Lotus Elan

+2S Engine removal to fix oil leaks

PostPost by: JonB » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:27 am

Morning!

Today I am pondering the oil leaks in my S130. I have engine and gearbox leaks. So I think I will need to pull both units out of the car at some point (in the future!) , and I'm wondering about the best approach. I read this thread:

lotus-twincam-f39/how-remove-engine-t16246.html

..and it seems to advocate removing the head with the engine in situ, then pulling the engine out, leaving the gearbox in place. But as ever, there are many options. For example:

  • Do as the thread suggests!
  • Pull the engine only (with the head in place).
  • Pull the engine and box with / without the head in place (my preferred option if I'm honest)

I think the question is: how hard would it be to do the third option? I have a hydraulic engine hoist and will buy a rig to allow me to set the engine angle. Can the propshaft flange be left in place (so that the propshaft comes apart at the splined joint), and if so how difficult would it be to reassemble compared with unbolting the flange?

As the engine leaks are my biggest concern, maybe I should just pull the head and replace the timing chest gasket (which is definitely leaking on both sides, at the rear)? However, I've been told that pulling the 'box will allow me to fit a breather to it.. decisions, decisions!

I do have an engine stand, which I would love to use for this as it will give good access to the engine for cleaning and repainting. I could even fit a new water pump while I'm at it (as a precautionary measure - the existing pump is fine). Naturally new oil seals at the crankshaft (both ends). Check the fuel pump and distributor seals. Check the breather tubes. Of course, there is the risk of disappearing down a rabbit hole and ending up with a full rebuild ("because you know, the engine's out, so might as well") but there is probably no need as I have good oil pressure and excellent compression figures. The temptation to decoke the head and lap in the valve seats will be strong, but I must resist..!

What do you think?
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:10 pm

With a Spyder chassis you can remove the crossmember.

Why attempt with the head in place if it is coming off anyway?

You cannot cure gearbox leaks in situ. (Or the other mods.)

On the 5 speed the propshaft is held by a threaded collar. You will have to loosen that or the UJ bolts.

You may need an extension for your engine lift.

The way I found easiest was :
OUT - Head off , Exhaust and sundries out of the way, engine out, gearbox out. Note carefully where the spyder engine mounts go.

IN - Engine and box combined. Again, with the member removed, its not that difficult.

Dropping the front of the car also helps.
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:19 pm

vincereynard wrote:Why attempt with the head in place if it is coming off anyway?


Well, it is easier to access on a stand for one thing. Plus, I would like to assemble the engine fully on the stand, so I would be fitting it "head on" - if possible!

Cheers
JonB
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:37 pm

It's a damn sight better on the knees/back working on the head/engine out of the car than in the car...

Having said that the ancillaries are better left till the engine is in the car , starter , alternator , carbs.

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PostPost by: jono » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:41 pm

Like this:
Attachments
p1060903-copy.jpg and
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:15 pm

Yeah!

Like the blue colour!

How long is your hoist's arm? Mine does extend as well, but I don't know if it is long enough. Also, I presume you rolled the car back rather than move the hoist?
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:41 pm

Can't recall but I think they're all pretty much the same.

No, the crane can be moved on it's castors with the engine hanging so you don't need to move the car. I did the engine out and back in job entirely on my own in this picture but it's better with a helper!

I've since installed a 2 post which makes it much simpler as you can adjust the height of the car as well which is great for lining up.

15k miles later the engine is out again to cure oil leaks - this time I plan to leave it in for a long time!
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:27 pm

In my opinion to two hassle getting the engine and gearbox out on a 5 speed are prop shaft that need to be unbolted from the gearbox and getting the bell housing past the engine mount brackets. Neither of these are an issue on a spyder spaceframe chassis....

So which way i went would depend on the equipment and work area. I needed the full 8ft height of my garage ceiling to get the hoist in position to fit my engine and gearbox as a combo. So if you have low ceiling or limited reach hoist I'd separate the engine and gearbox. Personally I'd try avoid removing the head until the engine was off the car i think it lower the risk exposing the components to damage.

For refitting I suggest trying to fit the whole unit (minus starter, carbs alternator etc) as will be lot easier to get the gearbox on the engine out of the car. The only real hassle i had with this route was getting it past teh engine mount brackets which won't affect you.
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:33 pm

Planning to do this myself fairly imminently, as I’ve read it’s the only satisfactory solution for changing the water pump.

Can I just ask: I’m guessing it’s fairly straightforward to separate the engine and gearbox whilst in situ, once you have (safe!) access from underneath the car? Mine’s a 4 speed.

If only someone had filmed this for YouTube! :D :D

Many thanks.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:51 pm

Actually I did film putting the engine back in and it's on you tube , i did it in two stages , fitted the gearbox then the engine.

Next time I'm going to try doing it with both engine and gearbox together.

I think the tricky bit will be getting the prop yoke back in , you can just about do that from the rear if you drop the left hand side a frame.

As far as fixing oil leaks goes , if the rear oil seal leaks it has to be an engine out job , the sump can be done in situ and so can the front cover but I had more success out of the car.

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:16 pm

"I think the question is: how hard would it be to do the third option? I have a hydraulic engine hoist and will buy a rig to allow me to set the engine angle. Can the propshaft flange be left in place (so that the propshaft comes apart at the splined joint), and if so how difficult would it be to reassemble compared with unbolting the flange?"

Jon
depends how much of a purist you are....

uj-access-plate.jpg and


uj-access-plate-prop.jpg and


uj-access-prop.jpg and


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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:53 am

Brilliant, Mssr. Clegg. I will have to remember that when I get around to a body off job.
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:54 am

Is that a Lotus chassis? You added lightness, but did you remove strength? It's a good idea but not for me. Knowing my luck I'd probably end up cutting the chassis in half... :lol:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:56 am

I always do it on my own and pull and replace the engine as a complete unit without the gearbox using a normal engine hoist. On a plus 2 with a spyder chassis this way is even easier than it is on an Elan due to more access around the engine to get to the bell housing bolts and with the removable engine mount arms.. I then remove the gearbox if i have to do work on that and replace it before refitting the engine.

I have tried all the other ways over the years. I even once pulled the head and sump in my plus 2 to replace the water pump, many years ago - would not do it that way again as my back could not take the bending over the wide plus 2 these days.

cheers
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:55 am

OK Rohan.. but I always found (on other cars, I hasten to add!) that it was a right pain in the bum aligning the gearbox splines with the clutch on reassembly. However, if it really is not possible to take the engine & box out as one unit, I'll do it your way (when I finally do it!).
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