Lotus Elan

So, where's the fluid gone.....?

PostPost by: reb53 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:56 am

Summer's about to start in this part of the World, ( N.Z.) so time to bring the Sprint out of hibernation.
Found, to my horror, no brake fluid.
All callipers, hoses, back of master cylinder in footwell, etc dry and clean so assume it's all slowly leaked into the servo.
The servo is a Girling MK2 that I rebuilt 25 years ago so suspect not worth trying another rebuild even if kits are available.

So, the questions are,
If the fluid is in the servo, can I confirm that by loosening the front cover and seeing if fluid leaks out ?

What's the consensus on the Lockheed replacement?

I see there are "Lockheed type" available on Ebay but suspect "type" means "piece of crap" made in some dirt floored "factory" in India that will probably kill me in a few years.

Ralph.
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PostPost by: Pistacchio sprint 72 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:05 am

Naaaah i do?t think the servo could ever act as a tank holding the brake fluid. But right, it might be the good moment for a straight and clean swap.
Got mine from sjsportscars. It was an easy job.
But u still need to identify where the leak come from
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:26 am

Yes it can leak from the brake fluid side to the vacuum / air side of the booster. Rebuilds are still doable, though tracking down the kits takes a bit of work sometimes. Personally for a sprint I would just delete it and go to a non boosted system. Even on a Plus 2 they are not really needed unless you like the extremely light brake pedal feel of most modern cars!!.

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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:48 am

I'm a bit of a fan of the old mk2 servo, is yours mk2a or mk2b? Kits for the former are cheaper and more readily available, but a DIY rebuild is not too complicated on either. Getting the bores re sleeved is recommended, I had mine done by Burt Bros here in Sydney, around $300. In theory these should work better than new. Mind you I've yet to test their (and my) workmanship, and given the progress of the rebuild that's a way off.....
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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:32 am

Certainly the brake fluid can end up inside the servo. This has been discussed many times on the MGB V8 board (my other interest). If it occurs while using the car, all you might notice is some white smoke in the exhaust, until suddenly you have no brakes! I intend to build my Sprint up without a servo and see what it's like. The MGB brakes are fine unassisted.
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PostPost by: Pistacchio sprint 72 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:48 am

Ok sorry :shock: duh...

Well getting rid of it will simplify the braking system and clean the engine bay of multiple hoses i guess!
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:03 am

Yep you can live without a servo, my Morgan has none.

You need to warn other drivers, my lawyer borrowed my Mog to try after jumping out of his Jag. He came back white and shaking as he thought the brakes did not work!

But you might need to have a smaller bore master cylinder and a longer pedal travel.

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PostPost by: rfurzer » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:09 am

Yep happened to my etype. Rebuild was easy- something to do with MasterCard!
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:54 am

Thanks for the info so far.

I know it can end up in the servo somewhere as I recall sucking on a hose when I had the servo out years ago and getting a mouthful of fluid.......
Just not sure if it'll be behind the front cover as I want to confirm what's going on.

I'm so used to the brake feel after 35 years I don't really want to change and go servo-less.

So, no bad experiences with the Lockheed ?
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:58 am

it could leak past the M/C seal in which case the fluid will be in the carpet.

I'd rebuild the servo - don't throw it away they are worth a bit.
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PostPost by: Tonyw » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:51 pm

Ralph,

Being in NZ you should be able to get a PBR booser VH 40 or 44 I can never remember which they come up on flea bay a lot and repair kits are around or any brake & clutch place will be able to re-build one for you.

I like to idea of sofet brake pads and no booster mysef as it will add lightness.

Rohan what brake pads are you running our your street car??

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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:55 pm

When my servo seized I removed it. Installed a tandem m/c with the same bore as originally on my car and Aeroquip steel-braided hoses at the four corners. EBS GreenStuff pads on the front. I'm very happy with the result. Wouldn't go back to a servo on the car. In fact, since I had the front calipers refurbished I'm delighted with the braking. :D :D
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:30 am

I have used EBC Greenstuff and Ferodo DS2500. I prefer the DS2500 as they last longer ( but are more expensive) and don't seem to create the corrosive dust that the EBC's do when used hard.

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PostPost by: reb53 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:17 am

Well, the servo has been sent off for overhaul.

When I loosened the front cover got a few teaspoons of fluid out. Even though the master cylinder is tired, there shouldn't be any fluid in there so I'd never trust the servo again. Could probably manage sudden loss of servo but sudden loss of brakes because the servo is drinking all the fluid and quietly feeding it into the engine isn't something I want to try out....

It's a MK2A and whilst it was no trouble finding a service kit, the cost of it, plus postage, plus re-sleeving was getting so close to a quoted overhaul price I thought I'd let someone else do it.

Posted it off this morning so hopefully won't get a call saying "sorry, don't do these any more....".
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PostPost by: reb53 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:41 am

All re-installed.
Got the master cylinder re-sleeved at the same time 'cos it's such a bastard to get in and out and didn't bother with a new seal only.

Hasn't had a lot of miles to settle down but now has a disconcerting amount of "free" pedal before the brakes bite.
They work fine and aren't spongy, suggesting air still in the system, just have to push them down further than before.
Used to be able to just brush the brakes to bleed off a bit of speed but not now.
Coasting down a hill with engine off, and no servo, gives the expected hard pedal and the same "omigod" moments.
Any idea where to start ?

Ralph.
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