Lotus Elan

Zetec reliability?

PostPost by: rocket » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:01 pm

Seems to be a few issues popping up with Zetec cars lately....


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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:23 pm

No problems with mine, 1 1/2 years and nearly 9000 miles since build, this is due to a quality build and regular maintenance to a recommended program.

Let's face it, we are all driving cars that would have a new cost today in excess of ?30,000 regardless of whether they are zetec or LTC engined. They are all sophisticated cars that require proper maintenance to keep them in good order, zetec or no zetec.

Maintenance and quality parts is the key.
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PostPost by: richgilb » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:21 pm

Some, including mine, are not spring chickens any more. My Zetec and my Vauxhall daily workhorse were both 'born' in 2004. The Vauxhall has had more problems than the Zetec, which has had only one problem. I think my Zetec is extremely reliable.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:21 pm

Ian,
Not sure what you're refering to here. I would expect that Zetec engines in Elans would all be relatively new and low mileage so I would be surprised if anyone has hit any problems.

With other cars (Mondeos etc) there are some very high mileage cars out there so there are bound to be some issues. The Zetec has a good reliability record and 100k+ without rebuild is standard. It's one area where things have improved immeasurably since the 1960s and the days of the Twink.

I'm fitting my car with a new Zetec and I don't EVER expect to have to rebuild it!

Mike
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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:11 pm

Must be a wind-up?
I mean,never heard of twin cam reliability issues........
"He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy"
Monty Python's The Life Of Brian,best film ever.
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PostPost by: ianduke » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:09 pm

I've had a +2 Zetec Spyder factory conversion for a few years now and wouldn't normally post on something like this to have a moan, but felt i should to warn others that it isn't all sunshine and happiness.

The car itself when everything is working correctly is absolutely fantastic in fact the only gripes i would have with the concept are the fact that it rides so low that speed bumps are a nuisance and in an ideal world it would be a bit quieter inside and less toasty and warm in the sunshine! Otherwise (when it was working) it has basically done exactly what i've thought it would.

However all those people who've had one and had limited problems with them are, i think fairly fortunate. The car has always been serviced by Spyder and gets some decent regular usage. i can put up with older/original parts of the car not working as well as they should/breaking - i understand that these were designed/manufactured years ago. But there are a lot of modern parts in the car which should be pretty bulletproof, and a number of basic things the car should have had sorted by Spyder that were continually annoying because they hadn't been (and never got sorted even after numerous requests - more of that later). The first 6 months i had the car i had 3 or 4 different oil leaks and for various other reasons (mostly the "new" parts of the car going wrong) it ended up going down to Spyder 6 or 7 times. In the end i got so bored of doing the journey (it's a decent round trip) that i used it with all the niggly faults until it was due it's next service. When I explained to Andy that some of the things I was being charged for were things that had been wrong since day 1 I was swiftly brushed aside with some weak answers, and kind of thought to myself that if i ended up having a poor relationship with him who was going to service the car??

After the first service, more niggles. More oil leaks (my path will never look the same), more modern parts not working and a number of the things that i had asked to be repaired not being looked at...it ended up cheaper asking a local mechanic to fix the bits i needed sorting than the petrol costs of driving down to Spyder. This has been a recurrent theme, and i think since i've had the car less than 50% of the time i've owned it i could realistically say i've been happy with it's behaviour. In the first year i had it the AA were out 4 or 5 times to provide assistance. The guys up at Spyder seem sympathetic as long as you are ready to stump up the cash...but not quite so keen when they have done something wrong or need to do something gratis...Andy especially if i needed help fixing something would give me the briefest help over the phone....but would be more than happy to charge for it if it went down to them.

The sticker on the back of the car says "Classic looks with modern reliability". i would have to disagree to such an extent that trading standards could be involved. By the looks of it on here I seem to have been pretty unfortunate witht he car, everyone else sounds happy with theirs, so perhaps this should just be seen as a cautionary tale to those wishing to take the plunge? I have owned some terribly bad cars in my time, but this was without doubt the least enjoyable car ownership experience i've ever had in my life....
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PostPost by: richgilb » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:20 pm

Really surprised to hear of so many problems and particularly oil leaks. Do you still have it? Main issue with mine have been perished fuel lines and the silencer once fell off...other than that, it has never leaked, never failed to start and always delivered the pasties when I put my foot down.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:48 pm

Ian,
I think I'm one of many who would like more detail about the problems. There are several of us here who are building cars and advance warning woudl be very useful.

Oil leaks seem an unexpected problem with a Zetec, can you tell us where they leak? Is it in Spyder specific areas like the water pump or a special sump? And calling the AA, what were the causes?

This looks like a thread that's about to take off again!

Mike
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PostPost by: fitzy1 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:35 pm

I've had mine for about 3 years now (20,000 mls) and still love it. The only problem I have had was two weeks ago when I sheared one of my front dampers. I suspect that was due to speed humps. I had to repair the suspension immediately as I was booked on the Aviva rally that weekend.So I removed both springs and dampers , rang Andy to see if he had new ones in stock but no he didn't , but he agreed to take a pair off a chassis he was building up and if I got to the factory in time ( late friday afternoon)he would swop the springs over using thier wonderful old spring press.
All he charged me was for the new dampers, no charge for taking them off the chassis and no charge for fitting the coil springs.
I consider that to be pretty good service.
Apart from that the car has been great although I do service it regularly
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PostPost by: Roy Gillett » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:25 am

"The only problem I have had was two weeks ago when I sheared one of my front dampers"


Hi Fitzy1
Is this another case of relatively new Spaxes snapping off at the top?

(see earlier thread)

I think this is a really worrying problem. I am so pleased to be shot of mine. The mind boggles at the consequences on a Zetec car with all that extra performance being exploited.

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PostPost by: fitzy1 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:47 am

Hi Roy

Yes it was Spax and it sheared off at the top, Thank god I checked the car !!!

Andy at Spyder told me he had had a few problems with Spax who would accept no responsibility so he now uses alternative makes.
I keep checking the rears which are also Spax and although all seems ok I will probably replace them soon.

i must say the car seems a lot better.

rgds
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PostPost by: Roy Gillett » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:23 am

I have had two Spax go on the front, one after about 6000 miles and its replacement after even fewer miles. As with you, Andy said he had never heard of one snapping like that on the first occasion, while on the second occasion he said he had washed his hands on Spax as they had been less than helpful about a succession of failures.

I have put it down to experience but Andy is well aware that if my new (Protech?) ones fail I will be back and won't take no for an answer. But like you, I check under the front wheelarches every time I get in the car!

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PostPost by: ianduke » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:16 pm

In no particular order, and these are all the major failings that i can actually remember...

2 oil leaks from the engine
1 from the diff
problems with the gearbox
problems with the clutch
starter motor not working
problems with the fuel line
vacuum pump starting to fail every 6 months
the fact that the cabin used to get soaked through at the first sign of rain
both door locks breaking, central locking giving up.

this is outside of various MOT fails for other wear and tear

essentially if you have been luckier than me you should get yourself a ticket for fridays euromillions (?54m) - give you a clue i'm not going to bother!
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:13 pm

ianduke wrote:In no particular order, and these are all the major failings that i can actually remember...

2 oil leaks from the engine
1 from the diff
problems with the gearbox
problems with the clutch
starter motor not working
problems with the fuel line
vacuum pump starting to fail every 6 months
the fact that the cabin used to get soaked through at the first sign of rain
both door locks breaking, central locking giving up.

this is outside of various MOT fails for other wear and tear

essentially if you have been luckier than me you should get yourself a ticket for fridays euromillions (?54m) - give you a clue i'm not going to bother!


Hi Ian,

I had all those problems before I converted my +2 to Zetec spec (apart from the central locking which I didn't have), I really sympathise with the problems you have had especially as you seem to have had a 'Spyder Factory Build' and obviously would have paid accordingly. I have now covered 11,000 miles since my build in April 2008 and the only Spyder related problem I have experienced has been to do with the clutch master cylinder which I had changed twice before they realised they should have fitted a pedal stop as the master cylinder was overthrowing which allowed hydraulic fluid to leak past the seals which in effect caused the car to creep forward in traffic if you stayed in gear with foot on clutch...most disconcerting. I have had an oil leak but that was down to me refitting the original cam cover gasket when I changed the cam cover to one in a nice shade of poppy red with LOTUS engraved and polished into the face and the only other problem was that my original fuel tank was rusty inside which caused the car to limp home one day with fuel starvation due to a blocked fuel filter, I changed to a new aluminium tank which was expensive but worth it in the long run. My car leaked before being converted and leaked after, I really wasn't expecting anything else as Spyder didn't re-paint the car for me, but I have since solved the leaks into my footwells by fitting the missing seals at the A panel areas (see the thread about leaks posted recently).

I get a real feeling of disapointment from your posts which is a shame, I have really enjoyed my car and have taken part in 4 trackdays to date with an open pit lane event coming up at Brands Hatch in 2 weeks time where I will get to kick the Ar*e out of a bunch of TVR's (especially if its wet) I would have thought that the problems with your car could be put right relatively easily and that all you would need would be a few clear problem free months in order to really like and more importantly trust the car. Any advice or practical help is freely given by me and many other members of these forums, just ask and you may well be surprised at the helpful response.

Regards

Alan (50/1705)
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PostPost by: richgilb » Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:01 am

Spyder fan wrote:
I changed to a new aluminium tank which was expensive but worth (50/1705)



Sorry to be anal but do you know how much the two tanks weigh? Just trying to add lightness after the heaviness of the replacement Spyder chassis and Zetec engine....I am also going on a diet for the spring. Reckon on lightening the load by 10 kilos....
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