Lotus Elan

bellhousing starter press fit cover install?

PostPost by: baileyman » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:24 pm

Man, driving myself crazy with trying to fit the steel cylindrical cover that presses into the bell housing in line with the starter motor. Is there a secret to squeezing one of these in? Special jigs required? Thx. John
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PostPost by: promotor » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:30 am

They knock in quite easily - usually a bit of wood and a hammer will do it.
Have you got a proper Elan one though with the flat / massaged side? Standard ones for Anglia / Cortina etc don't need to be flat as they don't need to clear a chassis spar. If you've got one of them that could be your problem?
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PostPost by: baileyman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:12 am

What I have is a Lotus modified cover from a 69 S4, with the flatted side against a mandrel, and a TTR mag bellhousing. I expected a fist would knock it in. But not a fist, not a soft pice of wood, not ratchet tiedown straps, not freezing it. Next I will make a wood form for the top and the inside, clamp with a large C-clamp to provide a firm handle, and then lever or wedge it against the opening. If not that, then I will be stumped.

John
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:44 pm

John

It sounds like the interference fit is too great. What is the outside diameter of the cover compared with the hole in the bellhousing?

Maybe you just need to take a file to the bellhousing?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:05 pm

Don't alter the bell-housing,put a saw cut in the rim of the cover.

John :wink:
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PostPost by: RichardS » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:52 pm

I struggled with this as well, having thought it would be a simple tap in. It eventually went in with two of us on the job. The diameter of the lower cap rim is slightly larger than the diameter of the bell housing hole and it seems to be a spring fit.

After lining up the lower edge of the cap with the bell housing hole I steadied the cap and my friend tapped along the lower rim (tapping a large screwdriver with a hammer as a drift) circumferentially and with some perseverance it fitted into place. Needs patience as if it is not quite lined up it springs out again! The trick is to try and keep it going in as straight as possible.

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PostPost by: baileyman » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:06 pm

Well, I think I went through every idea from least to most destructive. Sawing some slots in the offending location will indeed get the cover in the hole. But I have no confidence there is any contour to hold the cover in for long. Looking at a standard iron cover, it is clearly a machined opening, where the mag housing may not be machined at all in that opening (but pretty accurately cast).

I suspect racers would likely leave the cover off. I think I will drill a small hole through the lip where it wants to slip out and peen a brass rod in there.

John
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:32 pm

I’ve fitted several over the years, it is as Promotor suggestion. A solid block of wood to cover the end completely and a heavy hammer, 4 lb lump hammer, make sure the cover is completely square in the hole and a confident couple of blows, job done. No good pussy footing around with a toffee hammer.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:29 pm

Probably a completely impractical suggestion but could you get a jubilee clip around the ridge and turn it as tight as you dare and maybe you could compress it just enough to pop it in? It probably won’t need much. The jubilee clip can just be unwound enough to slide it off.

If this works let us know.
Steve

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PostPost by: baileyman » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:00 pm

I thought about the jubilee clip but did not try it. I had cut two pieces of pine to shape for the outer top and the inner top. A large C-clamp would reach around the bellhousing and squeeze the cap between the two pine pieces quite securely. I thought I could then lever it in with great and controllable force. Nope.

Adding some rim cuts, though, it did slip in. But it sure seemed like it wanted to come back out. So while it was in, I removed my rig and used the outer pine piece as a block and banged it with a 2 pound hammer. Meanwhile, email from TTR came in saying, they never use the caps. Well that makes it simple! So I thought I would just take it off and continue with the engine install. BUT, it did not want to come out! So, I left it, painted its scratches, and it will stay in, until it decides to fall on the road somewhere.

That unnecessary mass, though, it will bother me on acceleration...

John
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:05 pm

That unnecessary mass, though, it will bother me on acceleration..


Drill some holes in it!!!
Mike
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PostPost by: derek uk » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:45 am

Somebody needs to print these in a suitable plastic to make them an easy but secure pop in. Why does it have to be such a severe interference fit?

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PostPost by: baileyman » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:54 pm

A solution presented itself.

In the last episode, the cap seemed pretty secure in place, so I determined not to remove it, even though TTR says they just leave them off.

Well, returning to the garage, it had popped off all by itself! So it is off for good now.

Weirdly this was mid-morning, not the wee hours when ordinarily I hear parts drop.
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