Lotus Elan

Pinion oil seal

PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:50 am

It's no so much changing the seal as ensuring that you get the nut back on exactly the same.
Doable but convenient? Especially if you're doing output shaft seals and possibly bearings?
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:44 am

Well, I just spent a couple of hours pulling the right hand halfshaft off while listening to Spandau Ballet's "Gold" on the radio, singing along with my own words...

"Cuz doughnuts are shite!
Ah! Can't get these spanners to turn,
Something I should've learned,
Doughnuts are shite..!
CV joints beat them!"

If you are from the US you may not know this hit 80s song. Apologies.

Anyway, it's off, and the output shaft seal on that side is gone too.

I now turn my attention to a hot snack and some tea, cuz I'm forozen. Then I will start the next fight, which is undoing the propshaft bolts. I can see with a high degree of clarity that a pit or proper lift would make all this pretty trivial. As it is,, I'm struggling with stands and a creeper.

Horrid job. How is it that crud falls in your eyes every time you move a muscle when you're lying under a car?
1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:56 am

Jon
Are you clamping up the doughnuts with 3 jubilee clips?
That does help bolt removal as well as insertion.

Only 4 small bolts for the propshaft so should be a quick win even on your back!
Mark
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:45 am

MarkDa wrote:Jon
Are you clamping up the doughnuts with 3 jubilee clips?
That does help bolt removal as well as insertion.

Only 4 small bolts for the propshaft so should be a quick win even on your back!
Mark

+1 about the 3 jubilee clips + support under the Chapman Strut to keep Drive Shafts in horizontal position. That way rotoflexs are in as free/unstressed position as possible.
Alan
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:19 pm

Or if you have already removed the wishbone compress the spring with a pair of ratchet straps.
Last edited by MarkDa on Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:28 pm

Yes, the good thing about ratchet straps they can't go flying across the workshop :oops:
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PostPost by: USA64 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:02 pm

As to the donuts I found that by squeezing the doughnut with a large slip-lock pliers I could moved one hole at a time into the right spot to receive the bolt. It seemed easier than trying to get all three at the right diameter at once with a circular clamp.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:37 pm

Well here is my report.

Got the right hand driveshaft out without the jubilee clips. Bit of a palaver, but not too hard. I found a mating mark already on the propshaft and diff flanges, so didn't bother making more. Propshaft bolts were a bit of a pig. Really tight and hard to access. Must've taken an hour! Took off the leading bolts of the diff brace rods (the easiest part of the job). The diff top mount bolts required removal of the rear seat back and rear tunnel trim (and seatbelts!) because my car has extra soundproofing which meant I couldn't get under the tank. I found the two neatly cut out flaps for the nuts and braced a 14mm spanner against each then undid them with the diff chocked up, while lying under the car. Diff came out fairly easily on the left hand side, although it did get jammed at one point which required "persuasion" with my magic screwdriver.

img_4447.jpg and

Pretty filthy and rusty, so I laid into the muck with a scraper.

img_4448.jpg and

That layer is about 3-5mm thick. It's dirt and grease, and does a good job protecting the underside of the car.

Eventually I had most of the crud off the thing (with two bouts of degreasing), at which point I had uncovered the famous LOTUS marking.

img_4456.jpg and

At this point I felt confident that if I opened the oil filler plug, I wouldn't get any muck inside the diff casing. I drained all the oil out of it into a waiting oil drain can.

img_4464.jpg and

It's quite clean (you can see the drain ribs of the plastic can clearly) and there was a surprisingly large quantity of it. This must be why it didn't whine or show any other signs of wear while driving.
Last edited by JonB on Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:43 pm

Once done, I put the plug back in and ran the angle grinder with wire brush over it to remove excess rust, then slapped a load of Hammerite in the iron casting and brace rods (which I didn't bother taking off).


img_4466.jpg and

img_4467.jpg and

It's not perfect but will protect the casing from further corrosion.

By the way, I took a shot of the diff brace. Here we see it is a little more than a piece of angle iron. There's a spacer braised onto it and a cutout for the breather plug, plus an indentation that goes round the rear of the casing.

img_4453.jpg and

Inspecting the diff, I can see that it's been apart before. There is evidence of a gasket sealing compound around the rim of the casing join. I can feel the smallest amount of play in the diff action but once this is taken up the action is smooth. I would like to think it's been properly overhauled at some point, though I've no documentary evidence.

So, all ready to do the seals, then. I scraped the excess grease from the underside of the car where it had been spraying out of the pinion shaft and packed up. Total elapsed time, about 9 hours.

A quick question for those of you with Sue Miller's CV joints. My output shafts are "fail safe" types, with a pin coming out of the centre of each of the three legged spiders. It's the same at the wheel axle. Do I need to modify these, or will the CV joints fit as is?
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:15 pm

Well done.
Cut the fail safe pins off (you have no choice) if you fit CV Drive Shafts. When you change the Seals on the Diff Output Shafts i imagine you will change the Bearings.
For the Bolt that holds the Diff Brace to the Diff it's a good idea to replace the bolt with an Allen screw (easier assembly).
Lots of owners have fitted heavy duty Frustacones to hold Diff in place.
Alan
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:52 pm

USA64
The great thing about 3 clips is that you can adjust each bolt hole separately as you work and you have both hands available.
Last edited by MarkDa on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:05 pm

Jon
Great work!
Sorry to hear about the propshaft bolts!
Got agree that after all this effort it probably does make sense to do the bearings as you'll have shafts out.
Not too surprised about volume of oil as leak was at driveshaft. And a little oil does go a long way when libing gears.
Have you sourced new diff oil yet?
Redline gets good reports and is available at at good price mail order from eurocarparts when they have 25/30% off - which is quite often.
Is Sue Miller selling shafts again?
I'm happy with my Spyder 50/50 shafts and as I had some decent doughnuts a bit cheaper.
Mark.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:06 pm

+1 been doing that for years.
If i fit new doughnuts i cut the retaining bands off and compress with 3 jubilee clips. I use an old rear brake disk to adjust the holes in the doughnuts to aline perfectly. So easy.
Alan
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:26 pm

Mark,
Yes, Sue miller is selling CV shafts as an agent for Kelvedon. Same product, same price.
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:52 pm

Not doing the bearings, they are fine. Besides, I do not have unlimited funds. Anyway, once I fit CVs I reckon it will be easy to do shaft bearings in situ. As to the enhanced top mount, I've heard differing reports. I think I'll skip them as they are stupidly expensive, but I may fit new standard ones if I can work out how to remove the old ones.

The brace bar bushes seem to be quite good.. easy to fit without major surgery, again. Regarding changing the diff brace bolt, I think it's not necessary as I didn't need to take the brace off to remove the diff from my chassis.

Only reason I took the diff out is to do the pinion seal and clean / paint the thing. Next time it comes out, I'll be doing a body off resto. In a few years, so this is preservation rather than restoration.

:D

Was planning on using standard gear oil for the diff. I have some Red Line for the gearbox, but was advised not to use it in the diff - was told "use normal EP90 gear oil" - so that is what I have.
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