XIL - A Rolling Project

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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Wed 22.08.2018, 13:12

So more than a year after my last post, time for an update.

The servo was finally replaced, lots of extra wire including another alarm system removed and the car put back together. Along the way I fitted a set of Jamie's A pillar seals (nice instructions, easy to fit - thanks) and the wiring installation and column switch for Dave's cruise control mod.

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The brakes were a nightmare to bleed which I found strange, when I first fitted the wilwoods they bled really easily. I managed to shear off one of the nipples, replaced them all and the brakes bled fine after that.

The car then decided to jam in a forward gear when going from reverse to first, it had never done this before the rebuild, the cables are the BB type and quite recent, gearbox was overhauled. The gears could be manually reset in the box. Reading on here and talking to Gerald at GST it looked as if the selector box was causing the problem. Took it apart, cleaned it, it worked fine, for 5 minutes!

20180403_170052.jpg


Took it apart again, somehow I managed to rebuild it 180 degrees out.

20180404_130755.jpg


No problem, take the pin out and do it properly. The pin would not move, pillar drill & cobalt bit - sheared. Not one of my better days. :banghead: :banghead:

I was able to get a fairly new one from Rainer Brammer in Mettmann, fitted it but still had the same problem. After replacing the gear lever assembly and adjusting the cables I don't know how many times, I stumbled on the sweet spot and it is working normally now. I really do not know what caused this but it was very frustrating!
Last edited by cliff on Wed 22.08.2018, 14:49, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Wed 22.08.2018, 13:36

Due to work, I have been travelling a lot this year but managed to get back to the UK for a few days, so MoT time.

I noticed driving to the test place that the steering was heavy and wouldn't centre, a bit annoying as the rack and pump have been rebuilt and the UJ replaced. possibly a stiff ball joint?

MoT failed on the steering, no real surprise, an indicator repeater and the wipers not working. Repeater was a bad connection and some idiot hadn't fully tightened the wiper motor bolt!

However the worst happened on the drive home, I heard a loud bang, next thing I knew that there was steam everywhere, temp gauge on full.

20180529_185515.jpg


The heater valve had sheared and dumped the coolant in a matter of seconds. The valve was fairly new, I replaced it when I did the hoses a few years ago. I let the car, and me cool down over night, replaced the valve and started it up, looks like HGF!

I can't face taking this car apart again so it is going to GST for head gasket replacement, the only problem is that I am looking after one of our aircraft in Cyprus for the next few months and can't get away, so not sure when it will get done. Will get there eventually, so close.

20171217_165059.jpg
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Wed 22.08.2018, 16:42

Cliff: I notice that the coolant (remaining) in the expansion tank is reddish in color?

Are you using OAT based antifreeze or does someone now offer a red colored antifreeze?

OAT based antifreeze is somewhat caustic and it doesn't play well with aluminum and fabric based gaskets. The blue and green versions are glycol based and more forgiving as far as undermining modern head gaskets.

GM had to warranty recall replace a gazillion intake manifold gaskets on their 350 engines a while ago from interaction with OAT antifreeze.

Any chance your thermostat has failed which would have the engine overheating fairly rapidly?

An interesting read: https://www.caranddriver.com/features/t ... antifreeze
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Rambo » Wed 22.08.2018, 19:51

Looks very much like OAT to me John. I'd lay money on it

All ethylene glycol antifreezes, suitable for our M100's, are either blue or green

Cliff - get rid of that pink stuff immediately. And flush well, before you go down the EG route
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Rambo » Wed 22.08.2018, 19:55

cliff wrote:The heater valve had sheared and dumped the coolant in a matter of seconds. The valve was fairly new, I replaced it when I did the hoses a few years ago. I let the car, and me cool down over night, replaced the valve and started it up, looks like HGF


Perhaps that's why :?
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Mon 15.10.2018, 20:37

I read a lot about different coolants from various websites, they all have different opinions, trying the OAT seemed ok at the time.. The water has self drained anyway so I will flush it and replace it with blue or green. My HGF was due to the heater valve shearing where the outlet pipe meets the body, hence immediate and sudden coolant loss.

Almost six months since it happened, I have calmed down a little, so finding myself in the UK for a few days, decided to pull the head. Why do Lotus hate car mechanics so much? I have rarely seen such poor design or lack of thought put into what would happen when the car left the factory! It was a pig of a job even with a lot of new parts and a recent rebuild, I was tempted just to pull the engine several times, it would have been easier.

The you tube cambelt change video was very useful, I had only done the belt with the engine out, they must have edited out a lot of swearing!! In one of the comments he says "It was worse than it looked in the video. Anyway thanks to whoever made it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osBhwSw3VBk

It's off.

20181015_175132 (Copy).jpg


Cleaned up nicely, no sign of warping or distortion on the head, gasket arriving from SJS tomorrow.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Wed 17.10.2018, 20:50

There must be a special place in hell waiting for the person who designed the right hand engine mount! :banghead: :banghead:

20181017_123854 (Copy).jpg


Head is back on and almost connected.

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Looking at the state of the oil, the oil cooler will need flushing as well, that will give me chance to fit the mounting duct that I has been sitting in the garage for some time.

I had a quick look at the other MoT fail, stiff steering. The upper and lower ball joints are fine, even with some weight on and the track rod ends are quite recent. The rack is very stiff, on most cars, it is easy to move, not this one! There is an adjustment screw, so need to have a look at doing that. Obviously, Lotus made it really hard to get to. :x :x
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Simon_P » Wed 17.10.2018, 22:50

If you are taking the oil cooler out and the hoses are original get them remade.

Yes it sounds like the rack adjustment is too tight, hopefully not masking a worn rack does it have a free spot in the middle? It is just possible adjust it in situ
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 18.10.2018, 00:12

cliff wrote:I had a quick look at the other MoT fail, stiff steering. The upper and lower ball joints are fine, even with some weight on and the track rod ends are quite recent. The rack is very stiff, on most cars, it is easy to move, not this one! There is an adjustment screw, so need to have a look at doing that. Obviously, Lotus made it really hard to get to.


Any chance it is the U-joints in the intermediate shaft? If they are "almost" seized, they will resist articulating while turning the steering wheel which would feel like tight/stiff steering.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Thu 18.10.2018, 08:00

Thanks John, good point. I already replaced the lower one, will have a look at that.

Simon, the oil cooler is quite new and the pipes were remade by a local company as part of the (never ending) project creep.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Wed 24.10.2018, 17:39

I just realised that I didn't make any notes about the HG change, as I just wrote them on another post, thought I would add them here as well.

The head gasket is not an easy job. There is a video on you tube showing how to replace the cam belt, it is very useful, although I would go for the long bar and turning the engine over method of loosening the crank pulley bolt first.

I have a piper down pipe which makes getting the turbo off really easy, this saves quite a bit of weight when lifting the head off. I also drained and disconnected the power steering pump to get it out of the way as far as possible, the reservoir has to come out for access anyway. I am lucky enough to have AC fitted so the compressor bracket is perfect for supporting the engine rather than the sump. Possibly a bracket could be rigged to go in that position as the bolt holes should be there on the block.

Ratchet ring spanners, 10, 12, 13, 14 & 17 all come in useful and can save some swearing.

Once the engine mounting bolts are loosened, I used the short hex key from the kit taped to a 10mm ratchet ring spanner to get the 4 bolts out, still not easy but doable. To put them back, I used pointed mole grips and a screwdriver to get the harder ones in the holes then the ratchet ring trick again. Maybe I just need smaller hands!

The head and intake manifold are not too heavy but unwieldy, I used an engine hoist to put it back on the engine so the gasket would not get damaged.

As I read on here once, refitting is the same as removal but you swear in different places!

Useful Info:

http://lotuselancentral.com/repair/pdf/ ... Change.pdf

http://wikilec.com/view/Cambelt-change

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osBhwSw3VBk
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Wed 07.11.2018, 21:54

Engine reconnected, time to drain the oil cooler and replace the duct.

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Bumper off, again!

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Obvious damage to the duct, luckily I bought a repaired one from Phil (surfboardfiller) some time ago. As has been covered LEC before, the Cool Ex oil coolers mount slightly differently, nothing a drill and some nuts & bolts can't cure. Maintenance on this is now pretty much impossible without taking off the bumper but that is a small price to pay for having it mounted securely.

20181107_125323 (Copy).jpg


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All done, annoyingly, the ac pipe routes through this area, giving even less access.

20181107_183817 (Copy).jpg
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Jamie N » Thu 08.11.2018, 11:28

That's some great work you have done there Cliff.

And what's that pink thing at the back?, not part of a custom spoiler for it I hope! :-D .
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby ElanBRG » Fri 09.11.2018, 00:54

From what I know of head gaskets that fail due to overheated engines, it doesn't make sense that your head and/or block were not warped. It's that warping that causes the head gasket failure in the first place, and if it didn't stay warped, your head gasket would return to being ok, wouldn't it?

I hope you don't find you have to do the head gasket again in a few hundred miles.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 09.11.2018, 02:04

Actually, a severely overheated engine could blow out a head gasket due to bolt stretch and not warpage. It only take a small gap between the surfaces and gasket to start a eroding path to a water or oil jacket.

I am always concerned that the pistons would be damaged and the rings de-tempered.

I am surprised at how many have had head gasket failure since unlike a push rod engine, there isn't a constant "lifting" on one side of the head from the cam trying to open the valves.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby ElanBRG » Fri 09.11.2018, 05:10

Brit-Car-Nut wrote:Actually, a severely overheated engine could blow out a head gasket due to bolt stretch and not warpage. It only take a small gap between the surfaces and gasket to start a eroding path to a water or oil jacket.


Interesting. I wonder if that's what happened or if there is a slight warpage that was missed in the examination of the head. Time will tell. He wouldn't be the first person to have a replacement head gasket fail again shortly after the repair.
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Re: XIL - A Rolling Project

Postby cliff » Fri 09.11.2018, 10:14

Jamie, thanks for the comments. It's a piece of aluminium, nothing planned for it yet! :D There is a fluorescent tube in the back of the garage that gives off an odd shade of pink, must get round to replacing it.

ElanBRG/John, I was very conscious of this. The head was skimmed during the first rebuild and I checked it thoroughly before putting it back on the second time, even using an engine hoist to avoid damage to the gasket.

I heard a very loud bang, and was checking for odd vibrations and looking around to see if something had come off the car when I saw steam and the temp gauge on full hot. Back home, I found that the pipe on the right side of the heater valve had sheared dumping the water very quickly. Not sure if I would have done anything different in hindsight, loud bangs don't usually lead to water loss.

20180529_185515.jpg
20180529_185515.jpg (28.3 KiB) Viewed 125 times


Gasket changed and engine ready for fluids and starting next time I am in the UK. I was surprised how much oil came out of the cooler though and on the plus side finally got round to replacing the ducting.
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