Lotus Elan

Engine Sudden Stalls

PostPost by: Lotus130 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:09 pm

I have a Lotus Elan+2/s with the following problem. Startup ok and runs perfectly but after few kilometers run, engine suddenly stalls with no means of engine startup. After 45mins engine starts again perfectly. It has a magnetic distributor. Wiring from distributor to coil and solenoid are tightly connected. Would like to hear if anyone has ever experienced such a problem and what was the solution. Regards Kenneth
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:59 am

To run fine, then pack up when hot - only to work fine again usually indicates an electrical problem.

You should check whether you have a spark at the plug during the period the car is hot and won't start. No spark, definitely an electrical problem. If you have a healthy spark, then you may have a fuel vapourisation issue or a problem with the pump - although that would be unlikely.

There are a number of components in the ignition system that are heat sensitive. I have had coils, distributor caps, rotor arms and electronic ignition modules all work fine when cold, but fail as they got hot. Easiest way (if you have the spares available) is to substitute components until the problem goes away.

If you don't have the spares, then you will have to work your way through the system one step a time until you come across the bit that doesn't work.

edit: It is always possible you have a vacuum forming in the tank if the breathing system is blocked (although most of the posts on here about plus 2 tanks seem to have the opposite problem). A quick test is to undo the flller cap and see if the car starts. Unlikely to be the problem, but very easy to test for.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:47 am

Seems Andy has given an excellent rundown, Kenneth.

Clearly, the time to diagnose the problem is when there IS a problem, so you would have to bring tools and spares along on your next drive and be prepared to go through a checklist.

No question I would start, as Andy suggested, with spark at the plug; easiest thing to check first. Work logically from there.

I once had a bad ignition coil and did not have a spare to swap in, as a way to check. Spares can be expensive, but in the long run are a necessary bit of kit as we travel down the road of classic car life :wink:

Let us know how it turns out!

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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:34 am

Kenneth
My first thought is a failing rotor arm in the distributor.
Mine had a similar fault but did start misfiring before failing altogether. It recovered when cooled down.
It is quick, cheap and easy and may be due for renewal anyway.
As Andy says, check for a spark.
Best of luck
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:20 am

ericbushby wrote:Kenneth
My first thought is a failing rotor arm in the distributor.
Mine had a similar fault but did start misfiring before failing altogether. It recovered when cooled down.
It is quick, cheap and easy and may be due for renewal anyway.
As Andy says, check for a spark.
Best of luck
Eric in Burnley
1967 S3SE DHC




But be sure to get a good quality one, there aree a lot of crap copies on the market.

Try the Distributor Doctor for a replacement.
Bill Williams

36/6725 S3 Coupe OGU108E Yellow over Black.
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PostPost by: steve.thomas » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:58 am

I had a similar problem recently which i thought was either coil or electronic ignition failing. I swapped out both but the problem persisted. Eventually i traced it to a partial blockage in the fuel tank outlet. It seems the pump could provide enough fuel at tickover, but after 20 mins driving it would starve. When cooled it would re-start fine, which implies fuel was syphoning from the tank to the carbs, which i have heard of before on the Plus 2 due to the relatively high position of the tank.
Regards
Steve
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PostPost by: Harvey » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:23 am

An engine needs both spark and fuel to run. If you are getting spark delivered at the right time and the car will not fire then I would check to see if the carbs are getting fuel. This can be tested by pulling off the fuel line to the carbs, placing the line in a bottle and then turning on the ignition if the fuel pump is electric or simply cranking the engine if the fuel pump is mechanical. Be quick to turn the ignition off however because the bottle will fill pretty quick if the fuel pump is working.

I have had two cars, one on SU carbs, and one on Strombergs where the inlet jet to the float bowl became partially clogged not allowing enough gas to keep the float bowl filled so that a few miles into a drive one of the carbs would starve two of the cylinders and the car would lose power. Not quite what you are experiencing here but fuel delivery problems can take many forms.

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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:15 am

My money's on the coil - try that first.
1970 S4SE/1760cc big valve/SA-AX block, L2s, 45DCOEs, 1978 Jensen GT, 1962 AH Sprite, Alfa-Romeo 159, 1966 Bristol Bus, 1947 AEC Regal bus.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:00 pm

For me it's for sure the Condenser made in China. The last one on my car lasted 80 kms :shock:
Fit a Hall effect sensor in the dissy and throw away the Points + Condenser.
Or buy from "Distributor Doctor" :wink:
Alan
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PostPost by: pauljones » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:49 pm

I agree with coil. Next time touch it with back of your hand. It may be very hot so be carefull. Have you left your ignition on by chance in the past? Mine done exactly the same. I fitted the luminition sports coil but quickly went to Aldon for the ignitor 2, matching coil and leads. Worked a treat. I went to efi after so i kept them as they were so good. I know some have fitted a bosche coil. Blue i think. A simmilar sports coil with good results.
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:59 am

If you have a "HALL" effect sensor fitted did you remove the pip on the Base Plate and also use the Thermal Grease :wink:
Alan
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:12 am

Worth checking but some sensors have a holes pre drilled hole to avoid that issue. My pertonix did.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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