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Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:52 pm
by billwill
Well fixing that proved a little easier than expected.

I was able to get the nylon plug out, by first ising an appropriate size tap in the centre hole, then with an old long bolt of that thread and a heavy-ish socket spanner I was able to improvise a lightweight slug hammer to pull the nylon out. I did it with hand inside a big plastic storage box so that I would not lose the spring and the valve-piece.

I had to clean up all the orange Instant Gasket goo, which didn't set properly.

Before putting the valve bits back in the correct sequence I first decided to make a positive engineering modification to ensure that it would not fall out again. So I drilled two tiny holes sideways in the aluminium where the nylon plug goes in.

Then I put the bits back, first the valve piece with the stem and O-ring facing inwards towards the top of the unit, then the light weight spring, then the nylon plug with the flat surface towards the spring. All taking care to ensure that the stem of the valve piece goes through the valve hole where it can meet with the stem of the adjusting screw on the top of the unit. then I tapped the nylon plug into place with a tack hammer.

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Filter King, with valve re-inserted.

Then I completed my reliability modification, by extending the holes in the aluminium through the sides of the nylon plug. Next I used some thin steel wires (as used for securing brake mounting bolts) poked it right through the holes in the aluminium and nylon, then bent it over and twisted the end together. This wire will now have to be removed before the nylon plug can come out.

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Filter King with binding wire to prevent valve fall out.

Finally I finished cleaning off the orange goo, and made a new rubber ring seal from a sheet of rubber that i have handy. Then with the top of the Filter King upside down, put the filter cartridge back in, balanced its spring on top and put the bowl on. I had to do up the securing screw of the bowl rather tight as my rubber ring is a bit uneven, but if you can stand the taste of residual petrol, you can test for leaks by ptutting a finger over the outlet pipe and sucking on the inlet pipe. :?

Anyway I put it all back on the car and went for a short run. Can't really tell if my surge symptoms are still there as the roads were not clear enough here in London, but at least she is running fairly well.
Difficult to tell the difference between undesirable surging on acceleration and the normal surging caused by having a doughnut transmission. Maybe there's nothing wrong with the car, just maybe my Elan driving reflexes are shot to pieces from her being off the road so long.

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:58 pm
by billwill
Went out for a longish run to aid running in and check for symptoms.

Made a Running In badge for the rear window first, in case I decided to go on a motorway in the slow lane. {can't have the public thinking old sports cars can't go fast. :D ).

Turned into a typical Lotus Elan cruise; went first to Rob Morleys works, but not surprisingly there was no-one home, noteven a Doberman. drove aimlessly west from Potters Bar including a few 60 mph stretches and did not notice any untoward symptoms. Sure there was some surging, but I put that down to the doughnuts.

Passed the entrance to the Mosquito Aircraft Museum, So I turned in there but they had closed a half hour before. The entrance lane has some severe sleepy policemen bumps and the last one knocked my silencer pulling the exhaust pipe out of the Y piece. Aaargh. :shock: I knew I could jack it up, but I wasn't happy to get under the car without axle stands and I don't carry those with me... :? Decided two wheels would make adequate emergency collapse preventer, so got the spare out of the boot, jacked up left front wheel, took it off and put both wheels under the left front as close to the jack as possible. Various inhabitants of the little lane paused to say they could help if I needed it, but I felt I could manage. 8)

I put on a bright yellow overall to keep cleaniish, but I got stabbed a bit by brambles close to the car. Getting the pipe back into the Y piece turned out not difficult, by clamping the clamp on it further along than normal to provide a place to tap with the wheel-nut hammer. All done and I was just putting things away in the boot when up rode a young lady on a mare (which I insulted by calling it a he). Lady rider said she had not seen me at first because yellow overall blended with yellow car. Horses don't seem to like yellow things so the mare was a bit skittish at this point. :?

Anyway, ready to go so I decided it might be nice to visit the old Lotus Factory in Cheshunt as I had never been there and my Elan does have a Cheshunt VIN plate. So I set the satnav for Cheshunt (avoiding motorways) and set off. When I arrived in Cheshunt I stopped next to a playground to work out the exact destination as I had forgotten the street name. Some little kiddies liked my car and a six-year old (?) asked how old it was. (interesting that he knew it must be old). "Very old" I said and they were happy with that, The parents were looking at my slightly suspiciously from nearby.

While I was stopped a friend called my mobile, she had a computer problem, so there was a brief interlude of IT Support...

Trying to find the factory site on the SatNav was hopeless so I tried Google maps on my Android phone, but still no success, so then I remembered Teso HQ is now in the same street, so I used the browser on the phone to look up [Tesco Cheshunt]. and of course I soon recocnised the name Delamere Road. So I put that in the SatNav and drove to the old factory. Where I took a couple of photos of my Elan in front of the building, to show I had been there.

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OGU in front of former Elan Factory in Cheshunt.

Satisfied I then drove home via the A10 and North Circular.Road.

So I think my problem has gone or is insignificant, just normal Elan surge, but I've not yet done another sustained 60mph run of 10 miles or so to see if that hiccup returns.

Pleased with the day, though I must admit that there is rather more bottom end noise (clatter? )than I would like.

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:12 pm
by richardcox_lotus
Great work Bill - you're right about getting used to Élan driving again. It's not just the surges - if the car wanders I think was that the car or was I being lazy with the steering ? If I sneeze it gets dangerous.....

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:17 pm
by billwill
richardcox_lotus wrote:Great work Bill - you're right about getting used to Élan driving again. It's not just the surges - if the car wanders I think was that the car or was I being lazy with the steering ? If I sneeze it gets dangerous.....

Hmm. I don't think it should wander; but the steering is very precise, so if your fingers & hands wander.... On a straight road you should be able to take hands off steering and it should stay straight.


Mind you mine is now dipping left when I apply the brakes hard, but I put that down to having the left front brake refurbished and not the right hand one. That I will sort out come Winter.

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:44 pm
by AHM
Having been off the road and with new bits it will take a little running in. So you will need to retune anyway.

In the running in time you will get used to things, they will either bed in, ware out, or come loose - so I think you have the right frame of mind anyway.

Where to next?

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:09 pm
by billwill
Went for a 60 mile run yesterday, no hesitation problem on steady run of 60 mph on the same road as before. Ambient was a bit cooler though. Couple of brief runs up to 70mph and a bit more to overtake slow coaches.

Hadn't expected the DeLorean influence though, turning my Elan into a time machine.



Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:57 pm
by billwill
Just about finished my running in now with no problems since fixing those mentioned above; done about 470 miles total after a 100 ish mile trip to Brookwood and back by a long route to avoid bank-holiday traffic, :)

Haven't felt so inclined to go out joyriding since the fine weather stopped and the rains came down. :(

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:53 pm
by billwill
Done my self-imposed 500 miles running in now and tightened down the cylinder head, but I've yet to get a fresh canister of oil and an oil filter to do an oil change.

Retrospectively realised I should probably have used a cheaper running in oil for list last 500 miles.

Time to wrap up this topic, maybe, by including some extra links on this topic pointing to relevant topics which were posted independently.

1. The Clay test:

2. Insurance

3. Thoughts on Cam timing marks

4. Discussion on water pumps and their repair

5. Tachometer & electronic ignition inter-relationships.

6. Smiths Instruments documentation

7. Tightening the flexible brake pipes.

7a. Brake Bleeding

8. How I repaired my Front Suspension Turrets

9. My recommended procedure for replacing the Rotoflex Doughnuts.

And some more of the photos so I can be included in Jeff's competition.
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OGU at Trotters Bottom

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OGU at Trotters Bottom

DSCN3902 (Medium).JPG and
OGU at Trotters Bottom 3

DSCN3903 (Medium).JPG and
OGU at Trotters Bottom 4

DSCN3907 (Medium).JPG and
OGU at Trotters Bottom 5

ElanAtTrottersBottomJune2013 (Medium).jpg and
OGU at Trotters Bottom 6 (colours enhanced)

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:45 pm
by billwill
billwill wrote:I haven't done anything on my Elan over the past month (been building a stud wall to make a pantry for my kitchen) while waiting for my engine man to assemble my new head.

But the thought of my leaking temperature gauge has always been with me and on impulse I walked into my local pharmacy today and asked if they could get me some ether. They just looked at me aghast and said not possible, but no real reason why not. :?

So I decided to do an internet search and having checked that the desirable type of ether is diethyl ether (, I did an internet search. I found it used to be used for making model engine fuel and I do have vague recollections of that (might be able to get some in model aircraft shops).

I also found that ether is in the easy start spray cans, but probably as a mixture & not sure which ether it is. :?:

I found this site ... 337d21d4f4
selling it in whole litres, but that is way too much at £39.99 +£6.99 carriage, except as a very last resort. :shock:

A bit more hunting and I found a site that does 50ml bottles at £7.99 +£3 carriage ... c-85-p.asp
Which is a more realistic quantity.

I haven't ordered any yet, but I now sort-of feel that it will be possible to cut off the bulb, allow the existing ether to escape and then drill out the cracked capillary tube, safely. then clean & resolder the tube in place and finally refill it through a tiny hole drilled at the blunt end, which I will then solder over while cooling the tube end of the bulb with crushed ice (or some-such).

I cannot recommend getting Ether from Shop4Glue from that link above. I ordered and paid for 50 ml back in early November and though I got multiple copies of an email saying it had been dispatched, it never arrived. The firm does not reply to emails, checking Internet reviews seems to indicate an unreliable firm.

Yesterday I tried to go to the big Model & Toy shop on High Holborn, London... It has closed.. I was told it had moved further along the road for a while, but that too had now closed.

Today I phoned 308hobbies in Holloway Road and they said no-one (I guess they meant no model shops) sell pure ether any more, only ready mixed model engine diesel fuel which only has a low proportion of ether.


Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:55 pm
by AHM

I have some, and I'm not far from you. Can you wait until after Christmas?


Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:34 pm
by billwill
AHM wrote:Bill,

I have some, and I'm not far from you. Can you wait until after Christmas?


Ooh, that will be great, I was not in a hurry to get any Ether, I'm busy anyway until about 12th Jan. I'll PM you around that time.

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 4:08 pm
by billwill
Finally got around to changing the oil today, following last year's running in time.

So hopefully I will be taking her out more this summer.

Funny thing about the getting some Ether business described above, I found that the 99p shop is selling a spray can called "Engine Start" and the only ingredient listed is DiEthyl Alcohol.

So I've bought 2 cans and now all I have to do is work out how to get liquid ether out of the pressure cans. :?

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 5:04 pm
by RichC
boiling point of diethyl ether is abt 36 degrees celsius. should be able to store it as liquid if u keep temp down ?

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 6:46 pm
by billwill
Aye, I know that, but I presume they have also put some propellant gas in there, so the problem is how to get it out without it all turning to mist.

I thought maybe if I put it in the fridge or freezer then turn it upside down & press the button, that might let all the propellant out first.

Re: Getting OGU roadworthy again

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 7:21 pm
by billwill
Been for a spin today...

Hatfield then St Albans and then North Finchley (for a chinese meal), then Ally Pally (to see the funfair) & finally home.