Lotus Elan

Brake servo utter, utter despair....

PostPost by: jeff jackson » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:16 pm

Hi all,
My Girling brake servo was slightly leaking, I noticed this whilst rebuilding the head.
The car has been off the road for nearly a year now. After waiting weeks for the parts to rebuild the servo to arrive, I finally put it all back together this morning.
Now what is happening is that the brake fluid is being sucked into the engine and being burnt, so clouds of smoke and disappearing brake fluid out of the master cylinder.
This is exactly what happened to the elan years ago (about fifteen I think). I bought a new servo and this is the one I currently have.
After spending shed loads of money on rebuild kits, non return valve and an elbow, I am significantly worse off.
If someone could come round, steal the car and set light to it I would be grateful. I am utterly, utterly fed up with it.

Any Ideas what is wrong with the stupid thing?

Kind regards
Jeff 72+2
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:38 pm

Don't get rid of the car, just the servo. I dumped mine when it locked up and I made the right decision. The brakes have great "feel" unboosted. :D
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:39 pm

Yes,but you don't have the heavier Plus2..

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:57 pm

...or the bigger Plus 2 brakes!! :lol:
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PostPost by: archigator » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:20 am

I tried to rebuild my servo, but then opted for a new one from Moss Motors. Part No. 182-290, $189.95, Brake Servo (Booster), Single Line, 7/8" bore. At $189.00, it's the least expensive one I could find.
http://www.mossmotors.com/Shop/ViewProducts.aspx?PlateIndexID=110824&SortOrder=10

So far, it works great. I also had my brake master cylinder resleeved and rebuilt at White Post at the same time. Hopefully no brake worries for a while.

Gary
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:20 am

Jeff
Chill,do not despair,either something went back in wrong or something is knackered,just have a word with...

http://www.classicbrake.co.uk/

John :wink:
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:08 am

Ditto Classicar - well known, a little expensive, but you get what you pay for. They refurbed my rear calipers 10 years ago - in the rebuild a few years ago, all they needed was a clean & lube. Still working well enough for a clean MOT pass on the rolling road last month. They did my fronts about 5 years ago, more for the looks and supplied a new servo - all still operating well.

Call them for advice before getting the matches out.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:15 am

Jeff,

You are right, it is a very stupid very simple thing!

Well within you capabilities to fix it, so relax.... Think of it as only 3 pipe connections, a handful of bolts, some seals, and a circlip.

Make sure the bores are good and the seals are perfect and the right way round, and follow the instructions.

It will only take you an hour to take it out and put it back, and you have to bleed the brakes anyway. You have all of the bits and you have had it apart recently - sounds like a nice little afternoon job!

Don't let your annoyance turn it into a big job, and save the despair for when you are trying to do it a third time!

Also 100% for Classicar if you don't want to do it yourself.
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PostPost by: jeff jackson » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:34 pm

Hi Chaps,
Thanks for the replies. I think after a day with the outlaws in Sussex I have calmed down a bit.
I'm still not happy that with all the new bits I bought and what I thought was a very careful stripdown and rebuild (that included taking photos to ensure that it all went back together,) that I am worse off.
I suppose a sharp intake of breath, and then take it out and strip it down again, something must be stuck inside.
I will probably have to wait for a couple of weeks though, just want to recharge my enthusiasm with a holiday!!

Thanks again
Jeff 72+2
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:07 pm

I've done a few of these, and I haven't always got it right the first time. But the stripdown/rebuild gets easier and quicker each time. There's two small parts that have a habit of going AWOL, the small ball bearing and the light spring in the piston. very easy to overlook in the reassembly stage.....
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PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:59 am

I rebuilt my Girling servo about 20 years ago and it worked fine.
When it needed doing again recently I put it in the hands of the pros as I knew there was a bore in there that would need re-sleeving.The first time around I'd polished it and didn't think it could stand another polish without getting a touch oversize.
Long story short, they did their best, ( a couple of times), but it never again worked as it should.
They refunded my money and I bought and installed a Lockheed off SJ Sportscars.

I could have removed the servo, as recommended by several here, but a set of new soft pads wasn't going to be that cheap, and I didn't want to experiment.
Nor did I want to loose the easy, light, braking that is in line with all the other controls in my car, ( and every Elan for that matter).

Ralph.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:10 am

reb53 wrote:Nor did I want to loose the easy, light, braking that is in line with all the other controls in my car, ( and every Elan for that matter).


Ralph,
Thanks for making this point. Removing the servo from a +2 has been a debate here for a while. I tried it many years ago, even going to a 5/8" bore master. The problem is that the required brake pedal effort became so high that is was completely out of character with all of the other controls that reward a light touch. Too many of us forget that the servo gain on the +2 maxes at almost 3:1, pretty hard to make up with even modern pads.
Russ Newton
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:26 pm

Russ

I agree with your comments regarding the removal of the servo I tried it recently because a part for the servo could not be obtained (plastic air valve). Found the effort to brake and lock the wheels was impossible which I could do with the servo fitted. Having now made an air valve from a plastic trim fastener I am back with the servo and have much better brake response especially at slow speeds in town, and can now lock up the wheels again.

If anyone has an old MK11B servo I am willing to buy the air valves or purchase the complete servo if it is serviceable at reasonable cost.
Regards

John

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PostPost by: jeff jackson » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:07 pm

Hi Russ,
like you, the non-return valve on the servo fell apart, and was operating as a tube rather than a non return valve. Paul Matty has them as this was one of the parts I was waiting an age for. I can't remember off the top of my head the exact price but it was about a tenner.
Kind regards
Jeff
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PostPost by: jeff jackson » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:13 pm

Hi Russ,
Just checked, the non return valve is 14.50 +vat + postage from Paul Matty.
Better than buying a complete servo!
Jeff 72+2
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