Lotus Elan

NEW MEMBER - Oil Pressure

PostPost by: helpmylotus » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:14 pm

Hello:

I am helping a friend work on a 1972 Lotus Elan Plus 2. The car has 2001 plates and we suspect it's been driven as recently as 3 years ago. We got the car to fire up on starting fluid so I pulled the carbs and cleaned out the bowls. We replaced the O rings on the brass fittings. The car will run now but we noticed the oil gauge isn't moving. I suspect the gauge or the connection to the gauge. My Europa and Cooper have a plastic oil line running to the gauge. From what I recall (the car is an hour away) there is a sending unit on the Elan. Since the Elan already has 10 other electrical issues, am I correct in my suspicion? Is there a way to get a reading another way?

I'm a long time Brit car fan with deep intimacy with my MK1 Cooper and am currently learning my Europa (the hard, HARD way). I'll take any advice and input.

Thank you in advance for your help. I hope to get this car on the road for him (and me) soon.
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PostPost by: helpmylotus » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:34 am

Hello? Anyone? I'm hoping to learn from your advice. Talk to me.
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:11 am

It would be very unusual for the oil pump not to make oil pressure, even after sitting. Check the engine oil level with the dipstick.

I would pull the sender, pull the spark plugs and crank the starter. It will take about 20 to 30 seconds to build oil flow from the oil pump and send oil out the hole.

10 electrical problems strongly suggests a ground problem somewhere, check the engine to chassis earthing strap first, on the right side motor mount. There is a grounding lug on the passenger side where the dash meets the center console that bolts through to the chassis. Check there first.

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:11 pm

I would have started by changing the engine oil and filter. A 1972 +2 will have an electrical oil pressure sender located just below the distributor. As Dan suggest you can take the sender out and turn the engine over. If the oil galleries are being pressurized this will make one serious mess, the sender is effectively right at the discharge from the oil pump. You can also remove the oil filler cap and see if the end of the exhaust camshaft is wet. You can remove the filler cap with the engine running but a lot of oil will be thrown around so have a rag in hand.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:21 pm

We had a car with a similar problem come in work recently, i don't know the full background but i was told it had stood for a while and the owner was recommissioning it, after a run round the block noticed he had no oil pressure :roll: ...... Turned out the Oil pressure relief valve in the pump had stuck.


Knowing Lotus wiring though it wouldn't shock me if you had a bad wire or plug either.
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:14 pm

Interestingly my 72 +2 has a plastic tube to the gauge running from a tapping on the RH side of the block near the front. So not necessarily an electrical fault.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:42 pm

Donels wrote:Interestingly my 72 +2 has a plastic tube to the gauge running from a tapping on the RH side of the block near the front. So not necessarily an electrical fault.

Does it? Thought all the later +2's had Electric gauges.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:25 pm

Grizzly wrote:Does it? Thought all the later +2's had Electric gauges.


I would have said the same, my +2S (mid-1971 build) has always had an electrical oil pressure sender and gauge. The Service Parts List is not too helpful. Part numbers for the oil pressure gauge change with introduction of the +2S and again with the S130. The oil pressure sender does not seem to appear in the Service Parts List at all.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:40 pm

Later cars where mechanical I believe, my late 73 s130 certainly is.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: mcclelland » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:39 am

Hi,

my late S130 has a mechanical oil press gauge. I know its original as the car had not been touched or on the road since 1978. I have also replaced the engine bay wiring loom and this does not have an electrical connection in the engine bay for the pressure gauge. The original wiring loom was also void of the connection.

Regards, George.
George McC.
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1994 Elan M100 S2
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:34 pm

My 1967 Plus 2 had a piped gauge, I’ve just changed it for an electric one. Possible problem if it’s an electric gauge is the voltage stabiliser, they aren’t the most reliable and need to mounted in the correct orientation to work.
If it’s a piped mechanical one it could be several things, the gauge has failed, the pipe to it is blocked with solidified oil, the pump gears are completely dry and can’t draw up oil, the pick up pipe is blocked, maybe by crud in the strainer, the filter is blocked, the relief valve is stuck open, there is no oil in the engine, the jack shaft is not turning etc although the majority of these are very unlikely. If possible I’d do as previously suggested, spin the engine over with the gauge fitting unscrewed from the block, if oil spews out the pump is working, next fit a known working gauge there and measure the pressure, it’ll probably be ok but once you know the pressure you are getting to have something to work from.
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