Lotus Elan

Starting after been stood for a few days.

PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:46 am

David..

Good job! I tend to leave the plugs a bit longer as they are always fine when I check them but I service every 3k mls too.

Just about to do it again. Using Millers Classic 20-60 semi synth' this time too. I will report back on how that goes. Red-line MTL in the box (Lotus 5 speed) is good but is finding it's way out of the breather and is acting as an Auto chassis lube device. I should connect the little pipe to the trunnions!!


Have fun...

Alex B...
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:59 am

Quick update just to illustrate my point ........

Went to the car this morning, prod prod prod followed by a couple of rotations and it was running. I reversed out of the garage and it sat ticking over while I closed the door.

Engine in OK health (not top notch) standard fuel pump and a fairly tired old battery. I have no idea why mine is fine and others are not?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I did have a passing thought as I was driving to work. It suddenly occurred to me to wonder how many of the people experiencing problems are using supermarket petrol? I ask because I was told by a petrol retailer and there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that the stuff is inferior and FWIW I never use it.
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:08 pm

Possibly could be John, but I find as I say after a LONG ish layup that the carbs are empty. One can tell right away when one starts priming. You can feel the fuel flowing up to the carbs and after about (say) 4 / 5 'pumps' one feels the carbs have filled and the system pressurises slightly. Depending on how hard you press. Stop pumping then and fire it up. I normally have the super grade stuff in my tank but not always.

How long had the car been standing? 2-3 weeks will not be a problem.. .... Me too .. Pedal pump about 6 or so times and baarrrooom.... leaving it for 6 weeks or so (for e.g.) could be different though.

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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:20 pm

My Elan usually starts quite easily after a few days. I have problems when the engine is hot, then it's difficult to start, but if I leave it overnight then it's starts almost immediately ..
Carl
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:26 pm

You might just be a little rich Carl. Hot start issues can be checked out and rectified. You might need jet changes.. Too rich can make hot starts a pain. Have you made sure your choke is closing properly? Is the rubber gasket in said part in good condition?

Just a thought.

AB.
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:33 pm

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the suggestions. My car has Dellortos if that makes any difference. I replaced all the gaskets a few years ago so they should all be ok? I have always had a problem hot starting the car although Sunday at Silverstone was the worst with all the stopping and starting.
I will check the plugs and see if that gives me any clues

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:49 pm

I would def' check the carbs over Carl. Float heights etc and make sure the choke is properly closed in the off position.. Worth doing. Also do you have electronic sparks?

Dellortos are known for quite over rich acc' pump jets. Mine were.

I saw you all shoving your car at Silverstone you went past where we were sitting on the tarmac by the bridge.. Then reversed back again.. Pity we didn't have a natter.... Wondered what was going on.

Great show eh?

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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:58 pm

Hi Alex,
Sorry I missed you too ... I have a Lucas electronic ignition I fitted in the mid 1980s, on the advice of Peter Day who said they were better than Lumenition units as the sensor was magnetic and not optical. I set the float height about a year ago when I rebuilt the carbs but I will check the carb closes properly. Thanks for the advice

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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:28 am

Hi all, Two observations here,
1st, Even if your pump valves are leaking badly enough to let all the fuel run back to the tank, there should still be more than enough left in the float chambers to fire up a twin cam for quite a long time, petrol takes some time to evaporate & most will retain it?s volatility for several months & 2nd, If your fuel pump is in good condition, even if the carbs are empty a few revolutions of the engine should have refilled them, it shouldn?t have to crank over for ages. I have recently put my +2 back together after major surgery to replace the water pump. As the car had stood for several years, I drained the tank, cleaned all fuel lines & pump etc & cleaned out the carbs so I had a completely dry fuel system. Once all back together, I poured a can of petrol in the tank, connected a battery & cranked it over. Within half a dozen or so revolutions the pump & carbs were full & the engine fired, pulled the choke out & next try it started instantly & ran quite happily. Yes, I do have to use choke unless the engine is warm, it?s just how it is & always has been, if I don?t use choke, it will just keep firing off the starter but I never have to crank endlessly unless I have some underlying problem.

PS, If I pumped my go pedal 6 times, I?d have so much fuel in the inlet tracts it would just wet the plugs, then I may have to crank for ages with the throttles wide open to clear it. :)

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:51 am

You dont need to evaporate much fuel from the float bowls to get a fuel composition that will not easily start. A small volume of the fuel, maybe only 5%, provides the bulk of the vapor for the intial start. This component has a high vapor pressure and low flash point. It is designed to evaporate quickly and easily and provide the initial flammable mix for starting the engine from cold. Once this fraction evaporates it is then hard to get good fuel in the carb bowls as whats in the carbs needs to flow through the engine ( potentially wetting the plugs) before enough fresh fuel can enter the carb bowls. You then need to replace the wet plugs to get a start.

The are many variables that control how easily an engine starts from cold and the Elan with its big carbs and dodgy lucas electricals and marginal starter motor and high voltage drop from the battery in the boot suffers from most of them.

On top of this the fuel itself, its source and consistency of blending and its match with ambient conditions also affects ease of starting. Fuel is blended to match the local climate typical at the time of year it is made. How well this is done and how closely the fuel matches the current actual condtions affects ease of starting. Many Elans dont get filled often so the fuel in the tank may not be totally uitable to current conditions often. Fuel that discount service stations may import from other regions may not work as well as fuel blended more locally.

On top of this, modern fuels are designed with lower vapor pressure and higher flash points of the most volatile components compared to fuels when the Elan was designed. This is done to prevent pollution from fuel evaporation and because it is possible in modern fuel injection engines that more easily vaporise the fuel with the high pressure injection spray from the nozzles..

Some cars , some usage and some fuels will have no problems, some will have problems. All that has been described in this link in the various issues described by the contibutors and all are generally true for some or all of the reasons I have listed. If you have problems there are generally a number of ways to fix it and those ways are specific for each individual circumstance. However a well tuned engine, with electricals all in good condition and with an electric fuel pump or priming pump will generally start more easily if it sits for periods.

I would love to be able to say do this one thing and you will never have a problem but it just is not that simple :(

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: pereirac » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:45 pm

Yes, amazingly enough Silverstone last Sunday was actually very hot and sunny (as was my yellow car) :D
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:27 pm

Us too.. We were well cooked. Great weekend though and its in the calander for next year. Poss on way back from Continent(campervan). I burned my snitch and tops of my Lugs.


;-)) ........... Heh.
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:31 pm

FYI

Went to the car today (5 days unused) 2 pumps and away she went :wink:

evaporation my *rse, as Jim Royle would say :D

Edit: Petrol = standard unleaded (not supermarket)
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:05 pm

Hi Guys,
The fuel is NOT going to evap' in 5 days John. 5 weeks perhaps but not 5 days. Anyone should be able to go to their car also after 5 days and not have a problem... (I can go to it after two weeks (or more) and not have any problems). Leave it for two months though and it can be a problem! 9 out of 10 times it is. It takes a while but it does evap'...

Choice? Either turn it over until the carbs fill enough to start, or hand pump / prime for 10 secs or so.. A few pedal pumps /pushes and its instant either way.

Hey ho. Whatever.. To each their own..

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:38 pm

alexblack13 wrote:
The fuel is NOT going to evap' in 5 days John


Yes Alex, you and I agree :wink:
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