S2 #378 (Steve) - hopefully only light fixes

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S2 #378 (Steve) - hopefully only light fixes

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:11

TorqueHorse who has been helping me with a few niggles convinced me to post my own story even though I maintain there will be very little indeed other than photos of my brand new second hand S2 enjoying drives along the coast.

Back story - as a younger lad living in the UK I’d always wanted an M100, and for years I had a photo of one in a frame. Times move on and I had completely forgotten about the Elan until I landed in two week’s hotel quarantine here in Perth after a dash to the UK for a funeral. Australian quarantine is proper quarantine - if you so much as open the door of your room except to pick up meals you get both barrels, so I had plenty of time. Before my trip we had been about to buy a second car, and with two young girls we’d agreed on a Mazda 3. Sensible, reliable, practical, economical, did I mention reliable? Well with so much time on my hands I’d convinced myself that the Mazda 3 was out and something with 2 seats and no roof was in, after all we’d made it so long on one car it would be an improvement. The short list was Z3/4, MX5 (either S1 or 2016), SLK - then I found a stunning 1995 S2 for sale just two km from my house, and the campaign to talk my wife in to it began.

She’s a class act so it took no time at all.

If you’re interested, and I expect you are not, the car is called ‘Steve’ after my mate who called his tractor George. Git.
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Very lucky that most Perth houses have a big double garage, and I think Steve looks pretty bloody good where a huge pile of crap I hadn’t thrown away used to live.
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When I cleared out the other half of the garage to make space for the car I found the framed photo of the S1 I wanted - dated 1990 on the back. Now hangs over the toolbox!
Last edited by 378S2 on Mon 24.05.2021, 07:57, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:21

Steve is in pretty good shape, but there are small things that need doing, I’ll keep this list up-to-date as I find any surprises.

My goal is reliability and longevity, I’m less worried about power.

Job list:

1. Rear bearings, sloppy and in need of love. (Done Sept 2020, stub axel in good shape, used HTB2)
2. Warning lights, handbrake and oil not working (Sept 2020 Handbrake an easy fix, oil light needs a new sender I think. Buggered if I can reach it though!)
3. Instrument Dials - it has white Lockwood’s which I do like but they’re faded and the main scale is Miles which I find distracting. I could only source black Lockwood’s which I will install when I get round to it. They are white on black which is better than the red. (Done Dec 2020 - black Lockwood’s)
4. Fuel Pump Relay (Done Sept 2020 - note below)
5. Complete brake overhaul and seal kit, because they’re brakes (Done - May 2021)
6. New Radiator (Done Oct 2020 - note below)
7. Oil change (Done - October 2020)
8. Reinforce various spots on the roof using nylon webbing. (Done)
9. Figure out if my boost gauge is accurate and I’m only producing 0.5 bar, and if so where my missing 0.1bar has gone. (Nah, that’s fine - needed to push my foot down more)
10. ElanScan - I’m a Mac user which complicates it a little I think. (Haven't found a solution, nor have I tried hard to solve it, paperclip test shows all is well)
11. Door seals - they’re generally ok but taped at the top. (Decided to live with it, they're not that bad)
12. Tighten up seat belt springs (to do)


Wish List

1. Adjustable shocks all round just look like a great way to spend a thousand dollars. Nothing wrong with the present ones, but the new ones are shiny.
2. Big brakes, because big red brakes are cool, but it’s an expensive job. (Decided to change the MBC in preference to this)
3. Speeduino ECU upgrade... (https://speeduino.com/home/) has nobody done this yet?? I can’t find any reference on the forum. (yea... nah)
Last edited by 378S2 on Tue 29.06.2021, 08:44, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:29

Did you own #378 in October 2016? Did you pay $500 to a garage in Gladesville I won’t name but do have the invoice for fixing a lack of power to the fuel pump?

You need your money back.

I didn’t get enough photos, sorry, but they butchered the job. Rather than fault find and discover the issue was with the immobiliser (of course it was) they ran a non-fused cable straight to the pump, chopped up the ECU harness soldering a new relay in without even insulating the hack job and - worst of all - bypassed the inertial cut off switch. I’m glad nobody has needed to rely on the crash fuel cut off since then.

My first job out of uni in 1999 involved, amoung other things, wiring changes on military aircraft so this was a good job for me to get started on. It’s all back to factory now.
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ED16DFB1-7C33-465F-B6FF-BE57FE9268A6.jpeg
ECU harness butchered, badly soldered and not insulated.
Last edited by 378S2 on Sun 25.10.2020, 12:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Saltire » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:35

Glad to hear that problem’s been solved once and for all. Appalled - but not surprised - to hear about the Gladesville Bodgers Company. :evil:
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:39

The radiator started leaking on day 3 of ownership, it took a couple of days to swap it over but no issues since. The biggest challenges were the access and a sheered bolt on the thermostat housing. I also bought a new coolant recirculating pump but the spigots are too small, I’ll do that another time. The one on there works but is a bit noisy. Given our summers are >40C I wanted the cooling system on top condition, which it now is.
Attachments
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Not a big leak, but it’ll only get worse so I replaced the whole thing.
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WSM said that it would take 2 hours. It didn’t!
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One of the fantastic things about Australian cars is the lack of rust. This is the most rust I’ve seen so far on the car. (Fan mount)
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This little piggy went weeeeee all the way home.
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We were just about done when the bolt sheered. My girls learnt some new words. Gentle application of fire and a new pair of mole grips got it out. I was pretty worried I would need to pull the whole lot out to extract it. New bolts fitted, lots of anti seize, torqued properly.
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Confirming the theory that I have a 90C fan switch. I can’t see any downside to it coming on early nor to the pump running after most outings so I will leave it.
Last edited by 378S2 on Fri 16.10.2020, 15:09, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby rip » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:40

You're (not) going to enjoy the oil change. Have you seen where the filter is? :evil:
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:45

Glad you mention that... ok so the great oil debate. So many posts, so much conflicting information.

In the car there’s a sicker, the log book’s ‘preferred’ contradicts it and then there are a thousand posts.

So... is this oil the right one? I just want the best possible!
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Is this the right one? Hot climate advice please!
175E0A58-0C2A-4DE8-9F45-0B701954E0EA.jpeg
Exhibit B
DAA7CF9E-71B8-4394-86C1-68F6588DB448.jpeg
Exhibit A
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby rip » Fri 16.10.2020, 13:58

Yes, they've changed the name of it a few times, presumably as they update the product.

I think:
Edge & Edge Sport replaced RS
I have no idea what the difference between Edge & Edge Sport is (was). They were not split by viscosity ranges. 10W/60 was certainly available in both.
It looks like these have now been replaced by Edge Supercar.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 14:37

Thanks for the reassurance. I would like to know if it was the engineering team or the marketing team who put titanium in it!

Any tips for the oil change? I’m half tempted to go to a small garage near me and get them to use my parts and save me the hassle of doing it on the floor. I should have had a good look when I did the radiator, but at that point I thought the interval was 12 months so it wasn’t on my radar.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby rip » Fri 16.10.2020, 15:30

Yes, Geoff did a write up on the wiki
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Fredjohn » Fri 16.10.2020, 16:16

Hi and welcome.

Great work so far and you seem to be making good progress.
You say you replaced the water circulating pump. I presume you mean the electric "only comes on when the engine's off and when it's really hot" pump at the front near the radiator?

The real water pump is run by the cambelt and is located at the driver's (RHD) end of the engine. Cambelt should be changed every 5 years along with the pump, idler and tensioner. Just check when it was last changed! Rockauto in USA is the best source for these items.

I know nothing of the Speeduino, but as a possible alternative have you looked at the mountain chip as per the tab at the top of the page? A fair few of us have fitted one, mostly the Everest giving .92 boost. And on the subject of boost, I don't rely totally on the gauge, but using an Elanscan cable will give you a true reading. See any of geoffsmith's post as the source. Software for it is free and along with the manuals is on the manuals tab also at the top of the page (when logged in).

I use 10/60 oil too, but only a decent brand.

Keep going and good luck!
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Fri 16.10.2020, 22:57

Hi Fred John

Thanks for the suggestions.

The Cambelt was changed a little under 2 years ago by the previous owner with all new parts from SJS and done by a good shop, so that’s a job saved.

Yes I do mean the electric pump, mine comes on quite a lot because my fan switch has been swapped for a lower temperature one. I don’t see any downside to that so I plan on leaving that one in place (am I missing something?). I bought a new one from SJS because the old one sounded like a dying cat but the problem turned out to be air in the system from when I disassembled the pump to get it working - the new pump makes the same noise when run dry. Once bled it is quieter so the old one is still there.

The speeduino I haven’t tried on any car, but it is a fully open source engine management system that completely replaces the ECU and allows for a full tune to a specific car. I may or may not get stuck in, for right now I want to find any hidden issues and work through them.

ElanScan added to the list, thank you!

Thank you.
Last edited by 378S2 on Tue 27.10.2020, 22:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Simon_P » Tue 20.10.2020, 00:56

378S2 wrote:9. Figure out if my boost gauge is accurate and I’m only producing 0.5 bar, and if so where my missing 0.1bar has gone.
Most likely to be from driving like an old lady! The secondary throttle doesn't open until 4700 rpm - drop down a gear, let the engine rev and you won't have time to look at the boost gauge.

Oil viscosity is a personal preference. I prefer 30 oil as it would have been what the engine was designed and tested for and is pretty standard in terms of its composition. Also thicker oil takes more pumping around so you are losing power and fuel economy. Lotus' change to 60 has always struck me as standardising for newer models rather than for technical benefit - I don't imagine they did much in the way of testing.

The standard fan switch is 110 and the thermostat should be 82c. It starts to open at 82C and may only just be fully open at 90 so a 90 fan switch is a bit low. If you drive in traffic you'll be watching the volt meter as the battery goes flat..... especially with a high ambient temperature.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Tue 20.10.2020, 09:04

Simon_P wrote:Most likely to be from driving like an old lady! The secondary throttle doesn't open until 4700 rpm - drop down a gear, let the engine rev and you won't have time to look at the boost gauge.


I won't lie, that is a problem right now. It's been 9 years since I sold my Alfa and currently #1 car is a diesel family car - it is great, and very boring. Slightly embarrassed because I didn't know it had a secondary throttle... I will do some more reading!

Simon_P wrote:Oil viscosity is a personal preference.


My main aim is to be as nice to the engine as possible because I don't fancy a rebuild much! I will give the Castrol a whirl and see if the oil pressure gets out of tolerance.

Simon_P wrote:If you drive in traffic you'll be watching the volt meter as the battery goes flat..... especially with a high ambient temperature.


I hadn't considered that and I do take your point. I haven't measured the current draw of the fans vs. the tickover alternator output, I might measure it. It has a new thermostat from SJS which is confirmed at 82C. I don't drive in traffic often, but let me keep an eye on that and see how it goes. We are a few months away from high ambient temps (i.e. >35C), but they start ramping up now.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Wed 21.10.2020, 10:59

I know I haven’t found any major problems (yet) because I’m busy noticing things like this... my CAS housing is missing a bit. The CAS o-rings were changed in 2018 and I wonder if they lost it then.

Does anyone have a replacement on the shelf they might part with? If I can’t source it should I make something? Presumably keeping the Hall effect sensor clean is important.
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To all of you with major restoration projects, please forgive the trivia I’m working through!
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Brakes Part 1 (Rear Calipers)

Postby 378S2 » Sun 25.10.2020, 03:33

A phenomenally satisfying few hours stripping, cleaning, painting and rebuilding with all new seals and hardware of the rear brakes. The SJS rebuild kit (seals and sliders) was great, not quite enough grease so I borrowed some from the front caliper set. I’ve also got the new hoses to replace the originals.

The rebuild was the harder part, although the second one went together much faster.

I wanted to paint them red, but the sensible bloke in the shop talked me out of it. Apparently single piston calipers don’t help you stop faster no matter what colour you paint them. I may gold passivate them next time, just very time consuming so this time I have not.
Attachments
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The SJ stainless hoses were excellent - they were no trouble. A couple of stuck hose bolts that needed a bit of heat. I must get some proper brake line spanners.
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The old pads were spanked and the sliders were all stuck. Should see a nice even wear pattern when it’s all done.
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Very little corrosion on them, just a general rub down and clean up before paint.
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Early summer and already my grass is terrible
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Ready to refit once I swap the hoses over for the new SJS SS set.
Last edited by 378S2 on Sun 25.10.2020, 11:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Saltire » Sun 25.10.2020, 07:51

Great work!
Jonathan

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Cooling system - What’s wrong with it? Anything?

Postby 378S2 » Sun 25.10.2020, 12:26

Hello Folks

I really need a little help with an odd problem.

Since I changed the radiator (and before as well, although I was less paranoid about it then) I have observed air in the top of the radiator radiator after every use. I’ve followed the WSM, bled like crazy but almost 2 weeks on it’s still coming. I can see bubbles coming out the top breather line (see video) but when I did what I have named the ‘Chicken Test’ it does not inflate.

Does anyone know what it could be please?

I do not have...

- Oil in the coolant
- Coolant in the oil, nor emulsion signs on the dip stick or filler cap
- lumpy idle at cold start
- white smoke
- any stored fault codes on the ECU
- any coolant leaks, nor any noticeable coolant usage
- any signs of badness on the spark plugs IMHO
- any other observable engine issues while driving or idling

The car passed a ‘sniffer test’ yesterday. The guys at the garage I took it to were confident it wasn’t HGF, he removed some coolant and sent me home. To be fair he has been turning spanners for 50 years and had two stunning E Types he’d just finished restoring so who am I to disagree? But something isn’t right, and I don’t agree. That void above the radiator is filling with gas from somewhere, and if it really isn’t a head gasket problem then what is it?

I’ve ordered a leak down test kit, is that the only way to rule out HGF? I’ve read about others who passed a sniffer test and still had one. Is there anything else I should do? I’m really hopeful it isn’t too serious but my aim here is to make it as close to perfect as I can and I’m not interested in taking chances by ignoring it.

Chicken Test: https://youtu.be/uiL_vvTS2m8

Top hose bubbles: https://youtu.be/ZNrl5MXEqog

Thanks!
George
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Last edited by 378S2 on Tue 27.10.2020, 22:49, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby Fredjohn » Sun 25.10.2020, 12:56

Presume you are bleeding it through the bleed screw under the nearside headlamp.

Is the heater element hot? Air can get stuck in there. Is the heater water control valve functioning properly? A non rusting plastic version from a Volvo is the usual replacement.
As a basic precaution tighten all your hoses. A leak could be hidden by instant evaporation and not show up when cold and no pressure. Did you put the new thermostat in the correct way up?
Sure others will be along soon with other ideas.
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Re: “Trust me, this is way better than a Mazda 3”, #378 (Ste

Postby 378S2 » Sun 25.10.2020, 13:08

Hi Fred John,

Yes from the top of the rad. The coolant level is higher after a run when cold than before a run when cold, and returns to the original level once re-bled. So I think air is entering the system from somewhere.

<updated> comparing to Wiki I can see I have the original heater valve design, looks to be in reasonable condition. The part for a Holden Commodore is easily available here for only AUD15 so I will change it next time I open the cooling system.

Yes, jiggle pin to the top, bulb outwards. I’ll check the hoses again.

Really got me scratching my head!
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F241037F-6177-4F38-AD78-14E91318DD33.jpeg
Is this the original heater valve?
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