Lotus Elan

So it begins!

PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sat May 10, 2014 2:27 pm

Just thought I would share with you the commencement of my journey.

image.jpg and
We have lift off!


Over on the introductions section you can view a few posts, commenced by geoff777. This is the same vehicle, now in my possession. Perhaps not quite a barn find, but certainly a vehicle that has been off the road for 27 years!

Got it home safely from Maidenhead to Caistor (nr Cadwell!) and it's now in my garage. But before I put it away (perhaps for a loooong time!) I couldn't stop myself spending a little time cleaning it up a bit. You may be able to see from the pics that after washing it, I t-cut the door and rear quarter.

image.jpg and
After a wash!


Also, whoever discovered the use of tin foil and vinegar for cleaning discoloured chrome is an absolute genius! Can't believe how easily the chrome wheel rims came up in no time at all!

image.jpg and
Before

image.jpg and
After


So the good news is the bodywork isn't too bad. Not such good news, though I'm sure you will tell me it's very normal, is the clutch seems to be seized meaning it's permanently in gear, and therefore a pig to push! But I suppose at least it demonstrates the engine turns freely!

A number of people, have suggested I try to start it. I guess I'll have to suspend at least one, maybe both rear wheels to attempt that? It may then be possible to free off the clutch?? But after 27 years that may be a little optimistic!!?

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Andy
Last edited by EPC 394J on Sat May 10, 2014 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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PostPost by: oldchieft » Sat May 10, 2014 2:36 pm

When I worked away for a year at a time I would come home and find the clutch plate stuck to the fly wheel.

The answer that never failed was to get it on to a clear flat road, start it in first, then drive it with the clutch pushed out.

Took about a mile once but you get chance to practice clutch-less changes.

On reading again you say it stuck and turning the engine, so you have no neutral?

That sounds like gear box problems, first motion shaft/main shaft spigot?

If it locks solid in all but one position then the one that not locked is the problem, could be a gear bearing or bulk ring rusted to a gear cone?

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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sat May 10, 2014 4:01 pm

Hi Jon.

Yes I think you are likely to be correct, as it seems to be stuck in gear. Will spend a bit more time with it and see what I can turn up.

Cheers

Andy
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat May 10, 2014 5:48 pm

Andy,

Lincolnshire Lotus meet at the Kings Head Tealby second Thursday of the month 20:00.

We are a small group, 10 is a big meeting, but someone may be able to help.

North Yorkshire Lotus Owners Club meet at the Buckles Inn on the A64 south of York on the east bound carriageway. This is a large club, the May June & July meetings could have 100 cars if the weather is good. Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of the month, with people starting to arrive from 18:00 for a 20:00 formal start.

Regards

Richard Hawkins ( North Thoresby)
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sat May 10, 2014 5:58 pm

Guaranteed clutch freeing method.

Raise the rear of car on a trolly jack, run the car at mid revs in top gear with the clutch depressed (not first gear or the ratio will work against you) have a helper drop the car down onto the road, instant unstuck clutch and the car wont have moved an inch.

It might sound like a recipe for destroying the rotoflexes but there is hardly any torque transfer and not a lot of inertia compared to a dumped clutch drag start that all the vehicles will have suffered at one time or another.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sat May 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Hi Richard.

Thanks for that. I know the Kings Head very well indeed. In fact the road from Tealby to Brigsley is the road I most remember from my previous Plus 2 ownership, many years ago!

Will see you there.

Chancer

Thanks for that. If I ever get the engine started I'll give it a try!

Andy
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Sat May 10, 2014 7:48 pm

Quick update.

The gear selector moves normally into all four gear positions. When selected to neutral, the car rolls perfectly freely!

DOH!!!!

Both the clutch and brake pedals are as solid as rocks. So I believe this is indeed a seized clutch??

Thanks

Andy
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Sat May 10, 2014 8:12 pm

If both pedals are solid on a common shaft I would look at the shaft rusted up.

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon May 12, 2014 9:35 pm

Andy, the gentlest way of freeing off the clutch is the 'thermal cycle', which is essentially running the engine until it's hot, and with a bit of luck, the clutch will come free after a bit of pumping after just that.

More likely, let it all cool down overnight, then jack up one wheel and start again and get the engine hot. Put it into 2nd with the clutch down, and blip the throttle, then hit the brake (still with the clutch down). Even the most stubborn clutch yields to this after a few goes!

It is mainly the process of heating and cooling that frees the clutch, and the method is a fair bit more gentle that the others.

Of course it means that you have to have a running engine, working clutch and brake hydraulics and good rotoflex couplings before you can use this method.

With regards to starting the engine, apart from the obvious things like changing all the fluids, overhauling the carbs and replacing the petrol feed pipes, check the water pump to see if it's either seized or loose. If it's either, the engine will have to come out anyway, so there's little point in trying to get it going first.

I'm pretty sure it would need to come out, if only for the dried-out gaskets, especially the rear crankshaft oil seal. Depending on the storage environment, the valves and seats may also have a little rust on their faces and need a little lapping in.

A compression test would give some indications of any valve work that could be needed.

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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Mon May 12, 2014 9:49 pm

Thanks very much Mark.

I appreciate your help, and advice. I'll keep you updated.

Jon and others too.

Regards

Andy
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PostPost by: cal44 » Mon May 12, 2014 10:29 pm

Andy, or anyone that will listen.

Try using (fine) bronze wool on chrome. I learned to use it on quite a few things like cured wood finishes, chrome/brass/bronze,
The vintage boat builder in the area got me on this some years ago. Also bronze won't rust if some is left behind.
Works perfect around the chrome bezels on the interior dash

mike
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