Lotus Elan

Engine Rebuilders......who?

PostPost by: sk178ta » Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:08 pm

My recently bought (1500miles) `67 S3 is displaying symptoms of a damaged oil control ring, but the engine was rebuilt just before I bought it. The symptoms are excessive pressured oil from the crankcase into the airbox. Plus, foolishly, it wasn`t converted to unleaded.
What should I expect to pay for a re-rebuild and who is recommended not too far from Derbyshire (Peak District).
Jim
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PostPost by: fasterbyelan » Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:25 pm

QED have a good reputation and are not too far from you (north of Leicester near the M1).

Cost obviously depends on the level of work required - it will not be cheap though.

Their web site can be found at :- <a href='http://www.qednet.demon.co.uk/index.htm' target='_blank'>http://www.qednet.demon.co.uk/index.htm</a>.

Karl

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:48 pm

Jim,
The PO of my Sprint obtained quotes from the usual suspects and chose QED, as Karl says, they are not cheap.
However, firstly have you no redress against the seller/rebuilder? Secondly, are you sure that it is the oil contol ring which is causing this pressurisation? Is it only one cylinder, which?
I have reverted to the original system whereby the crankcase is vented via a 90 degree rubber elbow to a length of 15mm copper pipe and onto the road. Eco-warriors may not approve but at least I don't get loads of grunge going into No1 cylinder and fouling up the carb, the valves and the plug. In practice there is almost no output via this pipe.
Have you run a compression test?
Is there a load of smoke from the exhaust on start-up or on hard acceleration?
Explore all avenues before reaching for your wallet.
Why an unleaded conversion? You already have hard valve seat inserts, our US friends have been using unleaded for years with no reported damage (see the archives). I use Castrol Valvemaster but it is probably not necessary.

Cheers,

Pete
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:01 pm

Pete
did you mean No4 cylinder? and don't you have a nasty stain on your drive where it is parked?
John
P.S.
there is an racing engine builder in stockport,he decked the block for me,it wasn't too dear and they seem to do most major engine work,can't remember the name right now but if you want i'll find out
John
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PostPost by: poiuyt » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:43 pm

Where are you located? I just had the engine in the S4 rebuilt.

Steve B.
Steve B.<br>1969 Elan S4
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PostPost by: sk178ta » Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:37 pm

Thankyou all, keep the advice coming, what an excellent site.

I live near Buxton so Stockport would be good. I am getting a puff of blue on startup and oily petrolly deposits leaking from the airbox. High Peak Classic Autos have just done the first service and he suggests the possible faulty oil control ring but compression is good and he says there`s no way of checking the rings without major dismantling ???

Does it really not need an unleaded conversion?

Thanks again,
Jim
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PostPost by: len » Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:43 pm

Hi
Component engineering in Burnley may be a good bet the people there are elan fans and have two of their own
EMail [email protected]

Good luck
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:58 pm

Jim

The puff on startup (and pulling away :D ) is not really a problem with a twink

Is your oil consumption excessive?

This business about unleaded is an interesting one I tend to agree with Pete when it comes to the valve seats. There are a lot of ally headed classics running about on plain old unleaded with no problems.

I would vent the breather to the atmosphere as Pete says and hold off on the engine work until you are certain that it is needed.

Going back to the subject of unleaded there is always the TetraBoost option which is basically putting the tetraethyl lead back in and making whatever octane leaded you want (www.iomo.co.uk/tetraboost/index2.htm)
John

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PostPost by: paul wisbey » Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:42 pm

Jim

My sprint puffs on start up but uses very little oil. It used to breath very heavily if driven hard and two years ago at Imola circuit it dumped bucketloads in the paddock after a few hard laps! I have now sealed the old vent and revented via the cam cover to a catch tank. Problem solved.

Regarding hardened valve seats I also intended to upgrade the valve seats but I mentioned this to Mick Miller (the guru) before he died. His advice was don't bother as the seats are hard enough.Like others I still use additive/octane booster to be on the safe side.

Paul
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:49 pm

Yes Cleggie, I should have said cylinder 4 (the one at the back!). Believe it or not, my car drops no oil and burns no oil- if a TC is put together properly it should be just as robust as a Peugeot diesel!
There is a rolling road dude in Davenport, Stockport called Ric Woods who can do the fine adjustments but if your motor is way off, it is going to cost loads to do the stuff that you can do for yourself.
Fit new plugs, set the timing, overhaul the carbs with a parts kit, check the compression, use a Colortune, new air filter, etc, etc. before you even think of going to someone who charges by the hour to do things you could do at home.

Cheers,

Pete
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PostPost by: steveww » Wed Jun 09, 2004 9:27 am

A puff of smoke on start up is OK - they all do that - really

The twinc should also use a bit of oil during normal running, the ammount is quoted somewhere (anyone know where) but I forget the figure - 1 pint / 500 miles???

For the breather - plug up the hole in the airbox and run the pipe in to a catch tank. You can buy a very pretty alloy one for ?80 or just use any container you can get your hands on. I use an old water / drink bottle from my bicycle tucked down under the carbs. Engines should burn air/fuel not air/fuel/oil
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PostPost by: fasterbyelan » Wed Jun 09, 2004 10:54 am

Regarding the valve seat issue, when this first came up the available literature suggested that all valve seats used in the UK post WW II are hard enough to be used with unleaded petrol. Discussions on this site would seem to endorse this. Routine maintenance would highlight any abnormal wear in this area - the valves are hardly going to disappear into the head overnight !

The use of tetraethyl lead sounds fun - 5 star here we come ! :P


Karl

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:09 pm

Karl


I'm sure Twinks like a bit of lead really :D

According to the TetraBoost blurb you can go well over 100 octane if you so desire. Obviously the more you use the higher the price per litre would go

The Greens may not approve but it is perfectly legal to make your own leaded
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PostPost by: Nick Godfrey » Thu Jun 10, 2004 7:47 am

Hello,

If you do go for a rebuild, try J & S Motorsport (Tamworth, UK) 01827 760600.
The contact is JohnSmufwaite. He builds very good engines to whatever level of tune you desire. He is also cheaper than some of the others.

Nick.
:)
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PostPost by: sk178ta » Thu Jun 10, 2004 2:34 pm

Thanks again for all your advice. As we speak I am fitting a catch tank and, incidentally, the oil level has remained virtually constant for the last 150 miles or so, so maybe the oil control rings are ok. Here`s hoping...........
A couple of questions though: should the breather into the crankcase (?) be really just a push fit? and how much, if any, pressure should there be?
Thanks,
Jim
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