Lotus Elan

Removing timing front cover

PostPost by: friedy » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:22 pm

Need some advice for removing the front water pump \ timing cover. Engine is out, head and sump are off, Got all the front cover bolts out (unless there is a hidden one somwhere but dont think so) I can twist the cover untill the crank seal hits crank, can rock the cover but but can't get apart. Sprayed with penetrating oil. Been trying all morning, with no luck. Is there a magic trick to this? Any help really would be appreciated. Thanks.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:57 pm

Water pump O-ring carrier corroded into backplate. With a 1/2" ring spanner try to access from the bottom the two 5/16" bolts securing the jackshaft sprocket to the jackshaft - you'll need to knock back the tab washers of course. Undo these bolts and gently loosen the sprocket from from the jackshaft. From the same access point with a 7/16" ring spanner undo the single 1/4" bolt securing the backplate to the block,

This should enable you to release the backplate and front cover from the block as a single unit. Once on the bench you can better work out how to separate them.

Keep doing as you are doing of course but if push comes to shove try the above.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:43 pm

'Water pump O-ring carrier corroded into backplate. With a 1/2" ring spanner try to access from the bottom the two 5/16" bolts securing the jackshaft sprocket to the jackshaft - you'll need to knock back the tab washers of course. Undo these bolts and gently loosen the sprocket from from the jackshaft. From the same access point with a 7/16" ring spanner undo the single 1/4" bolt securing the backplate to the block'

Forgive me 2cams, that sounds like a lot of grief to me, trying to undo tabs, then bolts etc to get the sprocket off. I leave the backplate in place and with my specially picked bits of wood, CAREFULLY [not shouting, just highlighting :roll: ] lever both sides of the water pump at the same time, top and bottom, a little at a time, and it always gives it up in the end. Then I tackle the backplate, which I always warm up with a blow torch, as that softens wellseal, which backplates have usually been assembled with. At least in the UK. If the backplate has been assembled with some sort of RTV, then you could be in trouble, and will need to use liberal amounts of Loctite 7200 gasket remover. Brilliant stuff.

All that assumes that the block is secured in an engine cradle or stand, without wheels, as the force needed can be considerable, and if the block is not held firm, it will just move in the direction of force.

Both plates can be bent, so as I said, care is needed. I have found that it is not corrosion that usually prevents easy removal of the plates, but RTV or whatever has been last used to seal the covers, particularly around the water pump.

Interested to hear how others remove. Everyone has their own methods of doing such and such a job.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:03 am

Hi Leslie
Like you If I have a stuck front cover, I work to get force to split the front cover from the back plate down close to the water pump boss with levers or wedges on all sides to avoid bending the front cover.

They all eventually split if your careful and persistent without bending ( or further bending as many are not flat when removed due to previous bending) even if so badly corroded they are not reusable in the end due to that.

cheers
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:16 am

512BB wrote:Forgive me 2cams, that sounds like a lot of grief to me, trying to undo tabs, then bolts etc to get the sprocket off


No need for for forgiveness. I actually enjoy being offended sometimes. Makes you know you are alive!
Admittedly I haven't tried it myself and I can't check whether access is definitely possible because my engine is all buttoned up now.

I do however know that it is definitely possible to access the 1/4" back plate bolt from below because I've done this to juggle alignment of the backplate and front cover top and bottom surfaces.

Looking at a spare front cover I have it does look as though there is just enough space to get in there from underneath between the front of the sprocket and the timing cover in order to loosen the two 5/16 bolts. You'll need to use a flat open or ring spanner. If you loosen the 1/4" bolt first you should be able to move the complete assembly forward a touch in order to better access the 5/16" sprocket bolts.

Second part not 100% guaranteed however as I haven't done it!
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PostPost by: friedy » Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:23 am

Thanks for your responses. Well finally got the cover off, but impeller stayed behind. So corroded into back plate. Think I will look at the Burton assembly.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:33 am

'No need for for forgiveness. I actually enjoy being offended sometimes. Makes you know you are alive!'

Wow, you are offended by me disagreeing with your method of doing something. And then you state you have not actually tried your method, :lol:

Wow again Friedy, I have never seen a water pump bearing come out of the front cover on removal. It must have been a crap fit. Did you heat it up before attempting to remove the cover and what was the reason for stripping down the engine, water pump leaking?

Well done on getting it off. You would certainly want to give it a good clean up and inspect if you did want to use it again.

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PostPost by: HCA » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:09 pm

Also a wow from me Friedy :D

Will you keep this post alive - or start another if/when you go down the Burton solution please? I would be very interested as I am about to start a build and torn between using original or spending the extra on a Burton cover. There has been a lot written about poor fitting due to manufacturing issues that have put me off so that I will be sticking with original and just make sure not to have the fan belt too tight (or use toothed pullies...)
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PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Jan 19, 2022 5:42 pm

'I will be sticking with original'

You're learning. So long as you dont mash up the bearing on fitting a new water pump to an original front cover, that is in good condition, you can expect a water pump to last circa 50k miles, in a road car. By the time you have done that sort of mileage, the engine will be leaking so much oil you will want to rebuild it anyway. Which is exactly what I did on one of my cars a couple of years ago. 44k miles to be precise. Could not stand the mess any longer. Nothing wrong with the water pump.

Take note Friedy, cartridge front cover waste of money in my opinion, but you may need a new original front cover because of the bearing issue. Which your local Lotus parts supplier, moi, just happens to have in stock :D

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PostPost by: friedy » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:29 pm

Last rebuilt 28 years ago but only done 14k miles. Getting a bit "leaky" & possible head gasket starting but water pump was fine. I hadn't planned on going Burton untill I started trying to get this apart. Engine in general is quite good so just really trying to stop the leaks.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:24 pm

512BB wrote:'I will be sticking with original'

You're learning. So long as you dont mash up the bearing on fitting a new water pump to an original front cover, that is in good condition, you can expect a water pump to last circa 50k miles, in a road car.

Leslie


+1. I fitted a Burton cartridge to my engine and it was quite painful to set up. I posted about it on here a few years ago. In hindsight I'd probably not do it again considering that these cars are mainly toys these days and not accumulating the mileage figures where water pump replacement is too much of an issue. With proper coolant and maintenance (something that these cars rarely had back when they were used day to day) the original pump should not be a problem. It may be worth it if you original parts are corroded to an extent where you have to replace a lot of parts in which case the incremental cost isn't as great.

The pump in my father's Anglia which has the internal parts as the LTC did 160,000 miles before it was changed when the engine was rebuilt for the first time!
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PostPost by: friedy » Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:33 pm

Yes I'm thinking of staying original now, I'm not doing many miles so should outlast me as long as doesn't have to pull apart for other reason like leaks :roll:
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PostPost by: elanner » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:41 pm

For what it's worth, in Brian Buckland's book there is a nice description of what looks like a good way to separate a stuck front cover from the backplate, in situ. I can't vouch for it personally but no doubt it's a good method.

During my water pump change a couple of years ago I pondered switching to a cartridge (I'd always assumed that I would) but in the end I stayed with the original for the reasons given above. I run the belt very loose and during the winter layup slacken it off completely. So it's under a low load for about six months every year. And I rotate it manually every few weeks so that the seal doesn't stick. Hopefully it won't be the cause of the next engine removal!

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PostPost by: promotor » Thu Jan 20, 2022 7:50 am

friedy wrote:Thanks for your responses. Well finally got the cover off, but impeller stayed behind. So corroded into back plate. Think I will look at the Burton assembly.


Interesting to see that - if you managed to separate the covers and the bearing came out like that then the case won't hold a new bearing in place as it'll be worn. That is unless the old bearing was slightly incorrectly sized (can't see that being the case but worth investigating).

Normally to remove that bearing you have to have separated the covers already and then it takes a vice or a press to get the bearing removed - they normally go with a "crack".

Or did you use levers that were perhaps two metres long ? :lol:
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PostPost by: Craven » Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:32 pm

Must have removed the wire clip that locates the pump body in the cover ?
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