Lotus Elan

Hint of mayonnaise in rocker cover

PostPost by: GeorgeStevens » Mon May 17, 2021 5:43 am

I’m pretty new to all this so any advice is welcome!

Having the issues you can see in this video:


I decided a good place to start was to check the valve train and adjust the rockers/lifters.

Inside the right rocker cover I noticed some emulsified oil mix. Uh oh.

I’ll work out how to add a picture in a comment below in a moment.

It doesn’t burn oil. No oil in coolant reservoirs. Dipstick isn’t mayonnaisey.

So what’s the prognosis? I’m willing to have a go at most things and have enjoyed reading a number of threads on here recording people’s exploits as they undertake new challenges thinking I’d like to give that a go...
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PostPost by: jcocking » Mon May 17, 2021 4:03 pm

Is this with a Twin Cam or some other engine?

The first question is, Are you getting the engine up to operating temperature? A series of short starts and stops without the oil getting up to operating temps will see your symptoms.
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PostPost by: Baggy2 » Mon May 17, 2021 9:04 pm

Is it April the first ? :wink:
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Mon May 17, 2021 9:12 pm

As Baggy2 says, I had water in VW Beetle engine. Took me awhile to figure that one out.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Mon May 17, 2021 9:52 pm

Fred Talmadge wrote:As Baggy2 says, I had water in VW Beetle engine. Took me awhile to figure that one out.

water cooled T3 are nicknamed "wasserboxer" in Germany (from 1982)
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon May 17, 2021 11:13 pm

Some years back I posted something like you did; I thought there were things sinister going on and was prepared to tear down the motor (again). A Gentleman from Texas called Fred Talmadge (love that beard, btw) told me he had had the same issue with an air-cooled Beetle. Best piece of advice I've ever had; thanks Fred, and I hope you are OK. Press on, it will be fine.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue May 18, 2021 4:53 am

I am not sure you are on the right forum, you will waste a lot of time looking for the valve rockers in a Lotus twincam engine. However, in the spirit of helping out a fellow enthusiast:

Burning 1 gallon of petrol produces over a gallon of water vapour. With luck, most comes out of the exhaust pipe, but some will find its way into the crankcase via ring blowby. When the engine is cold, this condenses inside the engine. Running the engine until it is hot will dry everything out, but running the engine for short periods allows water to build up which can emulsify with the oil to produce 'mayonnaise'.

Having said that, if the engine is completely clapped out then the volume of ring blowby and consequently water vapour can overwhelm the ability of the engine to dry out, so even running the engine for long periods doesn't help.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue May 18, 2021 12:39 pm

Italian Tune-Up required... get it good & hot & drive it like you stole it! :lol:
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