Lotus Elan

Easy Access To The Diff.

PostPost by: ceejay » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:45 pm

Have you ever cursed when trying to top up the Diff oil?
To gain access to the filler plug and make the job easier we carried out some mods inside of the boot to gain access to the Diff filler plug.
First, a large rectangle shape hole was cut in the fibreglass, then we made up a closing plate from sheet metal. Fasteners were 1/2" long X1/4"UNF bolts as the nuts were brazed onto small sheet metal plates and then pop riveted onto the back of the fibreglass panel in the boot (Trunk in the US). See the attached pics.
Silicon was used to keep out dust water etc (Excuse the untidy look but it works, will tidy that up one day.)
Checking and topping up the oil is just a matter of a few minutes work when you have quick, easy access like this.
Attachments
access-plate-000001.jpg and
illust-diff-access-.jpg and
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PostPost by: archigator » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:04 am

Is that the main battery grounding wire shown there? Inotherwords, is this new access panel located, vertically, immediately above the grounding point? Thanks.

Gary
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PostPost by: ceejay » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:53 am

Yes, that is the earth cable at the bottom of the pic, sorry I should have provided some location measurements, the opening could in fact be a bit more to the left to get the filler plug pretty well in the middle, but the tube brace then becomes a slight problem. Another little hint is to cut a screw driver slot in the head of the bronze plug after you have removed it. A screw driver will make it much easier to begin screwing the plug back in when refitting.
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:14 am

Hi, I was shown another way to get to the filler plug. I have not yet done it but have purchased the rubber plug. It is used as an access inspection hole cover to the transmission/drive train next to the passenger seat behind the carpet. The rubber plug is a standard part. I have a S3 coupe LHD.
I believe a 3 1/2 inch round hole is all that is needed to match the inspection hole in the interior. I need to get a better idea of where to cut the hole before I start. If anyone has other thoughts of why this may not work, please post it before I start cutting up the fiber glass. I understand it is just off center in the spare tire area.
Here is a picture of the rubber plug.

thanks for the help, Sarto
Attachments
DSC00078.JPG and
DSC00079.JPG and
The rubber lip seals the hole, so the hole can not be to large.
lotus elan 1966 S3 FHC
36/5785
LHD
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:44 am

Sarto
Been there,done that.....I think 3 1/2" could be overkill as it's quite near the bottom of the boot (trunk).mine is 2" and a quick crawl underneath with a sharp pointy thing knocked through from the underside in line with the filler will give you a centre for your holecutter...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: ceejay » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:59 am

I guess I am kind of lucky, I have an in floor workshop pit so getting to the gearbox filler, or to drain the oil from the engine is a no brainer, but the Diff was another matter, I prefer to access this from above, hence the access plate in the boot.
The rubber boot will probably work OK, but you may have to remove seat, carpets etc... hey guys, I just slipped out to the workshop to check for access holes punched in the chassis on my S2DHC... looking from underneath while in the pit, there is a small hole about 2.5" but it does not align with the side plug in the G/box casing, so no good news there, but later S3 & S4 may have a decent size hole to access.
You need a decent access hole in the boot to get to the Diff filler, there's not a lot room to get your hand in there.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:20 pm

I found a 2 inch rubber grommit (from a Triumph GT6 I scrapped) and drilled a 1 1/2" hole directly behind the filler plug on 45/8221. The hole was just large enough to put a socket on the plug, withdraw the filler plug and insert a hose in to fill. The S4 Elan has been sold so photos will not be possible. It was unnoticable in the boot and never leaked. Since then I have found an old Ford ratcheting box wrench that can be used when you take off the left rear wheel. I'll see if I can locate the rachet and get a photo.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:33 pm

Gary
You've got me guessing now,why just for the left hand rear wheel??

John :wink:
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:22 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:Gary
You've got me guessing now,why just for the left hand rear wheel??

John :wink:


Hi John
I am basicly lazy. To jack up the Lowered Elan it is difficult with out backing up onto ramps. The filler plug is located closer to LH side. With the LH Wheel and tire removed it is possible to access the differential filler plug through the wheel arch. Just another Lotus position to assume in its upkeep...

Gary
Attachments
Pc310467.jpg and
Ford 5 Z E29 racheting box wrench
Pc310468.jpg and
Racheting head
Last edited by garyeanderson on Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: pamitchell » Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:26 pm

Hello all;

I made an access hatch to the rear diff using a marine type plastic circular hatch cover. Sourced from West Marine. 10" radius with a screw type cover. The flange had screw holes. I used pop rivets and silcon to attach the cover to the fiberglass.
Phil
1968 S4/SE FHC 36-7936
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PostPost by: 264889socal » Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:57 pm

The bottom drain plug in my transmission looked like it had gnawed on by metal eating weasels. An adjustable wrench wouldn't work. Finally used a pipe wrench to get the plug out. Found some cool stainless plugs with a hex head at a local supplier but I believe they are not compatible with BSP (?) thread of the case. Wound up turning down the chewed up end of the plug and welding on a 1" jam nut. Did the same with the fill plug. Now no slipping and a hex box end wrench works a whole bunch better. When I get to the diff, I'll do the same.

Rob
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:43 pm

I've got the access hatch for the diff and also the gearbox.... what can I chop up next?? :twisted:
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:06 pm

I regret to say that my DPO (that is, I) solved this problem by never checking the diff oil level. The thing soldiered on without complaint, and when I stripped it recently was in excellent condition, with the exception of the pinion shaft bearings. That failure may have been due to over-tightening of the pinion shaft nut as much as lack of lubrication. Now that I am striving to become an ECO (Enlightened Current Owner) I will pay more attention to the fluid levels.
Andrew Bodge
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PostPost by: archigator » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:13 pm

elansprint71 wrote:I've got the access hatch for the diff and also the gearbox.... what can I chop up next?? :twisted:


How about cutting in a moon roof on your FHC? :twisted:

Gary
'71 Elan Sprint FHC
Miami, FL


Hey, I just got my third gear! Happy New Year!
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PostPost by: hatman » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:24 pm

Just a thought but are the frequent diff top-ups specified in the manual really necessary - especially so with the improvement in lubricants since the car was designed? Frequent diff up-topping doesn't seem to feature in other cars' requirements.
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