Lotus Elan

RWD Motorsports bellhousing and starter

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:42 pm

Asking anyone using the RWD Motorsports bellhousing (T5 to Kent block): are you able to use
the Lucas oem starter? I'm trying to fit it and it looks like the pan will need some clearancing
to make it work. I'm not sure where this will put the starter in relationship to the ring gear, if I
do make it fit.

Is an aftermarket hi torque starter required for this bell?
Greg Z
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36/5727 pre airflow coupe
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:12 pm

I'm using the RWD bell housing on a project, and while the final install is not done I've completed the mockup stage.

The bell housing they supplied me has provision for a start on either side, and it takes the 3 bolt design, not the OEM 2 bolt. I didn't even try to bolt up an OEM starter, though I have a few laying around, so can't comment on oil pan clearance. No issue with an aftermarket gear reduction type.

I would ditch the OEM starter in favor of a gear reduction type, but that me. Only my 1rst Elan had the OEM one, and I plan on keeping it that way. My current S1 is on the same Bean supplied Tilton Super Starter I installed in 1989.
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 8:22 pm

Good to know Steve. Thanks. During mockup, I was able to bolt up the 2 bolt oem starter, with a modified
block plate, to the bellhousing, standalone. Now, with the engine on a floor stand, I bolted up the bell-
housing, ready to index it, and thought I'd try the starter. Almost goes in but the pan is interfering.

Since the time I posted this first, until now, I did some judicious ball peen hammer work to the pan (didn't
take much) and the starter now fits fine. I hooked up a battery to the starter and it spins the motor just fine,
no ugly noises..

I'm trying to avoid the gear reduction starter thing because I had bad luck with the one I purchased. Also,
I had the worse time fitting the upper bolt and it really only weighed one pound less than than the Lucas,
And no problems in 42 years with the Lucas starter, so no real gain for me doing so. I think this was an omen.

Another unrelated omen story. I had a 1976 Toyota Corolla that was trouble free. A coworker who was
also an Amsoil dealer talked me into 5 quarts for my next oil change, which was at 80k miles. Did the change
and started the car, as usual. Next thing I knew, I had at least 3 quarts on the floor and flowing!

Turns out the gasket from the removed filter remained on the block and the filter
didn't seal. Never had this issue before. Fixed the problem, refilled with my stock dino
oil and never had a filter gasket stick to the block again and sold the car 50k miles later.
An omen for sure.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program
Thanks
Greg Z
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36/5727 pre airflow coupe
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:45 pm

Methinks it is odd to blame AmsOil for the gasket (installed when that oil was not in the car yet) sticking to the block.

I also knew someone who had the same vintage Toyota who did not notice the (very common, my 1983 and 1989 both did this at the first change) problem right away and destroyed his engine by running it dry. Not using AmsOil and the first change from new. He was very fortunate that Toyota comped him on the replacement; they made sure to tell him that the warranty does not usually cover negligent maintenance. Every Toyota I've owned, which is a bunch of them, appeared to use an unnecessary sealant on the initial filter that is better than the one attaching the gasket to the filter. They all required far more than the design amount of torque to remove the first filter, some almost standing up to the "screwdriver T-handle" solution.

In any event, I consider it essential to 1) make sure there's a gasket on the old filter when it is removed, or to find same, and 2) lubricate the new gasket with a swipe of the old oil on the new filter before installing. I've never seen a gasket stick to the block with this relatively basic procedure.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:02 pm

Not blaming Amsoil at all. Just thinking that the car was telling me it didn't want a synthetic oil in it.
Greg Z
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