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Roy Lewington

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Posts posted by Roy Lewington

  1. Workshop manual for my 1988 Stevens X180 turbo gives  a charge for refrigerant 12 of 1.4kg (3lbs). 


    The quick check procedure using the sight glass advised:

    Continuous bubbles -------   system low on charge

    Sight glass clear for more than 45 seconds after switching off  before foaming and settling away from glass--------system overcharged

    Foams and settles away from sight glass in less than 45 seconds after switching off-------system correctly charged

  2. Job done.  I removed the auxiliary belts and lined the cam belt up. I tapped a soft nylon wedge into the crank pulley housing to prevent the cambelt moving and also zip-tied the belt to the distributor drive to avoid any ignition timing issues.  With the cambelt tensioner slackened I was able to ease the belt away from the pulleys.  I made a cam locking tool from a couple of soft nylon washers as the pulleys being alloy would be easy to damage.   The tightening torque is only 25ftlb so I was hoping to undo the retaining bolt without too much trouble. All ok, it released  and the cam sprocket came off without a problem.    Using a cut down drill and a cable drive I had just  enough room to drill 2 small holes in the old oil seal. I fitted self-tappers and eased the whole thing gently out.  It was not damaged but had gone very hard. The new seal I fitted using a large socket and wound  it in using the cam sprocket retaining bolt.    The old trick of putting bearings etc in the freezer before fitting doesn't work with oil seals as  the rubber goes too hard and is easily damaged.

    I've also had my exhaust bracket powder coated {Autoblast in Sussex 01903 877711) nice job at a good price.




    seal self tappers.jpg

    seal out.jpg

    exhaust frame.jpg

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  3. My experience of almost anything from China is very poor quality and a waste of money and effort.  There is a morality issue as well, I would not buy from China  because of the human rights issues even if the quality was ok.    I got my alloy rad through SJS, absolutely superb. Apparently the makers also supply F1 teams so what else do you need to know.  A bit of a pig job so you don't want to do it twice if you can avoid it. 


  4. I hadn't really considered taking the towers off but it is a sensible option.  However the car is running really well, no tappet noise, no oil leaks from the cam covers so it seems like a lot of extra work for a £5 seal.  I'll try doing it in place and see how I get on.  Thanks Roy.

  5. One of my winter jobs is to replace the front camshaft oil seals (910 engine) which I have been assured can be done with the engine in place.   I see they are only torqued to 25 ftlb but will I have a problem releasing the bolt?  So I have some questions:

    1 Can it be done, engine in place.

    2 Can I buy a cam locking tool.

    3 Would a wedge shaped piece of wood tapped in between the two cams sprockets work.

    4 Should I make a bar to bolt between the two sprockets.

    Any advice gratefully received.    Thanks Roy.

  6. Some time ago (I think it was early last year) there were some interesting posts on whether or not to fit an oil cooler thermostat.  I decided against, as I was not happy with the thought of it failing in the closed position.

    Instead I have fitted an oil temperature gauge.  Lack of a suitable dash location and the preference for keeping it original pushed me into a small digital gauge which was fairly easy to fit and  to remove at a later stage if needed.  I bought a sump plug from Matt Lewis Racing (half inch BSP) that took a  one eighth npt temp. sender.   Online supplied me with a digital temp. gauge.

    Fitting was OK. I made up a small bracket which slid under the dash.  Wiring needed an earth and 12v which I took from the instrument fuse 21.  Being digital I did not have to wire in a lighting feed. The twin core signal cable which plugged in at the gauge and sump plug needed extending and I ran it through under the transmission tunnel following the route of the accelerator cable.

    I gave it a run today for the first time.  From cold 8*C and an outside air temp of 10*C it took a long time to warm the oil (only 40*  after 5 miles).  Even with some fairly spirited driving it only made 55*C.

    I would like it to be around  80, the same as the water temp. so rather bizarrely I shall now be fitting an oil temp. thermostat as I will be able to monitor the results.




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  7. Take it to a workshop or garage that has emmission testing equipment.   The sniffer pipe should be held just above the coolant level steam in the header tank.   Any HC reading (hydro-carbons) indicates head gasket trouble.    This needs to be done properly, the sniffer pipe end not touching the coolant with the cap off and covered with a clean rag to stop the fumes escaping (not some old cloth off the floor covered in oil and petrol fumes).    

    If you have what looks like salad cream in the header tank it is most likely to be condensation.  Good luck, Roy. 

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  8. Well I guess it is what you preceive to be value for money.  To make a decent fist of it with some accomodation I am looking at around £200.  For another £70 I can get a weeks holiday all-inclusive in Croatia!    I may still go, and to be fair it is not their fault that I live a long way away.  Thanks for your thoughts.  Roy.

  9. Is it me? Am I out of touch?    Just looking at the prices for Saturday   £30 (or  £26.50 advance booking), oh except the advance booking incurs a fee of £1.95 so a huge saving there of £1.55 which won't even get you a cup of coffee.   Last time I went, parking was £10, probably more now.  All this so that I can get in to spend more money------  I don't normally pay to go shopping.   I see Traders Stands and Autojumble Stands are in excess of £200 each so somebody is collecting a lot of money. Last year it seems 72000 trooped through the doors, you do the maths.  Any thoughts? Roy.

  10. Interesting.   I think the conclusion I have come to is Fully Synthetic (to reduce Turbo carboning) with zinc (reduce wear).   That leads me to Valvoline ProV Racing 20/50,   Millars 10/60 or Classic Sport 20/50.   This stuff is not cheap but it's only once a year.

    On a lighter note, one for the tech boffins out there.   What is synthetic oil made of?

  11. This was on my winter job list and this time I tried the technique of cutting the old belt in half. All I can say is it worked for me.  Armed with a new new blade in my Stanley Knife I found it easy to cut the belt whilst turning the crank with a spanner.  With the old belt cut I slightly reduced the tension to slide the new belt on half way.  Then---- old belt off, new belt pushed on and tensioned.  Saves having to lock the pullies. I don't like destroying things but I had a spare from the previous change.       Last time I had a real struggle to refit the aircon belt so this time I fiitted the belts to the crank pulley just before sliding the pulley back onto the crank and bolting it in.   Don't forget to orientate the tensioner correctly (swing down).     

    Draining the coolant, removing 3 belts, removing the alloy triangle support and disturbing 3 hoses with barely enough room to reach anything it really is a poor design from a maintenance point of view.  I am still in love with this thing but only just!




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