Lotus Elan

+2 runs. It's alive!

PostPost by: rdssdi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:03 pm

After pulling the engine and tranny and repairing the tranny and engine and carbs, the car was started for the first time today.

It runs better than it has ever run. It started quickly and when we went to set the timing found that it was dead on. 9 BTDC. The distributor was set when we assembled the engine. Amazing.

After years of being plagued with a poor running car I can now say the car runs very well indeed.

I am not happy with the alloy radiator presently in the car and will be changing that this week. With the outside temperature around 17C the car gauge read an indicated 80C with the fan operating.

I assume that is close to normal. If it were summer and much hotter it may be a different story.

Bob
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:27 pm

Congrats Bob, where in the world are you?

Do you have any pictures of your car that you can post?
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:48 pm

100_0323.JPG and
100_0323.JPG and
Northeast U.S..

This photo was when the car was restored. Its been 4 or 5 years and has not run properly until today. It is not a given that using recommended specialists will yield positive results. Sorting out all the problems is quite an undertaking.

Bob
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PostPost by: cal44 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:20 am

Bob,

did you need to tear down the engine, or, was is carbs and dizzy?
Yep, sometimes them "experts" ain't so expert.

So refreshing to hook up with someone in the know and get issues worked out.

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PostPost by: rdssdi » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:58 pm

After completion of the "original" restoration the engine has had problems. Hard starting, running hot, poor performance.

When the water pump began to leak I decided to install the Dave Bean "cassette pump". I had a mechanic install the new front covers and pump. When the original covers were removed we found that the valve timing chain and gears were not getting sufficient lubricant and suffered extreme wear. It was determined that excess sealer had clogged the small port at the bottom of the inner cover as well as some of the small coolant to pump passages. The timing chain was also rubbing the plate and wore a groove into it. We theorized that the lack of proper lubrication wore the gears and chain rapidly causing loosening of the chain tension. Once the covers and gears and chain were replaced I expected no more "issues". I was wrong.

Returning from a car show the car developed a front end vibration and a transmission whine. The engine still ran hot and did not run well. It was then decided that the engine and transmission be removed for inspection and repair. The vibration was caused by the loss of a balance weight. As the tires were old although not showing wear I replaced them. Rebalanced and now work well. We found that the transmission main shaft had excess fore/aft play. It required a shim under the front "cap" which retains the ball bearing to remove the excess play.

When the engine head was removed we found excess carbon. This may have been from the fact that the Zenith Stromberg carbs were improperly rebuilt. The auto enrichment devises were reversed. therefore the car ran lean when it should be richer and vice versa. They were rebuilt again. We removed the carbon and also found that the exhaust valves were timed improperly. It was off by one tooth around 9 degrees. As the front covers and pump had been installed without removing the head the gasket sealer was sloppy. This of course was redone. The valves also needed to be adjusted. Then the pan was cleaned and all was assembled.

With the rebuilt transmission attached I fit it all to the car. I used the original distributor which had been rebuilt with a Pertronix when the car was originally restored. I replaced the 8mm wires for new 7mm wires. The old wires were very long and may have contributed to the poor engine performance. Of course supplied by the specialist who rebuilt the engine.


I have a new radiator to install and then I plan on using the car until the winter weather sets in.

Bob
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PostPost by: Johnfm » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:08 pm

Lovely looking car.

Glad to hear it is now running well, too.

How come the gaps between the tyres and the arches are so large?

Is that a US ride height thing?
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PostPost by: Bombay Racing Green » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:52 pm

Nice one Bob! Looking good.

Re. The ride height. I replaced the old front shocks with reconditioned +2 koni dampers. I always thought it sat way too low at the front. This was confirmed by the fact that the offside front wheel must have rubbed on the arch at full lock as there was a slight detent on the inside of the arch. I replaced those shocks with a set of TTR adjustable shocks and set the ride roughly height from a diagram that was in the Motor road test number 29/67. I found it on page 35 of the brooklands books lotus Elan collection no. 2. Hope it helps!

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PostPost by: rdssdi » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:59 pm

I installed new Spax dampers when it was restored. My TVR Vixen has Koni.

It does look like the ride height is excessive but in person looks normal to me. The TVR has a low ride height. You have to avoid every small imperfection. I already bent the sway bar u-bolt on a protruding man hole cover.

I believe that the front +2 dampers have a height adjustment. Also the car has a Spyder chassis. When fitting a new chassis either Spyder or Lotus the front body height is critical. If it is too low the hood (bonnet) will contact the front of the valve cover. I had to shim the body up quite a bit. Remember that holes are drilled and tapped at the mounting bobbins once the body is properly fit. So it is possible that the required shimming makes the ride height appear excessive.

Bob
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