Lotus Elan

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PostPost by: John Howes » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:31 pm

Hi all
I was at Goodwood yesterday for the Club Lotus track day.
Picking brains etc and was advised to join this forum.
So here I am.
I bought my 1965 S2 reg MMX 912C in 1977 she was sitting in a puddle at the back of a garage in Chichester.
Painted BROWN yes chocolate brown, the lights were bogged in with filler in the up position and an air scoop cut out of the underside of the nose cone. Cost me £575 almost every penny I had at the time.
I sorted things out and I used her on a daily basis until 1987 when I moved abroad for a few yrs, I ran her again on my return in 1995 untill 2002, the telling last tax disc on the screen.
She has sat in the garage since the water pump went, life ticked by, but now its time to get her back on the road.
The head needs sorting for unleaded a sparkplug thread needs helicoiling and the waterpump needs replacing.
all the running gear brakes etc will need sorting and heaven knows what else.
Any advice re how far to go with the head, valve guides etc and where to get the head sorted, gratefully recieved.
Watch this space
Many Thanks for letting me join. John
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:58 am

Welcome, John.

I think we spoke about your car, and I'll reiterate what I said so that others can comment on the points or add their own.

  • If your engine is turning over freely, it might be worth doing a compression test. This would tell you much about the condition of the valves and piston rings. Should you decide you want to do this and it's been sat for years, put some oil in the bores and turn it over slowly to lubricate before testing (with the starter motor). I have a compression tester you can borrow.
  • Fitting hardened valve seats is always a good idea when you are doing head work, but some say it's not really necessary straight away. Partially because there is likely still some lead in the seat metal and partly because you can buy lead replacement additives. I think it is only really necessary to replace the exhaust valve seats (correct me if I'm wrong!). The other thing I suggested is that you could leave it as-is and then replace the seats if / when you start losing compression. Depends on how many miles you are going to do in it, but I reckon that if the job needs to be done you may as well have the expense later rather than sooner. Take a look at this thread: lotus-carbs-f40/fuel-change-unleaded-t1998.html
  • To replace the water pump you need to pull the engine. Not sure if the cylinder head also needs to come off. You also have the (expensive) option of fitting a "cassette" type pump which means it is not an engine out job to replace in the future.
  • Should you decide (or need) to remove the head, do a leak test. It's another way of checking on the valve seals. Place the head upside down on a waterproof tray in a well ventilated spot and pour petrol into each combustion cavity. Leaks will be pretty obvious and would indicate a valve in need of closer inspection / repair.

Regards
JonB
1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:46 am

Am I showing my ignorance here but why would you need to pull the engine out to replace a water pump?
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:02 am

As I understand it, with the standard pump you have to take the front casing off as the pump is built into it and there is not enough clearance with the engine in situ. I think this is why people tend to replace the water pump as a matter of routine whenever the engine is removed, even if the pump is OK at the time.
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:11 am

hello john and welcome to the forum....lots of friendly knowledge and advice on here....
on the subject of water pumps, mine needed replacement about a year ago, but I didn't replace it!
instead, I installed an ewp....not original I know, but easily reversible if some elanorak gets hold of the car.....
good luck!
:D fred :D
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:22 am

elanfan1 wrote:Am I showing my ignorance here but why would you need to pull the engine out to replace a water pump?


You can get the front cover off with the engine still in the car by pulling the cylinder head and dropping the sump slightly. It's getting the sump sealed properly when you rebuild it all that's been the stumbling block for me when I did it that way last time.

On the 2 seater with a std chassis the crossmember is fixed and it stops you dropping the sump far enough to be able to get proper sealant access - particularly at the back. Mine leaks enough to be annoying but not enough that I've got under there with a hacksaw. :)
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:05 am

Welcome! I have a S2 registered MVX 919C. Was your car originally green? PM with the chassis number, if it's a similar chassis number to mine I might be able to send you a copy of the Lotus sales book, I have a photocopy from the factory. My car was from July '65.
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:00 pm

Welcome John! Good chatting to you on Saturday. I’m Steve with the white S3.

The bible I mentioned is Brian Buckland’s “Rebuilding of the Lotus Elan” which is just about to be printed in second edition. Well worth the £80.

Good luck with getting her back on the road! This forum is such a valuable resource.

Best
Steve
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1970 +2S (RIP - went out in a blaze of glory in 2001)
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:47 am

I agree with Stuart (69S4) re water pump replacement, it's quite doable without engine removal. Getting the sump to retain it's contents afterwards is much less so on the Elan. The removable cross member on the +2 (& Spyder chassis') makes this a much easier task.

Regarding valve seats & unleaded, it's an alloy head, so already has hardened seats fitted. My +2 had it's seats re-cut & new valves fitted as part of it's re-build in the late eighties, it's done well over 20,000 miles, probably nearer 30,000, on unleaded, using no additives at all, since 4 star disappeared from our forecourts. The guides are needing some attention now, but never had any problems with valves or seats.

As others have already said, welcome along & good luck with your restoration.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: Europatc » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:20 pm

Welcome John
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PostPost by: John Howes » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:22 am

Hi
I am trying to reply to Mazzini
my messaged do not seem to be loading up to the forum
Help!
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:39 am

John Howes wrote:Hi
I am trying to reply to Mazzini
my messaged do not seem to be loading up to the forum
Help!


I got it and have replied :-)
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:12 pm

JonB wrote:As I understand it, with the standard pump you have to take the front casing off as the pump is built into it and there is not enough clearance with the engine in situ. I think this is why people tend to replace the water pump as a matter of routine whenever the engine is removed, even if the pump is OK at the time.



Not quite. There is room to remove the front of the timing case in situ (I once had to do it at a campsite) but you have to either lift the head or lower the sump, so the whole job is a lot easier with the engine out.
Bill Williams

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