Lotus Elan

Starter pinion - how many teeth?

PostPost by: HJF » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:21 am

Plan to renew the starter. Always assumed 9 teeth for 110 ring gear and 10 for 135. Powerlite starter is, I believe, 9 teeth. Brian Buckland book implies use 10. What?s the answer please?
Confused,
Harry
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:59 am

Harry
IMHO it depends on the state of your engine,battery and wiring..

If you have a tight , high-compression engine go for the 9 ,or if you have problems with your battery/wiring ( which you should sort first. )

If you engine is high mileage , loose , lower compression go for the 10 .

Both will fit

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PostPost by: HJF » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:37 pm

My main concern is if the mesh is not correct I could suffer ring gear tooth damage ... what do you think?
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 pm

HJF wrote:My main concern is if the mesh is not correct I could suffer ring gear tooth damage ... what do you think?

For years lately I suffered repeated pinion wear and jamming leading to ring gear wear.

Two years ago I shrunk on a new ring gear and following Buckland's advice used a 10 tooth pinion, fitted on the old motor, and it still sounds perfect 7,000 miles later.
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PostPost by: ceejay » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 pm

After recent engine rebuild the old Bosch starter really struggled, its never been a good starter,
so I changed over to a modern high torque starter with ten tooth pinion... never been happier. Only way to go.
Attachments
starter-pinion-engaged.jpg and
Teeth engaged
starter-pinion-retracted.jpg and
Pinion retracted.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:56 pm

ceejay wrote:After recent engine rebuild the old Bosch starter really struggled, its never been a good starter,so I changed over to a modern high torque starter with ten tooth pinion... never been happier. Only way to go.


I've lost count of how many times this topic has been discussed before on this forum!! Suggest the OP search previous posts for information. With the Ford 4 speed gearbox the correct pinion should be 9 tooth. I personally wouldn't trust Bucklands or Wilkins books 100%. I'm aware of errors in the Wilkins book at least. Your best source for the most correct information is original Lotus and Ford parts and workshop manuals.


That high torque starter pinion does not look to be a good mesh with the ring gear pinion based on the photo by the way. I would personally would not spend my money on one but that's just me!
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PostPost by: ceejay » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:50 am

Difficult to get the correct camera angle to show correlation of the pinion/ring gear teeth mesh, but it is good and FYI the combination works perfectly, ten times better than what the old Bosch starter was like, and certainly have no intention to go back to the old.
We all have personal likes/dislikes when it comes to the elan and the twink engine, the thing with any forum is to read and learn from others experience and take from it what you will.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:06 am

ceejay wrote: ten times better than what the old Bosch starter


Are you sure you replaced a Bosch starter and not a Lucas one? I've only ever seen Bosch starters on Ford Escorts with automatic transmissions and they are all of the pre-engaged type anyway so why would you bother changing.
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PostPost by: ceejay » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:07 am

Yes and yes, Bosch pre-engaged was crap. End of story.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:21 am

Was the Bosch original Lotus? News to me. On all Ford Kent engine derivatives regardless of vehicle type it's installed in (Lotus or Ford) it's been Lucas inertia engagement type starters with manual transmissions and pre-engaged type starters with automatic transmissions (of either Bosch or Lucas manufacturer).

No wonder you had problems if someone previously installed a Bosch pre-engaged starter intended for use with automatic transmission on your vehicle with manual transmission. They aren't interchangeable.
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PostPost by: ceejay » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:46 am

I've had the elan for thirty five years, it previously had "Lucas prince of darkness" inertia starter, that old thing died a natural death, so the next available item from Auto-elect shop was the Bosch pre-engaged, it did work OK for a long time, then it too died, so now have the Hi Torque and it works fine... Now I know the engine will start every time I hit the Ign key without any of the metallic hysterics prev experienced.

I am over and out on this subject now.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:01 am

"Lucas Prince of Darkness" I think was mainly a term conjured up by car manufactures to excuse their totally inept wiring designs!!
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:12 am

I have used Bosch pre-engage starters from the 70's with no issues on my Elan and Plus 2 for the last 30 plus years. I fitted them with 9 tooth pinions which was a standard Bosch part option. They have a three bolt mounting but mount well with just the two bolts of the Twincam bell housing.

The Bosch electrics and mechanical build is top class compared to Lucas and better than modern Japanese gear reduction starters with adaptors which tend to flex to much IMHO. Unfortunately they are getting hard to find these days but fortunately I got a couple of spares many years back,

cheers
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:21 am

rgh0 wrote:I
The Bosch electrics and mechanical build is top class compared to Lucas and better than modern Japanese gear reduction starters with adaptors which tend to flex to much IMHO. Unfortunately they are getting hard to find these days but fortunately I got a couple of spares many years back,
Rohan


Sorry but I have to disagree that all Bosch products are better than Lucas. Lucas alternators are never a problem and equivalent to Bosch reliability wise. Similarly Lucas pre-engaged starters are comparable to Bosch pre-engaged starters reliability wise. I've had experience with both and the most common failure with the pre-engaged types is high resistance in the solenoid contacts leading to the familiar "click" and no start condition whether Lucas or Bosch. Have you experienced a Bosch distributor fitted to a Peugeot? Has a lovely NBR oil seal located at top of the shaft. In short order it's guaranteed to go hard and brittle due to engine heat and oil absolutely pisses everywhere. Nothing wrong with OE Lucas coils either. Exactly the same as Bosch reliability wise.

I can attest to the fact that "German engineering excellence" whilst sometimes true is very often not. I recently picked up a non working latest model Bosch dishwasher worth $1,200 for the princely sum of $150. Upon further investigation I found the main motor drive PCB had white corrosion deposits on it from water immersion. Quick scrub with some PCB cleaner and hey presto all was good! I was surprised that there was absolutely no hermetic sealing of the board in a dishwasher. Quick spray with some PCB sealing lacquer fixed that but why didn't they do that at the factory in the first place??

Ever experienced trying to buy spare parts from a German appliance company for DIY? Just not possible. By comparison with Fisher and Paykel anybody can just order parts directly from the factory via the internet!!

Ever tried to deal with a German supplier as an OE manufacturer?? Problem with the part in your vehicle?? Sorry your dealers aren't allowed to touch it. It must be sent back to us for repair!!
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:55 am

strange not to "hear" about the HELLA (german quality!!) copy which is outstanding: the ally bits are of much better design and a true alternative, no doubts! sandy
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