Lotus Elan

1969 Elan S4 Tandem Master Brake Cylinder Question

PostPost by: lotocone » Tue Nov 03, 2015 1:51 pm

You're welcome Glen. It's great reading your posts. I'm always learning something for next year when I'll get back to working on my car.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:07 am

There is always a surprise when it comes to Elans...... either that or I just don't know these cars well enough.
So I get my new old stock master brake cylinder cap with cork float (probably the last one on the planet) from a great source in the US and I go about installing it today on the metal extension above the plastic reservoir for the brake fluid. I fill the reservoir enough for the cork float to make contact with the electrical connection in the cap and all of a sudden I see brake fluid seeping out of the lower part of the metal canister. What the heck?

Disassemble and look closely to find out compared to the photos on this post I have replica metal canister that does not seal to the plastic reservoir. It doesn't screw down far enough to seal.

So now I am looking for the metal canister. Does anyone have one for sale?

DSC06856_edited-1.jpg and
Reproduction that leaks

SOVYCan_Replated1.JPG and
OEM metal tank that I want!
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:56 pm

Glen, there should be a plastic cap to the master cylinder reservoir, it is drilled & a brass fitting clamps the cap to the metal sovy can with a seal between the two. All of the parts are shown here:

TerryP_SOVYunit.jpeg and
Please pardon the image quality


It's not a particularly robust design, if either the seal in the plastic cap, or the seal between that cap & the bottom of the reservoir are not perfect the assembly will leak.

I am unclear from your picture if these is a plastic cap on your reservoir? Or if the metal can screws directly onto the reservoir?
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PostPost by: terryp » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:50 pm

Phil
That's my bench!!!
:D
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:57 pm

terryp wrote:Phil
That's my bench!!!
:D
Terry


Actually, both pictures of the SOVY can are of the same unit!! Pre-restoration & post-restoration & installed. :D
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:16 pm

Gotta love this site for getting answers! Thanks for the additional info Phil.

Here is my master cylinder from the side view:

DSC06923.jpg and
Master Brake Cylinder side view


The metal canister (in my case its aluminum) screws onto the top of the master cylinder reservoir with a rubber gasket in between. And the red cap with the cork float screws on the other end of the metal canister.

DSC06924.jpg and
Master Brake canister and SOVY lid


The rubber gasket that came with the metal canister is too thin as it won't seal the unit to the plastic reservoir. The canister is not an OEM version. Looks like someone custom made this.

The simple solution is to find a thicker rubber gasket. I need a 1-3/4" OD gasket that is 1/4" wide (thick). And it needs to hold up to brake fluid.

The more difficult solution and expensive to find an OEM canister. But after looking at Phil's photo it looks like it pressure fits on top of the cap (?).

I think I need to find a rubber gasket or O-Ring the right size. Any suggestions?
Last edited by Certified Lotus on Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:23 pm

Yes, but what screws onto that? A plastic cap/ brass adapter/ sovy can, or does the can screw on directly?

Show me the bottom of the can please :roll:
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:27 pm

Phil, here is the bottom of the metal canister (its threaded for receiving the male thread of the master cylinder reservoir).

DSC06925.jpg and
Bottom of metal canister

DSC06926.jpg and
with gasket in it


The gasket is way too thin. I need a 1/4" wide rubber gasket or o-ring to seal.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:42 pm

Looks like someone has been busy on a lathe.... totally custom solution... I wanted to see if you had the same sealing solution as the original, but obviously not. :(

Could you use 2 or 3 of those seals? Looks to be a standard reservoir cap seal, Ray probably has them & I'm sure you have him on fast dial by now...
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:56 pm

That's what I thought Phil, custom made on a lathe. Great idea just not perfectly executed.

Multiple gaskets laid up together are a potential for leaks. Not a good idea, especially with brake fluid. I will have to hunt down the right size that can handle being emersed in brake fluid.

I could also put in on a lathe and fix the problem. Drew suggested that (he has a lathe) but I thought finding a gasket the right size might be easier.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:14 am

Glen, here's the bottom of a SOVY can (powder coated black, btw). A cap just like what's on an oem
reservoir but with a hole in the middle and attached to the can. Nothing, as far as know, attaches to
the threaded fitting that you see inside the oem cap. Someone could have changed the fittings in
the past, but this was on my car since '78.
Attachments
DSC07032.JPG and
DSC07031.JPG and
DSC07030.JPG and
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:42 am

Greg, that is the detail I was looking for. Thanks. Now I see my canister isn't even close to what the OEM was. The big question is does anyone have these anymore?

By the way, it's a very strange design........
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:52 pm

With all the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair these things cause, I am starting to look more kindly on my Delta P valve.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:21 pm

Had to laugh at your comment Jon. Well, now I have two red top SAVOY float sensor caps. One with a "modified cork" but no metal canister to fit them in.

Anyone want to trade a canister for a red cap (the one that the cork is a bit modified) ?

DSC06909.jpg and
SAVOY Caps
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:30 pm

Certified Lotus wrote:Anyone want to trade a canister for a red cap (the one that the cork is a bit modified) ?

DSC06909.jpg


Glen, I was waiting to dig through my parts before posting but I believe that I kept my old SOVY can & brass fitting after replacing mine with the one that I renovated (from TerryP).

Let me dig it out tonight & post pictures....

You will soon have all my spare parts.... Service manual. Jack... SOVY can...
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