Lotus Elan

Engine removal to replace ring gear on flywheel

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:10 am

My Plus 2 was making a horrible noise on starting so I pulled the Lucas starter motor and could see why, the pinion was mashed up and so unfortunately, but inevitably, was the ring gear. I've ordered a WOSP starter motor from Sue Miller but will need to replace the ring gear before fitting it.

So, my question is, what is the easiest way to get the engine out? Separate the bellhousing from the engine and leave the box in the car or pull the whole lot out as a single unit?

Unfortunately I don't have the benefit of a lift so any work under the car will involve scrabbling around on the floor with the car on ramps/stands.

As always, I appreciate your real-world experiences.
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:57 am

Andy
Pull the engine leave in the box, but always consider any other work whilst the engine is out.
You may be able to remove the fly wheel while the engine is pulled back from the gearbox depends what lifting equipment you have. I have a chain block above the engine area and would be able to do it although my recent clutch change I fully removed the engine.

Good luck

DSC03850.JPG and
note the clearance in front of the engine
Regards

John

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PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:06 am

Hawksfield wrote:Andy
Pull the engine leave in the box, but always consider any other work whilst the engine is out.
You may be able to remove the fly wheel while the engine is pulled back from the gearbox depends what lifting equipment you have. I have a chain block above the engine area and would be able to do it although my recent clutch change I fully removed the engine.

Good luck

DSC03850.JPG


thanks John, those were my initial thoughts, but wanted confirmation from someone who had done it.

Once it is separated, it makes sense to me to pull it out completely.

Is there enough clearance between the front of the engine and the chassis cross member to be able to move the engine forward sufficiently before it is hoisted up without putting too much strain on the gearbox input shaft?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Aug 13, 2020 12:27 pm

While Engine is out replace the Spigot Bearing in end of Crankshaft .
If the Clutch has done many miles replace it.
Also with the Flywheel removed to fit new Ring Gear get the Flywheel lightly refaced no matter what it looks like. Buy Cetralising Tool for Clutch it's easier.
Make sure you get the correct Ring Gear :wink: :wink:
Alan
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:01 pm

I recently had the flywheel refaced and a new starter ring fitted by John Wilcox in Hinckley. Cost was around £100 all in with a three day turn round.
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PostPost by: elans3 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:45 pm

Agree with all the above, I've done several clutch changes with the engine in the air, gearbox still in place (blocked or jacked up), both on the T/C, and other cars, but then I also have a block & tackle with enough room to push the car back once it's clear of the engine, rest the motor on a stout wooden box, and do the job.
One thing I would say is that the two WOSP starters I've had experience of, have been poor.Both in Alfa 105 Twincams), both were ok for about three months, then power loss occurred, both went back under warranty, 2nd one I got a refund as I went back to a standard starter.
I'd point out that neither were via Sue Miller, where I'm happy to say I've always had A1 service & quality.
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PostPost by: Higs » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:50 pm

I would always leave the gearbox in situ.

To remove the engine, I remove:

    Radiator
    Carbs
    Alternator
    Exhaust manifold (and remove them from from exhaust y-piece*)
    Starter motor

I disconnect:

    Fuel line to fuel pump
    Heater hoses to either side of engine
    Leads to coil, temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge and distributor

I suspend the engine using the thermostat housing on one side and the engine mounting in the inlet side (ropes going in between the inlet manifold web - I also use a thin line to ensure the rope cannot slide off the engine mounting).

Then:

    Remove the two bellhousing bolts at the back of the engine block/cylinder head

    Disconnect engine mountings from chassis

    Lift engine as high as possible so that the sump will clear the chassis cross member

    Support the gearbox with an axle stand or similar*

    Remove the final 4 bellhousing bolts

    Remove the bolts holding the cover plate to the bottom of the bell housing*

    Pull engine/clutch forward off the transmission input shaft

    Hoist away


The only things that need access under the car are marked with as asterisk (*). Although not strictly required, you may well find it easier to disconnect/connect the engine mounting from underneath.

Rohan has done a post with pictures for his Elan:

https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=46421

I don't remove the cross brace or the anti-roll bar on my Plus 2.

Hope this helps,

Richard
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PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:23 pm

Higs wrote:I would always leave the gearbox in situ.

To remove the engine, I remove:

    Radiator
    Carbs
    Alternator
    Exhaust manifold (and remove them from from exhaust y-piece*)
    Starter motor

I disconnect:

    Fuel line to fuel pump
    Heater hoses to either side of engine
    Leads to coil, temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge and distributor

I suspend the engine using the thermostat housing on one side and the engine mounting in the inlet side (ropes going in between the inlet manifold web - I also use a thin line to ensure the rope cannot slide off the engine mounting).

Then:

    Remove the two bellhousing bolts at the back of the engine block/cylinder head

    Disconnect engine mountings from chassis

    Lift engine as high as possible so that the sump will clear the chassis cross member

    Support the gearbox with an axle stand or similar*

    Remove the final 4 bellhousing bolts

    Remove the bolts holding the cover plate to the bottom of the bell housing*

    Pull engine/clutch forward off the transmission input shaft

    Hoist away


The only things that need access under the car are marked with as asterisk (*). Although not strictly required, you may well find it easier to disconnect/connect the engine mounting from underneath.

Rohan has done a post with pictures for his Elan:

https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=46421

I don't remove the cross brace or the anti-roll bar on my Plus 2.

Hope this helps,

Richard


That is a very helpful description of the process Richard, thank you.

I did see Rohan's post with the detailed images and in fact i have just asked a question on that thread which i will repeat here for the sake of completeness:

My ring gear doesn't look as bad as a first feared now i've had a good look at it so I may be able to avoid pulling the engine on this occasion. However, my ring gear has a bevel on the back (gearbox side) but not the front (engine side). That was fine for the old Lucas inertia starter motor which threw the pinion in from the rear but the WOSP pre-engaged starter throws it in from the front where there is no bevel on that leading edge.

What do you guys think? Rohan indicated this won't cause a problem, and I'd be happy if that was the case but don't want to risk mashing up the pinion on the new WOSP starter...
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:38 pm

Hi Andy,
it's good to know that the Ring Gear is OK.
On my Sprint i still have a Lucas Starter no problem.
I imagine on your car it has had a Lucas Starter for many years.
On my car i fitted a new Bendix Gear and also a new Bush next to the Bendix and it works perfect.
Easy to do and very cheap good for many more years.
Alan
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:48 pm

Eric,
unnamed.jpg and
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:55 pm

Hi Andy,
I had similar thoughts when fitting a modern starter motor, but my flywheel was chamfered on both sides so it was OK.
A friend bought the same type of motor (Powerlite) but his ring gear was only chamfered on one side.
He asked the manufacturers about this and they assured him that it would cope with it and work correctly.
That has proved to be the case for some years now.
Now I am just speculating.
I wonder if the solenoid current also passes through the motor winding so that if the pinion does not engage properly, the the motor turns under low power until the teeth line up.
Only then can the solenoid complete its travel to engage the pinion and close the internal contact and put full power to the motor.
Does anyone know if this is so, or have you any other ideas how it works.
Eric in Burnley
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PS. The above post has just been added by craven which shows something along those lines. Thanks Craven
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:57 pm

Probably why it looks like a very high solenoid current, when in fact its motoring the starter first.
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PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:02 pm

Thank you chaps. I think I'll fit it and monitor, but with a higher degree of confidence than if I hadn't asked the question!!
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:03 pm

Hi Craven,
That got complicated because I realised that I had replied on the wrong thread, Rohan`s topic.
Your reply arrived whilst I was moving it to here.
Just for interest the solenoid current on mine is 6 Amps, not the much higher figures which have been mentioned here a few times.
Cheers
Eric
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PostPost by: brettengelaz » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:38 pm

I've used a jack under the bell housing to get the angle needed for the sump to clear the front cross member. Then I support the transmission from above using a brace across the footwells and a strap of some kind around the bell housing. This lets me roll the car around with the engine out.. See the attached ...
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