Track Elan

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Postby Dave M » Mon 09.07.2007, 01:10

Both my white car and Peely have been on hold (though until I dive into the adjustable FPR project, the white car just gets to drive!) as we've been quite busy with other things. The kids' have been in baseball, we've travelled a lot to see family, and I'm still trying to catch up on projects at home and work since being sick. However below are a few pics from a few of the activities we've been fortunate enough to do - even though they have kept me away from the Loti.

The final shot is of the Peely project...she's up for a while so I can get the new intake system designed. I hope to have a bolt-on alternative to the Top End pipes shortly, including a unit that plumbs back into the intake. I'll start a new thread on that shortly as I need to know how many are interested before buying some supplies.
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My oldest at Indianapolis for the F1 weekend. He's the Ferrari fan while my youngest is a rabid Mark Webber follower. I still wear a Kimi/McLaren hat and groan whenever Scott Speed doesn't even finish.
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scooby.JPG
After 275,000 miles, Scooby visited "home" - the plant in Lafayette, Indiana where she was made.
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My other motorized fun...a trip with my dad and friends into Northern Canada.
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My wife just LOVES cars on jack stands...
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Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

"Track Elan" Monaco White Elan / "Peely" Calypso Red Elan / 2007 Subaru Legacy GT-Cobb Tuned / 1993 Honda CBR600F2
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Postby Doug » Mon 09.07.2007, 07:05

Dave, do both Elans live in the garage now? and the motorcycle?!

wow, please let me know what you feed your wife to allow all this :shock:
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Postby Dico » Mon 09.07.2007, 16:47

My neighbours think i'm crackers. Car comes out of garage, up on axle stands, wheels off, wheels back on, back in garage (most weekends). They just don't understand :?
That scoobie has done well Dave. Had it from new?

Looking forward to seeing the pipes you mention. I've already got isuzu bills top pipe, curious to see if I can make use of the bottom pipe that you are planning.
4+ hours stuck in a damp bucket seat with a mad Irishman at the wheel - Deep joy!!!!
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Postby nitroman » Mon 09.07.2007, 17:42

Dico, just tell 'em it's an English car. That line works in the States.

If within 500-mi of Mexico, "I'm packing for my Mexican trip" might work.
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Postby Monty » Mon 09.07.2007, 18:54

Dico wrote:My neighbours think i'm crackers. Car comes out of garage, up on axle stands, wheels off, wheels back on, back in garage (most weekends). They just don't understand :?


Neither do I :roll:
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Postby Dave M » Thu 12.07.2007, 05:09

Doug wrote:Dave, do both Elans live in the garage now? and the motorcycle?!

wow, please let me know what you feed your wife to allow all this :shock:

Yes, both Elans are in the garage at the moment along with her van (we have a 2-stall with an attached "extra" stall (Track Elan's home - where all the Lotus stuff hangs from the green and yellow walls :-D ). Don't ask how I've crammed it all in, but I also have 5 motorcycles in there, too. My CBR, my old Kawasaki KDX 175, the boys' 50 and 70, and my sister's mint 1983 Honda XR100 that we are getting cleaned up and fluids changed. It has been in a barn for ~15 years since she stopped riding but it almost looks new. It will be my oldest's once he outgrows the 70.

Oh yeah, I also have two kayaks and three bicycles tucked into every other available space. I really need to move and get a pole barn with a shop... :?

My wife is a saint, BTW about the cars. She only complains once in a while about Peely and "when are we selling it?!?" I need to make some progress on the intake bits, and quick!
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Postby Dave M » Thu 12.07.2007, 05:13

Dico wrote:That scoobie has done well Dave. Had it from new?

Yes...it's the last car we bought new. She's been awesome. It was my wife's car originally, but when I needed something different years ago, I took Scooby and we got her something else - I just liked it too much! I'll buy another in a heartbeat when I someday have to get rid of this one.

The same folks who powder coat the strut bars did the wheels (they were originally light silver). Hard to tell from the pic, but they are a deep, metal flake grey.
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Postby Dave M » Wed 05.09.2007, 05:25

Back from LOG now and had an enjoyable trip. I've written up some of our trip at http://lotuselancentral.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10175

However the bad part about the trip was some serious engine issues I had that started during the autocross and ended my track day after only a few laps. The first issue was a problem keeping the car running after each autocross run. I think it was a combination of the larger injectors, 3-bar MAP sensor and altitude, but it would not idle at all. It had never happened around here, but my guess is the adjustment the ECU made for altitude made things too rich as I could smell gas when it finally started and really bogged at the start line. After dealing with that and trying to get a few runs in, then I noticed a drop in oil pressure at the end of the autocross which was even more concerning. The oil was about 3/4 quart low (?), but after letting the car cool, topping off the oil, and restarting, pressure came right back up and the car idled just fine.

The real bad news came after a few laps on track the next day when pressure started to drop again and I could hear a loud tapping noise from the engine bay. I stopped immediately, let the car cool, and only started it a few times to let Dave Simken from Lotus USA and a few others have a listen. There was no power to even drive it on the trailer (which makes me suspect a valve or valves), pressure was still low, but oil level was fine.

Opinions on the cause varied as much as what people thought the end result and source of the knock might be - causes ranged from a bad oil pump (this was mentioned by the Lotus USA guys...has anyone else heard about the pumps going bad?), to bad oil pickup during heavy cornering, to a blockage somewhere in the engine. The car will be taken to the shop that did my engine work and we will analyze the oil and filter, pop the valve cover and inspect the cams, and bore scope each cylinder for starters.

At any rate, the car is likely done for year. It sucks, but may force me to move quicker on getting Peely done so I can at least drive an Elan a bit more this year. It will also be an excuse to finally get the white car fitted with an adjustable FPR, most likely I'll do some sort of dry-sump or modified oil pick-up system, and I'll start the suspension work a little sooner than planned (since it will already be in the shop). I've also got the nagging manifold gasket exhaust leak to fix and a few parts to be re-Jet Hotted due to the leak, so it will be a good excuse to get it all done. I'd rather have winter be my excuse, but oh well. Like Dave from Lotus said, "at least you don't have a big hole in the block". Small consolation, but whatever it is, it can be fixed. And it will be faster when it's done! :-D

Stay tuned for reports on the carnage.

FWIW - I think I did place in the autocross...I misssed the awards Sun night, but heard from a few people the next day. It could be an expensive trophy! :?
Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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Track Elan

Postby algirdas » Wed 05.09.2007, 05:36

Dear Dave:

You placed third at the autocross. Asta wanted to accept the trophy for you in your absence, but I prevailed on her to stay put.

Thanks for taking her for a ride. She loved it and now I think she is hooked on M100s.

It was very nice meeting you and your family.

Sincerely,

Algirdas
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Postby Doug » Wed 05.09.2007, 07:58

Dave,

sorry to hear about the "news" :? hope it goes well -- keep us informed.

-Doug
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Postby Monty » Wed 05.09.2007, 10:52

Dave, sorry to hear u having problems with your M100 :?
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Re: Track Elan

Postby Dave M » Wed 05.09.2007, 14:36

algirdas wrote:Dear Dave:

You placed third at the autocross. Asta wanted to accept the trophy for you in your absence, but I prevailed on her to stay put.

Thanks for taking her for a ride. She loved it and now I think she is hooked on M100s.

It was very nice meeting you and your family.

Sincerely,

Algirdas

Oh yes...I forgot to mention that Algirdas' friend rode with me on two of the autocross runs (sorry...was typing late last night...I also forgot to mention James and a few of the other M100 owners we met). She should have accepted the award as I believe she was in with me on the fastest run! Seeing her reaction after the first run was great - you never know if someone will say "thanks" and jump out having had enough, but she was ready right away for another run. :smt023 Too bad the car wasn't running up to snuff. Next year come to Indy and you both can ride during the track day. :wink:
Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

"Track Elan" Monaco White Elan / "Peely" Calypso Red Elan / 2007 Subaru Legacy GT-Cobb Tuned / 1993 Honda CBR600F2
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Postby desmondsee » Wed 05.09.2007, 15:44

just wanted to share 2 cents worth, yup i had a fuel pump failure not too long ago. I am now using a 255l Power Enterprice fuel pump instead...fitting was slightly modified though. cheers
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Postby Dave M » Tue 25.09.2007, 21:25

It's been a while since I've been back from Colorado's LOG and the engine issues I had there, but finally got to the car to see what all the racket is about. My engine builder was nice enough to come over to my house to take a first look/listen to the car instead of me hauling it over there - then maybe having to haul it home to pull the engine if it were that serious. We pulled the valve cover, took a bore scope to each cylinder, and ran a quick compression test to see whether it was a head issue or if the problem was further down.

Compression was in the 120-135 psi range on all cylinders which is not good. Everything on top of the head looked good – no broken cams or springs, but the bore scope showed pistons 2 and 3 to have some sort of marks on the tops. At first we thought #3 had a hole in it, but the compression test made us feel a little better. We couldn’t feel anything significant by touching it with a long screwdriver, but the marks were most likely made by the valves, which have us concerned. Since the cam cover is so easy to get off (NOT), we couldn't check to see if we'd skipped a tooth on the belt - but I believe the consensus is a non-interference head design, so even that shouldn't have made a difference. His thought is bent or broken valves, but we’ll know more once the head is off. The severity of the marks on the pistons will also tell us if we should check the bottom end, but the thought is that things should be fine. There are no signs of detonation on first glance, so that’s somewhat promising – though there shouldn’t be as rich as the car was running. It appears I’ve just found the next weak link when running higher boost: the valves.

Based on that quick 20 minute teardown and the fact I need to replace a manifold gasket, a transmission axle seal, a small leak in a power steering line, and install the AFPR, I’m leaning toward pulling the engine again and making another winter project out of it. I’m sure I can find more parts to be Jet-Hot coated, too! :-D Also, having had a few questions on the oil pressure recently has got me thinking about a dry sump system or at least a new oil pan with more baffles. Chances are I’ll need to have quite a few things apart for that anyway.

I’ll stare at the engine again tonight and consider just removing the head for now. I’ll see if I really feel up to pulling the whole engine even though the small transmission and power steering fluid leaks are annoying me. Considering Peely is in lots of pieces at the moment getting ready to be painted, another project may not be the best timing. My wife has lots of patience about the garage, but this may be pushing it. I take all the sandwich bags out of the kitchen to sort and organize all the parts coming off the cars… :roll:

To be continued, big time.

PS - I can't find my digital camera so no pics at the moment. :?
Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

"Track Elan" Monaco White Elan / "Peely" Calypso Red Elan / 2007 Subaru Legacy GT-Cobb Tuned / 1993 Honda CBR600F2
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Postby nitroman » Tue 25.09.2007, 22:47

You need to be like Costas & PAY other people to do your work! (of course, if you're like me, that would be mental torment!) Conversely, hotrodding & fixing (my) 3 cars has taken a physical toll on me, and by my insurance renewal date of NOV-15 I'll have chosen one to sell... no, NOT the Lotus!

Anyway, best of luck; kudos to your tenacity, and best wishes for continued good health. As long as the later holds out you'll always feel like one more project is never too many.

(Lately I wish I had that disease where you feel no pain... if I could just keep feeling in "that one" area, obviously!)
Last edited by nitroman on Tue 25.09.2007, 23:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GeoffSmith » Tue 25.09.2007, 23:00

Dave M wrote:but I believe the consensus is a non-interference head design


Maybe turned over manually but I don't think it is when runnning - see Ichiroh's thread. Below are a couple of stills from his movie.

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Postby paulwatkins » Wed 26.09.2007, 09:05

Dave,
IIRC the valves do sit slightly proud of the head, so I guess there is a risk of them hitting the cyclinders.
However, this was only a couple of mm, (about the thickness of the head gasket :? ).
The cylinders themselves have notches machined into the top of the crown, which I am guessing, line up with the valve positions to prevent interference. But maybe this only prevents damage occuring during failure at lower engine speeds. :?

I'm no expert :-D
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Postby dapinky » Wed 26.09.2007, 17:18

My own opinion (NOT necessarily based on fact, just a few thoughts!) is that a lot depends on the oil used......

....this may sound a bit stupid, but as the cam followers are hydraulically operated, depending on oil pressure etc and engine speed, the valves will have slightly different lift when the engine is turned by hand, to when it is screaming at 7000 RPM with the followers becoming 'solid'.

Is this a valid theory, or am I talking out of my ass? :smt102
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Postby nitroman » Thu 27.09.2007, 00:12

It's completely valid, but only in the case of an "interference" engine not interfering. If an engine is stated to be non-interference that means even under full lifter extension parts cannot shake-hands if the timing-belt goes kablooey.
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Postby lotusgirlmarie » Thu 27.09.2007, 02:56

This may be a stupid questoin but is there fuel inthe oil? This can cause oil to break down and not lubricate properly. A side effect is really low oil preasure. Just a thought.

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