Another youtube project

Restoration threads may be posted here. I can move them from any other topic if you wish.

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Mec
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Mec »

Hi Everyone

Part 4 is now live on MEC-TEC ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPN8ks127BY

Mike

Zag
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Zag »

In lieu of a workshop manual suggest you subscribe to the parts manual on here. Will at least give you an idea about how these go together.

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rbgosling
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by rbgosling »

Good job getting the head off, feels like real progress. I'm glad it managed to come off the way I suggested. A pox on whoever put in that head gasket leak fixer, you really don't want that in your engine and (as you found) it didn't even fix the problem it was supposed to be there for.

You were saying "you Lotus guys are probably screaming at me right now...", well, not screaming, but maybe muttering advice under my breath, not that you can hear any of it! But we've all been there, the voyage of discovery when you are working out how things work and what goes where (I'm still discovering new corners after 13 years / 80k miles), so it's very therapeutic to relive that journey by watching you!

Well, maybe my futile muttering got a bit more urgent when you started trying to turn the engine over without the head on, and no liner clamps in place! I was pretty certain you'd knock the liners out, because they are not that tight a fit in the block. Honestly, I don't know if it's possible to re-seat and re-seal those without removing the pistons... which will then mean bottom end coming off.. which requires engine out :roll: Still, it's probably no bad thing to pull the engine out and do it properly.

The liners on this later car are aluminium, Nikasil coated. You can get them re-coated by a company called Langcourt, which I did, although that was one of the most expensive single costs of my engine rebuild. Alternatively you can fit steel liners from an earlier engine (if yours are not re-useable as they are), Lotusbits will no doubt sell you a set.

Some other thoughts:
  • Your life would be a lot easier if you got the bonnet off before you start any engine work. It comes off really easily, and is no problem for one person to lift.
  • That silver air intake hose isn't factory. There should be a duct that normally takes air in from in front of the radiator, but has a flap valve (operated by vacuum and controlled by a device that measures the coolant temperature in the intake manifold) that redirects to a hose that sucks air from around the exhaust downpipe, to enable a quicker warmup when the engine is cold. My hose between this flap valve and the exhaust downpipe has always been missing, and it's never been a problem, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. For now I'd suggest just removing all that silver hose and leave the intake end of the air box open.
  • Were there some trumpets in the air box before you removed it? There should be, but I couldn't see you remove any in the speeded-up bit where you unfastened it from the carbs. Might as well get used to removing that airbox, it's probably the part that comes off more often than any other (except maybe fusebox cover) on my car, since you can't get to the oil filter or distributor without removing it.
  • Valve shims - while you have it apart and when reassembling it's the best opportunity to check your valve clearances and (if necessary) change the shims to get them perfect. There is a (probably not nearly complete enough) shim library that could help at this stage, or Lotusbits have loads.
I'm glad I'm not the only person who's suffered having a tumble drier in my garage, busy humidifying everything when most serious home mechanics want a de-humidifier!

If you get into a full engine strip/build I'll direct you towards all my posts when I did mine. For now, I'll link you to:
Installing cylinder liners
And the scary one: Engine Rebuild - How Much???
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2022 MG MG5 EV (not due to be a classic for quite a few years...)

Mec
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Mec »

Hi Richard

Thanks for the message and all the info and input, yes in hindsight I should have clamped the liners but as you say I think it will be a better job if I take the engine out, and clean it all up as best as possible, I think my liners are going to be ok since the vid I have managed to get the pistons freed up in the liners, they only have some water marks on them which should clean up fine, my next step was to take the bonnet off, is it just the 2 bolts in the corners ? The trumpets were in the airbox, I found it a right pain to get to the corner nuts, had to go and buy a 1/4 drive long reach 10mm and that got em.
Interesting about the air pipe, it didn't look very factory lol
I will deffo have a look at the shims on rebuild, I will have a read of your thread, I think Il find that very interesting !

:D

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by rbgosling »

To remove the bonnet:
  • Disconnect the hose to the screen wash jets
  • Disconnect the strut from the bonnet - a sharp tap sideways is all it needs
  • Unscrew the bolts in the bottom corners until they are no longer inside the holes in the bonnet surround
  • Lift away
It's that easy, and it's light.

Yes, those trumpets are awkward - but removing them and the air box is probably my third most common job (after removing bonnet and fuse box lid) so I can access distributor and oil filter.

Here are some engine removal tips
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2022 MG MG5 EV (not due to be a classic for quite a few years...)

Mec
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Mec »

Awesome ! Thanks Richard !

I think I may have to carry on with this asap !

mike

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Zag »

"That silver air intake hose isn't factory. There should be a duct that normally takes air in from in front of the radiator, but has a flap valve (operated by vacuum and controlled by a device that measures the coolant temperature in the intake manifold) that redirects to a hose that sucks air from around the exhaust downpipe, to enable a quicker warmup when the engine is cold. My hose between this flap valve and the exhaust downpipe has always been missing, and it's never been a problem, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. For now I'd suggest just removing all that silver hose and leave the intake end of the air box open."

Not on an 86 my there isn't. What is on your car is correct.

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rbgosling
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by rbgosling »

Zag wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 00:38
"That silver air intake hose isn't factory. There should be a duct that normally takes air in from in front of the radiator, but has a flap valve (operated by vacuum and controlled by a device that measures the coolant temperature in the intake manifold) that redirects to a hose that sucks air from around the exhaust downpipe, to enable a quicker warmup when the engine is cold. My hose between this flap valve and the exhaust downpipe has always been missing, and it's never been a problem, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. For now I'd suggest just removing all that silver hose and leave the intake end of the air box open."

Not on an 86 my there isn't. What is on your car is correct.
Fair enough - I just checked the parts manual and it seems the cross-over was '89, so what Mike has on his car is indeed correct. Ignore what I said there!
"Farmer" Richard

1990 Lotus Excel SE (Lilith)
2022 MG MG5 EV (not due to be a classic for quite a few years...)

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by AndrewWebber »

Great to see an 'honest warts and all' video account of 'real life'!

Andy

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by supraholic »

AndrewWebber wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2023 10:25
Great to see an 'honest warts and all' video account of 'real life'!

Andy

I just felt somewhat vindicated to know that I'm not the only one who absent-mindedly misplaces tools and parts. Typical is I'll have a wrench (spanner) in my left hand while trying to thread on a nut with my right. I'll realize that the threads are mangled and I need to replace the nut. I'll carry the wrench with me across the shop to the rack where I keep a large assortment of nuts and bolts and set it down there while I rummage through them. Once I find a nut that will do the job, I'll return to the car with it and set it down while I go back to the tool chest and look for the wrench. Of course the wrench isn't in its usual spot in the drawer so then I'll spend the next half hour tearing the shop apart looking for my lost wrench. I'll return to the nuts and bolts bin, search around that area and probably look right at it five times before it finally registers in my visual cortex.







Then I repeat the process for the nut!
Phil - 86 Excel SE

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Excel SA »

Phew - I'm not alone in working like this :lol: :lol:

I can put an item down at my workbench and not be able to work out where I put it 30 seconds later, and then 2 days later it's just there - in plain sight :shock:

Neil.

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Lotus520 »

Me too…… I think it’s an age thing!

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by TonyL »

I enjoyed your latest episode, Mike. It's proper slow TV, to rival Mortimer & Whitehouse Gone Fishing.

I've just sent you an email about the tyres.

Mec
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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Mec »

Thanks Tony, I hope thats a good thing ! haha :lol:

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Re: Another youtube project

Post by Zaphod »

Hi I have three pistons spare, depending on the grade letter on your pistons (I also have a 4th but it’s terminal, as was it’s liner). Along with three liners that could benefit from re coating, you have PM I also have the lotus 900 engine ‘training manual’ which look more like the engine section of the factory manual to me, which I can loan out (I also have the service notes)
Of all the things I have lost I think I miss my mind the most...

1952 MG TD
1957 MGA 1500
1959 Austin Healey Sprite
1975 MG Midget 1500
1990 Lotus Excel

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