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Plugging an oil leak from the distributor shaft - Esprit S1 - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


Plugging an oil leak from the distributor shaft - Esprit S1


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Hello Lotus Forums, I hope that you are all well, and stay well.

I am after some ideas/advice....

I have a Lucas 43D distributor with Lumenition optical inners on the Esprit S1 907 engine.  Oil escapes from the distributor shaft and onto the engine. I dont recall ever seeing a seal in the shaft, so assume that a decent seal was made previously by the distributor clamp. I purchased a distributor shaft oil seal from SJSportsCars but have since been informed that these seals will only fit with an original Lotus spec distributor. I also purchased a new robust distributor clamp.

Any ideas of whether I can get this "original" spec seal to fit, or any seal, or is there is a tried and tested way to prevent oil leakage?

I look forward to hearing from someone.

(This post is also on the LDC forum, I apologise if you are seeing it duplicate)

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The size of the seal is 12mm shaft, 22mm diameter, 4mm depth. ideally you need a replacement pin for retaining of the drive on the shaft. The entire shaft has to be removed from the body to be ab

To conclude this post, Distributor Doctor's only advice was to have the distributor rebuilt (£195 plus VAT) Having attempted to strip down the distributor (Using YouTube as a guide), it would app

I'd buy a used 43D distributor off eBay or something and use as a parts donor. That's what I did with mine.

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It's nothing special. Any seal specialist should be able to sort one out for you. 

All you need is direction of rotation, shaft diameter, outer diameter and seal height.

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On 01/04/2020 at 09:38, jonwat said:

 

SJSportscars part number sj754 :thumbup:

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Thanks Jonwat, but thats the seal that I made reference to in my post and purchased. It isn't the correct seal for the Lucas distributor.

On 01/04/2020 at 15:06, ekwan said:

It's nothing special. Any seal specialist should be able to sort one out for you. 

All you need is direction of rotation, shaft diameter, outer diameter and seal height.

Ok, thanks for the advice ekwan. I'll make contact with some 'seal specialists'.

Edited by grayp77
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Next question to anyone with an S1 Esprit using a Lucas 43D distributor....

What clamp are you using to hold the distributor in place? original, custom, SJSportscars, Kelvedon, one from another model?

I bought one from SJ (middle of the picture) but its not the right one for this distributor; the current clamp (left) is bent and modified. It look like a Ford Cross Flow engine clamp (https://www.aldonauto.co.uk/ignition/distributors/distributor-parts). Whatever it is, it doesn't sit flush.

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You'll see in the original post that there are two screw pegs on the engine  (one badly welded); the top centre screw/nut is where the current clamp attaches. Should I be arranging for the badly welded peg to be ground off?

What do you have on your car?

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The size of the seal is 12mm shaft, 22mm diameter, 4mm depth.

ideally you need a replacement pin for retaining of the drive on the shaft. The entire shaft has to be removed from the body to be able to fit the seal inside.

The pin has to be hammered out and its held by being peened over at both ends. Its not guaranteed that it can be re-used. There is only one place I know of which stocks these pins unless SJ have started selling them: http://www.distributordoctor.com/

This is what the seal looks like

 

distributor.JPG

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Thank you for you replies, both posts are very helpful.

I have made contact with Martin at distributordoctor and am awaiting a reply.

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To conclude this post, Distributor Doctor's only advice was to have the distributor rebuilt (£195 plus VAT)

Having attempted to strip down the distributor (Using YouTube as a guide), it would appear that the drive gear has been welded to the distributor shaft, presumably because the pin was damaged or lost, and the internal screws are pretty rounded.

So I decided to buy a new distributor from Aldon Automotive and fit in the existing (newish) Lumenition Optronic, to run with the Lumenition rev limiter and see if this helps solve the oil leak and improve the ignition performance.

Thanks for your contributions and advice; I expect I'll be starting a new thread when I realise that the parts I bought don't fit! 

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Are you sure their distributor has the oil seal? This is only fitted to the distributors used by Lotus and I believe one other car, a Jag I recall.

If its the standard one, lots of oil will flow into it!

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On 17/04/2020 at 16:23, grayp77 said:

To conclude this post, Distributor Doctor's only advice was to have the distributor rebuilt (£195 plus VAT)

Having attempted to strip down the distributor (Using YouTube as a guide), it would appear that the drive gear has been welded to the distributor shaft, presumably because the pin was damaged or lost, and the internal screws are pretty rounded.

So I decided to buy a new distributor from Aldon Automotive and fit in the existing (newish) Lumenition Optronic, to run with the Lumenition rev limiter and see if this helps solve the oil leak and improve the ignition performance.

Thanks for your contributions and advice; I expect I'll be starting a new thread when I realise that the parts I bought don't fit! 

I'd buy a used 43D distributor off eBay or something and use as a parts donor. That's what I did with mine.

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On 17/04/2020 at 13:48, Andyww said:

Are you sure their distributor has the oil seal? This is only fitted to the distributors used by Lotus and I believe one other car, a Jag I recall.

If its the standard one, lots of oil will flow into it!

You are absolutely right. In my last communication with Aldon I was told they don't make a horizontal fitting distributor!

Aldon did mention they could do a refurb. So its either Aldon or back to SJ Sportscars, who can also refurb.

I'll get there eventually 🙂

 

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