the one on right side of exhaust manifold,engine block is f code ,1967 I think,any suggestions welcome
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:04 pm

Not sure what the problem is - is the engine in situ? If there is room then punch a hole in the old one and lever it out, then clean up the edges of the hole and gently tap in a replacement with a drift making sure to have a smear of Wellseal on the edge. Job done.
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:29 pm

I had to replace one in situate after a new one leaked due to me not fitting it correctly. I'd recommend investing in a suitable tool and use suitable engineers hammer.

I bought "OTC (4603) Frost Plug Remover/Installer Set" which allowed me to drive the new plug in with out any strip down of engine or too much hassle. I suspect it could be done with suitable length of rod/pipe etc but would be a royal pain. You may trash a core plug or two attempting it too.
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PostPost by: el torro » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:55 pm

Yup engine in situ,removed exhaust manifold,nightmare even with engine mount off,should have put front of car on ramps,will do when replacing them,core plugs on that side now exposed rear one is corroded might be as well to replace both on that side,rear box is really heavy but no rattles from it,onwards and upwards , will I ever get to drive it ??
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PostPost by: Donels » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:42 am

I recently had to replace the core plugs on an 'A' series engine. Never done it before so was with some trepidation. However, it was really easy, but the engine was out. Most difficult bit was getting the old one out. They are slightly dished and remain in place, and sealed, by slightly flattening the dishing. So you need to ensure you have access to do this.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:19 pm

Donels wrote:I recently had to replace the core plugs on an 'A' series engine. Never done it before so was with some trepidation. However, it was really easy, but the engine was out. Most difficult bit was getting the old one out. They are slightly dished and remain in place, and sealed, by slightly flattening the dishing. So you need to ensure you have access to do this.Dave


The Ford core plugs are not the same as the BMC ?A? series plugs, as noted the BMC type are a saucer design and expanded by tapping the centre, the Ford type are a cup type shape and are just pressed into the block hole and sealed with gasket compound, you do not expand them by hitting the centre.
You will still need space to tap them in though.
There are some small saucer type plugs on the early Lotus heads but that is not what is being discussed.
The Ford block takes three 1 5/8? cup type plugs, two in the exhaust side and one at the back but unfortunately it is covered by the bell housing behind the flywheel and only accessible with the engine out, you will just have to hope that rear one is not corroded.
(Re the three 1 5/8? plugs, from memory although I could be wrong, the rear core plug on the 701 blocks are 2? the same as the 711 block)
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:41 pm

In a perfect world the ideal would be to pull the engine, have full access and know its done properly. In practice it is possible to leave everything in place, struggle with drifts, drop the plug on the floor a few times, skin your knuckles etc and have the engine watertight in no time at all, although I have not actually done it!

I do know a man that did however.

I went to work in my Elan a few years ago and after parking saw the tell tale puddle, fortunately the owner of an adjacent auto engineering business said he would do it. After getting a few tools he fitted a plug behind the manifold and was refilling the cooling system, all within 10 minutes. Its still in place 20 years later.

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