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lotus elite oil pressure


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Hello everyone

I have not posted on this forum for some time ,I have just purchased a lotus elite 501 1980  it's 40 years old and has been standing (indoors) for 20 years the bodywork is in excellent condition but the interior was a bit shot it's had some mice living under the back seats at some time  and there was a hell of a mess under them .I managed to buy a battery and get it coupled up and would you believe it all the electrics work except the dash lights even the interior light works .However after the good news there is an issue ,I took the spark plugs out and put some WD40 down the bores but there was NO movement at the oil pressure gauge when I turned the engine over with the starter motor .Then I traced the small oil gauge pipe down to the block and undid the small nut holding it to the block I then turned the engine over again without the pipe on and NO oil was visible, there is plenty of oil in the engine and it looks quite fresh but I am at a loss with what to next 

Has anyone any idea what it could be 

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what I failed to mention was I have had one of these models before (once bitten twice shy)so they say anyway when it was on song it was one of the best if not THE BEST cars I have ever driven the handling was exceptional despite the lotus problems i loved it 

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Perhaps the pump is just priming itself slowly.  I'd put oil into that main gallery under pressure to ensure there is some oil in the bearings before continuing to crank it.

Pete

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Congratulations on your new purchase!

@mikeeech had a similar question and there was a discussion on it in his excellent restoration thread (link below) — it takes forever to build up oil pressure on the starter. A drill on the oil pump is your friend here.

 

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Thanks for all your replies ,the first thing I am going to do is remove the rocker covers and crank it without the plugs in to see if there is oil at the cams if so I will get some fuel in the tank it's empty at the moment and put some new plugs in it and try and start it up, since I bought the car I have bought all my parts from Lotus Bits in Reading they have been very helpful has anyone else on here used them?

 

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I think pretty much everyone on here (at least in the UK) must have bought something from LotusBits at some stage, or will!  (Although not necessarily in Reading, they’re in the wilds of Warwickshire, unless I’ve missed something.)

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Hi Jon

You will be pleased to hear that I finally got it started this afternoon and it sounded fantastic, my first job was to strip the seats out because mice have been in occupation and there are nests under the back seats and the driver's seat has also been nibbled,I know a young man who lives in Wheelock who will make a good job of them,I managed to fit a new battery and it will surprise you to hear that all the electrics work except the dash lights electric windows electric mirrors and horn all work fine I fitted a new fuel pump and took the spark plugs out and put some WD40 down the bores and cranked it over with the starter motor but there was no oil pressure so I posted on the Lotus forum and the guys on there said you will not achieve any oil pressure with the starter motor,I forgot to mention the first job I had done was have a new cam belt fitted and this afternoon with some assistance with Easy Start it fired up and sounded good I was somewhat relieved that I hadn't bought a nail and sure enough the oil pressure gauge needle was way up the gauge

 

I was a bit disappointed with the headlining that,s going to cost me another £400.00

 

Anyway I thought you would like to know how I was getting on with it something else I have discovered is one of the dellorto carbs is leaking badly from underneath

This is what I sent to the man I bought the Elite from 

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9 minutes ago, hatters said:

Anyway I thought you would like to know how I was getting on with it something else I have discovered is one of the dellorto carbs is leaking badly from underneath

Many a fine example has gone up in flames because of this - the distributor (lots of sparks) is directly below the carbs!

Great work on getting it started 😃

Pete

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I am searching the net tonight to see if someone is capable of overhauling them ,every man should know his limitations and I am afraid overhauling double down draft carbs is not one of my specialities  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello guys 

I have sent my Dellortos of today to a repairer in Essex they will cost £150.00 each for new gaskets new jets and looking like new However I have a problem ,I can get all the electrics to work but for some reason I am not able to get the dash lights to operate one or two people have said there is a rheostat that controls these lights but I don't know where it's located or how to repair it I have rubbed the door frames down today with wet and dry ,I have painted them with a spray can of satin black paint and they look much better It's going to take seven weeks to turn my carbs round so it will give me some time to crack on with something else ,I have got to rip the headlining out yet 

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I think it's a series one Peter ,when I first bought it I thought it was a series two because it's a 1980car 

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Best way to tell is from rear wiper position. Series 1 have rear wiper mounted at bottom of screen. S2 is part of the rear glass and swings from the top. S2 also has Rover SDI rear light units, but it's easy to fit a S2 bumper to an S1, so not fool proof. 

IIRC, the rheostat is the other rotary knob on the centre console. One side the light switch, other side rheostat. 

Tony 

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Thanks for the info chaps

I have checked the rear wiper and it is below the glass so that makes it a series one  I am a bit disappointed really because I thought it was a series two with it being a later 1980's car 

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Window switches are on the dash on an S1 and by the handbrake on an S2. Engine is 2.2L on an S2. :)

It's getting there......

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