Lotus Elan

A newbie with problems!

PostPost by: Weepiglet » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:37 pm

Hi All, I have finally entered into the wonderful world of driving a 1974 Elan 130/5 +2S and I have to say what a wonderful world it is :D

Although it is in good condition and runs well, I am curious as to why it stinks of petrol? Could this be because it is running too rich? if this is a possible cause, I would love to know how I can properly set the tick over and twin Webers...can this be done at home or do you need specialist equipment to monitor exhaust gases etc?

Looking forward to many happy miles :lol:
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:53 pm

Hi and welcome,
Type "fuel smell" into the search box (top right) untick the "all" box....tick the "+2" box ....hit submit then that should give you many hours of reading :lol:
Brian
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PostPost by: twincamman » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:02 pm

wee piglet ---carboretter is French for -THAT AIN'T THE PROBLEM --CARBS NEVER GO WRONG WHEN SET UP PROPERLY I just replaced a set of crusty old webbers off an Alpha and they still ran the car ----don't go adjusting things . Smell may be the choke [cold start ] or leaking fuel line or pump or fuel tank etc and please be careful around fuel no smokes sparks or open flames --ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:38 am

Welcome to the forum and Plus 2 ownership. Definitely check for fuel odour from the tank vent system first. This can be a chronic problem in the Plus 2 design but fixable with mods. Mine was in poor condition, resulting in fuel odour in the boot and car interior. The suggested search should bring up a lot of details on the problem and various fixes.

The two vent hoses, made of clear plastic tubing, run from each side of the tank over the roof of the car under the headliner and exit out the floor of the car. Even in good condition they can allow a lot of fuel vapour to escape into the garage. Various fixes are available, generally involving venting back to the fuel filler neck to allow rapid tank filling and a smaller diameter vent hose to atmosphere to adequately vent the tank while running.


Other problem, besides various fuel system integrity issues Ed already mentioned, was a hairline leak in the fuel tank. Was hard to see, but the tip off was accumulated fuel in the felts.

Post some pics of your car if you get a chance. :)
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PostPost by: johns » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:09 am

Welcome to Elan ownership. The rubber seal on the inside of the filler cap is also an issue and can lead to fuel leaving the tank when cornering. For this reason I rarely if ever fill the tank more than half full

John
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:39 am

Weepiglet,
I'm with Stu on this one. As he says,there are several mods available. Not sure where you are based but Paul Matty (SW Birmingham) modded my car's vent system whilst he had it last year for new headlining and respray. Problem solved (in my case).
Welcome to the world of Lotus ownership.

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PostPost by: jono » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:08 am

This seems to be the preferred fix to the problem

Jon
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PostPost by: J.E.S » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:28 am

Weepiglet

If the petrol smell is particularly strong in the engine bay you may want to check for leaks / the tightness of all the connections from and including the fuel pump to the carbs - this is generally good practice as the carbs sit directly over the distributer!

Good luck.

John.
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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:57 pm

Further to John's comment above....

I have a nice smell of petrol in my +2 for ages and had assumed it was down to the breathers on the tank.

Many hours spent on the breathers and the smell was indeed reduced, but not gone.

It took a comment on the smell from my Dad to force me to check the engine bay.

All was fine till I had a feel around the petrol pump.

It was dripping, at that time my engine was leaking oil from every seam so i had asumed it to be oil. A little taste...petrol!

The diaphram on the mechanical pump had failed and was dripping petrol on the starter and drive for maybe a year :shock:

Changed the pump....petrol smells gone :)

Worth a check
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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:59 pm

johns wrote:Welcome to Elan ownership. The rubber seal on the inside of the filler cap is also an issue and can lead to fuel leaving the tank when cornering. For this reason I rarely if ever fill the tank more than half full

John


:shock: Your tank fills more than half full!! I'm jealous!!
I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
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PostPost by: Weepiglet » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:31 pm

Wow, i didn't expect such a response so this is brilliant, thanks to everyone.

I have just told 'her indoors' that I will be busy in the garage this evening, so I will check all of the above and see what I can find. The one thing I have noticed about the engine bay though is that it's quite hard to get at unless you take the bonnet off which being a total novice, I'm not sure I'm qualified to do so but I suppose no pain no gain!!

When I bought the car it had been sitting in a garage for a number of years (last MOT was 1986) so maybe the petrol smell has just infused into every item of cloth and carpet but it also seems to run quite rich with a little blue smoke when i put her to bed in the garage each night, so I will be getting this checked.

Regarding location, I'm based in Belfast so I haven't come across any other owners, even from looking at the elanregistry site!

I'll get some pictures up as soon as I figure out how to but in the meantime, thanks again and I look forward to reporting back and building new web friends on here.

Rob.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:31 pm

johns wrote: The rubber seal on the inside of the filler cap is also an issue and can lead to fuel leaving the tank when cornering. For this reason I rarely if ever fill the tank more than half full
John

I recently cured this problem by dismantling the locking bar (remove the split pin) and stretching the spring so the rubber seal is pressed tight against the filler mouth :D
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PostPost by: RichC » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:28 pm

Sean, was that on your '68 or 70 +2 ?
I've just popped out to see if I could work out what you meant & i can't!
It's a b...dy nuisance having to slow down to crawl round righthand bends so I squashed one of those soft stressballs in the top of the filler and that did the trick. \it's easy enough to pull out and it's large enough not to go down the filler tube. It sort of lets the air through but not the fuel
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PostPost by: Foxie » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:17 pm

RichC wrote:Sean, was that on your '68 or 70 +2 ?
I've just popped out to see if I could work out what you meant & i can't!


Unfortunately, the '68 has not gone around any corners for a long time..... :oops:

When you close the filler cap, you should have to push it the last way against the spring pressure. If there is little or no pressure, the sealing disc is not being held against the filler mouth.

To adjust the spring:
Open the filler cap.
Remove the split pin from the end of the locking cylinder.
Remove the locking bar, and sealing disc. The spring is underneath.
Carefully stretch it until you get a nice fit.
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:17 pm

Mine had a locking fuel filler cap, I could never stop this leaking, it seemed to leak through the barrel, in the end I fitted a aero type cap.

Kevin
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